Dundrod (1859)

Rev. William Magill relates how the revival came to Dundrod.

“When dressing I observed a man approaching the manse, and the thought at once arose in my mind, this man is perhaps coming for me—the work is begun. It was even so. I was soon on my way to his house. He told me as we went, that one of his daughters, after returning home from the prayer meeting, had fallen ill, strangely ill—that she was up all night, and had raised the whole family to engage in prayer with her and for her—that she had never ceased praying and reading all night, and when he left her she was worse than ever, and he feared she was ‘going wrong in her mind.’ He had done all he could to pacify her, and said to her if she wanted to be converted, to take the matter coolly and not create an uproar about the house to alarm the neighbours.” The same morning Mr Magill led the stricken one and one of her sisters to Christ. The awakening spread with the rapidity of a prairie fire when it is fanned with a mighty breeze and on the following Sabbath a very remarkable service took place. Mr Magill himself describes it.

“I gave a short address, stating what the Lord had done among us, when one of the converts, our first one, rose, and with beaming countenance and eyes, which told of the joys within the heart, said a few things to the people, when here and there throughout the church, parties rose and went out, labouring under deep conviction, and immediately the graveyard is filled with groups singing and praying around the prostrate bodies of men and women. Some are as in a trance, others crying for mercy. Some are still falling into the arms of friends and sinking as into a swoon. Some stagger to a distance and drop on their knees to pray over the graves of the dead, and a few rush to the gates and fly in terror from the scene. The converts are flying from group to group, and raise the loud shout of triumph as one after another, like the jailer of Philippi, is seen trembling and heard crying out, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ Up to this evening the work had gone on chiefly among the females; soon, however, the men were impressed; and I shall never forget the look and shout of joy with which one of these females proclaimed the triumph of the Lord, when strong men were writhing in agony or stretched out still and calm, but with clasped hands and heaving hearts, on the graves around. I think I see her now— her bonnet hanging behind her head, her Bible in her hand above her head—and I hear still her shout, ‘The men are coming now !— the men are coming now!’ For ten days and more the whole country was in a state of intense excitement.”


Nothing could better prove the complete and happy change that has taken place in this district within the last month, in the manner in which the anniversary of Tuesday last was observed. It is unnecessary to state how it was kept in former years. The last 12th, however, was observed not as a holiday, but as a holy day — as a solemn Sabbath, which commenced, continued and ended in praise prayer and other religious worship.

"In the forenoon, the brethren who met in Dundrod came to the hall with their Bibles in their hands and waited on Mr McGill with the request that he would go to their place of meeting and engage in religious worship with them and others assembled. This request was cheerfully complied with. In the evening, by special request, a prayer meeting was held in Dundrod at six o'clock. The Orangemen from the surrounding district came in great numbers, without either music, banners or any party badge. They arrived as solemn, serious men going up to worship God in His sanctuary. They had nothing to distinguish them as Protestants but their Bibles, which they carried in their hands. The numbers assembled were so great that the large church could not hold them, and the meeting was held in the open-air, in an enclosed garden in the rear of a schoolhouse. The greatest order, solemn and deep seriousness prevailed during the whole service, which lasted about two hours among the vast assembly of about twelve hundred men. “The people afterwards, who separated, went home in groups wondering at the strange ‘twelfth’ they had witnessed, and blessing God for the privilege and pleasure enjoyed throughout the day. Not an oath, not an insulting word, not a party expression issued from the lips of man or woman was seen or heard throughout the whole day.

"Banner of Ulster" Saturday, 16'' July 1859

Additional Information

I do not know which hall they are referring to.

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