Hockley Chapel - Henry Longden (1798)

About this time he visited Nottingham, accompanied by Mr Wilkinson. Miss C. S---n speaking of it, says, "A short time previous to Mr Longden's visit to us, the Lord poured his Spirit upon his people in his quickening influences. I am not certain that he knew, when he came among us, that the 'fields were already white unto harvest;' but he was evidently sent as an able and willing instrument in the promotion of a revival of pure religion.

"Two sermons which he preached in Hockley chapel were attended with a special and a lasting blessing; from Ezekiel xxxvi, 26, ‘A new heart will I give you;' and Matthew xx, 6, 'Why stand ye here all the day idle?’ There was a remarkable plainness and simplicity manifested in these sermons, yet the high calling of believers was explained with great clearness, and enforced with holy energy. The plainest understanding might comprehend them, and those of more extensive information were instructed, and the rich and the poor were again awakened to their privilege. For although several had formerly experienced the perfect love of God, it was become as a flame nearly extinct. With most, little remained of its sweets, but a fruitless wish, or a feeble desire. Again they beheld in the gospel glass the glory of the Lord. They saw its nature and its advantages; it was also placed within the reach of every sincere believer, and a great number sought and found this great pearl, and dared to profess Jesus Christ a Saviour to the uttermost.

"In his visits from house to house, together with his dear friend Mr W., he was remarkably blessed of the Lord. They went forth ' warning every man, and teaching every man, labouring and striving in prayer, according to the mighty working of God, which worked in them mightily;' and visible good was done with the effusion of the Spirit being poured upon every family which they visited. I never before or since witnessed so extraordinary a work. God so filled and overwhelmed the people with powerful conviction, or with a fulness of his love, that the feeble body fell motionless,as if the animal functions were suspended for a season. I was witness of these effects and can testify their truth and verity.

"You are well aware how his soul would exult in these manifestations of the Spirit. In his former visits to Nottingham, he had seen the nakedness of the land, had borne the burden of the Lord, mourning over the state of the people. But the barren wilderness was to him as a Canaan, overflowing with milk and honey — as the garden of the Lord abounding with luxuriant fruit."

They generally breakfasted and supped at Mr S. B 's, at whose house they lodged. Many who were unwilling to carry the burden of sin or the remains of corruption any longer, came to join with them in family prayer. We will instance two, viz., Mr and Mrs H , among those who were signally blessed. He came one morning alone, determined to seek with all his heart the full salvation of his soul. He asked in faith and was filled with God.

At this instant his wife, who had followed him with the same intentions and intense desires, came into the room. She fell upon her knees, and asked in faith the cleansing efficacy of the blood of Christ, pleading the promises, and ceased not till she received an answer. Her happy soul was not less signally blessed than her husband's, and she praised God with joyful lips. Sometimes Mr Longden's body fainted under the fatigue of praying, as in an agony, from house to house, from morning until evening; and Mr W. was obliged to labour alone, while he rested a day to recruit his animal strength.

Salvation was sent to every house which they visited: and some who were prepossessed against this work, as irregular and disorderly, were obliged to submit to its powerful influence, and acknowledge that it was divine. As soon as they began to pray, neighbours, friends, and relatives, were instantaneously seized with powerful convictions and were as suddenly saved from all iniquity.

From ‘The Life of Henry Longden’ p111-4


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