ABOUT a fortnight ago a young man, who had just been converted, felt himself compelled to relate his experience in the church. From the account sent us we take the following:
"I came to this place about six years ago. The minister under whom I sat wrote to a party in town to look after me, that I would not be led or lead others astray. Shortly after I came I learned to play cards, and always carried a pack in my pocket, and even took them to church. One night, while playing, the party written to came in, and spoke very seriously to me about them, and got me to promise to give them up, which I did, but not till some time thereafter. I again learned to play draughts, and subsequently chess, of which I got so fond that I often played till one and two o'clock in the morning, and I also became a Freemason. To these follies I gave myself entirely up, till at last my conscience troubled me so much that on leaving the place, as I could not endure this state of things. I went to hear the Irishmen at Corpall and saw two or three who were impressed. I knew it was not excitement, and I went into a wood and prayed that God would not pass over me. I then went to hear them at night, and wished with all my heart that God would have mercy upon me, but after all I spent all the next day playing at chess as usual, till I heard the church-bell ringing in the evening. I thought, after the manner in which I spent the day, I ought not to go. I, however, went and came out as I went. Mr Dickson intimated that there would be another meeting for inquirers; but as I was not one, I thought I would not go, but seeing others go, I went, and the text was, ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come.' I prayed to Jesus to have mercy upon me, and my burden was taken away, and I was enabled to trust in Him, and by his Divine aid I ever will. When I went home I burned the draught-hoard and also the chess-board, but I kept the men in case it might be excitement after all, but I had no peace till I burned them also. I had a musical instrument of which I was very fond, and I had to burn it too; thus you see I have for six years been spending the time God gave me for repentance in worshipping these idols; but Jesus came and removed my guilt, and now I am left to show others what He has done for me." A friend writes to encourage and strengthen him. We extract from his reply:—
"That the work which is now going on in Lochaber is the Lord's I have not the least doubt. There is rejoicing in heaven over many in Lochaber this month back. The change this place has gone under since the beginning of 1860, I cannot describe. The first Sabbath-day that Mr Dickson lectured in Kilmalie, I never saw the like of it; the people could not be put away. There was one woman there especially that would not, could not, keep from praying at the very height of her voice. In Fort William again the people never enter a public-house. There was a case of saving grace witnessed one night (in the Free Church School-house) on one of the greatest prostitutes in Fort William. When she cried out, the minister turned pale, the people were awe-struck, at this woman crying out as being lost forever; her imagination, as it were, having a view of hell, and herself ready to be plunged in it; when suddenly she threw herself on the floor, crying out, Jesus Christ has saved me!'
"There is such a spirit of prayer given to those who are awakened. They pray, and they don't care who hears them; the fear of man is nothing to them; the fear of God, and reverence in his presence, is the only thing, and all proclaim God is Love.' Kilmalie parish is quite a vineyard, and my daily prayer is that Fort William will soon be the same. There have nine boats from Buckie come through the canal for the west-coast fishing, and forty-five men, all converts; they prayed in Kilmalie church, and such fervency in prayer was never heard in this quarter. These are but a few, very few, items of what is going on here."
From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p111.
I believe he is talking about the Free Church, which used to be where the marker is.