By Owen Murphy
The events of the second night will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to attend. Buses came from the four corners of the Island, crowding the church. Seven men were being driven to the meeting in a butcher's truck, when suddenly the Spirit of God fell upon them in great conviction. and all were converted before they reached the church! As the preacher delivered his message, tremendous conviction of sin swept down upon the people! Tears rolled down the faces of the people, and from every part of the building came cries of men and women crying for mercy. So deep was the distress of some that their voices could be heard outside in the road. A young man beneath the pulpit cried out: "0 God, hell is too good for me!"
The meeting closed when the people began to move out. As the last person was about to leave. a young man began to pray. Under a tremendous burden of intercession, he prayed for three quarters of an hour and, as he prayed, the people kept gathering until there were twice as many outside the church as there were inside! When the young man stopped praying, the Elder gave out Psalm 132, and as the great congregation sang the old hymn, the people streamed back into the church again, and the meeting went on until 4 a.m.
The moment people took their seats, the Spirit of God in awful conviction began to sweep through the church, and hardened sinners began to weep and confess their sins.
Just as the meeting was closing, a messenger hurried up to the preacher, very excited:
"Come with me! There's a crowd of people outside the police station; they are weeping and in awful distress. We don't know what's wrong with them, but they are calling for someone to come and pray with them."
Describing the scenes outside the police station, which reminded one of the amazing days of Charles Finney, and the Welsh Revival, the minister declared:
"I saw a sight I never thought was possible. Something I shall never forget. Under the starlit sky, men and women were kneeling everywhere, by the roadside, outside the cottages, even behind the peat stacks, crying for God to have mercy upon them!"
Nearly 600 people, who had been making their way to the church, when suddenly the Spirit of God had fallen upon them in great conviction-like Paul on the way to Damascus causing them to fall to their knees in repentance!
Revival had surely come! For five weeks, it swept on in that one Parish, Duncan Campbell conducted four services nightly; in one church at 7 o'clock, in another at 10, in a third at midnight, and back to the first one at 3 o'clock, and home between 5 and 6 o'clock-tired, but very happy to be in the midst of such a wonderful moving of God.
After five weeks in this district the revival began to spread and what had taken place in Barvas, was repeated in other districts.
As men and women throughout the island began to grip God in desperate intercession and prayer for revival, the Spirit of God swept on in increasing power. Arnol, a small community, came within the path of this spiritual tornado. Gripped by a spirit of religious indifference, it was reckoned that hardly a young person darkened the House of God: the Sabbath being given over to the drinking house, poaching, and other sinful pleasures. News of the gracious moving of God having spread through the island, it was here where an opposition meeting was held, lest a similar visitation fall upon Arnol. Although the church was crowded with those who came from the various parts of the island, very few people from Arnol attended the services. In desperation, the little prayer band made their way to the farmhouse to plead the promises of God. Just after midnight, a young man rose to his feet and prayed a prayer that will never be forgotten by those who were present.
"Lord, You made a promise. Are you going to fulfill it? We believe that You are a covenant keeping God. Will You be true to Your covenant? You have said that You will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. Lord, I don't know how these ministers stand in Your presence, but if I know my own heart I know where I stand, and I tell Thee now that I am thirsty. Oh, I am thirsty for a manifestation of the presence and power of God! And, Lord, before I sit down, I want to tell You that Your honor is at stake!"
(Have you ever prayed like that? Here is a man praying the prayer of faith that Heaven must answer! One could imagine the angels of Heaven looking over the battlements of Glory and saying: "This is a man who believes God! This is a man who dares to stand firm upon the promise of God and take from God what has been promised!")
Then came the answer! There are those in Arnol today who will verify the fact that while the brother prayed the house shook like a leaf just as in Acts 4) as God turned loose His mighty power! Dishes rattled upon the sideboard; an elder exclaimed: "An earth tremor?" Then wave after wave of Divine Power swept throughout the room. Simultaneously, the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could not sleep; houses were lit all night; people walked the streets in great conviction; others knelt by their bedsides crying for God to pardon them! As the praying men left the prayer meeting, the preacher walked into a house for a glass of milk and found the lady of the house, with seven others, down upon their knees, crying for pardon. Within 48 hours the drinking house, usually crowded with the drinking men of the village, was closed. Today, it is in ruins. Fourteen young men, who had been drinking there, were gloriously converted. Those same men could be found three times a week, with others, down upon their knees before God, from 10 o'clock until after midnight, praying for their old associates and the spread of revival. It was in this village that within 48 hours nearly every young person between the ages of 12 and 20 had surrendered to Christ, and it was reckoned that every young man between the ages of 18 and 35 could be found in the prayer meetings.
In BERNERAY things were very difficult as the stream of religious life was very low., churches were empty and prayer meeting were practically nil. In view of this, a wire was sent to the praying men of Barvas to come and assist in prayer, and bring with them Donald Smith, the 17-year-old boy to whom God had imparted the amazing ministry of prayer. Halfway through his message, the preacher stopped, and called out: "Donald, will you lead us in prayer?" Standing to his feet, he began to pour out his heart before God in agonizing intercession for the people of the island, and reminding God that He was the great "Covenant-keeping God." Suddenly, it seemed as though the heavens were rent and God swept into the church. People everywhere were stricken by the Power of God, as the Spirit swept through in great convicting power. Outside, startling things were taking place. Simultaneously the Spirit of God had swept over the homes and area around the village, and everywhere people came under great conviction of sin. Fishermen out in their boats, men behind their looms, men at the pit bank. a merchant out with his truck, school teachers examining their papers, were gripped by God and by 10 o'clock the roads were black with people, streaming from every direction to the church. As the preacher came out of the church, the Spirit of God swept in among the people on the road. as a wind. They gripped each other in fear. In agony of soul they trembled, many wept and some fell to the ground In great conviction of sin. Three men were found lying by the side of the road. In such distress of soul that they could not even speak - yet they had never been near the church!
So tremendous was the supernatural moving of God in conviction of sin, not a home, not a family, not an individual escaped fearful conviction, and even the routine of business was stopped that the island might seek the Face of God like Nineveh of Bible days. The town was changed, lives and homes transformed, and even the fishing fleet, as it sailed out into the bays, took with it a Presenter, to lead them in prayer and singing of hymns.