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destroyed the property, endangered number, and many of them growing the lives, and interrupted the reli- in grace.” From this extract it apgious services, of their pious neigh- pears that for two years, at least, no bours; and the other encouraged Methodist Minister had resided in them in their riotous proceedings, the town of Sheffield ; and that durby refusing to the injured party all ing this time the society had not legal redress. The Magistrates, how. been visited either by Mr. Wesley, ever, were justly punished for their or any of his Assistants. neglect of duty. The case was tried Two years after Mr. Wesley's visit in York; and the “ Magistrates," to them, in 1757, a house was pursays Mr. Wesley in his Journal, chased in Mulberry-street, and con. “were sentenced to rebuild the verted into a chapel. Prior to the house which the mob had pulled purchase of this bouse, the followers down." This act of public justice of Wesley and those of Whitefield laid the fury of the populace under worshipped in the same place ; a restraint for several years. “All,” union unproductive of good to either says Mr. Wesley, in 1752, " is peace party. The building in Mulberryhere since the trial at York."
street, now no longer a place of worIn 1749 Sheffield was made the ship, will long be viewed by the Mehead of a Circuit; and Mr. Edward thodists in Sheffield with peculiar Perronet was one of the Preachers interest. It is the place where many appointed to it. At that time there of their forefathers were awakened, were but twenty Circuits in England, converted to God, and trained for seven in Ireland, two in Scotland, that bliss which they now enjoy. and two in Wales. The Ministers Here the late Mr. Henry Longden, who were appointed to the Sheffield a man never to be forgotten in Shef. Circuit traversed a large extent of field and its vicinity, was convinced country.
of sin, and prepared to enter upon In 1748 the Sheffield Circuit in a course of labour, so honourable to cluded the greater part of what are himself, and so beneficial to many now the Rotherbam, Doncaster, hundreds of his fellow-men. Worksop, Chesterfield, Bakewell, The chapel in Mulberry-street was Bradwell, Buxton, Cromford, Belper, occupied by the Methodists, as a and Derby Circuits. In this exten- place of worship, for twenty-three sive District, where thirty-two Minis. years; and, at the close of that pe. ters are now regularly employed, riod, was far too small for the inand more than two hundred Preach- creasing crowds that were eager to ers, Travelling and Local, preach attend its impressive services. every Lord's day, there were but On Thursday, June 29th, 1780, two Itinerant Preachers, and hardly the Norfolk-street chapel was opened any local assistants.
for divine worsbip, by the venerable Whether or not Sheffield continued Founder of Methodism; full of to hold the rank of a Circuit town, years; for he was then seventycannot be ascertained from public seven years of age. He preached in documents. Mr. Everett, the in. Mulberry-street on Wednesday evengenious historian of Methodism in ing, to a crowd so dense, that the Sheffield, supposes it did not; but heat was “scarce supportable." In that it became a part, first of the the morning, at five, he preached in Leeds, and then of the Epworth Cir. the same place; and then, taking his cuit. This opinion is confirmed by leave of it for ever, he preached in ap entry in Mr. Wesley's Journal: the evening in the new house, “ Friday, June 13th, 1755. In the crowded with rich and poor, “ to evening I preached in Sheffield. In whom,” says he, “I declared, “We the morning I examined the mem- preach Christ crucified;' and He bers of society, and was agreeably bore witness to the word in a very surprised to find, that, though none uncommon manner.” On the folhad visited them since I did it my- lowing Sunday Mr. Wesley preached self two years ago, yet they were in Norfolk-street at eight o'clock in rather increased than diminished in the morning, and at five in the even
ing; and so great was the multitude people, that a loud and bitter cry who flocked to hear him, that“ very was heard in every part of the chamany were constrained to go away." pel. Leaving the pulpit, Mr. Moon
From 1749 to 1765 there is a spoke to those that were in distress, chasm in the printed Minutes of Con- and directed them to the “Lamb of ference. In 1765 Sheffield again ap- God that taketh away the sins of the pears upon the Minutes, as the head world,” that they might obtain comof a Circuit, under the care of Mr. fort and salvation. Many continued Peter Jaco, assisted by Mr. Paul in penitence and prayer till past midGreenwood; and in the following night; and many were enabled to year the members of the various rejoice in the knowledge of salvation societies amounted to five hundred by the remission of sins. On seveand eighty-three. The Circuit, not- ral successive nights prayer-meetings withstanding its extent, was too were held in the same chapel, and poor to support, even as Methodist were distinguished by the same pow. Ministers were then supported, the erful influence. Many who, in these two excellent men that were appoint. prayer meetings, were brought to ed to watch over the souls of the the knowledge of God, continued to people. Sheffield received five pounds the end of life, adorning “ the doc. from the Yearly Collection, and Leeds trine of God our Saviour in all ten. Within the boundaries of what, things.” In that year three hun. in 1766, formed the Sheffield Cir- dred and eighty members were add. cuit, there are now 11,762 members; ed to the society; and a great proand five hundred and eighty-eight portion of these in the course of Class-Leaders, each of whom, upon about three weeks. the average, is appointed to watch During the following year this over twenty individuals. And the great work not only continued, but District not only supports all the increased. Mr. Bramwell was then Ministers regularly employed in it, in the Circuit; and in the course but raised £320. 38. 6d. during the of twelve months 1250 members year 1834 for the relief of poor Cir. were added to the society. In the cuits.
entire history of Methodism in ShefRapidly, however, as Methodism field, there is no year to be compared has increased in the Sheffield Dis- with this. Many other years have trict, its progress for some years was been glorious, but upon this there is exceedingly slow. From 1766 to a glory “that excelleth.” 1780 two hundred and forty-six Nor were the materials built upon members only were added to the the foundation laid in Zion, wood, society, making an annual increase hay, stubble; but, to a great extent, of seventeen persons.
gold, silver, precious stones. Next From 1780 to 1804 Sheffield was year there was not only no diminufavoured with some of the ablest and tion of number, but two hundred most successful Ministers in the Me. and sixty-seven were added to the thodist Connexion; and the annual society, which continued to increase increase was more than seven times till Mr. Kilham and his friends sepaas great as during the preceding rated from the body. By this un. fourteen years.
happy secession one thousand persons In 1794, 5, and 6, there was a very were torn away from their brethren extraordinary revival of religion in and Pastors. Many of these, cut off Sheffield. It began on Monday, from the friends with whom they June 30th, 1794, in Norfolk-street had long been happily associated, chapel. On that day a love-feast was and taught to suspect and censure held, which was distinguished by them, lost the religion of holy love, nothing remarkable till it was about and strayed into the wilderness, to be closed. Mr. Moon, the Super- where it is to be feared they perishintendent, having requested one of the ed. That more extensive mischief Local Preachers to pray, so powerful was not done, was owing to the piety and general was the influence of the and prudence of the Rev. James Holy Spirit upon the minds of the Wood, of whom many of the oldest members of the society still speak plary diligence for two years, and left in terms of the highest respect. Mr. in the Circuit a net increase of only E. W. Miller, and the late Mr. H. four hundred and fifty; and yet Mr. Longden, were also very active, and Bramwell was neither less holy nor in many cases very successful, in en- less zealous in 1810, than he had deavouring to stop the progress of been in 1795. “Neither is he that disaffection.
planteth any thing, nor he that wa. In 1801 Sheffield was made the tereth, but God that givetb the inhead of a District.
crease.” In 1804 the Carver-street cbapel From 1813 to 1823 the progress was built. This chapel, at the time of Methodism in the Sheffield Cirof its erection, was one of the largest cuit was very slow. Forty-seven and most handsome in the Connex- only, on the average, were added ion; and even now it is exceeded each year to the society. In 1823 by few. The foundation-stone was a fourth chapel was built. The founlaid by the late Thomas Holy, Esq.; dation-stone was laid by Mr. Holy. and it was opened for divine worship It is a Gotbic structure, with a tower, by Mr. W. Jenkins, the Superin which gives it something of the aptendent of the Circuit, and Mr. Ben- pearance of a church. It is large son. Mr. Jenkins, I believe, had and commodious, capable of seating been employed by the Trustees of (I suppose) from fifteen to sixteen the chapel, as their architect. At hundred people, and of containing, the opening of this chapel there were when crowded, several hundreds in the town of Sheffield, and the very more. This chapel was opened on extensive Circuit of which it was the 27th of July, 1823, by the late then the head, 2,232 members of so- Dr. Adam Clarke and the Rev. Ja. ciety. The chapel was well attend- bez Bunting. When Dr. Clarke was ed; but the Norfolk-street chapel preaching an alarm was created. was for some time almost entirely "The people rushed to the door, or deserted by the more wealthy and leaped out of the windows, as if the influential of the rew.holders. But building were falling, and they were since then a new race has sprung up, in danger of being crushed in the and the Norfolk street chapel is filled ruins. Happily no lives were lost, with hearers, many of wliom are in though numbers of persons were easy circumstances.
seriously injured. For several years In 1805 the Conference was first after its erection, this chapel was held in Sheffield. The number of not well attended; but at present, members in the town was then com- the congregation worshipping in it paratively small; yet did they pro- is one of the largest in the town. This vide, in the most liberal manner, edifice cost about £5,000. for the Ministers who attended.
In the year 1931 a fifth Methodist In 1807 a chapel was built in chapel was built, situated in Sheffield Bridge-houses, and opened by the Park. A few centuries ago this part Rev. Jabez Bunting. This chapel of the town of Sheffield was literally was plain, and unexpensive; and, a park, shaded with trees which had though inconvenient, was made a flourished for ages in the same soil. blessing to the population amongst The inhabitants of this populous whom it was erected.
district had long been proverbial for In 1810 Mr Brainwell was re-ap. ignorance and depravity. I'pon this pointed to the Sheffield Circuit, with portion of their fellow-townsmen the late Mr. Robert Miller, Mr. l'a. tbe Methodists in Sheffield had long lentine Ward, and Mr. W. Tranter. looked with deep and painful emoBut the best of men and of Minis. tion. They seemed to live only to ters are not always equally 800- sin and to suffer ; to toil for bread, cessful. He who filteen years before and be trained for destruction. In bad seen twelve hundred and fifty all this neglected district there was inembers added to the society in no place of public worsbip, except one year, now, in conjunction with a chapel belonging to a hospital for bis colleagues, laboured with exem- the poor. This chapel was a small Vol. XIV. Third Series. August, 1835.
octagonal building, with a pulpit in in reading, writing, arithmetic, and the centre. As the poor people English grammar. This school is wished not only to hear the voice, under the direction and control of but also to see the face, of the Min the Trustees, and of the Leaders' nister, the pulpit was made to turn Meeting. The average number of upon a pivot; and the Clergyman boys is about one hundred and stood with his face to the east one seventy, or one hundred and eighty. week, to the west another, to the A day-school, upon a similar plan, north on the third, and to the south has been established for a longer peon the fourth.
riod in Red-Hill school, and is well A piece of ground having been conducted; a day-school for girls purchased of the Duke of Norfolk, has lately been established in conthe foundation of a new chapel was nexion with the Ebenezer chapel, laid by Mr. Thomas Smith. This and promises to be a great blessing. place of worship, which is twenty- There are therefore at the present one yards by eighteen, cost £1900. three day-schools in Sheffield, under It is a neat stone building, galleried the exclusive direction of the Wesround, and contains free sittings for leyan Methodists; and another in the accommodation of some hun- connexion with Norfolk-street will dreds of the poor inhabitants. It immediately be established. was opened on Friday, January 7th, In 1831 the Sheffield Circuit was 1831. The Rev. Robert Newton, divided; Carver-street being the and Mr. William Dawson, preached head of one Circuit, and Norfolkon that day, and the Rev. James street of the other. This delicate Everett, and the Rev. Robert Wood, and very difficult affair was managed on the following Sabbath. The col- with great ability by the Rev. Samuel lections amounted to £233 ; and Jackson and his colleagues. Few £1300 had been previously raised by men could have accomplished this private subscription.
difficult work so much to the sa* In Sheffield. Park the cholera tisfaction of all parties. This mearaged with fatal violence; and sure has been eminently conducive scores of people in the course of a to the peace and prosperity of few weeks were carried off by this the societies both in the town and dreadful scourge, and consigned to Circuit. When the division took the dust upon the summit of a hill, place, the Circuit contained about called the “Cholera Mount ;” a three thousand members. There are place consecrated not merely by the at present, in the two Circuits, about ashes of these victims of the pesti- five thousand; and the contributions lence, but by the pen of Mr. Mont- to all those funds wbich conduce so gomery. His beautiful lines, called efficiently to the spread of religion, “ The Cholera Mount,” are well and the relief of suffering humaknown, and will long ernbalm the nity, have been proportionably inmemory of those who lived and died creased. without a name.
In 1833 the old chapel in BridgeDuring the ravages of this myste. houses was taken down, and a new rious and fatal malady a very deep one built upon its site. This chapel impression was made upon the pub is about the size of the one in Shef. lic mind. Thousands, when they field Park. It is a chaste and very saw “the pestilence that walketh beautiful Grecian structure, an orna. in darkness" entering every street, ment to the place, an honour to the and hurrying, in a few short hours, persons by whose taste and liberality the stoutest to the grave, were driven it was erected, and, what is infito the sanctuary of God. There nitely more important, a means of many were deeply awakened, truly great henefit to the thousands who converted, and continue to this day reside in the neighbourhood. The to “adorn the doctrine of God our school-room beneath the chapel is Saviour in all things.” Beneath the one of the best in the Connexion. chapel in Sheffield Park is a day. This chapel was opened by the Rev. school for boys, who are instructed Jabez Bunting. The collections on that occasion, and on the following each school, and an immense number Sunday, were very liberal.
of people, walked in order to the In April, 1833, was laid the foun. place where the new chapel was to dation of a large new chapel in the be erected. The distance between Sheffield East Circuit. The spiritual the two chapels is nearly half a mile ; wants and moral degradation of the and yet the road on each side population of that part of the town throughout the entire distance was in which it stands, the Wesleyan crowded. After the foundation-stone Methodists had long seen and la. had been laid by Mr. Staley, the Rev. mented. A large room was taken, Robert Newton, who had come from and occupied as a Sunday-school, Manchester, that he might be present and a place of religious worship. on the occasion, delivered an apBut as this place was far too propriate address to the assembled small for the population, and for the crowds. The service was concluded people that were willing to attend, with prayer to Almighty God, that a few pious and public-spirited indi. the temple which was to be erected viduals bought, on their own respon. might be filled with his presence ; sibility, a plot of ground, which they and that by the preaching of the intended to offer to the society as a truth, thousands might be converted place on which a new chapel might be and saved. The services of this inadvantageously erected. The plot, teresting day were made a blessing however, though not positively ine- to many. ligible, possessed not all the advan. The chapel was completed without tages that were desired. Various accident. Only one circumstance attempts were therefore made to ob. occurred during the progress of the tain land in a more favourable situa- building to cloud the enjoyment of tion. For some months these at those who looked forward to its comtempts were fruitless; but just as pletion. This was the death of Mr. hope was expiring, we obtained a Thomas Staley, a man who, for puripiece of ground in a most desirablety of purpose, simplicity of manners, situation. A meeting of friends peaceableness of disposition, corwas called, and subscriptions to a rectness of judgment, and liberality large amount were promised. The of mind, has left but few equals, late Mr. Thomas Staley took the and no superior, in the Circuit to lead, and several followed his exam- which be belonged. His health had ple. Seldom has the influence of been declining for some time, and Christian principles been more de many who saw him lay the first stone lightfully unfolded than on that occ of the chapel predicted that he would casion. With deep and holy emotion occupy the first grave in the adjointhe friends ascribed all their success ing cemetery. He died long before in business to the good providence of the chapel was completed; and his God, and expressed their determina ashes sleep in peace in a vault betion to consecrate a part of their sub- neath its portico, which stands as stance to Him. Two of those who a monument of his zeal and liberaliwere then present are now in heaven. ty. “The righteous shall be had in They died in the Lord; they “ rest everlasting remembrance." from their labours; and their works On Friday, the 30th of May, 1834, follow them."
this chapel was opened for divine The day on which the first stone worship. The Rev. Robert Newton of this chapel was laid will not soon preached in the morning, and the be forgotten. Many hundreds of Rev. Daniel Chapman at night. On people assembled in Norfolk-street the following Sunday the Rev. Jabez chapel and its immediate vicinity. Bunting preached in the morning ; After singing and prayer, the archi. Mr. William Dawson in the aftertect and builder, the Trustees, the noon, and the Rev. David M'Nicoll Itinerant and Local Preachers, the at night. Sermons by the same MiClass-Leaders, Prayer-Leaders, and nisters were preached in NorfolkSunday-school Teachers, followed by street chapel and in Sheffield Park. a select number of children from The different services of that day