During the past two years the people of God have been earnestly and believingly offering up prayer for the quickening of the churches generally, and for a great awakening amongst the ungodly.
On Tuesday, Sep. 10, Mr. Wm. Tomlins commenced a series of special services in the Temperance Hall, which were well attended during the four weeks they were continued, and every night many were anxiously inquiring "What must we do to be saved?" And as we explained to them the way of salvation, the joyful exclamation, and the serene countenance, gave evidence that the Great Physician was binding up the brokenhearted and setting the captive free. On the first evening there was a little girl in deep distress, about twelve years old, a scholar in our Sabbath-school. After a hard struggle she found peace the same evening, and has since been the means, we believe, of many of her companions being led to Jesus. Several of the pupil teachers in the same day-school have also been converted, and the work is extending amongst various Sabbath-schools in the town.
Besides the young, many of the vilest and most profligate of sinners have been awakened. An incident occurred about a fortnight ago which made a great impression upon the minds of some. A collier formerly of very intemperate habits, but who, about two months ago, signed the pledge, was brought under conviction of sin during the early part of these services. He yielded to the spirit of God, sought and obtained forgiveness of sins. About a week after, while working in the pit, he met with an accident which resulted in his death. He was carried home and lingered for about ten days. During the whole of this time he frequently expressed himself to be quite happy in prospect of death and eternity. Indeed, I have been told by those who visited him that it was really " good to be there." His happy soul is now before the throne of God; safely landed on "the shining shore." Hallelujah! Is not this a brand plucked from the burning? One evening, after the meeting was dismissed, there still remained one who was determined not to leave till she was saved; but still she was not willing to venture her soul on Christ until she felt she had the blessing. She was shown the way of faith. In her agony she prayed quite loud. After putting "ifs" and "buts" into her expressions of faith for some minutes, she was induced to throw them away, and trust simply on the promise of Jesus. Tremblingly she uttered "Lord, I believe—Thou—dose save me just now." No sooner had she said this than she exclaimed exultingly, "Praise God, I feel he's pardoned all my sins." Amongst the anxious was one of two sisters, between whom there had for some time existed an ill feeling. Night after night this one came forward, but night after night went home unblessed. At last, however, the cause was discovered, viz., the unwillingness to forgive, but this obstacle having been overcome, she soon proved the words of Jesus true, "If ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
Sunday, Sep. 29, was a day of much blessing. A number of brethren, with hearts burning with love to souls, spent the day in proclaiming the gospel in some of the most wicked parts of the town and publishing the glad news of what God was doing in the hall. Eight services were held in the open air, and many from their dens of iniquity came to hear and see for themselves, and we rejoice over some of them who are now, we trust, walking in the way to heaven.
On Saturday evening, Oct. 5, infrequently Tomlins gave a Temperance lecture, advancing the Christian arguments for total abstinence. At the close of the lecture ninety-seven persons came forward and signed the pledge. On Tuesday evening, Oct. 8, tea was provided in a room adjoining the Temperance Hall for those who had received good up to that time, when 145 of them sat down to tea, and it was ascertained (with a few exceptions) what church each intended joining. It is estimated that the number professing to have found peace is over 180, besides many believers who have been led into the enjoyment of a much closer union with Christ. Having had a week's rest, a few of the brethren have engaged the hall every night for another month. Two nights of the second series have passed, and we can rejoice over seventeen souls who, we hope, have on those two occasions been brought to peace on Jesus.
From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume V, page 142.
On Sunday, Jan. 12, I spoke twice at the Primitive Methodist chapel, Tunstall, to large crowds. I spoke four nights in that town, and the presence of the Lord was with us. Cries of distress every night went up to heaven, like the poor gaoler's, "What must I do to be saved " Rough men and women crying like little children; husbands and wives kneeling down together before God on account of their sins. But they were pointed to the Lamb that was slain; and oh, what a sight to see these great big men clapping their hands and praising God for his pardoning love, who a few hours before had been blaspheming his name. About 300 names were taken in the four nights and many of these the worst of characters; but not one too vile for Christ. What a Saviour! He can save gamblers and harlots now. Glory to his name: his blood has still virtue in it. I was not so well in body, but the Lord stood by me, and there was a good work at Tunstall.
From the 'Revivalist Newspaper', Volume VI, page 61.
I do not know where the Temperance Hall was.