Skelmersdale (1864)

A few years ago a visitor to Skelmersdale would have found Blaguegate and Sandylane-head very quiet and lonely spots, but now a teeming population is being poured over these once secluded parts. Villages and hamlets have sprung into existence with rapid growth, people from many parts of Lancashire are being brought here to earn a livelihood in the coal mines. In the multitude of families brought here there were some who loved and feared God, and who assembled to worship in a small room of one of their dwellings, subjects of scorn and derision to the ungodly around. The Lord put it into the heart of a friend to offer them a room capable of seating two hundred persons; here a Sabbath school was opened, and divine service was conducted every Sabbath. God was pleased to smile upon these efforts and in a remarkable way sent his servant, William Hindle of Bolton, to conduct the special services on Sabbath the 17th of April. God of a truth was with His people. The following Sabbath was spent in prayer meetings for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost, services were conducted in the room and in the open-air, multitudes assembling. Many were pricked to the heart. The announcement being made that the following week the special services would be continued was received with universal joy. Most of these people who were
now in deep anxiety were the previous week greedy of sin. Divine impressions seemed to rest upon the whole place. The week was spent in prayer and fellowship meetings, and at all these precious means of grace souls were added to the church.
Again we had week services with the same prosperity; sinners were still broken down, God was with his people, and great was his glory. This wilderness was now as a fruitful field. Instead of a few who could rejoice in the assurance that God had pardoned them, a whole assembly (upwards of two hundred) are standing up bearing the same testimony. The scholars in this Sabbath school have been visited, and to the joy of the teachers some of them are rejoicing in the Lord. These are holding prayer meetings with their companions at all suitable times in the coal pit and at home; and to the astonishment of their teachers, their efforts are like fire among stubble. Appeals for mercy are being sent forth from amongst these dear lambs. Glory be to our heavenly Father the work is still going on. Those dear Christians who responded to the appeal for your prayers for this place in the Revival paper will see their great reward in that day when God numbers up his jewels. We still
need your prevailing prayers joined with the intercession of our great High Priest in glory.

"The Revival," June 30th, 1864.

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