Newhaven (1860)

The followings letters were read at Whitefield Chapel, Edinburgh on Sabbath evening, 11th inst:

My first visit was on the 1st of March. The first house I went to I found the mother and two daughters bathed in tears. The mother told me that she had another daughter who was very anxious. She spoke of the goodness of the Lord in awaken­ing her family to sense of their lost state. She said they were earnestly seeking Jesus; and as a proof that they that seek shall find, I called three days after, and they were all rejoicing in the love of the Lord Jesus. Their happy faces told the pleasure that was within their hearts; and as a proof of what the Lord has done for that family, there was a prayer meeting held in their house. The house is small, and I was told the last night there were thirty women and four men, two of whom belonged to the house. The next house I called at I found the husband at home. His wife was shedding tears, and seemed to be seeking the Lord, and spoke of the goodness of God in working so mightily among them, or words to that effect. I heard of a family that four of them had found peace in believing. On visit­ing them I found the mother and two daughters rejoicing in the Lord. One of the girls said to me— "I sometimes fear that I am building on a sandy foundation." They wonder at the great love of God in awakening them to a sense of their danger. The mother said her son, a boy of about 18, was the first to find peace. When he had found the Lord, he pleaded with his sisters and mother to come to the Saviour. They were all attending the meetings, and God has blessed them abundantly. The young man came in while I was there. I spoke of the love of God to him. He said all things were become new. He said one night he was at a prayer meeting he felt his heart drawn to heaven. He came home filled with wonder at the blessed change and telling all around what a blessed Saviour he had found. He was blessed to his three sisters, for they are all rejoicing in God their Saviour with joy unspeakable and full of glory. The mother was praying the Lord to touch the heart of one of her sons who had gone on board The Edinburgh. She had the pleasure of hearing that there were two prayer meetings daily in that ship. The next I went to see was an aged woman. She told me she was seeking Jesus (these were her words). She knew well that He was waiting to be gracious, and believed that He Would come and save her soul, but as yet she could not feel her interest in Him. She said, "I have given up all my children, my husband, and all that I loved in the world for my blessed Saviour. I would give up my life willingly for my adorable Redeemer." She wept bitterly. I mingled my tears with hers and repeated Scripture as God enabled me for her encourage­ment and comfort. I directed her to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. She was like Rachel, refusing to be comforted. I hope by this time she is rejoicing in God her Saviour. After weeping, she sang two verses of the 40th Psalm. The scene was a solemn one. I heard of a girl in deep distress. I went to her house. She was there and another with her. They were crying bitterly. There were six other girls came in, and a woman. While I was there they were all weeping, but not aloud. One would say, "What a sinner I have been Oh! what will become of me if He passes me by at this time? Oh, how long I have lived without loving that blessed Saviour that shed his blood for me!" It was delightful to see some of the mothers repeating Scripture, and praying for their deliverance. One mother said, "It is not an easy thing to meet an offended God; better to weep at a throne of mercy, than at a throne of judgment." I read a part of the Word of God with them and engaged in prayer. We sang the hymn, "Happy Day." I have seen some of them since; they are rejoicing in God with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I called on another woman. I think she was led to see that she was a sinner the night that the Rev. Mr Wilson, of Fountainbridge, addressed the meeting in the Free Church. Many others spoke of that night with joy and also with sorrow. I saw this woman on the second day of her distress. These were her words—" Oh what a sinner I have been; oh my wicked heart, my stony heart. If God had come to reckon with me a short time ago, where would I have been? Oh, that I could find Jesus, God's dear Lamb; lovely Jesus, dear Jesus—I would give up all the world for Jesus." She prayed earnestly for Jesus to come and speak peace to her soul. There were many other such cases that would take up too much of your time. I assure you all that I have written comes far short of what I saw at Newhaven. J. M. L


Although symptoms of the Holy Spirit's working had been previously noticed, I think his power was not visibly and fully manifested till more than a week after the first meeting, viz, on Monday evening, the 27th. That meeting is so indelibly impressed in my own memory, that the scenes there gone through can never be obliterated from it. It appears to me, now when I calmly think of it, that the Spirit of the Holy One had entered into that meeting as with one mighty rush, and had taken possession, and was powerfully working in every heart present. Oh! the pent-up sobs—the bursting hearts— the low, wailing, inarticulate words, and then the loud ringing cry for God to have mercy upon their souls! It was, indeed, terrible to witness. The dear Christian friends from White­field Chapel, viz., Mr Chedburn (who conducted the services), and a few brothers and sisters, were for a moment staggered at this amount of answer to their prayers. It was, however, only for a moment, for the same Spirit who had awakened sinners to a knowledge of guilt now assisted all of us in conversing freely with the anxious ones. And what a marvellous conver­sational meeting that really was! One after another, with a rapidity which seemed electrical, gave themselves wholly to Christ, and found "that peace which the world cannot give, and which it cannot take away." This was the case irrespective of age or sex.

One of us conversed with a woman, somewhere about the age of thirty. And what an unhappy woman she was about the state of her soul! All she could say was, "My heart's as hard as a stone. My heart's as hard as a stone. I have attended the kirk and sat down at the communion table, and all winna do. Oh Jesus! come and break my heart; it'll no break—it canna break." This, spoken in the dialect of the locality, and repeated at least twenty or thirty times, with the tears streaming down her face, was inexpressibly touching. The dear brother continued wrestling with God in prayer for this most unhappy woman, interrupted by such heart-rending exclamations as the above, till at last she cried aloud, "I have ye noo, Jesus. I have ye noo, Jesus." These simple words, spoken with rapture in her very face, constitute what I conceive to be the very essence of a song of joy, and praise, and adoration—sublime in its very simplicity. That woman is now rejoicing in the Lord.

At the commencement of our conversational meeting the crush was so great in the hall, and so many persons standing, outside, that it was proposed amongst ourselves to try and get the boys and girls from the gallery, and so make room for those of maturer years. A special meeting for the young was promised for next evening. Still they were sorry to depart; and as one of us was trying to coax them away with this promise, a fine boy of about fourteen years of age, with tears in his eyes, looked up, and with a tremulous voice, said, "Sir, I might be dead before to-morrow night." This was unanswer­able. It was a rebuke which we never ought to forget. We did not at the time take into consideration that the same Holy Spirit was busy with the young as well as the old and that their souls were also very precious in God's sight.

Another of us had a long conversation with a very interesting woman of about twenty-two years of age. Oh! how anxious that poor sinner was about her soul. That tear-besprinkled face, with anxiety in its every line, will long haunt that brother. After having found peace in Christ, she cried aloud, before her former companions, that she had been living for a long time in enmity with two of her friends (mentioning their names), and that as she had now found peace with God, she must now pray her two old companions to forgive her for all the harm she had done them. We brought these two before her, and the words she gave vent to then awakened in their hearts also a sincere and earnest desire to come to Jesus: and as that brother knelt at the throne of grace with these three women, all their faces bedewed with tears, and surrounded by a perfect group of those who had already found peace, it was nothing imaginary to suppose that a perfect anthem of praise, and thanksgiving, and joy, was being sung in heaven at the same time amongst the angels of God, and the saints made perfect with the blood of Jesus Christ, their blessed Redeemer.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume II, page 93/4.

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