To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.
By inserting this account in your valuable work you will gratify the feelings of many of the lovers of Christ and souls, and may be instrumental in exciting others in sea-port towns to engage in the same good work, as well as greatly oblige yours
Liverpool, July 1810. Onesimus.
Our meeting in Byrom Street has been supplied the five last Lord's days by Mr. Palmer of Shrewsbury, and we trust the hand of the Lord has been with him and us for good. We have witnessed great attention to the word by the sailors and others when he preached on the Docks to thousands; but have been led to rejoice more abundantly on account ol the many poor Negro men and women who have during this period been brought to hear, and we trust, some of them, to receive the word of life.
Mr. P. having had pleasing conversation with one black man, wlio applied to hirn for instruction, felt so great a concern for others, that he gave notice from the Pulpit on the Thursday evening that he purposed preaching to the people of Colour in that place on the next Lord's day evening July 15. When the time came, the place was filled with a most attentive auditory, and amongst them many Blacks and Mulattos, some suppose near two hundred. The scriptures read were Isaiah liii, and part of Acts viii, the hymns chosen were appropriate, the season of prayer particularly solemn, the text Acts viii, 34, 35, And the Eunuch answered Philip, I pray thee of whom speaketk the prophet this, of himself or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus. The silence that pervaded an assemblage of near two thousand people was scarcely ever witnessed in Liverpool, many eyes sparkled with joy, and faces of all colours were plentifully bedewed with tears. Mr. P. pressed on his hearers the propriety of imitating the Eunuch in searching the scriptures, and observed, if there were any of the people of Colour who had not bibles, and were too poor to purchase them, there were many who felt sufficient love for their souls to induce them to give them bibles; and if there were any who could not read, and were desirous of instruction, there were those who would cheerfully teach them.
From that time people of Colour attended both prayer meetings and preaching every time the doors were open. On the 22nd, the^ next Lord's day evening, he addressed the people of Colour from the Revelation vii, 9. After this I beheld and lo a great multitude which no man could number of all nations, &c. The congregation was equally large, the people of
colour as numerous, attentive,and affected as before ; the word had free course; some kind friend unknown, had sent 6 bibles and a respectful note, which was read. Meeting being ended, many came to the vestry requesting bibles, and that they might be taught to read. On the morrow eveuing about 30 people of Colour attended prayer meeting; bibles were distributed, praise to God and thanks to men flowed from the hearts and lips of those who received them; several respectable gentlemen undertook the delightful task of teaching the black men to read, and several ladies as willingly engaged to teach the women.
On the following Lord's day evening brother P. took an affectionate leave of us, from Corinthians xv, 58, Therefore my beloved brethren be ye steadfast, &c. The people of colour were as numerous and attentive as ever, and the affection and expressions of some of them are not likely to be forgotten. On the Monday evening we had one of the fullest prayer meetings we ever remember, near 40 people of colour attended, about 50 bibles and 20 testaments were in all distributed. To crown all, and add to our joy, a black american brother, a sailor, came in as we were about to part, who poured out his soul before the Lord in prayer and praise, and then preached to us on the things of God in such a way as both surprized and delighted us. He, expected to sail on the morrow. Several appear to be under deep concern of soul, we hope it is of the Lord, and that the work may continue and increase.
P. S. No doubt some of your readers, who peruse the provincial papers, must have noticed the account of a Captain Lockaby, who escaped from the hands of the Cannibals, it will give them pleasure to hear that on Lord's day, July 29th, he, accompanied by his wife and another relation, attended Byrom street meeting, where public thanks were returned for his wonderful preservation, deliverance, and safe arrival in this country.
[From The Baptist Magazine, Volume 2, 1810, pp. 538-539. From Google Books. - Jim Duvall]
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