Long Eaton - Salvation Army (1880)

Accompanied by Mrs Reynolds, I came to Long Eaton on Saturday morning. We went to see the skating rink and finding the owner willing to seat it for us, we agreed to take it at 25 shillings per week, Saturday is accepted; but I rather think before long we shall have it on that night too. As Mrs Reynolds was not certain as to when I should come, there were no bills printed, so we engaged the Cryer and on Saturday evening the place was in a commotion. All the talks seemed to be, “the Salvation Army is coming tomorrow.“

I have glorious news to send you over our opening. In the morning it rained heavily, still I believe that all would be well. Five privates from Nottingham came over in the pouring rain to help in the attack. About 11 it left off raining. We had arranged to open the rink in the afternoon. We had some prayer and prepared to mission the place, stopping seven or eight times during the morning to exhort. We got crowds of attentive listeners, who seemed to drink in the Gospel message and I believe much good was done, notwithstanding the rain, which came heavily at times.

Before starting in the afternoon, we had some prayer and the young man who is lodging here was completely broken up, but he found the Lord was still mighty to save before we started. Oh, praise the Lord, I feel it was worth coming to Long Eaton to save that one soul. I felt sure that was only an earnest of what the Lord was going to do. We had a good open-air meeting in the afternoon, at the Market Place; there was a man there who had been a local preacher, but is now backslider; having had some drink, he commenced to disturb the meeting, but we had the victory and marched to the rink to find the people waiting for us. The place was soon filled and we had a blessed time. I believe many were convicted, but as it was warm and so full we thought it best to close, feeling sure the Lord would break in upon us at night.

As we marched to our open-air stand at night the place was thronged with people who were waiting for us: it was a grand sight. The whole place seemed moved. After holding the meeting (at which the brother that was saved in the afternoon spoke) on nearly an hour, we marched to the rink and how to describe the meeting that followed I know not. As the brother spoke, the Lord seem to fasten the words on the hearts of the people. After having cleared the front and given the invitation, we commenced the prayer meeting. I was asked to speak to a man at the meeting who had been deep in sin. He said, “the Navvy has hit me right in the heart tonight.” He was soon found among the penitents seeking the Navvy’s Saviour.

How can I describe the scene that followed. One after another came weeping their way to Calvary, until the front was filled with seekers, while Christians exclaimed it is the days of the early Primitives coming back again and coming to the front, helped us in right good earnest – singing and praying and pointing sinners to Christ. After all that was seeking had found the Saviour, we spoke a few words, asking those who had been saved to hold up their hands; we found there were 20. 

We then closed the meeting, but while doing so we heard shouts, and soon found that others were seeking and so commenced a second prayer meeting. The friends were all ready to begin again and one sister (who had just found peace) began to pray for her friend who had come up weeping. We were soon pointing them again to Christ – they soon found Him to the joy of their souls and after having sung we closed, 32 having professed to find the Saviour, most of them young man, who will make brave soldiers for King Jesus. All I am afraid of is my strength failing.  Captain Fysh

From, 'The War Cry', April 1880.

Thank God! The meetings have been grand all the week. On Tuesday, 40 joined the Army; after which nine sought and found Jesus. On Wednesday, we had 11 souls come on, Thursday 15 and on Friday, four. On Saturday we held a Hallelujah Free and Easy in the Free Methodist schoolroom, which was kindly lent; six souls of the close. Sunday was a high day. We started about 6:50 from the Market Place singing to the Rink, thinking we might make a few sinners up. I am under the mark when I say there were 100 present. At 10 we started for a morning in the open air. We returned to the Market to finish up with a prayer meeting. Just as one of the brothers had finished praying a man came rushing into the ring, shouting, “I must be saved! I cannot wait until tonight, my heart is so heavy.“ Two more were soon in the ring, crying on account of sin and all were soon singing.

In the afternoon, after holding our open-air service, we marched to the Rink and held an experience meeting. The place was packed; while we were praying a man came out, crying aloud for salvation, three others soon joined him – one was an old man, about 70. The Market Place was thronged at night as we went to hold our meeting. It was impossible to get any sort of ring, we just managed to get a chair in the centre. The Rink was crowded and the heat intense; I was very hoarse and it was with difficulty I spoke. 26 professed to find peace, making 34 for the day. Praise the Lord! To Him be all the glory.

...The publicans are crying out. One house is reported to have had only 20 in all last week. On Saturday night one, that had always been filled, had only seven in it.

   Captain Fysh.

From, 'The War Cry', April 1880.

God is working mightily in our midst. Since I last wrote 101 have sought and found mercy. Some of the worst characters in Long Eaton had been brought in. Last Sunday night a man came walking boldly out to the penitent form, saying he had been home and went to bed and was obliged to get up and come back to be saved. We had a good time at 7 o’clock prayer meeting, 153 present, six souls saved, afternoon 10 and evening 26.

From, 'The War Cry', April 1880.


Additional Information

Somewhere in Orchard Street.

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