Broadford (1842)



'On the same day [Oct., 1842], we sent intimation that there would be preaching at Sconser. The day turned out wet and there was no place for the people to sit with any degree of comfort, but on the shingle of the seashore, when the tide was out. For a shelter, and pulpit for the ministers, oars were set upon end and a sail thrown over them.

The Rev Mr Macdonald preached with effect to an eager congregation and we then wished to dismiss them, but they would not go away. They would insist on getting another sermon. I then preached: and after a time the tide was gaining upon us, so that those in front of the tent had to retire by degrees to the sides. Still they would not go away, until I intimated to them that I hoped to preach next day in the Parish Church at Broadford, some eight miles off, where they might go and hear more. This intimation spread, and next day many came great distances to hear; but unfortunately the parish minister would not give the use of the Church on that day, but offered to give it the next day, and word to that effect was sent to those assembling. We were much disappointed as well as they. Among them a boatful of people came from Strathaird, who offered to take us to see the stalactite cave there on condition that we would afterwards preach in their mission Church. We gladly agreed, and set off with them. After a time we landed, the female passengers who ran in various directions intimating that there would be a sermon at three o'clock. At that hour the little Church was crowded. After the sermon, we proceeded to the boat to return to the manse by six o'clock, as had been arranged; but the whole congregation followed us and pled so earnestly for another sermon, many weeping as they spoke, that I agreed to remain, and preached, though at the risk of offending the parish minister, and being denied the use of the Church next day, thereby disappointed hundreds.

The Minister was highly displeased, and went from home next morning without seeing me but left the key of the church. The Church is some distance from the manse, and on arriving at it, we learned that a large congregation had assembled on the previous day, when we had gone to Strathaird, and though disappointed of a sermon they returned this day and crowded the large Church. During the sermon it was necessary to stop twice and sing some verse of a psalm to calm their excited feeling, so impressionable were their minds at the time. What an ordinary congregation would hear with composure, affected them, so that many trembled, others wept aloud, and some fainted. It was altogether a striking scene.' Rev Donald Fraser of Kirkhall (came to help with the revival).

From ‘The Skye Revivals,’ by Steve Taylor, published by New Wine Press, p68-70.