Manchester - Thieves Meeting (1863)

Thieves tea meeting - On Friday week a most interesting meeting was held in the hall in Walter St, when between 300 and 400 thieves of this city were gathered together to tea. It is the first meeting of this description ever held in Manchester and the Lord put the stamp of his approval on it for many were deeply impressed and some brought to Jesus. A dear brother had it laid on his heart to get this class of men under the sound of the gospel; tickets were accordingly printed, and several brethren went into the dens and haunts of vice, and distributed them. Fears were entertained as to whether they would receive them or not, as it was distinctly stated on the cards that none buttbhieves would be admitted; but, contrary to expectation, they took them willingly and thankfully. At half-past they began to assemble and soon the hall was nearly filled with these characters. They came in orderly and quiet. After being well supplied with cake and tea, dear Harrison Ord gave out a hymn and prayed and spoke. They were then addressed by several bretheren; - Mr Caddell, Mr. Usher, Mr. Holroyd of Frome, and myself. The power of God's presence seemed to be felt by all. The attention was marked; they sat as if they were drinking in every word.
A converted public-house keeper and two other brethren, who were formerly thieves, spoke to them of Jesus' love to perishing sinners, and then a poor chimney sweep, who was once a Roman Catholic and a receiver of stolen goods, but now happy in Jesus, spoke affectionately to them. It was, indeed, a solemn time, and many appeared to feel deeply. Several of the thieves came to the Alhambra circus on the following Sunday (April 19) to hear the gospel. One poor man, who was brought to the Lord on Friday night, told us he was going that very evening to rob some one, as he wanted some money, but passing the hall, he was asked to come in and now the Lord has saved him. We have no doubt but it is a real case of conversion, as we saw him in the meeting deeply wrought upon; and a brother spoke to him of Jesus when he was enabled to believe, and the change in his countenance was remarkable. Another rough character, who was under conviction, told us he has spent £10 in dissipation', between last night and two o'clock this morning. We have no doubt but that in the day of eternity it will be seen that many were brought to Jesus that evening.

"The Revival", April 29th, 1863.

Additional Information

Not sure which Walter Street.

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