Rosemarkie (1744)

Before the middle of the century, the great revival of religion began, which spread its blessed influence alike over Highlands and Lowlands. At Nigg, Kilmuir, Rosskeen, and Rosemarkie, especially, the Lord's right hand wrought wonders of grace in "turning" many "from darkness to light;" but in other places throughout the county, many souls were then gathered to the Lord. Under the ministry of such men as Fraser, Porteous, Beaton, Balfour, M'Phail, and Wood, the good work continued to advance and to spread, till the desert began now indeed to "rejoice and blossom as the rose."

The days of the fathers in Ross-shire by John Kennedy.

[From Mr Wood's Letter of the State of Religion in the Parish of Rosemarky, May 1st, 1744. Robe's Monthly History for 1744, N ° 6. p. 47, &c.]

R. and D. S. It is indeed but a day of very small things with us, in comparison with the goings and steps of the majesty of our God and King in his sanctuary with you, and elsewhere; but ill would it become us to despise even that, or even conceal or disown it; though I know a more public mentioning of it requires much prudence and caution, much of a single eye and upright heart. The least gracious revival is the more remarkable to me, as I had been groaning under the burden of labouring in vain, as to any considerable appearance of success for several years before. Of the few professors of serious religion in the place, the most lively and judicious were removed by death. In such melancholy circumstances, it must be peculiarly refreshing, that the Lord of his own mere goodness should in any measure have visited us. His coming was not indeed with observation; being attended with none of these more extraordinary circumstances, as in some other places, but in a gentle gradual way. Since the communion here in July last, the bulk of the congregation seem to have a desire after instruction, and the knowledge of the gospel, much greater than formerly. And this holds with respect to the more private as well as more public ordinances; for, in the course of my examinations last Winter and Spring, I never had so little reason to complain of absents, being crowded wherever I went, by persons from other corners of the parish, besides those who were then to be catechised. There are now about thirty persons of different ages and sexes, who since that time, have come to me under convictions and awakenings of conscience, through the word. Upon conversing with them, I found several had been under some gradual work of this sort for a good time before, (some two years) though they never discovered it till now.—There are now four praying societies in different corners of the parish, (some whereof meet weekly, some once in the two weeks) besides a general meeting with myself once a month. I am informed by some of the serious people, of several others in their respective neighbourhoods, to the number of fourteen or sixteen, who seem to have some promising appearances of a spiritual concern beginning in them, but they have not yet been to speak with me; and indeed I have found none of them forward to discover anything of this kind, as long as they were able to conceal it. —I would fain hope, what of this kind we have met with, are only some drops and forerunners of a plentiful shower, wherewith the Lord of his sovereign goodness, which he has prepared for the poor, will refresh this corner of his weary heritage, as he has done other corners. I am the more earnest in this longing expectation, when I observe the steadfast eyes, the piercing looks, the seemingly serious and greedy desires of many in the congregation at times in hearing the word, who as yet have discovered their concern of soul in no other way. And indeed one principal view I have in this, is to engage your interest at a throne of grace, and that of such of the friends and children of Zion, as you think proper to communicate it to; that you and they would strive mightily in prayer for us, and give the great Lord of the vineyard no rest, till he looks down upon this poor desolate countryside, and this parish in particular, that is under some peculiar disadvantages, and turn our wilderness into a spiritual field.— I see mention made in the same number of your History, of some other parishes in this Synod, as Nig, &c. I doubt not you'll have more distinct information sent you, of what of the Redeemer's grace and power is appearing there, and at Rosekeen and Killimuir. I have heard likewise comfortable accounts in the same kind of the parish of Logie (whose worthy minister is lately called home). All these are in the presbytery of Tain. I have also had very agreeable accounts of the success of the gospel in the parishes of Alness and Killearn in the presbytery of Dingwall. In this presbytery of Chanry, there is at Cromarty a good number of lively, solid, and judicious Christians gathered in, by the ministry of their godly and judicious, and now aged pastor, Mr George Gordon, and their number has considerably increased of late. The work of the gospel is likewise advancing in Kirkmichael, where I am informed there were sixteen new communicants admitted at the last communion there. I hear likewise of some promising stir beginning in the parish of Avoh. R. and D. S. &c. John Wood.

Additional Information

This church was built in 1821 on the same site as the earlier church.