Congregational Church, Littlehampton (1874)

Dear Sir, - Have you space for a brief mention of the Lord'swork amongst us here? Not only have northern parts of our
island been wonderfully blessed of late, but southern too. Chichester and Littlehampton have recently been the subjects
of very gracious visitation.

For many months past, Christian addresses, to hear which the public have flocked in increasing numbers, have been given by Lieut. Hay, in the Assembly-rooms, and other places, in Chichester. Through the medium of these, the Spirit has wrought wonderful works. Opposition arising from the conservatism of a cathedral city has been gently put aside by the Spirit's calming power and the work of grace has had free course. Churches have been revived, seeking sons have been enlightened, and not a few, young and old, have been turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. In all parts of the city, a place, humanly speaking, peculiarly hard to move, these manifest fruits are seen.

Littlehampton also, in answer to prayer, has been blessed in a more striking manner still. In the latter part of last year, longings after more life in the churches and inbringings from the world had been expressed in private and had been the subject of much prayer in the Congregational and Wesleyan meetings, He who still answers his people's prayers even while they are speaking was preparing to answer these Lieut. Hay came to Littlehampton. The Spirit gave power to his repeated appeals. The work of revival was begun. The closing services of the old year were occasions of more than usual solemnity, with earnest pleading for a closer walk in the coming time.

The way having been thus prepared, a proposal, which came in January, last year, from our dear brother Geo Green, for the holding of special services, was felt to be of the Lord and was gratefully accepted, as an earnest of blessing for the
new year. The blessing has been bestowed, at thirty or more special services and Prayer meetings, held in the public
lecture-hall, and in the Congregational and Wesleyan Chapels; the spirit's power has been felt to pervade the whole assembly in a remarkable degree. Christians have been enlarged in experience and increased in love. Professors have been quickened to a real and joyous faith and newness of life has been the unspeakable gift of God to numbers, both young and old.

This has been brought about by God's blessing upon very simple instrumentality. Knowing by experience that hearts
prepared of the Lord want life, not doctrine, Christ, not things about Christ, our dear brother tells the story of the cross in a very simple way. It seems as though our blessed Lord would not have things talked about Him, except to those who already know Him. The Christian can understand why this should be so. Thus it is that "revival work" is so simple. The oft incompleteness of revival teaching is called by cavillers unsound, unscriptural, and so forth; even Christian men there
are who are not willing to dispense the milk unless at the same time they may dispense the meat. But the simplicity of the message was to some a stumbling block and to others foolishness, long ago. Facts abundantly prove that neither completeness of doctrine, nor conclusiveness of reasoning, is needed for the conversion of souls. Those who come to Jesus find completeness in Him. Whether a man knows only that he is fleeing from the wrath to come, or whether, less consciously doing so, he is sensible only of God's love; in any case, he must come to the true Teacher if he would be truly taught. As in mechanics, the most powerful tools are the most simple, so it is in the preaching of the gospel. George Green, in the hand of the great Master-builder of the church, is one of these. He does not attempt to analyse the bled, but most powerfully does he testify to its all-sufficiency for the sinner's needs. To willing listeners, he tells of God's love, of his readiness to save and of the actual salvation abundantly provided in Christ. To the worldly, he tells of the inevitable wages of sin, in terms that might startle the very stones, and before all hearers, he sets forth the delightsomeness there is in being really on the Lord's side. The truth there is in these averments he illustrates from the life, by narratives, anecdotes, and appeals to common observation, and by the potent evidence of his own experience.

Thus has our brother been to us the bearer of a blessing from above. May he be the honoured instrument of similar work in many another part of the Lord's vineyard. Not only are the happy results of his labours seen in individual cases, numerous as they are, but they are manifest also in the greatly increased attendance at places of worship. Our Wesleyan
friends shout, " Praise God!" and well they may, for their prayer meetings have increased fivefold, the class meetings are
strengthened, the Sabbath school enlarged, and the whole life of the body is intensified. In the Congregational body similar results, though, perhaps, accompanied with less demonstration, have been in large measure experienced, and the Spirit's power is felt to be brooding over us still.

Thus may the voice of the south blend with that of the north in rendering heartfelt thanks unto God for this fresh evidence of his tender compassion and abiding love.

"The Christian", April 23rd, 1874.

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