Cellardyke (1859)

A great work of Revival has begun at Cellardyke, a fishing town contiguous to Anstruther, on the banks of the Forth. For some considerable time past, there has beep prayer made, almost without ceasing, unto God, that He would revive his work here. These prayers are at length answered, even in a way and to an extent that took the praying by surprise. A fortnight ago, one young fisherman was converted in a remarkable manner, while at sea. He had been anxious about his soul for some time, and the boat's crew, most of them good Christian men, had been holding prayer-meetings in the boat. One night, the young man's anxiety increased to a painful degree, when it was suddenly and somewhat strangely relieved, by seeing, what he thought, Jesus, who was standing on the water, with outstretched arms. The lad was scarcely restrained from leaping overboard to prostrate himself at Jesus' feet. But now, a strange joy filled his soul, that constrained him to sing aloud, and the crew joined in such a song of praise as would sometimes rise from the Lake of Galilee 1800 years ago. The circumstances were awe-inspiring. The hour of the night--the dead silence all around, broken now by a song of joy, and taken up by the angels of God,—joy over one sinner repenting and forgiven. The hymn was the well-known one of Dr Doddridge:

"O happy day that fixed my choice," &c. "But," said the lad, "I couldna sing more than the first verse.“Why?" "Joy wouldna let me, my heart was so full." He still rejoices in Christ, and gives, as the foundation of his peace, not anything that he has seen or heard strange to mortal eye or ear, but the declaration of God's Word that, "Christ died for our sins." He is resting simply on and trusting to Jesus Christ the Son of God and Saviour of sinners, and his subdued but earnest and gladsome manner of telling what Christ has done for his soul, forbids any thought but that he speaks the words of truth and soberness. The news of this event spread like wildfire through the town, and a mid-day prayer-meeting was immediately advertised. The place of meeting, holding 200 or 300, was filled. Two of the ministers of the place gave each a short address, and, after the meeting, several remained anxiously inquiring what they must do to be saved. The place was again crowded in the evening; and next day there was, throughout the whole town, such mourn­ing, as when one mourneth for an only son. The Spirit of God had now come down in power, and hundreds were con­vinced of sin. As in other, places, so in this, the young were deeply and extensively affected. A number of little girls, ten or twelve years of age, had been meeting together for prayer for some weeks. They now met every night, and the cries of the children before the throne of grace would have melted the hardest heart. No one who did not hear them can form any conception of the scene, as these children cried aloud with such solemn earnestness, "O we have hard, hard, HARD hearts. Though young in years, we are old in sin. We give our whole hearts to Thee. Our hearts are black with sin, but Thou canst make them whiter than snow. Oh Jesus! Thou didst wear a crown of thorns that we might wear a crown of glory. O, Lord! make us able to say, ‘I am my Lord's and He is mine.' O come, Lord! and bless us." Truly, this was the spirit of grace and supplication poured out. It made one tread softly, for God was in the place. The wail of their tender voices was truly distressing. "O what shall I do, what shall I do to be saved? Oh! this night! this very night! save me. Otake this burden, this heavy burden from me. Oh Thou hast promised that all who come to Thee Thou wilt give them rest. O give me rest! give me rest! Otake me, Lord, take me now." How they realized the personality of Satan may be seen from such expressions as these frequently occur­ring in their prayers--"O Lord, keep Satan away; O keep him down, Lord, keep him down." Not a few of them have found peace in believing, and how real the work is with them may be seen from what one said—"I have now got Christ into my heart, and Satan'll no get him out, if I can help it," speaking the last words with great emphasis. How like beginning to "fight the good fight of faith."

From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p116.

Cellardyke is a large fishing village adjoining the town of Anstruther. That religious awakening which is spreading around the Scotch coasts like a tidal wave, and seems laden with blessings especially rich for the fishing communities, has visited us here. Wednesday, March 14, seems to have witnessed the first distinct appearance, though there were not wanting previous signs of promise. About three months ago, a boat's crew was lost in the Frith, and the solemn impression then produced has never been effaced. The number that now attend the general daily meetings scarcely fall below 1000. The passenger in the street can hear the frequent psalm-singing proceeding from private dwellings. Prayer-meetings are also held at sea in the fishing-boats, and to these last some trace their conversion. So far as calculation can yet be ventured on, the hopeful converts exceed 60 adults, and several are added daily. To take in the boys and girls, on which class its power has been very marked, would give as many more. There has boon little undue excitement, no "prostrations." It has indeed been singularly free from any show or extravagance. The young converts display an overflowing zeal and grudge going no distance to tell others what God has done for them. The neighbouring towns, Crail, Pittonween, St. Monance, &c., share more or less in the awakening. This great work earnestly invites the prayers of all who rejoice in the progress of the Redeemer's cause.

From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p117.

The following letter, written by a Lieutenant-Colonel, was appended to a communication addressed to the Editor of the Christian World, on the subject of the Revival at Cellardyke. Of the work itself we have given notices in earlier numbers of our paper:— DEAR FRIENDS,—Those of you who are at ease have little conception of how terrifying a sight it is when the Holy Spirit is pleased to open a man's eyes to see the real state of his heart. It is a sight that brings down the strongest. We little know what we carry within us until the light of God's Spirit shines into our hearts, and shows us what we are. I will give you an instance in proof of this: There was one man of Cellardyke, remarkable as a fine, daring, brave fellow, whom nothing could daunt. Let the weather be what it might, his boat was the first to brave it, and no danger could stop him—just such a man as would be sure of the Victoria Cross, if ever he had an oppor­tunity. You know the kind of man I mean. Well, this man —he was skipper of his boat—went out as usual to the fishing. While out at sea, he was overtaken with an agony of mind, and deep concernment about his state; thoughts which had given him no trouble before, he could not now get rid of. He felt that he was a sinner—though he was no worse a man than you and I—yet he had his eyes opened to his real condition, and his agony of mind was dreadful. His fellow-boatmen tried what they could to comfort him, but he could not get quit of the burden of sin which was pressing him down. They were out two nights, and he remained in this state of distress. When the boats came ashore, he told his crew to lay up his boat, and look out for other work, that he could not go to sea again until he had got this matter settled. Well, this stout heart was brought down. He sought Christ —he found Him When he had found Christ, all his fears vanished, and he now reposes upon Him, and rejoices in Him. He said that if a few days before he had been told that he would have been among the praying ones, he would have thought nothing more unlikely. I saw another fine young fellow—just the picture of a British tar, full of life, just a young fellow with his round sailor's jacket—I saw this young man stand up boldly before a crowded meeting, and tell what Jesus had done for him. A few weeks ago, he, like some of my readers, would have been ashamed of Jesus—at least, to confess him openly. But now he glories in Him, and rejoices in what He has done for his own soul, and for his neighbours. What cowardice this is, to be ashamed of Jesus! If we are ashamed of Him, it is because we have never known Him, nor felt his power in our hearts. This young fellow has seen the blackness of his heart, and has found out the way to have it made white; and he is not ashamed of the Friend who he feels has done all for him, supplying, from his own blood, the washing that he needed. Now, think you that this hearty young fellow is turned into a moody mope because he has become religious? No, his very face speaks out the happiness of his heart, he need not tell it with his tongue. I might go on, and tell of others—of men who were thought to be, and who thought themselves to be, good, religious people, who have been led to search into the foundation upon which they were resting, and have found all rotten, that they were self-satisfied, resting on their own goodness and not upon Christ—of many turned from open sin to lives of holiness—of some weeping for sorrow because of their sins, and others weeping for joy because they know that their sins are forgiven ; but I must stop. What I have written will encourage those friends who have been praying that such a manifestation of God's power may be made in the locality in which they reside, for they will see in the work at Cellardyke an additional proof that prayer will certainly bring down a blessing. And I hope it will lead all to feel the necessity for earnest prayer that we may be shown the true state of our own hearts; for we have no conception of how vile and abominable a thing we carry within us, until the light of the Spirit shows us the real state of the matter. It is a sight that will humble in the dust the stoutest heart; and MIND THIS, it is a sight that we must SEEsome day, either now, when we may get pardon, or hereafter, when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed—BUT WHEN THERE WILL RE NO PLACE FOR REPENTANCE. F. S. G. From 'The Revival Newspaper,' Volume ii, p198.

Additional Information

I do not know where the meetings were held.

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