Sandwick -Shetland (1863)

The great and good work continues to make progress in the far north. To appearance its influence in the town of Lerwick has considerably subsided. Now the public meetings are neither so numerously attended nor so frequently held as they once were. Nevertheless, the public manifestations have only given place to those of a more private and permanent character. Praver-meetings are at present common with the young of both sexes, and several district ones, conducted by experienced Christians, whose hearts have been moved, and whose zeal has been inflamed by the stirring scenes of recent occurrence, have sprung into existence. Still, our public meetings are not destitute of interest, and the one held on the Sabbath evenings has been attended by results of a most pleasing and blessed nature. But what of outward interest is wanting in the town, is abundantly enjoyed in some of the country districts. There the work of conversion steadily progresses, and that, too, generally speaking, in the most satistactory manner. It is only in the district of Conningsburgh that the excitement has gained an ascendancy over both pastor and people and, as a consequence, created some surmises regarding the real character and tendency of the movement. However, of its beneficial influence none need be in doubt, since Sandwick, a place only two miles further south, supplies the sure and certain evidences in the reformed lives and sanctified conversation of not a few recipients of the divine blessing. At a crowded meeting held in the chapel there a short time ago. We saw many a wet cheek, as the Rev Mr Macfarlane pointedly addressed his audience from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and it was gratifying to see many of the 160 who attended the conversation meeting after the public service, professing to have found peace in believing. The night was dark, windy and wet, yet from distances miles around the people had gathered together to hear the word of God spoken, and it seemed to be with reluctance that they separated about eleven o'clock at night, after remaining for upwards of four hours in the meetings. At this place some very striking answers to fervent, believing prayer have been given. Two persons came under our notice of clear illustrations of this, and certainly their present conduct, when contrasted with their past behaviour, pointedly exhibits the power and the efficacy of divine grace. Besides the meeting in the
chapel, there was one held in the parish church and those present were suitably addressed by the resident minister. Altogether the outpouring of the divine blessing upon this place has been great and manifest, and the fruits of the general awakening will we trust become more and more apparent in the deportment of all in this neighbourhood. Further south evidences of progress are beginning to appear, and in the further north the meetings are numerously attended. Notwithstanding the unfavourable state of the weather, and in thinly-peopled districts, Mr Fraser has had audiences of 400 in one place at the same time, and wherever he has been, signs for good have been disclosing themselves. At Whiteness, in the west, a great movement has pervaded the whole district, and under the judicious management of the Rev Mr M'Kinven, the most satisfactory results have been gained. On a recent visit to this place we had not only the pleasure of seeing the place of worship filled to overflowing, but listening to well-timed addresses by two clergymen who had come from the town to comfort and console the anxious inquirers of the district. At the conversational meeting there were about 140 present and it was with some difficulty that the speakers could free themselves from the earnest seekers after peace and salvation, who
followed them on their way home after a protracted service of about six hours. The Lord has done great things for us of which we are glad.

"The Revival," February 12th, 1863.

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