St Andrew's Hall - Norwich (1860)




The movement yet goes on with unabated interest and success; and ministers and others, whose efforts to arouse the people to a sense of their need of personal religion, were a few months since accompanied by such apparently small results, now find their time and energies severely taxed by anxious seekers after Christian instruction and advice. The general programme of the Lecture Hall services has hitherto been short singings, short prayers, and three or four short but pointed addresses, all occupying the space of a little more than an hour; an invitation being always given at the close for those to remain who are concerned about their souls' salvation. The addresses delivered have been listened to with anxious attention, and great concern has been evinced by large numbers of persons in relation to their spiritual welfare; the emotions, though strong, seem to be for the most part exceedingly deep and solemn, arising from a serious solicitude on account of sin, or a calm satisfaction at the sense of forgiveness.

But the movement has not been by any means confined to the Lecture Hall services. In St. Andrew's Hall, meetings have been held. on Sunday evenings, and have been crowded to excess, simultaneously with equally interesting meetings in several of the chapels, mission-rooms, school-rooms, he., in almost every part of the city. To many of these—the people, and particularly the poor, flocked in large numbers; and it is confidently believed that the good which is being effected, as shown by most remarkable changes in outward life and cha¬racter, is beyond all possible calculation. Perhaps, however, after all there is not a more gratifying feature in connexion with the Revival than that of the institution of religious services in some of the large factories of the city. In one of these places, with kind permission of the proprietors, a prayer-meeting is held daily at noon, and a meeting for short addresses and conversation with those who desire consolation and direction, every evening at the hour of leaving work. A few months since these would have been declared a nuisance by the factory girls, whose opposition would have made any attempt at their continuance absolutely hopeless. But what is now the case? When the dinner hour is announced, numbers of them may be seen hurriedly despatching a scanty meal which they have brought with them, and then quietly entering the room appointed for prayer; while others who reside nearer, find who have gone home to dinner after only a few minutes' absence may be observed returning with hasty steps to join their companions at the religious service which has just begun. The same scene is repeated in the evening, the meetings being attended regularly by between two and three hundred, and that these services have not been without a beneficial effect many persons residing in the neighbourhood are well able to testify. We say nothing of course about individual cases of conversion, as that scarcely comes within our province. On this point it may be sufficient to remark that those who take an active part in the movement believe that there has teen a great number of very hopeful cases. One thing is, however, obvious to everybody, that a large mass of the population of our city who have never been in the habit of attending public worship, now eagerly flock to hear the gospel preached. to them; and that the chapels generally, and several of the churches of the Establishment, have larger congregations than they ever had before. Scripture-readers and city missionaries also state the very gratifying fact, that they find persons who, a few months ago, absolutely refused to listen to them, now quite ready, and in very many instances anxious to receive their ministrations. On all sides there are signs of a growing desire on the part of the people to receive spiritual instruction, and great hopes are entertained of a yet more general awakening. The county is beginning to feel the effect of this remarkable movement. A meeting, the first of a series, is to be held at Dereham on Wednesday, May 8. We have intelligence of a happy kind from Cawston and its neighbourhood. —Norfolk News. From 'The Revival' Volume IV, page 159.

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