John O'Groats House - D L Moody (1874)

YOUR readers have already received from an esteemed correspondent brief notices of Mr Moody's labours
here till the close of Friday, 14th August. On Thursday the 13th, Mr Moody, with a party of friends, visited John 'Groats and Duncansbay Head. The news of his presence spread rapidly amongst the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, and a considerable gathering of men and women, attired in their Sabbath dress, with Bibles in their hands, intercepted him as he stood upon the site of John O'Groat's House, and urgently requested that he might address a few words to them. This he kindly consented to do, and the following is the brief account given in one of the local papers of interesting meeting held on this spot, famed as. the northernmost point of the mainland of Scotland: "He took for his text John i. 12, - subject, Reconciliation with God. It is almost needless to say that the clearness, terseness, and earnest zeal of the preacher had the usual effect of rousing his audience to a deep conviction of the truth in Christ Jesus, and of the necessity for immediate reconciliation with God. The address, which occupied about twenty minutes, was listened to with the most earnest attention and was illustrated by the most apt analogies and telling anecdotes, while the simplicity of the style and language recommended the subject matter, to everyone present. Mr Moody made passing allusion to the circumstances of his visit, to the probability of his never meeting his audience again in this world, to the scenery, the situation, and the tradition of the place. The speaker, standing as he did on the northmost mainland of Britain, with the blue waters of the broad Atlantic rolling between him and his home, seemed as a link binding the two nations together in that unity and brotherly love which are the main characteristics of his doctrine. This was probably the first sermon ever preached on John O'Groat's House.

Saturday, 15th August.

On Saturday a noonday prayer meeting was held in Pulteneytown Free Church and a children's meeting at 3 o'clock at Wick Free Church. The latter was addressed by Messrs. Drummond and Robertson of Edinburgh; the Rev. George Morgan of Cape Town, South Africa; and the Rev. Wm. Omand of Orphir, Orkney.

Open-air meeting

In the evening, at 7 o'clock, Mr Moody, who had been resting since Thursday, held a meeting in the open air, which was well attended. His chief object was to reach the fishermen, who are here from all parts of the Highlands and of the Banfishire coast. There were considerable numbers of them present, and there would have been many more were it not for the difficulties of language, as their knowledge of English is too imperfect to enable them to benefit fully by an address in
that tongue. The meeting was opened by singing the 100th Psalm, and prayer by the Rev. George Renny, of the Free Church. Mr Moody preached from Luke i. 10, 11, illustrating his subject in his usual feeling and happy manner. A deep impression was made, and on adjourning to the Parish Church at 8 o'clock, where, after praise, the Rev. Mr Reid, of the Established Church, Pulteneytown, offered up a suitable and impressive prayer, the place was filled by an eager and
deeply solemnized audience. Mr Moody read the following portions of Scripture:- Ezek. xxxiv: 11-19, and Luke xv. The hymn, "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by;" was then sung, after which Mr Moody delivered an eloquent and most earnest appeal to sinners to accept the saIvation offered by Christ. At the close or the meeting there were many inquirers, and all felt encouraged to anticipate a great blessing on the labours of the following day.

Sabbath, 16th August.

This will be a day ever memorable in the history of Wick. We were like them that dream. "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." Such were the feelings with which we retired to rest that night. The special services were begun by
meeting of workers at 9 o'clock in the morning, and was attended by over five hundred people. Mr Moody took as his subject, "To every man his work." We cannot describe how his words penetrated and swayed his hearers. Deep solemnity reigned in every countenance, while the still silence and the evident effort to stifle the rising emotions told how thoroughly all were moved. The Spirit was manifestly present, and not a few Christians, who felt how little they had done for Jesus, went from the place with the cry in their hearts, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" At a quarter past eleven o'clock, Mr Moody gave one of his apprecited Bible readings in Pulteneytown Free Church. The church was crowded from floor to ceiling. At six o'clock in the evening an open-air service was held, when our evangelist spoke to an audience of not fewer than six or seven thousand persons, gathered from all parts of the country. The preacher was evidently moved by the vast concourse of people before him; and with a pathos and power which riveted every ear and broke down many hearts, he discoursed on the compassion of Christ, as pictured in the character of the Good Samaritan. At the close of this service, meetings were held in the Parish and Free Churches, Mr Moody preaching in the former, and giving a powerful address.

Meetings for Inquirers

The meetings for inquirers that evening were beyond all description. It reminded us of, and enabled us for the first time in some measure to realise, what must have been the feelings of the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Many amongst us could not speak of it; our hearts were too full, and one could feel that day as moved through the town that a solemn awe prevailed
over the Christian community, The public (late parish) school was thrown open for the anxious amongst the women, and was crowded with inquirers. None could enter into that inquiry room and speak to souls without feeling that the Spirit of passion
was present, curing of sin and taking of the things of Christ. But the most remarkable scene of that night was witnessed at the
men's meeting in the Wick Free Church. Here there was an assembly of at least seven hundred males, who had gathered for the purpose of prayer and praise. There was no address, properly so called, delivered. Mr Moody came in, spoke a few telling words, full of tenderness, and urged the unconverted to immediate decision. He made feeling allusion to its being the last time he would have the opportunity of speaking with them, and expressed the earnest longing of his soul that not one of them should go home without an interest in Christ. He requested those who were yet unsaved and anxious to cross the platiorm where the pulpit stands, and retire to the hall below. Slowly one and another and another rose, and in the face of the audience moved to the place appointed. It soon became full of inquirers, so much so that there was not standing-room. Mr Moody then intimated that the church would be cleared for them to return, but that if there were others still anxious they should in the meantime move below. The minister's vestry was thrown open, and was filled. Thereafter the back stair which leads to the pulpit was also crowded. It was found that not fewer than two hundred men - a few of them with silvery locks, and a few young in years, but the vast majority in the full vigour of manhoodand occupying various positions in the social scale - confessed themselves unconverted and anxious for salvation. Christians accustomed to speak to the anxious were requested to occupy - a certain place in the church; other Christians were asked to adjourn to the Baptist Chapel, and pray for direction and the revelation of Christ to those who remained, and the promiscuous assembly separated. The inquirers then returned, and took their seats in front of the pulpit. The way of salvation was explained by Mr Moody in a very simple and forcible manner, and the texts of Scripture which had been most blessed in the way of delivering and assuring his own soul were dwelt upon. The gospel was brought home with such simplicity that one felt how true it is. The wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein. Regret was expressed that the souls before him could not be spoken with individually. He then requested that all would engage in silent prayer, and that as many as were enabled to trust in Jesus should in these solemn moments receive Him as their Saviour. This done, he then asked that those who had now committed their souls to Christ for salvation should rise up, when slowly, one by one, there rose 150 or thereby - every countenance bearing the imprint of seriousness, every eye bedimmed with tear, but no excitement and no outburst of feeling. It was a sight for angels to witness. Mr Moody after this requested them to repeat audibly the words of a dedication prayer, so full of directness and simplicity, that as every lip, quivering with emotion, slowly echoed the words, we seemed carried back to the days of the Covenant. This concluded, there burst from the heart of the audience a prayer from a young man who has been much identified with this work of grace, such as told of the tremulous joy which was present to the minds of all of us, and the earnest desire that all who had witnessed the good confession might by grace be found faithful to the end. 

In a brief time the newly-professed converts retired, and those who had kept their seats and were still anxious were conversed with, some of whom seemed to find their way to the light. Never never will that night be forgotten. Many doubtless will watch for the halting of these men. Let us continue instant in prayer that they may be kept stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

Mr Moody left this for Thurso on Monday, but meetings have been continued this week by Messrs Drummond and Torrance.
These have been largely attended, and there have been many inquirers, the largest number being found amongst the young men. The ministers and others are acting cordially and lovingly together in the good work.

"Times of Blessing," Aug 27th, 1874.


Additional Information

I am not sure where John O'Groats House is, evidently it is now a B&B or it might be a piece of land.

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