Sunday, September 06, 2015

“The Great Awakening” of 1875 in St. Johnsbury: Part Four

By Ken B.
© 2015 Anonymous. All rights reserved

St. Johnsbury Caledonian, St. Johnsbury, Vt., Friday, Mar. 5, 1875

Left-hand column (column one) 

Religious Meetings.

Free Baptist Church . . . Rev. O. Roys, pastor.

Methodist Church . . . Rev. D. E. Miller, Pastor.

North Cong’l Church . . . Rev. Chas. M. Southgate, Pastor.

South Cong’l Church . . . Rev. E. T. Fairbanks, Pastor.

Church of the Messian, Universalist . . . Rev. B. M. Tillotson, Pastor.

Baptist Church . . . Rev. J. H. Marsh, Pastor.

. . .

Local and State News.

 Union meeting at the South Church tonight, Thursday, at 7:30.

. . .  

Gospel meeting, conducted by laymen at Avenue Hall, Sunday at 3.

. . .  

Gospel meetings will be held at Lyndon, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and at Lyndonville, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, of next week.

. . . 

Column Two

. . .

The Great Awakening.

The religious awakening in this place and vicinity increased very much during the past week. There were such indications of the power of the Spirit upon the hearts of men, that in their extremity the good people of this town called upon their brethren in Massachusetts, who did so much two weeks ago, to come up and help them.

Messrs. Remington,[1]

Moore[2] and

Winslow,[3] responded on Saturday, and brought with them

Mr. Bridgman of Northampton.[4]

The people received them gladly; also the truth which they so plainly and forcibly presented. The audiences grew in magnitude from the first, and the interest revived at once and increased from the first. On the Sabbath they held four meetings, all fully attended. In the evening 950 people were gathered in the largest church in town. On Monday, a very stormy evening, a thousand people crowded the church. At the close of this meeting the interest was so great, so many were in tears and asking what they must do to be saved, that these workers from abroad were induced to remain another day. This announcement was received with demonstrations of joy. The Tuesday afternoon meeting in the church was, like its predecessors, very precious.

At half-past four, by invitation of the Messrs. Fairbanks, these Christian laymen went down to the scale shops, and work being suspended, all the employees gathered in the large machine shop, and there for over an hour the shops resounded with the voice of prayer and supplication, and rang with the praises of God. A strange but glorious scene. In the evening, the largest audience we have ever seen gathered under one roof in this place, came out to the Gospel Meeting. Every foot of space in aisle, platform, gallery and pulpit, was literally packed with human beings, until over eleven hundred people were inside the South Church. This meeting was mainly given up to those who had lately found Christ, and to an expression from those who wished to become Christians. It was a meeting that seemed to melt every heart. Young men and women, middle aged people and children, stood up before that great audience, and either said they had already found the pearl of great price, or were seeking it with all their hearts. On invitation, a hundred and twenty-five enquirers went down into the vestry for religious conversion.

Of the results of this awakening, eternity only can determine. The present joy is unbounded. Families are united; parents see their children coming to the Savior, and children in a few instances have rejoiced over parents renewed and in their right minds. Of the deep feeling which pervaded the meetings, the earnest prayers and tearful eyes, we can give no idea on paper. Such scenes were never witnessed here before. Great was the deprivation of those who could not be present. While the work is all the Lord’s, and to him shall be all the praise, most gratefully do the good people in this community remember the self-sacrificing labors of the brethren from Massachusetts. In the most common sense, practical way, did they present the cause of their Master; and going about from shop to shop and store to store, and in taking them by the hand, did they try to lead men to that higher life which shall make them better here and happy hereafter. If it is truly better to give than to receive, and it is, how much those men must enjoy.

From other towns about us the good news comes in. Concord, Burke, Glover, Barton, Lyndon—in all these towns there is more or less interest; and some of our people who have been blessed so greatly and received so much, are going out at the call of these towns and doing work for the Master.[5] May the good work go forward.

. . . 

East Concord.

. . .

 The revival which has been going on here for the past few weeks is still in progress.

. . . 

Column Four

Vermont News.

. . .

The religious meetings at Barton continue, and a good degree of interest is still manifested.

. . .

The Gospel Meetings held the 18th, 19th and 20th insts., were will attended. A great degree of interest was manifested by those in attendance, and on the whole, the meetings may be regarded not only as profitable, but a success. The interest still continues unabated.

 . . .

A revival has been progressing for several weeks at East Charleston and over 30 persons have been converted.[6] [Bolding in original]

[1] This is “R. K. Remington” (Robert K. Remington/Robert Knight Remington) of Fall River, Massachusetts. For more on “R. K. Remington,” see: “Robert Knight Remington” in Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts, Volume 1 (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1912), 173-75:; accessed 8/31/2015.
[2] This is “H. M. Moore” (Henry M. Moore/Henry Martyn Moore) of Boston, Massachusetts. H. M. Moore (a member of the State of Massachusetts committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association beginning in 1871) and lay preacher K. A. Burnell of Illinois launched the Gospel canvasses of the New England states beginning in 1871 in Massachusetts. See, for example: W. R. Moody, “A Truly Successful Merchant Prince” in W. R. Moody, ed., Record of Christian Work vol. XXV (East Northfield, Mass.: W. R. Moody, 1906), 229-31:; accessed 9/6/2015. Here’s a relevant quote from Record of Christian Work, vol. 25: “While Mr. Moore was interested in the material interests of the Association [i.e., of the Y. M. C. A.] it was preeminently the spiritual opportunities of the work which appealed to him. Several friends, sharing his devotion and under his leadership, frequently accompanied him on evangelistic missions to different Associations or churches in New England. These laymen were Messrs. R. K. Remington, F. O. Winslow, K. A. Burnell, and George H. Shaw.” [page 230]
[3] This is “F. O. Winslow” (Francis O. Winslow/Francis Olney Winslow), 1844-1926, of Norwood, Massachusetts. He was a very successful tanner and manufacturer at Winslow Brothers in Norwood; and “an heir to a fortune derived from the tannery business begun by his father, George Winslow. . . . Friends and neighbors often referred to F. O. Winslow as ‘Mr. Norwood.’ He was a leader in business, investments, civic affairs, town government, state politics, philanthropy, education, history, and the arts.” From: John M. Grove, Images of America: Norwood (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 1997, 2000), 90. See also: Patricia J. Fanning, Norwood: A History (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002):; accessed 9/6/2015.
[4] This is S. E. Bridgman (Sidney E. Bridgman/Sidney Edwin Bridgman) of Northampton, Massachusetts. He owned a very successful bookstore in Northampton which eventually came to be known as “S. E. Bridgman & Co.” For more on S. E. Bridgman, see, for example: “53. Sidney Edwin” in Burt Nichols Bridgman and Joseph Clark Bridgman, comp., Genealogy of the Bridgman Family: Descendants of James Bridgman. 1636-1894 (Hyde Park, Mass.: n.p., 1894), 43-44:; accessed 9/6/2015.
[5] This accounts marks the beginning of residents of St. Johnsbury—having been blessed by “the Massachusetts brethren” and the member of the state committee of the Vermont Young Men’s Christian Association who reached out to them through the “Gospel Meetings”—going to other towns in the area by invitation.

No comments: