Dudley Circuit - Journal of J. Petty, 1837
From the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838
Our Quarterly meeting directed me to read my journal, and after it was read they also directed me to send it for the use of the Magazine. This was contrary to my wish. But I have sent it you according to direction, and you can do with it what you think proper. Yours in the Lord, john petty.
Brierly Hill, October 3, 1837.
Extracts of the Journal.
Sunday, March 12. — At seven in the morning I gave tickets to two classes at Brierly Hill. At eleven I preached there to a goodly company, but without much influence. At half-past two I spoke at Woodside; and at six in the evening I addressed a large assembly at Dudley. A solemn, melting influence attended the word. I afterwards administered the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to a goodly number of communicants. The glory of God streamed down in a very extraordinary manner. Before we concluded, two young women came into the chapel, and began to cry for mercy. Two more persons afterwards joined in the same cry; and one or more found liberty through the blood of the Lamb.
Monday 13. — Was so weary that I visited only two families. In the evening I had a very profitable time while speaking to a crowded congregation at Hasbury.
Tuesday 14. — Prayed with upwards of twenty families, and visited several more. In the evening I preached at Netherton, where I was happy to find a little improvement.
Wednesday 15. — Visited several families. In the evening I enjoyed good liberty in preaching to many more people than usual at Quarry Bank.
Friday 17. — Was much blessed in visiting about a dozen families; and had a good time in preaching at Moor Lane.
Sunday, March 19. — In the morning spoke at Stourbridge. In the afternoon attended a love-feast at Wordsley. I was much tempted at the beginning; but got the victory towards the last. In the evening I attended an excellent missionary meeting there, which was, I trust, a means of doing some real good.
Tuesday 21. — Visited many families, and preached at Stourbridge to a few people.
Monday 27. — Attended the quarterly meeting. It was upon the whole a good day. We were thankful to find the circuit improving. In the evening we had a very powerful meeting in Dudley chapel. That service, by many, will long be remembered for good.
Sunday, April 2. — In the morning and afternoon I spoke at Shut End. I was pleasingly surprised to see so many people present, and was much refreshed with the consolations of the Spirit. It was also a very profitable time during the administration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In the evening I addressed a crowded assembly at Woodside. Serious and religious impressions were made upon the minds of many.
Tuesday 4. — Performed the burial service at the Wesleyan chapel, Brierly Hill, for one of our local preacher’s children. In the evening I preached, there in our own chapel.
Thursday 6. — Walked many miles on circuit business, and in the evening preached at Dudley.
Friday 7 — Walked a considerable distance to visit some sick people. In the evening I preached to a large and spiritual congregation at Brockmoor. The Lord was there also in the power of his Spirit.
Sunday, April 9. — In the morning preached at Netherton; in the afternoon at Dudley; and in the evening at Brierly Hill. The evening congregation was very large, and an extraordinary awakening took place. The vestry was so crowded at the prayer meeting that the heat was very oppressive; but the mighty power of God was signally felt through the assembly.
Monday 10. — Attended the adjourned quarter-day. We had a very comfortable meeting, and some arrangements were made for the conducting of open air services through the circuit.
Thursday 13. — Prayed with many families, and preached to many people at Old Hill. I was thankful to learn that a good work had begun to break out there.
Sunday, April 16. — At Coventry, in Birmingham circuit. — Assisted at the opening of a new chapel. In consequence of the unfavourable weather, and the great commercial distress prevailing in the city, the collections were but small; but the presence of the Lord was felt among us in the evening service.
Monday 17. — Returned to Brierly Hill, and attended a meeting on circuit business.
Tuesday 18. — Walked several miles on somewhat painful business; visited a number of families; and in the evening preached at Stourbridge.
Thursday 20. — After praying with seven or eight families, I preached at Dudley to more people than I had ever seen there before on a week-night. I was thankful that the work had begun to move there also; and some arrangements were made at a leaders’ meeting afterwards, which were thought likely to he a means of extending and of perpetuating the good work.
Sunday, April 23. — In the morning I spoke to a few people at Cradley Heath. In the afternoon I preached to the young at Old Hill. A large congregation attended, and very delightful evidences were afforded of a gracious revival of religion. I afterwards hastened with some degree of the revivalistic fire to my appointment at Quarry Bank, where I had a stirring time in preaching. The vestry was much crowded at the prayer meeting afterwards; and an eminent degree of holy influence was realised at the commencement, but, unhappily, it soon began to weaken.
Sunday, April 30. — In the morning and afternoon I preached in behalf of our sabbath school at Lye Waste. I enjoyed good liberty in the morning; and in the afternoon, losing sight of an appropriate sermon, I selected a subject which I thought would be more useful; but was not so clothed with Divine power as I wished to be. In the evening I preached at Quarry Bank, and administered the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to a small company.
Monday, May 1. — Visited several families, and attended to my appointment at Lock’s Lane, Brierly Hill. To arouse the sleepy neighbours, and to influence them to attend the house of prayer, we began to sing in the open street, and then proceeded to the preaching house. A great number of children flocking in, I first addressed them in language suited to their capacities, and then dismissed them to make room for the other part of the congregation. I afterwards delivered a plain discourse to the adults, many of whom were children in understanding. I trust it was not in vain.
Tuesday 2. — Prayed with nine or ten families, and preached to a good congregation in Brierly Hill chapel. Afterwards met the leaders of society and the Sunday school committee.
Sunday, May 7. — In the morning and evening I spoke at Wordsley, and in the afternoon at Stourbridge. A good influence attended the latter services, and at a prayer meeting held in the neighbourhood after evening preaching, two persons were brought into the liberty of God’s children.
Tuesday 9. — Prayed with eight families; preached at Netherton with good liberty; baptized a child, and held a leader’s meeting.
Wednesday 10. — Visited and prayed with seven or eight families in the neighbourhood of Quarry Bank. To increase the congregation, I and a few friends sung up the street to the chapel. I then spoke with considerable freedom to the people assembled, and afterwards held a leaders’ meeting.
Friday 12. — Prayed with eight families; spent much time in church affairs; preached at Moor Lane, and baptized three children.
Sunday, May 14. — In the morning I spoke at Cradley Heath; in the afternoon I preached and renewed tickets at Old Hill; and in the evening I preached to the young at Netherton, many of whom listened with seriousness, and were, I trust, benefited by the service; for a gracious influence attended the word, and a considerable degree of Divine power was felt in the prayer meeting afterwards.
Monday 16. — Being Whitsuntide, I preached in the afternoon to a large assembly in the open air at Brockmoor. I had good liberty in speaking, and a good influence attended the word. A prayer meeting was then held in an adjoining house. In the evening I attended a meeting connected with Sunday schools, in our chapel at Brierly Hill.
Tuesday 16. — I was so indisposed that I could not attend a lovefeast held at Brierly Hill in the afternoon. Brother Williams therefore led it, and it was supposed that twenty persons were brought into liberty.
Friday 19. — Much engaged in circuit affairs; but prayed with several families, and preached in the evening with a good influence in the open air at Brookmoor. Much power also was realised in the prayer meeting afterwards.
Sunday, May 21. — In the morning I preached and renewed tickets at Quarry Bank. Admitted three on trial. In the afternoon I had a profitable time in addressing the young at Cradley Heath. — Many hearts were melted by the celestial fire. In the evening I had full liberty in preaching to a large assembly at Old Hill. I afterwards administered the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to the society.
Wednesday 24. — Visited about twenty families, and prayed with fourteen of them. I afterwards preached with a degree of freedom in the open air at Shut End.
Thursday 25. — Visited a few families. In the evening I preached at Oldbury with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.
Sunday, May 28. — At seven in the morning I renewed tickets to two classes at Brierly Hill. Admitted five on trial. I then hastened to Shut End to conduct a Camp meeting. The Lord blessed us with a fine day, and with the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit. A large assembly listened with becoming attention to the word of life, and much evident good was done. We had a love-feast in the chapel in the evening, and one backslider or more professed to be reclaimed. Praise the Lord.
Monday 29. — Was so weary with the labours of the preceding day, that I could scarcely bear up. Towards evening, however, I got better, and was enabled to walk five or six miles to Hasbury, where I preached with liberty to an attentive and spiritually-minded congregation.
Their short, sensible, fervent, and pointed prayers, intermingled with lively singing, were quite animating. About a dozen of them engaged in prayer in the short space of twenty minutes.
Tuesday 30. — Visited fifteen families, and preached and renewed tickets at Bank near Oldbury.
Thursday, June 1. — Walked about twelve miles; visited five or six families; and preached with a degree of enlargement in the open air at Barnett Lane near Wordsley. We afterwards held a good prayer meeting in the preaching house, and I trust some lasting religious impressions were made.
Friday 2. — Assisted by a few friends, I sung along some of the streets in Brockmoor, and then preached in the open air to a large congregation who seriously listened to the word spoken. I afterwards renewed the quarterly tickets to one of the classes.
Sunday, June 4. — In the morning preached in behalf of our sabbath school at Stourbridge; in the afternoon I preached with a degree of freedom at Wordsley; and in the evening to a crowded congregation at Brierly Hill. I afterwards administered the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to an unusually large number of communicants. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit were realised among us.
Tuesday 6. — Was appointed at Netherton. I first visited a few families. I then began to sing in the open air, and after prayer, I gave an exhortation. The friends then assisted me in singing to the chapel. A large congregation assembled, to whom I preached with much enlargement.
Wednesday 7. — Visited a few families. In the evening I held an open-air service at Quarry Bank. But, the wind being strong and cold, we soon adjourned to the chapel. This is a barren neighbourhood in reference to religion. May the Lord visit it with the fruitful showers of his grace.
Thursday 8. — Was so much indisposed that I was unable to visit any; and found it difficult to preach at Old Hill according to my appointment.
Friday 9. — Being, through the mercy of God, much better in body, I prayed with fourteen families, and preached in the evening at Moor Lane.
Sunday, June 11. — In the morning spoke with good liberty at Shut End; in the afternoon and evening at Sedgeley. A gracious influence attended the word in the evening service, and I had afterwards a good time in administering the sacrament of the Lord’s Slipper to the society.
Tuesday 13. — Visited many families. In the evening I preached at Stourbridge.
Wednesday 14. — Was busily employed in chapel affairs. Between four and five, I attended the funeral of one of our members who had died happy in the Lord on the Sunday evening previous. A little after six, I preached in the open air to a large congregation at the Five Ways, Cradley Heath. A little after seven, I preached again in our chapel there. Then attended a meeting respecting the Sunday school, and afterwards walked home, very weary in body, but happy in mind.
Thursday 15. — Preached in the open air to a large congregation in Dudley streets. Then sung to the chapel, and held a profitable prayer meeting. Afterwards met the leaders and Sunday school teachers.
Monday 19. — Attended quarter day. Through the blessing of God, we were pretty comfortable, and had cause of thankfulness for a tolerably good increase of members.
Tuesday 20. — Was exceedingly indisposed. I, however,-was enabled to attend my appointment at Woodside. I also assisted the friends in singing up the streets, and I then preached in the open air to a large and an attentive congregation, some of whom appeared to be benefited by the word.
Thursday 22. — Preached in the open air to a large assembly at Oldbury. A solemn sense of the Divine presence pervaded the meeting, and I had reason to hope good was done.
Sunday, June 25. — In the morning and afternoon I preached at Wordsley, and administered the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In the evening I preached to the young at Brierly Hill. The chapel was crowded to excess, and a good influence attended the word. In the prayer meeting held afterwards, several found liberty through the blood of the Lamb.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 26-30.