Huddersfield, December 2, 1844, Monday morning. Preached in Buxtonroad Chapel yesterday morning and night. Had some power. The chapel is a hard place to speak in; it is large, but the difficulty is a vast compartment behind the pulpit, for the accommodation of hundreds of Sabbath-school children and teachers. All is vacancy behind the preacher, and if his head be somewhat vacant of ideas, woe be to him. But though his head be full as the rich farmer’s barns of old, it avails him little so long as that void in the rear quite divides his voice, — nothing to react and send forward, so “divided it falls” into feebleness, unless he puts on a strength that will quite exhaust him before he has half finished. Such a construction is a great error, but the preacher is the sufferer.
A few souls were saved yesterday. Tuesday, Dec. 3. — Prayer-meeting last night; a cold, hard time, surely; people cold, — looked as if they had been praying but little in secret, but expecting to light their torch at somebody’s else fire, — perhaps mine; but for some reason or other mine burned so low, there was little for anybody except self, and not enough at that, for I was very uncomfortable. Had the bridegroom come, there would have been trouble in the camp, I fear. Matt. 25. — “give us of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. “ Nor did there seem to be much disposition for that, either, — with one exception, a poor backslider, whose lamp had long gone out; he got oil from above, and fire to kindle It, and shined among us like a Pharos over a sea of gloom.
There is much green wood in Huddersfield, or I am much mistaken, — not easily kindled into a flame, indisposed to catch Gospel-fire, — as much so as the drenched wood on the memorable altar on Mount Carmel. However, Huddersfield wood is on the altar of our God. But the devil, instead of Elijah, has thrown a dozen barrels of the water of lukewarmness upon it. Hush, my soul! When the fire of the Lord comes down it will burn the wood, and lick up all the water. May it be so, until all the people shall cry, as of old on Carmel, “The Lord, he is the God! The Lord, he is the God!” — I Kings 18. It is thus, my Lord, that thou dost prove the heavenly origin of revivals! Amen!
Wednesday, Dec. 4. — A gloomy time last night. No freedom. The people, too, were somewhere else. Satan is going to usurp upon me here.
His discouragement continues until..
December 14th — Occasional flashes of divine power last night, “laying open the sepulchral recess of iniquity,” as one expresses it, but closing again. “The people had a mind to work.” — Neh. 4. 6. There were twenty-five saved, I learn. A good omen. Later, The aspect of the congregation is changed, — so bright, animated, and determined, and increased. I thought of the general who defeated the Lacedaemonians three hundred and seventy-seven years before Christ. He ordered his army to their knees, — rather upon one knee, — with spear at rest on the ground, supported by the other knee, and covered with a shield, and in their looks defiance. The enemy charged upon them, were daunted by the unusual appearance, were repulsed and defeated! Thus appeared our Spiritual troops last night. Grand sight and inspiring? The servants of the devil came flooding in to see what was the matter, but found something the matter with themselves before they retired. So they have carried out the news, and others will come, and the Lord will make bare his arm. Indifference must die the ‘death’. Public attention once fairly and fully awakened, we shall see that enemy no more here.
Huddersfield people never do things by the halves, when fairly aroused, either for Christ or Satan.
Dec. 18th. — Easy preaching now. The sword has a new edge, — more apt to penetrate; more strength in my soul’s arm to set it on and lay it around me fearlessly. It seems as if approaching to what one speaks of, “The sword of the Spirit seemed newly-edged with power, and bathed in the likeness of heaven, flashing convictions on the consciences of sinners, and piercing to the recesses of the soul!”
Dec. 30, Monday morning — What an amazing work of God is this shaping to be! Likely to sweep all before it, “like mighty winds, or torrents fierce. “ Within a short time past hundreds have been saved.
The town is shaken, just by the simple preaching of a felt Gospel. A glorious blaze this, surely! Later... Jan 3. — Last night had a meeting for the new converts. Had a larger proportion of them present. They knelt in succession around the altar, after receiving a few words of advice and exhortation to faithfulness, then a few words of prayer, pronouncing over them the apostolical benediction “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” — 2 Cor. 13:14. And while singing a verse of a hymn they returned to their seats, and a fresh company came up; and so till all had been so confirmed, — a good Methodistic “confirmation” this, of truly regenerated souls! By this means, also, we found who had not yet been appointed to class and had the thing attended to. Then we had a prayer-meeting for mourners, and a number saved. It was ascertained that six hundred and forty persons had been saved in justification and sanctification since the meeting commenced, the proportions thus: Two hundred converted from the world; one hundred and forty members converted — persons meeting in a class before the revival but unsaved; and three hundred cases of entire sanctification; total six hundred and forty.
How satisfactory to record the name of every person saved in such a work! It enables one to judge pretty clearly as to the character of the work and preserves from exaggerated reports.
Taken from 'Earnest Christianity' at www.revival-library.org