James Caughey Revival in School (1844)

A letter, written to me by a superintendent of one of the Sabbath schools of this town, will be interesting to you. You may depend upon the statements it contains. If you think proper, you may read it to the children of your Sabbath school. It will show them how English children are affected by the truths of the gospel. Perhaps the teachers may also profit by it. By this document they may learn how deeply some of the teachers and superintendents of Sunday schools in England are concerned for the I forgot to add that nearly three hundred believers professed to obtain purity of heart during the services in Norfolk Street.

All glory be to God! He doeth the works. His arm is mighty. What can withstand his power? Sin, the devil, hell and its powers, sinners and their errors in doctrines and practice, must fly or fall before the influences of the Spirit, as chaff before the wind. Hallelujah! The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Amen and amen!

I am sure the following conversion of the children committed to their care. The great design of their labours is not merely to teach the pupils to read, (this and other branches of learning may be acquired in the week-day schools,) but to bring them to an early and to an experimental acquaintance with God. This should be the end, the distinct aim of all who labour in the Sabbath school. The object of such institutions is scarcely half accomplished if the instruction does not result in the conversion of the scholar before his final dismission from the school.

“Sheffield, Church Street, July 9, 1844.

“Rev. and Dear Sir,

“I have thought several times you might not deem it impertinent in me if I were to inform you what God has been doing for us at Red Hill school.

“Sunday, July 7th, was the most glorious day ever witnessed in connection with the services of that institution. Many special seasons have occurred in its history, (one in particular, I remember, during which seventy children professed to obtain the forgiveness of their sins,) but the oldest labourer in the institution declares, that this gracious visitation from on high surpasses them all. A few friends met accidentally last week, and in the course of conversation it was suggested that, now the special services were removed from the neighbourhood of the school, something should be done to insure the stability of the work of God, so far as it had extended among the children. It was agreed, therefore, that all the teachers should be specially invited to attend on Sunday morning, that such plans might be adopted as would best conduce to that object. When they met, it was agreed that those children and teachers who had received blessings during the revival, should be called out of the school-room into the vestry, while a verse was being sung; that, while two of the friends made minute inquiries into the spiritual state of each child, and whether she had met in the class to which she had been appointed at the chapels one of the superintendents should deliver a short address in the school, and commence a prayer meeting, inviting all who felt a desire to save their souls to come forward to be prayed for. The vestry was shortly filled with children who had been saved at the chapels, and it was a glorious sight; and soon after brother James Wilkinson had spoken a few solemn words, the power of the Holy Ghost descended and melted us all into tears. It was with some difficulty that we could get to our work of inquiry; but, when entered upon, it was most satisfactory. Out of more than eighty present, only nine had not been to class; and some of the nine had only been saved on the Thursday evening previously, and had not had the opportunity. Before however, we had got through this part of our blessed labour, the room was again half filled with girls, who, with streaming eyes and joyful countenances, came to tell us what God had done for their souls in the prayer meeting that was being carried on in the school-room. From this time (soon after eleven o’clock) the children continued to throng into the vestry until nearly twelve, when eighty-two precious souls were rejoicing in a sin-pardoning God and were appointed to suitable classes. During all this time my hands were so full I had not an opportunity to mingle with our friends in the school-room; and though we felt the presence of God with us in the vestry, in a remarkable manner, yet I am told that the scene in the school-room and the glory felt, surpassed description. At one period it seemed as if the whole congregation of teachers and children were bowed down with the weight of the overshadowing glory. Hundreds were in distress, and it seemed a small matter for the whole school to be saved. In the afternoon, the prayer meeting was commenced again, and sixty-three more souls entered into the glorious liberty of the gospel. The whole number for the day being one hundred and forty-five. All glory be to God! We little expected such a result when God first put it in our hearts to care for the stability of the work among the children; and our cry is now, ‘Lord, what shall we do next?’ And I think there seems to be no answer but ‘Walk by the same rule, mind the same thing.’ The Lord help us!

“I should say that these details refer only to the girls’ school, in which there are above five hundred scholars, nearly half of whom are now professing to believe on Jesus Christ to the salvation of their souls. There were also at least two clear instances of entire sanctification.

“I have written much more than I thought would be necessary. Please to pardon my prolixity, and believe me to remain, ever yours, most affectionately,

“G. Chaloner” Taken from 'Methodism in Earnest' at www.revival-library.org

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