Anstruther (1859)



A great work of Revival has begun at Cellardyke, a fishing town contiguous to Anstruther, on the banks of the Forth. For some considerable time past, there has beep prayer made, almost without ceasing, unto God, that He would revive his work here. These prayers are at length answered, even in a way and to an extent that took the praying by surprise. A fortnight ago, one young fisherman was converted in a remarkable manner, while at sea. He had been anxious about his soul for some time, and the boat's crew, most of them good Christian men, had been holding prayer-meetings in the boat. One night, the young man's anxiety increased to a painful degree, when it was suddenly and somewhat strangely relieved, by seeing, what he thought, Jesus, who was standing on the water, with outstretched arms. The lad was scarcely restrained from leaping overboard to prostrate himself at Jesus' feet. But now, a strange joy filled his soul, that constrained him to sing aloud, and the crew joined in such a song of praise as would sometimes rise from the Lake of Galilee 1800 years ago. The circumstances were awe-inspiring. The hour of the night--the dead silence all around, broken now by a song of joy, and taken up by the angels of God,—joy over one sinner repenting and forgiven. The hymn was the well-kown one of Dr. Doddridge:

"O happy day that fixed my choice," &c.

"But," said the lad, "I couldna sing more than the first verse."“Why?" "Joy wouldna let me, my heart was so full." He still rejoices in Christ, and gives, as the foundation of his peace, not anything that he has seen or heard strange to mortal eye or ear, but the declaration of God's Word that, "Christ died for our sins." He is resting simply on and trusting to Jesus Christ the Son of God and Saviour of sinners, and his subdued but earnest and gladsome manner of telling what Christ has done for his soul, forbids any thought but that he speaks the words of truth and soberness. The news of this event spread like wildfire through the town, and a mid-day prayer-meeting was immediately advertised. The place of meeting, holding 200 or 300, was filled. Two of the ministers of the place gave each a short address, and, after the meeting, several remained anxiously inquiring what they must do to be saved. The place was again crowded in the evening; and next day there was, throughout the whole town, such mourn­ing, as when one mourneth for an only son. The Spirit of God had now come down in power, and hundreds were con­vinced of sin. As in other, places, so in this, the young were deeply and extensively affected. A number of little girls, ten or twelve years of age, had been meeting together for prayer for some weeks. They now met every night, and the cries of the children before the throne of grace would have melted the hardest heart. No one who did not hear them can form any conception of the scene, as these children cried aloud with such solemn earnestness, "O we have hard, hard, HARD hearts. Though young in years, we are old in sin. We give our whole hearts to Thee. Our hearts are black with sin, but Thou canst make them whiter than snow. Oh Jesus! Thou didst wear a crown of thorns that we might wear a crown of glory. O Lord! make us able to say, ‘I am my Lord's and He is mine.' O come, Lord! and bless us." Truly, this was the spirit of grace and supplication poured out. It made one tread softly, for God was in the place. The wail of their tender voices was truly distressing. "O what shall I do, what shall I do to be saved? Oh! this night! this very night! save me. Otake this burden, this heavy burden from me. Oh Thou hast promised that all who come to Thee Thou wilt give them rest. O give me rest! give me rest! Otake me, Lord, take me now." How they realized the personality of Satan may be seen from such expressions as these frequently occur­ring in their prayers--"O Lord, keep Satan away; Okeep him down, Lord, keep him down." Not a few of them have found peace in believing, and how real the work is with them may be seen from what one said—"I have now got Christ into my heart, and Satan'll no get him out, if I can help it," speaking the last words with great emphasis. How like beginning to "fight the good fight of faith." From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p116.

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