Greenock Seaman's Chapel (1859)



At the meeting of the Free Synod of Dumfries last week, the Rev. Mr. Douglass of Inverkip said: In regard to Greenock, I believe there is one of the most striking works of grace going forward in that town of which we have any example in Scotland There is a very wide-spread and deep work of grace going on, not among one class, but every class of the community. Its influence is seen on those who are members of churches, and those who are not. One town missionary, a very humble but zealous Christian, had on his roll the names of nearly 900 indi­viduals who have waited on him for conversation in regard to their spiritual That of course is but one example of the work. There are other missionaries: and although their lists do not embrace such a large number of names as I have referred to, many of them have several hundreds on their roll. The missionaries have discharged their duties in the most unsectarian manner. When they find out the religious connexion to which parties coming to them belong, they at once hand them over to the care of the ministers of such denomination. This is a testimony which the worthy men highly deserve. We have no great union prayer-meetings, and no great gatherings to hear particular preachers. The work has taken the form of small private prayer-meetings. You can go to some parts of the town, especially the east end, and you will find a prayer-meeting of that description in almost every second house. And I may say that it is as remarkable among children as among grown-up people. There are vast numbers of meetings originated and kept up by the children themselves. One large meeting in particular is kept up by boys, but is attended also by ministers or elders, who see that everything is done decently and in order. And then we have prayer-meetings among the workmen in the ship-building yards during the breakfast and dinner hours. Among that class the work is of the most thorough and decisive kind. In one building-yard especially, I am told, not only has drunkenness entirely disappeared, which has been a very common sin among these people, bat you will not hear anything like an oath or unseemly language through­out that large yard. And the prayer-meetings are not only largely attended, but the men in their turn lead in prayer most impressively and most scripturally. I should not like to say much about my own place; but I must say that my heart has been gladdened and my spirit quickened by what the Lord has been doing among my own congregation. Our Sabbath evening meetings have been well attended. Though I have had that Sabbath evening meeting for nine months, I have never preached one sermon at it. We have simply met for an hour for devotional purposes, and I have very much confined myself to reading intelligence of Revivals in other parts of the country. —Scottish Guardian.

Capt. Brotchie, missionary of the Seamen's Chapel in Greenock, gives some interesting information in regard to the work of Revival there. In the month of August we saw a particular desire among the people to hear the Word of Life. We thought we should do something more to meet that desire than what we had been doing. Since that time the chapel has been opened every night for prayer. We did not labour long till we found some fruit, and, though we have avoided publish­ing it, I have myself conversed with about 200 persons in an anxious state. Most of these have been apparently brought to Christ. Many of them are composed of sailors, sailmakers, moulders, engineers, and other persons, some of whom never entered a sanctuary for years, and others who had occupied cells in our prisons. One man, belonging to Glasgow, and residing in Greenock, who was much given to intemperance, came to one of our meetings in the open air, smoking his pipe in the midst of the congregation. I spoke to him about his conduct, and his utter carelessness in regard to the Word of Life. These words were made the means of opening his eyes to his condition by nature. He immediately went to the quay, and dashed the pipe against the dock. He went to the prayer-meeting afterwards, and was for some time in deep dis­tress; but he has now for four months given evidence of having undergone a change of heart. I think I can safely say that 1000 people in Greenock have been brought to a saving knowledge of the truth, and these chiefly amongst the working people. Young men and others are engaged in holding prayer-meetings in working-men's houses in the lowest streets of the town.


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