Thomas Collins’ father’s journal.
At half-past ten I preached from Ezek. xi. 19-21. Solemn awe rested upon the people as I expounded. "I will put a new spirit within you." At half-past twelve, without retiring, I met the class, nor could I finish before the afternoon congregation had gathered.
I, therefore, just ascended the pulpit, and discoursed from Ps. cxxx. 7, 8: "With the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption." This service ended left me very unwell. At my son's, however, I got a cup of tea, an hour's sleep, and a little quiet communion with God, which refreshed me to meet the crowd that so crushed in at six o'clock, that I could scarcely push through them to the pulpit. My text was Ezek. xxxiii. n. I showed the character of the wicked; that the wicked go in an evil way, and will come to an evil end; that neither in their way nor their end hath God any pleasure; that there is no necessity that they should persist in so vile a way, or issue in so ruinous an end; that God makes oath of His good-will toward them, hath given for them His Son, inspired for them His word, sent for them His ministers, poured forth for them His Spirit, and now, bending from His throne, commands, exhorts, nay, even supplicates, "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?" The excitement became very great while I insisted that it was the duty of that congregation, then and there, either to turn or to assign to God some sufficient reason for their refusal. Nearly all stayed for prayer. At a second prayer-meeting, for which only penitents were invited, a hundred remained. I was weak and spent, but how could I leave? My dear daughter laboured nobly. I concluded the second meeting, but some who continued in distress would not stir. We fell to prayer again; several were comforted, and the rest agreed to wait upon me at eleven o'clock in the morning. Monday, 8th. I rose rather better. At eleven o'clock six persons came all of whom went away rejoicing.
From ‘The Life of the Rev Thomas Collins’ by Samuel Coley p118.