Parish Church, Sheffield - D L Moody (1875)

The Times on Monday says – “The services held by Messrs Moody and Sankey at Sheffield yesterday were more largely attended than on any previous day. Albert Hall was crowded in the morning long before the commencement of the service and hundreds were turned away from the doors. It had been arranged to hold in the afternoon a special service for women and the multitude assembled was greater than in the morning. Every available space in the saloon, the orchestra and the galleries were occupied. There was an immense crowd of women outside who despaired of ever being able to hear the men whose reputation had probably drawn hundreds of them to the doors day after day. The disappointment was however, reserved for those who succeeded in gaining admittance; For when Messrs Moody and Sankey ascended the platform, the former announced that he purposed holding a meeting in the parish churchyard, considering that so many found it impossible to find places in the hall. Mr Moody proceeded to the churchyard where he and the vicar held an open-air service.” 

Sunday was one of the most glorious days for the work of God ever seen in this town. The day commenced with a crowded and enthusiastic meeting of Christian workers in the Albert Hall. At 11:00 there was a special service for those who are not in the habit of attending any place of worship. Admission by ticket. It was evident that the greatest part of the audience consisted of the class whom it was desired to reach. In order to reach as large a number of persons as possible, a meeting for women was announced at three o'clock and a meeting for men at 7:30, but the hall was crowded to excess long before 3:00 o'clock and the streets outside were thronged with thousands who were unable to obtain admission. Mr Moody announced that he would preach in the parish churchyard, which is only a few minutes walk from the Albert Hall and in the very centre of town. Very soon there was an immense crowd of probably not less than 10,000 persons gathered round the large raised tombstone, which served Mr Moody for a pulpit; Mr Sankey remained in the Albert Hall, which was quite full; So that altogether they had the largest number of persons as yet reached by them in this country at any one time. It was most impressive to see that very vast crowd of human beings listening with breathless interest, as the speaker pressed one appeal after another home to his hearers, using the solemn associations by which they were surrounded with telling effect.

The men's meeting commenced an hour before the time announced, as the hall was crowded to excess at that time. The thousands outside the hall who could not get admission were gathered into groups and addressed by several ministers in the open air and Mr Henry Drummond conducted another meeting in the Temperance Hall…(a few paragraphs missing) The result has been eminently encouraging. The hall was densely packed and the vast majority were evidently of a class little accustomed to the sound of the gospel. This meeting had been made a matter of special prayer and the Lord answered. The Holy Spirit was very manifestly present. Mr Moody's subject was just the "gospel" in all its glorious fullness and freeness. He sought first to remove the false impression so many had of the gospel, as a sad, dreary thing; showed what it was in truth - glad tidings. What it could do for all - set them free - free from death, free from sin - and concluded by a most solemn appeal to all, no matter how lost, how fallen, how sin burdened, to accept and be set at liberty. The effect of this address was most astonishing; everywhere could be seen strong, rough men bent in sorrow, tears streaming from eyes that had evidently been long strangers to such feelings. The inquiry room was crowded with men and women, all with one question - what must I do? 

"The Christian", January 14th, 1875.

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