Coventry - Thomas Collins (1842)
A friend writes to me: "Mr. Collins's first Sabbath at Warwick Lane Chapel was a never-to-be-forgotten day. The service commenced with that appropriate hymn, beginning:
'Give me the faith which can remove And sink the mountain to a plain; Give me the child-like praying love, Which longs to build Thy house again; Thy love let it my heart o'erpower, And all my simple soul devour.'
"As he gave the lines, force, beauty, and impressiveness, never perceived by me before, seemed to breathe through the words. Then followed a prayer so pleading, so child-like, and yet so mighty, that all believing hearts felt assured that revival was already begun. The discourse, founded upon Deut. xxxiii. 8 n, was original, unique, and stimulating. In the evening, the warnings of the unconverted, the invitations of the penitent, and the appeals for present exercise of faith, had directness and unction such as none of us had known before."
The Journal record is: "The congregation is small I began my pulpit labours with tears: I had signs of good." My own correspondent states: "Ten, chiefly senior Sunday scholars, were led that night to cry for mercy;" and adds, "Like results followed successively Sabbath after Sabbath, until our Society was nearly doubled; our congregation more than doubled; and our funds replenished. His morning sermons can never be forgotten while any of the church that listened to them remain. His witness for holiness was constant. His thoughts were profound, heart-stirring, and, for variety, inexhaustible. Upon that theme his words glowed and burned: while the heavenly benignity that beamed in his happy face helped to make every sentence tell."
From ?The Life of the Rev Thomas Collins, by Samuel Coley, p199. "Sunday, December nth. Such a Communion service has never been known here, since the Wesleyans first came to the city, as we have had to-day: one hundred and fifty-one communicated; several found peace with God at the table; all seemed comforted and quickened." From ?The Life of the Rev Thomas Collins, by Samuel Coley, p206.http://www.archive.org/details/lifeofrevthoscol00coleiala