Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Billy Braithwaite and prayer

Some two hundred years ago in the village of East Stockwith in Lincolnshire, England, a farmer was busy ploughing his field. Soon he became aware that he could hear what sounded like several loud voices arguing, coming from behind a hedge. He left his plough horses and went to investigate. He peered through the hedge and to his surprise he discovered there was just one man, on his knees.

His eyes were closed, his hands clasped, and tears were running down his cheeks. The loud words and requests were addressed to One unseen, and their urgency was extraordinary: ‘You must give me souls. I cannot preach without souls. Lord, give me souls, or I shall die.’

The farmer was awestruck and returned to his ploughing. That night he told the strange story to his wife. Hearing this, she exclaimed: ‘Why, he must be the man who has been round saying that he is going to preach here.’ The farmer decided to hear him preach and became one of the first Primitive Methodist converts in that village. The farmer had a lasting conversion to Christ, living full of faith to the end of his life.

The solitary man in prayer was Billy Braithewaite, a pioneer missionary and preacher. He had gone there to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. His method was typical of the early Primitive Methodist pioneers in the early decades of the 1800s.

Abridged from The Romance of Primitive Methodism, by Joseph Ritson

No comments:

Post a Comment