The REV E. MacLean, Baptist minister, sends us the following account of the work in Greenock:-
or another during the course of the meetings.
The movement in Greenock, which is now felt to be touching and impressing all classes, may be said, under God, to be the outgrowth of daily prayer meetings and special evangelistic efforts which have been maintained for more than three months. We had our week of prayer, as usual, at the beginning of the year; and so encouraging was the attendance and so much interest was shown, that we thought it well to try a daily meeting for some weeks. The attendance gradually increased, and not only was a spirit of prayer fostered and encouraged but a common meeting place was thus found, to which ministers and other Christian workers were drawn from day to day. We also started meetings on the Sabbath evenings, the aim of which was to bring the gospel directly and forcibly before the people. These meetings have not only been well attended, but results have followed in conviction of sin and the return of many to God. Latterly there have been special gatherings for young men only and young women only; and large numbers of young men, of the artisan and tradesman class, and young women in situations and domestic service, have been reached in this way.
Arrangements were made for Messrs Moody and Sankey visiting the town, and for a visit to the neighbouring town of Paisley at the same time; so we had these friends with us alternately.
On Wednesday the 8th April, Mr Sankey visited us and took part in our daily prayer meeting at noon in the Town Hall, where between two and three thousand people were assembled. In connection with this service there was a profound impressiveness produced by the singing of the hymn, "Nothing but Leaves"
In the evening there was again a crowded attendance at the Town Hall and Sir Michael Street United Presbyterian Church, which was open for overflow, at both of which places Mr Sankey was present during the evening. Mr Howie of Govan gave a most telling address in the Town Hall from Luke xix. 5.
On Thursday Mr Moody attended three meetings. The daily prayer meeting was crowded; and after prayer and praise, Mr Moody spoke from Luke v. 18 in his usual graphic way. In the afternoon he gave his Bible lecture on "Heaven." The solemnity and attention displayed seemed to show that the truth set forth was finding its way to many a heart. In the evening Mr Moody followed up his address on "Heaven," by an address on "Regeneration," specially addressed to the unconverted in which he showed that, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God?" After the public meeting, there were a second and third meeting, at which a large number of inquirers remained.
On Friday Mr Sankey was present at the largest forenoon meeting we have yet had and again in the evening, when Revs Smith, Maclean, Symington, Young, and Jarvie addressed the assembly, numbering over 3,000 persons.
On Saturday the daily meeting was reserved especially for children, and the hall was again densely crowded with children, their parents and friends. Mr Sankey sang "Jesus loves Me;" "Room among the Angels," "Hold the Fort," etc. Altogether during the last few days it may be calculated that from 4,000 to 5,000 have been hearing the gospel daily. Nearly all the ministers of the town have taken part in one way or another during the course of the meetings.
On Sunday, Mr Moody gave an address to Christian workers in the Town Hall at nine o'clock in the morning. Soon after eight o'clock, the large building was crowded with an audience numbering not less than 3,000 persons. After Mr Sankey had sung the hymns, "Here am I, send me," and "Nothing but leaves," Mr Moody preached a discourse of extraordinary power from the words, "To every man his work' (Mark xiii. 34), dwelling chiefly on work for the young. A special general meeting of the Greenock Working Boys' and Girls' Religious Society was held in the Town Hall at 11 o'clock. Mr Macphail presided, and Mr Sankey conducted the praise. There were about 1,200 boys and girls present, and the remaining parts of the hall were again crowded with grown people. Addresses were given by Mr Sankey, Mr Crawford, and a friend from Edinburgh. In the forenoon, Mr Moody went down to Gourock and preached to another large audience in the Rev. D. Macrae's church.
The evening meeting in the Greenock Town Hall at seven o'clock was crowded two hours before the advertised time and three neighbouring churches had to be thrown open for the thousands who were unable to gain admission.
"Times of Blessing," April 18th, 1874.