St James Church, Selby (1875)

This little Yorkshire town has just been the scene of a remarkable awakening. To God be all the praise.

"Revive thy work, O Lord, in the midst of us!" has been the cry arising from many a heart, as the glad news reached us, of showers of blessing falling in many different places. Special services were accordingly arranged by the vicar of St James, the Rev H Joy Browne and the Evangelisation Society was asked to send down one of their agents to conduct their services. This request was very kindly complied with, and William Taylor was sent.

Much prayer had been offered previously that we might have a pentecostal shower and He who is rich in mercy to all that call upon Him granted us far more than we asked or thought.

On the first evening of these meetings, a large number gathered together. No special blessing, however, was manifested that night, so that when our friend prayed, "may the Lord save a hundred souls in this room before the week is out, unbelief whispered, "Can this thing be?" The numbers attending the meeting increased night after night, until the last when there was scarcely standing room. Over 600 packed into a room built to contain 400. A large portion of working men were present. 

The second evening came and ere it closed we had gracious tokens that God, even our own God, was about to bless us. The Lord enabled his servant to speak with great power. Numbers, night after night, pressed into the inquirers' room, deeply anxious to obtain rest for their troubled souls. And then began a work which angels might have envied; the work of pointing these weary, burdened ones to "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." And who shall describe the joy that filled the hearts of God's children, as, one after another, these weary ones were able to rest upon the finished work of Jesus.

The whole course of these proceedings was marked by a complete absence of noisy excitement and yet there was a mighty conflict going on. The enemy of souls was there, struggling hard to retain his captives, and forcing them to resist the loving appeals to surrender to the King. In some cases the struggle went on all week until at last, wearied and miserable, the helpless captives cried, "Lord save or we perish," and the King heard and set them free.

At the close of the last meeting, an invitation was given to all who had received Christ during the week to attend a special tea meeting to be held two days later. Seventy-nine accepted the invitation, though many others were unavoidably absent. It was a remarkable gathering; the friends who had been privileged to point them to Jesus were there to meet them. Praise, joy, and love, seemed to fill every heart and shone in every face. 

"The Christian," March 4th, 1875.

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