Kirkwall - Orkneys (1860)

This letter, from a sober-minded brother at Kirkwall, was read by an elderly servant of Christ, to whom it was addressed, at the night prayer meeting in Euston Room.

There is a most marvellous, miraculous work of God's Spirit going on here. Generally, after preaching, the person is sud­denly perfectly overcome with sudden conviction of sin and 'God's judgment; the intensity of the conviction is such that, with cries and groans, they sink to the ground. on their knees, and, with many cries, confess their lost state and hardness of heart. This state continues for various times, and, to see and hear them, it is like hysteria. They generally get peace through prayer, someone praying with them. Then their joy is as great as their agony. Sweet Jesus, blessed Jesus, longing to be like Jesus and with Him; not care one bit for the world— that all left behind. Then the love to the brethren is as mar­vellous—many have run up and thrown their arms around me, with "Dear brother, sweet brother." We are all brothers and sisters in Christ now." Then telling what they feel and felt— the hardness of heart, &c; but now they have got Jesus, and they won't let Him go. One remarkable thing is, that, gene­rally speaking, they scarcely cease speaking after finding Jesus, to themselves, or rather to God and to their fellow-sinners. I assure you, dear brother, that were a person to be raised from the dead, or a mountain to be cast into the sea, it were not half so marvellous as what is going on here. When I tell you, for example, that the shamelessness of the young women here, until two weeks ago, beat that of any prostitute I ever saw, and that now they are preachers of a living gospel, affec­tionate beseechers and warners of their old companions in sin and folly, taking them by the hand, and embracing them often while doing so, forcing them to kneel down and pray with them, &c. Oh, I can scarce realize the miraculous intensity of faith and conviction, unless I have them before me—clapping their hands often, embracing, praying, warning, beseeching, singing, and praising. I should like any to be here who will not pray for the Holy Ghost, the promise of the Father, and see the fruits of the Holy Ghost in them; they would confess that God was in them of a truth. I will only say one thing more, viz., that they evidence the fruits of grace with as great an in­tensity. I know that what I have learnt of not being my own, but bought with a price—of not loving the world, and of love to the brethren—I have learnt in watching, fighting, weari­ness, fasting, crucifying the flesh, bitter, painful, as felt death must always be; and these learn them in forty-eight hours, perhaps in a night.

Truly one recognizes this to be true, "Except a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," in these, then, you know the meaning of being born of the Spirit. This state lasts (hitherto) for a week or ten days, and even at the end of that time one would say, that they are not in their (right ?) ordinary mind. Yes, they are in their right mind. I can only describe by saying, that they seem to be possessed —indwelt—by the Spirit of God. Some little children, of ten years old and upwards, preaching a precious gospel; in fact, all do, some dwelling more on one point than another, but all of the beauty of Jesus.

There are just six in communion with me; of these, two young men who never spoke before, now cannot hold their peace, filled with such love they are to Christ, and to their brethren, and to their fellow-sinners.

The most of this has taken place at the Free Church, but isolated cases have taken place at home, and at other little meetings. At one of these I hold every Thursday evening some thirty people perhaps were present this week—place quite full; one woman was suddenly overcome, and sunk down, crying, in a deep voice of intense anguish, "I can't bear it; it's more than I can bear," &c. Two little girls were con­stant in prayer and exhorting; and when I left, at half-past eleven, the room was still full; the half kneeling, others singing, beseeching, rejoicing, listening to counsel, &c.

I believe the whole character of this end of the island is changed. Every person is wonderfully moved, and six who live on the farm are rejoicing in Jesus, and many others who habitually work for me.

From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume iii, p178.

During the past week there have been weeknight meetings in all the churches, and in all of them the attendance has been good, and the attention remarkable. Meetings are held also at the shore, and the gatherings are so large that no place can be got to contain the crowds.

"The Wynd Journal," April 25th? 1861.

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