James Caughey Hull meetings - Kingston (1843)

From George Yard, chapel, (Methodist places of worship are all called chapels in this country; some members of the Establishment call them “meeting-houses,” others “preaching-houses,” to degrade them as far as possible from their churches; this, of course, you would not bear in America,) we adjourned to the Kingston chapel; a new, large, and elegant edifice.

Considerable fear was entertained by many, as to the result of a special effort in this chapel, as it was a new interest, and very many of the pew-holders were unconverted, and not a few of them comparative strangers to Methodism. But the people of God were too well acquainted with the source from whence we obtained our victory at George Yard, to place a revival in this chapel upon the ground of probability. Indeed the last Saturday evening we spent at George Yard, previous to commencing at Kingston, the Rev. Mr Thompson told them, We must not go to that chapel under any other feeling than an unconquerable and unwavering determination to obtain a glorious victory for the Lord God of hosts. He then offered all the lovers of Jesus in that band-meeting a “motto, and a watchword,” to circulate through all their ranks; and advised it should be the language of their hearts as they passed along the streets to the chapel, and at every meeting there, VICTORY! VICTORY!! VICTORY!! You know my sensitive nature; how easily weakened, how ready to be encouraged in conflicts such as these. My soul was happy; I felt as if I could run through a troop, and leap over a wall! The following morning (Sabbath) we commenced the “special services” at Kingston; enjoyed a good day, and a number of sinners were converted to God. A few days had only passed away when the revival was advancing with all the rapidity and power it had at George Yard. We continued to fight the battles of the Lord in this chapel, till the 30th ult., when it was ascertained that more than two hundred sinners had been converted from the world, besides seventy or eighty members; there were also two hundred and fifty members who obtained the blessing of entire sanctification. The select meeting for the young converts was similar to those I have described in other letters. Unite with me, my dear friend, in giving all the glory to God for such wonderful displays of his power! The Lord is very good to me his unworthy servant, and I am sure you will assist me in giving him thanks for his great mercy in multiplying the evidence that my mission to Europe was of God. It affords me great pleasure also, to say, that, under God, much of this success has been owing to the” brotherly kindness” manifested by the superintendent; and his worthy colleagues, during my stay among them. Everything was done by them to smooth my path, and to open to me a wide door of usefulness in this town, and with such genuine goodwill as none could misunderstand. It was seldom that there was not one of them present to take the management of the prayer meeting. Some of their exhortations, especially those of the Rev. Mr Illingworth, were among the most soul-stirring and sinner-awakening appeals I have ever heard. The local preachers and leaders, among whom was my host, Mr William Field, entered into the work with an ardour and success I have never seen excelled. Bless the Lord; O my soul, and all that is within me praise him, that he has permitted me to form such an acquaintance with so many devoted servants of the living God! The presence of the stationed ministers relieved my mind from a weight of responsibility and having perfect confidence in their judgment I was saved from all anxiety from that quarter. The help also of so many men of deep experience, rendered unnecessary those exhausting personal efforts with penitents after preaching which you are aware have worn me down in other revivals. We retained the same secretary who officiated at George Yard, (Mr. M***,) by which means, persons who had relapsed into doubt, (which frequently happens during a revival,) and had re-obtained a clear sense of the pardoning love of God, were prevented from having their names recorded a second time; which should always be avoided, if possible, as it; only swells the number to an unreal amount.

Taken from 'Methodism in Earnest' at www.revival-library.org

Additional Information

Kingston Chapel is the largest Methodist chapel in the town. Built in 1841, it cost some £8,000 and will seat 1,600 persons. The front was of cut stone, and exhibited a bold pediment, resting on four massive pillars of the Doric order. There was a large gallery around the chapel, in which was placed an organ of large dimensions. There were extensive schools in the rear, and at the west side of the chapel.

It was damaged by bombing in 1941 and later demolished. It is now a car showroom.

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