Treherbert - Salvation Army (1879)

This is an excerpt from the first monthly report from the Salvation Army station here.

BROTHER and Sister Hayter arrived on Friday, February 7th, and on Monday, the 10th, we received the following telegram:

"Good time last night: six hundred people; six souls, good cases-believing for more. Two open-air meetings yesterday. Crowds."

Writing later in the week, when by continual work, visiting and open-air meetings in different parts of the place, he was getting hold of the people, Brother Hayter says:-

"February 14.-Held three open-air meetings yesterday. Had to speak, sing, and pray myself; my wife is not able to come out to help me. Last night we had a grand time of it; three precious souls; one of them spoke with big tears tracing each other down his face in the meeting."

"February 17.- I had three souls on Saturday night and one on Sunday night. I am looking out for a breaking down. Grand open-air meetings on Sunday. Crowds of people followed us to the Hall. We hold two or three open-air meetings a day."

"February 19.-Yesterday we had one soul in the noon meeting; he was in the pit working, and he said to those working with him, 'I must go out of this: I cannot stop here. Can you tell me where the prayer meeting is today?' and up he came, and God saved him!"

"Last night it was a grand time: eight souls saved; good cases. 

From, 'The Salvationist', March 1879, page 63.

HALF a mile away I could see them, and hear them too, the Sunday morning I made the acquaintance of the seventy-seventh.

They formed a great proper ring and the woman that used to be such a drunkard came out and shook her fist at the listening crowd and declared her determination to speak for Jesus everywhere in spite of everybody, it was like a bit of East London fighting, waking up every inch of you.

The testimonies in the experience meeting that morning from men and women, and lads, and lasses alike, were ready and short, and clear and the best of it was, that men could point to old mates sitting on the benches behind in deep and solemn interest, and say, "You know I was sitting just like you last Sunday," or such and such a time, "but now I am happy in the Lord."

They had caught one soul that morning, before breakfast, and we had another before dinner.

The moment prayer-meeting was over, instead of a scramble to dinner, they linked arms outside and waited to be led in again. "They're always ready for a march, says Captain Hayter, and so we found it after each service of the day as well as before.

"Why bless you,'' said the Captain's wife, "he had prayer-meetings in houses between each service until he could stand it no longer. He had not time for meals, and it nearly did him up altogether." No wonder; but that is how to conquer and to make soldiers!

As it was, there was no time for rest after dinner. Off again to sing about the welcome home in glory, opposite "The Welcome Home"· whilst another woman, who used to be one of their best customers, eagerly came forward to assure everybody that she wanted no more welcome there since Jesus had given her one.

More marching and singing and speaking outside and in, then barely time for a cup of tea, and off to the utmost limits of the people. Off to the sacred spot where the old infidel publicly burnt his books. A word of prayer with the dear old man and his family, and then the rally, and the march down the hill again, forming rings here and there, and firing right and left. The formation from column into ring and from ring into column was superb, the lines wheeling into position, like the opening fold of a shawl, and falling into their precise places as one could scarcely have expected anybody but old soldiers to do.

And to see them march clown the hill at the speed they did, singing 

We will camp a while in the wilderness,

And then we're going home;·

was a sight never to be forgotten. Oh, that every English mother could learn the plan these Welsh ones have of wrapping a baby half round them in a woman's shawl, Just as German soldiers carry their greatcoats. Right down the hill, and over the rough stones, without breaking rank or step, men, women and babies altogether, with faces fairly gleaming with the light of Heaven, and songs gushing and leaping like mountain torrents from their lips. There was only one thing it could all be compared to, and that was David dancing before the ark.

"You see that public-house," said somebody. "The landlord told a man himself just the other day that he had only sold three pints of beer in one whole week." And it was a large house too. Of course, this kind of thing cannot but tell a tale somewhere.

When we got to the Hall, there to our surprise sat the old infidel along with his wife and family. So we had a word of testimony from him, and his wife, and all his sons and daughter's, and their lad's, all three generations that day. We had left the dear old man at home crouching over the fire with rheumatics but he said he felt so refreshed with a little prayer that he must needs come down and risk it.

There was a good congregation, especially as to quality, for many a rough Godless man was there. Captain Hayter has not had such crowds as have assembled at Pentre, and he would have had nothing but a little dark cellar for most weeknights, but for the kind hospitality of various denominations who have lent their chapels. lt has been a tough fight, but thank God for victory. That night several more were added to the conquering army; and the joys of the believing host, as they rallied round the penitent form, only wanted less wearied throats to give them full expression. Nevertheless, these people don't understand $alvation meetings well enough yet. Less looking about, and more responses! But Treherbert is a victory. Thank God for it!

From, 'The Salvationist', May 1879, page 134-5.

Additional Information

I do not know where the meetings were held.

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