Orritor (1859-1862)

Dr. William Gibson relates:

“The Rev. W. Wray, the Presbyterian minister of the place resolved, during the period of the revival, when an unwonted seriousness and awe pervaded the community, to grapple with this established and gigantic evil. He took occasion, accordingly, to announce on the Sabbath previous, that divine service would be held in the church at a period when he knew the fair would be at its height, and its frequenters would be in the very heyday of their boisterous revelry. About two hundred persons, at the hour appointed, assembled for religious exercises, which were continued in the church till about three o’clock. By that time some of his brethren from the neighbourhood, whom the worthy pastor had invited to come to his assistance, had arrived. It was then at once resolved to meet the adversary face to face, and on his own ground. The congregation was immediately dismissed, and marching to a field hard by, the ministers in front, they took up a position right in the very camp of the enemy, their numbers having so much increased on the way, that when the service was resumed, they were as four to one compared with those who remained in the fairground in pursuit of ‘vanity.’ The motley congregation thus attracted were held attentive to the word of truth for hours together; and before they separated, some had given way before the higher power, which lighted down upon them, and the noise of riot and dissipation was hushed before the agonised and despairing cry for mercy. Many in other years had taken their first step at this country fair on the downward course of ruin; but a far different experience is associated with its last gatherings, for there are those in that neighbourhood who will never cease to think of these as marking a new era in their history, even the period when they forsook the way of sin and folly and entered on the path to life and immortality.”

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