Oban (1841)

A shower of blessing fell on Oban in the autumn of 1841, the influence of which was felt for some time. When it was voiced abroad what was going on at Oban, the country people crowded every night to hear the word," wrote Mr Campbell to his son, who was editor of the Congregational Magazine; "some of them from four to six and eight miles' distance. On Sabbath some came as far as twelve miles. When the truth began to work it operated like heaven in families and among their neighbours. There were two brothers the younger, one night after attending our meetings, became much alarmed about his soul, and, seeing no way of escape, was much dejected in spirit. After a restless night he met his brother in the morning in the barn who, noticing him very sad, inquired what was the matter with him. 'O, my sins!' was the reply. 'Your sins,' said his brother, 'surely you are not such a sinner as that? "O, yes I am!' 'God help me, then; if your sins, who are so young, be such, what must my sins be?' They were both led to the Saviour. An intimate companion of theirs, not aware of what had happened, came to spend a night of merriment with them. On coming near the house, instead of hearing the sound of mirth and laughter as usual, he heard the voice of prayer. He was so much alarmed by what had taken place that he did not know what to say. He did not enter the house, but returned home in an awful state of mind, and on the way knelt down beside a stock of corn, where he prayed to God for mercy—the first prayer he had offered in his life. He did not continue in that state many days when God had mercy upon him, by directing him to the finished work of Christ. For some weeks it seemed as if the fear of God had fallen on the inhabitants in general. The meetings and their effects were the general topics of conversation; so that the minds of all classes seemed to be absorbed by them. A comedian, who happened to come round at that time, made application for the Mason's Lodge; but the gentleman to whom he applied properly and promptly refused to give it, observing that the minds of the people at Oban, at that time, were taken up with important matters of a different kind, which evidently was the case. New Year's Day, which used to be spent in revelling and dancing, etc., was kept by us as a clay of humiliation . . . and no noise, as usual, was heard in our streets, neither in the day nor in the night-time, no more than if it had been Sabbath."

From ‘Revivals in the Highlands and Islands’ by Alexander Macrea – Republished in 1998 by Tentmaker Publications.

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