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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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Reading, UK

 Relics of the Salvation Army

A couple of weeks ago I was at a wedding in Exeter UK. The venue was the old Salvation Army 'Temple' in Exeter which is a fascinating building. I was almost distracted from the wedding by the furniture. Streching the whole width of the hall, approx 40 feet, was a beautifully polished 'Pentitent Form'. This was the 'altar' of the Salvation Army where souls were encouraged to 'get right with God'. The 'form' is really not intended for 'sitting' but to put your elbows on as you kneel.

In 2 foot high letters of gold it carried the words..

[size=large]"HERE BRING THY... ...WOUNDED HEART"[/size]

...split into the two halves of the Penitent Form and consequently spread right across the width of the hall. A little lower in slightly smaller letters were the two more golden words

[size=large]"Salvation...Holiness".[/size]

The Salvation Army Sunday meetings used to be a 'Holiness Meeting' in the morning and a 'Salvation Meeting' in the evening. This beautiful old piece of furniture is a 'relic' from the days when we believed people needed to 'repent' to come to Christ and presumed that if God was not already at work in their 'wounded hearts' they would not wish to come.

The Salvation Army officers did not 'counsel' the enquirers but knelt with them to 'pray through' until they came to personal conviction that God had heard their cries for mercy; hence it was often called the 'Mercy Seat'. Whether they came for 'Salvation' or for 'Holiness' they came to the same place; to Christ alone, with their wounded hearts.

It sat there through the whole (wonderful) wedding almost transfixed by the silent testimony of the days when God was expected to move in people's lives and bring them 'broken hearted' to the cross.

Have we lost something...?


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Ron Bailey

 2006/10/28 15:19Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re: Relics of the Salvation Army


[b]Mercy Seat Or Penitent Form[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/images/mercyseat.jpg

The Mercy Seat or 'Penitent Form' is a bench provided as a place where people can kneel to pray, seek salvation or sanctification, or make a special consecration to God’s will and service. The mercy seat is usually situated between the platform and main area of Army halls as a focal point to remind all of God’s reconciling and redeeming presence.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/10/28 18:56Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Here are the photo of the church Ron is talking about in this thread, he sent them to me to post on this thread:

[img]http://www.sermonindex.net/images/wounded1_sm.gif[/img]
zoom this image.


[img]http://www.sermonindex.net/images/wounded2_sm.gif[/img]
zoom this image.


I also recommend reading this article on the subject:

[b]What ever happened to the Mourners Bench?[/b]
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=13073&forum=40&0


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/10/29 15:51Profile
roadsign
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 Re: benches

If only these benches could talk! What stories they would tell of God's miracles in the hearts of people!

Diane


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Diane

 2006/10/29 21:35Profile
philologos
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 Re:

My photos don't really show it very clearly but the small 'cupboard' in the centre has the words 'Salvation' and 'Holiness' in the scrolls. You can just about make it out if you zoom twice on the lower picture.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/10/30 14:37Profile
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Joined: 2006/6/28
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 Re:

Ron, these pics are most powerful. Relics from an ancient time, a long-past era, a period when the land was inhabited by "giants".

Whatever happened? What killed them off?


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Paul Frederick West

 2006/10/30 17:00Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

These are wonderful pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them. Andrew Strom in 2004 was invited to speak at a large Salvation Army gathering in Iowa of leaders to challenge them to remember their roots. He spoke two sessions on the history of the Salvation Army as well as the Gospel. Many were challenged and all but one stood to their feet at the invitation. It was an awesome sight.

Ron asked earlier "have we lost something?" I have been in churches where the altars were taken over to the side as if they were relics of the past. Sometimes they were completely broken down. I have also seen those altars repaired and used again. :-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/10/31 8:44Profile
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 Re: Relics of the Salvation Army

As some of you may know the sally Army has a dear place in my heart,My wife being one reason as we met while she was under the 'articles of war' and stationed in north London UK.Her parents are still in the S.A.
The sad thing is many of the old halls over here in the UK are being sold off for re development.One such hall I visited recently with my work.It was in Dover, a stones throw away from the white cliffs.
It was in a sorry state being stripped of every evidence of its former glory.As i walked around the different rooms, i could still imagine the place as it was intended,it had a magnificent main hall and wonderful skylight windows.The mercy seat was still intact but soon to be ripped out, As Diane commented, what stories could these old walls tell, if they could speak.
So, what is to become of it, sadly, luxury apartments,even the cornerstone with insciption will be no more


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derek Eyre

 2006/10/31 9:00Profile
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Quote:
Sometimes they were completely broken down.


"broken down altars"! I have been reading the history of Azuza Street and how it came right out of the "holiness" movement. In the last 300 years of Christian History the main renewal ongoing movement has been the "holiness" movement. Today we have no trace of it barely left. All the "holiness" movements are not anymore but have the trappings and relics of the former days.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/10/31 11:14Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

Quote:
In the last 300 years of Christian History the main renewal ongoing movement has been the "holiness" movement. Today we have no trace of it barely left. All the "holiness" movements are not anymore but have the trappings and relics of the former days



Yes. My great great grandmother was Methodist turned Pentecostal. They desired to please the Lord at any cost. If they thought if offended God- it was gone.

I don't think it is by accident that it came through the holiness movement. When folk put their whole lives on the altar the fire will fall. This is basically what G.W. North said years ago. We can't fool God, He knows when the altar is full. When it's full the fire falls.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/10/31 11:43Profile





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