New Pitsligo revival

Extract from pages 69,70 in “Testimonies of the 1859 Revival in N.E. Scotland” (an anthology of testimonies collated at the 50th anniversary of the revival)  edited by Des Byrne.

••• But and Ben Salvation

The Revival of ’59 and the sixties is to me a grateful and sacred memory to this day.

When Zion’s bondage God turned back,

As men that dreamed were we,

Then filled with laughter was our mouth,

Our tongue with melody.

For then the Lord did great things for us, whereof we were glad.

It was then that the Lord showed me His salvation, that in Him I had redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Blessed memory that then I was enabled by Divine Grace to lay myself at His feet, ‘to be saved by Him and to serve Him’.

A Fortnight After My Conversion

The years have only served to increase my wonder and praise, that so soon after, the Lord laid it upon my heart to preach the Gospel of Salvation, ‘beginning at Jerusalem,’ in the village and parish where I was school teacher, and soon after, the way opened for me to start my life-work, as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Only a fortnight after my conversion I had my first experience of those Revival scenes which, in the course of years, became so familiar to many a preacher of the Gospel in those northern parts. On the second Sunday of my new life in Christ, I started house to house meetings every evening determined to carry on till the Blessed Spirit of God would either manifest His saving power, as He was doing so graciously in many other places; or give some indication that He wanted us to stop the work. Night after night interest in these meetings and attendance at them increased, till on the eighth night the house where we met was crowded ‘but and ben’ and passage between.

 During the week the story of our effort reached the ears of the Rev. G. Saunders, Millseat, eight miles away, who was then lying ill. I was invited to occupy his pulpit on Sunday morning, an invitation which I was persuaded to accept. There I found myself breathing an atmosphere of happy, spiritual fellowship, which greatly strengthened my faith, and inspired with larger expectation, we prayed together for my evening work, and received the assurance that the brethren would be remembering us at the Throne of Grace, and asking for us a special manifestation of the truth and power of the Gospel in our eighth consecutive meeting at New Pitsligo in the evening. Our prayer was gloriously answered. The house was full of the presence and power of God. For the first time in my experience did I hear the cry from the audience, ‘What shall we do to be saved?’ To the praise of the grace of God, several souls did find peace in believing that night. In and around the village, in the school, hall, or barn we continued for months almost nightly holding Gospel meetings, and seldom without souls inquiring and finding the way of salvation. One gracious result of the movement that started then, was the formation in 1861 of the Congregational Church in New Pitsligo.

Country and Sea-Board Villages          

Time and space prevent my doing little more than name some of those places, where we were led by God’s Spirit, preaching along with others the unsearchable riches of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus, and where we saw signs of spiritual blessing, which will remain among our most treasured memories, even until and beyond death! Stuartfield, Longside, Fraserburgh, and the sea-board villages on either side, Peterhead, Cuminestown, New Byth, Millseat, Turriff, Macduff, Banff, Portsoy, Cullen, Keith, Arndilly, Rothiemay, Huntly, Rhynie, Duncanstone, lnsch, Old Rayne, Culsalmond, Woodside, Aberdeen. In these and other places it was ours to see the stretching out of God’s great arm of power in the Gospel of His Son.

J. S.      

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