That mighty wave of blessing which has been rolling over the length and breadth of our land has not passed over this
secluded spot without leaving much and, we trust, lasting benefit to many souls. To not a few hitherto careless ones, and to many who have for long been satisfied with the "name to live," these last few weeks have been, we believe, the spring tide of a new and a better life.
It is now five weeks since a deputation from the Edinburgh Young Men's Committee was invited to hold a series of special evangelistic services in Comrie. The meetings were originally intended to be held in the Free Church schoolroom; but after the third meeting there the attendance had become so large, that it was thought advisable to change the place of meeting to the United Presbyterian Church. Up to the end of the three weeks, when the Edinburgh delegates left Comrie, the meetings
were held there every evening, the church being always well-filled by an audience of from 300 to 400.
From the first, a spirit of earnest attention and interest was manifest and the impression seemed to deepen every night as the meetings advanced. It had been thought desirable to defer for a few nights the intimation of an inquiry meeting, as it was feared in such a small place an anxious person might not easily be induced to remain. On the Friday evening, however, at the close of the fifth meeting on the invitation being given close on twenty remained, anxiously inquiring the way of salvation.
On the Saturday evening, a simple prayer meeting was held, without evangelistic addresses being given, at the close
of which over twenty-five remained to be spoken with. It was a most encouraging indication of the depth and reality of the movement, inasmuch as the impression was evidently not the result of any earnest appeal made during the meetings but simply the fruit of the silent working of the Holy Spirit in answer to fervent supplications.
Thus far the work seemed almost entirely amongst young women. Accordingly, a special effort was made to reach the young men, by holding a meeting for men only after the general meeting of the Sabbath evening. This most interesting meeting was held in the schoolroom and was attended by over 100 men and boys. It was certainly one of the most impressive and solemn meetings of the whole series. The Holy Spirit's presence seemed manifested in a most overpowering measure, there being a rapt stillness over the audience, and not a few being melted to tears. About a third of the entire number remained, professing to be anxious about their souls' salvation. It was then late in the night, and impossible for the few workers to deal with them individually. They were therefore again addressed in a body and urged to close with Christ there and then, and accept Him as the sinners' substitute. There is good reason to believe that some were able to close with the Saviour then, and the results of that meeting were found throughout all the series of meetings thereafter,- a good proportion of the inquirers after that night being men, and many of these dating their anxiety to the Sabbath night meeting.
The second week of meetings found the interest deeper than before and every night saw new faces in the inquiry room. The evening was addressed one evening this week by Sir Francis Outram, who gave some account, which was received with deep interest, of the work in Edinburgh, testifying to its depth and solidity.
Throughout the third week, the meetings were continued every night with unflagging interest. A powerful address from Mr J. H. Balfour on the Monday evening was listened to with marked attention, and seemed to be the means of giving a new impetus to the movement as many new and deeply interesting cases of inquirers were met with during that week.
Sunday the 17th brought the visit of the Young Men's deputation to a close. In many respects, it was the most interesting day of all. In the morning, at half-past ten, met with the newly-born "Fellowship Association," and a more encouraging and enjoyable meeting no one could wish for. There was a warmth of heart and an earnestness of spirit, which showed itself no less in the faces than in the voices of those who were present. In the afternoon, a meeting was held in the United Presbyterian Church for all professing either to have lately decided for the Lord or to be still anxious. It was a pleasure not soon to be forgotten, to see the bright faces of many, who had before in the inquiry room looked the very picture of distress as they sang the opening Psalm, the 40th. The praise seemed to come from hearts full to overflowing, and there were tears of joy that told how real the words were.
And the evening evangelistic meeting was not less precious. The church was literally packed from doors to pulpit. It was a very solemn and impressive gathering, and the Spirit seemed to be moving amongst us, touching and piercing the hearts of many. It was a solemn and touching close to the meeting when we all stood to sing our last prayer together. May God grant that our prayer may be answered, and that none of us may be awanting on that day when Christ maketh up His jewels.
Since the Edinburgh young men left, the meetings are being continued in Comrie twice a week, and let us hope that what the Lord has already given may be but the beginnings of a still greater and richer outpouring of His Holy Spirit.
In addition to the regular nightly meetings, services, were held three times a week for the children. Here, too, great encouragement was experienced in the warm interest and deep impression and anxiety manifested. And there seems good reason to believe that many have not only heard but complied with the invitation, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," and have felt what a blessed truth it is that "they that seek me early shall find me."
But Comrie is not the only part of Strathearn that has been visited by this wave of blessing. For months a work of grace has been going on in Crieff, where noble results are to be seen in the bands of willing workers who are now going out to the neighbouring villages, telling what great things the Lord hath done for them.
Muthill and Monzie were both visited, and the meetings in these villages addressed by the delegates who were working at Comrie. In both places a good harvest is being reaped, and jewels are being won for the Master's crown.
Trinity-Gask was next visited by the Edinburgh deputation, where two meetings were held. The first night the schoolroom--the only available meeting place - was filled; the second night it was packed; and both were very encouraging meetings.
A flying visit to Auchterarder, where one general meeting was held, completed this evangelistic tour, until after the sitting of the General Assembly, when, if spared, the deputies hope to return, to visit the lower part of the Strath.
"Times of Blessing," June 4th, 1874.