Aftercliffe - Salvation Army (1878)

This is an excerpt from one of the monthly reports from the Salvation Army station here. Interesting that things turned around when two young women were sent.

WE have had from this station during the month one of the most charming records of simple loving labour and glorious blessing we ever read.

For a long time it had been found so difficult to meet the expenses of the place that the dear brother (Skidmore), who had laboured there from the first., had gone so far as to ask whether the large hall used for Sundays might not be given up and the work confined to the week-night hall.

Instead of consenting to this, we sent two little sisters from Leicester, intending, however, very soon to remove one of them and send another in her place.

But the Lord so blessed their labours from the first that instead of having to report difficulty they soon had to describe a glorious success, and they begged that they might not be parted. But let their letters speak for themselves: -

Glad to say that the Lord has blessed us here. We arrived here on Friday. We were met by Mrs Gcddard, and she took us to our lodgings. We had a good meeting that night, but no souls. A good open-air meeting on Saturday and a love feast inside, where five souls fell in love with Jesus. Praise the Lord!

This encouraged us to go in on Sunday in the open air all the morning. We told the people that we had not been to college, but to Jesus. Good meetings all day. Six souls in the afternoon, and seven at night. Offerings 14s. 6d. Four souls on Monday night. Glory!

A week later: -

We are glad to say that the Lord has blessed us in the past week, and souls have been saved.

On Sunday we had nine souls. We were singing, "We'll roll the old chariot along," when a big man came to help us. Praise the Lord! We had more people than the first Sunday and £1 11s. collections.

The men come from their work to bear the Word of God in the open air, and they do cry. Praise the Lord! I do believe that the Lord is going to do a great work here.

I should be very glad if you would let us stay together because we are one in heart. We do not have said to us "You have got to preach tonight." You know we never learnt how. We take the meetings between us and no one knows which is the leader. A gentleman asked us the other day which was the leader, and we said we were sisters.

(A drunk hit a policeman at one of the meetings and was taken to court.) One of the sisters was called in support of the case, and harangued tho court from the witness-box, stating that she prayed for the dear man (the prisoner) that God would save his soul. She expressed the same wish for everybody in court, and in the meantime the other sister stood by the witness box in an attitude of prayer. With a face upturned, eyes closed, and hands clasped in front of her bosom, the movement of her lips indicated that she was in prayer.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine, October 1878, pages 266-7.

CAME here some eight weeks ago, and felt and believed God sent me. I went to work with the soldiers of this corps, and I found I was amongst some of the red-hot sort who just suit me. Good Friday was a day that will not soon be forgotten: great open-air meetings all the afternoon when many were wounded, and at night in the Mill souls were heated, and were coming to the Saviour.

.." Oh,'' said a man as he heard our band in the open air the other day, "if they go on the next twelve months as they have done this they will soon get all Attercliffe religious!" Oh, my Lord, may we have every soul in this place for our Jesus, because the devil has no right to one of them.

We have just held our first anniversary, and a high time it was to many souls. We sung and prayed and believed until heaven came down upon us and filled the place and souls were stepping into liberty when our time was expired, and we had to leave the Vestry Hall on the Sunday night. Many felt like staying all night, so we came outside and began again, and we went home believing that God had blessed his own word. I am looking for mighty things to be done by the power of the Holy Ghost.

From, 'The Salvationist', June 1879, page 161.

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