Port-Ellen, Islay (1860)

Mr M'Neil is amongst us again. He and the Rev. Mr M'Kenzie addressed a crowded congregation at Port-Ellen on the evening of his arrival. At the close of the meeting it was intimated that Mr M'Neil would preach on the following day (Wednesday), at 12 o'clock, and although it was a wet day and an unusual hour of meeting, the church was again crowded. At the close of Mr M'Neil's discourse the congregation was unwilling to separate, and Mr M'Pherson addressed them for a time. Many people were in great distress of mind at both these services.

Last Sabbath being the communion at Skerrols, Mr M'Neil preached there in English in the afternoon of Thursday, and in Gaelic in the evening at Bowmore.  Yesterday (Sabbath) such a gathering at Skerrols, as I suppose was never seen in the Island before. Upwards of 60 carts were on the roadside near the church, and a large multitude of people attended the services. The English service was conducted by the Revs. Messrs M'Kenzie and Pearson, and the Gaelic by the Revs. Messrs M'Neil and Munro.

After attending the English service, I went to the tent. Mr M'Neil was speaking. A number of persons had been carried into the manse in deep distress, and scores of others were weeping bitterly so that at times the cries of the people almost drowned the voice of the preacher. There was no laughing, no trifling, no talking—all were serious, and all seemed to feel that invisible power was at work amongst them. One young man, who a few days ago said it would take two ministers to frighten him, cried aloud for mercy.

At the close of the services, one of the young converts from near Portnahaven, held a meeting at Ballygrant, when some, who had not before given any evidence of concern, began to cry for salvation.

Today (Monday) the feeling has been, if possible, more intense than it was yesterday. Mr Munro preached in the tent in Gaelic, after which Mr M'Neil gave a short address, when the power of the Lord came down upon the people, and many were smitten to the heart. He afterwards preached in the church in English. The cries of the people around the tent were so loud, that we could occasionally hear them whilst the minister was preaching to us in the church.

There has not been, so far as I have seen, any cases of complete prostration, but the cries have been those of people in deep agony of mind on account of sin.

Mr. M'Neil intends, I understand, to visit Port-Charlotte and Portnahaven, during the week. —Correspondent of Argyllshire Herald.

"The scottish Guardian," September  4th, 1860.

Additional Information

Location unknown. I do not know where the old church was.

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