Albert Hall, Leeds (1875)

The Yorkshire Post says: Mrs Baxter scripture readings every afternoon for ladies, which have been carried out in connexion with St James's Mission, have had an extraordinary success. First given in a large room in North St, fitted up to seat 300, they had to be removed about the middle of the week to the Young Men's Christian Association and then to the Albert Hall, where for several days Mrs Baxter has had as many as 1,500 ladies listening to her with the most rapt attention. Her addresses manifest extraordinary power - the power so combined with simplicity and womanly gracefulness, that we scarcely wonder at the effect produced. On the occasion of this visit to Leeds, Mrs Baxter has been accompanied by her sister, Mrs Crouch, who has also been eminently blessed both in collective and private appeals.

The Bible reading conducted by Mrs Baxter at 3:00 o'clock on Friday was chiefly for women and accordingly women formed the bulk of the assembly. Not only was the floor of the hall filled, but the galleries had also a large body of occupants. Apparently, the audience was mainly composed of women of the middle class and there were not a few who were driven to and from the service in carriages of various descriptions. Just about the time announced for the commencement of the service the darkness was so great throughout the borough that gas had to be generally resorted to. Pending the lighting of the gas in the hall, someone struck up one of Mr Sankey's hymns, ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus,’ whereupon everybody rose and joined heartily in the singing, especially of the chorus.

The portion of scripture read and expounded by Mrs Baxter was that found in the 33rd chapter of Exodus. With elegance and diction, precision of language and earnestness of manner, Mrs Baxter laid before her audience of women the grand lesson to be drawn from these words. Some of her illustrations were given with a pathos and an impressiveness that went straight to the hearts of many, the pent up feelings of some of whom only found relief in tears. At the end of the address instead of a hymn being sung by the whole audience, everybody present was desired to remain perfectly silent while two young ladies, who occupied places on the platform, sung the hymn addressed to the prodigal child, beginning “Come home, come home! You are weary of heart.” This the singers gave with strong religion feelings and with an expressiveness of meaning and earnest spirit of entreaty that will not soon be forgotten.”

"Signs of our Times," February 10th, 1875.

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Now the Leeds City Museum

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