Swanbank Wesleyan Church - Burslem (1861)

Burslem, in the Town Hall, on behalf of the Ragged-schools. There were some thousands that could not get in. I spoke out of doors to thousands before speaking inside. This is one of the towns in which I was noted for sin, and how it gladdened my heart to see so many faces that I knew coming to hear the word of life, from one of their old companions in sin a few years ago. But God gave me favour in their sight, and as the big tears rolled down their cheeks at night, while I was preach­ing, they began to cry out for the Lord to save them; and, bless his name, that we have his word to tell the poor mourning sinners what to do to be saved. Though the Spirit wounded, the blood of Christ healed, and many souls professed to find peace. I spoke in the Wesleyan Chapel six or seven nights, and every night hundreds outside could not get in. We took down the names of those who professed to be converted, and where they live; and I think they say about 270 professed to find peace in God, through his Son Jesus Christ. What a truth it is that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. All glory to the bleeding Lamb! I had a blessed week at Burslem; if spared, I have promised to go again. To see drunkards and dog-fighters, and sinners of all sorts, down on their knees praising God that Christ has saved them! Hold our tongues?—No! We will proclaim it in Gath, and publish it in the Revival, that Christ is bringing to His fold rich and poor, young and old. Let the trees clap their hands, and angels sing while Christ is saving Staffordshire sinners; all glory to his name. I will just tell of a man who was converted last week at Burslem, that I know well. I sup­pose He has not been in a place of worship for thirty years. His wife told me the last time was when they were married; but when he heard of my being in the town preaching, he said to his wife, "I am going to hear Weaver to-night ;" that was Monday, the 4th, and she said, "I will go with thee;" and she said, "We came, and thank God that we did, for the Lord con­vinced us both of the error of our ways; and we went in the vestry, and the Lord pardoned both of us. We both can read, and when we went home we wept for joy to know that Christ had died for us. Just before going to bed he said ‘We have no Bible, but, lass, we can pray,' and we knelt down. While on our knees he said, Oh, my dear wife, I don't know how to pray.' I told him to say, Lord help me! Lord teach me!" But, lass,' says he, I remember the prayer my old mother taught me, "Our Father which art in heaven;" ' and in the morning, before he went to work, he knelt again, and said, ‘I thank Thee, Lord, for keeping me through this night, "Our Father, which art in heaven,"' was his prayer. This is the happiest week we ever had." I can truly say I spent a happy week with the dear people of Burslem. The great curse of society is that monster, "Drink," and as I go about I feel it my duty to cry out against this evil that disgraces our churches and chapels; drink is doing more harm to ruin bodies and damn souls than all us preachers are doing to save them. Oh, I feel as I write as if I was standing before the Judge, by these poor drunkards, and hearing them say, "Oh, if ministers and evangelists had spoken out on the subject of drunkenness as they ought, I should have given heed to my ways; but it is too late now." To think that out of Bible-England 60,000 souls pass out of time into eternity every year, through drink or drunkenness; and God says that no unclean thing shall enter heaven. Drunkards cannot inherit the kingdom of Christ. Oh, think of it! Publish to the world that it is our duty to cry aloud, for our countrymen are going to hell by thousands at a time. Yes, out of the land of preachers and evangelists, and city and town missionaries! Where are our Jeremiahs, weep­ing before God for the sins of the people and Ezekiels crying, "Watchmen, take warning lest the blood of the people be found on the skirts of your garments?" What can be done? Is there no one that will stand in the gap and cry aloud to our high and low, rich and poor, to come up to the help of the Lord? The Lord help!


From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume V, page 173-4.

Additional Information

The chapel was replaced in 1971.

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