A lady to whom we have been indebted for several reports has sent the following:-
Messrs. Moody and Sankey spent Tuesday and Wednesday, 28th and 29th July, at Keith. As both Mr Moody and Mr Sankey were greatly in need of rest, it was arranged that the meetings in which they took part should be held in the evenings, leaving the days free for them to enjoy the fresh air and fine scenery in the neighbourhood of Keith.
On Tuesday the services were commenced by a prayer meeting in the United Presbyterian Church at three o'clock P.M. Rev. Messrs. Burnett, Huntly; Millar, Huntly; Fullarton, Grantown and Taylor, Cullen, led in prayer; and a very good choir sang "Sweet hour of prayer," "Cleansing fountain," "Even me." The church was well-filled, and deep interest was manifested by the people.
An open-air meeting was held in a field near the town. Half past five was the hour of meeting, but as early as four o'clock numbers of people were to be seen wending their way to the appointed place, and by half-past five about 4,000 people were assembled.
The platform was erected in a hollow near the centre of the field, the ground rising gently in front, thus enabling the audience to get a full view of the speakers. After a psalm had been sung by the choir, Rev. Mr Kelman, Leith, engaged in prayer. A portion of Scripture was then read by Mr Moody, and then the choir sang "I am coming, Lord." Mr Moody spoke for nearly an hour with great power; the people seemed to be deeply impressed, the stare of curiosity soon changing into the look of deep earnestness and attention. Several ministers took part in the meeting, and the choir sang "I am so glad," "Gate ajar," and other hymns with great effect.
At seven, a meeting was held in the Free Church, which was soon filled to overflowing,-Longmore Hall and school house near, being also quite full. Mr Moody presided in the church, and Mr Drummond, from Edinburgh, opened the meeting with prayer. Mr Sankey sang "The old, old story," the choir and congregation joining in the chorus. After prayer by Rev. Mr Greenfield, Stornoway, Mr Moody spoke for half an hour with great earnestness. He then asked the audience to bow their heads and engage in silent prayer, after which Mr Sankey sang "AImost persuaded." Rev. Mr Gillespie, Keith, presided in the Longmore Hall. He was assisted by various ministers, and a number of ladies led the singing. After each of the meetings, a great number of people remained to be spoken to about their souls.
Wednesday, 29th July.
The prayer meeting was, as on Tuesday, held in the United Presbyterian Church - Mr Gillespie presiding. The church was crowded. Rev. Mr M'Pherson, Dundee, spoke of the work in Dundee, and several ministers led in prayer.
At the open-air meeting at half-past five, Mr Moody said that, as the evening was beautifully fine, and the church accommodation so limited, he would continue the open-air meeting until eight o'clock; that at seven there would be a short interval when those who had to leave by train could quietly leave the meeting. About 4,000 people were on the field at half-past five, and Mr M'Pherson engaged in prayer. The choir, led by Mr Sankey, sang the beautiful hymn "Gate ajar," the rendering of which was very fine. Mr Gillespie then prayed, and then Mr Sankey said that some time ago he wished to have a new hymn, and be got the "Ninety and nine" sent to him. Among these Scotch mountains he felt its force more than anywhere else. He then sang the "Lost sheep," his voice sounding sweet and clear, and every word being distinctly heard on the outskirts of the crowd. Mr Moody then addressed the meeting and was listened to with great attention. During the singing of "A home over there," those who had to go by train left the meeting. A second address was then given by Mr Moody, and the meeting was brought to a close. A meeting for inquirers only was held in the Longmore Hall at eight. Mr Moody, Mr Sankey, Mrs Moody, and other Christian workers were engaged with the anxious until ten o'clock. A meeting was held in the Free Church at eight, and the church was quite crowded. "A light in the valley" was sung as the congregation left the church. Mr Forbes, Drumblade, afterwards addressed a number of men who were standing on the street and went with them to the hall. Great interest has been awakened by these meetings, and the work seems to be extending.
"Times of Blessing," August 6th, 1874.
Many praying hearts in this part of Scotland had been watching the progress of the work in Edinburgh during the winter months, longing for a share of the shower of blessing which was falling so plentifully there; and great was the joy in many a Christian home when it was known that Messrs Moody and Sankey were to visit the North.
No one who was present at these monster meetings in the Castle park at Huntly will ever forget them. The deep solemnity which pervaded the meetings, the evident impression made on the minds of the people, the sound of the vast multitude singing as it were with one voice, the sight of 15,000 people with bowed heads engaged in silent prayer, - all went to make up a scene to stand out forever on the page of memory. The work was very satisfactory in this district of country although, as a general rule, the inquiry meetings were not so largely attended as in the far North), and in many a quiet farmhouse and secluded village the fruits of these meetings are to be met with.
In one county town there was a good deal of opposition to the work at first, but in the end a glorious harvest was reaped, the enemy was silenced, and many in that town will bless God to all eternity for these meetings. As we proceed northwards the work extends. Nearly a whole week is devoted to one beautiful little town; Bible readings, open-air meetings, women's meetings, men's meetings, workers' meetings all are filled to overflowing. A rich wave of blessing passed over this town (Keith) and neighbourhood. Mr Moody said that the last open-air meeting held in this town was the most blessed meeting for spiritual results which he had ever been privileged to hold in the open air.
In the Highlands, - "the dark, and true, and tender North," - Mr Moody's preaching and Mr Sankey's singing made a very deep impression on the minds of the sons of the mountain. Many who knew the Highlands well were afraid that the style of Mr Moody's preaching would not suit the Celtic mind; while Mr Sankey's sweet songs would stir up a perfect storm of opposition in the minds of the people. Happily, neither of these predictions was verified. Mr Moody's addresses melted the hearts of thousands, while Mr Sankey's hymns have become as great favourites in the Highlands as they are in the South of Scotland. In the remote Highland glen you may hear the sound of hymn-singing; shepherds on the steep hill-sides sing Mr Sankey's hymns while tending their sheep, errand boys whistle the tunes as they walk along the streets of the Highland towns, while in not a few of the lordly castles of the north the same hymns are often sung.
"Times of Blessing," Sep 10th, 1874.