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PRAYER-MEETING INCIDENTS AND NARRATIVES,
Incidents among Quarrymen, Ireland-Among Quarrymen, Wales-Re
markable Prayer-meetings on a Mountain_Incidents illustrating the Importance of Concerted Prayer_“Work among the Wynds”-How Revival came to the Wynds of Glasgow-Reflections upon the Principles exhibited and illustrated by these extracts.
Prayer-meetings among Quarrymen. Reported by Rev. Killen, of Comber, Ireland. ABOUT two miles from this, near the outskirts of the
parish, there is a quarry, which was formerly notorious for the wickedness of those who wrought in it. It was, in fact, an emporium for all sorts of vice; but when our revival commenced in Comber, it was such a strange and unheard of thing amongst those quarrymen, that they resolved, through curiosity, to come and see how it was that people were so mysteriously knocked down. They, accordingly, attended the nightly prayer-meetings in our congregation. Gradually a change crept over them. Drinking was diminished, swearing was given up, seriousness and anxiety prevailed. I was requested, as I could not go in the evening, to go and preach to them during the working hours in the middle of the day. I did so. Immediately, on my appearance, all work was suspended; and, at the very busiest time, master and men attended for upwards of two hours. Whilst under the open sky, in a sort of large amphitheatre, formed by the excavation of the quarry, and surrounded by the mountain's rocky walls, I proclaimed to them the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Much good, I understand, was that day effected. Prayermeetings amongst the men were immediately established. The occupier of the quarry, and head of the whole establishment, soon announced to his men that he himself was entirely changed, and declared that he had resolved to live henceforth only to Christ.”
Among the Quarrymen of Wales. Reported by Rev. D. Edwards.—“Five Years of Prayer,” p. 326.
“About three weeks ago (2d Nov., 1859), a few young men from Bettros-y-coed came to work in the Festinaig slate quarries. They were in deep concern about the state of their souls. They came on Monday morning, and their deep distress was observed by several of the quarrymen. They followed their work in this state, occasionally Weeping on account of their lost condition as guilty sinners before God. After dinner, the following day, they were observed by some working people making their way to the top of the hill. Immediately they were followed by all the workmen in that quarry, being about five hundred in number. They halted on the summit of the mountain, and on that spot, under the broad canopy of heaven, they held a prayer-meeting. While they prayed, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them most abundantly. Nearly all present wept and sobbed aloud. On the same evening they met at their respective places of worship to hold a prayer-meeting. On the following day they met again on the mountain, leaving their work unheeded, for by this time the people were in a state of great religious excitement. They met every night during the week at their several places of Worship, to offer up prayer to Almighty God. The rocks seemed to re-echo the voice of prayer and praise. On the following Saturday, those who lived at a distance went to their homes, carrying with them the
newly-kindled revival fire, and on the morrow the surrounding churches and chapels were in a blaze. Our people met at Maentwrog to hold a Saturday evening prayer-meeting. I attended it, and witnessing the effects already produced upon those who were present, it was announced that another prayer-meeting would be held next morning, at eight o'clock. Such a prayer-meeting I never, never attended. The most ungodly persons present were overwhelmed. We prayed and wept, and wept and prayed, until nature was exhausted. Instead of the Sabbath school, as usual, in the afternoon, we met to pray again; but in the interval, at noon, all the congregations, church and chapel, met on the brow of a hill above the village, to pray. It was a glorious meeting while it lasted, which was about one hour and a half, when the rain came down in torrents and dispersed us."
A Welsh paper has the following account of a very remarkable prayer-meeting on a mountain:
"A prayer-meeting was held on the 12th of July, 1859, on a mountain called Frongoch, near the mine-works of Frongoch, about two miles from Ysbytly Ystwyth, in the County of Cardigan. It was held in the open air, on a high mountain. The masters of the mine-works gave orders that, on account of the meeting, no work should be done on that day, and they themselves attended. It was the most wonderful prayer-meeting that I ever witnessed. There were some of every denomination present, and two languages were used. The number of those assembled was more than three thousand. At the meeting at two o'clock, nine prayed, and short addresses were given at intervals. Three prayed in succession, two Welshmen and one Englishman between them, and then a verse of a hymn was sung. The vast assembly all knelt at prayer, and I saw two or three on their knees who, I feel assured, had never been seen before on their knees in prayer; but they knelt down on that day. Heaven poured down its blessings in a powerful and irresistible manner, so that scores were praying, and hundreds were weeping and crying out, • Praised be God.' At two o'clock, thirteen prayed, and short addresses were delivered between the prayers; the whole was finished in two hours, and all returned home. At seven, all went to their separate chapels in the neighborhood, and the holy fire was carried home in their bosoms by many."
INCIDENTS ILLUSTRATING THE IMPORTANCE OF CON
It is not so much our design here to collect and spread out, over a few pages, incidents simply; but to condense, in historic form, the argument enforcing the great importance of concerted prayer, as a Christian duty, and as an important part of the great and important subject-social prayer. We have already noticed the principle, but briefly. Nor can we here find space for voluminous collections of incidents, which might be gathered from scores of treatises on prayer, on revivals, and on kindred subjects. The numerous histories of the Fulton Street, New York, daily noon-day prayer-meeting, of the Sansom Street, Philadelphia, prayer-meeting, and many others of kindred character, furnish the history of a series of daily prayers for specific objects, read out in the meetings, with statement of cases, names, places, persons, and characters, called for and agreed upon as the subject matter of the united prayers of the assembled hundreds in attendance for that very specific purpose. And so for years, while those meetings lasted, and retained their power, day after day, prayer after prayer, each day concentrated upon an object stated and agreed upon. This was the rule. Any other kind of prayer, promiscuous and undetermined, its object unknown to all, was the exception. The known and united object of the prayers being the rule, here lay the secret of the wonderful power of those meetings, which sent out over the world, on the seas and on every continent, their electric shock, starting into life revivals of religion everywhere. No form of prayer so powerful, as a heaven-ordained instrumentality, in accomplishing Divine purposes--no power can compensate for the loss of this, as an instru. mentality, in the revival of religion.
Christ states the principle in that precious promise recorded in Matt. xviii. 19: “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Here we have the social prayer-meeting two or three met together for prayer. Here we have concerted prayer-agreement as touching anything they shall ask. Here we have warrant for a special object of social prayer. Here, too, we have a warrant for the previous covenant, or agreement, in regard to the special object of the united prayer. Concerted prayer is the subject of the text, and of the Saviour's promise. Concerted prayer has here a divine warrant, as an ordinance of religious worship, forming an important part of the exercises of the prayer-meeting. Our object here is a historical illustration of this ordinance, an enforcement of the duty of its observance, as also the advantages of this high privilege.
In a very interesting book, bearing the title, “WORK AMONG THE WYNDS," by Rev. Maccoll, Glasgow, Scotland, 1867, p. 102, we have an interesting statement of this subject in a sermon, by the author, preached to the poor people of the Wynds of Glasgow, among whom he labored as a missionary. He says: “But the prayers that, in these words, I desire of you,