The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
Revival Labors at Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Scotland, and in Bolton, England
While I was at this time in London, I was invited very urgently to visit Edinburgh in Scotland; and about the middle of August we left London and took passage by steam up the coast, through the German ocean, to Edinburgh. I had been urged to go there by the Rev. Dr. Kirk of Edinburgh, who belonged to that portion of the church in Scotland called the Evangelical Union Church. Their leading theologian was a Mr. Morrison, who presided over a theological school at Glasgow. I found Brother Kirk an earnest man, and a great lover of revival work. This Evangelical Union, or E. U. church, as they call it, had grown out of a revival effort made in Scotland at the time of the first publication of my revival lectures in that country. A considerable number of Scotch ministers, and a much larger number of lay men, had been greatly stirred up, and had made many successful revival efforts, but had expended their strength very much in controversy upon the hyper-Calvinistic views maintained by the Scotch Presbyterians. We remained three months in Edinburgh, preaching mostly in Brother Kirk's church, which was one of the largest places of worship in Edinburgh. We had a very interesting revival in that place, and many souls were converted. Church members were greatly blessed, and Brother Kirk's hands were full day and night of labors among inquirers. But I soon found that he was surrounded by a wall of prejudice. The Presbyterian churches were strongly opposed to this E. U. branch of the church, and I found myself hedged in as it respected openings for labor freely in other churches.
I soon became convinced that in that state of things there was little hope of seeing a wide-spread revival throughout the city. I had no doubt then, nor have I now, that thousands would have been converted had it not been for that prejudice against Brother Kirk and his views. He was at that time, and still is, one of the professors in the theological school at Glasgow. Brother Kirk's congregation proper was not large at the time that I went there, but it soon increased, so that his large house was filled. The Word of God took a powerful hold. I never made any inquiry as to the number of converts, so far as they were ascertained. But I have said before, and here say again, that in a large city there is perhaps no such thing as ascertaining the number of converts. Brother Kirk was at that time not only pastor and theological professor, but also editor of "The Christian News," which was published at Glasgow. In that paper from time to time he represented my theological views, which he heard me preach from day to day, as identical with the views of their theological seminary and of their church. But on some points I found that I very considerably differed from them.
Their views of faith as a mere intellectual state I could not receive. They explained away, in a manner to me utterly unintelligible, the doctrine of election, and on sundry points I found I did not agree with them. However, Brother Kirk insisted that he accepted my views entire as he heard me preach, and that they were the views of the E. U. church. Thus insisting upon it that my views were identical with theirs, without intending it he shut the doors of the other pulpits against me, and doubtless kept multitudes of persons who otherwise would have come and heard me, from our meetings. I had not then, and I have not now any doubt that had he said nothing in his paper respecting my views according with their views, other pulpits would have been thrown open, and very different results would have followed. The prejudice was so universal and strong against their views of doctrine, that to know, as they supposed they did, that I agreed with them, was enough to close up all the avenues to the hearts of the congregations of all the Presbyterian churches.
Mrs. Finney's labors in this place were greatly blessed. Mrs. Kirk, the wife of the pastor, was a very earnest Christian lady; and she took hold with my wife with all her might. They established a ladies' prayer meeting at Bristo Place, which is continued to this day; reports of which have been made from year to year in the Christian News; and Mrs. Kirk published a small volume, giving an account of the establishment and progress of that meeting. The answers to prayer that were vouchsafed there were wonderful. Requests have been sent from various pans of Scotland to them, for them to pray for various places, and persons, and objects. The history of that meeting has been one of uncommon encouragement.
From that sprang up similar meetings in various parts of Scotland, and these have put the ladies of Scotland very much in a new position in regard to personal efforts in revivals of religion. They have been very much organized since then, and have been a great power for good in direct efforts to convert souls. Accounts of the progress of that meeting and its results, have been sent me, I believe from year to year since we returned from that country. The establishment of that meeting introduced a new era, it would seem, in respect to the religious efforts made in Scotland, and especially in respect to the efforts on the part of females.
After remaining in Edinburgh three months, and seeing there a blessed work of grace, we accepted an invitation to go to Aberdeen; and in November we found ourselves in that city, which is near the northern extremity of Scotland. We were invited there by a Mr. Ferguson, also a minister of the E. U. church, and an intimate friend of Brother Kirk. He had been very much irritated, and was at the time we arrived there, with the opposition that he met from the Presbyterian and Congregational churches. His congregation was still more closely hedged in by prejudice than Brother Kirk's. He was an earnest Christian man, but had been chafed exceedingly by the opposition which had enclosed him like a wall. At first I could not get a hearing except with his own people, and I became a good deal discouraged, and so did Brother Ferguson himself. At the time of this discouragement Brother Davison, a Congregational minister of Bolton in Lancashire, England, wrote me a very pressing letter to come and labor with him. The state of things was so discouraging at Aberdeen that I gave him encouragement that I would go. But in the meantime the interest greatly increased in Aberdeen, and other ministers and churches began to feel the influence of what was going on there. The Congregational minister invited me to preach in his church for a Sabbath, which I did. A Mr. Brown in one of the Presbyterian churches also invited me to preach, but at the time my hands were too full to accept his invitation, though I intended to preach for him at another time. Before this, I should have said, that the work in Mr. Ferguson's congregation had begun, and was getting into a very interesting state. Numbers had been converted, and a very interesting change was manifestly coming over his congregation and over that city. But in the meantime I had so committed myself to go to Bolton that I found I must go, and we left Aberdeen just before the Christmas holidays and went to Bolton.
While I was with Brother Ferguson at Aberdeen, I was urged by his son, who was settled over one of the E. U. churches in Glasgow, to labor with him for a season. This had been urged upon me before I left Edinburgh. But I was unwilling to continue my labors longer with that denomination. Not that they were not good men, and earnest workers for God, but their controversies had brought them into such relations to the surrounding churches as to shut me out from all sympathy and cooperation except with those of their peculiar views. I had been used in this country to labor freely with Presbyterians and Congregationalists, and I desired greatly to get a hearing among the Presbyterians and Congregationalists of Scotland. But in laboring with E. U. churches I found myself in a false position. What had been said in the Christian News, and the fact that I was laboring in that denomination, led to the inference that I agreed with them in their peculiar views, while in fact I did not. I thought it not my duty to continue any longer in this false position. I declined, therefore, to go to Glasgow. Although I regarded the brother who invited me as one of the best of men, and his church as a godly, praying people; yet there were other godly, praying people in Glasgow, and a great many more of them than could be found in the E. U. church. I felt uneasy as being in a position to misrepresent myself. Although I had the strongest affection for those brethren of that denomination, so far as I became acquainted with them; yet I felt that in confining my labors to that denomination I was greatly restricting my own usefulness. We therefore left Aberdeen and journeyed by rail to Bolton, where we arrived on Christmas Eve, of 1859.
Bolton is a city of about thirty thousand inhabitants, lying a few miles from Manchester. It is in the heart of the great manufacturing district of England. It lies within the circle of that immense population, that spreads itself out from Manchester, as a center in every direction. It is estimated that at least three millions of people live within a compass of sixty miles around about Manchester. In this place the work of the Lord commenced immediately.
We were received as guests by Brother James Barlow. He belonged to the Methodist denomination, but was a man of sterling piety, and very unsectarian in his views and feelings. The next evening after we arrived he invited in a few friends for religious conversation and prayer; and among others a friend of his with his wife; and his wife, he informed me, had been for some time in an inquiring state of mind. After we had had a little conversation we concluded to have a season of prayer. My wife knelt near this lady of whom I have spoken, and during prayer she observed that she was much affected. As we rose from our knees Mrs. Finney took her by the hand, and then beckoned to me across the room to come and speak with her. The lady had been brought up, as I afterwards learned, a Quakeress, but had married a Methodist man. She had been for a long time uneasy about the state of her soul, but had never been brought face to face with the question of present, instantaneous submission. I responded to the call of my wife, and went across the room and spoke with her. I saw in a moment that her distress of mind was profound. I therefore asked her if she would not let me see her alone for a short time. She readily complied, and we crossed the hall into another room, and then I brought her face to face, at once, to the question of instant submission and acceptance of Christ. I asked her if she would then and there renounce all iniquity, and renounce herself, and everything else, and give her heart to Christ. She replied, "I must do it sometime, and I may as well do it now as ever." We knelt immediately down; and so far as human knowledge can go, I judged then, and judge now, that she did truly submit to God. After she had submitted we returned to the parlor, and the scene between herself and her husband was very affecting. He was an earnest Christian man, but had somehow failed in giving his wife just the instruction that she needed. As soon as he saw her come into the room he saw such a change manifested in her countenance, that they seemed spontaneously to clasp each other in their arms and melt down before the Lord.
We had hardly got seated before the son of Mr. Barlow came into the parlor, announcing that one of the servants was deeply moved. In a very short time that one also gave evidence of submission to Christ. Then I learned that another was weeping in the kitchen and went immediately to her, and after a little conversation and instruction, she too appeared to give her heart to God. Thus the work had begun. Mrs. Barlow herself had been in a very doubting and discouraged state of mind for years, and she, too, appeared to melt down, and get into a different state of mind almost immediately. The report of what the Lord was doing was soon spread abroad, and people came in daily, and almost hourly, for conversation. The first week of January had been appointed to be observed as a week of prayer, as it has been since from year to year, and the different denominations agreed to hold Union meetings during that week.
Our first meeting was in the chapel occupied by Brother Davison, who had sent for me to come to Bolton. He was an Independent, what we in this country call a Congregationalist. His chapel was filled the first night. The meeting was opened by a Methodist minister, who prayed with great fervency, and with a liberty that plainly indicated to me that the Spirit of God was upon the congregation, and that we should have a powerful meeting. I was invited to follow him with some remarks. I did so, and occupied a little space in speaking upon the subject of prayer. I tried to impress upon them as a fact that prayer would be immediately answered if they took the stumbling blocks out of the way, and offered the prayer of faith. The Word seemed to thrill through the hearts of Christians. Indeed I have seldom addressed congregations upon any subject that seemed to produce a more powerful and salutary effect, than upon the subject of prayer. I find it so everywhere. Praying people are immediately stirred up by it to lay hold of God for a blessing. They were in this place. That was a powerful meeting.
Through the whole of that week of prayer, the Spirit of prayer seemed to be increasing, and our meetings had greater and greater power. About the third or fourth day of our meetings, I should think, it fell to the turn of a Brother Best, also a Congregational minister at Bolton, to have the meeting in his chapel. There, for the first time, I called for inquirers. After addressing the congregation for some time in a strain calculated to lead to that point, I called for inquirers, and his vestry was thronged with them. We had a powerful meeting with them, and many of them, I trust, submitted to God. There was a Temperance hall in the city, which would accommodate more people than any of the chapels. After this week of prayer the brethren secured the hall for preaching, and I began to preach there twice on the Sabbath and four evenings in the week. Soon the interest became very general. The hall would be crowded every night to its utmost capacity, so that no person could get so much as within the door. The Spirit of God was poured out copiously.
I then recommended to the brethren to canvass the whole city. To go two and two, and visit every house, and if permitted, to pray in every house in the city. They immediately and courageously rallied to perform this work. They got great numbers of bills, and tracts, and posters, and all sorts of invitations printed, and began the work of canvassing. The Congregationalists and Methodists took hold of the work with great earnestness.
The Methodists are very strong in Bolton, and always have been since the day of Wesley. It was one of Wesley's favorite fields of labor, and they have always had there a powerful ministry and powerful churches. Their influence was far in the ascendancy there over all other religious denominations. I found among them both ministers and lay men who were most excellent and earnest laborers for Christ. But the Congregationalists too entered into the work with great spirit and energy, and while I remained there at least, all sectarianism seemed to be buried. They gave the town a thorough canvassing, and the canvassers met once or twice a week to make their reports and to consider farther arrangements for pushing the work. It was very common to see a Methodist and a Congregationalist hand in hand, and heart in heart, going from house to house with tracts, and praying wherever they were permitted in every house, and warning them to flee from the wrath to come, and urging them to come to Christ. Of course in such a state of things as this the work would spread rapidly among the unconverted. All classes of persons, high and low, rich and poor, male and female, became interested.
I was in the habit every evening I preached, of calling upon inquirers to come forward and take seats in front of the stand where I stood to preach. Great numbers would come forward, and crowd as best they could through the dense masses that stood in every nook and corner of the house. The hall was not only large on its ground floor, but had a gallery, which was always thronged to its utmost capacity. After the inquirers had come forward we always engaged in a prayer meeting, having several prayers in succession while the inquirers knelt before the Lord. The Methodist brethren were very much engaged, and for some time were quite noisy and demonstrative in that direction in their prayers when sinners came forward. For some time I said nothing about this, lest I should throw them off and lead them to grieve the Spirit. I saw that their impression was, that the greater the excitement the more rapidly would the work go forward. They therefore would pound the benches, pray exceedingly loud, and sometimes more than one at a time. I was aware that this distracted the inquirers, and prevented their becoming truly converted; and although the number of inquirers was great and constantly increasing, yet conversions did not multiply as fast as I had been in the habit of seeing them, even where the number of inquirers was much less.
After letting things pass on so for two or three weeks until the Methodist brethren had become acquainted with me, and I with them, after calling the inquirers forward one evening I suggested that we should take a different course. I told them that I thought the inquirers needed more opportunity to think than they had when there was so much noise. That they needed instruction, and needed to be led by one voice in prayer at a time; and that there should not be any confusion, or anything bordering on it, if we expected them to listen and become intelligently converted. I asked them if they would not try for a short time to follow my advice in that respect, and see what the result would be. They did so; and at first I could see that they were a little in bondage when they attempted to pray, and a little discouraged because it so crossed their ideas of what constituted powerful meetings. However, they soon seemed to recover from this, because I think they were convinced that although there was less apparent excitement in our prayer meetings, yet there were many more converted from evening to evening.
The fame of this work spread abroad, and soon they began to come in large numbers from Manchester to Bolton to attend our meetings; and this, as was always the case, created a considerable excitement in that city, and a desire to have me come thither as soon as I could.
However, I remained in Bolton I think about three months, perhaps more. The work became so powerful that it broke in upon all classes, and every description of persons. It extended to the factories, or cotton mills, as they were called. Brother Barlow had an extensive mill in Bolton, and employed a great many hands, male and female. I called with him down to his mill once or twice, and held meetings with his operatives. The first time we went we had a powerful meeting. I remained with them till I was much fatigued, and then returned home, leaving Brother Barlow still to pray with and instruct them. When he came home he reported that not less than sixty appeared clearly to be converted that evening among his own hands. Thus meetings were continued till nearly all his hands expressed hope in Christ.
There were a great many very striking cases of conviction and conversion at the time. Although I kept cool myself, and endeavored to keep the people in an attitude in which they would listen to instruction, and would act understandingly in everything they did; still in some instances persons for a few days were too much excited for the healthy action of their minds, though I do not recollect any case of real insanity. One night as I was standing on the platform and preaching, a man in the congregation rose up and crowded his way up on the platform and said to the congregation, "I have committed a robbery." He began to make a confession, interrupting me as I was preaching. I saw that he was overexcited, and Brother Davison who sat on the platform stepped up and whispered to him, and took him down into a side room and conversed with him. He found that he had committed a crime for which he was liable to be transported. He gave him advice, and I heard no more of it that evening. Afterwards the facts came out more fully to my knowledge. But in a few days the man obtained a hope.
One evening I preached on confession and restitution, and it created a most tremendous movement among business men. One man told me the next day that he had been and made restitution I think of fifteen hundred pounds, in a case where he thought he had not acted upon the principle of loving his neighbor as himself. The consciences of men under such circumstances are exceedingly tender. The gentleman to whom I have just referred, told me that a dear friend of his had died and left him to settle his estate. He had done so, and simply received what the law gave him for his labor and expense. But he said that on hearing that sermon, it occurred to him that as a friend and a Christian brother, he could better afford to settle that estate without charging them anything, than they could afford to allow him the legal fees. The Spirit of God that was upon him led him to feel it so keenly that he immediately went and refunded the money.
There was a case in Rochester, in New York, that I have forgotten to mention, but that may just as well be mentioned in this place, of the same kind. An extremely tender conscience led a man to see and feel keenly on the subject of acting on the principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves, and doing to others as we would that they should do to us. A man of considerable property was converted in one of the revivals in Rochester in which I labored, who had been transacting some business for a widow lady in a village not far distant from Rochester. The business consisted in the transfer of some real estate for which he had been paid for his services some fifteen or sixteen hundred dollars. As soon as he was converted he thought of this case, and upon reflection he thought he had not done by that widow lady and those fatherless children, as he would wish another to do by his widow and fatherless children should he die. He therefore went over to see her, and stated to her the present view of the subject as it lay before his own mind. She replied that she did not see it in that light at all. That she had considered herself very much obliged to him indeed, that he had transacted her business in such a way as to make for her all she could ask or expect. She declined therefore to receive the money which he offered to refund. After thinking of it a little he told her that he was dissatisfied, and wished that she would call in some of her most trustworthy neighbors, and they would state the question to them. She did so, called in some Christian friends, gentlemen of business, and they laid the whole matter before them. They said that the affair was a business transaction, and it was evident that he had transacted the business to the acceptance of the family and to their advantage, and they saw no reason why he should refund the money. He heard what they had to say; but before he left the town he called on the lady again and said, "My mind is not at ease. If I should die and leave my wife a widow and children fatherless, and a friend of mine should transact such a piece of business for them, I should feel as if he might do it gratuitously, inasmuch as it was for a widow and fatherless children." Said he, "I cannot take any other view of it than this." Whereupon he laid the money upon her table, and bad[e] her goodbye.
Another case occurs to me now, which illustrates the manner in which the Spirit of God will work in the minds of men when their heart is open to His influence. In preaching in one of the large cities on a certain occasion, I was dwelling upon the dishonesties of business, and the overreaching policies of men, and how they justified themselves in violations of the golden rule. If I recollect right I was preaching on the golden rule--but I am not certain; at any rate I made that rule very prominent in what I was saying. Before I was through with my discourse, a gentleman arose in the middle of the house and asked me if he might ask a question. He then supposed a case, and after he had stated it, asked me if that case would come under the rule that I had propounded. I said, "Yes, I think that it clearly would." He sat down and said no more, but I afterwards learned that he went away and made restitution to the amount of thirty thousand dollars.
I could relate great numbers of instances in which persons have been led to act in the same manner, under the powerfully searching influences of the Spirit of God. But to return from this digression, to Bolton. The work went on there and spread until one of the ministers who had been engaged in engineering the movement of canvassing the town, said publicly in my presence, that they found that the revival had reached every family in the city; and that every family had been visited, I think he said more than once. Indeed they kept up the visitation whilst I remained there, and thoroughly canvassed the city.
If we had had any place of worship that could have held the inhabitants of the city, we should probably have had ten thousand persons there from evening to evening. All we could do was to fill the hall as full as it could crowd, and then use such other means as we could to reach the multitudes in other places of worship.
I recollect a striking case of conversion among the great mill-owners there. I had been told of one of them that was a very miserly man. He had a great thirst for riches, and had been spoken of as being a very hopeless case. The revival had reached a large number of that class of men, but this man had seemed to stand out, and his worldly-mindedness and his miserly spirit had seemed to eat him up. But contrary to my expectations, and to the expectations of others, he in his turn called on me. I invited him to my room, and had a very serious conversation with him. He acknowledged to me that he had been a great miser, and that he had once said to God that if He would give him another hundred thousand pounds he would be willing to be eternally damned. He said that so great was his love of money that he willingly consented to be damned if God would give him another hundred thousand pounds. I was very much shocked at this, but could see clearly that he was terribly convicted of the sinfulness of that state of mind.
I then repeated to him a part of the sixth chapter of Matthew, where Christ warns men against laying up treasures on earth, and recommends them to lay up treasures in heaven. I finally came to that verse, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." He leaned toward me, and appeared to be as much interested as if it were all new to him. When I repeated to him this verse he said to me with the utmost earnestness, "Do you believe that?" I said, "Be sure I believe it. It is the Word of God." "Well then," said he, "I'll go it," and sprang upon his feet in the utmost excitement. "If that is true," said he. "I will give up all to Christ at once." We knelt immediately down, and I presented his case to God in prayer, and he seemed to break all down like a child. From that time he appeared to be a very altered man. His miserly feelings all seemed to melt away. He took hold of that work like a man in earnest, and went and hired at his own cost a city missionary, and set him to work to win souls to Christ.
At this place also Mrs. Finney's meetings were very largely attended. She held them, as she always did her meetings, in the daytime, and sometimes I was informed that at her meeting of ladies, Temperance Hall would be nearly full. The Christian ladies of different denominations took hold with her and encouraged her, and great good, I trust, was done through the instrumentality of those ladies' meetings.
My wife and myself were both of us a good deal exhausted by these labors. But in April we went to Manchester. In Manchester the Congregational interest, as I was informed, rather predominates over that of other denominations. As is well-known, the manufacturing districts have a stronger democratic element than other parts of England. Congregationalism, therefore, is more popular in Manchester than in any other city that I visited. I had not been long there, however, before I saw that there was a great lack of mutual confidence among the brethren there. I could see that there was a jar among the leaders in that movement, and frequently to my grief I heard expressions that indicated a want of real heart-union in the work. This I was soon convinced was a great difficulty to be overcome, and that if it could not be overcome, the work could never be as general there as it had been in Bolton. There soon was manifest a dissatisfaction with some of the men who had been selected to engineer the work--to get out the bills, do the necessary printing, and provide for carrying on the general movement. This grieved the Spirit and crippled the work. And although from the very first the Spirit of God attended the Word, yet the work never so thoroughly overcame the sectarian feeling and disagreements of the brethren generally, that it could spread over the city in the way it had done at Bolton. When I went to that city I expected that the Methodist and Congregational brethren would work harmoniously together, as they had at Bolton, but in this I found myself mistaken. Not only was there a want of cordiality and sympathy between the Methodists and Congregationalists, but also a great lack of confidence and sympathy amongst the Congregationalists themselves. However, our meetings were very interesting, and great numbers of inquirers were found on every side; and whenever a meeting was appointed for inquirers, large numbers would attend. Still what I longed to see was a general overflowing of the Spirit's influences in Manchester, as we had witnessed it in Bolton.
After laboring in Manchester proper for several weeks, we made a stand at Salford--which is, indeed, a part of Manchester. I spent most of my time after that in Salford and Pendleton. But for some reason there seemed to be a lack of earnestness and cordiality in the minister at Salford. He did not seem to know how to get into the work. One evening I recollect that I preached from this text: "If ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, I will curse your blessings." l had seen, as I thought, on the part of the minister, a want of confidence in the reality and extent of the work that was going on. He seemed to be partially blind in regard to the Spirit's work. But he was very deeply convicted of sin, of having failed to give glory to God for what He had done. After service, on retiring to the vestry for my overcoat he was greatly moved, and exclaimed, "O how you have made me feel!" I trust he was a good man, but somehow or other he did not get so into the work as to have the Spirit of discernment, so as to perceive clearly what the Lord was doing. As an illustration, the last time that I preached I appointed in his vestry, by his consent, a meeting for young converts the next evening, and told them that I wished them to see and converse with the pastor. I learned afterwards that this meeting he totally forgot. That converts assembled in large numbers around the door of the vestry, and waited, and waited, and he finally never came. Not long after that he was dismissed from his charge, for what reason I am not apprised.
The difficulty was, there was not a good spirit manifested at that time by the leading men in that movement. I did not learn the cause--perhaps it was something in me. But although I am sure that large numbers of persons were converted, for I saw and conversed with a great number myself that were powerfully convicted, and to all appearance converted; yet the barriers did not break down so as to give the Word of the Lord, and the Spirit of the Lord, free course among the people. When we came away a meeting was called for those who had been particularly blessed during those meetings, and the number in attendance was, I believe, very much larger than was expected by the ministers themselves. I am confident that they were surprised at the numbers present, and at the spirit of that meeting. Indeed I do not think that any of the ministers there were aware of the extent of that work, for they did not generally attend our meetings. They did not follow them from place to place, and were seldom seen in our meetings of inquiry.
We continued in Manchester till about the first of August, and the revival continued to increase and spread up to that time. But the strength of both myself and my wife had become exhausted so much that some of the leading brethren proposed to us to suspend our labors, and go down into Wales and spend a few weeks and rest, and then return to Manchester and resume our labors. What they proposed was, to secure a large hall in which to hold our meetings, and thus to go on with our meetings in an independent way. They thought, and I thought myself, that we should secure a greater amount of good in that way than by laboring with any particular congregation. Indeed, I found it to be true in England wherever I tried it, that the best way to promote revivals of religion was to hold independent meetings; that is, meetings in large halls, where they can be obtained, to which all denominations may come. Denominational lines are much more strongly marked in that country than they are in this. It is very difficult to get the Church of England people to attend a dissenting place of worship. The Methodists will not generally and freely attend worship with other denominations. Indeed, the same is true of all denominations in England, and in Scotland. Sectarian lines are much more distinctly drawn, and the membership of the different churches keep more closely within the lines of their own denomination, than in this country. The fact is, that society in England is dove-tailed together. And I am persuaded that the true way to labor for souls there is to have no particular connection with any distinct denomination; but to preach the true Gospel, and make a stand in halls, or even in streets when the weather is favorable, where no denominational feelings and peculiarities can straiten the influences of the Spirit of God.
On the second of August we left Manchester and went down to Liverpool. A goodly number of our friends went down with us, and remained overnight. On the morning of the third we left in the Persia for New York. We found that large numbers of our friends had assembled from different parts of England, to bid us goodbye. We took an affectionate and an affecting leave of them, and the glorious old steamer rushed out to sea and we were on our way home.
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