Tain (1840)

Tain communion was on the following Sabbath, and John MacDonald was there. On Monday the congregation was melted under the power of the word preached. "Just after he had made one of the freest offers of salvation to sinners, and had uttered the words, 'Will you not close with Christ?' a heart-rending cry rose from every part of the densely-crowded church. There were many silent weepers before, but now the preacher's voice was drowned so that he was forced to pause and announce a psalm to be sung." Dr Macintosh reported on the movement in the following terms:—"What I believe to be a genuine revival of religion—the work of the Spirit of God—has taken place during the past year, to a considerable extent, in this parish and district. . . The preaching of the word is the grand means that has been employed and blessed. There seemed, at the same time, previous to the commencement of the work, to have been a more than ordinary measure of the spirit of prayer given to ministers and Christians, and a more than ordinary thirst for such a manifestation of Divine power. . . A considerable number of the young throughout the district appear to be in a very hopeful way. Some of these were previously of such a description that by many they would be called irreclaimable. Hitherto their conduct has been most consistent. In so far as the influence of the revival has extended here, most blessed results have accompanied it—the destruction of the works of the flesh, and the advancement of that kingdom which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. There was at first a good deal of outward excitement on some occasions under the word, but this gradually diminished. The experience which I had of the revival of religion, though limited and partial, is such as would lead me to long for its continuance, and to pant for its return, as bringing with it the blessed results for which a minister of Christ would desire to live and to die—the conversion of sinners, and the increasing consolation and edification of saints."

Revivals in the Highlands and Islands by Alexander Macrea – Republished in 1998 by Tentmaker Publications.

'In December, but the Presbytery of Elgin petitioned the Synod Committee to appoint him (James Morison) to the Tain station for December and January. On this being made known to him, he at once expressed his willingness to accede to their request and was all the more willing to go after ascertaining that the station was far from being in a flourishing condition. Winter travelling in the north, in those days, was far from agreeable, and to weak constitutions dangerous, but neither of these drawbacks deterred this devoted servant of Christ from going forth to this northern Secession outpost. On receiving the command he at once started for Tain. Going by Fort George he crossed two ferries, stayed all night at Invergordon, and then travelled next day by coach from live o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night. The field to which he came was not by any means an inviting one. On the 16th December, he wrote home: "The station here is in a deplorable condition. The prejudices of the Gael are almost insurmountable. The Secession cannot get a hearing. When Mr Stark opened the chapel four months ago, even he could not get above one hundred of an auditory. The average attendance ever since is about sixty—it is sometimes as low as thirty. We have had about triple the usual audience since ever I came. The Highlanders can scarcely be persuaded that Seceders and Roman Catholics are not equally erroneous sects." To the cultivation of this field, he entered with more than his usual energy and had not to wait long before seeing that the words he uttered told powerfully on those who heard them. Young men who had before been careless were led to think seriously, professors of religion were quickened and made to feel that they were not possessors, to the extent they should have been, of the life which was hid with Christ in God. Even those who cared for none of these things were attracted to the humble chapel where the young man was telling the people in burning words the story of the Cross. The chief infidels of the place were brought under the influence of the truth, and their principal leaders were led to abandon their unbelief and became eager to defend and propagate the faith they had previously sought to destroy.

'The Life of the Rev James Morison,' by William Adamson, page 64.


Additional Information

The Church is now the Duthac Centre.

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