Cradley Heath (1863)

The Rev. Wm. Booth, writing to a friend, says: I came on here on Saturday, October 3, to labour in the
Primitive Methodist chapel, Old Hill, a place about three miles from Dudley and ten from Birmingham. Although the place itself is not very extensive, yet there is within a mile and a half of the chapel, a population of above 20,000 persons. The chapel is not large; it was full on the first Sabbath morning, and at night much too crowded for comfortable speaking or hearing.

On the following night we had a good service. In the prayer meeting many of the leaders and members of  the church came forward to make a renewed consecration of themselves to the service of God. A gracious melting and breaking up of heart followed, which spread throughout the chapel and a great number were very much blessed. Several also sought pardon. One person, a respectable woman, who had for twenty-five years been a member of the Wesleyan Society, but never known her sins forgiven, obtained the long-desired assurance that Jesus was indeed her Saviour and has since rejoiced in the constant sense of his love. On the Tuesday we had again a good attendance, the truth appearing to penetrate the understanding of all present; still a great number of the unsaved left us at the prayer meeting. Eight or ten persons professed to find peace. On the following evening, though very wet, the chapel was very full and sixteen names were registered as candidates for heaven.

On the preceding night Christians present were requested to pray for four young men, backsliders, who were attending the services, and who appeared to be impressed. On this evening three of them were reclaimed. A husband and wife also came together, and at about the same moment obtained the hope of everlasting life.

One young woman, a backslider, I found weeping bitterly; broken-hearted she came to Jesus and He healed her backslidings. Her parents keep a public house. Her feet are set in a slippery path. Oh, may she be kept by the almighty power of God.

...Last Sabbath was a day that will not speedily be forgotten by many. Morning and afternoon we were much blessed; in the evening the place was crowded to suffocation and being low and wretchedly ventilated, was insufferably hot. Preaching in such an atmosphere at the onset appeared almost impossible, but nevertheless, the Spirit of God accompanied the Word...

About thirty professed that night to obtain mercy, amongst whom was the last of the four backsliders prayed for a few nights before.  On the following, while appealing to the people against their tarrying any longer away, from Jesus, a young man, at the far end of the chapel rose from his seat, the deep anguish of his soul depicted on his countenance and rushing through the people with his arms uplifted, he cried, “I want to give myself to God;“ Throwing himself on the spot, where the penitents usually kneel, he wept, and prayed, and believed unto the joy and peace of his soul. This incident affected the congregation. Preaching any longer was impossible as unnecessary; accordingly, I left the pulpit and cleared the place for the penitent, which was very soon thronged with men and women in deep distress. One of these was a lame, grey, headed, old man, 74 years of age, who limped up to the form. Some years ago  in an accident in the pit, he had both arms, both thighs, and one leg broken. God, however, permitted him to recover and preserved him until this night to see his sinfulness and find his Saviour…

The work is still advancing and I hope soon to be able to report greater and more glorious things. Yours affectionately in Jesus.

William Booth.

"The Revival," November 5th, 1863.

Additional Information

This chapel was replaced by a larger one next door, but it no longer exists. I do not know where it was.

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