Hythe (1864)

Your readers are possibly aware already that a very distinct religious movement has been in this place for many months. The services held in the house of Captain Smith and in the Town Hall have produced results which no persons, religious or irreligious, expected this time last year. The addresses, which have been delivered by several lay gentleman and ministers of the gospel, whose names are familiar to your readers, have produced impressions upon minds which was supposed to be so far outside the pale of even the forms of religion, that the most pious in the town have been surprised. Crowds of some hundreds, attend these addresses, unflaggingly there every week. The addresses are frequently long and then it may be late when they finish, yet many afterwards remain to pray. The attendance upon religious services in the ordinary places of worship in the town, has been for years, very scanty and discouraging. All kinds of apparently unanswerable reasons have been given generally for non-attendance, even though those services have been made most accommodatingly short, yet they have failed to attract.  But the services introduced and sustained by the noble Christian liberality of Captain Smith, do attract hundred into them every Tuesday evening. To attend them is regarded as a weekly privilege and a gratifying treat.

The aim of those who have spoken in the services at the Town Hall and at the House of Captain Smith, has been to be plain with every soul present, showing by the simple, intelligent, active, trusting in Christ as a dying and risen Saviour, a sinner may there and then come into a state of eternal safety and be forever at peace with God.  The obligation and possibility of each one in God’s grace to trust thus in Christ, is made clear by the simplest analogies, and with the most prayerful and affectionate earnestness. The Rev W. Haslam whose praise is widely spread among the faithful, has been here several times. His addresses and personal conversation with the people have been singularly blessed. He has brought the gospel into direct contact with the minds of the people in the language, ideas, and tones of voice familiar to everyday life. Persons of all classes and positions in society, Elcio Lodosin great numbers have become thoughtful, and anxious about themselves as immortal beings.

Amongst every six persons in the town, who may happen to meet, three of them, will now introduce the subject of religion. The inquiry is not what maybe theological truth, or what sect is the nearest to the divine scriptural model, but “What shall I do to be saved?“ It is the natural result of the kind of addresses, which the people have heard. They feel a sympathy with prayer meetings, where sincerity and simple earnestness are prominent. They give hearty aid to the endeavours of the Bible woman, who is really doing much good among the most neglected classes.

Rejoice with us in this blessed work and give thanks to God for men and women have become changed socially as well as individually. The change in them is so evident that their neighbours notice it. Those who were in the habit of regarding earnest piety with indifference, or even with contempt, consider it no intrusion upon them to call their attention to its claims in private circles. 

."The Revival," September 15th, 1864

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