Wesleyan Chapel, Bishop Aukland - D L Moody (1873)

Perhaps it will cheer to hearts of God's people if you will allow me to tell in your columns something of the gracious work He is carrying on at Bishop Auckland. Since the arrival of Messrs. Moody and Sankey, some eleven days since, we have had what may be called one continued Pentecostal scene. Sons long under impressions have been aroused to decide the great question; others asleep have been awakened to their danger and led to flee to the only refuge, while God's people themselves have been cheered and stimulated to do more for the Saviour.

Previous to the coming of the two brethren, and as preparatory for it, all the Nonconformist denominations, with their ministers, devoted a week to a united prayer meeting in one another's places of worship night after night, and begging for a blessing on the expected visit. Steps also were taken to make their coming known as widely as possible, and by earnest persuasions to bring as many to hear them as could be induced. There was great expectancy on the part of the Christians that the prayers offered up would be answered. The largest building in the town was secured, namely, the Wesleyan Chapel (indeed, it was heartily granted for the purpose), and this when Messrs. Moody and Sankey began the service on the first night, they found closely packed with hearers, while the street in front was filled with those who could not possibly get in.

On the mass inside, numbering about 1300, our dear brethren, by the preaching and singing of the gospel, produced such an effect that at the close of the first meeting, the two rooms for inquirers were filled with anxious ones, many of them in tears, asking what they must do to be saved. As those who found peace in Christ went away rejoicing, their places were taken by others coming in from the prayer meeting which was still carried on -all sin-stricken and wanting to be healed. Doubtless there was great joy in the presence of the angels of God that night over the many souls that repented, and many in Bishop Auckland and district can point to that night as the time of their decision for Christ.

From this (Monday) till Friday night, similar scenes were to be witnessed- the chapel crowded to excess, and the rooms behind filled with inquiring penitents, and the ministers and Christian friends directing them to the Savior. During each day a noon prayer meeting was held, at which special prayers were offered up for those who requested it for themselves and others, while experienced Christians and the newly converted witnessed for Christ as their Saviour, and counsel were given to both. These were found to be hallowed seasons, refreshing and strengthening to all.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, a Bible lesson was given, the love of God and the blood of the atonement being the respective subjects. Mr Moody's treatment of them was simply to gather the various passages of Scripture referring to them, explain their meaning, and enforce their lessons. Very instructive and highly prized these were, and great was the regret that through his other engagements, Mr Moody could not give more. The young converts began to work too In the full flash of their love they sought, and in many cases successfully, to bring their fellows to Jesus, The interest in the town deepened and widened. This was the theme on railway platforms, places of business, and the public street, so that on the Sabbath, which was to be the last day for our dear friends, great was the desire to hear them.

They conducted service in the Wesleyan Chapel. In the morning; held an inquiry meeting and prayer meeting in the afternoon and another service in the Chapel, which, as on previous occasions, was filled to overflowing. They then went to the town hall for another service. And here, though 1300 or thereabouts were in the Chapel, the crowds poured in till that large hall had crowded into it about 900, while the marketplace was thronged with disappointed ones who could find no admittance to church or hall. To the crowd inside the brethren spoke and sang with power; Many hearts were pierced and many stubborn wills bent, as testified in the inquiring rooms being again filled with seeking souls, many of whom were able to leave with a good hope that Jesus was theirs and that they were His. 

Our brethren left here last Monday, but the noon and evening meetings are still carried on by the ministers and certain laymen of the different churches. The attendance continues very good, though of course not so large as when the novelty and the brief visit of our friends led to efforts to be present that would not be expected to continue. God's Spirit still works perfectly. Every night souls are converted and with the guidance of Christian friends, are led to Jesus. We feel that the work of evangelising Bishop Auckland is but begun… 

"The Christian", November 13th, 1873

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