Larne (1874)

THERE is no way, perhaps, in which I could convey to your readers a better idea of the work that is going on in this town at present, than by giving a short account of the reports which were made at our noon prayer meeting on Monday last. One clergyman stated that he knew a gentleman, a large employer of labour, who gives his men half an hour at the end of the day; three days in the week, to hold a religious service. He has fitted up a room for the purpose and presided at the opening meeting himself. A Christian worker, a layman, gave an account of meetings which have been held for some time past in one of the mills in town. At these meetings 81 professed to have found Christ during the past week alone. Another clergyman told of three lads who had begun a prayer meeting in one of the lower districts of the town, The attendance was small at first, but they swept the whole neighbourhood, visiting from house to house, till their attendance reached 100, and the room could hold no more. A second boy's meeting, it was stated, had been started in Brown's Square Schoolroom, and that the attendance was about 120. Another schoolroom in the same neighbourhood, where a meeting could never be got up before, was now full nightly, and there were many inquirers remaining behind. The minister of Crumlin Road Presbyterian Church are an account of evangelistic services which had been going on in his church for the past three weeks. There were From 600 to 800 present every evening, almost all of the operative class. The first night there were 9 inquirers, but their number rapidly increased, and frequently there were from 100 to 150 remaining at the close of the meetings to be talked to about salvation. There was now, he said, a separate meeting for young converts every evening in the schoolroom behind the church, and the room, which holds from 200 to 300, is often full. He was glad to state that in many cases the New Testament occupies the place in the mechanic's linen jacket which used to be occupied by the pack of cards. The minister of the Independent - Church in Donegal Street reported that 58 persons had already applied to him for admission to the Lord's table as young communicants and that when on the - previous evening, he asked those who believed they had recently found Christ to meet with him after service, about 100 responded to the call. He also stated that he had taken part in evangelistic services in Newry during the past week.
The meetings there were large and earnest, and on Wednesday evening there were some 50 who remained for personal conversation, a great number of whom were young men. Several others, clergymen and laymen, had statements of a similar kind to make, but the hour expired before they could be heard. 

In other towns in Ulster many such meetings as these are being held. A friend of mine writes from Derry that 30 young men came forward at one prayer meeting to volunteer for the work of tract distribution; and every Sabbath they go, two by two, to the districts which have been assigned to them. What was said at the Monday prayer meeting about Newry might also be said about Larne, Banbridge, Lisburn, and many other places. May nothing hinder the progress of the good work!

"Times of Blessings," Dec 3rd, 1874.

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