Sidaire (1787)

1787. At Sidaire also there was a very numerous audience. Here a lad named Wm. Keys, who had been converted during the recent revival in this neighbourhood, accompanied his mother to the service, and at its close the venerable evangelist laid his hands on the boy's head and solemnly prayed that the blessing of the Triune Jehovah might rest upon him. Deeply impressed, the youth began to work for Christ, and eventually entered the itinerancy.

1832. In some instances this awful visitation proved a means of much spiritual good. From his first circuit the Rev. Benjamin Bayly writes, "On July 28th I came to Monaghan, where cholera had made its appearance and summoned some to the bar of God. The people were greatly alarmed, and like others, ‘poured out a prayer when His chastening hand was upon them.’ Yet some have reason to bless God that He sent them the rod; many have been stirred up, and some have been converted. Our congregations are large and our societies many in number, but there are rarely more than twenty members in any one class.'' , Hundreds leapt to the Saviour, and at one service no less than sixty found the pardoning mercy of God.

1849. The Revs. William G. Campbell and Edward Best were appointed to the Irvinestown circuit, where their labours were greatly owned of God. In August a large field-meeting was held, at Mr Robert Graham's of Lettermoney, and was followed by a prayer-meeting, during which eight persons professed to have obtained a conscious sense of sins forgiven. The good work thus commenced soon spread. Service after service was held, at almost every one of which the Lord was present in converting power, more especially at the September love-feasts. At Irvinestown one of the converts was a man who had become a socialist in England, returned home, obtained admission to the meeting, and as so powerfully impressed that he cried aloud for mercy. The whole congregation was deeply moved, and earnest prayers for pardon were heard from different parts of the house, until not less than twenty contrite souls obtained peace in believing. During the December quarter the ministers preached in the open air, at fairs and markets, and it was not uncommon to see hundreds kneeling down in penitence of spirit. Thus the blessed work extended still more, including Ballinamallard and Sidaire and the whole moral and religious aspect of the country was changed. One of the Converts, an aged pensioner, in narrating his experience, said, "My father taught me the fear of the Lord, and I remember several of the old preachers who counselled me and gave me Scripture lessons, but I did not attend to them. During my foreign service I had no less than eighteen fevers and ten other diseases incident to foreign climates, and conscience frequently strove to vindicate its insulted rights, but I had no strength to carry out my convictions. Although I would promise, and vow, and pray, yet when the pressure of affliction was removed I was the same man over again. I was in several engagements, and often at the point of death. On one occasion, as I rushed into the breach of a besieged city, an officer hastened forward and said, 'Noble, allow me first,' and that instant his head was cut off. After all this I persevered in my rebellion against God, and thought when I should leave the army I would turn to Him; but alas! it was worse and worse I became until this night, and now I can declare to all that God has found me out, and pardoned all my sins."

'History of Methodism in Ireland' by Crookshank, Volumes I and III

Additional Information

Location unknown. The testimony below mentions a revival in the neighbourhood.

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