As the work progressed and these scenes multiplied, the people became divided into two camps. Some attributed it to divine power and others to something like mesmerism. They declared it to be mere excitement occasioned by the violent preaching of terrorising doctrines on the one hand and the ignorance and credulity of a certain class of people on the other.
Inverness was not then wholly won for evangelism. About the year 1832, when the cholera outbreak had struck terror to the heart of the citizens, Dr MacDonald assisted at a communion in the East Church. On the Monday he preached from these words, "Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." It was a masterly and complete defence of the revival. "The preacher was unusually calm until the end of his discourse, then he was on fire, summing up and relating in quick succession the movement he had witnessed and the part he had taken in it, and manifesting the effect of the revival on Easter Ross. He appealed to his audience and urged them no longer 'to resist the Holy Ghost as their fathers did,' but to yield themselves up to Him who is the quickening and sanctifying breath, and whose power is the life of the church. The effects of that one sermon were great and far-reaching." The capital of the Highlands was won. He won their head and heart by the one superb effort. Souls were won to Christ, while many who had been opposed to revivals were completely won over. The East Church became the centre of special work. Arrange¬ments were made to have a service there every Thursday, and once a month, for a long period of years, Dr. MacDonald was the preacher.
Revivals in the Highlands and Islands by Alexander Macrea – Republished in 1998 by Tentmaker Publications.