Barking - Salvation Army (1875)

This is one of the monthly reports from the Salvation army station here.

Praise the Lord, the shout of a King is still in our camp, and we are conquering as we go. The most notable event of the month, however, was the combined attack on the town on Good Friday last. 

As we had been driven away by "complaint of inhabitants": from our principal open-air stand in the Broadway, we thought it desirable to use the first available holiday to make ourselves heard all over the place and to the chosen day we all looked forward with joyous expectation.

At seven o'clock in the morning a number of us met to plead for the Divine blessing on our day's work, and at ten the forces began to muster round our Barking banner.

Bro. Panter was the first to arrive with the North Woolwich contingent and these, with a larger number of our Barking members, marched off to the railway station, where, at eleven o'clock Bro. Waters and Donaldson, and Sister; Davis, with companies from Stratford, Plaistow, and Whitechapel, joined the ranks. Meanwhile, the Whitechapel Pioneers, who had walked all the way, arrived at the Bethel, and soon we were all together in a most delightful experience meeting. As one after another sprang to their feet we felt that God was with us indeed, and of a truth and the many but recently saved who gave their testimony, assured all present that we were not labouring in vain, nor spending our strength for nought.

At half-past two we commenced the open-air work in four divisions, to each of which one section of the town was allotted. Thus the whole place was speedily moved, for one hardly got away from the sound of one service before the hymns of another company were heard. The people stood at their doors listeningto us when near, and talking about us while farther off, all the afternoon. As each party moved from street to street the earnest voice of warning and entreaty must have been heard by almost every ear and when the three companies which had been scouring the northern part of the town met at last, we fell upon our knees and prayed for tho crowd around until tears began to fall, and deep concern was written on the faces of many.

Many who had not been able to reach us sooner came up during the afternoon from North Woolwich, Plaistow and elsewhere, fully in time to commence our march through the town at six o'clock to the Baptist Chapel, which had been kindly lent us for the evening meeting.

A little rain the day before in this town, which knows no friendly water- cart, would have been of no little comfort to us, for the tramp of many feet, assisted by the running of a troop of boys, who hung about our long procession, raised the dust to a very unpleasant extent. Nevertheless, we were only too thankful for the chance of creating so great a commotion, and we sang cheerily along, content to be accounted OUR - SELVES the very scum and offscouring of all things if by any means we might save some.

Our anticipations as to the evening congregation were fully realised. The chapel was soon full; then the sliding doors behind the pulpit were thrown back and the school-room filled, and still many pressed in who had to be accommodated as best they might in aisles and in the vestry.

"Short and sharp " was the order of the addresses delivered, and our only regret was that there was not a larger number of unconverted persons present to feel the mighty power which attended the meeting throughout.

The penitent form was cleared at twenty minutes past eight and although only three or four souls responded to our invitation to Christ there and then, we had a. blessed prayer-meeting and one who was present went away so deeply convinced of sin that he could find no rest till he found it in the Lord.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', May 1875, pages 132/3.

PRAISE God we are rising, congregation increasing and many sinners turning to God; our Sunday Services are crowded, and lots unable to get in. In the past month, men, women, and children have wept their way to Calvary. Nine in one family have been washed in the blood and made happy in the love of Jesus.

From 'The Salvationist', March 1879, page 76.

For future reports see, 'The War Cry' which began January 1880.

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