The Oberlin Evangelist
February 29, 1860
President Finney and His Labors.
After several week's labor in Scotland mostly in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, during the autumn, Mr. Finney returned to England and commenced his labors in Bolton, a manufacturing town about twenty-five miles from Liverpool. The movement in connection with his labors there has been very remarkable, as will appear from the following account taken from the Bolton Chronicle of Jan. 28.
THE REVIVAL.--The special services have been continued with undiminished vigour, and with increased interest on the part of the public, since our last publication. Never in the history of the several churches of our town has there been such a movement. The meetings are union meetings in the truest sense of the term, embracing with their influence not only members of all the dissenting churches in the town, but great numbers of persons who have up to the present time lived carelessly, and as if without a knowledge of their hereafter responsibilities. The Episcopalian clergy have not as yet responded to the invitation given them some times ago to take part in the services; we find, however, that no inconsiderable number of their hearers have attended, and expressed themselves benefited. It is indeed both good and pleasant thus to see members of the Church of England side-by-side with their Nonconformist friends, aiding in this great endeavor to repress the sin and crime which degrade and curse our vast community, and permeate with religious truth and influence all classes of our population. On Saturday, there was a meeting for prayer, in the Temperance Hall, the lower part of which was full. A large number of persons came forward as "inquirers," and received counsel and direction. Several requests for the prayers of the congregation, on behalf of unconverted relatives, were read, and many earnest supplications were offered to the Hearer of prayer. On Sunday, the Rev. C.G.Finney preached in the same place in the afternoon and evening. The Hall was densely crowded on each occasion, and hundreds were obliged to depart from the doors unable to get within the building. The discourses were on the Law of God, in its nature, precepts, obligations, and sanctions. More profound and masterly expositions of the moral government of God--more moving representations of the sinner's danger and doom, it is impossible to conceive. The effect of the evening discourse especially was overwhelming, and a vast number of persons remained behind, after the congregation had been dismissed--to bend before God, confess their sins, beseech His mercy, and avow their resolve to live holier and better lives. On Monday evening a meeting was held in Bridge-street Chapel, which was addressed by the Rev. Tornly Smith and the Rev. C.G.Finney. The attendance was not so large as usual, owing, doubtless, to the heavy rain which fell at the time of service. The spirit which pervaded the assembly was, however, of the most fervent character, and great numbers pressed forward to the communion rails, that they might there seek and find the pardon of sin, and spiritual blessings. On the other evenings of the week the meetings have been held in the Temperance Hall, Professor Finney discoursing on "The One Mediator" on Tuesday evening; on "The Divine Mercy" on Wednesday evening; on "Moral Depravity" on Thursday evening; and on "Christ lifted up" on Friday evening. Mrs. Finney's meetings for ladies have been held daily in the Temperance Hall, at three o'clock; and in St. George's-road New Connexion School, at six o'clock, with increasing numbers and interest. Upwards of 300 ladies were present on Thursday afternoon, and most pleasing results have followed her exertions. Last evening, before the commencement of the service, a meeting of gentlemen interested in the revival work has held in an ante-room of the Hall, for the purpose of conferring together upon future movements. There was a good attendance of ministers and influential laymen, and an exceedingly interesting statement of the extraordinary movement going on in the town was given by the Rev. W. H. Davison, who announced that some hundreds of persons had expressed themselves changed in heart, and that the blessed result was owing mainly to the influence of the present series of services. A general feeling of thankfulness to God pervaded the meeting, and it was unanimously resolved that the Rev. Mr. Finney be requested to continue his labors amongst us for at least another month, so that the influence at present existing may be continued and increased. Encouraging statements were made as to the spirit which exists in various portions of the town, more especially the neighbourhood of Fletcher-street, where a large proportion of the "inquirers" reside; and arrangements were proposed for holding services in that as well as in other neighbourhoods. The Rev. C.G. Finney was not present at the meeting, but his services were alluded to in the most grateful terms by most of the gentlemen, who also acknowledge the great results which had attended the labors of Mrs. Finney. To speak with certainty of the actual consequences of this revival just now, is manifestly out of the question. We may, however, state that it is generally supposed by those who have had charge of the meetings, that not less than 1000 persons have professed anxiety respecting their eternal interests; and have been conversed with by various ministers and laymen. These have been of all classes of the community; rich as well as poor; old men and young; characters the most abandoned and those esteemed most moral; and, in the words of a gentlemen who has taken a high and earnest course in behalf of the movement, and whose opinion is from many circumstances well entitled to consideration,-- "Drunkards have been reclaimed, and some unchaste persons have been turned from their evil ways; restitution has been made in unnumbered instances of that which had been wrongfully taken; and hundreds have now a blessed hope of immortality whose eternal prospects were a few weeks ago dark and doleful in the extreme." We trust the good effected may be rendered permanent, and that this work may extend itself until the moral aspect of our town is completely changed, and religion acquires its legitimate influence over the whole people.
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