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Howells, William - Opening of Ebenezer Meetinghouse in France

OPENING OF THE EBENEZER MEETING HOUSE OF THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS, IN ST. SERVAN, FRANCE, ON THE 23RD OF SEPTEMBER, 1849.

From Zion's Trumpet, page 216-217

 

DEAR BROTHERS, Wm. Phillips, John Davis, my compatriots, and all the Saints, : You will no doubt be pleased to hear that I have opened a convenient place in the town of St. Servan to preach the eternal gospel in the fulness (sic) of its blessings, the power of God unto salvation to all who believe on it and obey its convenants (sic), in the midst of the French, the Bretons and the English who dwell in this place.

This is a testimony to all the Saints that prayers are heard by the One who said, "Seek, &c."  The congregation was not numerous in the morning, but in the evening the sight was heavenly and I was rejoicing.  None of the sectarian priests were present to display their college learning, but there was there a small Mormon from Wales, with a testimony in his heart that the Spirit of God had given to him some very good "ensignement" teaching concerning "les premiers principes du christianisme."  I had neither a brother nor a Jack (the title the Welsh reverends have given to hundreds of handsome young men who have stronger character in the sight of God than the men who love their own selves, who are lovers of money, boastful, vain, &c.), to begin the meeting before the preacher, rather he did that himself with beauty, and I can say without hypocrisy,

"The Pentecost : turned away fear,                        The Spirit of God came to begin the meeting;"

for he received the assistance of God to pray and preach.

At half past ten in the morning, "Mr. False Prophet, viz. Antichrist" (namely the title which I received from the clergymen, viz. the Reverends of this place), preached from Matthew xxiv, 24, "Et cet evangile du royaume sera preche par tout la terre habitable, en temoignage a toutes les nations, et alors viendra la fin."  We had a good and attentive hearing, and all joined with me singing "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow," &c.  The evening meeting, at six, was begun with reading and praying.  We did not have a choir of singers to entertain the congregation; but the congregation joined with me to sing "Guide us, O thou great Jehovah, Saints unto the promised land," &c.  A sermon was delivered concerning the spiritual part of the heavenly kingdom.  At the end of the meeting a person by the name of Mr.Hall, Episcopalian, spent half an hour with me; and as he left, he took hold of my hand happily like an old Welshman, and testified that he would visit me again.

One of the rich men in St. Malo has given his name to me to go with the first company to Zion!  A gentle lady testified in this place also that she would like to see Zion : "The city of Zion on the sides of the north."  A gentle lady was baptized on the 30th of September, 1849, at two in the afternoon. 

His satanic majesty has become greatly enraged because I opened a place to preach.  He is threatening through his religious servants, to put me in the black hole.  One of his servants, connected with the Brewery, is commanding all his workers "to remember not to go to the meeting of the Latter-day Saints, for such will be forbidden to put their feet within the confines of the company property afterwards."  I could not determine from the above, if the English Protestants were as strict in their commandments and as careful to oppose the success of the cause of Jesus; it must be that the Catholic Priests who walk the streets in ranks, are careful to do their part for themselves, but "he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.  My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure, says God."  Amen.

All yours in the Lord, 

Wm. HOWELLS.

Immigrants:

Howells, William

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