Donaghcloney (1859)

“Passing rapidly to the old and venerable place of worship whither we were bound, the pastor ascended the pulpit and commenced the devotional meeting, for which—as on every other night in the week, except Saturday—a large number of persons, of all ages and both sexes, many of them coming from great distances, had assembled. In this gathering I saw a fair specimen of what had been common, and I might almost say universal, in nearly every part of Ulster, during the last two or three months. Prayer was the characteristic of the movement and were there no other proof of the divinity of its origin, this were alone sufficient.

“What a change presented itself to my eyes in that old familiar place! Here was a large body of people, who on a week evening had come together, not expecting an address from a stranger, and thinking mainly, if not entirely, of praise and prayer. And when the prayer of the pastor (the Rev. J. Moorhead)—full of solemnity and unction—was over, I could not help marking, with glad surprise, the eyes of strong men wet with tears. A psalm was sung, and I then entered the pulpit It was to me a solemn moment, and a very solemn place, and all the more did I feel this, because I had come thither so unexpectedly to myself.

“What could one say amid such a people, but tell them of sin and its penalties, and of pardon, peace, life, and healing, through faith in a Saviour’s name, and by the grace of His Holy Spirit? As words of this import were spoken, my ear was startled by a suppressed cry proceeding from a pew to the left of the pulpit. I looked and saw a young woman in great agitation, but there sat by her side one of the elders of the church, who took her hand in his and calmed her. But a little time later, her emotions and physical sufferings were so great that it was found necessary to remove her.

“The address was closed: prayer was offered by the young minister of Waringstown, the closing psalm was sung, and the benediction was pronounced. Proceeding to the adjoining session-house or vestry, I found a crowd of persons gathered before the door. Entering the house, I found the young woman in a state of great prostration and weakness on one of the benches, her head leaning on the breast of an elderly female. Words of instruction and consolation were spoken to her. I found that she was an orphan girl in humble circumstances. I asked her had she felt anything of this kind before? She replied, ‘Yes, once or twice; but there had been no external manifestation till that evening. She gradually revived and spoke of going homeward. She was taken into the open air, but she found herself so weak and oppressed, that a chair was placed for her, and the people gathered around her.

“The Rev. Mr McMurray standing near, prayed very earnestly, and all the people bowed their heads, and worshipped with him. I then proposed a song of praise-—the first verses of the 40th Psalm. The poor girl hailed the idea with delight, crying out, ‘Oh, yes, do sing! ‘ and the soft sweet swell of that song of a redeemed soul rose up on the evening air and died away. It seemed to act on the sufferer as did the harp of David on King Saul,”

Dr Weir.

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