Bellaghy Presbyterian Church (1859)

About the beginning of June, I visited a scene of strik­ing awakening in a village called Bellaghy, in the county of Derry, where I began my own ministry. I knew the place well. It formerly was degraded and godless. A complete change had taken place in its moral and religious aspect.

I visited its nightly prayer-meeting and was much af­fected. Under a simple message of gospel truth, I heard the loud shriek from every part of the church, proceeding from those pierced by arrows of conviction. The cries for mercy were loud, piercing, and earnest. I heard a boy— almost a lisping child—pray as I never heard boy pray be­fore. He made me the subject of his burning petitions in the following language: —" 0 Lord, I thank Thee that Thou hast guided the feet of Thy servant, the strange minister present, to this neighbourhood, that he may see Thy mighty doings in our midst. Baptize him, 0 loving and blessed Saviour, this night with Thy Spirit; or if already Thine by regeneration and adoption, oh, baptize him afresh, and send him home to his people, to pray and labour for their souls as he never did before."

The result of this visit to my own soul I forbear to men­tion. Suffice to say, that I was prepared as readily to deny my own existence, as to deny that the work was of God. Before leaving, I expressed myself to the minister of the place in the following language:—" I have never breathed so pure, so holy an atmosphere as that of this village. Bellaghy, an angel has been here since last I walked your streets—the Angel of the everlasting covenant, slaying with the sword of conviction some in almost every dwelling."

No language could express my impatience till I got home (Minterburn) and announced our first regular revival service. I felt con­fident the blessing would now descend in plenteous drops upon my flock. At our first meeting, the church was crowded. A Roman Catholic boy was stricken at this ser­vice. As he was carried out of the church, his cries seemed to reach every heart. That night was a night of much prayer throughout our bounds.

From ‘Authentic Records of Revival, now in progress in the United Kingdom, published in 1860, re-printed and edited in 1980 by Richard Owen Roberts, p152/3.

Additional Information

I am assuming that the comment made below refers to the Presbyterian Church. An Irish flag was flying in this town when I was there.

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