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This is the last part of the transcript of Duncan Campbell’s testimony on the Lewis Island revival. On Monday I am going to share with you some thoughts on revival. My prayer is that this kind of revival happen here in North America. It can if we want it bad enough.
But here are two incidents. That dear old lady came to me one day and she said, “I feel led to ask you to go to this particular part of this parish. There are mighty sinners there that need salvation.”
“Well,” I said to her, “You know, I have no leadings to go there. They will be opposing me and I don’t suppose I could get any place to hold a meeting in.”
And she looked at me and said this. “Mr. Campbell, if you were living as near to God as you ought to be he would reveal his secrets to you also.”
And I took that as a rebuke and I went back to the manse and I said to the minister, “I think we ought to spend the morning with [?] and wait upon God with her in the room.”
So she agreed and she and her sister knelt with us in the little room. And that dear woman began to pray and I can give you her prayer. “Lord, you remember the conversation we had this morning at two o’clock and you told me you were going to visit this part of the parish with revival. And I have just spoken to Mr. Campbell about it, but he is not prepared to think of it. You better give him wisdom because the man badly needs it.”
Well, that was what the dear woman said. And when we rose from our knees I said to her, “Well, Peggy, now where do you wish me to go and where is the meeting to be held?” “Oh, you go and God will provide the congregation and the meeting place.”
“Well, Peggy, I will go.”
“Well, you better,” she said. “You better.”
And I went on the following evening and there must have been a congregation of anything between 300 and 400 gathered round this bungalow, a seven roomed bungalow. And the bungalow was so packed and so many young people anxious to be in that the man of the house who wasn’t a Christian, but a God fearing man suggested that they should get into the beds in rows of threes, take off their shoes and pack themselves like herrings. Now that was what they did, rows of three s on their knees in the different beds. [gape in recording] …and perhaps as many outside. I got out my text.
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.
There were five ministers there. Were you to go to them today and ask what it was that brought them to that village not one of them could tell you, but moved by a sovereign God they were there.
I spoke for about 10 minutes when one of the elders came to me and said, “Mr. Campbell, will you come round to the end of the house. Some of the leading men in the village are crying to God for mercy. And if you go there we will go the peat stack over here where you see those women crying to God on their knees.”
And I went round to the end of the house and there they were, the men that old Peggy saw that would become pillars in the church of her fathers. And today those men are pillars in the church.
My dear people, that is the revival that I believe in. But in the midst of those crying to God for mercy there were two pipers. I think most of you know that I was a piper. And playing the bagpipes at a concert and dance when God met with me and spoke to me and saved me….miracle working God. Well, two of them are there.
Now those two pipers were advertised to play at a concert and dance in a neighboring parish. And the minister of that parish was there. He was a man who spoke to me and said, “Got the end…”
And his wife and looking at the two pipers. Oh, they are there crying to God for mercy. He turned to his wife and he said, “Look here. We will go back to the parish and we will go to the dance and we will tell them what is happening in Barvas.”
So off they went 15 miles, arrived when the dance was in progress. Went to the door and was met by the son of a school master. “What are you wanting here, Mr. McKenna?”
“Oh, I have just come to the dance.”
“Oh, but we know you haven’t come to the dance to dance.”
But as parish minister he claimed the right and went in. They are dancing and then there is the [?]. He stepped on to the floor. “Young men, young women, I have an interesting story to tell you. The Smith pipers aren’t with you . They are not with you. They are crying to God for mercy in Barvas.”
“A stillness, oh the stillness of eternity” I am quoting the words of the minister, “came over the dance.” And then he said, “Young folk, listen. Listen. I would like you to sing a psalm with me. And I think we ought to sing Psalm 50 where God is depicted as a flame of fire.”
They began to sing. He is leading it himself. Into the second verse suddenly there was a cry and a young man fell on the floor and began to cry to God for mercy. In five minutes the hall was empty. And they are now in three buggies, coaches that brought young people from other parishes. And they are in the coaches on their knees crying to God for mercy. And listen. The young man who fell on his knees, that night was inducted to a parish church just before I came across to Canada.
That is God. The Spirit of God so moved, the conviction was so terrible that we could only leave them there.
I suppose you have read about the most remarkable movement, the Acts of the Apostles repeated again. Its is in the village of Arnock. A young girl who was with you here for several years and came to us last year, she was up there just now and she was over at the house that shook when the elder prayed.
It all happened about midnight. The situation was difficult, again, bitter opposition, bitter opposition. He is teaching error. So it went on.
But at midnight this man got up to pray and I still recall his words, “God, do you know that your honor is at stake? Do you know that you made a promise that you are not fulfilling? Now there are five ministers here along with Mr. Campbell. I don’t know where any of them stand, not even Mr. Campbell, but if I know anything at all about my own poor heart I think I can say that I am thirsty. I am thirsting for a manifestation of your power.”
And then about a quarter to two in the morning [?] and said this. “God, on the basis of your promise to pour water on the thirsty, I now take it on myself to challenge you to fulfill your covenant engagement.” And when that man said that the farmhouse shook like a leaf.
An elder, or rather a minister said to me, [?]. I said, “Yes,” but I had my own thought and when John Smith stopped praying I pronounced the benediction and went out of the church to find the whole community alive,the whole community alive. The [?] had fled and the gracious movement broke out that is spoken of in Scotland today as the Arnold Revival, one of the mighty movements in the midst of this gracious visitation.
Do you know that the drinking house was closed that night and it has never been open since, never been open since. The men who used to drink there and spend the evenings there are now praying in our prayer meetings. And one of them is a minister, Donald McPhail.
Well, I could go on. But that was how the movement began. Conviction, distress of soul, 14 young men standing in a hall discussing the amount of beer that is to be brought to the parish for a dance on Friday. Suddenly one of them turns to the others and says, “Boys, let us increase the amount. I believe that this is the last time [?] is going to come to this parish.”
Another young man said, “Angus, are you suggesting that the revival is going to come to this godless parish?”
“I cannot say what is going to happen or what is going to come, but something is happening to me.”
And that was all that he said. But listen, dear people. Fourteen young men fell on their knees in front of the public hall and were there for over an hour and all of them saved and 11 of them are office bearers in that church today. And that is one community after that gracious movement when you find a single a saved soul in the parish or in that part of it.
My dear people, do you good folk understand what revival means? Have you a conception of what it means to see God working, the God of miracles, sovereign, supernatural, moving in the midst of men and hundreds swept into the kingdom? Oh, that we might see it, that we might see it.
Well, that is the end of the testimony of Duncan Campbell. I hope you have enjoyed this, but more importantly, I hope it has given you a desire for revival.
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