Bervie (1860)

We have a most blessed work going on in the Mearns here. It is just Ireland set down at our own door. Conversions counted by tens and twenties at Laurencekirk, Fordoun, Mary-kirk, and now I hear of it going on to Bervie. Meetings at Laurencekirk nightly, many souls in deep distress under con­viction of sin, and many already enjoying peace. It first began in its public manifestation at some of the open-air services of our dear brother Johnston. Souls struck down by the arrow of conviction, and the wounded healed by the balm of Gilead. —Extract from a Letter. From Volume i, The Revival Newspaper p60

That young woman's face was beaming with such joy as I never in all my life saw. We all sat and listened to her in deep astonishment. So full was she of the Spirit that, for about two weeks, she could not stay in her house. She went through the village telling everyone she met or saw to come to Jesus' and get the happiness she felt. Many thought her mad, but she said, I didn't care, so great was my love for souls.' Her sister was then brought under the Holy Spirit's influence, and when I saw her she was very happy, but there was in her case nothing of the great joy felt by her sister. Her husband was also stricken, and was in a sad state for some days. An extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit has just taken place and is still being experienced, at Bervie, a small but "royal" borough on the sea-coast between Aberdeen and Montrose. Like many other places which God in his sovereignty has been pleased of late to make the special theatres of his wonder-working grace, Bervie has long been remarkable for spiritual coldness and deadness. Its inhabitants are principally weavers and fishermen; many, especially among the former, being avowed infidels. It was not till about the second week of September that the general and striking awakening seems to have manifested itself at Bervie, of which I now proceed to give you an account from a private letter recently received from a lady now on a visit at the Free Church Manse:—

During the absence of your brother at Aberdeen (for eight or ten days)," she writes, "conversions took place among some of the most indifferent characters. Prayer-meetings have been held every evening for some weeks past, and inquirers spoken with at their conclusion. Many stay, some of whom are under deep concern about their souls. An interesting young woman,.. a servant here, had lately been giving dissatisfaction, on account of being longer than she ought to have been in returning ¬when sent out on errands. The reason of this however, have just discovered. The poor girl was under deep conviction of sin and was mourning and trying to get comfort. So when she went out, she often stayed to speak to others who she thought might be useful to her. But at last she has found peace, and is now very earnest in trying to bring young com¬panions to the Saviour, and many have come and, I am per¬suaded, will come to Jesus in this place.

"I was walking one day when I was here before (some few months ago) along the shore, when I saw a woman whom I thought I would join and speak to about her soul. I found that she was a regular attendant at the Baptist chapel. I had a good deal of religious conversation with her. On my calling on Mr D. the other day (the pastor of the Baptist church), I found that this woman had been stricken down lately at a prayer-meeting, and was for some time after so physically prostrated as to require medical attendance. After a while, however, she found peace in believing in Jesus, and rejoiced with great joy, telling everyone how sure she now was of salvation. I lost no time, on hearing this, in going to see her. It was growing dark when I called at her cottage; but as soon as she heard my voice, she flew out, threw her arms around me, and embracing me, pulled me in and began to tell me how clearly she now saw all that I had said to her; and that she was rejoicing in salva¬tion through Christ alone. She had been a professor for many years, but seems never to have been really converted till lately. Much of her experience, which she told me, was very edifying and remarkable, but too long for me to write. She was going on Monday to start for Australia, with her husband and children, willing to live or die, now that Christ was hers. On Sabbath evening both parlours at the Manse were crammed almost to suffocation, with persons all seeking advice about their souls, along with some Christian people who came for the purpose of united prayer. Some prayed and sang in our room, while Mr C. (the Coast Missionary) spoke to inquirers in the other: they stayed till about ten o'clock at night. One poor woman I felt much for. She said, she felt her heart so hard and dark, and, though earnestly seeking, could get no comfort. After she had gone, I ran down the town to tell her a text that occurred to me, that I thought would suit her case, and might be blessed to her. She was pleased to receive me into her little room. I left her, and she continued to pray over the word until near one o'clock in the morning, when Rom. viii. 1 came with power to her heart and gave her peace which she has enjoyed ever since. United prayer-meetings are being held every day alternately, in the Free church and the Baptist chapel."

Further accounts of this movement at Bervie, I may perhaps, be able to forward next week. Meanwhile, I remain yours faithfully in the Lord. G SMALL.

From Volume i, The Revival Newspaper, p91

Additional Information

The meetings took place in the Free Church which is approximately where marked. I do not think it is there anymore.

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