John Macdonald - Sermon (1816)

Having been asked by the people of Dornoch, during the incumbency of Dr Bethune, to preach in their parish, he at once agreed to do so, if the consent of the parish minister Mr; and he appointed a day. The report of the coming sermon spread before the parish-keeper was consulted. When he was applied to for permission he resolutely refused it. The appointed day arrived, and the expected preacher appeared, but the doctor was inexorable, and the cathedral was closed. But the parish of Creich was not forbidden ground; so the preacher and his congregation set off to a spot in Spinningdale where Creich touches the west boundary of Dornoch. The preacher stood on Creich soil, and the Mr sat within the parish of Dornoch. The service of that day was a most memorable one. The power of the Lord was working with the gospel, and many a heart was pierced. There are some still on earth who remember that day with thankfulness, and there are a few in heaven who cannot even there forget it. Such was the fervour of the preacher's spirit, fired as he was by love to Christ, and by pity for perishing souls, that his animation and eloquence were even to him unusual. He never preached with greater power. Ere the sermon closed, the spot on which he stood was worn down by the action of his feet into a pit, the form of which could for many years thereafter be pointed out to visitors. Often has that same spot been honoured since by the preaching of the gospel and by displays of the power and glory of the Lord. A few weeks after he preached at Spinningdale, Mr Macdonald writes in his journal: "Oct. 11th, 1816.—This day heard of the sudden death of Rev. Dr Bethune, minister of Dornoch. Oh, what a loud call to diligence in the work of the Lord, and to be found ready when He comes, 'for at such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh!' Some weeks ago he refused me liberty to preach on a week-day it his parish, though eagerly requested by his people. The people met with me in a neighbouring Mr where liberty Mr for me to preach, and I believe two or three at least were brought under serious impressions. The Lord will have His own in spite of all who oppose Him, and when one door is shutGolspie He can open another."

Additional Information

The meeting would probably have been close to the main road and there would have been space either side. The marker is near to the boundary between Dornoch and Creich.