Field Meeting - Portrush (1859)

“Yesterday, at three o'clock, one of the most extraordinary and most interesting meetings which has been since the beginning of the movement was held in a spacious field, in front of Eglinton Street. The day being fine, a large number of persons assembled — not less, it is said, than fifteen thousand. About the centre of the field a platform had been improvised on rising ground and here, at the appointed hour, a number of the ministers attending the Wesleyan Conference, which is being held in the town, took their stand. It was a scene not soon to be forgotten. Such a vast multitude of people of every creed in rank and life met together to fill their hearts and voices in praise and prayer to God, and to break the solemn stillness of the Sabbbath evening only by the offerings of their worship.

“The method of conducting the service was this — one of the ministers conducted the singing of a hymn, another offered up a prayer, a third read and expounded a portion of scripture, and so on. As the assembly increased in number it was found that the minister's voice could not reach them all, and accordingly another portion of the field was selected where the services were commenced anew and, in a very short time, four immense congregations were grouped in different parts of the field around the ministers. "In all these meetings the most intense interest and attention were manifested. Everyone seemed to listen as they would to glad tidings from a far country, so engrossed were they, that what fell from the preacher's lips, and when a hymn was read to be sung their voices swelled forth upon the still evening air with peculiar sweetness and impressiveness. The addresses delivered on the occasion were well calculated to arouse the careless and bring conviction to the undecided; and, during the services, many people were led to cry for mercy and pardon through the Saviour's blood, and they were ministered to and prayed over by some of the clergymen in the field, and soon declared that they had found peace by looking unto Jesus."

"The Newsletter" 27th June 1859

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