“I am the incumbent of a large parish, and having laboured among the people for five-and-thirty years, I know them well. The great majority of them are Presbyterians, living scattered over a district exclusively agricultural, and not congregated, as in towns. They are intelligent, industrious, well and scripturally taught, calm and reserved in their disposition, and, as regards the reception of Divine truth, would be considered by strangers, perhaps cold. The spirit of revival visited us not very long after it made its appearance in the county of Antrim. In reference to the results of these revival meetings, which have been continued now for three weeks, it would be impossible to speak with any accuracy. The grand total of good already done must be left unreckoned until ‘the day shall declare it’; but 150 persons of all ages and conditions are known as having been, in an extraordinary manner, brought under conviction of sin. I have met them in a class for special instruction, and have visited many of them in their houses.
“I may add, that the spirit of these newly-awakened persons is all gentleness, teachableness, and humility; while the fruits of the Spirit,— love, joy, peace—rule in their hearts most manifestly.”
Rev. David Anderson, the Presbyterian minister writes:
“God has been pouring out His Holy Spirit upon us here very abundantly. We have an awakening in my congregation, I think I may say a revival, that is most cheering. I have a meeting for prayer and exposition nearly every night in the week. Hundreds have been awakened; in some instances, strong bodily manifestations. The individual falls down, or gradually sinks, clasps the hands, or lifts the eyes, or both, and cries, ‘Oh, my sins! Lord, have mercy on me! None but Christ,’ &c. A gradual desire for prayer, and an increased anxiety about spiritual things, have been visible for more than eighteen months here; but we had no bodily manifestations till about one month since. For the last three Sabbaths the meeting-house has been crowded to suffocation, and on each of these many had to be helped out who were either stricken down, or likely to be so, under a sense of sin. Our week-day evening services are sometimes even better attended. Last night we held our meeting,’ by appointment, in the open air. I had a number of clergymen to assist; among the rest, the Hon. and Rev. H. Ward, rector of Killinchy, who has taken a lively interest in the movement all along.
"The gracious awakening, with which the Lord is visiting His people, is making delightful progress in this district. At a prayer meeting on Thursday last, the Divine manifestation appeared in the case of an interesting youth who, when the congregation had partly dispersed, was found bathed in tears and praying in fervent tones for mercy in Christ. The following evening several were cast down in great agony of soul and, at every meeting since, numbers have been similarly affected who have, afterwards, found great peace and joy in believing.
"On the Sabbath, the Presbyterian Church was densely filled, both morning and evening, with a congregation of upwards to fifteen hundred souls. After the usual services, solemn and heart-stirring addresses were heard from Mr Beattie of Ballymena and a current convert from Ahoghill. The quickening power of the Spirit was largely manifested, and the convictions were numerous at both services. A prayer meeting has been held in the same place every evening this week, and the spacious building filled by devout worshippers. The power and presence of the Spirit are witnessed at every meeting. The good work of the Lord is fully begun here and is producing the happiest results in the conviction and conversion of souls. A feeling of deep reverence pervades the whole community, and the Lord is doing wonderful things in righteousness."
"The Banner of Ulster" 30th June 1859