At the meeting in the Religious Institution Rooms, yesterday, the Rev. Mr. Steel, Dalry, said—In our meeting we always find it interesting and refreshing to hear tidings from other places, and I am sure it is the same with you. At the close of our open-air preaching last autumn, we found droppings of mercy descending on the villages where we had preached, and prayer-meetings sprung up till in February or March it was difficult for me to count them. When the open-air preaching began this summer, I felt myself indebted for assistance to working men who had been awakened. About six weeks ago, I preached at the Cross of Dalry, in an open space, capable of receiving four or five thousand people. Every possible effort was made that night to put me down. On all sides, a great noise was made for that purpose, but the mighty Spirit of God was on my side, and about nine o'clock in the evening, almost the whole people of the village were listening eagerly, including Romanists and Socialists, and all sorts. The week after that, the rumour went that the principal publican in the place had lost a large sum of money by the loss of his customers that night, and heaven and earth were moved to put down this preaching. Preparations were made for the fair. An immense crowd, however, turned out to hear the preaching of the Word —a multitude that I could not number, accustomed as I am to open-air meetings. They continued to listen with solemn attention, in the midst of a heavy shower of rain, but they were so closely packed that the rain could only reach their heads and their shoulders. Wednesday came and the fair was at its height; the great enemy had so influenced his servants that the square was covered with booths, and we could not get a foot of ground to stand upon. We were driven into the Free church schools, which will hold, when full, about 500 persons. The noise continued outside, but the schools were filled with an attentive audience. About ten o'clock, a person rose and said, "that we ought to kneel and engage in prayer." A working man then rose, and, with a heart like to burst, poured out a most earnest prayer to Almighty God. I cannot tell whether it was at the close of the prayer, or after he rose that, all of a sudden, the whole meeting seemed to be moved by an invisible power. Here and there, through the whole school-rooms, there were persons crying out for mercy, and strong men crying in such a manner as I had never heard before. I have seen persons suffering under various stages of cholera—I have seen much agony in my day, but never such a sight as this. I felt myself utterly powerless.I believed that I had the coldest heart and the most suspecting eye in that assembly, and sat down in a corner, feeling that I must sit still and know that He was God. But it was wearing on to 12 o'clock. A number were carried out, stricken down, as people are in Ireland, and the elders and working men were busy speaking to anxious souls. At length I said, "I will engage in prayer. While I was thus engaged I heard them carrying strong men past me, and when I rose, wherever I went I found anxious souls. At twelve o'clock I was struck to find that a number of girls, who were anxious about their own souls, were asking those who had come from the dancing-rooms, open during the fair, to come in and see the wonderful work of God. I found it very difficult to get the meeting closed, but I felt it necessary that it should be closed, as I believe there is a stage at which these meetings, when protracted, get into a state of excitement, and the work of God ceases. On Thursday evening, we had to adjourn to the church. God's hand was stretched out there that night. But that very morning Satan had a revival too. From a series of Romanist villages, a legion came out to attack others of a different creed, and much injury was done to life and property. On Sabbath, eight nights ago, there were some young men from our town addressing a meeting in Kilbirnie Free Church, when, all of a sudden, the mighty hand of God was seen and felt as with us, and many were stricken down. Last Thursday evening, I was preaching to a large meeting of workmen at Glengarnock Iron Works, where a number were smitten, and one young man in a manner which I never saw before. It was a very solemn sight; yesterday was a great day of the right hand of the Most High. On Saturday evening, in the same school-room, we had to remain till past eleven o'clock, dealing with anxious inquirers. At eight o'clock yesterday morning I engaged in the same work with a large meeting of young people. This morning I had difficulty in getting away, on account of the numbers coming in to tell me what God had done for their souls yesterday and this morning. The work appears to be coming up this way from the sea; first it was at Ardrossan, and now it has come to Kilbirnie, the third town on the line. The Lord is about to visit you too; no doubt of that. But let me give you one word of advice. Beware of making any reference whatever to those opposed to this work. They know nothing about it, and therefore we should say nothing about them. They may do their utmost to oppose, but they can only forward the work. Romanists and others have been doing all they can to hinder, but we always find that they only advance the work. My other caution is this — Do not protract your meetings. If you continue too long—all night, as some do—I am sure there will be wild excitement. I speak from experience, and when wild excitement begins, worship ceases.
From the 'Revival' Newspaper in Vol i
This meeting took place in the Iron Works, but it seems to have been felt around the whole area, Dalry, Androssan and Kilbirnie.