Cannon Street Hotel - Boardman (1875)




" THE CANNON STREET MEETINGS,

Mr. Charles de Selincourt, a manufacturer and merchant of London, and an officer in Mr. Martin's (Congregational) church, Westminster, returned from the Oxford Conference with a heart so full of thanksgiving to God for the wonderful deliverance from his sins and baptism of the Holy Spirit received there, that he longed to do something, anything the Lord would show him, as a thank- offering for the benefits received. He had about five hundred people under him, connected with his factory and warehouse, and under the leading of the Holy Spirit he began at once a work amongst them, which resulted in the conversion of three times more, in two or three weeks, than had been brought to the Lord in all the ten previous years. This, however, only increased his desire to do more-
"In conversation with Mrs. Boardman, he learned she was asking the Lord for some central small hall for m.eet- ings once a week, to which those, wishing instruction from her husband and herself, might be invited from all parts of the kingdom. 'Why will not the Cannon Street Hotel do?' he asked.

' Oh,that would be too expensive,' was the reply.

"'I will inquire,' said he. He did inquire, and found that the Queen's Rooms, Hanover Square, or any other suitable place, would cost as much, and none of them would be so convenient. Mr. Boardman went with him to see, and finally, not without misgiving about the too great capacity of the ' Great Hall of the hotel, he assented to Mr. de Selincourt taking it for the four successive Mondays in November, from three to half-past nine o'clock in the evening.

"Mr. de Selincourt undertook all the work of making the meetings known, and inviting guests, and when a friend kindly proposed to share the expense with him, said, * No, it is my thank-offering.' When he had fairly entered upon the work, he found that the first Monday was Lord Mayor's Day, of all the year the day for confusion in the City! The discovery was too late. Failure was predicted, but there was no drawing back. PrayerwasofferedthattheLordwouldglorify Himself by making it a success, all the greater because of the difficulties, and the prayer was answered. It was made a success in every respect. The numbers in attendance surprised everybody, and the power of God's presence filled the hall with glory. The second Monday every available inch of space was filled, and many had to stand, and some to go away, and so also the third and the fourth Mondays.

" The meetings held each Monday were, at three o'clock in the afternoon, a general meeting for addresses- Atfouro'clockMrs.Boardmanledaladies'meeting. Five o'clock, tea. At six o'clock, a free conversational meeting. At seven o'clock, a general meeting. And each day the tide rose from the beginning to the end, and during the whole series blessing and power increased. The final meeting was wonderful. It was devoted mainly to short testimonies of signal blessing received during the meetings.

 A COLONEL CONVERTED.

"Although the meetings were for consecration, from first to last, the Lord also did exceeding abundantly above all that had been asked or thought of, in the unlooked-for conversion of souls. The following is an example. In one of the evening meetings, a Colonel of the army sat listening. Mr. Boardman spoke of a present rest remaining for the people ofGod;; a rest from burdens and cares, as well as from the dominion and torment of besetting sins. He urged present trust, from the Apostle's words, " To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts," repeating and strongly emphasizing the word NOW. This made the Colonel very angry. Before the night was over, however, he had sur- rendered to God unconditionally, and found peace in believing. Next morning he went with the good news to his nieces, and to his amazement and joy he found that they too had been converted. So mightily did God work.

"The fruits of these meetings on the four Mondays in November, were found in many and far distant places, and continued to come to their knowledge all winter and spring, up to the last days of their sojourn in England."