Tain (1874)

Monday, 13th July, was a historic day for the ancient Burgh of Tain. No minister in the Highlands had taken a greater or more sympathetic interest in the work in which the Lord had so wonderfully honoured the American evangelists than the Rev. Thomas Grant, of Tain. He and his people longed for a revival and watched with interest the work that was going on throughout the country. In that work Mr Grant himself took an active part. Throughout the surrounding districts it soon became well known that Messrs. Moody and Sankey were to be in Tain that day. People gathered from every part, walking, riding, driving, and by train. At 1.30 p.m. the Free Church was packed, while pulpit stairs, aisles, vestry, and doorways had every inch of standing-room occupied by an audience that was deeply moved by the powerful sermon preached.

"At 5 p.m. an open-air meeting was held in the Academy Park. A large platform was erected for the speakers and the choir, and long before the hour of meeting every available space near the platform was occupied by an eager, anxious throng. After four o'clock special trains arrived from Inverness and Helmsdale, and from that hour until five o'clock a continuous stream of people poured in through the park gate. . . . At five Mr Moody and Mr Sankey, accompanied by Rev. Mr Grant, Tain, Rev. Mr Taylor, Stirling, Rev. Mr Ferrier, United Presbyterian Church, Tain, and Rev. Mr Kelman, Leith, ascended the platform, and the service began by the singing of the 100th Psalm. Mr Taylor then prayed, after which Mr Sankey and the choir sang, 'I am so glad.' Mr Kelman read the 3rd chapter of John, then Mr Sankey sang 'The Lost Sheep,' the words being distinctly heard by all the people. Mr Moody delivered a most striking address, which kept the vast audience spell-bound throughout. At seven o'clock a meeting was held in the Free Church, which was again densely crowded. The Rev. Mr Grant and the Rev. Mr Kelman conducted the preliminary services, after which Mr Sankey sang 'Jesus of Nazareth,' with great effect. A number of requests for prayer were then read. Mr Moody prayed with great fervour, after which the choir sang 'Sweet Hour of Prayer.' Mr Moody delivered a most powerful and impressive address on the mission of Christ. The large audience seemed spell-bound; and when, at the close of Mr Moody's address, Mr Sankey's voice was heard singing the touching words of 'Almost Persuaded,' the effect was marvellous, As the words 'almost—but lost' burst from his lips, heads were bowed and tears gushed from many eyes. After the benediction was pronounced, Mr Moody asked all those who were Christians to remain to the second meeting and all those who wished to become Christians to remain also. Those who could not remain having left the church during the singing of 'There is a Fountain,' Mr Moody said: 'Now we are all friends here, and I ask those who desire to become Christians, and who wish to be prayed for, to and up.' An awful silence prevailed in the church, and many an earnest, silent prayer went up to God during these few minutes. At last Mr. Moody's voice broke the silence, 'One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,' when, Is with one impulse, nearly 200 people rose at once. God be praised,' said Mr. Moody. 'More than can be counted.' It was a sight never to be forgotten; on every side nothing was heard but the sound of subdued weeping and ejaculations of prayer; strong men wept lake children. Mr. Moody was deeply moved, and in broken utterances he prayed for those who wished to receive Christ. For two hours Mr. Moody and Mr. Sankey, with a number of ministers and workers, were engaged in speaking to inquirers, and a great many professed to accept Jesus as their Saviour. Whole families were to be seen sitting side by side, all anxious about their souls."

Tuesday being very wet, the meetings were held in the Free Church. Both at noon and at half-past two the church was crowded to excess, and a great many had to go away who could not get in. At the close of the afternoon meeting, a second meeting for inquirers and such as wished to be prayed for was held. , and Moody had to leave for Inverness, but Mr. Sankey remained. for two hours the anxious were spoken to and prayed for by the Rev. Messrs. Grant, Taylor, Kelman, Durrant 'I London, Forbes of Edderton, and Murray of Tarbat, along 'dong with especially Sankey and other workers. In the evening the meeting was addressed by sometimes Kelman, and the work of dealing with inquirers who remained continued till eleven o'clock. The meetings proceeded with unabated interest every evening that week. Speaking of the work in Tain, Mr. Moody said at the meeting in Inverness that night, that he had never seen such a result anywhere from twenty-four hours' work.

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