Blackburn - Salvation Army (1878)

This is the first monthly report from the Salvation Army station here.

IN this grand town where so lately riot and trouble and dismay were everywhere, we have taken our stand for God in a huge theatre supposed to hold several thousand people; and God has granted us a huge success.

A number of brethren and sisters went over from Bolton to help at the first and the first telegram read as follows:-

"Three open ars, Saturday; three Sunday; two processions; twelve hundred all day inside, Sixteen souls, twenty-eight shillings."

The following letter from Brother Edmonds, to whose wise and energetic efforts the splendid successes of the first Sunday, both here and at Accrington, were so largely due, explains how such results were achieved within so brief a space of time.

We had three splendid open-air meetings on Saturday night. Our helpers were not there from Bolton, but they came.

We had three good opcn~air meetings on Sunday. Also out all the morning, processioning sometimes. Processions to the Theatre twice, singing all the time. A great number followed us. We had a good number inside, I suppose about 11 or 1200. Everybody very still with the exception of a few boys. In the evening, we had the people all in the pit, and a most solemn silence there seemed to be people crying all over the place. Power came down. Very large crowd of people in the open air."

Of the weeknights which followed, one of the sisters writes: 

On Tuesday night we had the place (the Spinner's Institute) packed full of great big men. They thought they were going to do as they liked with us; but glory to God, at the close of the meeting, seventeen souls found Jesus. Glory! I have seen some grand times of sinners coming to Jesus, but I have never seen such times as I have here. all over the place."

A subsequent letter says " forty-two souls last week. Glory to God! I mean to fight till Jesus comes.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', October 1878, page 257.

THE first Sunday I was here the theatre was burnt down. Then on, the Monday night the Spinners' Institute was taken from us on account of the rowdies smashing some seats and fighting. Then we had a week in the open air, and was pelted with mud and stones, and burning rags thrown into our midst; but we stood our ground and conquered, and God has led us forth. We got the Pcople's Concert Hall and had many a precious time during the seven weeks we were there. Over 150 souls were seeking pardon and many of them now can testify to the saving power of the precious blood of Jesus and thank God that ever the Salvation Army came to Blackburn. 

From, 'The Salvationist', January 1879, pages 22-23. 

We continually hear of hundreds sometimes thousands being saved during the stay of a captain for a few months at a station, surely these things speak for themselves. If these were untruths, there are hundreds ever ready at every station to deny it. The report reaches us from Captain Wharton at Blackburn, which says “the few months we have been here, God has blessed our labours with many souls. Over 600 have been out to the penitent form and professed to find peace.”

From 'The War Cry', November 1881.

These are a few examples of what was happening here. More reports can be seen from the War Cry in months/future years.

Additional Information

I do not know where the Spimmer's Institute was.

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