Whitehills - James Turner (1860)

I then went to Whitehills, where two churches were filled. I went from one church to the other, and great concern was manifested by many.


During one short visit to Whitehills, a fishing town about three miles from Banff I learned that the work began there by the people going over to Banff while James Turner was there. On the great night, Saturday, the 10th of March, to which so many refer, I was told that about a hundred were converted, and in that number were a considerable number from Whitehills.

By Monday, the whole of the little town was astir. In the evening, G__ W__, who gave me the information, was on the way to Banff to the meeting when he was met by a company of women who asked him to turn and get the key of the chapel. He did so, and when he went to the door, as many people were waiting round it as filled the chapel at once. The women began the meeting by singing a hymn, and then they prayed one after the other, - until 9 o'clock, when the first cry for mercy was heard. The work thus begun continued, for six weeks, during which time the boats stood on the shore. Nothing was done except to secure the salvation of their souls.

There was not a little opposition, however, on the part of individuals. How it was subdued in one instance is worth relating. In the first place, she resented being spoken to personally. "A young feel dame! What needs he speak to me of my soul!" she soliloquised. "Are ye awa to the meeting? I canna believe that man ava. He says we're nae to labour for the bread of this life ava."

"I dinna think he does that; but what does the Scripture say, 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added.'"

"Awa wi' ye!" was her infuriated response, "bread's sweet."

She had also, like many others, imbibed the idea that he had used chloroform to produce the prostrations; and the next time that she met this person with a -

"Weel, what aboot it noo ? "

"O the doctor of Buckie has been telling the people that they have been getting the glorious chloroform," was his reply.

"Weel, I've been in Banff the day, and heard that G__ W__ has gone clean mad, and needin' six or eight strong men to haud him. He'll need the Lunatic at onyrate. That's what the man's deein'!"

But soon after the meeting began in the little chapel, this woman was powerfully laid hold of. After her conversion, when anyone went to see her, the first thing she did was to kneel down and pray. If it was a child of God, she then rose and shook hands with them; if not so, she exhorted the visitor very earnestly. When G__ W__ went in she said, as she shook hands with him -

"Ah, this is the glorious chloroform that ye was tellin' me aboot. I've gotten't noo ! I've gotten't noo!!"

There has been three special times of revival in Whitehills since. One began by Mr. S__, who, if not one of James Turner's converts, was at least led out to work for the Lord through him. The second and third also through those who had directly or indirectly received their working impetus through the instrumentality of James Turner; but it would be inconveniently long to recount particulars here, either of the work or of the workers. 

From 'James Turner or how to reach the masses,' by E McHardie, pages 27, 79-80.

Related Wells