Neilston (1860)


Our faith has been has been sorley tried for a long twelve months, but the answer has come all at once, as it were like "a rushing mighty wind." This wonderful work of thevgrace of God began in the parish of Dunlop, part of which I have the oversight as missionary. A little after the work commenced, I was for a week in the village of Dunlop assisting the ministers in their arduous toils. I could tell you many a wonderful sight to which I was a witness, that week, but as you have seen a good deal about it abroad I shall refrain and give you a short account of the work in our own immediate district.

During the week I speak of, I made every effort to get as many of the people here, down to Dunlop, as I could, in order that they might catch the infection as it were and bring the revival to our own district The plan was entirely successful. On our first meeting after my return, the presence of God's Spirit was evidently felt. At the second some few conversions took place, and these did not fail to openly avow it. This was quite a new thing here, for formerly we were culpably reserved on spiritual matters. From that night onward the work has gone on triumphantly. For nearly a fortnight we had a meeting every night, commencing at seven and generally going on to eleven o'clock at night. Some would have liked them a litle shorter, but it was almost impossible to get the people sooner away. Many were heard to say, "O I could just stop a night here." Convictions and conversions went on every night, do so still, though not so strongly as at first. But these are not confined to our meetings, for they happen any where, and at any time.

The worshipful, joyous, solemnity that appears on the faces of the converts is truly hearenly, and generally has a strange and thrilling effect on mere onlookers. After the usual exercises of the prayer meeting, we take an hour for conversation.

The stronger and better informed believers go through among the anxious and also the careless, for all are so solemnised, in the awful presence of God, that very few get angry at you if you ask them if they have found the Saviour. Others talk together of the wonderful things that the Lord has done for their souls, while others carry on in a soft melodious voice, the sweet songs of Zion.

We have earnestly prayed the Lord to preside in our midst, feeling our own inability to conduct such a movement, and this is the natural shape that the meetings have taken. It looks rather strange to a mere spectator to see prayer, praise and conversation going all on in some ten different parts of the house at one time. But the moment you engage in the work, you feel entirely at ease...

It would bring tears of delight to your eyes to see how happy the people are talking together about the salvation of their souls. After this we sing altogether, pray and pronounce the benediction; then a number leave, but those more interested remain for another conversation meeting. On our way home we often hear the sweet swell of song from different companies as the march to their respective abodes. The result of all this is far beyond our expectation. Religion is the one thing needful here; little other is talked about. Peace has been made between contending parties. Reading, prayer, and song are now practised at many a hearth, where formerly religion was an utter blank. Places of worship are overflowingly attended. Open wickedness has greatly disappeared. The unconverted feel solemnly awed for the time being. All more or less feel that God is amongst us of a truth.

"The Wynd Journal," December 8th, 1860.


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