Bethesda Church, Sunderland - D L Moody (1873)



Since my last we have had a good work going on. On Thursday evening, July 31st, we had a very large meeting in Bethesda Chapel. Brother Moody, was as usual, very earnest in dealing with souls. At the after-meeting many were induced to retire to the vestries, and again souls were there born of God. On Friday evening, we had a full chapel at Ebenezer. Much prayer was offered up afterwards, and though not a large number went into the vestry, some of them found peace.

On Sunday August 3rd, our beloved brother Moody addressed the young men of Sunderland generally, and especially those
belonging to the Young Men's Christian Association. In the afternoon, a large number of young men came, and Mr Moody
seemed carried away by his enthusiasm for young men. It was a most powerful and telling address, and our beloved brother
Sankey concluded with some of his touching singing and music. This special address has brought out many young men, some of whom have already found Jesus, and have devoted themselves for life to Him, while others who attended are still seeking the Saviour,

In the evening of Sunday, the Victoria Hall was crowded by upwards of 3000 souls. Mr Moody again preached with great power from the text; "I pray thee, have me excused," completely demolishing any excuse for refusing the  invitation to the marriage feast. The address was characterised as usual by the tenderest sympathy and compassion for sinners. At the close Mr Sankey gave, "O prodigal child, come home," and "Almost persuaded", which are very persuasive in deepening the convictions and'desires of souls to be saved. At the after-meeting at Bethesda Chapel, 600 to 700 persons came together.
The vestries were filled with anxious souls, and again many found the Lord.

During the present week meetings (quite unsectarian, as announced) have been held in the Victoria Hall; a large number
have attended, and at the after-meetings some have on cach occasion been saved by the blood. On Friday, an all-day meeting has been announced, of which I shall (D.V.) give you some account next week. Sunday, August 10, is expected to be their last day here, as they have many invitations to labour. The noon-day prayer-meeting has been a power for good,
there having been so many answers to prayers offered there. 

"The Christian", August 14th 1873.

The following letter from Mr. Arthur A. Rees, the well-known minister of Bethesda Chapel, Sunderland, appears in the Sunderland Herald :-
" Dear Sir,--Allow me, as a pastor of many years' standing and of very varied experience, to express my views of the character and labours of Messrs. Moody and Sankey, of America, now in this borough. Having met the former at Dublin, I soon discerned that he was a coin of the true ring, and being informed that he was preaching in the north, I invited him and his colleague to our own town. After the labours of three weeks, in various chapels and in the Victoria Hall - during which there have been services every night, save Saturdays, at nearly all of which I have been present as a fellow-worker-I kave
arrived at the following conclusions :-
*1. Both these brethren are genuine to the back-bone.
" 2. They are as disinterested as they are zealous, and their zeal ig
extraordinary.
"3. Mr. Moody is the "Mercurius' of the pair.
Mr. Sankey is not the 'Jupiter,' but the Orphous. The former is not eloquent, but very fluent; not poetical or rhetorical, but he never talks twaddle, and seldom utters a sentence that is not well worth hearing. He is a rapid, too rapid, speaker. Nevertheless, what he does say is sensible, forcible, and to the point, and not too long, which is a great advantage. He is American to the core, in speech, intonation, and vigour. His anecdotes are superabundant, and, for the most part, the acquisitions of his own experience. They are always apt, often most pathetic, and sometimes appalling. His earnestness is intense, his energy untiring, his courage leonine, his tact uncommon, and his love for souls most tender.

"At the commencement and close of Mr Moody's addresees, Mr Sankey sings appropriate sacred solos, the congregation
often taking up the 'refrain' - a novelty which to hear of is startling to the redtapists of religion, but which to hear at once commande solemnity, acquiescence, and gratification. Nothing can be further from 'performance' than his performance. The man and the music disappear in the sentiment. The sound enforces the sense, but does not supersede it -every word and every syllable are distinetly uttered and distinctly heard. He sings the gospel with persuasive effect, throwing his whole soul, not into the accompaniment, but into the song, the sentiment of which lights up his face, not with the glitter of art, but with the glory of unfeigned sympathy.

As to results, it is too soon to speak of them, but il the continuance of vast crowds, night after night, rapt attention both to the
speaker and the singer; if large after-meetings, the remaining behind of many inquirers, and the profession of not a few that they have found 'peace with God;' if these are true promises of lasting good, then the labors of Messre. Moody and Sankey in Sunderland have not been in vain in the Lord. -Yours truly,"
A. A. REES.
Sunderland, Aug. 8, 1873,
 

"The Christian", 21st August 1873.

 

 


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