Bradford (1863)

BRADFORD, YORKSHIRE.- The visits of our beloved brother Edward Usher, and other labourers, have been owned and blessed to many precious souls, especially the last four Sundays. The meetings in the open air and in the Working Men's Institute have been well attended, and many souls profess to be made happy in Jesus.

One Lord's day evening, a brother, Mr Denham of Leeds, opened the meeting by reading the parable of the good Samaritan,
remarking that the unconverted sinner was in the same state as the man that fell amongst thieves, who stripped him and left him half dead. The priest and Levite passed him by, but when Jesus, the Good Samaritan, saw him, He had compassion on him and went and bound up his wounds. Then our brother Usher followed, taking the same subject, and spoke on it with great power. Whilst he was speaking a man left his seat and went on to the platform, acknowledging himself a great sinner, who had only that morning been tempted to drown himself. Several of the brethren prayed with him, pointing him to Jesus. He afterwards found peace in believing. There were many other anxious souls who went away rejoicing.

We never experienced more of the Lord's presence amongst us than on Lord's-day, Nov. 8. Mr Usher read the fifth chapter
of St. Mark's Gospel, and spoke briefly, but pointedly, to one of the largest and most attentive gatherings that has been collected together since the work began in this town, after which Henry Moorhouse, "a brand plucked from the burning," spoke touchingly from 2 Kings vii. 9, "This day is a day of good tidings, and in the course of his address spoke of his own conversion - a tale well adapted to the state of many a poor sinner -a tale well suited to encourage the sin-sick soul in search after Christ. He showed that the Saviour, who had power to save a sinner like him, had also the power, ay, and the will too, to save the vilest of the vile. During the recital of this simple, but none the less soul-stirring narrative, there was many an eye moistened with tears.

On the following night (Monday) there was a highly interesting midnight-meeting held in the house of one of the brethren,
which commenced at eight o'clock and continued till five o'clock the following morning. There were thirty-siX present, and out
of this number six had found peace with God the night before, under the word of God and instrumentality of Usher and Moor-
house. Also sixteen of these had been converted since the Revival work has commenced in Bradford.

On the following Sunday, Nov. 15, Harrison Ord, assisted by a brother from Manchester, spoke to a still more numerous gathering, and brother Ord gave a special address to the young, which appeared to be listened to with great attention and much profit. It was very pleasing to hear the kind and simple manner in which he spoke of Him who, when upon earth, said, "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven"

In addition to the above, a Bible-stall has been instituted by Edward Usher, who has also distributed a large number of copies
of the Holy Scriptures in several of the factories. And although the weather has been generally unfavourable, upwards of 700
copies have been sold during Mr Usher's short stay in Bradford. When we see how much has been done in such a short time, and by the united exertions of such a few workers for Christ, we cannot but be encouraged to work more zealously for the spread of the gospel and for the good of our fellow-men, always remembering to ask the blessing and assistance of our Heavenly Father.

"The Revival", December 3rd, 1863.

...Usher, Moorhouse, Latham, Crane, Day, and Walker, from Manchester; Moorfield, from Kendal; Anderson and Holiday, from Birmingham; Denham, from Leeds; Joshua and Mrs Poole, of our own town; Harrison Ord and John Hambleton, whose names are familiar to the readers of the Revival. Halls, for Sunday evening preaching, have been taken throughout the whole time, and hundreds of open-air meetings have been held. No record has been kept of those who have professed to get good, but we may truly say there are scores of genuine conversions. Many have joined the various denominations; more than forty meet simply in the name of Jesus for the breaking of bread; very many, once hopeful, are now backsliders; some are with the Lord; some in the army; and one at least across the seas. The congregation in the hall varies from 400 to 900, with
many of whom the Lord is working. Hundreds of thousands of gospel tracts have been distributed.

"The Revival," August 24th, 1864.

A series of services have been held at Bradford by Joshua and Mrs Poole, and the Lord has been pleased to bless their labours for the conversion of souls. A number of young converts went with them through the worst part of town, singing hymns to the accompaniment of Joshua‘s fiddle, for he said that “he had fiddled many a tune for the devil in Bradford, and he would now play for the Lord Jesus.“ The result was that hundreds of persons ran out of their houses to listen to the testimony given of the Grace of God.

The first night's fiddling attracted to the Hall two poor fallen girls, about 17 years old. When our brother, during his address, spoke of the misery, endured by parents on account of prodigal children, they burst into tears, and they remained with many other persons at the after-meeting. Mrs Poole addressed them on the subject of the Balm of Gilead and the Great Physician and these two girls, one of whom had once been a Wesleyan Methodist, resolved to abandon their sinful way of life. Joshua Poole, with two beloved brothers in the Lord, agreed to wait for them until they could bring the clothes from their lodgings and money was given them to pay what they owed. It was then 11 o’clock at night and raining heavily. The brethren waited sometime anxiously in prayer and at length the wanderers returned. They were immediately taken to the refuge at Horton, where they were kindly received by the matron. Both of these poor girls had once praying mothers, and though these mothers were dead, their prayers had “come up for a memorial“ before God.

One of Joshua Poole's former drunken companions came to hear him preach, and the Lord was pleased to apply the word with power to his heart. He was a fighting man, called Tom Sayers, after another prizefighter of that name. He fell on his knees, and in agony of soul spoke about his sins. He did not know how to pray, nor how he was to be saved, but he was pointed to Jesus as his Saviour. He came again the next night, in still greater distress of mind, crying and sobbing, and when Joshua Poole spoke to him, he said, “Jos, God's saved thee, – I think he will save me for I have been nearly as bad as then.“ Of the following night he again came and cried out, “The chain's broken, bless God! I have fought many a battle, but never one like this;“ and his wife, catching hold of Joshua‘s hand testified to the happy change.

On Sunday afternoon week an experience meeting was held when many persons spoke of the love of Jesus. Among them was Joseph Parker, once an infidel lecturer, but now a minister of the gospel. At night the Hall was crowded and many went away unable to gain admission. Souls have been brought to Jesus every night. Will God's people unite in praising Him for what He has done for Bradford?

"The Revival," October 5th, 1865. 


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