Latheron (1860)




In these earlier days of February and March, a like impres?sion was made on the more southerly seaboard of Caithness. The inhabitants of the fishing villages there had heard tidings of the awakenings in the south with great expectation, but though there had been deep impressions, nothing unusual had taken place. The coming of the Buckie and Portessie men precipitated the blessing.

"By and by," says the Rev. George Davidson of Latheron, "they found their way to our meetings and took part in them. Hitherto there had been no violent demonstrations, though a good deal of subdued feeling was manifested by tears and sighs, but soon several became so affected as to relieve their pent-up feelings in loud cries and fervent prayers for mercy and pardon, and this, too, from night to night, for now the meetings had become nightly and often continued till morning. Many of both sexes were wont to stand up in rapid succession as if under an irresistible impulse and to utter the most earnest and fervent supplications, both for themselves and others, so that it was with difficulty that order could be maintained. The violent agitation only lasted for a few nights during which there were some cases of prostration and fainting. Afterwards matters assumed a more quiet and edifying appearance and the work went on calmly and agreeably." The movement soon embraced the villages of Lybster, Dunbeath, and Berriedale.

The following is from, ?Revivals in the Highlands and Islands? by Alexander Macrea ? Republished in 1998 by Tentmaker Publications.

The accounts of the Irish revival in 1859 awakened among the people of the parish "a feeling of solemnity and expectation." A prayer meeting was held three times a week in the schoolroom, which held about 200 people. This accommodation became too small, and the church had to be used. The attendance at these prayer meetings increased to an average of 400.

"It was now the beginning of February, at which season several boats' crews from the opposite coasts of Moray and Banff are in the habit of annually taking up their residence here, in order to prosecute the white fishing during the spring. As it was well known that the revival had been very marked and very extensive over that district of country, much anxiety prevailed, and many inquiries were made on their arrival here. Never were the habits of men more changed. Formerly hey were, as a class, utterly regardless of religious duties, while drinking and profane swearing were common. Now they seemed new men, as different from their former selves as can well be conceived; for not only did they abstain from desecrating the Sabbath, or entering a public house, or uttering an oath but they seemed "to call the Sabbath a delight," and to abound in religious duties on all days of the week, when not at sea. These crews landed on different parts of our coast, and the report of their altered habits greatly strengthened the impressions already existing as to the reality of the work. By and-by, they found their way to our meetings and took part in them. Hitherto there had been no violent demonstrations, though a good deal of subdued feeling was manifested by tears and sighs, but soon several became so affected as to relieve their pent-up feelings in loud cries and fervent prayers for mercy and pardon, and this, too, from night to night, for now the meetings had become nightly, and often continued till morning. Many of both sexes were wont to stand up in rapid succession as if under an irresistible impulse, and to utter the most earnest and fervent supplications, both for themselves and others, so that it was with difficulty that order could be maintained. This violent agitation, however, only lasted for a few nights, during which there were some cases of prostration and fainting. Afterwards matters assumed a more quiet and edifying appearance, and the work went on calmly and agreeably. Some of these strangers were judicious men, but others of them were boisterous, and evidently spoke for effect. This required to be checked, but it was wonderful how little of this appeared among men formerly accustomed to take part in religious exercises of any kind.

"The effect produced by this state of matters, not only on those who professed to have come under the power of the truth, but also on the population generally, was very great. As to the former, they never wearied of spiritual duties. It became their meat and their drink to be so engaged. The Bible was seldom out of their hands at every spare hour. The attainment of Scriptural knowledge seemed to be their great delight, and prayer and praise their element. They prized fellowship with one another, and frequent conference with all who were willing and able to counsel and direct them in the path of duty. Their whole manner and conduct much resembled those of old, when 'men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.' "

Additional Information

I am assuming this was at the Free Church.


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