FOR a long time past evangelistic work has been more or less vigorously carried on under the auspices of the Hawick Home Mission. Five weeks ago the work received a mighty impetus in the right direction by the arrival of Mr Turnbull, a blind evangelist, who up till Sabbath evening, November 8, has nightly conducted services in the large Exchange Hall, and occasionally, when this spacious hall could not be obtained, in a regular place of worship. The word, through his instrumentality, appears to have been accompanied by the Holy Ghost and with power, and large numbers have given hopeful tokens of a saving change. At first the meetings were not very large but from the very first a fine feeling of harmony and holy fervour pervaded the services. Mr Turnbull, ably seconded by the Home Mission, who stood by him all through, went to the street, and in the market-place sang the gospel, he having a powerful and pleasant voice, afterwards inviting the large congregations who invariably gathered around to adjourn with them to the adjoining hall. Gradually the interest increased, until, during the last three Sabbath evenings, the large hall, capable of accommodating 1,700 people, was completely crowded, and many had to turn away unable even to get within the doors! Mr Turnbull, who is utterly devoid of all clap-trap and sensationalism, preaches the gospel with great force and convincing earnestness, his forte evidently being his clearness in enunciating the truths of Christ, and pointing out the way of salvation. He possesses a pleasant, sonorous voice, and his manner and general style of delivery are attractive and winning. While he does not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, he does so in such a way as to leave no doubt in the minds of his hearers that he is possessed of only one desire, the glory of God in the salvation of souls. The congregations are made to feel the realities of eternity, the danger of remaining away from Christ, and the heartiness with which the love of God would welcome back the sheep that have gone astray. Nor were his discourses tedious; no long-winded, straggling discourse did he give, but a concise, carefully prepared, and pithy address, abounding with apt illustrations and full of gospel truths, which never fail to gain their way to the hearts of his audience. Generally, he adopted rather an argumentative tone, showing the reasonableness of God's demands, and that it was for the best interests of his audience to believe the atonement made for them "once for all." Inquiry meetings were held each evening, to which many remained, especially on Sabbath nights when the largest meetings were always obtained. The first meeting generally lasted about an hour and a quarter, and that for anxious inquirers from half an hour to an hour. Sometimes as many as four or five hundred remained to the anxious meetings, of whom, on a rough calculation, about one-half were either inquiring further as to the way of life or had already come to a knowledge of the truth through the former services.
"Times of Blessing," Dec 3rd, 1874.
I do not know where the Exchange Hall was.