The following both reach us on the same day, with reference to God's wonderful work at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The former is by our brother Moorhouse, the latter by Rev. D. Lowe, Presbyterian minister, an old friend and fellow labourer of faithful and beloved Duncan Matheson.
Beloved Brother, - Since last I wrote to you about the Lord's work here in the North of England, every day it has just been blessing after blessing, and mercy after mercy, for which we praise the Lord, who alone can save. Our brother Moody's meetings everywhere areas crowded as ever, and scores of souls seem to be sweetly resting upon the finished work of Christ. In fact, I have never seen anywhere a deeper work of grace than in these towns. I have myself personally spoken to many of the converts and find in most cases that the work is deep and of the Lord, so far as one can judge. A deep sense of sin, an utter need of a Saviour, and then a calm resting upon the person and work of Christ alone, seem to me to have been realized by many.
I could tell you of much that would gladden your heart but have not time now. God, the loving God, is working mightily, and dear Mr Moody and Mr Sankey need much, very much prayer.
A brother passing down a street in Gateshead heard someone knocking at the window of a cottage. He stopped and a respectable woman came to the door, and said - "Come in!" He said he could not then, as he was going to a meeting.
"Oh, sir, for God's sake come in, and tell me something about Jesus, because I am wretched."
"What is the matter?" said my friend.
She said, "I am lost; oh tell me what I must do to be saved. I have been standing at my window all the day to see if a Christian would come along, and if it had only been a beggar who loved the Saviour, I would have called him in."
She had been at a meeting a week before and had been in a miserable state ever since. A Christian lady called to see her and told her about the love of Jesus. She trusted and was saved. I saw her today as happy and bright as possible.
And then the noon prayer meetings, I must tell you of them. They are just delightful. Mr Moody leads them now. Every day they have increased and increased until I suppose from 600 to 800 attend them. The dear ministers come and help. The have thrown open many of their chapels and their kind words and loving deeds cheer us much. The Bible lectures have been a great blessing, and I have no doubt about this work, for the desire to see what God says about Jesus in the Bible is great.
This week, if the Lord tarry, Mr. Moody has arranged for no less than thirty-four different meetings, in various places. We need your prayers. Peace be with you.
My dear Sir, - We wish all Christian brethren in other parts who are interested in the great and good work of God now going on in Newcastle and the surrounding neighbourhood, to understand that our large evangelistic efforts which are put forth at various points in town and country in the evenings. We all feel that the safety, the continuance, the extension of the good work depend on this relationship being carefully maintained to the very end.
The brother who leads in prayer at the evangelistic meetings very frequently transfers, in a solemn manner, the management of the entire work of the evening to the Holy Spirit Himself. The effect is seen in the absence of collision and confusion throughout the proceedings. The ark of God is amongst us. Many brethren shrink from touching it with unhallowed hands. The current of this feeling is strong enough to bear before it every element of an opposite character which may exist. The first hour and a half or so (the time usually allotted to the first meeting) is spent in singing, prayer, and preaching of the word. The singing is conducted, and very often with blessed results to many sons, by our dear brother Mr Sankey, unless the exigencies of the work require his presence elsewhere. One or two of the brethren in the meeting usually lead in prayer. The preaching is always trusted to our honoured brother Moody when increasing demands on his services in other places admit of his being in the midst of us.
Experience teaches us to rely on the first meeting as a means of impression and awakening. Some awakened ones find the blessed Saviour in the first meeting and wait till afterwards to acknowledge it to such Christian workers as cross their path. I have known hardly any who have received their first decided impressions in the second meeting. It is the word preached that proves quick and powerful.
In view, however, of finishing the work in many cases, the second meeting is deemed by all of us a part of our machinery which could by no means be dispensed with. Many have come to the light of life through the instructions they have received from prayerful and judicious Christian workers at that time.
This important part of the proceedings is usually opened by a hymn, in which all can join. During the singing, at this stage, those retire who wish to do so, after inquirers have been invited to remain for farther instruction from the Christian brethren and sisters of all evangelical denominations who wait for the purpose of imparting it. Some are so struck with what they have heard and seen, that, without hesitation, they retire to side rooms for conference with those who have offered to show them the way of life and peace directly from the Word of God. Those who are too timid, or, it may be, are not enough alive to their need of salvation, to take this decided step, are addressed from the open Bible in the pews. In this matter workers do as they can get done. Those who take no part in personal instruction of inquirers lead the devotions of the meeting as a whole in prayers and songs of praise
The second meeting proper is formally dismissed after the lapse of about an hour, but workers often remain afterwards to give a final word of counsel to those who cannot find true peace for their souls and to commend them individually in special prayer to the God of all consolation.
Several who retired before and at the close of the second meeting, carrying in their bleeding hearts the sharp arrows of our King, have found in their own closets, to their great relief, the blessed Saviour who had found them at the previous meetings.
We have reason to believe that a far larger number belong to this category than the workers have had time yet to discover. The great day of account will have dawned before the extent of the descending blessing can fully be known. We praise Him who dwells on high for what He has already done, and call upon all who hear our gladsome story to magnify the Lord with us.
The precious souls that cry for life and light are not the only ones who derive advantage from these earnest, personal interviews. The latent gifts bestowed upon the churches are being developed, to the permanent advantage of these powers for good. The workers confess that the work has quickened and refreshed their own souls. A measure of success in leading inquirers to a crucified Redeemer only increases their desire for more. Some who have found "the Christ" for themselves have been used of God to bring others to the full enjoyment of the same blessedness. The work is deepening at home as the hallowed tone of the daily prayer meetings clearly proves and its finding its way and with blessed results to the religious beyond. May the sweet streams of life and peace flow forth on every side and deepen as it flows. Nothing will prevent it but the unbelief of those who have received the blessing. For the prevention of such an evil, and the promotion of the Lord's own glory, and the salvation of many more souls, we cordially ask the prayers of as many of God's children as may take time to rend this rather lengthy communication, - Yours most
"The Christian", October 23rd, 1873.
My dear brother - At our daily prayer meeting on Saturday last, at which well-nigh 900 Christians of all ranks and denominations were present, our honoured and beloved brother D L Moody addressed us on the certainty of God's work continuing and extending itself in our district unless true Christians themselves failed to comply with the divinely-appointed conditions of its full development. The Lord Jesus, he assured us, was not going to leave our coasts if we desired Him to tarry with us. The Most High was desirous of blessing us and had paid our district a special visit for this purpose. Great responsibility lay on all Christians in this quarter at this solemn juncture. The eyes of all England, we were told, were on Newcastle at present. We were on the eve of a great work, which might cover Britain and make itself felt in America. God would bless us, were we willing to let his Spirit work through us and to place our influence wholly at his disposal. The blessing would abide and increase, did all of us continue in prayer and supplication, and were everyone always in readiness to speak for Christ in season or out of season.
Referring to instrumental means, our brother laid the utmost stress on the daily prayer meeting. It must be maintained and cherished if directly evangelistic efforts are to be wisely conducted and be accompanied with a stream of true life.
To his own soul the daily prayer meetings in America had been a source of unspeakable blessing - nay, had done more to refresh and fit him for evangelistic enterprise than all other means of grace put together. The prayer meeting in his own city has kept his soul on edge from the date of its commencement, fifteen years ago, till the present time. "Why," said our friend, "may the fire not burn as long as I live? When this revival spirit dies, may I die with it! "
The wave of revival which swept over America in 1857 and did not stop until it reached the shores of our own country, started from a daily pryer-meeting still in existence in New York. (my note: his inference is wrong here - our revival that began two years later was from an Ulster prayer meeting. It did not, in my opinion start through the one in New York.) In Chicago, and in every place where such meetings had been set on foot, their influence for good was shown to be paramount.
"The Christian", October 30th 1863.
The attention of our readers has already been directed more than once to the great work of God carried on by our esteemed brethren, Messrs. Moody and Sankey, at Newcastle-on-Tyne.
'As they have now left us, in order to undertake another and, we trust, a not less successful sphere of labour in other of our large northern towns, we thought our readers would be interested and stimulated if we, "having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first," took " in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things" which have taken place in the busy metropolis of the north.
Messrs. Moody and Sankey entered Newcastle a few weeks ago almost as strangers in a strange land. But few knew who they were, or what they were; the general public knew no more about them than could be gleaned from the bills on the walls, which simply stated that Mr Moody would "preach" the gospel, and Mr Sankey would "sing" the gospel. The various Christian societies in the town were almost as ignorant as the general public. A few only had heard rumours of the work which had been done in York, Sunderland, and the neighbourhood, hence it will be seen that these honoured brethren had to commence their labours amidst conditions the reverse of favourable, and had to win, by their zeal and earnestness and love, the position which they now occupy as being amongst the best known and most highly esteemed Christian workers in the North of England.
Gradually but surely have the sympathies of nearly all well-wishers of the kingdom of God, and earnest seekers after souls, gathered round our brethren and their work. The barriers of suspicion and coldness and open distrust, which may at the beginning have kept some from joining heartily in this spiritual campaign against sin and Satan, have been broken down one by one as the work approved itself day by day to be of God and not of men, so that now there is not a Christian body in the town but has its labourers, both ministers and laymen, engaged in the glorious work.
The method by which our brethren carry on their work bears all the marks of long and careful experience in the arduous task of winning souls to Christ and training them for Christian usefulness, and the speedy and yet thorough construction of organisation for consolidating the work already accomplished is as praiseworthy and as wonderful as the success which attends their efforts in gathering together and impressing the multitudes of careless and unbelieving men.
It may be of great service to those who have not had the privilege of seeing and hearing these brethren personally to know something about the practical details of this work.
The first, and perhaps one of the most important meetings in connection with it, is
THE MID-DAY MEETING.
The first week that Mr Moody was in Newcastle this meeting was held in the room of the Young Men's Christian Association; owing, however, to the very limited accommodation of the room, the meeting was removed to the large Music Hall in Nelson-street. This meeting, which extends over an hour, is professedly one of prayer; praise, and exhortation but it is, in fact, one of the most delightfully "informal" services which it has ever been our privilege to attend.
A stranger entering the Music Hall a minute or two before the service commenced, would see the leader of the meeting sitting at a table at the end of the room busily engaged in reading a heap of letters and slips of paper. If he were to ask what these letters and slips of paper contain, he would be told that they were requests sent in by those who were anxious that the Christians present should pray for the conversion of some who are near and dear to them. Suddenly. and without any formality, the leader would announce the number and first line of a hymn, the tune to which would be at once started by someone in the hall and caught up heartily by all present. After the hymn, every head would be bowed in silent prayer, whislt the requests were being read one by one, for the conversion of precious souls. No words can convey the solemn impression created by the reading of these petitions for prayer. The burdens of scores of weary hearts, the owners of which are all unknown, are disclosed to sympathetic ears of Christian friends and are carried unitedly into the presence of the great care-bearing and prayer answering God and Father. "A boy, who is away upon the sea." "A wife asks prayer for her unconverted husband, that he may be rescued from the power of drink and brought to Christ." "A daughter requests your prayers for aged parents that they may be led to believe and to be saved." And so on, for five, ten, or fifteen minutes, will this stream of varied wants flow out to God every day from this meeting, and numerous and marvellous have been the answers to prayer thus presented.
When the last request has been read, someone will lead audibly the prayer of the people on behalf of all the petitions which have been sent in; then another hymn will be sung: then the leader will give a key-note to the meeting from the Word of God, "What Christ is able to do for us,' "All things being possible with God" etc. The meeting will then be left open for half an hour, during which time anyone may pray, give some account of the work, speak a word to Christians or unconverted, open a passage of Scripture, or in any other way contribute to the good of the meeting. Everything necessarily has to be done sharply and briefly; no long prayers, no sermons, but something short and to the point. So intensely interesting have these meetings become that the forty or fifty who started them now see themselves surrounded daily by five or six hundred persons. Often too, after these meetings will be found several who have stayed behind for religious conversation, and numbers go away rejoicing in having found Christ at the mid-day meeting.
The second service of the day will generally be
THE GOSPEL SERVICE
in the evening. We say generally, because it is not until the work is somewhat advanced in a town that Mr Moody, with that indefatigable zeal which is so eminently characteristic of him, commences the afternoon services, of which we shall speak hereafter. About the Gospel Service, in the evening, there is something exceedingly simple and attractive. On a platform, if there be one in the hall, or chapel, where the service is being held, will be seen Mr Sankey, seated behind his "organ;" Mr
Moody, a little apart, seated at a table, on which is lying his well-marked Bible; on either hand ministers and laymen of all denominations; and before them all a crowded audience, quietly waiting for the service to begin. The first half-hour of the service is occupied chiefly in the singing of hymns, beautifully adapted both as to music and sentiment for a gathering of that kind. It is during this early part of the evening that Mr Sankey so largely and so efficiently contributes his share to the great work of God which all are so desirous to forward. Singing by himself, teaching in a few minutes some tune to the audience, he singing the solo, and the audience singing the chorus, so he employs himself and doubtless wins many a heart to Christ by the deeply pathetic and solemn singing of the gospel, as well as cheers the hearts of God's people by leading them in praise.
Immediately after the singing, the requests for prayer (for these are sent into all the services) will be read, and prayer offered on behalf of them and the great congregation gathered to hear the preaching of the word. Mr Moody then reads a portion of Scripture, making comments on some of the verses and by simple but telling illustrations, fastens the meaning of some part of the Word on the mind of the audience in such a manner that many can never forget it.
Mr Moody's preaching is more after the manner of an address given from a platform than a sermon from a pulpit. Usually he deals with a theme rather than with a text. He delights to run through the whole Word on one subject; for instance, "the love of God for sinners," Every book of the Bible would be laid under contribution for this, the united testimony of all the Christian writers would be brought forth to show that in every age and amidst all conditions, God has never ceased to love his children.
It will at once be seen that this method of teaching involves most copious reference to the scriptures themselves; and sometimes, as the turning up of the passages by one man would involve loss of time, several who are sitting round will be asked to find and read, as they are announced, the various passages of Holy Writ. This gives a freshness and a change to the service, which are particularly novel and agreeable.
Mr Moody's preaching is intensely earnest; he speaks because he believes the vital importance of the truth he utters, and not simply because he is expected to say something. His power of illustration is marvellous, both for its freshness and its pathos. Sometimes the effect of some illustration, nearly always taken from his own life and experience, is so great, that the most hardened feel their hearts smitten and drawn into sympathy with the truth, and those who before have looked upon Christ as having "no form nor comeliness," and " no beauty that they should desire Him," are drawn towards Him as their Saviour and their Friend. Words utterly fail to convey an adequate idea of the power of the simple and earnest-thrillingly earnest presentation of the truth at these gospel services; and the power can only be accounted for on the ground that the Spirit of God, without noise and excitement, but in the calm, clear utterances of divine truth, attests to the power of the Word to awaken, convince, and convert the hearts of men.
The preaching of the word is generally followed by another hymn, appropriately chosen, being sung by Mr Sankey, and prayer being offered by Mr Moody on behalf of the unconverted present. The gospel seryices do not close, however, with these exercises. Before the people begin to move away, Mr Moody announces that there will be an
for all who choose to stay, and, as this after-meeting is a most integral part of Mr Moody's work, we cannot pass it over without a careful notice. From our observation, now extending over some eight or nine weeks we should say that this after-meeting is, as Mr Moody affirms, one, if not the most, important service of the whole series.
The usual method adopted in our churches and chapels is to preach to the people, and then let them go away with whatever impressions they may have received, either to nurse them and ripen them into conviction amidst the quietude of their own home life, or, as we are afraid is more generally the case, to let them be dissipated by the cares and pleasures of life, and removed by the subtle influences of the enemy of souls. This is not the plan followed by Mr Moody. Having preached the word, he thinks he is entitled to look for results, and the way to look for results is to look for results there and then before the people leave the house of prayer. Hence he asks all who are desirous of finding pardon and peace through believing in Christ, to remain and be prayed for, and prayed with; and, if they desire it, spoken to by Christian friends, who are anxious to point them to Christ. The Christians are also asked to remain, in order that they may pray for sinners and otherwise lead them to Jesus. Hence, it will be seen that the after-meeting is the great gathering in time of the whole service and it is here where Mr Moody so gladly avails himself of the help of ministers and friends in the town. These after-meetings are simply prayer meetings with this important addition, that there is a kind and courteous attempt made to come into personal contact with those who are unconverted. Sometimes this is accomplished by asking the Christians to remain standing while some verse over him is sung and those who are not Christians to take their seat. By this means an opportunities given, without loss of time, for personal intercourse with those who are seeking Christ. Sometimes just accomplish by getting directly to those who give unmistakable signs of being impressed by the word.
The value of this personal contact cannot be more highly estimated. By means of this scores, nay hundreds, have been led to come into the inquiry room and asked what they must do to be saved; and these, amidst the quietude of personal intercourse, or in batches of five or six, all seeking the same blessing, they have a personal Christ set before them and usually by the blessing of God, they go away having seen Jesus. Many a night have the rooms and vestries in the various chapels in Newcastle been crowded to excess by anxious souls seeking a Saviour, most of whom would have gone home troubled and sad and in deep darkness, had it not been for the opportunity given by the after meeting of Christian help and sympathy. Many, it is true, are converted as the word is preached; many find Christ in the solitude of their own rooms; but the overwhelming testimony from scores of converts goes to prove that it was by the prayer, the personal contact, the kind inquiry after the soul's welfare, there in the House of prayer, the personal entreaty to turn to the Lord and be saved, the Christian instruction and unfolding of the word of God in inquiry rooms, that they were brought to Christ. But many are sceptical as to the utility of these after meetings we are quite aware; but we feel equally sure that if those who are thus of doubtful mind would heartily cast themselves into this work and fairly watch its operation for good, they would be bound to acknowledge that the after-meeting is as much entitled to a place in Christian service as the reaping time, as the preaching of the word publicly is entitled to a place as the sowing time.
In our estimation, the after-meeting is one without which all attempts to reach men in gospel services will largely fail. These, to the hearts of Christian toilers, are the times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord and hundreds, as they stand around the throne of God, amidst the innumerable company of the redeemed, will date the time and mark the place of their spiritual birth at some of the after meetings.
There is another service, of equal importance to say we have yet named, to which we must call attention, intending to share how thoroughly the work is consolidated, as well as earnestly pursued. One of the great sources of suspicion, in what are called revival services, is the rapidity with which converts multiply and because the supposed and often feared unreality of the work of grace in the heart.
The great question asked by all is” Will it stand?” “Do you ever see again those who profess to have been converted?” “Do they bear the marks of genuineness?” These questions are best answered by calling attention to
THE YOUNG CONVERTS MEETING
After the second week of Mr Moody's work in Newcastle, one evening in the week was set apart for the special purpose of gathering together those who had professed to receive Christ. At these meetings, at which Mr Moody has always presided personally, the methods adopted for getting to know, almost without fail, how these young Christians are progressing in their new life. By personal contact, by the opening of the word of God, by mutual edification, these lambs of the fold are stabilised and strengthened. If there should be any, as is often the case, who did not appear to see the truth clearly, these are drawn out and specially instructed in the Word and commended to God in prayer. Personal confession of Christ in these young converts meeting's is joyously and readily given by all; an account of what they have been attempting to do for Christ is cheerfully rendered; doubts are expressed where felt; misapprehensions concerning the truth as it is in Christ are cleared away by explanation of the Word and the purposes of God and these young disciples are instrumental in the way of righteousness. From our observation we can testify to the fact of these disciples, having been put through a more rigid and heart-searching examination, continuing over some weeks, then any candidates for church fellowship with whom it has been unlocked to come in contact.
It is also our joyous privilege to bear testimony to the fact that those who have professed to receive Christ have come together by hundreds week after week to bear witness to the power of the grace that has saved them and his show by their love and zeal for Christ that their hearts are true did surrender to the Great Master. No one can come to see these young converts, and hear them speaking out of the fulness of their hearts to the praise and glory of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvellous light, without feeling this work is truly of God; nor can we help lifting up the soul in glad adoration of Him, who has so signally proved Himself "mighty to save."
One of the best signs, perhaps, of the genuineness of the work is to be seen in the willing and hearty consecration of the life to the work of saving others. The majority of those who have professed to receive Christ have already borne fruit to his glory. In some it has been thirty, in some sixty, and in some we have seen the hundred-fold. Husbands have brought their wives, wives their husbands, children their parents, parents the children, and so on throughout all the family and fraternal relationships. If, therefore, it is by their fruits that they shall be known, already we see the compassion of the Master of the sinners pre-eminently developing itself in those who have professed to receive Him.
Turning now for a moment from the special agencies used in this great work of revival, we will direct attention to the spread and growth of the work in the town and neighbourhood. As we have before stated, no sooner had our brethren Moody and Sankey commenced their work, than the chapels were crowded to excess each meeting. This led to the opening of more places and the employment of more agency. Mr Henry Moorehouse, a friend of Mr Moody, being in their neighbourhood, came to Newcastle, to lend the aid of his valuable labours to the cause of the Master. This enabled the friends to carry on not less than two meetings each evening, one at some of the chapels and another at the Music Hall in Nelson St. It was soon found to be as easy to carry on two meetings as one and sometimes, with the aid of the ministers of the town and many devoted laymen, who have been most hearty in their endeavours to carry on the work, there have been no fewer than three meetings on the same evening in Newcastle and Gateshead. The news of what God was doing in the larger towns soon brought earnest requests from the smaller ones in the neighbourhood that something might be done for them also. Mr Moody, whose strength is equal to his zeal, at once responded to these requests, and as a result, the towns of North and South Shields were visited. Like blessed results to those seen in Newcastle quickly followed the preaching of the Word. For two weeks there was the midday meeting in Newcastle, with Bible readings in the afternoon and gospel service in the evening at some of the chapels; preaching in the evening at North Shields and crowded services in addition to this at South Shields.
But the work had not to stop even at this limit. The large class of working men had hardly been reached by these services; neither had the upper classes in the town felt the power of this revival of God's work. To meet these deficiencies, on the one hand, the Tyne Theatre on Sunday evenings was engaged, and packed with working men, who were admitted by ticket; and, on the other, a service was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Assembly Rooms, where a crowded audience of merchants, etc., came together at three o'clock to hear the gospel of the grace of God preached, and sung. No one can overrate the value of these services. Many, we know, have felt the saving power of Christ at these gatherings, and many more, we feel assured, will stand forth to tell what God has done for them through the instrumentality of these special means put forth to reach them in their sin, and hardness, and unbelief. Nor has the influence of those services been felt only by the upper and middle and lower classes in our large towns. The villages and the smaller towns have all awakened to their sense of need. The cry has come again and again, even as it did to the apostle from the man of Macedonia, "Come over and help us." In response to this cry, meetings have been organized at several of the outlying places, to which ministers and laymen have gladly gone to preach the tidings of a Saviour's love and to help the brethren to establish mid-day meetings, and the various agencies for the spread and carrying on of the work.
Thus it will be seen that, from the common centre of Newcastle, which may almost be regarded as the base of brethren Moody and Sankey's spiritual operations, there has spread throughout the neighbouring towns and villages this powerful spirit of earnestness and longing for the glory of God to be seen in the quickening of Christian people and the salvation of sinners - a spirit which we trust will grow to more and more fully developed dimensions, until the whole of Tyneside, with its vast industry and the whole of the north of England, with its sin and suffering and with its deep and widespread need, shall have come beneath the reviving touch of the spirit of God.
In looking back upon the past two months, with all its marvellous spiritual manifestations, and as we see on every hand the indubitable marks of the power of God, we cannot refrain from exclaiming, "What hath God wrought!" Churches, ministers and deacons, have been quickened to a deeper and more intense spiritual life. Many who have listened to the Word of God for years have been led to seek and find Christ; the undecided among the young have resolved to consecrate themselves to the Lord; backsliders have been reclaimed and restored to the consciousness of the joys of salvation; the careless and the hardened have heard the voice of God, and been troubled; and many have given heed to things which pertain to their peace; prodigals and wanderers from the Father have come back with the language of confession on their lip and contrition in their heart; Christian work, which languished and was feeble, has had infused through it a new vitality, and the faith of God's people in the power of prayer, and of the Word to save sinners, has been revived and strengthened to such an extent, that in many a heart there has been a re-consecration of self to God and to His work.
Truly God has been good unto Israel, and we render to Him all praise and thanksgiving for sending to us, by the hands of our honoured American brethren, this blessing from on high. For these brethren and their work we also pray most heartily. Wherever their feet may turn, we beseech the God of grace to go before them and prepare their way, inclining the hearts of Christian workers to sympathise with and help them in their self-imposed and arduous though glorious task, so that in
many a town and district the work of the Lord may prosper abundantly, and many precious souls may be won for the dear Lord and Master.
WI LL. R. SKERRY.
"The Christian", November 6th,1873.
IN compliance with your request, I have much pleasure to send you a few lines in regard to the Lord's work here. It is now twelve months since our esteemed friends Messrs Moody and Sankey visited this town; and in looking back over them, many feel that they have great reason to praise God for His wonderful goodness and mercy. I am sure I speak the sentiments of not a few ministers when I say, that it has been by far the happiest year in their ministerial experience. Our labours have been multiplied, but so also have been our joys. The 'comfort of the Holy Ghost' has been more enjoyed by us than before, whilst we have also had the delight of seeing many, of different ages and of all classes of society, giving themselves to that Saviour who died for our iniquities. It has been, as one expressed it the other day at our noon meeting, "a year of grace." Looking at the general aspect of society here, a person might perhaps be disposed to think that the revival had produced few if any permanent results, for we have to confess that vast numbers are still living "without God and without hope." But those of us who have the charge of congregations, and who are in the habit of speaking to individuals about salvation, know that such is not the case. Weak saints have been greatly strengthened. Some, that before had only a name to live, are now conscious of a vital union to the Lord Jesus Christ. Others, that were walking openly in the ways of sin, are now treading the path of holiness and peace. A higher tone of spiritual life is visible in many of the congregations, and far greater activity in Christian work is shown than formerly.
Our noonday meeting keeps up very well, both in regard of the number that attend it and the interest that is felt in it. Owing to the fact that a large number of persons have been out of town during the summer months, the attendance has not been quite so good as it was in the spring, but we are hopeful that now the attendance will go on increasing. The same spirit of brotherly love that animated the meetings when our American friends were with us still continues. We feel that, notwithstanding our diversities of ecclesiastical polity, we are all "one in Christ Jesus," and the realisation of this is a source of constant strength and joy. Let me say, for the sake of any of your readers who may be passing through our town, and who may desire to attend this meeting, that it is held daily between twelve and one o'clock in the Music Hall, Nelson Street. We are always glad to see persons from other places, and to hear accounts from them of, what the Lord is doing.
Many are looking forward to the coming winter with great interest. Is it to be as fruitful as the past was in spiritual blessing? Are we to see a greater outpouring of the Spirit than our faith has ever yet led us to ask for? May it be so.
"Times of Blessing," Sep 17th, 1874
The building is now flats. I do not know where else Moody held his meetings in Newcastle.