Wark - Thomas Collins (1831)

The first revival outburst was at the Watchnight service held on Saturday, December 3ist, 1831. It was a hallowed season. On New Year's Day a warm, earnest, pleading prayer-meeting occupied the forenoon. At one o'clock Mr Collins preached with much liberty. During the afternoon a love-feast was held. For number and for holy fire, no such meeting had ever been held in Wark before. -Thanks to God, for sending the Methodists there, were many and loud. "I once hated them," said one, "but now I should not mind if 'Methodist ' were printed on my back and on my brow." Some blessed the Lord for good received under their former preachers, Marshall, Leake, and Coulson. Others, with the joy of souls new born, gave testimony of their more recent conversion. A few bore witness, clear and strong, of the Spirit's sanctifying work within them. The speaking was plentiful and blissful. Mr Collins writes: "The earnest breathings after purity, and sighs for revival, the frank simplicity and godly sincerity of the Society, both edified me and delighted Mr Wilson, who had come to help me."

As visitors had come in from places all around, the little town was moved and astonished at the influx. Many came to the evening service. "The fire so burned that," says Mr. Collins, "I could scarce hold myself in the pulpit. In the midst of the sermon, able to contain no longer, we burst into song; and as the sweet chorus rang through the place, we felt that heaven was begun below." The happy day was closed by a solemn renewing of the covenant with God. When the hour for separation came, the people wept that they must leave. One young man came forward to tell that he had lost his doubts in the arms of Jesus; and another, that he had left his sins in "the Fountain opened." When some rehearsed to a poor invalid the pleasures of the day, " O ninneys," said she, "how I should have enjoyed being there!" "That you would, Tibby," was the reply. "Ay, it was a top meeting!"

Thenceforth Wark held Methodistic name. It had grown into such favourable repute, that I find requests from neighbouring Societies to Mr Collins, when they held special gatherings, "Pray send over to us some of your lively souls."

The work continued. Take specimens. "Last Sunday, at Manor House, a mere child burst forth into a prayer that touched me and moved many. Who can tell? God may He often does begin a glorious revival by opening the mouth of babes." "Last night a poor Backslider was so stricken that he could not keep up with our company as we returned from Sutty Row. We were made aware of his lingering behind by hearing his cries for mercy. He had fallen upon his knees upon the road. We returned and prayed with him there until he received comfort."

From ‘The Life of the Rev Thomas Collins’ by Samuel Coley p46.


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