Castlederg (1859)



"A correspondent states the following:— 'I am glad to inform you that the Lord has, in answer to prayer, poured out His Spirit abundantly upon the people of this neighbourhood. On Sunday 10th July 1859, two young men from Londonderry, Messrs. Dickson and Patton, and Reverends Love, Armstrong and Crocket, Presbyterian ministers of Castlederg and neighbourhood, and also Dr. Motherwell, and Rev. Sir Dugan, Wesleyan minister of Castlederg addressed about two thousand five hundred people at five o'clock in the evening in Dr. Motherwell's field, adjacent to Castlederg bridge, on the all important subject of the soul's salvation, calling upon all the people to prepare to meet their God.

"Though there were not many public external manifestations of bodily prostration, all appeared to be deeply concerned and some told me afterwards that they left the meeting praying and that they continued all night in prayer to God for mercy. On Sunday 17''' Mr Donnelly and young men from Londonderry addressed congregations at Rev. Love's Meeting House and also at Rev. Crocket's, and in the Wesleyan Chapel at noon. Afterwards, they led the ministers of the town and neighbourhood as on the previous Sunday at five o'clock when there was over four thousand of a congregation. "Mr Donnelly addressed the meeting in a very solemn manner, which had a visible effect on all present, and after him, while Mr Dunne was singing the first two lines of a hymn in which all the congregation joined, a strong man was stricken down and on his removal there was one of the most uncommon manifestations of the Divine presence that was ever witnessed by me in any place — either in the Botanic Gardens, or in any other place in Belfast or elsewhere — since the commencement of this great revival. The young men from Londonderry also said they saw nothing so great. It was like what Isaiah saw — the whole house was filled with His glory; the singing had to cease because there was nothing through the crowd but sobbing and sighing — some calling for mercy, others rejoicing in a sin-pardoning God. The Lord was present in His mighty power. The scene was such that no mortal pen could describe — it was one long to be remembered and, I am convinced, it will be remembered with gratitude and praise by many and, I hope, by all then present through the countless ages of eternity. “At a late hour Mr Dunne, with great difficulty, got the crowded congregation dismissed even after pronouncing the benediction six times. Some found peace having believed in Jesus and were, subsequently, enabled to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, others had to leave with their friends crying unto the Lord Jesus to have mercy upon them. To attempt to give a correct number of those stricken down and who were weeping and calling for mercy would be utterly impossible. The feeling was so general in the crowded house. “About half an hour after the congregation was dismissed two young men came to our house telling us there were three persons stricken down on the road going home, between twelve and one o'clock, opposite the Rev. Mr Edwards' house, the Rector of the Parish. Mr Donnelly, Mr McLean and myself with some others found, as was told to us, the persons lying on the ground calling on the Lord Jesus to have mercy on them and enquiring what they must do to be saved. Their cries were heart-rending. One person was afraid of going one step further, and asked, 'Do you not see that terrible gulf before me?' We, with some difficulty, got them removed to Mr Johnston's house where we were hospitably received and, after continuing for nearly an hour in prayer and singing, one of them acknowledged to have found peace in believing — and began to point out to the others Jesus and Him crucified.

"The Banner of Ulster" Tuesday, 26'h July 1859

"I am glad to inform you that the great and glorious work of the Lord in this place, as noticed by me lately, is greatly on the increase, On 24th July three young men from Londonderry, Messrs. Dickson, Donnolly and McGowan, together with the Reverends Crawford Armstrong, Love and Ralston who are Presbyterian ministers and the Rev. Mr Doonan, a Wesleyan minister in the place, addressed over four thousand people in the open-air in Dr Motherwell's field at Castlederg. Two young converts also addressed the meeting — one a young man from the town of Castlederg who thanked God that he had heard the young men from Londonderry. Many in the country told me how the Lord made them instrumental in their conversion. The Lord has significantly honoured their labours among us.

“A much larger meeting was addressed on 31st July in the same place by the deputation from Londonderry and the above ministers. On 7th August there were about five thousand in attendance when the deputation from Londonderry, the Presbyterian ministers, and the Rev Mr Whittiger, a Wesleyan minister, took part in the services. At all these times there were several cases of conviction and conversion, both in the field and at the prayer meetings in the different places of worship, and also after leaving the field at eight o’clock. It is delightful to see whole families rejoicing in the Lord as Saviour at our fellowship meetings and, when they meet in the house of the Lord for worship, they rejoice 'and tell to all around what a Saviour they have found.'

"The Banner off Ulster" 11th August 1859

Additional Information

It says that the meeting was adjacent to the bridge; I am guessing that it was not on the town side.


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