New Wynd Church - Glasgow (1859-1861)

A meeting here on July 24th 1859 is deemed to have been the start of the revival in Glasgow. The speaker was John Horner from Coleraine who testified to what was going on in Northern Ireland. The Scottish Guardian wrote that scores of people were left in distress, many were seen weeping, between 50 and 80 remained and some of them gave their lives to Jesus.

The church had been only built five years earlier and was positioned to serve the very poor area of Glasgow called the Wynd. With the help of the Wynd Journal, the church became the centre of the revival in Glasgow. By October they were holding around 30 other meetings throughout the district each week. In the church, all the rooms were full every weeknight and all day on Sundays.


I WITNESSED the Lord's hand moving with power in this place on Friday last. It was densely crowded with poor people belonging to the Wynds of Glasgow. Two or three of us had spoken, and Mr McColl requested all to leave except the anxious, of whom we saw not a few. Suddenly one poor woman in the centre aisle threw up her arms and screamed "Mercy, mercy, oh, for mercy." Her cries were truly frightful, and although immedi­ately a psalm was proposed and sung, in order to still the people and drown her cries, you heard her shrieks pealing over the voices of that great crowd. Then from a different quarter arose the wails of another, and another, and another. Oh, it was a bitter, bitter scene. I heard no cry uttered by a man, but I could see the sternly-compressed lips of some men, and as I and others endeavoured, in various parts of the building, to minister to the anxious, it pleased God to move with power evidently amongst both men and women. Those who were screaming were removed into vestries and other places by the office-bearers, and the work then went on calmly and blessedly. Not a few, I believe, found rest in Jesus that night.

This was written by Mr Furlong in the 'Revival' newspapers. (I do not know if this is the same meeting as the one above)

In the Wynd Church, on Wednesday evening, Mr Hammond read the following note from a lady who, in leaving a meeting in the Queen's Rooms, was urged to remain and decide. At first she laughed and refused, but at length returned with her husband to the inquirers' meeting.

"Dear Sir,—On Wednesday night at the Queen's Rooms I was brought to see my sins, and I felt myself to be a most wretched and miserable sinner. I thought there could be no pardon for me. I had so slighted the grace of God. I used to attend church on Sab­bath regularly, and prayer-meetings during the week, but all the while I was a mere formal professor, although my husband believed me to be a true believer and I thought I was a believer in Christ. I found myself on Wednesday night at your meeting on the brink of hell, for I saw nothing before me but God's wrath and curse due to my sins. I was sinking into despair and cried out in agony God have mercy on my soul; ' immediately these words in Isaiah Iv. were whispered in mine ears, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money come ye, buy and eat, yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.' I then found comfort, and when you came to me and spoke to me about Christ, and sang that sweet hymn, Come to Jesus,' I found peace and was filled with joy in believing. If you had not per­suaded me to return to the inquiry meeting after I had left the hall, intending to go home, I would not have found Christ and been so happy as I am today. Do you remember having asked me, when I was leaving the hall at the close of the meeting, if I had found Christ, and I passed on laughing? My prayers to God are that He would fill you with his Spirit that you may turn many unto right­eousness, and shine in heaven as the stars forever and ever."— Wynd Journal.

On Sabbath the 9th of February, the following circum­stance occurred:—Mr. Hammond introduced a working-man of middle age, who proceeded to address the audience. We give his statement as near as may be verbatim:—" This is the first time," he said, "in my life that I ever rose to address a meeting on any subject. I see many faces here that ken me weel, as I belong to the place. They ken who I am, but they dinna ken what I was inwardly. Before these meetings took place I was a stranger to God. I professed Him outwardly, but inwardly I was a subject of the devil. I was an infidel in principle, though still professing to be a Christian. My chief occupation on the Sabbath day was to gang among the fields and woods for the purpose of studying nature as we termed it, and there are men here I ken and who I love weel, who used to go there for that object. But oh, if it had been God's pleasure to take me away a fortnight since, I must have been hurled into eternal misery. I noo ken and feel that at that time I was without God and going fast to destruction. I aye heard folk talking about sudden conversions and such like, but I thought it was nonsense, and before this night week I ken nothing about it, and did not feel Christ in my soul. There are men in this meeting who have seen me struggling and striving for Christ, and at last I have found Him. Some said to me that as long as there was life there was hope; but my answer was, 'If I'm saved at a', it will be by fire.' In Mr Symington's church this night week I was urged to come to Christ and be saved, but I resisted the invitation. I was in great trouble, and a man I met with there tried to comfort me, but my soul was overwhelmed. He said, Will I pray for ye? and with that he leaned down and poured out his soul to God for me, a guilty and miserable sinner. He saw that though some little relieved, I was still in great anxiety and distress, and he said, Just gang away hame, and dinna weary yourself sitting here, but gang to yer ain house, and pray to God for grace.' I rose, and gaed away hame, and there, by myself sat down on my knees for the first time in my life. I had no words to express my feelings, but I sat down on my knees till I found Jesus come to my very soul. [This statement produced. a marked sensation in the meeting.] I was telling some men in this house last night (continued the speaker) how I found. Christ in prayer, and I now tell them, and a' here that are un­converted, to gang hame to their closets as I did, and impor­tune God to pour peace into their hearts; and if they ask Him, faithfully believing on his name, the blessing will be theirs. Oh heavenly Father, look down on these poor deluded sinners; may they be led to look to Christ for salvation. Oh God, hear this imperfect prayer. Guide them in the narrow way that leads unto life eternal, for Christ's sake. Amen." This prayer, with which the speaker closed his striking narrative, was broken by emotion, his feelings seemingly being too strong for utterance.—Glasgow Examiner.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume IV, page 100. (March 1861)

Additional Information

This is from an 1857 map which can be seen on the National Library of Scotland's website. One can see the church marked on the map between New Wynd and Back Wynd. It is quite tricky to see where the church was due to the redevelopment, but the marker shows a best guess.

The photo below shows in the background New and Old Wynd Streets. The Church was in between.

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