In 1834 the Methodists in Kilsyth began to increase and there were 35 members in two classes.
A move of God seems to have begun in the Sabbath School. Alexander Patrick visited the school on Saturday evening and one of the boys found Jesus in the meeting. 'On the same evening, two young women were brought before him, with the urgent request that he would lay his hands on their heads and bless them in the name of the Lord... An extraordinary influence, it is said, seemed to accompany the transaction and specially to rest upon the parties chiefly concerned. One of these young women a few days after was made the happy possessor of the joy of present salvation and holds fast her integrity to this hour.
The next day being the last sabbath of February 1835, during the prayer meeting in the class, a young female was able to enter into a personal covenant with the Lord... During the same day the teacher, in addressing the Sabbath scholars in general, was led to dwell upon the great blessing which God had just vouchsafed to two of their companions who were then present, and he declared with affectionate earnestness that as there was no respect of persons with God, the same blessing would be bestowed upon all without exception, who sought it in true faith. While he was speaking it appeared as if an overpowering light broke in upon their minds; an unusual solemnity pervaded the school and soon there were heard in all directions sighs and sobbings. Tears began copiously to flow and unrestrainable cries burst out from all directions for the pardoning mercy of God. The violence of the feelings and the great number of the young people so instantly affected produced an apparent disorder which disconcerted and confounded even the person whose address had been so seconded by the Divine Spirit. The business of the school was stopped and for a considerable time nothing could be heard mingled lamentations and prayer for mercy.
Meanwhile, the hour had come for the adult congregation to assemble for the public preaching, but the hall was pre-occupied by the young people who could neither be removed nor restrained from crying aloud to God with groans and tears for the salvation of their souls. The congregation was therefore obliged to take their places in the midst of the agitated and agonising youths. A messenger was sent to hasten the preacher and to inform him of what was going on and to say that, "the friends could not well tell what all this scene might mean."
When Mr Patrick arrived and had cast his eyes over the meeting, he lifted up both his hands and shouted, "Glory be to God, I understand it all," and at once abandoning the intention of holding a regular preaching service, he invited all present to engage in earnest prayer and faith for the healing blessings of mercy. The evening was accordingly spent in these exercises and it was found, at the close of the meeting, that twelve persons professed to have found pardon from the Lord...
On Thursday following, being the fast day, Mr Patrick preached in the evening. In the midst of his prayer a woman cried aloud for mercy. Immediately, a prayer meeting was begun on her behalf, and it pleased God so to pour out His Spirit on all present, that at the conclusion of the meeting, thirty-two persons professed to have stepped into the liberty of the children of God.
From this period religious services became general throughout the town. Some of them were protracted to a great length and almost all of them proved seasons of Divine power and blessing. The concern about eternal things was diffused among all classes of the population and in the course of a week, about 100 persons found peace with God...
In the midst of these scenes, our friend Mr Patrick seemed to almost forget that he was still in the body. His own intercourse with God filled him with a joy and gladness unutterable, and he as often shouted' "Halleluia" because of his own assurance of salvation, as because he saw the work of the Lord extending around him. The influence of his enthusiasm was often overpowering and the power of the Divine Spirit, which we believed accompanied it, dashed and confounded various scoffers and would-be persecutors. One man who came to hear on purpose to censure and deride was suddenly struck with a panic and fled from the window where he had placed himself, with all the symptoms of ludicrous terror...
A person from the country... on his way out of town was beckoned into a cottage where they began forthwith to call upon God when a Divine unction rested upon all. One and another entered the room and the spirit of prophecy seemed to invest every one that entered. Believers rejoyced, penitents lamented and many seekers found the rest they sought. The entire day and the following night the meeting continued without intermission; until utterly exhausted, he left the place and retired for repose. It seemed as if an invisible charm drew persons towards this spot and prevented them leaving when once they entered the room.
A young woman was there agonising for pardon; her sister came to seek her and was soon reduced to the same distress. The mother, ignorant of what was going on sent a third of her sisters, but she also was led to cry aloud, "what must I do to be saved?" and still delaying, a brother came to seek and bring home all three. But he also had hardly entered the room before he began to cry aloud, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" When the news of these facts was brought to the mother, a pious spiritual soul, she fell on her knees in her own house and gave God thanks for His great work, entreating Him to manifest His pardon to each and all of her children. That evening they all returned to their house together, praising God for the pardoning mercy vouchsafed to them.
Mr Patrick found himself this impulse. Being obliged to return to his worldly duties, he left at night and came home to Coatbridge, weary but happy. Yet he could find no rest to his spirit and after waiting a day he rose early in the morning and walked back the ten miles to Kilsyth, arriving there before the inhabitants generally were awake... a meeting was immediately commenced and the blessings from heaven were copiously poured out. Many even of the most active of the prayer leaders were constrained to remark they had seen strange things that day. About 40 souls were converted to God before the closing of the evening exercises, so mightily grew the Word of the Lord and prevailed...
The revival was sustained for a considerable period and our friend, during its continuance, was indefatigable in his exertions, visiting from house to house, admonishing private persons and holding prayer meetings in all parts of the town. when the Spirit of the Lord visited a house, His influence often fell upon more than one member of the family. Often has Mr Patrick been seen kneeling with the husband, wife and one or more of the children, who were agonising for mercy at the same time. A mother, who had found peace herself, was often instrumental in bringing salvation to her whole household.
The moral results were of a most delightful character and particularly so in the case of some of the most inveterate and abandoned sinners... The effect upon other religious bodies in the town was to rouse up among them the spirit of prayer and an earnest longing for the renewed visits of the Holy One.'
Alexander Patrick was still leading people to the Lord in Kilsyth in 1838, so it is highly likely that the ongoing prayers brought about the large revival of 1839.
'The Wallacestone Reformer', by John Drake, pages 96-113.
Many meetings were held at 'The Lodge' before a chapel was built, but I do not know where it was. This is the third church on the same site.