Wesleyan High Street Chapel - Gateshead (1827)

At the Conference of 1827, by the appointment of Mr Casson to Gateshead, he was removed to a sphere of action widely different from any preceding station which he had occupied. Leaving the inhabitants of the dales in their scattered dwellings, where they were comparatively shut out from much of that contaminating influence, which, like a moral pestilence, stalks along in places more densely populated, poisoning the life-blood of society, he had now, in the order of Providence, to plant his battering rams in a place “where Satan’s seat” was; where bold unblushing infidelity was not ashamed to show herself unmasked; and where vice in all its disgusting and hideous deformity, reigned on every hand. In the midst of a population of 14,000 souls in the town, and the swarming hives that abound in an extended colliery district, he had a wide range for spiritual employment and entered upon it with an earnestness and vigour which no opposition could intimidate, and no supine indifference could cool. His soul seemed to rise with the greatness of his work,—he was stimulated to yet mightier efforts,— and in no place had he to sing of more abundant success. The field of sanctified labour became the honoured scene of holy triumph, and the trembling gates of hell shook under those powerful assaults which he successfully made on Satan’s Kingdom.

In a letter to Mr Atkinson, October 13th, 1827, he says:— “The first Sabbath I spent here, we had brother Joseph Mortimer with us, on his way to Shetland: he gave us a famous lift, and we had not less than twenty souls converted to God. This was a blessed beginning, and still the work is going on in town and country. At our Quarter-day, all was love and harmony, not a single string out of tune. We had given seventy-three notes on trial. The blessed work is still going on. We seldom have a meeting but part of our work is to pray over penitents, and often they get truly set at liberty. My colleague has charity enough to bear with all my infirmities and puts the best construction on my proceedings. I hope the Lord will make us like Caleb and Joshua this year, in leading a few hundreds of souls from the county of Durham into the kingdom of God. Mr Mann and I have had meetings every night in the month but two since we came. I have found the labour hard, and sometimes my strength nearly exhausted; but when revived again have found my soul as warm as ever in fishing men out of the devil’s pond. May we all have strength according to our day in this delightful work, till the Lord says, ‘It is enough: well done, good and faithful servant!’ Amen and amen!” To the same import he writes to a Christian lady in Dumfries, October 17th:—“Since we came we have had a blessed work; we have seldom a prayer-meeting but penitents are crying aloud for mercy, and a goodly number have got converted to God. I have, this week, seen nearly a dozen souls saved. I never felt more given up to God, nor more passive in his hands, willing either to do or suffer all his righteous will. I cannot choose, and He cannot err. My soul daily cries, ‘Lord, thy will be done!’ Praise the Lord, the religion I recommend to others, I daily feel myself, namely, perfect love filling and ruling my heart.”

Christianity in Earnest as exemplified in the life and labours of the Rev. Hodgson Casson by A. Steele, published by Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London, 1853 Chapter 7, pages 105ff. For more seewww.vision.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/revival/cumhdgga.html

Additional Information

The High St Chapel was opened in 1815, but Tesco's now stands on the place.

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