Bristol (1860)

VISIT OF HON. AND REV. B. W. NOEL AND Mr REGINALD RADCLIFFE. —Long before the hour of meeting the chapel in Great George-street was nearly filled, and by the time the service commenced all available standing-room was occupied.

Mr Muller opened the service by giving out a hymn and was followed by Mr NOEL, who delivered a very earnest, simple, and effective sermon, his peculiarly chaste style and deep solemnity commanding the most marked attention. He got hold of the hearts as well as the ears of the people. He was followed by.

Mr RADCLIFFE, whose address was a striking contrast to that of Mr Noel. It was characterized by peculiar energy. As in Mr Noel's case, the foundation verities of our common faith were clearly set forth, and Christ with his full, free, and immediate salvation and again and again affectionately pre­sented to the breathless audience.

The preaching closed about half-past nine, when those who felt anxious about their souls, and those who were willing to converse with such, were requested to remain, and all others to leave. Nearly half the congregation remained: groups were soon formed in every part of the chapel; deep seriousness pervaded the meeting; the ploughshare of the law was tearing up the tangled turf-soil of many hearts; some were utterly inconsolable, the burden of unpardoned sin was a palpable oppression; they made great efforts to restrain their feelings, but it was impossible, and the flood-gates of their anguish burst forth in groans and weeping. So great was the number and earnestness of the inquirers, that the meeting was not closed till about half-past eleven. Surely the Lord was with us in the manifest power of his blessed Spirit. From careful observa­tion, I think there were among those who remained nearly 100 persons, who were more or less seriously impressed, of whom many were under the deepest conviction of sin.

On Thursday morning, at seven o'clock, there was a prayer-meeting at Hope Chapel, Clifton; and at eleven o'clock there was another special service at the Victoria-rooms. Mr Noel expounded the parable of the King making a marriage supper for his son; his exposition was remarkable for clearness of evangelical truth, calm reasoning, and chastened earnestness; his address evidently riveted the attention of a crowded audience of the upper classes. Mr Radcliffe followed: his bursts of denunciation against hollow professors and deluded Pharisees were very startling, while his statements of the great foundation truths of the gospel were clear, original, and telling. In the evening there was another special service at the Victoria-rooms. There must have been nearly 2000 persons present. All available standing room was occupied, yet the utmost stillness and seriousness prevailed. Mr Noel commenced the service, taking as his text "Be ye reconciled to God." His address was marked by the same argumentative working out of the subject, and by earnest appeals to the consciences of those present, based upon the wondrous fact of "God beseeching"—"Be ye reconciled to God." Mr Radcliffe followed. His impassioned address was awakening in its style and original in its matter. His unquestionable sincerity of feeling and intense love of souls render calmness an im­possibility. The number of those who remained to be spoken. to was much greater than at the meeting on Wednesday even­ing, and, as then, the work was almost exclusively one of awakening anxiety and conviction of sin. A prayer-meeting on Friday morning, at Hope Chapel, at seven o'clock, closed these special services. The Christian brethren who had come down to cheer and to stir us up returned to London, and thus closed a memorable week for this city. May the Lord add his effectual blessing. —Communicated.

June 23. SECOND VISIT.—Mr. Radcliffe again visited Bristol last week. The, following brief notice has been kindly sent us by the same correspondent:—

Owing to the pressure of this week's engagements, I find it impossible to do more than send you a hasty notice of the meeting at the Broadmead-rooms, on Thursday evening last. The room was quite full. Dr Winslow opened the meeting with prayer. The young convert who came with Mr Radcliffe spoke for a short time, as Mr Radcliffe was feeling much exhausted, and he was listened to with marked attention. Mr Radcliffe's address this evening was primarily and chiefly to believers, on their solemn responsibilities at such a season. He spoke with much solemnity and power, and urged on all present to be up and doing; doing what they could. He was evidently feeling very weak and left the room soon after the service was concluded. After the general congregation left, we were occupied till past eleven with the inquirers, and although there was not so much manifestation of feeling, many were under conviction of sin, and many in anxiety about their souls.

Mr CARTER AT BRISTOL.—I have only time to send you a very few lines about the meeting on Tuesday evening (26th ult.), in Major Tyreman's Chapel. The service commenced at half-past seven, and the room was crowded in every part. Our brother, Mr Carter, read John v. 6-29 and prayed very earnestly for the unconverted. He spoke very simply but most solemnly on the 25th verse of the portion he had read. There was an absence of fleshly excitement and noise in his preach­ing; it was a happy, blessed exhibition of the Lord Jesus as the life. Many remained behind to be spoken to individually, some were deeply affected, and not a few were able to rejoice in Christ as their Saviour. This after-meeting was a long one, but throughout, all was quiet and solemn; we sang once only. At the close, brother Carter moved about the room visiting anxious souls, without excitement or confusion. I believe there was a real work of the Holy Spirit there that evening.

I feel there is great need of judicious believers in these after meetings. I again and again met with believers setting before the awakened what was not the simple gospel. I took oppor­tunities to speak with such and was thanked for so doing. Tuesday evening will long be remembered by me as one of the most blessed seasons of refreshing I have ever witnessed.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume III, page 4/5.

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