Esplanade. Rothesay - D L Moody (1874)

Meetings for special prayer and evangelistic work have been held here since the middle of October last year. These meetings were held in several of the churches on the Sabbath evenings; in the Victoria Hall, and latterly in the Town Mission Hall on weekday evenings. These services, added to the general interest manifested throughout the country in religious things, led to united meetings for prayer, which were held in the United Presbyterian Church. These daily meetings were brought to a close about the end of May. The meetings in the Town Mission, however, were continued three nights weekly from the 14th Dec. last till the present time, and have, we believe, been blessed to not a few. There have been marked cases of interest, and those who took part in the meetings have been greatly refreshed and encouraged, while week by week they were growing more earnest in the work. The prayer meeting on Saturday evenings has been for some time marked as possessed of more than usual interest.

Several requests from all the ministers and office-bearers in town were sent to Messrs. Moody and Sankey, without success until last week, when on returning from Campbeltown to Greenock, en route for Belfast, Mr Moody kindly agreed to spend Thursday evening in Rothesay. As soon as the telegram to this effect was received, arrangements were at once made for holding one or more meetings. The news soon spread through the town and island, and it was speedily evident that one building would be insufficient to hold the numbers likely to attend. Accordingly, it was arranged to hold a meeting At 7 o’clock in the West free church and a second meeting in the East free church at 8:30. After Mr Moody’s arrival, it was found that only one meeting could be addressed by him and a change of arrangement had according to be made - The change at first regretted, but which eventually proved to be for the benefit of all. The west free church, Bing, the largest building, was accordingly selected by 7 o’clock was literally packed - passages, pulpit, stairs, lobby, et cetera, being occupied by dense mass of human beings. The Reverend, Mr Falconer, and Reverend, Mr Williamson conducted a service of praise, prayer, and reading some scripture, until Mr Moody‘s arrival at 7:30, when Reverend Mr Thompson took the chair and gave out the 43rd Psalm. Reverend Mr Ross read several requests for prayer, after which, the Chairman, having engaged in prayer, it’s been delivered Kay manifested the atmosphere of the church was such as the ordinary means of ventilation could not remedy, as densely was it packed. During the singing of two hymns arrangements are made for conducting the service in the open air.

So the great relief of many in the church, and to the intense delight of hundreds outside, Mr Moody intimated that the remainder of the service would be conducted by the seashore on the Esplanade. Yeah, in a few minutes, during which the 23rd and part of the 174th Psalms were being sung, and immense wrong with people, numbering, not fewer than 3,000 persons, had assembled round the preacher. After a short prayer, Mr Moody preached from Mark 16. 15 and 16. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. For fully an hour he riveted the attention of his large audience, narrative, metaphor, parable, illustration, and appeal, following each other in guick succession and agreeable variety. Towards the close of the service, the scene was one never to be forgotten. The firmament was cloudless and myriads of stars shone brilliantly (for by this time night had fully set in), and were reflected in the Bay beyond which lay the Cowal Hills, dark and massive in the distance. Every now and again the houses is Gallowgate and the spire of the West Free Church was lit up by flashes of sheet lightning. The Esplanade with its thousands was in front of the preacher. Deeply impressed, evidently, with the position, the scene, and the circumstance that he was addressing probably for the last time a Scottish audience, Mr Moody's concluding discourse, which for point and power we hare not heard on any former occasion surpassed. It was evident the Spirit of the living God owned the truth, for when the intimation was given that a second meeting would be held in the church for prayer and further explanation of the way of life, the building was very speedily well nigh filled.

An inquiry meeting was held afterwards in the hall adjoining the church, to which a large number of persons retired, deeply impressed with the concerns of the soul. The night of Thursday, the 3rd of September, will, we believe, be memorable in the history of many a precious soul, and many will take up as their own the word of the Psalmist- “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Local paper

"The Christian," September 17th, 1874.

Related Wells