The work here is progressing gloriously, though we found a people frozen, formal, and quite out of harmony with the spirit of a revival. Several of the “nobs“ still stand aloof, if they don’t actually ridicule. The excitement, however, is gradually taking hold of the town and sinners are being converted every night.
Yesterday was a precious day. In the morning the chapel was quite full and at the lovefest, in the afternoon crowded. Between 30 and 40 persons spoke and the collection amounted to 4 times the ordinary sum. At night the chapel was so densely packed that at about 6:05 William had to request the friends to lock the gates in order to prevent any more crashing in. I never heard him preach with such liberty and power. The congregation appeared literally riveted to their seats.
My dear William is rather better, though far from well. They had a triumphant day on Sunday, such a one as was never known in Dewsbury before. The people flocked to the chapel in crowds, hundreds being unable to get in. The love feast in the afternoon, I hear, was like heaven. Many Took their dinners and teas and never left the chapel all day. Tonight, William is preaching his farewell sermon in the Wesleyan Chapel, lent for the occasion, a spacious building capable of seating 2,000 people and I have just learned from a man who has been to fetch him some cocoa before the prayer meeting, that it is crowded. I hope they will have a good night. Last night they took between 30 and 40 names besides children under 16.
They did not leave the chapel last night till 11:15 o’clock. They had a splendid prayer meeting and took 60 names. I suppose there were 2,500 people at the service.
Excerpts from three journal entries by Catherine Booth.
From 'Catherine Booth, the mother of the Salvation Army', by Both-Tucker, Volume 1, pages 129-130.