A remarkable work of the Spirit has been going on in Cardiff during the past thirty days. The Divine influence is acknowledged and felt throughout the town; affecting the public morals, and bringing hundreds to the house of prayer, who have hitherto been neglecters of salvation. A town counsellor (who is himself a member of the established church) rose at one of the recent midday meetings and said, " I desire on behalf of the town to return thanks to Almighty God for a great improvement in the state of the people during the past week—the police cases have been unusually few, and in the last day published not a single case was brought before the magistrates. I walked last night to the meeting with the detective officer, and he told me that the improvement in the town was so great, that it was not like the same place." On the evening of the same day that the counsellor returned this thanksgiving, one of the oldest and most respectable townsmen of Cardiff rose in the meeting, and, with an humble desire to glorify God and not the creature, said, "I may not be the oldest man in the house, but of one thing I am quite certain, that is, that I am the oldest inhabitant of Cardiff in the house, and I wish to say to the glory of God, that Cardiff has never witnessed such a visitation of the Spirit as this." Glory to God in the highest! Young and old, rich and poor, are subjects of the work, but a very large proportion are men and their wives.
Our meetings were held the first twenty-one days in the large and beautiful chapel in Charles-street, capable of accommodating about fifteen hundred persons, which was frequently crowded to excess. On Sabbath evenings, a simultaneous meeting has been held in the adjoining vestry for the accommodation of hundreds who could not gain access to the chapel. At one of these extra services, about thirty found the Lord one evening. The noonday meetings have also been wonderfully owned of God. Seldom has a day passed, but from five to ten have been forward for prayers, and found mercy. These meetings, which have been held in the large vestry capable of bolding four or five hundred, are also being crowded daily; and most thrilling have been the scenes of saving power there displayed. Many requests for prayer, varying from ten to twenty-five, have been sent in daily. To many of these most marked answers have been received. I will subjoin two or three as a specimen of many other written and verbal thanksgivings which have been sent in:
"A mother who has had three daughters and a son made happy in the pardoning love of God, and also this morning a nephew, who, whilst pleading with God in the stable-loft, received such a sense of pardon, that when he came to breakfast, his countenance was beaming with joy, desires the united thanksgivings of God's people for these manifestations of his infinite love."
The ministers are delightfully in the work, and are one in heart in helping on the interests of the Revival. One of these said he desired to give in his testimony to the glory of God in favour of the glorious work now going on in the town. Not only had his own soul been watered, but the shower of grace had fallen particularly on his own family. Two of his children had teen converted. His wife and the family governess had received such a baptism of the Spirit as never before. His coachman had been converted, and two of his house servants had been so blest that their daily toil seemed nothing, and they were singing“Oh, He's taken my feet from the mire and the clay,
And set them on the Rock of Ages."
I might add many more of a similar character. We have heard of a number who have been convicted at the Revival services, and have returned to their homes too much distressed to sleep, and have found Jesus before the break of day. At one of the midday meetings, the captain of a vessel came forward so deeply affected, that he was for some time scarcely able to stand. Tears fell fast. He asked the privilege of speaking, and said he had made a vow to God which he must perform. Though he had been a professor of religion for fifteen years, he had never known the power of saving grace. He had attended the previous evening's meeting, and was so deeply and painfully convinced of this, that he felt it his duty to confess it, and seek an interest in the prayers and sympathies of God's people. Refusing to obey these convictions of the Holy Spirit, he had returned to his vessel greatly distressed; but resolved that he would seek the Lord with all his heart, and never rest until he knew he had salvation. He lamented his resistance in not acknowledging his convictions—promised the Lord if He would have mercy that he would hasten to confess it to the glory of God; and after wrestling till about one o'clock in the morning, the Sun of Righteousness broke in upon his soul, that he was so happy as to be unable to close his eyes in sleep since. He had brought four of his crew with him to the meeting, who all came forward seeking an interest in Jesus. The four sailors appeared to be all happily converted before leaving the meeting, and the captain and his men went away rejoicing. What a change in that ship's company in less than twenty-four hours.
Two or three evenings ago, I was arrested by the appearance of a hardy-looking man, who seemed to eye me as though waiting for a word. I went to him and found that he had been enabled during the meeting to cast the burden of his sins on Jesus; and the consolations of the Spirit with him were neither few nor small. "Do you know who sent me here" he eagerly inquired. Imagining that he came in answer to some of the thousands of invitations which have been given out in the town and its environs, I answered, "No; but I suppose of course some one invited you; but I do not know who." "I know who invited me," he replied. "God told me, as I was walking down by the docks, that I must come here to-night. I will tell you just how it was. I am a Norwegian. I used to go to Chapel sometimes, and used to feel my heart soft, but it has been long time since. I came to the chapel at noon, and my .heart seemed so stiff and hard: I got on my knees, and thought, oh. that my heart might be softened a bit; when I thought I saw Jesus, his blood was streaming, and then my heart began to burst. After the meeting was over I walked to the docks, and as I walked there, I kept thinking; and my heart kept bursting out. It was while there that the Lord told me I must come here to-night." "And now since you have been here you believe the Lord has blotted out all your transgressions, and you feel that your name has been written in the Book of Life." "I know it," he exclaimed. Kneeling near this Norwegian, were three young men. I found, on enquiring of each, that they were sailors belonging to one ship's company; they were all enabled to rejoice in sins forgiven before leaving. Many have come in from miles around seeking the Lord, and have returned to their homes happy in Jesus.
Last week, the meetings were removed from Charles-street to London-square. Daily the work increases in interest. During the past fortnight, from March 9 to 23, over 300 professed to have found the Saviour. Many church members have been quickened into new spiritual life, and many youths with whom special meetings have been held in the vestry, we trust have found the Lord, but whose names have not been recorded. I have just been informed that the town prison was empty on Sunday and Monday; no prisoners having been apprehended. We were informed that twenty to thirty have been found there on Monday morning. Surely this place is being favoured with a remarkable visitation of the Son of God.
Very praiseworthy efforts are being made to visit those who have professed to find Jesus. Affectionate enquiries are made of those who are enabled to testify that they are born of the Spirit, and the records of names and residences taken. These have been visited, and reports given in at meetings called for that purpose. One of the ministers told us that out of the hundreds whose cases have been looked into, but three doubtful have been reported. We are also informed that the majority of the newly converted are already in communion with some evangelical body. "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men."
Dr. and Mrs. Palmer have now to our great regret left us. The town is in that state that we are just ready to receive a visit from any Revivalists who will give God all the praise.
From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VI, page 110-1