Cabrach (1839)

A young James Morison visited in the summer of 1839 'and a deep impression was left on the whole community.' He shared his time between Cabrach and Knockando. On the first Sabbath, over two hundred were there and they had come from miles around. His preaching did not excite his hearers. However, 'In the evening he preached extemporaneously in a barn which was crowded and the results were such that gladdened his heart. The eagerness of his audience increased his earnestness, causing him to speak with an earnestness and power he had never previously experienced.' This encouraged him not to use notes again while in the area.

Interestingly, Morison defended his new way of preaching in a letter to friends. He felt that by laying down his script he preached with more power. He had been finding that he had been getting new ideas in the pulpit but ignored them as they were not in his script. He now wanted to be a channel for Holy Spirit. He followed the revivalistic themes practised by Charles Finney, which was very novel at the time, preaching the need for faith in Jesus. People liked this new kind of preaching. 

'The inhabitants of the whole district were so affected by the work that they could talk about nothing else.' Nobody was more affected than Morison himself who decided that in future he would have to spend more time in prayer than in study.  

On his return two weeks later he wrote to his father that, 'I never preach without seeing many wistful looks and moistened eyes. The church last Sabbath was filled to overflowing. It has not been so full for many years (it holds comfortably about 300)... The prayer meetings here have been long discontinued... This night, however, we had a meeting the like of which has not been seen on a weekday in the memory of the oldest residents. The large room in which we assembled was first filled almost to suffocation; then a long passage to the kitchen was filled and many had to stand in the kitchen and around the open window and door.'

'Long after his visit to Cabrach the words he uttered were repeated and used by the Spirit to bring wanderers to the foot of the Cross.'

'The life of the Rev. James Morison, D. D' by William Adamson, pages 52-61.

In George Smeaton's book of Morison's life he wrote that there was, 'an overwhelming outpouring of the Spirit on the whole district... many souls were saved and a most blessed revival of religion commenced.'

Additional Information

The spot marked on the map is Gauch farm where Morison stayed, where 'I never in my life received from any family so much kindness and attention.'  The meeting place was provided by the Duke of Gordon and was five miles away. He let the Secession preachers have it for two Sabbaths and the Independent preachers for two, They did not get on.

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