Extracts on the work in some villages in the neighbourhood of Berwick
Mar 14.—"I think I told you about a poor butcher whose wife is in a blessed state, still going on her heavenly course. He has had a stroke of palsy, and God is teaching him great things in his affliction; the poor publican weeps every time I see him, and oh, how desirous he is to find the Saviour! There are many of us praying for him and other poor prodigals; and blessed be his dear name, He is a God that hears and answers prayer. I shall be at Ford again on Sunday night, when I expect several of our brothers from Ford-Moss. They often get over and take part in the prayers, &c. I expect that the Lord is going to do great things on Sunday night at our meeting, and that many of the anxious will be savingly converted. Oh, dear sir, remember me and our meetings; I do and ever will remember you and all that you have desired me to pray for. I hold meetings occasionally at Grieve-stead, Grindon, Newbigan, &c. I have been three times at Shortwood Colliery lately. I was there last night, and a blessed meeting we had. The foreman of the colliery has let me have his house, which is the largest. Mr.--- was with me last night. The place was crowded, and we were told some could not get in. We never have had any meetings there before these; and a very wicked place it is. If I had strength I should like to hold meetings every night.
May 11.—"The blessed work in Berwick is still going on most gloriously. The Baptists have now commenced holding meetings every night, and two of the Presbyterian Churches; and the Church of England has prayers every day, I understand, at 11 o'clock, a.m. Scores are being converted. Of course the devil is very active; we are not ignorant of his devices. I am happy to say that God is wonderfully blessing me in my own soul. I am certain it is in answer to the prayers of his own dear children. Bless his name. I was at Bousden on Sunday at 3 o'clock. Oh, what a blessed meeting we had! About 150 were present. Three souls found peace; two of whom rejoiced exceedingly. The people would hardly go away from the meeting. I had a prayer-meeting again, at 7 o'clock, in the same place. We all found it to be a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. I was at a place, at about three miles from Bousden, on Monday night; Biteabout, they call it. We had a blessed meeting. I never felt the presence of God more. After I had done speaking I sat down and wept. I was born at this place, and have never been there since I was three months' old until Monday night. People came for miles round. Many wept sore in the meeting. I was introduced by a friend to Mr---. , Presbyterian Minister; I never spoke to him before. He was exceedingly kind, and asked me to preach in his church I felt it to be a call from God, and I am sure it is, for I never sought it. So I am going on Thursday night, the 16th, at 7 o'clock. He is going to give it out in his church on Sunday. I told him I would not go unless I had perfect liberty in the meeting. He said, ‘The meeting will be yours.' Oh, my dear sir, do remember me that night, that God would give me words of his own; that He may be both mouth, matter, and wisdom; and that his converting power may be present. I shall be at Shortwood on Wednesday night, the 15th, and expect great things from God.
May 20th.—" It is with feelings of great pleasure and thankfulness that I now write to you. You have on several occasions told me to give thanks to God for prayer answered. I have now the same totell you and my other brothers, who prayed for me on Thursday night as I requested. Oh, blessed be his holy name: He went with me in a very special manner to that Presbyterian Church, and kept with me. It was a very wet day, indeed, which prevented many from coming from the country around. I had tea with the minister; then, before we went to church, we had prayer together, asking God's blessing on the meeting. He opened the meeting by giving out a hymn, and then read a chapter and prayed. With much fear and trembling, I gave out my text, 2 Cor. xvi. 5, 'Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your ownselves.' I felt almost overwhelmed with a sense of God's presence, and soon the whole church was filled with his glory. After I had done speaking, I gave out the hymn Christ for me,' then asked all that were anxious about their souls to stop. Mr. — gave me full liberty to do as I chose in the meeting. While the Lord's children were praying, I went round amongst the people. Two rejoiced exceedingly, a man and a woman, which made us all rejoice, for it was a man and his wife. Another, an aged woman, wept sore, and said she had found Jesus, but was not rejoicing; others were deeply convicted. At intervals of prayer we sung out of Weaver's hymn-book, Glory be to God on high,' &c., which is a most marvellous thing to sing these hymns in a Presbyterian Church—it is the first in this country side—Mr. — joining in heartily with the chorus. We then brought the meeting to a close. I asked Mr.--to close the meeting by prayer. Oh, what a prayer! I shall never forget it. Oh, what power! He reminded me of that passage, ' The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.' Many sobbed and wept aloud. He prayed for you and our brothers in London. His people say they never heard anything to be compared to it in that church before. I called on him again on Friday night according to promise. He was quite overjoyed about the meeting, and was exceedingly kind. He is going to throw open his church every night next week for a prayer meeting, and he wants me to go and preach there again on Friday night, which I have promised to do. I was visiting all day Friday and Saturday, and had a most blessed time. Bousden is all alive. Praise the Lord. I preached there yesterday afternoon at three o'clock. There is a gentleman who has given us an empty house that will hold, I should think, upwards of 150 people. It was crammed, and many could not get in. After I had done preaching, I invited all that were anxious to stop. I should think 100 stopped. The Lord was of a truth in our midst. Three rejoiced in the Lord, and one backslider was restored. I had visited them on Saturday, and had tea with them. She told me she had been converted, but had gone back into the world again. While we were at tea, she wept sore. I got her to promise to come to the meeting at Bousden, yesterday, which she did, and stopped to the prayer meeting, and there Jesus revealed himself to her again, and she went away full of joy in the Holy Ghost. One young man was from Biteabout. He was at the meeting I had there a fortnight ago. He had been in trouble in his mind ever since, but got into full liberty yesterday. The other two are young women in Bousden. There was a woman at the meeting at Biteabout, who, when I was there, laboured so heavy under deep conviction, that she was confined to her bed for two or three days, but she is now happy. She had before been trying to persuade herself and others that she was a Christian. The son of Mr.—, the minister at —, is dying of consumption. The young man himself is a minister, and, oh, how awful, he has not made his peace with God! Mr. — is very anxious about both him and his father. I was telling him about God's answer to prayer on behalf of others, which rejoiced him exceedingly. Do remember at the throne of grace this poor young man that he might be a bright testimony to all before he dies, of the truth as it is in Jesus." S. N.
From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume V, page 21.