Reginald Radcliffe - Free Gaelic Church Glasgow (1859)




We had a meeting for the young in the Free Gallic Church on Saturday, and here, as in the Bridgegate, no exciting ad­dresses were delivered—only the freeness of the gospel—but numbers of children remained after the addresses, weeping and mourning. We divided them in order to deal with all; Mr Radcliffe took some into a vestry, I took others, and some brethren remained to minister to those in the church. God showed his own Son's blood to many of those dear little ones, and they left us rejoicing. But others went away mourning, and I am told that one gentleman said that the children in his neighbourhood seemed all stricken with the consciousness of sin; he offered to gather together about forty children in his drawing-room, col­lected from all the adjoining houses, if some brother would come and point Jesus out to them.

From the 'Revival' newspaper.

An extensive Revival has begun in Free St. Mark's and Hope-street Gaelic, and other churches, in addition to the work which has so long been going on in the Wynds and Bridgegate. Nightly meetings have been held in St. Mark's for more than a fortnight. So numerous have the awakenings been in this congregation, that it has been said that unless others are brought in, the work must cease. Of that, however, there is but little fear, as it is well known that not only have most of the churches in Glasgow reaped fruit from the few places where prayer-meetings have been held during the last two years, but it has been repeatedly stated in public, by those who have had opportunities of knowing that over all Scotland there are many who thank God for the blessings they have received at the Revival meetings in Glasgow. At the Free Gaelic Church, Hope-street, mid-day and evening meetings are also being held, which are always followed by inquiry meetings, and great numbers have been awakened.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume IV, page 100.

Glasgow. We mentioned last week that an extensive Revival had begun in some congregations. This week has soon no abatement, but a large increase. At the inquiry meetings in Hope-street Gaelic Church hundreds of anxious souls are being brought to the Lord. The awakening is spreading to the suburbs. The churches are beginning to recognise that the Revival is a fact in the city. It is not a moment too soon. Some have re­jected opportunities which may never again return, Inroads have been made on existing bodies of the church, and formid­able companies are already formed of young Christians, who have forsaken the " Church " for the " Hall," simply because no room is given for the vigorous energy of the new life which God has given them, and who seek freedom for its outlet in places where inquiry and district meetings, Sabbath-schools, and other disciple-work, will not be frowned on. No less than six halls have thus been filled, and many hundreds regularly attend, who ought to have had the benefit of the direction and fostering of the church. Should such things be? Occasional meetings have been held in the City Hall by these young con­verts on week-day evenings, but on Sabbath last a large meet­ing was held at one of the regular diets of worship. At the close a number waited in deep distress.— Wynd Journal.

The following communication we take from the Guardian:

On Saturday evening we were present at one of the most re­markable meetings we have ever attended in this city. So much has been said for and against these Revival meetings, and the rapidly growing fame of Mr Hammond, the American evange­list, has, during last week, been attracting such crowds to Hope-street Gaelic Church, that personal observation is the only means by which to gain an unprejudiced opinion. We shall simply describe the proceedings, and allow our readers to form their own conclusions. At half-past seven, the spacious church was filled by an audience of a very mixed character, from the rich merchant to the poor mechanic. Mr Hammond, accompanied by several clergymen, then came upon the platform, and at his first appearance we could discern in the utter ab­sence of clerical dignity and assumption, at least one element of his success. As he gave out the hymn, he spoke, moved, and acted as one of the people, with a sympathy and kindness which could not fail to win the heart. After the singing and prayer, a man rose to speak,—a working man evidently by his dress and appearance. He simply "told his experience," as the Metho­dists say. He had been most dissipated, a drunkard, a wife-beater, until his heart had been touched at one of Mr Hammond's meetings in Glasgow; and few in the audience were unmoved when he described the happiness now in his once miserable home and ended in the fulness of his heart by telling his wife and sons to stand up and let the people see them. Then another hymn was sung, and George Ross, a young country-looking lad, well known in the North as "Mr Radcliffe's helper," in a short and striking address, urged upon Christians the duty of earnest work in these Revival times. Then another hymn, and a young man from Dumfries, a converted infidel, related how at one of Mr Hammond's meetings he had been awakened, and brought from the darkness of infidelity to go about working as an evangelist. A gentleman then briefly but strongly acknowledged the benefits he had received since Mr Hammond's visit to Glasgow; how he, like many others in all classes, had thought lightly of this Revival movement. Very simply and frankly he confessed that he had seen his error, that now he was as fully prepared to sup­port the movement as he was before to oppose it. Mr Ham­mond then rose, saying, that instead of an address, he would read a letter he had received from a young lady. The letter, which was a very remarkable one, related how the writer had been devoted to fashionable life and amusements, till at one of the meetings she was awakened to concern about her soul. The variety in education, in circumstances, and position of the various cases produced a very marked effect; and when the Rev. Mr M'Gregor rose to speak we have never seen an audience apparently more deeply impressed. The benediction being pro­nounced, all desiring conversation or anxious about their souls were invited to remain. The scene which followed reminded us of those we had heard of during the Irish and American Revivals. Hundreds remained; one strong muscular man, his whole frame convulsed with agony, cried out, "Oh Jesus, Jesus, don't leave me." In every part of the church suppressed sobs were heard. Not only women, but men, young and old, were there, the deepest anxiety depicted on their countenances. When we left at a late hour, Mr Hammond and his coadjutors were still engaged with the anxious.

From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume IV, page 106. (April 1861).

Additional Information

This is from an 1894 map which can be seen on the National Library of Scotland's website. Replaced by the Railway Station building. The church can be seen a little above the middle of the map.