Sunday, March 28, 2010

24Mar1872, Mr. Wilkinson and Dismal Jemmy at Church

LONDON, March 24th, 1872. Palm Sunday.
—Our 1st Sunday in London. There cd. not have been a much greater contrast than our two Services. S. Martin's with its sleepy decorum and Mr. Humphry's good and sensible, but dry, stiff preaching, and S. Peter's, where we went to hear for the 1st time the now famous Mr. Wilkinson. He adopts something of the Wesley method—arousing, chiding, and appealing, and all with vehement voice and gesture. To my mind it was much of it painfully painful ; but the force of conviction and love of Christ and of souls is very overpowering and the good he has done is wonderful. It was a mighty, devout congregn., and the hymns were like the roar of waters. It was D. J. [FN: "Dismal Jemmy" (Sir George William Des Vœux)] (a cousin-in-law of Mr. W.) who got us places : he is himself "under the wand of the enchanter," and in a strange state of suppressed excitement. Mr. W. set him to work to bring round a sceptical communistic publican ! So D. J. paid the man a visit ; offered him a cigar, and had a good political talk, at the end of which the publican gripped him by the hand, said he had never spoken to a gentleman before, asked leave to have a friend or two in to meet D. J. next time, and to-day came to church with a train of followers ! !
Mr. W. after Evensong has a meeting for prayer and for seeing people, which is thronged. Some of the worst men among London swells are said to be turning over a new leaf under his influence.

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