Fifeshire (1868)

It was my joy to enter upon the religious life in a time of Revival. I was, so to speak, born in a Revival. In the year 1868, evangelistic meetings had been held in our Fifeshire village throughout the summer in the open air, conducted by earnest ministers sent out by the Home Mission of the Free Church of Scotland, and, when the longer nights of autumn drew on, these meetings were held indoors, in a public hall during weeknights, and in the church on Sundays. No doubt there had been much earnest prayer among the Christians of the neighbourhood and in September a great Revival broke out and spread through many of the neighbouring villages. In its blessed sweep I was caught, and then it was that I first heard the word Revival, and shared with the other converts the glad opprobrium of being called Revivalists. Then I knew something of the Revival atmosphere. The ordinary meetings for worship were transfigured; the preaching, the praying, and the singing, all took on a new tone and colour. It became easy to talk about spiritual things. Religion became the all-engrossing subject of men’s thoughts. Some might laugh and oppose, others question and criticise, but all seem impelled to think about it. Enter any family circle at that time, and you would hear it spoken of; join any group of people by the wayside, and you soon found them discussing the same subject; listen to the conversation of a company of workmen as they rested a little from their labours, and the topic would be the Revival. Great things were accomplished. The lives of Christians were raised to a higher plane. Multitudes of sinners turned to the Lord; for every true Revival becomes also an awakening; Revival as for those who already have life are concerned, but for the ungodly, it is an arousing out of the sleep if death, and a beginning of the life “that is life indeed.” Whole villages seemed to be transformed, and public houses came near to ruin. I remember one case of a village of some five or six hundred inhabitants, which fortunately had only one public house before, but that house had always done a roaring trade, but the Revival made it close its doors altogether; and the great annual holiday of the place, which was marked by a sort of bacchanalian procession, was celebrated by prayer and praise meetings, for all the former leaders of the festivities had been converted. In that village, and indeed in many others, wherever you went, you would hear the singing of the sweet songs of Zion, and see the happy faces of those who were breathing the Revival Atmosphere.

An account from Dr M’Caig, Principal of Spurgeon’s Pastors College, London.

Additional Information

I know this is not very helpful, but the account below gives no indication of where in Fife the revival took place.

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