Largy (1859)

"In Limavady and its surrounding district the deep feeling on the subject of religion, which has been appearing in other places, has manifested itself with great intensity. The first cases of deep anxiety of mind manifested visibly by the bodily weakness and agony which arrest the thoughtless, occurred in Limavady on the 8th. At meetings on the 10th and 11th there were still more. On Sabbath the 12th and subsequently in Limavady, Ballykelly, Largy, Bovevagh, Myroe the feelings of religious anxiety have been intense. Prayer meetings are held every night and such is the feeling of the people that, generally, they will not break up 'til after midnight. At these meetings sometimes as many as forty or fifty have fallen down, some screaming for mercy and others remaining for hours in speechless agony.

“Even in rural districts there is the same desire to meet and wait on God and the same remarkable manifestations. Those who had been thus suddenly arrested and brought under strong convictions of the horrors of sin, to Christ, speak afterwards of their great joy, and great earnestness in inviting others to come to Jesus and in praying for them. Their simple addresses seemed to be particularly acknowledged. Their desire to tell what God has done for their souls seemed almost irrepressible. The language used by one young man will give an idea of the feeling of all. Speaking of the change that had passed on him he said, 'At the beginning of the week, if my minister had told me that I was on the road to Hell, I would have been so angry that I would have left his church. Now I would rejoice to stand up in the public congregation and tell them what a sinner I was, and what a Saviour I have found.' "Some of the worst characters in the place had been convicted of sin and brought, as it were, to the Saviour. The sensation produced was great, beyond description; preacher and people both seemed, for the time, overpowered by a sense of the peculiar presence of God. The meeting was addressed by the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Ballyclare by one of the new converts, by a friend from Belfast (an elder in Rev. Mr Toye's congregation), and by the Methodist minister of the town, by whom the outdoor services of the evening .were concluded. During the time of service, the friends and 'spectators, who crowded into the church to assist or observe those who were labouring under the terrible influences of conviction, so filled the building that it became heated almost to suffocation, and to avoid the consequences naturally resulting from such an atmosphere — consequences which had begun to appear, as several fainted where they stood — it became absolutely necessary not only to refuse admittance to those who were anxious to enter, but also to request all who were merely spectators within to withdraw.

"After some struggling and wrestling with God in prayer, many, we have reason to know, found peace and joy in believing and returned to their homes rejoicing; but not 'tile the late hour of midnight did the voice of praise and prayer cease to be heard within the House of God and far on into the morning; and from houses, where such sounds never issued before, might be heard the singing of Psalms and hymns, falling upon the ear with a heart-softening power, as it broke the solemn stillness that reigned around. Wonderful, indeed, is the change that has been produced upon this town — so wonderful, that even the ungodly and indifferent have been constrained to say, The Hand of the Lord has wrought this."

"The Banner of Ulster" 21st June 1895

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