This is an early report on the Salvation Army's Stratford base.
Some time ago a misunderstanding arose at this place, and the brother who had the oversight of the station left, with the greater part of the people. Since then we have had uphill work, but the few left behind have kept struggling on. In our last number, we narrated some of the measures taken with a view to a revival, and the following letter from a dear brother who labours in season and out of season here tells of prayer answered and perseverIng labour crowned with blessing.
DEAR MR BOOTH, - The Lord has begun a good work: at Stratford, and I have no doubt a few lines respecting it will be interesting.
July 1st. Prayer meeting. After a few words about giving ourselves afresh to God in order to get a revival of His work, we had a blessed time. Some of the friends shouted aloud for very joy.
Sunday morning. Prayer meeting at seven o'clock. Eight prayed and the Lord was present in a very powerful manner. In the evening Mrs Booth preached and I trust everlasting good was done. The people were much wrought upon.
Tuesday night. Cottage meeting. Room full, and several seeking the Saviour.
Thursday. Believers' meeting. After being engaged in the blessed work two hours and a half, we were constrained to say-
" When together bore we meet, And taste thy heavenly grace,
Thy smiles are so divinely sweet, We are loth to leave the place."
Saturday night and Sunday morning at seven o'clock the Lord was very gracious. During the day the congregations were larger.
Tuesday night. Cottage meeting. Several inquiring after salvation.
Thursday. Was a believers' meeting. Was a night long to be remembered by us all. Five men and women joined us. They all bid fair to be useful, and so will be a great help to us.
Another evening, Brother and Sister L returned again to us. We welcomed them with all our hearts. We had a glorious meeting.
Saturday night. Brother Lamb went out to invite the people to the hall. Calling on one of our sisters, he found her very sorrowful. Her son was at the public house getting drunk. He went and fetched him out, got him to his mother, and talked and prayed with him till he fell on the floor and cried to God to spare him till he got sober, and then he would come to the hall. He did so and has been attending the means ever since. He has been to the penitent form; and to see his dear mother standing between her son and his wife, pleading with God, and to hear their cries for mercy was a sight to make saints and angels rejoice.
Bro. Lamb has commenced outdoor work in East Street, one of the worst parts of Stratford. On Sunday the publican - a publican living close by - brought out his bottle and glass to treat him; but he told him that he was a teetotaler and drank water. On this, the publican threatened that if he came there any more, he should have plenty from the chamber window. But we have been again and I think the Lord is giving us favour in the sight of the people. Four of the cottages - one at each end of the street, and two in the centre - have opened their houses for prayer meetings and the Lord is with us at each of them, and sinners are crying for mercy. To God be all the glory.
July 29th. Believers' meeting. God's people were much encouraged and strengthened. Two fresh members.
Sunday, seven o'clock prayer meeting. One man found peace after a fortnight's weeping and prayer. At night his wife was at the penitent form, crying for mercy with three others.
Tuesday, cottage meeting. Five crying for pardon. One woman, an awful backslider, found peace.
Wednesday, Brother Sheehan preached. Three came to the penitent form. One I trust found the Lord.
Thursday. Believers' meeting. Twenty-one present. After a few words on the verse, 'the praying Spirit breathe," a baptism of the Holy Ghost fell on everyone present, and we had a blessed time. Four fresh converts had their names entered, not only in our book but, I trust, in heaven. We went home rejoicing.
I am about to establish a new meeting for those who cannot come on Thursday evening, and I expect a room full. The people are hungering and thirsting after righteousness. May the Lord fill them! We are all praying for the publican. We have got three of his best customers. May the Lord convert his soul, and turn his house into a Mission Hall,-it is just in the right place.
From, 'The East London Evangelist', August 1869, page 189/190.
We still find our Helper mighty to save. On Sunday before last, twelve came out for salvation; and on Sunday last, it being a fine day, and our banner having been completed, we took the opportunity of making an attack on a part of Bow, and although we were pelted with mud, dirt, and old hats &c., the Lord gave us grace to stand. fire, and at last to prove victorious by eleven souls for Jesus. These are mostly young people, and if they but prove faithful to the cause of Christ, of what great value will they prove in n few years' time?
From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', June 1875, page 163.
I do not know where the Stratford Mission base was.