Dunbeath Free Church (1860)

I heard James Turner first in Banff. He began his meetings by singing—

'What's the news?'

Thinks I, if that be a Revivalist he's a gey queer-like man. But he had not prayed many sentences ere I felt the power emanating from him- I had spiritual perception enough to discern this, for I had been brought to Christ before, but the life I was living in Him was na very full.

One night in Portessie, he preached from the five foolish virgins. The meeting wasna very lang opened ere several were struck down, and some were crying for mercy. 

Old John Macintosh stood up and cried, 

"You that are against the work, come and see if this be chloroform," for whenever James Turner began to speak they tumbled down like sheep round about him, and all through the meeting.

A few days after the meetings began, we left for the other side (of the Moray Firth). We were sorry to leave, but our men began meetings in our own sheds. One of them who had been convinced in the meetings, was led to the Saviour, and found rest to his soul on the way.

The people began to flock to our meetings (on the Caithness coast) till our places would not hold them. Then we got the Established Church School, then when it was too little, we got the Free Church of Dunbeath, and also the Established Church of Berriedale. In the first meeting in the Established Church, there were about forty crying out for mercy. Mr. M___ led the meetings, while we fishermen spoke and prayed. In our first meetings in the Free Church there were 700 people. Some of my other brothers will likely tell you some of the results.

"James Turner, or how to reach the masses," by E McHardie, page 153.

A deputy came to begin the meetings before James Turner came. I went out of mere curiosity to hear. When I went in, James Falkner was praying. I was struck at once by his prayer. "O," thought I, "what would I gie to be able to pray like that!"

On Sabbath evening I went to the Church in a state that I can't explain. My heart was pierced with a sense of sin, and I had not only the sentence but the feeling of death in myself. But there was a great change wrought in me that night. The devil was shaken out of me, and the love of God filled my heart. 

I couldn't hold my tongue, and I was shouting – "The dead's alive, and the lost is found," when the tumult took place in Buckie Free Church.

Two or three days after, we went over to the Caithness coast, and we held meetings there. One young man from Thurso found peace. At Dunbeath we were forced to shift from our own wooden sheds to the Government school. And then we got the Free Church to hold our meetings in - and the two ministers, Established and Free, became friends through our meetings. Mr L__, Minister of Wick, also came over to our meetings; for the Lord went with us, and the power went with us, and the Free Church schoolmaster's daughter was the first brought to the Lord, and having received the spirit of Jesus, she became greatly desirous of healing the breaches between the divisions of Christ's Church and was made a great means of doing it.

"James Turner, or how to reach the masses," by E McHardie, page 195.

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