Chester Presbyterian Church (1860)

A series of religious services were held in this city in the second week of September, at the suggestion of R. Radcliffe, Esq. Three youths from Woolwich had been invited to address especially the young, and Rev. W. Rose, of Bristol, was requested to meet them. The services commenced on Sabbath afternoon, the 9th. At the conclusion of the public service on Monday evening, it was stated if there were any persons who wished conversation respecting their souls' salva­tion, and they would retire into the vestry, the friends would be happy to see them. Between twenty and thirty remained, eighteen of whom gave their names to the pastor as anxious inquirers. It was announced before evening that a prayer-meeting would be held in the vestry the following morning at half-past seven, when nearly the whole of them were present. It was a solemn season. On the evening of Tuesday and at the close of the service it was difficult to get the people to leave; at least double the number of the past evening re­mained for conversation. There were some very interesting cases amongst the anxious ones. One wept aloud on account of sin, and when a young man was asked, what had induced him to come into the vestry, he replied, with his eyes filled with tears, "I want to find the salvation which is in Christ Jesus." Again on Wednesday evening, many were unable to get into the building. Under the addresses from two of the youths on the necessity of coming to Christ, many were deeply impressed, and several could not be persuaded to leave the chapel at ten o'clock; they appeared afraid to leave without realizing a sense of Divine forgiveness. On Thursday morning both vestries were full: many weeping over sin, others rejoicing in Jesus as their Saviour.

On Friday morning Mr Rose delivered a parting address from "Scarcely Saved." Deep solemnity was experienced in the meeting. Not a few wept, and many gathered round. to take leave of the speaker; some rejoicing in the Saviour and others anxiously inquiring after Him. One lady stated that they had been up till the midnight hour with a young person on the previous night, praying with and for her, until the Lord had graciously answered prayer on her behalf.

The pastor of the Presbyterian Church writes as follows (to Mr Rose):—

"You left us on Friday, just before our greatest harvest. We met in the evening. Shortly after nine o'clock I said, ‘We shall now close the meeting, but if there are anxious souls present, God forbid that we should send them away; they may remain either in the vestries or in the church.' I was not prepared for what followed. The vestries were so filled that the passage through them was blocked up, and many in distress were scattered over the church. There was no mere excitement, the previous service had not been calculated to produce this—there was deep, suppressed feeling—only one woman wept audibly. Five or six ministers and friends went into the vestries and spoke to the anxious, but still we were very short of help, as many could not be spoken with. Two good brethren came and assisted us. It was a glorious harvest time. Several found peace on the spot. To one young person in dis­tress, I repeated your text (John v. 24), adding, ‘You have heard His words? Yes,' she said. You believe in Him that sent the blessed Jesus?'—' I do!" Then mark, "He that heareth my words, and believeth on Him that sent me, with everlasting life!" Is not that you?' The light broke upon her, and in a few minutes she professed to trust in Jesus and dried her tears. About half-past ten, I assembled all present (about one hundred), counselled, and dismissed them. "You will remember that the morning prayer-meetings went on increasing. On Saturday morning the youths gave each a farewell address to about a hundred and thirty persons and as many met for prayer on Sabbath morning supposing the youths had gone, but after the morning meeting on Saturday, I arranged for one of them to remain over the Sabbath; and in the afternoon we had the church full of Sunday-school children and friends. After the evening service, a short address was given. We then closed the service, and a goodly number remained, and it was truly refreshing to find one after another in quick succession coming with bright faces and telling me they had found peace in believing this week. Still, there were several in deep concern about their souls' salvation. We have a meeting tonight (Monday, 17), and are anxiously looking for guidance and help. We have witnessed great things. Oh, for wisdom to gather in the sheaves." W. H.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume III, page 115.

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