THE WORK OF GRACE IN NEWCASTLE.
BY REV. D. LOWE.
Many precious souls--we can hardly trust ourselves to say how many-of various sects and positions in society have hopefully passed from darkness to light under our own eye. And if Weardale and Teesdale be included with Tyneside, we hare no
hesitation in saying that genuine conversions are to be numbered not by hundreds but by thousands.
Many moreover, who, so far as themselves and others who knew them intimately could judge, were in possession of real spiritual life before this stream of special blessing began to flow, have risen to a much clearer view of their permanent safety in Christ than they ever previously enjoyed and have in consequence become happier, more zealous of good works and more useful. Several Christian workers too, ministers and ordinary members of the churches, who were free in the Spirit of their mind as individual believers, have lately enjoyed a freedom to work for the Lord and a delight in it of which they knew but little three months ago and which leads them into enterprises for the highest welfare of their fellow-men of their own or other churches, or it may be of no church at all, from which they would have previously shrunk and that, too, with a conscience tolerably easy. The latent talent of the various churches is being developed more and more fully day by day for the good of many within and beyond their walls, young and old. Regular church members know each other better and love each other more. Home mission work is prosecuted with increasing zeal and success. At this moment an unusual interest has been awakened in the spiritual welfare of the young, and many days will not elapse now, if the Lord will, before a special and united effort will be made for their conversion on a large scale. Several churches have received large accessions to their membership. None, we believe, has failed to benefit in this way. Audiences are larger and more earnest, both on the Lord's day and on week-day,
No denomination of Christians has missed a share of the heavenly blessing, though, for reasons which need not be mentioned now, some have enjoyed a larger share than others. Some churches speak of their ministers as new men. Some ministers speak of their audiences in similar terms. Many old things have passed away from certain well-marked spheres,
and many things in them have become new. Our delightful conclusion must be that the Lord hath done great things for
us whereof we are glad.
The evangelistic labours of our American brethren, Messrs Moody and Sankey, of Chicago, whom all their spiritual children
and their coadjutors here regard with a grateful affection almost boundless, and who richly merit all the credit that attaches to
their names have undoubtedly been the instrumental means of bringing to pass a change so blessed and so great. We have
never had the joy of meeting and cooperating with men more devoted to their special work, or in our opinion equally adapted
for it, taken as a whole. This is proved by the thousands who have attended their ministry with such advantage, and by the
hundreds of all sects, including ministers, who have wrought with them with such satisfaction on both sides. The city or
town which they have promised to visit has abundant reason to thank God, and cannot too soon begin prayerful preparation for the blessing that is almost certain to descend upon it.
Our brethren carry on their work by the simple preaching of the word of life in plain speech and thrilling song, after the
fashion, every observer of their movements is well acquainted with. To enter into details would be delightful, did time and
space permit. To be thoroughly appreciated, their work, to the process, must be seen. A spiritual man will not be many minutes within walls where their meetings are held before the last vestige of prejudice has disappeared.
It may be more to the advantage of friends at a distance to say that the whole of the work has been carried on by these
trusted leaders and their hearty coadjutors mainly in the might of believing prayer. It was prayer before the meetings, prayer when they were going on, prayer after a special preaching effort was over. God was honoured from first to last. No one made
less of man than our dear brethren made of themselves. We bless God for their self-forgetfulness. They are honoured because they honour God. In their preaching, it was the Word. In their prayers, it was faith in God. Many, we rejoice to say,
have caught and retained much of their spirit. The daily prayer meeting, began by our brethren the day they began to speak to this people in their Master's name, is still resorted to by hundreds of all ranks and sects, and proves most refreshing and
quickening to all.
Maybe if some would speak out they would say that even before these brethren gladdened this town with their presence
they were conscious of an intense longing for such a blessing as has fallen and were kept on their knees for hours in their own closets pleading for it in the name of Jesus. Some it may be whose names will not be mentioned till the judgment day were unable to think of anything else for a long time together, and could not feel free for any more outward duty till they had
prayed. We rather think this has been the case. God commonly sets his children to ask with expectancy the blessing He has prepared for them. Be that as it may, He has promised to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him for themselves or others and all who prove Him by keeping nothing back which they ought to lay upon His altar, find to their joy that He opens heaven's windows over them, and pours out on them a blessing till there is no room to receive it.-English Presbyterian Messenger.
"The Christian", January 1874