Campbeltown (1897)




Again, in 1897, Campbeltown was favoured by a season of reviving power. The Rev. Alexander Bain, of Lorne Street Free Church, gave the following report of the work to the General Assembly of that year. "This remarkable religious movement began in the mining village of Drumlemble, three and a half miles from Campbeltown, on the evening of Sabbath, 21st March. For two winters a highly-successful Bible Class, for the benefit of miners and farm servants, had been carried on there, and, though held on a week-night, and under the auspices of Lorne Street Church, it had been largely attended by young people of all denominations. The class was conducted by the esteemed and devoted assistant of the congregation, Mr. Alexander Frazer. For two nights he had the help of Mr. Hugh Brown, son of the ex-Lord Dean of Guild of Glasgow, and a well-known office-bearer of the Free Church. For the rest the work was taken by himself, assisted by several ministers and laymen from the town. Night after night the schoolroom was filled with a deeply-interested and expectant crowd, gathered from all parts of the Laggan of Kintyre. The prayer-meeting held prior to each service was largely attended. The services were conducted on bright and attractive lines—plenty of singing; short, earnest prayers; a brief, pithy, running exposition of God's Word; and a short, pointed address. The messengers had no new or startling message to unfold, but the old story of ruin by sin, redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, followed up in the after- meeting by strong Biblical and ethical teaching. At the close the anxious were invited to enter the inquiry-room, while those who had to leave were asked to retire—the Christians who were not workers waiting for praise and prayer, while souls were being dealt with in the adjoining room. Night after night, with great spontaneity, young men and women left their seats for conversation, and were led to decision. By the end of the first week the work came to be all the talk, in mine, field, and home. One of the first to yield to Christ was a well-known and intelligent young farmer, and a member of the Established Church. Thereafter the miners began to come in, and the blessed result now was that, with the exception of two or three, every miner in the village, which was formerly a Sabbath-breaking, godless place, was enlisted under Prince Immanuel's flag. The coal pit, that used to ring with vile song and savage blasphemy, now resounds with 'psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.' The day's work, done in the darkness, began with prayer and ended with song. "Meantime, a strong desire laid hold of many of the earnest Christians of the town that a mission be started within its borders. Accordingly, the Victoria Volunteer Hall, the largest in the town, was requisitioned, and on Sabbath, 11th April, a beginning was made by Mr. Frazer, supported by almost all the ministers in the town. There was felt to be a great power in the meeting, attended by over 2000 souls, and at the close ten professed to accept Christ as their Saviour and King. During the four following weeks the work went on in the large hall of the Y.M.C.A. Institute, which was packed each night with a large and eager throng. The Spirit's power was so manifestly present that some nights as many as twenty or thirty would decide and publicly testify. The converts were connected with all the Presbyterian Churches. There were five strangers among them, one of them being an engineer from Leith, whose vessel happened to be in the harbour over Sabbath.

‘Revivals in the Highlands and Islands’ by Alexander Macrea – Republished in 1998 by Tentmaker Publications.


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