East and Old Parish Church, Forfar - D L Moody (1874)

As no notice has yet appeared in your paper of the visit of these brethren to the smaller towns of this county, in the first days of July, I have been asked to send you a short account of it. They paid a flying visit, which is all they could find time for to each of the four considerable burghs in this district, Montrose, Brechin, Forfar, and Arbroath in the order I have stated. In each place, all their meetings were densely crowded although they were for the most part held in the very large parish churches. 

After Brechin Mr Moody and Sankey hurried off to Forfar, where they addressed another large gathering, called together on a few hours' notice in the very large parish of that town. We would fain have kept them longer in Brechin, but could not be. In the evening a large number gathered together in one of the churches for Thanksgiving and intercession.

Next day Thursday, July 2nd, our American friends proceeded to Arbroath, with their usual unflagging energy and I had the privilege of being again with them. They addressed two meetings which were both held in the parish church, as the largest place to be had. Mr Moody's state of voice prevented him speaking in the third meeting or in the open air as had been expected. As usual, very many were disappointed of admission, for want of room and many more, as I know, from the country district round, did not attempt to be present, knowing that others would be filling the church before they could arrive.

At the first meeting Mr Moody in his most pithy and telling style preached that “hard lesson for the natural man to learn,” as he called it that before the just God, the moral, respectful man is as hopelessly guilty as the profligate or any other sinner. After illustrating this in many memorable ways and bringing his hearers to acknowledge the law “brings every man in guilty,” he changed his tone, saying, “now the gospel comes right in here,” and preached Christ and His loving substitution of Himself for the guilty sinner with wonderful tenderness, ending with a fine appeal to young men, in which by an anecdote of a shipwreck, he showed the baseness and ingratitude of not taking Christ. Mr Sankey sang and Mr Irvine, the parish Minister, occupied the pulpit along with Mr Moody and led the meeting in prayer.

At the evening meeting the church was even more crowded and the audience included a great many working people. Mr Moody preached and the present writer never heard him tell the message of divine love with greater tenderness or power. He afterwards invited inquirers to meet him in a United Presbyterian Church not far off and about 100, including about 40 children did so. Both then and since there have been many proofs that the Holy Spirit of the Lord is at work in Arbroath.

Evangelistic services have been held every night since Mr Moody's visit to the town and a considerable amount of religious interest has been evinced at these. 

“The Christian,” July 23rd, 1874.


On Wednesday evening these celebrated evangelists held a meeting in the Parish Church. Although it was about mid-day ere notice of their intended visit arrived, yet before eight o'clock the large church was filled to overflowing. There would be about 2,500 present. The meeting was opened by Mr Sankey singing the beautiful solo, "Nothing but leaves;' after which, Mr Moody having read the rquests for prayer, the Rev A  Cumming led the devotions. The hymn "Ninety and nine" having been sung by Mr Sankey, Mr Moody delivered a very earnest and impressive address from the words, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," etc. During the course of the address the attention of the large audience was fully kept up, and a deep impression seemed to be made. After the address, Mr Sankey sang the hymns, "Prodigal child, come home;" and "Almost persuaded." At the close, Mr Moody intimated that an inquiry meeting would be held in the Congregational Chapel, to which a large number under deep concern adjourned, and were conversed with by several ministers of the town. From the numbers and the deep anxiety manifested in the inquiry meeting, it is expected that the visit of our American brethren will be productive of much blessing to our town.

"Times of Blessing," July 9th, 1874.

Related Wells