Brunswick English Wesleyan Chapel, Birkenhead (1905)

The Liverpool mission of Mr Evan Roberts came to an end tonight with a meeting for non-adherents in the Brunswick English Wesleyan Chapel, Birkenhead. The public interest in the revival remained unabated to the very close. The building, though holding fully 1,500, could have been filled twice over, and it was found necessary to hold an overflow meeting in the Welsh Congregational Chapel, Clifton-road. Mr Evan Roberts and his sister (Miss Mary Roberts) and Miss Annie Davies spent to-day at West Kirby as the guests of Dr and Mrs M’Afee, and tomorrow morning Mr Evan Roberts will leave for a secluded spot, which he and his friends' desire should be unknown to the general public. At about half-past seven o’clock Evan Roberts stood up in the pulpit and appeared to be in a particularly buoyant mood. His address was the longest he has delivered during the Liverpool mission. First of all, he rebuked a section of the congregation for not joining in the singing, for whispering, and for levity. Some had come there with their pitchers empty, some half empty, some full, and, thank God, some overflowing. Let them realise that God filled the building, seeing and loving all, and expecting worship from all. They might hide many things from the world, but they could conceal nothing from the all-seeing eye of God. Was there anything in their lives against His law? If there was they lost the smile on His face. All were sinful, but it was another thing to cherish sin. If they realised that their whole life, every word and deed, every gesture and movement, was known to God they would want to hide somewhere. Thank God, many of them had seen themselves, but it was a fearful thing to see oneself without seeing Calvary. That was how hell was made. Was there anyone who had not seen himself? If so, he could do but little good in the world. To see oneself was death and slavery; to see Jesus life and freedom. At this stage the evangelist was interrupted by a child’s cry in the gallery. Looking up, he said, with a smile, “Never mind the children. Oh, that we all were like them!” The child cried again. “This may be a sermon to somebody,” he said. “It is sure to be a blessing to somebody. Let us learn the lesson. Remember Jesus when he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears. Some saw in tears a sign of weakness, but the truth was only a man could cry. A sign of weakness! Let them ask the Son of God. Was there anyone present who had never lost a tear over any wickedness? If there was he had neither seen himself nor Jesus. They must all have life or die. Which was it to be?” Song and prayer alternated for another half-hour, and shortly before nine o’clock the meeting was tested, and converts yielded themselves freely, amid a scene of thanksgiving and rejoicing. From time to time Evan Roberts joined in the proceedings, now tenderly inviting the people to repentance, now exhorting the congregation to prayer, and now warning all of the danger of delay and of the judgment to come. “There is a brother here,” said a voice from the body of the hall, “who says that he does not feel enough and that he has often felt more.” “That is the danger,” said the evangelist. “He will get to feel less and less. He must come now.” Miss Annie Davies then sang “Dim ond Iesu,” and as the last note was dying away the voice announced, “The brother has yielded, and because of his yielding, another has yielded.” “There are two here,” said another voice, “who believe in Christ, but are afraid to come lest they should sin again to-morrow.” “Don’t they believe in the strength of Jesus?” asked Evan Roberts. “Their place is in the Church.” The last meeting of the stormy Liverpool mission closed in peace and sunshine. Throughout the evening Evan Roberts was in his most winsome mood, his face radiant, and his mind resourceful and alert. He was master of himself and of the congregation-a man amongst men, divested of all physical and mental eccentricity, and never once attempting a display of prophecy. As the congregation were preparing to depart someone struck up the English hymn, “Till we meet.” All joined in very heartily, Evan Roberts meanwhile standing in the pulpit and smiling all around. There were 44 converts, bringing the total of the mission up to about 750.

From, 'The Western Mail', 17th April 1905.

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