Rosskeen (1742)

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

[ State of Religion in the Parish of Rosekeen. Robe's Monthly History for 1744] Mr Daniel Beton, minister of the gospel at Rosekeen was transported to that populous parish in 1717 and is the first Presbyterian minister there since the restoration. The Lord blessed the ministry of his word there at the beginning, so far, that he was encouraged to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's supper in the year 1721, though he had then but six or seven of his own parishioners that were admitted, as far as he can remember. There was a pleasant appearance of good in his parish, for nine or ten years thereafter: the number of serious persons increasing, love and holiness maintained among them. Such of these as are yet in time (as most of them are) seem to be growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But from the year 1732, to the year 1742, things were much at a stand, comparatively; tho' during that space, one and one was engaged to the Lord, and a testimony left in the conscience of some, which appeared thereafter, and the Lord's Killearn to them whom he had prevailed with more early. But from the Harvest 1742, to Martinmass 1743, or thereby (which he reckons the most remarkable period of his ministry in that place) there came a surprising revival and stir among the people of this parish; about the number of six and thirty men and women fell under a concern about their salvation, during that period; were some weeks thereafter received into the monthly fellowship meeting in the parish; several of them were admitted since that time to the Lord's table, and others of them are to be admitted, if the Lord (shall spare them and their minister, who is much broken in his constitution by sharp afflictions of different kinds. This work began most sensibly about the end of October 1742. He found, by conversing with these persons, that the subjects the Lord blest most for their awakening, drawing, and encouraging them (together with close catechising through his parish) were Hosea 42:13. ‘He is an unwise son, for he should not stay long in the place of the breaking forth of children." And, Gal. iv. 19. " My little children of whom I travail in birth again, till Christ be formed in you." And John iii. 3. " Except a man be born again," &c. But especially the first of these subjects was the principal mean of the first stir. In the general, some of them were plunged in the deeps of fear and despondency, and are still for most part: others have attained to more courage in a way of believing, and all of them as yet walk suitably to their profession. And it is hoped, the Lord has not ceased to add to the number of these: for this season some few are coming to the minister in a private way, to communicate the afflicted case of their souls by reason of their sin and misery; and honest people in the parish tell him, that others are upon the way of coming. The Lord knows what may come of these things, but we hope for the best.

Some children, boys and girls, about twelve in number, betwixt nine and fifteen years of age, began Winter last to meet in a private house, (the landlady being a godly poor widow) every Lord's-day evening, and Monday's night, where they exercise themselves in prayer by turns, singing, and conferring about what they hear in public. They keep discipline among themselves, and admit none into their society, but such as undertake to pray with them. At first, some of the Dingwall people of the place, hearing of it, came to over-hear them without their knowledge, who were Cromarty surprised and affected with their mafly, found expressions, and the favour they found with them in prayer. And now one or other of the spread and people join often with them. They watch close over the behaviour of each other. They are constant hearers of the word and examine one another about it. Their outward deportment is grave and quiet, without any childish levity yet discovered about them. They are illiterate, but fond of learning.