Highton (1862)

I was privileged to commence evangelistic meetings in Highton, a small village two miles from Kelso. Only fifteen persons attended the first meeting, but before the end of the first week, they had increased to about 160. Unfortunately, or it may be fortunately, I was laid aside with bronchitis and was obliged to return to Edinburgh, although not before receiving evidence that the Lord had been working by me. so firmly impressed was I that the Lord was about to pour out His Spirit on this village, that I sent Dr Bonar word by one of his elders to continue the meetings, and he was not long in sending Mr Murray, a labourer who had been very much blessed in Greenlaw, during the revival season in that place. No sooner had he commenced than the blessing came. Hundreds flocked to the meetings - the public house shut us out of their hall, their trade being all but gone. The joiner opened his shop, and the meetings were crowded to overflowing. Such an awakening had never been heard of in that district. When I returned, a few weeks afterwards, a marvellous change had taken place over the whole district. Many men and women had been born again.

As far as could be observed, conversions were general amongst the people of every age, and several very interesting cases occurred amongst the young. A clergyman, who had his doubts about the genuineness of the work of grace, came in contact with a little girl who was resting on the Saviour. He examined her very sharply upon theology in its own technical language, which the dear child did not understand, and had never learned, so that neither of the parties were very well satisfied with the other. Among other questions, he wanted to have a proper definition of what "Saving Faith" was. She acknowledged her inability to answer the question as he put it. "I dinna ken," said she, "but I just tak' God at His Word" A little boy, of about fourteen or sixteen years of age, was brought to Jesus at an early stage of the revival meetings. He lived with his father, mother, and sister. Night after night he went home grieved that there should be no family worship at home. One night he could bear it no longer; he spoke to his father about it and entreated him to take down the long-neglected Bible, and commence the reading of God's Word. His father put him aside gently at first, but the boy still persisted, and asked his father to reach him down the Bible; "for," said  he, " If ye'll no begin, I must do it myself" This so exasperated the man, that he raised his hand and struck his son for what he thought his presumption, and when the boy ran out of the house, peace and quietness were apparently restored. silence ensued, till the father became somewhat alarmed at his boy's long absence. The night was dark, and he was ill at ease, till going out to see if he could find him, he heard a voice as if proceeding from an outhouse, and on stealthily approaching, he overheard the boy praying for his poor father; who would neither read the Bible nor pray. He returned in agony to his house, "O wife," said he, "there's something awfu' gaun to happen, he's oot there praying for his prayerless father. Oh! its terrible, for it's true." The arrow was directed by a never-failing Hand—the Spirit had commenced a work of grace in that careless man's heart, and he and his wife and daughter were eventually brought to the Saviour through the instrumentality of that little boy. The last time I saw them, they were indeed a happy family, rejoicing in the Lord Jesus.

The same boy was met by a careless young woman one day, who began taunting him, and saying, "And so you're converted?" "Yes," he replied; "are you no?" "No," was the reply. "Then, if ye're no converted, ye maun be condemned." The word "condemned" stuck to her. She could not get rid of it; it was directed by the Holy Spirit. She did what all must do who wish peace: she came to Jesus as a poor penitent sinner sueing for mercy, and she found it in Him, where all fullness dwells.

Here was a young convert —a little boy-raised at once to be a missionary for Christ. Such has been the case in numberless instances in the immediate vicinity of Carrubbers' Close, and such has been the case in every country district which I have visited. It is just the old story of the woman of Samaria. "Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: Is not this the Christ?' I often wonder how a believer who has not been used by God as an instrument in winning souls to Christ can be satisfied. If there be a luxury in this world it is this, - when a poor sinner, saved by grace, witnesses a fellow-sinner brought to Jesus through his instrumentality, No doubt it should lay us low in the dust to see God glorifying His Son through and by such worms as we are; but it is not the less a luxury, which should be prized above everything in this world.

I think the great mistake in the preaching of the present day is, that we make it (or seem to make it) like some ordinary piece of business, too often a mere routine. We don't look, and expect, and pray for the blessing. We get through the work - we have done our part of it and the blessing may come, or it may not.—' Carrubbers' Close Mission

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