The people of God will be rejoiced to hear of the glorious work of God going on in this small town.
We had heard of our young brother, Mr Somerset Gardner and invited him to hold some special services here. He came and commenced with a prayer meeting. On the first Sunday the Chapel in which he preached was so crowded that many could not get in. The word was very solemn and went with power to the hearts of many. At the close the anxious were invited into the vestry which was soon full of earnest seekers. One youth, who found peace in the morning went home and told his friends that God had saved his soul, when one of his brothers, who had been out ferreting, only laughed and said nothing would make him weep or seek, and off he went to the public house. In the evening some friends got hold of him and invited him to the Chapel, and not long had Mr Gardner been speaking before he burst into tears and walked into the vestry with the others, and for two or three days he was in deep distress full time. Sometimes he left his work and cried for mercy and to the joy of his heart soon found the Saviour.
Finding such numbers remain to the after meeting, we commenced morning and midday prayer meetings, which on some days have been quite full and most interesting. Night after night the Chapel was so crowded that numbers could not get in, until the Independents opened their Chapel and on the Sunday afternoon we had an outdoor meeting when some hundreds followed, singing.
We then went to the largest chapel in the town which is crowded in every part. At the close of the address, the mighty power of God came down. Some wept aloud and the vestry was filled with those who are anxiously inquiring, “what must I do to be saved?”
On the next evening we sang through the long street when many left the public houses and came to the meeting, but the Chapel was not large enough to hold them and it said quite 100 were outside the doors.
That night very many grown-up persons showed deep concern about their souls. One poor woman, over 60 years of age, cried aloud for mercy and some stout-hearted persons were so smitten down that they could not rise from their knees.
It's impossible to say how many were truly believed to be genuine cases of conversion, nor do we wish to do so; we can only say that at night the vestry has been full and sometimes would not hold those who were in deep anxiety about their souls. Some for nights have not been able to sleep on account of the burden of sin, in some cases fathers and mothers, and five and six out of one family, have been saved. One who said she came out of curiosity was broken down for two or three days prayed night and day for peace, and at a subsequent meeting burst into a bitter cry, saying, “I cannot leave this place until I am pardoned, for if I die as I am hell must be my doom throughout eternity!” Some sisters stayed with her and whilst pointing her to the Lamb of God she rose rejoicing in her Saviour.
The publicans and some of the ungodly said, ”wait until Fair day comes and see if they won't come to the public houses as usual.” But our brother had proposed to have a tent meeting that day in the independent Chapel which was crowded, although the busiest day of the week. Two or three short addresses were given and some of the new converts (One 80 years of age) and told how great things the Lord had done for them and we closed with much joy.
Many who were recently converted have met with much persecution and scoffing, but often meet for prayer and reading the word.
"The Christian," December 3rd, 1874.