On Saturday, the 4th of May, 1844, I left Hull by railway for Huddersfield, where I arrived in a few hours and was conducted to New-House, the mansion of Mr Thomas Mallinson, where I was hospitably entertained during my stay.
Next day I preached twice in the Queen Street chapel - a large and handsome edifice. Sinners were converted into the afternoon and at night. I preached also on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings. Each service was crowned with the conversion of sinners and sanctification of believers; indeed there was every appearance that we were on the eve of a very great revival of religion. The friends in Sheffield, however, had so construed. a sentence in one of my letters, as to imply a positive promise to visit that town at a certain time; had handbills printed and placards posted on the strength of it, and insisted upon the fulfilment, the following Sabbath. It was a grievous thing to the Huddersfield friends, and they protested against it. But on my giving them a promise, that on my return from my intended Italian tour, I would revisit Huddersfield, they consented to let me go. I left them with regret. The Wesleyans have a lovely people in Huddersfield. A few influential men of the right stamp appear to have given a holy, elevated, and generous tone to the entire church.
Long may they continue so; “rooted and fixed in God.”The Wesleyan ministers now stationed in Huddersfield are, the Rev. John Greeves, the Rev. Jonathan J. Bates, and the Rev. Edward Brice. I was received by these ministers with great cordiality; had the privilege of dining in their company several times during my stay, and each interview only rendered the acquaintance the more interesting and agreeable. God bless them! Amen.
Taken from 'Methodism in Earnest' and 'Earnest Christianity' at www.revival-library.org
Returned to town, and assisted the Rev. John Ryan to administer the sacrament in Queen-street Chapel, in the afternoon. A gracious season. Was highly pleased with the chapel. A noble edifice, capable of seating more than two thousand people, I would suppose. In the proportions of its interior it is a model, — in height of the galleries, which quite surround it, and in the position of the pulpit, in its relation to every part of the building. The ceiling is just to my taste, the true elevation, neither too high nor too low, plain-surfaced, the true friend of elocution, — vaulted ceilings are a curse. The pulpit, which is at the opposite end from the doors, projects, and is surrounded by the audience. Behind the pulpit is the orchestra joined with the main galleries, and sufficiently elevated behind the preacher to aid grandly in projecting his voice, — which plank does better than brick and mortar, always. Fixtures in pulpit in good taste; lighted with gas, as is all the house. A powerful organ and excellent choir, aided by nearly the whole congregation; all sing, — men, women and children. And when they sing it reminds one of what John heard of the singing in heaven, as the voice of many waters, or a thunder full of melody, and sweet as trembling harp-tones. A large lecture room below with many classrooms and a preacher’s vestry, where he may pause and pray before he appears among the people, out of which there is a private stairway leading to the pulpit. No rattling of windows by the wind, nor creaking of doers, nor slamming, nor noise of carriages without; for the chapel stands back a considerable distance from the street, and the space in font is flagged, like a palace-yard. Everything, in fact, is in perfect order and excellent taste. It sublimes and spiritualizes the soul to look around. There is nothing gaudy, but the greatest simplicity. Would that all chapel building committees and trustees could take a few lessons in Queen-street Chapel, Huddersfield! The congregation seems in harmony with the place; a fine, intelligent looking people, and devout, good specimens of genuine Yorkshires. We shall get better acquainted by and by. Later, the two revivals are going on side by side, sweetly and evenly, — justification and sanctification like two great streams to the same ocean, or like the two rails in a railroad tack. Over twenty saved when the meeting closed. Later, Monday morning, 21st. — Yesterday morning the presence of Christ filled the sanctuary. Text, Col. I: 19, — “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. “Was enabled to prepare a glorious high throne for Jesus, and surely he was seated thereon; ay, and enthroned in many hearts. What a divine glory seemed to beam upon the faces of the thousands present while I illustrated his divinity by his miracles! As we have the glory of the rising sun reflected upon surrounding objects. That sentiment of a writer had a sweet and lively verification, — that Jesus, determining to reap a large harvest of human hearts and sanctified affections, has sent his Spirit into the world to collect the revenue, to gather up his glory for him. Jesus tells us, “He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you; he shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” — John 16: 14, 15. St. Paul thrills upon the same theme, — ‘But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” — 2 Cor. 3: 18. The Sprit holds up the glass of his character and sufferings, and of the glory that followed; and how resplendent with glory do the souls of the people become, making even their faces to shrine, like Moses! In the afternoon prayer-meeting there were sixty-eight souls saved, of whom forty were pardoned, and twenty purified. Crowds upon crowds last night, and hundreds had to go away, for want of room. About three thousand people filled the spacious temple in every part, aisle and all, thick as they could stand. The power of God was present, to ‘‘kill and make alive’’ in a wonderful manner. Indeed, during the last eight days the success has amazed us all. Over one hundred and fifty have been converted, and one hundred sanctified throughout Spirit, soul and body — I Thess. 5: 28. Later, Feb. 15, Saturday morning — the work advances with amazing swiftness and energy. To look around and see one hundred new faces in the audience, saved within a few days past, many of whom are heads of families, melts the heart and the eyes. “The trembling gates of hell” seem to be shaken. Later, March 17th, Monday morning. — Satan suffered great loss yesterday. There were about sixty converted, and thirty sanctified, besides many children from eight to fourteen years of age. It is a blessed sight to see so many heads of families entering into life, and here and there a grey head. But my heart rejoices to behold Jesus winning possession of these young souls! Congreve speaks well of early virtue, its pleasures and advantages. Later... April 26th. — Last night I preached my farewell sermon in Queen-street Chapel, Huddersfield. The crowd was immense. It was with the greatest difficulty I could get away from the new converts, — dear souls, their emotions were overwhelming! I finally, through the ingenuity of one or two of the brethren, escaped by the basement. Such tenderness is harder to be endured than persecution!
Taken from 'Earnest Christianity' at www.revival-library.org. There is a huge amount more on Huddersfield in this book.