James Caughey Sheffield Meeting - Brunswick (1844)

On the night of Thursday, 18th July., we were favoured with a most extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, in Brunswick Chapel. The sermon was designed only as preparatory to the discourse I had set apart for the following night, which was to be, the nature of that faith which purifies the heart. On the night in question, I had that fine passage for my text: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter v. 10. I was led to lay down the following proposition: That many are called to pass through a series of mental, physical, and providential sufferings, before they are sanctified entirely, throughout soul, body, and spirit. At the close of the discourse, the Lord was pleased to show there was neither merit in such a process of suffering, nor any necessity for it, if his servants were only willing he should cut the work short in righteousness, and save them by faith. The cry of many hearts was,

“Lay down the rod of chastisement, O Lord,’ and save us by faith” Beholding the people much affected, I concluded to leave them with God! Hundreds fell down upon their knees at once. I requested them to talk with God, for he had come down among them in “very deed.” “Now, Lord,” I said, “the people are at thy feet; hear them! For Christ’s sake, hear them! Attend to their confessions; hear their cries, and save them! Save them by faith! If they only believe that they do receive, they shall, on that instant, receive all - all that is in thee. Thy mouth, O Lord God, hath spoken the word.” Prayer became general over the entire chapel - galleries and all - two thousand people were bowed as the heart of one man. What could stand before this? Neither hell, sin, unbelief, devils, nor sinners. The power of God came down. The supplications of believers for purity and the piercing cries of penitent sinners for mercy filled my soul with amaze. I have witnessed a few scenes of the kind in the course of my ministry, but never anything so universal and so tremendous, and, at the same time, accompanied with so little of anything that could be imputed to human extravagance; - it was the prayer of faith in every heart - mighty, omnipotent, prevailing prayer! Twenty-four weeping but triumphant converts, who had within the last twenty or thirty minutes obtained the forgiveness of sins, and fifty individuals who had received purity of heart, passed successively out of the Chapel into one of the vestries, to declare there what great things God had wrought within them. How many more received remissions of sins, and purity, during that wonderful visitation, perhaps we shall never know till the judgment day. I should have informed you, that Brunswick Chapel belongs to Sheffield East Circuit. My visit to that Chapel was in accordance with the earnest and affectionate request of the Superintendent, the Rev. Alexander Bell. I finished my labours in Carver Street on the 5th instant. Later... On the evening of August 1, 1844, we held a meeting for the benefit of the new converts, in Brunswick Chapel, similar to those I have described in former letters. About three hundred and seventy-five new converts were present; it was a most gracious season, a confirming and strengthening time, to those who had but just commenced the heavenly race. Shortly after the above meeting, I received the following note from the secretary. It will show you the wonderful character of the revival in Brunswick Chapel: -

“Sheffield Moor, August 3, 1844.

“My Dear Sir,

“I have taken the liberty of forwarding to you a copy from our book, (as on other side,) of the numbers up to the present time. Truly we may say, what hath God wrought’ “That you may be strengthened in body and blessed in soul and rendered instrumental of still greater good, is the sincere and earnest

prayer of “Yours very respectfully,


“Special services, held in Brunswick Chapel, Sheffield, results, - from July 7th to August 2d, 1844.

Week ending From the world In society Sanctified Per week Total

July 12 200 39 51290

July 19180 32 152364

July 26 222 44 96362

Aug 2 140 28 76 244 1260

It is proper to remark that many of the above, who were from the world, resided in country Circuits, and within the range of other churches. On their return, they joined their respective churches in their own localities. Still, the Wesleyans claim by far the largest proportion. I shall endeavour to find out what the real increase is likely to be, as realized by the Wesleyan church in Sheffield, and what proportion of the above numbers were members in the two Circuits in town, and shall state the same, if possible, in my next communication.

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

Additional Information

The Chapel was demolished in 1950.

Related Wells