The South of England Music Hall, Portsmouth - Catherine Booth - Salvation Army (1873)

As usually happened a Salvation Army work began after the visits of Catherine and William Booth. These are excerpts from monthly reports from the Salvation Army station here.

For seventeen weeks Mrs Booth has conducted religious services in this town, and that without any signs of waning interest. lndeed, tho concluding meetings were more densely crowded, and accompanied by more gracious infiuences, than any that had preceded them. At the close of the last evening service in the Music Hall, over forty persons sought the Saviour, a very large proportion of whom were men, many of them cases of thrilling interest.

... Mr Booth's second visit was very much blessed to many souls. He preached a powerful sermon on the Sabbath evening and at the close about 40 professed to find Jesus.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', July 1873, pages 111/2.

Praise ye the Lord! Praise O ye servants of the Lord, praise the Name of the Lord! Do the Lord's people ask for reasons for this special call for praise? Many can be given. Our heavenly Father has been very gracious to us during the past month, making it the happiest and most prosperous one I have been privlleged to spend in this town. I have been permitted to see more precious souls weeping at the Saviour's feet than in any previous month. (this was at the time of Moddy's revival in Scotland)

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', May 1874, page 163. 

 We have experienced much of the goodness of God during the month. 174 souls have ceased to do evil and learnt to do well. This number is composed of all grades-some from the upper classes, others from the barrack-room, and the man-of-war's men; some have been rescued from the brothel, and haunts of sin; others have been snatched from the gaping jaws of a drunkard's grave. It is indeed cheering to see some who only a few days ago were foremost in the devil's works, scoffing and jeering at us in the open air, now pointing their old companions to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', June 1875, page 152.

I am pleased to report a good work in progress here. Our people have willingly given themselves up to work for God and souls. The open-air bands are moving forward, determined to push the battle to the gate. We are outside six nights out of seven, and men and women are being pulled out of the fire. Fifty precious souls have in the past month come to the feet of Jesus, and many of that number are witnessing for God both inside and out. All glory be to Jesus.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', April 1877, page 107.

I FEEL quite at a loss where to begin to narrate all the glorious victories, that in the name of our King we have achieved, and I am sure I shall not know where to leave off:

Our last Sunday night in the Mission Hall was a mighty time, the power of God was very present, such singing I have seldom heard. Sinners trembled, and sat down and shut their eyes, and held fast to their seats, and began to think. After all, I was right when I said we should see them full length on the floor. Brother Sherriff and I went in with all our might, the Holy Ghost gave us liberty and sinners quailed beneath the sword of the Spirit. Without losing time we pushed into the prayer meeting and soon had a fine row of penitents seeking mercy. One great strong sailor was pleading at a mighty rate for God to forgive him, whilst the great tears fell on the form like little marbles. God saved him and the next night he was with us in the open air and is now promising to become one of our most able workers. Next to him knelt a great big woman who has long resisted the Spirit of God, but on this night came out boldly and sought and found salvation. Thirteen had professed salvation, and I was just about to close the meeting when a young woman fell full length on the floor beneath the convicting power of God, and at the same time·a young man volunteered to the POOL. To work we went again and soon the glory came and set everyone shouting. Oh, hallelujah! And thus we parted, singing, "Praise God, &c.," and closed the doors of the hall for Sunday evenings, in which we have seen such mighty times during the past few months, only to open on a larger field, to launch out into deeper waters, to be led on to greater and still greater conquests.

Our first night in the Prince's Theatre was indeed a good opening. With the assistance of three musical brothers from Salisbury, with three brass instruments, we opened fire on sin and the devil on their own ground. We had a great crowd of folks, and in the prayer meeting sinners were convicted all over the place. I saw one young man that God had got hold of, and so I invited him to come out there and then. He jumped up, but at the same time the power of God fell on him in such a manner that he could hardly stand. I held him as I led him to the penitent-form, and then let loose of him and down he went. We left him alone with God and soon he disturbed the meeting by shouting, "Glory, glory to God." Besides him only one young woman came out; but at the close of the meeting we found two penitents who could not leave, so we took them to our house and prayed until God blessedly saved them. During the following week others who had here been convinced of sin came and surrendered their all to God. Last Friday we had four testimonies on holiness. It set us all on fire. The Glorious light of the Shekinah shines in our very midst. 

From, 'The Salvationist', April 1879, page 100.

A vast audience of upwards of two or three thousand people assembled in the Music Hall at Portsmouth, on Sunday evening, May 2, to hear Miss Maclatchie, who spoke with her usual earnestness and pathos, and a deep impression was evidently produced, as many anxious inquirers remained afterwards. There was also a crowded audience on the Monday evening in the Mission Hall of the Rev W Booth, who is carrying on a great mission work in Portsmouth as well as London.

"Signs of Our Times," May 12th, 1875.

Additional Information

The Hall used to be where marked.

The photo has been taken from History in Portsmouth.

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