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This week we are focusing on the subject of revival. Yesterday I gave you the transcript of the first part of Duncan Campbell’s testimony. I want to continue his testimony today. He was the preacher used of God in the great Lewis Island revival that started in 1949 and lasted three years.
I believe that God is using Islam to judge us and the only way we can be spared further judgment is through revival. God has given us a recipe for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14. It gives us four things we must do if we want God to heal our land: 1) We must humble ourselves, 2) We must pray, 3) We must seek God’s face (seek what He wants from us), 4) Finally we must turn from our wicked ways. This recipe results in three things: 1) He will hear from Heaven, 2) He will forgive our sins, 3) He will heal our land.
From Duncan Campbell’s testimony you will find that this recipe was followed in the Lewis Island revival.
Yesterday we talked about their humbling. Here was a preacher who was seeking revival. An elderly woman rebuked him saying, you have tried pastors, missionaries, special speakers, have you considered trying God? In our day we are doing the same thing, it is time we tried God. Then they went to prayer. They realized that prayer would be fruitless unless they had a right relationship with God. I we have sin in our lives and iniquity in our hearts God will not hear us.
We will also see how Duncan Campbell got to Lewis Island. That also showed God’s working because he was scheduled to speak somewhere else and God worked to cancel that and brought him to Lewis Island. Here is more of his testimony.
“So they went to prayer and I want to mention that they had but one promise from God and that promise they plead. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.”
That is God’s promise. And in their prayers, according to the minister, they would say again and again, “God, you are a covenant keeping God and you must be true to your covenant engagements.”
And the praying and the meetings continued for several nights until one night a very remarkable thing happened. There kneeling amongst straw in the barn, in the barn of a farm house when suddenly one young man rose and read part of Psalm 24. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD
And he shut his Bible. And then looking down at the minister and at the other men who were kneeling there he said this. Rather crude words, not so crude in Gaelic, but this is what he said. “Brethren, it seems to me just so much humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting, if we our selves are not rightly related to God.”
Oh, my dear brethren, let’s take that to heart. He began to pray. “God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure?” And that dear man got no farther. He fell on his knees … The moment that that happened in the barn a power was let lose in Barvas that shook the whole of Lewis. I say shook Lewis.
God stepped down. The Holy Spirit began to move among the people. And the minister writing about what happened on the following morning said this, “You met God on meadow and moorland. You met him in the homes of the people. God seemed to be everywhere.”
What of that? Revival? Revival? Not an evangelist. Not a special effort, not anything at all organized on the basis of human endeavor, but an awareness of God that gripped the whole community so much so that work stopped.
What was happening?
And the people were meeting in groups. Young men would gather in a field and begin to talk about the strange consciousness of God that had gripped the community. In a matter of days I received a letter inviting me to the island. I was, at that time, in the midst of a very gracious movement on the Island of Skye. It wasn’t revival, but men and women were coming to Christ and God was glorified in the number of prominent men who found the Savior at that time. But it wasn’t revival. I mention that in Canada or in America they would refer to it as a big revival. But it was definitely a move of God.
So I received this invitation to come to Lewis for 10 days and I wrote back to say that it wasn’t possible for me to do that because I was involved in a holiday convention on this island and the speakers were arranged and accommodations in the different hotels for the people that were coming from all over Britain. And I cannot take time to tell you how that convention had to be cancelled largely because the tourist board took the hotels over my head for a special Skye week that they were going to have. So I had to cancel everything.
However, the minister received the letter and he went to the old lady with it and read the letter to her. And this is what she said, “Mr. McKay that I what man is saying. But God has said something else and he will be here within a fortnight.” And I tell you the convention wasn’t cancelled then, but she knew.
Oh, my dear people, listen. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. And she knew God’s secret.
Well, I was on the island within 10 days to spend 10 days among the people. I was met at the pier by the minister and two of his office bearers. Just as I stepped off the boat an old elder came over to me and faced me with this question: “Mr. Campbell, may I ask you this question? Are you walking with God?”
Oh, here were men who meant business, men who were afraid that a strange hand would touch the ark. “Are you walking with God?” Well, I was glad to be able to say, “Well, I think I can say this, that I fear God.”
The dear man looked at me and said, “Well, if you fear God that will do.” And then the minister turned and said, “We are sure, Mr. Campbell, that you are tired and you must be longing for your supper and supper will be ready for you in the manse, but I wonder if you would address a meeting in the parish church just on the way to the manse to show yourself to the people. It will be a fair congregation. I am not saying a great number, but oh, anything between 200 and 300 I expect. You see, there is a movement among us.”
Well, it will interest you dear people to know that I never got that supper because I didn’t arrive at the manse until 20 minutes past five in the morning. I went to the church. Now this is this is the interesting bit because it deals with the outbreak of God in supernatural power, the God of miracle revealing himself in revival.
I preached in the church to a congregation of about 300 and I would say a good meeting,a wonderful sense of God, something that I hadn’t known since the 1921 movement in [?]. But nothing really happened. And I pronounced the benediction. And I am walking down the aisle when this young man came to me and said, “Nothing has broken out tonight, but God is hovering over us. He is hovering over us.” And he did this. “And he will break through any moment.”
Well I must be perfectly honest. I didn’t feel any thing. But, you see, here was a man much nearer to God than I was. Oh he knew the secret. We are moving down the aisle and the congregation is moving out. They are all out now except this man and myself.
He lifted his two hands and started to pray. “God,you made a promise to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground and you are not doing it.” And he prayed, prayed and prayed again until he fell again on to the floor in a trance. He is lying there. I am standing beside him for about five minutes and then the door of the church opened and the session clerk came in. “Mr. Campbell, some thing wonderful has happened. Revival has broken out. Will you come to the door and see the crowd that is here.”
Eleven o’clock, mind you, 11 o’clock.
And I went to the door and there must have been a congregation of between 600 and 700 people gathered round the church. This dear man stood at the door and suggested that we might sing a psalm. He gave out Psalm 102, “When Zion’s bondage God turned back as men that dreamed were we, then filled with laughter was our mouth, our tongue with melody.” And they sang and they sang and they sang.
And in the midst of it I could hear the cry of the penitent. I could hear men crying to God for mercy. And I turned to the elder and said, “I think we had better open the doors again and let them in.” And within a matter of minutes the church was crowd ed at a quarter to 12.
Now where did the people come from? How did they know that a meeting was in progress in the church?
Well, I cannot tell you. But I know this, that from village and Hamlet the people came. Were you to ask some of them today, “What was it that moved you?” They couldn’t tell you. Only that they were moved by a power that they could not explain and the power was such as to give them to understand and see that they were hell deserving sinners.
And, of course, the only place they could think of where they might find help was at the church.”
We will continue this tomorrow. I sincerely hope Duncan Campbell’s testimony will move each of you to seek the same kind of revival where you are. It will take commitment and sacrifice, but it is our only hope for the healing of our nation.