Cardiff Town Hall (1861)



Mr. Carter has just visited these places. The following interesting letter is his own narrative to a friend: " On our arriving at Cardiff we went direct to Clyde Villa, the quarters assigned us, where we were received very kindly; but upon entering into conversation with the gentleman our host, about the Lord's present work, he told us frankly he had no sympathy with it, and moreover that he was an avowed sceptic, and that he did not believe the Scriptures. We were astonished and could not understand how it was that the brethren who had pressed us to visit Cardiff should have placed us in such circumstances. We found that the lady was a devoted Christian; as soon as we could get alone we began to cry to God for guidance; my first thought was that I was not in my right place, a thick black cloud came over us. On Sunday (14th ult.), I preached twice in the Temperance Hall to about 3000, but there seemed to be little result. My heart was sad, and on returning to our lodgings I had a conversation with our host till past midnight. I kept to God's word and refused to go outside it. I discovered that he had once enjoyed Christ, but through reading infidel books, he had first began to question God's word, and this ended in his absolutely rejecting the Scriptures altogether. He had permitted me to read and pray with the family. I now went on my knees and prayed right out for him that God would break his heart, humble and restore his soul. On Monday I preached in the Wesleyan Chapel, on Tuesday in the English Baptists', still very little apparent re­sult; each night had intercourse with my host. On Wednesday preached in the Town Hall; and the power of God came down on the people, scores of sinners were broken down, and many were enabled to rest on Christ; my host was present. On going home I found him very much softened and subdued; we knelt down and I cried to God for him. On Thursday preached again in the Town Hall; marvellous results! a thorough breaking down. My dear wife had in an adjoining room about fifty broken-hearted women, I remained with the men in the Hall, great numbers were broken down. A most pleasing feature in the work this night was the young men who were deeply wounded whose ages varied from eighteen to twenty. In going from one to another in the hall, I came across my host; he sat with his face buried in his hands, his frame convulsed, a melan­choly proof of God's word, "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways." I spoke to him, and found to my joy that his scepticism had given way; and that he was a condemned sinner before God, I left him to his own reflections; and presently, as all the young men were rejoicing in Christ, and we were just going to sing,

‘Glory honour, praise and power,

Be unto the Lamb for ever,'

my host stood on his feet and lifted up his voice and said, Men and brethren, most of you know that I have rejected God's word; and for these four years turned my back upon Christ and upon everything that savoured of Him; but I have not been happy; oh, my wickedness, my sin, I now confess it before God and you, and now I warn you young men not to read those books that first corrupted my mind. Oh, the dis­honour that I have brought on that blessed Jesus, I regret it, I confess my sin, I am sorry.' He sank down and hid his face in anguish of spirit. Just at this moment they were singing, Glory honour,' in the room adjoining, and we also began to sing with all our hearts; all of us were overcome, and we thanked the Lord for his marvellous display of power, espe­cially for enabling my host before his brother merchants to confess his sin; and that too in the very place where, repeatedly, prayer had been put up for him in the united prayer-meetings during the past sixteen months. We closed the meeting, and myself and host went into the judge's room; his wife was there helping Mrs. Carter speaking to the anxious ones; he fell on her neck and sobbed aloud. This dear woman had been four long years praying for this. We at once drove home; and on our arrival we found that the children, who had returned early, were in distress about their souls; and one of the dear girls clung around her father's neck and sobbed out, Oh Pa, now you love Jesus, we want to love Him too.' We went into the drawing-room along with him, and he went to his private drawer and brought out all his infidel books; and with his own hands tore them up and cast them into the fire. We now went to bed, but could not sleep for joy. Between three and four o'clock in the morning we heard the family singing, Glory honour,' all the children were rejoicing in Christ, and the servants likewise; salvation had come to the house and to all its inmates. From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume IV, page 157.

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