« AnteriorContinuar »
been answered in a special, and in some instances in a remarkable manner. Persons who have sent in requests have risen, afterwards, and said they wished, in that public manner, to acknowledge God's goodness in answering the prayers which had been offered ap in the chapel. One man said that all his children, four in number, had been converted, in answer to prayers of the meeting. Another said, “ Brethren, some little time ago, I asked you to pray for my son, that he might be converted. I received a letter from him yesterday, with the joyful news that he had given his heart to Christ." There have been many cases like this cases which have been so marked that no one could doubt that prayer had been heard and answered.
THE REVIVAL OF 1858.
BOUT the time the revival of 1858 com
menced, there was an increased spirit of prayer among the attendants at the Old
South Chapel. The faith of God's people seemed to be growing stronger every week. They carried the entire city to the throne of grace. Without regard to denominations, they wrestled with God, and seemed continually burdened with souls. The ministry was prayed for nearly or quite every morning. Soon a cloud no bigger than a man's hand was seen. For seven years, every morning, prayer had been sent up to the Most High for the salvation of souls, and now the blessing seemed to be at hand. The meetings began to fill up. Young converts began to rise and tell what God had done for their souls. Persons rose for prayers. Christians felt encouraged. They not only prayed, but they laboured. It was not long before the chapel was filled to overflowing, including the pulpit, gallery, both aisles, and all the passageways. The room below was opened, and both were filled to their utmost capacity. The meetings were intensely interesting. Sometimes the whole audience would be bathed in tears. The place seemed filled with the blessed influences of the Holy Ghost. The crowd was so great that it was found necessary to provide further accommodations. A committee was appointed to secure, if possible, other rooms where meetings for prayer might be held. In a few
days, the Central Church (Orthodox Congregational), the Bromfield Street (Methodist), the Rowe Street (Baptist), and afterwards the Trinity Church Chapel (Episcopal), were opened every morning. The rooms of the Christian Association were also opened at five o'clock and nine o'clock, P.M., the young men doing the most efficient service in gathering clerks and others into the place of prayer. A noon meeting was also commenced in North Street, under the direction of Father Mason. These last two have continued up to the present time, and, in connection with them, large numbers have been converted. The place in North Street wąs so much crowded, that the Seamen's Bethel (Father Taylor's) was also opened. Sinners flocked to these meetings as doves to their windows; and yet, notwithstanding the multiplication of places for prayer, the number at the Old South Chapel scarcely diminished. An inquiry meeting was held in the basement of the chapel, every morning, for some time, at the close of the regular meeting. Clergymen who chanced to be present were invited to meet with the inquirers, and about twenty or thirty were hopefully converted before they left the room.
THE BUSINESS MEN'S MEETING. On the 8th of March, a noon business men's prayer-meeting was commenced at the chapel. For a day or two previous, placards were posted about the streets notifying the public that such a meeting would be held at twelve o'clock, and would continue for one hour. The very first meeting was crowded, and it has been held on every secular day, without interruption, since that time, including all the public holidays. It was started by those who attended the morning meeting, and the committee which had charge of one had charge also of the other. Crowds flocked to the chapel, at that business hour, the busiest of the day. The merchant left 'change, the clerk his counting-room, and at high noon, prayers went up “ like an incense-cloud from hearts that never falter.” It was a spectacle such as Boston had never before seen. Some clerks, in their anxiety to attend the meeting, took their dinner hour, from twelve to one o'clock, and spent it in the chapel. For a long time the place was thronged with business men. Merchants from the country, who came to the city to purchase goods, sought the meeting. The Holy Spirit was there, and blessings rich and full descended upon the people. It seemed as though the year of jubilee had come. Men who had long lived in sin-young men, in the very morning of life, and old, grayheaded men, at the eleventh hour-rose to give in their testimony in favour of the power of God's grace. Those were melting scenes, and oftentimes the tears ran down the cheeks like rain. The large audience would be sometimes startled and electrified, as a young convert would rise and tell what God had done for his soul. The songs of praise from male voices were inspiring; and, as some one would strike up, in the right time, the words, “All hail the power of Jesus' name,” it seemed almost as though the songs of heaven had begun below. One of the clergymen of the city, who was present at one of these meetings, caught the heavenly flame, and said he felt like standing still, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good-will to men."
During the summer and autumn the meetings dwindled down to thirty or forty, but still there were enough to support it well. As the cold weather approached, and the religious interest throughout the city increased, the meeting again filled up, and continued deeply interesting through the winter.
We give below a condensed report (taken from the Congregationalist) of the anniversary of the meeting held March 8, 1859 :
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOSTON BUSINESS MEN'S
UNION PRAYER-MEETING. The Anniversary of the Business Men's Union Prayer-meeting of Boston was held in the Old South Chapel, on Tuesday afternoon last, at three o'clock. Most of our readers are aware that this meeting has been regularly held, every day, Sunday excepted, at twelve o'clock noon, for one year. It was established on the 8th of March 1858. Although Tuesday last was quite stormy, yet the chapel was well filled at an unusual hour.
Deacon Edwin Lamson occupied the chair. The meeting was commenced with singing the hymn,
“Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing." Deacon Boynton of Lynn offered the first prayer, after which all joined in singing the hymn,
“A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify." After reading a few verses of Scripture, Deacon Lamson gave a brief history of the organisation of the meeting. A committee was appointed by the morning meeting to select a room. It was thought