Hamilton (1859)

The movement seems now to have assumed a most solemn and impressive aspect. Prayer-meetings have long been held, and the outpouring of the Spirit of God has been frequently asked. An answer to these prayers has at last been graciously vouchsafed. It would be difficult to enumerate the number of public and private meetings that have this week been convened in various parts of the town. So far as the results go, they have been highly satisfactory. Many have been "stricken, and turned to the Lord with full purpose of heart. Many young people are amongst the converts; and, experiencing the gladdening influences of the gospel of peace themselves, with all the zeal and ardour of youth, they are earnest night and day in telling to others those truths which have given comfort to their own souls. As a blessed result, in every evening meeting for prayer is the house crowded to excess, numbers being unable to get admittance. Earnest, heart-stirring peti­tions are being presented by many who "never prayed before" putting to the blush old and experienced Christians. Hundreds are anxiously inquiring the way Zionward, who before "cared for none of these things." At the after-meetings, when the more anxious are requested to wait for conversation, few are disposed to go away. Deep sobs, and heart-wrung groans, and earnest cries for mercy, betoken the irrepressible emotions that agitate the heart, and intense solicitude is stamped on the countenance. At the mid-day meeting, on Tuesday, several persons were powerfully awakened and amongst others, a young man from the country, who had entered the meeting accidentally, and who, up to that time, had been totally unconcerned about his soul's salvation. His sobs and groans were quite affecting; and so intense was his mental anguish, that several friends had to remain with him more than an hour after the close of the meeting. A meeting composed exclusively of boys, has likewise been held for some time. Upwards of 100 assemble together for prayer and de­votional exercises.—Hamilton Advertiser.

From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume i, p44.

THE TOWN MISSION.—One of the most remarkable features of the Spirit's work here, is the great and almost universal change that has taken place among the young, and the numbers that are now engaged in conducting prayer-meetings, on every evening, and in every district of the town. Six months ago, it was impossible to walk the streets, without seeing and hear­ing much that was immoral—boisterous mirth, the rude jest, obscene language, cursing, swearing, quarrelling, drinking, and gambling. All these were practised by many who are now zealous for the glory of their Master, devoted to his service, and being blessed themselves, are a blessing to those around them. The origin of these meetings which have been so abundantly blessed of God was extremely simple, and an apt illustration of how "God chooses the foolish things of the world to con­found the wise and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." Mr George Dykes, a devoted servant of God—the first to call a meeting for united prayer, and the steady helper of the Lord's work here since the com­mencement—requested a friend to make a few statements to his Sabbath scholars respecting a Sabbath-school that had existed in Ireland, some thirty years ago; how the children there had formed a prayer-meeting; how the Lord had heard their prayers for themselves, their friends, and for a large district of country around them. An appeal was made to the children present--"Would they go and do likewise?" The hint was taken and acted on immediately. One meeting was begun, then another, until they have attained their present number. These meetings have been greatly blessed to young and old, the latter often saying, "Oh, the prayers of these lads go to my very heart. Think o' me, an auld hardn'd sinner o' seventy—I ne'er prayed like that; Lord help me to begin now." The numbers convinced at these meetings often rendered their dismissal difficult; and not unfrequently the uncouth lad who was lately known to be active in the service of Satan, on leav­ing the adult prayer-meeting, would come to me with a gentleness of manner, and a countenance so changed (and, what was far better, as I found afterwards, with a changed heart), and say, "Sir, may I pray at the meeting?" Who could refuse such a request? Dinner has been neglected that they might get a few minutes to the mid-day meeting, and there spontaneously pour out their hearts in prayer to God. The desire to pray seemed irrepressible. On one occasion, near the outskirts of the town, a friend was coming to the meeting, the evening being very wet, and close by the hedge thought he heard a voice; he stopped, and found three lads under an umbrella, crying to God in prayer for their conver­sion—thinking that no eye saw, nor ear heard, but that of Omniscience. Many have been the instances in which hours have been forgotten and the night far spent, while these youths, deeply in earnest about their souls, have, by the Spirit's mighty aid, wrestled with Jacob's God and prevailed. Their addresses and invitations to others to come to the Saviour, are exceed­ingly touching, and have been acknowledged of God not only in Hamilton, but in some ten or twelve neighbouring towns and villages; and I believe for the blessing received in this way, hundreds will praise God throughout eternity. I know that some friends are fastidious on this point. Let such be candid and judge by the fruits. We all know in times past, how reserved the conversation became, in certain circles, when Christ or his cause was introduced; and we could not help uttering the prayer, "These closed lips, O Lord, by Thee let them be opened." We have seen with our eyes the closed mouth opened, the tongue of the dumb loosed, in demonstra­tion of the Spirit's power, not less convincing than when the Saviour, in person, performed these miracles on earth. What God hath opened let no man shut. At the district meetings there is no want of help, but a cheerful readiness to engage in prayer by these young ones. I cannot name them all, but I see one here, and another there; and there is something so attractive in their countenance, so different from the appear­ance of the vicious—something that tells you that that lad attends the meeting. He is invited to engage in prayer; he complies, and you are not disappointed; and rising from your knees, involuntarily you utter the Patriarch's prayer, "May God bless the lads." On one occasion, an individual went, through mere curiosity, to visit a boy who had been stricken the day before, and putting the question, "Well, my lad, how old are you?" The boy started to his feet, and raising his hands and his eyes to heaven with the most intense earnest­ness, in prayer, he replied, "I am but a day old; O Lord, Thou knowest that I have lived twelve years a hell-deserving sinner. God be merciful to me, a sinner, and pardon all my sins, for Christ's sake, amen." The aged one bowed the head; the heart was touched by this unexpected answer, and retire­ment was immediately sought for reflection and prayer.— Wynd Journal

From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p45.

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