Spirit of Revival Postscript



Biography of J. G. Govan,

Founder of the Faith Mission

By his daughter


POSTSCRIPT (page 205-207)

And from the far north of Scotland, like heavenly music, comes the news that the Spirit is moving in power. This book commenced with the story of a revival, let it end with one.

Away in the Hebrides, the Spirit of God had been at work, and there was “a sound of abundance of rain”. Groups were meeting regularly for prayer, burdened with the needs of the people. In some districts, churches were emptying, and drinking houses where men would meet to drink over the week-ends were full. The religious fervour and faith that had distinguished Lewis for long, seemed to be losing their hold upon a new generation. “There’s been a rough edge on our young people since the war,” said an old sea captain.

In a little cottage in a crofting community, lived two sisters, eighty-two and eighty-four years of age, and one of them was blind. What can they do for the Kingdom? They can pray. And they gave themselves to prayer, until one night the burden was so heavy that they sat, one on either side of the fire, through the long winter night, crying to God. – Prayer to them was conflict with the powers of darkness, and what devotion to souls and to their Saviour they showed, – and what faith! “God had promised, and we kept Him to His Word,” they said. “During the last of the conflict, the Enemy came leading all his demons, but”, triumphantly in Gaelic, “I lifted my hand, and struck him in the Name of the Lord, and he retreated, with the Blood of our Risen Redeemer between us and a defeated foe.”

The next day they sent for the Parish minister. “Revival has come”, they said, “send for Mr. C— of the Faith Mission.” The minister came back. “I have written and he cannot come; he has other engagements.” “That is what man says,” replied the dauntless sisters. “God says he shall come. Write again.” And the pilgrim came, and a mission opened in that district, and the second night, like a rushing, mighty wind, the power of God struck the meeting. Revival had come!

As the work has continued, spreading from Lewis to Harris, the same power has been manifest, overwhelming the sensibilities, causing the godless to cry out in horror at the Presence of a Holy God, bowing people to the ground with a sense of God’s majesty. “Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down,” prayed the prophet, and in these far-off islands, God has come down, and the mountains of insensibility and sin, of evil and unbelief have flowed down at His Presence.

The outcome of the work is practical, and God-glorifying. The spirit of prayer that is upon the people, causing them to pray the whole night through, is not only for Lewis, but for the work of the Kingdom throughout the world. Churches are thronged; drinking dens are closed. “Do you see that place?” queried an elderly man pointing to a house. “Before the mission, you would be afraid to come near it on Saturday, and ashamed to come near it on Sunday. Now it is shut and barred, and thirteen men who met there last week to drink were in the prayer meeting to-night.”

It is interesting to note how suddenly the work is done. Godless men coming into the meetings from curiosity have been broken under conviction of sin, and become like “little children”; and agnostics, in a moment, have become conscious of the eternal God. Amongst those who have grown “modern” in their outlook, faith has found expression again in the old-fashioned Scriptural terms, such as the new birth, conversion, sanctification, words chosen by the Holy Spirit as vehicles of heavenly truth, and which become vital by His inbreathing. Christians blessed with new revelations of the love of Christ and the sufferings of Calvary, are united in love and brotherliness, and many differences have been swept away. At united gatherings in Stornoway recently, the people stood on the last night by the Town Hall, reluctant to leave, and there at 11p.m. in the clear light of a northern summer evening, the voices of over six hundred were raised in the psalm of the revival:

“Thou shalt arise, and mercy yet,

 Thou to Mount Zion shalt extend.”

What are the means which God has used in this awakening? Firstly, the prayers of devoted people, then a prepared messenger and thirdly, preaching that deals powerfully with sin and coming judgment, and that exalts the Cross of Christ. Will this movement spread to the mainland? It may, if we too will seek God, as they sought Him, and give His Word its rightful place. “If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If so, once again there shall come in our midst that glorious and blessed Spirit of revival.

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