How Pentecost Came to Britain
We found these reports taken from T. B. Barratt’s personal diary, printed in the Redemption Tiding’s Magazines of December 1933, January and February 1934.
They record the exciting details of those early days when he visited Britain and attended the first Pentecostal Conventions in Sunderland, London and Bournemouth, all places destined to be centres of spiritual power during the next few years.
They were amazing days! Many were converted and baptised in the Holy Spirit and others experienced authentic divine healing. The local and national press reported favourably on the various meetings resulting in even wider exposure to the virgin movement of the Spirit in the UK.
We have included the complete series of three.
HOW PENTECOST CAME TO BRITAIN by T. B. Barratt (Norway)
September 16, 1907 — Yesterday many souls surrendered, especially among the children and young people. Two o’clock I spoke to the great Sunday School in ‘All Saints,’ and Bro. Boddy and I had an after meeting for seekers. The evening meeting was very blessed. We closed by midnight.
Invitations are coming along from all parts of the United Kingdom. May be the Lord wants me to stay on for the winter months.
In the meeting this afternoon an Anglican minister testified to much blessing. ‘It seems to me,’ he said, ‘that the Lord has more trouble with us ministers than with other classes of people. We have such a lot of theological ideas to fight, that young lads and girls more easily get the blessing than we do.’ He alluded by this to a young girl, who with her radiant face aglow with the glory of the Lord, had testified to His goodness, and the baptism in the Spirit He had given her. Then he went on to tell us how the Lord nine years ago had led him to Sunderland, and there converted him. When he came back to his congregation in London, and gave them his message according to his new experience, he was requested to resign. Being a clever preacher, he got a call from a large church in Birmingham, and accepted it. Although there broke out a revival among the young people he felt led to take up a free work in London. A couple of years ago the Lord showed him that what he needed to be successful in His service was a Biblical, Pentecostal Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Now he was in Sunderland to seek that blessing. It was touching in the extreme to listen to that fine, educated man while he told the audience about his weaknesses and shortcomings, and pleaded for their prayers. It was, however, he added, a comfort to his heart to know that the glory of the Lord was revealed to Martha through the death of her brother Lazarus and Jesus raising him from the dead. ‘Then,’ he said, ‘there is a chance for me that the Lord will be glorified in me.’
I might fill all available space in this paper with the wonderful testimonies from the meetings here. Increasing numbers of Christian workers gather to seek and receive their Pentecostal experience. Pray for us!
September 18, 1907 — Yesterday the Lord gave me a specially glorious day. In the afternoon meeting the Holy Ghost revealed His Power in a wonderful way.
Right from the start the Holy Ghost power and fire worked intensely in my body, until I was filled with an unspeakable and glorious joy. I very seldom have had anything like this. It happened to me in New York, and a few times in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. When I prayed with one brother I felt the Holy Presence of God in such power that it seemed like passing away into Glory to be with the Lord at once. Yesterday I had the same experience, and along with it came such a pure, unmingled and heavenly joy that I felt I could go right into the presence of God, my King, and praise Him and magnify Him with the Saints there. Oh, Glorious Jesus!
God gave me this to convince fearful and doubting visitors from different parts of Great Britain. They were helped and became hungry for the blessing. My soul went out to God in adoration and praise, in song, tongues and laughter. Psalm 126:2: My tears streamed dawn my face, tears of Joy and Thanksgiving.
I took this as pledge of what was going to happen here in the future and as a confirmation of the blessings we have received during the past two weeks. The dear ones, already baptised in the Spirit, got a real uplift and were encouraged.
I pray that every preacher all over the world may be Baptised in the Holy Ghost. But alas! so many of God’s children have been scared away from the blessing through Satan’s cunning devices. If he can get the imagination of the seeker fixed on some excessive outward demonstration, he gets a chance to fill God’s children with fear.
Dear friends, do not be taken up with the human side of the question, for there will always cleave weaknesses to mortal man. Have your eyes fixed on God, and receive from Him satisfaction for all the longings and needs of your soul.
September 19, 1907 — Prayer changes things, God has answered our requests regarding the Parish Hall. There remained a debt of £98 to be cleared away. We had prayed about this, but seemingly in vain. A scoffer objected that our blessing was not of God, because He had only partly answered our request. But yesterday night somebody handed over to Brother Boddy a letter containing £10 with the promise that the balance would soon be paid up. It was owing to a mistake that the money had not been sent in at an earlier date. Great rejoicing followed the reading of the letter. A reporter was present, and the meetings are spoken about everywhere in the town.
September 30, 1907 — It is a year ago to-day since the Lord gave me to believe the full cleansing of my heart in the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.
October 2, 1907 — The Lord works with much power here now, but Satan tries hard to upset the work of God. A religious leader held some meetings in this city, and deemed it useful to warn strongly against speaking with tongues and the Movement as a whole. Nevertheless he described our experience as Scriptural, and consequently it should not be definitely resisted. The Lord gave me the needed grace to refute all his arguments. A minister who has lately kept away from the manse because of these meetings, called to see Mrs Boddy after my lecture, telling her that all objections had been fairly dealt with and proved to be invalid. The newspapers have now become interested giving many details. Crowded gatherings are the immediate result. A reporter from ‘The Morning Leader‘ has come all the way from London to give a true record of what takes place. His writings have been very impartial, and not one paper has contained a bitter word against us. However, the best of all is that souls are saved and God’s people are being sanctified. Hallelujah!
October 5, 1907 — We had a very blessed meeting in the Parish Hall yesterday. A reporter from the ‘London Chronicle’ has come to Sunderland for a week’s time in order to report from the meetings.
In a way we are thankful for the interest the press takes in the Movement, it brings one very useful result: We get an effective publicity. Through the work of the reporters people begin to realise that the Christian religion has not lost its supernatural element.
October 10, 1907 — The press continues its reports and now the meetings are spoken of all over the country. Received to-day a letter from the owner of a music hall who tells me that he is backslidden, but now wants to consecrate his life to God afresh. The records of what God is doing had convinced him. Since my last letter several souls have come through to a Scriptural baptism. Souls are saved, and Jesus magnified in our midst.
The devil tries to destroy the work of God, but praise the Lord He has the Victory all the time The ministers who partake in the meetings are practically all Anglican. Two of them have now returned to Ireland. A third minister lay prostrate on his face before the Lord crying to Him from the depths of his soul to be baptised in the Spirit. From many of those who have returned to their home-work we have received the encouraging news that God blesses their endeavours as never before.
October 11, 1907 —.The mayor of the city with his wife came to the manse one of these days that we might pray with them. People from distant places stay on here still. To-day at ten in the morning we had a meeting for spirit-filled friends and at eleven-thirty for seekers. ‘We have never had meetings more glorious than the latter one. It still goes on now at three-thirty, but I had to get my correspondence ready for the mail. Letters come in from various quarters. I would have good use for a secretary.
The power of God was mighty in the meeting last night. Intercession was asked for from ANOTHER MEETING, and before we closed our own gathering we received word that fourteen souls had yielded to Christ in the place we prayed for! Glory to God.
Last night we had a remarkable case of casting out a demon. We had a similar case some days ago. The new case was that of a woman who is a deaconess-nurse, working in the slums. She had probably through carelessness been assailed and possessed by a demon. Be careful to walk in the light that the blood of Jesus can always cover you in all your doings. This woman was very quiet and modest-looking. However, as soon as we began to pray for her she was taken with convulsive contractions of the face. Little by little the indwelling demon completely altered her expression, until she was the true picture of an evil spirit. Her own spirit was probably right, but the evil spirit had, as it were, taken possession of her body. She tried to praise the Lord but was unable to do so. During her convulsions her lower jaw was firmly pressed against the upper one. Had it been locked it could not have been more securely fastened! She could not open her eyes either. But in the Name of the Lord, we at last were successful in our attempts to cast out the evil power. It tried to get in again more than once, but had finally to give way for the Name of Jesus and His precious Blood. Then we prayed for power on her behalf, and she went home. To-day she was baptised in the Spirit and spoke in new tongues. Now she has left for her home town, being desirous to tell her people about the great thing the Lord has done for her.
The meetings in Sunderland and my visit to England came to an end on the 18th of October, 1907. I spoke in Bro. Boddy’s church on Sunday night, and continued in the Parish Hall and the Church vestry until the following Friday. God was in our midst and blessed His Own Word to our hearts. The press has been very friendly towards the Movement, and Brother Boddy tells me that the people have confidence in our preaching. One paper has asked Mr. Boddy to give an account of the meetings and their results.
On the front side of the Parish Hall building one may now read the following inscription, hewn in stone:
“When the Fire of the Lord fell it Burnt up the Debt.”
Mr. Boddy arranged this with a double aim: for a memorial and also as a encouragement to his own as well as for other churches to trust God. All debt in respect of the Parish Hall was settled during these meetings without a collection being taken.
The last meeting was particularly touching. We knelt down in front of the altar, hand in hand, singing praises to the Lord! A Scottish lady told us that she had seen three doves hover over our heads, and at the same time she got the interpretation of a message in tongues.
When we left Mrs. Boddy stayed behind to conduct the after meeting. Mr. Boddy and a number others came with me to the railway station. There we sung hymns and psalms, endeared to our heart during the campaign. When the train came in, about thirty friends decided to accompany me to Newcastle. On board the steamer we had a nice time together, wit singing, prayer and testimonies the time passed very quickly.
When the steamer left, friends stood on the quay waving their farewells and sending greetings to Norway.
London, May 10th, 1909 – It is the anniversary of our wedding to-day, so my wife and I have a new wedding trip. The first was in Norway, this time we are privileged to spend it in England, the land of my fathers.
Yesterday we went to Praed Street Tabernacle and Hyde Park. It was the first time I had a meeting in Hyde Park. Here we got an excellent demonstration of the liberty this country enjoys. Within the space of about 200 feet, just inside the Marble Arch, ten speakers had their stands, and each of them had a good crowd. One of the speakers began to speak when we came in. He stepped up on his little platform, and began to speak into the air, as if he had a big crowd in front of him. It was a sort of Christian Science he canvassed for.
Musical instruments may not be used in Hyde Park, but there was bright singing.
Next neighbour to this man was the “Church Army” (the established Church’s imitation of the Salvation Army).
The next platform was occupied by a man who spoke about working people’s wages.
The next crowd we stopped in front of was the “Humanitarians.” It was awful to read their announcements, written in big letters on a red board. There the Names of God, Jesus and the blessed Holy Ghost were mingled with the names of heathen idols, described as false gods as all the others. It was particularly shocking to read such blasphemous statements against the Holy Ghost, as we remembered the words Jesus spoke in this connection. But, praise the Lord, most of these open-air meetings were of a sound and good gospel character.
Then we Pentecostal friends, the youngest of the lot, gathered for our meeting on the same beautiful green grass. God gave us a very blessed meeting, and without doubt the meetings there will in the future bring forth much fruit. One can never measure the effects of such an open-air meeting, so many that never dream of hearing a Gospel meeting come within reach of the Word of God.
Yesterday we had two blessed gatherings in Praed Street Tabernacle. God was verily in our midst. Ever increasing numbers take interest in our Pentecostal meetings.
May 12th, 1909 – We paid a visit to several museums and also to buildings connected with the history of England. In the evening we had a very nice meeting in Sion College.
The time for the London Conference is approaching, after it comes that of Sunderland.
May 15th, 1909 – Yesterday we held two glorious meetings in Sion College. To this hall there frequently come religious leaders from all quarters. Likewise good numbers of the better-class people. In Praed Street Tabernacle we get in touch with the working classes. There was great power in the meetings yesterday, and we had the largest congregation we have seen hitherto in that hall. Souls have been saved and others baptised in the Holy Ghost.
Heathfield – Here we held a meeting in Brother Simon’s large “faith-home.” The natural scenery round that house is very beautiful. I met with many here who had been blessed during their visit to the meetings at Sunderland. Old recollections were revived and we had a very happy time together. The Spirit worked among us and Jesus was glorified. Hallelujah! Tonight we have a meeting in Praed Street Tabernacle.
May 24th, 1909 – We still enjoy most magnificent weather. Now friends begin to assemble to the Conference in London from various countries. Germany, Norway and Sweden are already represented, but representatives are arriving from other countries also.
Last week the Lord was wonderfully in our midst. Friday was a very fruitful day. In the afternoon Mrs. Judd-Montgomery spoke in Sion College and told us about the Lord’s wonderful leadings in her life. She is well known amongst English speaking friends on both sides of the Atlantic. She spoke for an hour, and there was victory and restfulness in her testimony that gripped us all at the root of our hearts. The great Hall was well filled with very attentive people. After the meeting we had a break for tea. Then we prayed for the sick and afflicted.
At 7 p.m. I gave a lecture on “The Truth About the Pentecostal Revival.” The Hall was crowded and we had to open up an adjoining room. The Lord gave us a very definite victory. Hallelujah! The lecture is now ready from the printer and will probably also be published in a Norwegian translation.
To-morrow, Tuesday, the London conference begins, God willing.
May 23rd. – The Conference in London (reported by Mr. Gerrar)
It was not a congregation of fanatic and bewildered individuals that had assembled at Sion College. It was composed of sober-thinking, level-headed men and women, moved with hearts’ desire to live their lives according to the will of God, and to His Glory.
There was a solemn hush upon us when we entered the beautiful, church-like hall. On the low platform were seated the strong, Bible-believing men, heading this blessed Pentecostal Movement in Europe. There was the happy, energetic missionary Cecil Polhil, the Anglican minister Brother Boddy, our dear own Brother Barratt, the blessed Pastor Polman from Amsterdam, much used of God. In the first row we noticed Pastor Paul and Brother Booth-Clibborn, General Booth’s son-in-law, who was, for the most part, busy interpreting.
The hall was crowded with friends from England, Germany, Scandinavia, etc. The audience appeared to consist of intellectual, educated people. After singing of hymns and fervent prayer Pastor Barratt gave his substantial and instructive lecture on prophecy. He concluded in an earnest exhortation to the believer to keep close to the Word of God, and not to despise prophetic utterances; but to prove all things, keep that which is good, eschew the appearance of all evil.
After a break for dinner the meeting continued at 3 p.m. Brother Polhill requested all those who might be offended at manifestations in the course of these meetings to put such things before God in earnest prayer, and continue with us in a prayerful spirit, then God could get a chance to pour out His blessings.
Pastor Boddy, from Sunderland, continued from Acts ii. 33 Not only what you feel, he put it, but also what you ” see and hear.” There are, he said, three passages to consider.
”Let us first look at Acts xix. Here we meet twelve believers who were imperfectly taught in the Word of God. They were baptised in water, and, lo, immediately when Paul laid his hands on them, they spoke straight away in new tongues. It all happened so naturally, or rather supernaturally, but they were used now to these signs among Christians.
The second place is Acts x. 34-46. Here we come in contact with virgin soil. They are neither well nor imperfectly taught, they are heathens, with a heathen leader likewise. However, the soil was evidently well-prepared and Peter had got the confirmation of that fact straight from Heaven. He preached a very short sermon, but with what wonderful results! The question as to whether or not they had been baptized in the Spirit might have been asked by doubtful persons, but the opportunity did not present itself, for they heard them “speak with tongues and highly exalt God.” Saved, cleansed, filled with the Spirit, speaking with tongues, and all this within a few minutes!
In Acts ii. 4 we meet for the first time real Christians. I believe the Spirit during those ten days had mightily revealed the Truth to their hearts. The soil had been well prepared! I believe there was the same purpose in the speaking with tongues in Acts ii. as in I Cor. xiv, We want to magnify Jesus in the same way as Peter and Paul did. There are in our meetings such as have received much love for the Lord, this is through the working of the Holy Spirit. He teaches us to praise and magnify Jesus as God”
Brother Boddy told us of a few cases when the speaking with new tongues had been very useful, and to much blessing. He liked his ordinary church meetings, but the special meetings for seeking the baptism in the Holy Ghost lay very close to his heart. Believers are in Sunderland as one great family.
“Brother Barratt,” he said, “was the first Pentecostal preacher we ever heard in Sunderland, and the Lord used him to much blessing. The blessing of the Lord has been upon us afterwards, and the work has made blessed progress. I praise the Lord that He entrusted me with the gift of speaking with new tongues ‘He who speaketh in tongues edifieth himself. …’
It is a glorious privilege to be able to edify one’s self in our most holy faith, and should in no wise be pushed away into a corner. Far too many of God’s dear children are depending upon preachers and meetings for a blessing, but the Lord wants to convert us into power stations! The Pentecostal baptism is the one that has the signs of Pentecost, none else. The Lord wants us to have the genuine experience. Its first result is love, then the exaltation of Jesus, both His person and work. WE DO NOT, however, preach the Holy Spirit, but we want to preach JESUS, Who is the Christ, in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost.”
“This Movement comprises all sorts and classes of people. They are all as one family in Sunderland, Well, I am very thankful for that. But while this Sunderland-family go to London or elsewhere, they feel that the same old, good family have members all over the earth! Hallelujah! As a sequence to the December Conference in Hamburg, blessings from on High have been flowing very freely upon us. It is the will of God for us that the Apostolic times of blessing shall be restored to us, or, if you prefer, we to men!!
May 31st, 1909 – The London Conference is over. Now we are in the “Flying Scotsman.” It was a very blessed time we had there. Undoubtedly it has opened the eyes of many as to the great work God performs in our days.
We gave an opportunity for those, who during the meetings had been convinced that this work is of God, to confess that publicly. Directly, a minister of the Anglican-Episcopalian Church rose up. After him came a Baptist minister, and then a missionary for the “Society of Friends” (Quakers). The latter had worked in South Africa for 34 years. His son, who works in Africa had been blessed during my visit to Sunderland. There was quite a number, preachers and others, who have defied all opposition against the revival. They state that my lecture on Friday, “The Truth About this Revival,” has been a good help to them. Many now seek their baptism. All praise and glory to God! It is all through Him alone. The powerful testimonies in the Spirit had a good effect on all, and cannot be disregarded.
Baroness Brasch, a Russian sister in the Lord, preached an inspiring sermon about the Need of Russia. Her sermon was followed up by a prayer meeting. She was accompanied by her son and daughter-in-law. They came to the Conference to seek their baptism, and the Lord has met them in the good old way (God is no respecter of persons)—first the old lady, for we heard her speak in tongues and highly exalt God. Her son and his wife have received a mighty anointing, and are now in the same train, on their way to the Conference in Sunderland.
The Sunderland Conference
When we entered the “Parish Hall” after the rapid journey from London, we were confronted with an audience consisting of friends from many lands. We recognised many of them. Many we know from our first visit to Sunderland. We received a very hearty welcome. It feels so good, when the world speaks evil of us to come in contact with friends that are not merely interested, but are one spirit with us.
This evening meeting was a real blessing to us all. Brothers Boddy, Post and Small preached, and as a result, quite a number sought the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Wednesday – Bro. Amlie, a minister of the Established Lutheran Church of Norway, preached freely interpreted by Bro. T. B. Barratt. His sermon was translated into German by Bro. Booth-Clibborn, many Germans being in the audience.
Thursday – Communion service was held in All Saints’ Church for visitors to the Conference.
Bournemouth, 7th June, 1909 – Yesterday I took the express at 7.23 in the morning from Sunderland, together with Bro. Beyerhaus, from Berlin. We arrived here about 6 p.m. I had the privilege of seeing several parts of this beautiful place, and the town is really like a garden of flowers.
The meetings started here to-day, and the people expect great things from the Lord. Bro. Boddy will arrive here to-night, and will continue to Southampton, probably tomorrow. There he takes a liner for U.S.A.
The dear Lord has already wrought great things here. Our friends have a hall of their own. Bro. Hutchinson and wife, both evangelists, have the leadership here.
Young Bro. Frodsham is the editor of the Pentecostal paper in this town, Its name is “Victory.” I am staying at his mother’s home. They have a beautiful home. To-morrow one of her sons marries a Danish nurse, who has lived in this country for about seven years. They are all in the Movement.
Pray for Bournemouth these days, friends. I do marvel at the great things the Lord performs in various parts of Great Britain at the present time. Pray on! Hallelujah!
June 8th, 1909 – The Lord gave us two glorious meetings yesterday. They were held in the Young Women’s Hall, the Havergall Hall.” Bro. Boddy spoke last night, and Brothers Cecil Polhill, Hutchinson, and myself in the afternoon. Preachers from various denominations are present, and we expect to have a blessed Convention.
This afternoon we have arranged for a Missionary meeting. In our Conventions here, time is set apart for missionary reports, and for deliberations as to the best methods to adopt in this work.
Yesterday morning’s meeting for believers was abundantly blessed by God. We had also a good missionary meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Polhill and myself spoke about God’s workings in the mission fields.
In the evening meeting, I held a lecture on the “World-wide Revival.” The audiences are growing constantly, and a wonderful spirit reigns.
Bro. Polhill requested Mrs. E. Godfrey to tell us about her Remarkable Healing of Cancer.
She told us that in 1898 she suffered from cancer in the breast. Physicians did not recommend any surgical operation, holding it probable that she would live longer without such treatment. The disease caused such a horrible odour that her own children could not come near her. The whole house was permeated by it from basement to attic, and was so strong that it would remain in the house even if she had been absent for a fortnight. She was also affected with a violent cough and her spittle was frequently mingled with blood-particles. Two physicians told her that they had done their utmost to help her, but that they were unable to mitigate her sufferings. She grew worse every day. She could not find rest when stretched out in her bed, but had to be seated in her bed supported by pillows. In addition to all this, as a consequence of it, her nerves were fully run down. Her body looked like a skeleton, and the bones seemed near bursting through the skin. However, when she had humanly speaking come to the extremity, and the doctors had given her over to death, the Lord let a witness to His healing power, a lady who thirteen years before was miraculously healed, cross her pathway.
This sister instructed her in the ways of the Lord, and told her that He was willing to heal her. She was prayed for and entrusted her poor worn-out frame to the Lord’s care, believing in the power of His finished sacrifice. She came to see all her sickness hidden in His wounds, as well as her sins borne on His Body.
The following day she collected all her medicine bottles, and they were many, and destroyed them all. She wrote to her physician to tell him that now she trusted the Lord alone, and had discarded all medicine and human appliances.
A month after this she was anointed with oil in the Name of the Lord, according to James v. 14, 15. Upon this Satan assailed her afresh, trying to overwhelm her. She felt worse than ever. She vomited very much; a terrific, stinking, rotten mass it was. It was undoubtedly the cancer itself that had to get out as the result of the prayer of faith. From that day on she gradually recovered. (Many do not receive any deliverance at once. Often they even appear to be worse. If they give in here, Satan has won the battle; if they continue steadfast in the faith, victory is certain to come.) September, 1899, this sister was restored to perfect health. She realised it one day, all of a sudden, that now she was perfectly healed.
Some of her friends that met her after her recovery dared not believe their own eyes. One of the physicians, who had pronounced her case hopeless, has often since congratulated her upon her healing. This is a miracle,” he says.
The Lord also baptised her in the Holy Ghost.
June 17th, 1909 – To-day I have visited my home town, Albaston, and the dear old house where I was born.
(Diary Notes Closed.)
T. B. Barratt (Norway)
Source:Redemption Tidings, Dec 1933, Jan, Feb 1934