Banff (1860)



The U:P. minister of Banff came to see the work, and he has asked me to preach in his church on Monday first—cry to God for that place. I must say I feel unwilling to go to large towns ; but this feeling may be from the devil, and if so I must try and conquer it. If the Lord had not saved souls in every place where I have been, I do not think I could have gone to Banff. There is not a day but ,I get a call or letter to go to some place to labour. I will have to go home by-and-bye to attend to my business, and yet I do..not see how I can give up the Master's work for any secular calling. My soul is well—just a little child at the Master's feet. I need great wisdom, and that the Lord is giving me just as I need. Help me to give Him all the glory."

On Monday, March 5, 1860, he began his labours in the U.P. Church, Banff. On that same day he wrote to his wife and brother :—

"It is clear we are to have the blessing in Banff too. To-day the U.P. Church was filled. Some ministers were present, but above all the Lord of Hosts was there. A good many were convinced of sin. I am going back to the church in half-an-hour to speak to the broken in heart.

"March 7.—I did not get my letter finished yesterday, so I can tell you a little more. Last night we met again, when the house was filled with rich and poor. Many were broken down, and a few found peace. I had another meeting to-day in a loft, and nearly all present were brought to feel their state. We meet in the church to-night again. 0 for power with God! Do pray on! Tell Mr P— to pray, and the names I spoke of before; in short, all who have faith in God. My body is not strong, but the Lord is holding me up. O, may God fill us all more and more with his Spirit, for Jesus' sake, Amen."

On leaving Banff he wrote thus to his brother:—

"I spent eight days in Banff. O that proud place but the Lord has shaken it, and there has been a great movement among rich and poor, young and old. A young man came one night, as he himself confessed, ' to hear that fool Turner preach, and get a little sport l' On Sabbath night I had to point him to the Saviour, and he found peace. Many scoffers have been brought to the Master's feet last week in Banff. The last night I was there, the church was not only filled of all classes, but the crowd extended across the street. Truly we can say, ' The Lord bath done marvellous things, His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.' On Sabbath forenoon I preached in our own chapel, in the afternoon in the Free Church, Macduff ; and in the evening in the U.P. Church of Banff.

From 'James Turner,' by E McHardie.

In Banff Revival meetings are still held as frequently, and attended as numerously, as formerly. In fact, instead of abating, the ardour of those who have been brought to the knowledge of the truth seems to be increasing. The young men especially are labouring with the greatest zeal. Among almost all classes, even of the most degraded, a spirit of anxiety prevails; and in some parts of the town you could scarcely enter a house in which you would not find two or three, and some­times the whole family, in deep concern. Friday, the 25th May, was the day of the Banff Feeing Market, and during the earlier part of that day, young men, in twos and fours, stationed themselves at all the entrances to the town, and the railway station, for the purpose of distributing tracts among the country people as they entered to the market. During the whole day, in the market, addresses were delivered by ministers and others, and every one, as he had opportunity, was putting in a word for Christ. There is evidence that the services were abundantly blessed. Nor are the young men confining their efforts to Banff, but are visiting different parts of the country round. Boyndie, Castleton, and other parts of King Edward have been frequently visited. Two deputations have been sent into the Millseat dis­trict, and several meetings have been held at and around that place, and within two or three miles of it. Considerable im­pression has been made there, and numbers are in a state of anxiety. In Macduff, too, the work was going on with much vigour; meetings are held frequently, and numerously attended, and great good seems to be the result.—Aberdeen Free Press.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume II, page 197.

The revival of the Lord's work took its hold on the public mind about three years ago. Our coast towns, from Aberdeenshire on the one side, to Morayshire on the other, have all been moved, each place having had such strange and wonderful things done in it, that I need not attempt in one letter to give particulars. The county town, Banff, has become a wonder in the history of revival, by the amount of conversions on the one hand, and the sanctification and power dwelling in believer's souls on the other. It does one's heart good to visit this town, to be welcomed by bands of young men of one heart and one mind, to hear of the power that attends female prayer-meetings of all classes, to see the crowded meetings, listen to the fervent prayers, and observe the shining, happy faces of hundreds, or to enter the homes of the poor, and oft hear the stirring tale of their conversion to God, and enjoy the kindness, and see the wealthiest, in not a few instances, giving all up to the service of Jesus. The blessing has fallen, too, in almost every parish from Tomintoul to Banff, and every town and village shared more or less. Cullen and Keith are in want of labourers. May the Lord send men to these places that stand out in the county as pillars of grief to all who have a heart to feel for the perishing. Open-air meetings are abundant, addressed by living ministers or earnest laymen, and day after day some are found pressing into the kingdom.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VII, page 79.


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