For several weeks we had become more solemn, prayerful, attentive to ordinances. Meetings for prayer had increased greatly, both in number and attendance. It was not, however, till the 2nd of July, that what is usually called the Revival set properly in. On that evening we had a very large attendance in our church. It was addressed by three young men from Derry, two of them recent converts. Nothing more than unusual solemnity occurred till the last lines of the Psalm just before the benediction were sung, when such a scene occurred as, I think, has seldom been witnessed on earth. I will make no attempt to describe it. Eternity alone will disclose its consequences. It is a night much to be remembered. I will merely say that the number under conviction was very great. Many were lying prostrate sobbing most piteously and calling for mercy in terms and tones of the deepest distress. The majority of them were brought to Jesus and to joy and peace in believing, before the meeting closed about one o'clock next morning. Again at ten o'clock we had a meeting for anxious inquirers, the church was quite filled, though some had not much more than time in the interval to go home and return. It was one of the most solemn and joyful meetings I ever expected or expect to witness on earth. O! what radiant faces and beaming eyes, telling plainer than any words what God had done for their souls It was like a little heaven below. Since then we have had two meetings daily, one at ten am. for anxious enquirers, and a prayer-meeting at half-past-seven pm. In several instances the church has been quite crowded. At nearly all our evening meetings cases of conviction have occurred. The most usual manifestation is a weeping for sin as if the heart would break; but in a very considerable number of instances parties have been stricken down and have remained completely shorn of strength for periods varying from one to five or six hours. It is not unusual for the same party to be stricken in this way two or three times before peace is attained.
Cases of conviction have occurred among the Episcopalians and Methodists in proportion to their members much as with ourselves. Several have been stricken in their own houses.
In the village of Sixmilecross itself, nearly thirty persons have been brought to Christ and some of them what we shortsighted creatures would regard as hopeless cases as in existence. But they are washed, they are sanctified, they are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. And some of them are such sweet specimens of faith and love as we have seldom or never met with.
Many who have not been converted to Christ are unusually solemn. Religious concern is prevailing. The public houses are comparatively forsaken. God's word is prized and attendance on ordinances greatly increased.
I might add that on Wednesday evening the 6th inst. we had another meeting resembling in many of its features that of the previous Friday. But it was so like it both in the way it was conducted and in its consequences that I need not describe it now.
From ‘The Revival Newspaper,’ Volume i, p12, Aug 6th 1859.
On Sabbath evening, 24th ult. a large district prayer-meeting was held in the open air.
A scene then ensued, and in their day and generation. It was found necessary for some to remain during the night. One of the elders of the congregation states that there were thirty cases of conviction, most of whom, it is perfectly hoped, may result in true conversion to the Saviour. On next evening, 25th July, a meeting was held in Crossroads Presbyterian Church, and it turned out, under the Divine blessing, to be one of the most important ever held in that congregation, although established for seventy years. The number of persons stricken down with heartfelt cries and appeals for mercy, through the length and breadth of a large house, was truly astonishing and awful. For whole hours neither singing nor prayer could be conducted, every heart being subdued and brought to a depth of solemnity altogether unparalleled in the history of their lives. The meeting continued till near daylight. The number stricken and under conviction is said to be from twenty-five to thirty on that occasion.
From ‘The Revival Newspaper,’ Volume i, p27, August 20th 1859
I assume the meetings were here. The church was built around twenty years before the revival.