The influenceof the Holy Spirit has been constantly spreading and increasing in this parish until it has, in a measure at least, leavened the mass of the Protestant community. United meetings have been held on Sunday evenings for the last five weeks in the Presbyterian Church, which has been filled to overflowing. The most earnest and prayerful spirit has pervaded the assemblies, and on every occasion the most wonderful manifestations of God's grace have been witnessed. Blasphemers, who never opened their lips but to curse and swear, are now eloquent in prayer and praise; poor besotted drunkards, long slaves to this soul-destroying vice, have been converted and reformed, and are rejoicing in the liberty and love of God's children; Sabbath-breakers and neglecters of the ordinances of religion, are now frequenting the house of God; prayerless homes have become Bethels; prayerless individuals now pray without ceasing; and those who never read, and were altogether ignorant of the Word of God, are purchasing Bibles, and making them their daily companions. The fruit of the Spirit is most strikingly exhibited in the converts. Such ardent love to Jesus; such strong affection for one another; such "peace and joy in believing;" and such breathings of the heart in prayer, have never before been witnessed. It is also wonderful to see how this outpouring of God's Spirit has banished all selfish and sectarian feelings, and united the people of God in one common spirit and desire to glorify Jesus.Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Wesleyans are uniting heartily together as brethren in offering up their united prayers to God for refreshing showers of His converting grace, and God is wonderfully answering their united petitions. This is a delightful state of things, and shows "how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
From ‘The Revival Newspaper,’ Volume i, p43, Spet 3, 1859.This gracious awakening commenced here in the month of June last. I had, for some time previous, been directing the attention of my congregation to the wonderful Revival going on in Belfast, Ballymena, and Derry, and urging them to seek by humble, fervent, and believing prayer, for an outpouring of God's Spirit on this parish. On Sabbath, the 12th, I preached from the words " Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it," when a most hallowed influence pervaded the congregation. Many were in tears. There were, however, no outward manifestations ; but on the following day (Monday), while the rector of the parish, the Rev. H. L. St. George, united with me in conducting an open-air service in the market place of the village, the Holy Spirit came down with power, and moved almost every heart. After the benediction, many young persons remained weeping and crying bitterly. We accompanied them to a private room, which was soon filled with penitents, who prostrated themselves, calling aloud on the name of Jesus. We attempted to address and pray with them, but our voices were drowned in the loud wailing. For hours we remained with them, directing them to the Lamb of God, and at length we had the great happiness to find that his precious blood, applied by the Spirit of God to their wounded and troubled souls, proved a healing balm. The scene was such a novel one here, that a crowd gathered around the door of the house where we met. The report spread, and people were filled with wonder. Those who were praying and waiting in faith for the coming of the Holy Ghost, glorified God and hailed it as the first drop before the shower. Nor have they been disappointed, for at all our meetings since, the power of the Holy Ghost has been wonderfully manifested in convincing, converting, and saving souls.
On my visiting a singing class held in our church on the following lay (Tuesday), and giving out the first words of that beautiful hymn
"There is a fountain filled with blood,"the majority of those present were deeply affected, and two young girls were completely overcome, and were obliged to retire weeping and anxious about their souls. On the neat Friday, at a meeting convened in our church, which was filled to overflowing, numbers were stricken down, and had to be carried out, loudly calling on the name of Jesus. On the succeeding Sabbath, a still greater number were stricken, some of whom were completely prostrated, one young man was carried out to the vestry. It was a wonderful sight to behold him stretched on the floor with his face in the dust, crying for mercy. On that evening, three strong young men were prostrated on their way home from the meeting. I came up with one of them, he was lying on the road-side, calling aloud for mercy, with a group of praying persons around him. On each successive Sabbath since, without a single exception, we have had the most striking and extraordinary manifestations of the Spirit's power in constraining sinners to cry out, "What shall we do to be saved:" and I have every reason to hope and believe that the work is only commencing. The most blessed meeting we have had yet, was held in Cavan preaching-house, a few evenings ago ; although it was hot harvest all over the country, on arriving, I found the house crowded to suffocation, and some of the converts engaged in singing psalms. The greatest earnestness and solemnity were visible.
Towards the close of the service, an aged woman was prostrated, and became, for a time, quite unconscious. During the concluding prayer, a cry arose from one hero and another there, until the place became a Bochim. After the benediction, I wanted to speak with those under conviction: but the whole congregation remained, and we did not separate till a late hour. We had a large harvest of souls brought to Christ, who professed to have found peace by believing on his name. A very respectable woman remained after all the others had gone, to speak with me about her soul. She had been under conviction for several weeks, during which time, as she stated, "she felt a heavy load crushing her heart, but it was so heavy that evening, that she could not bear it." I, of course, directed her to Him, who said, "Come to me all ye who labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."In my next I shall, God willing, furnish you with some remarkable cases of conversion, in which the power and love of God have been strikingly displayed. James R. Dill.
Sept. 26, 1859.
From ‘The Revival Newspaper,’ Volume i, p82, Oct 8, 1859