We left Aberdeen on the 16th of June by steamer for Kirkwall, and, after a rather unpleasant sail of eighteen hours,
arrived all safe. After breakfast, Mr Tulloch started for the island of Burray, and I stayed at Kirkwall that evening, to assist one of the missionaries at an open-air meeting by the seaside. The meeting was a very interesting one. Next day I joined Mr Tulloch at Burray, and for a whole week we proclaimed the word of life on this island of the sea. Though this island is comparatively small and there are three churches with their three ministers to care for the souls of the people, we found the cause of Christ at a low ebb and the heart of the missionary was getting very much discouraged with the state of matters. Our earnest desire to move among the people, as he has been doing in the south and we were not disappointed. Though it was a busy season of the year, the meetings were well attended and an interest soon became manifest. We sang a number of Mr Sankey's hymns, which the people seemed to like and soon learned to sing themselves. We could read anxiety of heart in the countenances of not a few during the first few nights of the meetings, but it was not till Sabbath that any remained as inquirers to ask how they might be saved. On Sabbath forenoon the place was filled, Mr Tulloch preaching pointedly on the duty of Christians to help in the cause of truth, and indicating many ways in which they might do this. In the afternoon, when an address was given to the young, the hearts of some were touched, and they were willing to be conversed with personally about the great matter of their soul's salvation. One or two professed to give themselves to the Lord and a number remained as inquirers. On Monday evening we had a deeply solemn evening. At the close, twenty anxious souls representing ten families of the church remained behind, some of them weeping bitterly. We have seldom seen such a breaking down. Some that night professed to have found peace with Christ before leaving, and our hearts have since been greatly cheered by hearing from our brother, the missionary on the island, that most, if not all of those have been hopefully converted. This work as far as anyone can judge is as deep and real, and in proportion to the population, as extensive, as the great and the good work that has been going on in many of our cities and large towns since this year began. On Sabbath evening Mr Tulloch preached to a large and appreciative congregation in the United Presbyterian Church in St Margaret's Hope, Ronaldshay, where Mr Sankey's hymns had also reached and were well sung.
We left on the 23d for Eday and Westray, staying a night in Kirkwall, where we preached in the open air to a deeply interested congregation. Mr Tulloch went on to Westray where the Christians have been for some time in a divided state through the teaching of certain Plymouthists, the result of whose labours has been, not the uniting of Christians in love together, but the setting of them at variance one with another; and thereby the Spirit has been grieved, and the work of God greatly hindered.
United meetings for prayer were at once commenced by Mr Tulloch, to which all Christians were invited followed each evening by, an evangelistic service. These meetings were well attended. Christians were brought to blend their praises and supplications together, and it is believed that existing asperities have been softened down and mitigated.
At Eday there has been a good work going on for some months past in connection with the labours of Mr Macdonald; between 30 and 40 young people profess to have been converted. We held meetings every night for a fortnight, during which time the interest was evidently deepened. The last Sabbath night of the series, when Mr Tulloch preached, the people would scarcely go away, and two after-meetings were held. On Monday night, the 6th of July, we stayed at Kirkwall on our way to Caithness, and had another open-air meeting. In consequence of rain coming on, we adjourned to the Independent Chapel, followed by a large company, and at the close a number of inquirers remained. There is evidently a good work going on at Kirkwall at present. Next day we sailed for Wick to attend the meetings of the Northern Baptist Association. Mr Tulloch was asked to preside, which he did and by his good counsel and sound judgement in everything concerning the good cause (with which his heart is in full sympathy), the meetings were made very profitable. The account which he gave of the remarkable awakening in Edinburgh cheered many hearts. The most interesting part of the procedings was a conference which was held for about two hours each day relative to the present work of grace going on in Scotland. Everyone seemed to enter heart and soul into the subject and all seemed thoroughly to enjoy the conference, and to receive much benefit therefrom. Evangelistic meetings were held at Wick, Keiss, and Scarfskerry, Mr Tulloch visiting each of the places in his official capacity as superintendent of the Baptist Home Mission. At Wick there has been a gracious movement going on for some months in the Baptist Chapel carried on chiefly by the Young Men's Christian Association of the town. We met with a number who have professed to have been converted within the last few months, and with not a few anxiously seeking the way to heaven. Last Sabbath evening, when Mr Tulloch preached to an overflowing congregation, there were five new cases of awakening, all young men.
"Times of Blessing," Aug 13th, 1874.
I do not know where the open-air meetings were.