Praise God for victory! Although during the last first three weeks I was led to say that Bath people were the most prejudiced and the hardest lot of people I ever laboured amongst; yet bless the Lord, He gave us the needed grace to hold onto Him, determined on nothing less than complete victory and thank God we’ve got it. How to describe the past week I don’t know. We have taken 160 prisoners for the week, amongst whom are drunkards, gamblers, pigeon flyers, dog fanciers, betting men and women and those that have been looked upon as infidels. I dare not begin to describe their cases; space would not allow it. But I should like to mention one case in particular. It is that of a lady who has lived a fast life, spent her time in riding horses, betting on the racecourse and her Sundays have been spent in cards or draughts, drinking et cetera, until she, although ill, begged her husband to take her to the Salvation Army meeting to have a good lark by mocking and scoffing at the captain. The Spirit of God took hold of her and she became so wretched and miserable that she could not rest night or day and the devil tempted her to destroy herself. She searched for poison, but the Lord preserved her. She became more miserable still, until she dropped down upon her knees and cried out, “Lord save me! Lord save me!“…
This conversion was the talk of the whole neighbourhood; everybody sees the change, feathers, flounces, jewellery and pride all gone; cards all burned, the beer barrel turned into the coal house. The other day I called at her house and found that until her conversion, for some time she had been under the treatment of two doctors and also a physician in London, and was unable to do anything; had advertised for a nurse to attend her as an invalid lady. But now she attends to herself, the nurse has not been engaged, not a drop more medicine has been taken and she has given me 13 bottles of medicine unwrapped to keep as a curiosity in my museum; the doctors have been discharged, their services being no longer required. She has not missed attending service one night since. Wet or dry she goes fishing for souls, wants everybody to get saved, can be seen pointing sinners to Jesus, asking converts names, standing to let others sit down, and speaking whenever she has the opportunity, in the meeting. Since then her husband, who had not attended a place of worship for years, has got saved too, through the instrumentality of the captain and the example of his wife, and now the brother wants to be saved. The meetings I dare not begin to describe – suffice it to say that last Sunday night‘s meeting will never be forgotten, about 700 or 800 in at 10 minutes to 11. Christians testifying between the sobs, soldiers shouting “victory!” “Hallelujah!” Firing volleys, waving signals, till we put out the gas.
From, 'The War Cry', April 1882.
This is just one example of what was happening here. More reports can be seen from the War Cry in future months/years.
Bath I (there was now another station here)
This week the enemy has been routed and 33 prisoners taken. On Sunday, for the first time, we entered the field with a full band, comprising two cornets, two tambourines, a pair of symbols, a flute and triangle; many were made to hear the message of Pardon. Three of the soldiers, whilst walking through the town one morning this week, came across one of the enemy and immediately arrested him. The poor fellow felt he was lost and not knowing where else to go, they procured the key of the Barracks where he laid his case before the King who instantly pardoned him and sent him away free.
From, 'The War Cry', May 1882.
I do not know where the meetings were held.