IN giving an account of the work of the Lord in this district, I shall, as requested, study brevity. Soon after the week of prayer at the beginning of the year, a week of congregational evangelistic meetings was held in Kirkcaldy Free Church.
These meetings were very well attended, and accompanied with much blessings to souls. A fortnight after, a series of united evangelistic meetings was commenced, under the auspices of all the ministers at the west end of the district of Kirkcaldy, which includes the parishes of Abbotshall and Invertiel. These meetings were held in Bethelfield United Presbyterian Church, as being the most central, and were very largely attended, the numbers ranging from 600 to 800 on ordinary evenings, and from 1,600 to 2,000 on Sabbath evenings. They were addressed exclusively by ministers and laymen, who kindly came from Edinburgh, Dundee, and elsewhere; and who, coming from the bosom of the work in those places, brought with them a heavenly aroma, most refreshing to the people of God, and which lent an attractive and persuasive power to the messages they delivered. Much apparent fruit was the result, many during the week professing to find rest in Christ. A fortnight later, a second series of meetings, on the same plan, was held, to meet the strong and general desire for a continuance of such services. The blessing continued to descend, and many more entered into the kingdom of God. It would take too much space to mention all who came among us and were used of God in the blessed work, but their names will live in many a heart in
this locality. I may say that the Earl of Cavan, who addressed the last meeting of the second series, was so deeply interested in the work that he expressed an earnest desire to return and speak to anxious souls and young converts. Accordingly, a week later, he had three meetings for such in Abbotshall Free Church, when not a few were brought into the light through his instrumentality, and many newborn souls were strengthened and comforted. A fortnight after this, a week's meetings, specially for the young, were held in Abbotshall Free Church. These also were very well attended, and, so far as man can judge, were fruitful in the highest good to many children. I was greatly touched at the deep feeling manifested by some of the young persons. So many were the anxious, that sometimes they could only be spoken to in groups. In a young women's Bible class, at least 70 have been awakened, and many of these have been brought to Christ. Some of the cases are of the
deepest interest, but details cannot be given here. Each Saturday evening souls are coming to their teacher, asking, "What must I do to be saved?" The last course of united meetings took place in Invertiel Free Church. Most precious were these concluding services, and very decided the results. Some of the most interesting cases that have come under my notice I had the privilege of dealing with there.
Leadings of the Spirit.
While these different series of meetings were going on, services of a similar kind were being conducted in the eastern district of Kirkcaldy, including Dunnikier, Pathhead, Gallatown, Boreland, and Dysart (all now part of Kirkcaldy). On these also the Head of the Church smiled very graciously. The variety of means used by God to bring souls to Himself has been vividly illustrated in the movement here. One young woman, who had long listened to faithful teaching unmoved. was awakened by the address of the Rev. Narayan Sheshadri, the Hindoo stranger. Another young woman was awakened by the singing of Sankey's hymns; while a third was arrested by hearing her newly-converted sister anxiously praying for her. A young man just brought to Christ was
first awakened by receiving a letter from a companion in Glasgow, who had got blessing at one of Mr Moody's meetings and who urged his friend to flee to Christ.
The frank and manly way in which young men have spoken out in private at the after-meetings has been very gratifying. In answer to questions put to him one owned that he was a sinner, that he was perishing in his sins and that he knew that Christ was both able and willing to save him. What, then, was the hindrance? "There must be some besetting sin you are unwilling to part with or some godless companionship you prefer to the friendship of the Saviour." "That's it," was the emphatic answer;
"a companion who leads me astray." He was urged to choose the Saviour as his substitute and companion, who would keep
him in the paths of holiness and lead him to deal faithfully with his enticing associate. He was enabled to make this choice and to know the happiness of having Jesus as his real friend.
I have been greatly gladdened by seeing the deep spiritual interest that young men have been taking in one another and the evidence which they and others have been affording that they have entered on the way of life. On asking young converts, "Is it well with thee?" one gets the answer, "O yes, I have a satisfaction and happiness I never knew before," or, "I have many temptations but I am holding on." We have also the testimony of Christian parents as to the reality of the change on their sons and daughters. For the guidance of others, it may be well to mention that some of the most interesting cases were those of individuals who were spoken to when going out of the place of meeting, who had reached, perhaps the lobby, or were even outside altogether. These were persons who were deeply moved, but who, from natural timidity or excessive reserve hesitated to remain for counsel. Lingering near the door, it needed but the dropping of a kind and tender word to induce them to pass inside again or to enter into earnest conversation where they were standing. Duncan Matheson, "the Scottish Evangelist," was wont to tell that some of the most decided conversions of which he had known were those of individuals to whom he had spoken in circumstances such as these.
"Times of Blessing," May 21st, 1874.
Special evangelistic services, conducted by Messrs Thomas and John Stewart, have recently been held in this place. For four successive weeks these agents of the Scottish Evangelistic Association earnestly preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified, with tokens of the divine favour. The meetings were well attended; many waited to be spoken to, and not a few professed to take Christ as their Saviour. A daily prayer meeting at noon was held in connection with the meetings. A new and interesting feature of evangelistic work here was the visitation of several mills, etc., at the dinner hour when short addresses were delivered to large meetings of the workers. Many were thus reached who did not come to the other meetings, and from every mill or other scene of toil visited, anxious souls came desiring conversation. The first week of
meetings took place in Pathhead, and the meetings of the following three weeks were held in the Independent Chapel and Abbotshall Free Church, Kirkcaldy.
"Times of Blessing," Dec 10th, 1874.
Only the porch is left of the building.