West Hartlepool - Salvation Army (1877)

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

The theatre, our Sunday home, not at all unlikely to be occupied by us entirely ere long, was more than half-full in the afternoon and at night the doors had to be closed at the opening hour, so complete was the filling of the place; and at the close, fifteen persons came on to the stage to seek mercy. A very pleasing week followed, in the Temperance Hall, though Mr Booth had to return to London. Of Miss Booth's second Sunday evening, the following telegram speaks satisfactorily enough.

"Glorious night. Hundreds unable get in. Great liberty. Twenty cases, numbers wounded."

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', November 1877, page 289.

SUNDAY morning, November 11th.-Very wet, but a good prayer meeting at seven o'clock.

At eleven we turned out into the streets and took our stand opposite the Royal Hotel. They opened the windows and listened. We commenced with about twenty and soon had some forty in our ring, most of them having been converted during the month previous. The wind was awfully cold, but some of the converts, especially the women, spoke well. The crowd kept increasing, and at twelve we had a very large number, who remained with us remarkably well, although it rained at intervals and came on rather fast at noon. Many wept and we recognised one man, who seemed especially smitten, at the penitent form in the evening.

In the afternoon Miss Booth spoke with unusual power, and a blessed influence was felt by the congregation, which comfortably filled the pit and first gallery.

At night, although it was fearfully stormy, the Theatre was crammed, not less than fifty or sixty people standing about the pit and stage Miss Booth preached on 'the righteous hath hope in his death," more than half the audience were in tears. While she sang,

" Oh, the rooks and the mountains Shall all flee away,

And you shall find a new Hiding place that day."

it seemed to us as though every sinner in the place must have fled for refuge at once.

'There were soon three long rows of penitents seeking mercy. One man, in his anxiety to be saved, jumped out of the pit onto the stage, instead of going round by the regular steps, and was soon ready to jump for joy.

Some of the seekers were persuaded to pray aloud for themselves and when others heard their cries for mercy, they too came forward to seek the Lord.

About a hundred of us finished up together on the stage with tears of joy and shouts of triumph, singing-

"The opening heavens around me shine With beams of sacred bliss;
For Jesus shows His mercy mine, And whispers I am His:"

Miss Booth gave a farewell address to saints and sinners on the Monday, when eleven more sought salvation. The next evening the members turned out thirty strong, and we had a good open-air meeting and procession, although the police moved us. Brother Pargeter was present and I hardly know on which side his introduction to the people caused the greatest satisfaction.

From, 'The Christian Mission Magazine', December 1877, pages 316/7.

Tremendous crowd. Blessed feeling and two souls.

From, 'The Salvationist', December 1879, page 322.

For more reports see, 'The War Cry' which began January 1880.

Additional Information

I do not know where the meetings were held - perhaps the Theatre Royal

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