St Mary's Hall, Islington - D L Moody (1875)

This meeting continues to be held in St. Mary's Hall every evening from nine to ten o'clock. The attendance
is not so large as one would wish and expect, especially on the part of those whom it is most desirable to see
there--the unconverted. Probably as it gets better known it will fill up. Every Christian young man who goes to it, or knows of it, should tell his acquaintances and warmly invite them to go.

Let us take Friday evening last as a sample of its proceedings. The body of the hall is perhaps a third part full. William Scott from Glasgow presides and George Williams, who stood sponsor for the meeting on its birthnight, and Captain Moreton, are on the platform to cheer on their younger brethren.

After preliminary praise and prayer Mr Scotts reads the story of how Andrew found Christ, through the preaching of John the Baptist, and how the first thing he did after that was to "hunt up" his brother Simon, and bring him to Jesus too; also how the same thing was repeated in the case of Philip and Nathanael. In Glasgow, said Mr Scott, there was a great fear that if young converts went to work at once for the Master, it would engender pride, and all kinds of evil results would follow, but a little study of this New Testament history settled the matter; they went to work, leaving the dreaded results to God. Mr Scott then told a personal reminiscence about how a woman he met in his visits, had found Christ by a few words spoken to her
at a small meeting by which she was pointed to Christ as a personal Saviour. She had been looking to her faith and her prayer and her repentance instead of looking to Christ. Mr Scott closed by inviting testimony from anyone in the meeting, to be confined to three or five minutes each.

Captain Morton intervened with a short account of a young men's meeting he had attended in Aberdeen, after Messrs. Moody and Sankey's visit there, at which from ten to fifteen short pithy testimonies were given by as many young men within the time allotted for the meeting. What was wanted to make the meeting interesting and potent for good was the brief narration of direct cases of conversion; of difficulties met with and overcome; that would bring them together, would engender sympathy with each other in their troubles and would stimulate them in the work.

A young Irishman was the first to break the ice. We were particularly struck at the young men’s meeting in Liverpool with the readiness and heartiness displayed by Irish young men in giving testimony as to their own conversion and the spread of the work as witnessed by them personally. It would be a good thing in many ways if the young men on both sides of the Tweed had a little infusion of this geniality and open-heartedness possessed by their brethren from across the Channel. This young man from Belfast told us of a small prayer meeting commenced there twelve months ago in an upper room, and that in a few weeks the result showed a list of about eighty who professed to have found Christ. His name was on that list, and he attributed the success of the meeting, greatly to the fact that everyone who went there did his utmost to bring another with him. Judging from the attendance at this meeting during the past week, he thought the Christian young men of London were not doing their duty in this matter. 

Another Belfast young man followed and said that the young men there were now also holding thirty cottage meetings in thirty different places. He spoke too of the wonderful success of the meetings conducted by the young men in the outlying villages and towns. He and a companion had lately had two meetings at a small country place: the first evening about twenty professed to be saved, and on the second sixty-two went into the inquiry-room to be spoken with about the things that pertain to salvation.

Yet another young Irishman, this time from the south of Ireland, told the good news of Christian sect, being lost in Christian zeal, and signs following as the result.

One of the stewards of the Agricultural Hall then, in a few earnest words of entreaty, implored those who were in the meeting unsaved to decide for Christ without a moment's delay.

The next address brought us nearer home, and "told" in a corresponding degree. It was to the effect that one of the vilest sinners in London, for a young man, was brought under a deep sense of sin on hearing Mr Moody’s address in the Agricultural Hall on "Where art thou?" The word followed him until he heard another address of Mr Moody's, on "Whosoerer will." That night he found the Saviour, and now he had commenced work in the right place - in his own home. “Tonight,“ said the speaker, “I saw him stand on the stairs of the large hall, inviting other young men into this room. You should just hear him, pray, with the hot tears running down from his eyes it would do every one of us good. Let all the young converts follow his example."

Everybody must’ve been of Mr Scott‘s opinion, when he remarked at the close of this little address, "That is exactly the kind of thing we want to hear something bearing on the work in London."

Some earnest prayer followed, and we all sang together heartily, "Frée from the law, oh, blessed condition!'

The hour was almost up, and punctuality is one of the inexorable practices at these young men’s meetings. So Mr Scott dismissed us with the injunction to make the meeting a matter of serious prayer, in order that the young men of London might be reached, and drawn to the Saviour. "A consummation most devoutly to be wished,“ and one, we feel disposed to say, that must now or never be compassed. Mothers and fathers of London, ministers, and Christians of every hue, especially Christian young men of London – “lend a hand.”

"The Christian," April 1st, 1875.

Additional Information

Built in 1869 as part of the Agricultural Hall complex, with entry next door. It held 3,000.

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