The Revivals of the Eighteenth Century – D. Macfarlan

 

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This book gives a vivid account of events in and around the small Scottish town of Cambuslang in the spring and summer of 1742.

Many hundreds of people came to faith after experiencing the power of God’s Holy Spirit who revealed to them their condition before God and the saving work of Christ available through His death. Many of those saved were from a nominally Christian background others had lived previously in open rebellion to God.

The book’s contents are drawn mainly from the diaries of the Rev. William McCulloch, the minister of the church in Cambuslang and contemporary letters written by many of those whom the revival touched, both lay persons and clergy.

Whilst the language is in places rather old fashioned the modern reader cannot fail to be struck particularly by the accounts of some the very ordinary people involved. Chapters 10 and 11 tell often in their own words how the events in Cambuslang changed them completely.

We have included 4 of the 12 chapters.

Chapter I. Introductory Sketch Of The Times In Which The Revival Occurred

An interesting subject connected with the history of practical godliness, is the recurrence of reviving power after long seasons of decline. Occasions of this kind are most noticeable when confined to particular churches or counties; but they are more wonderful when they occur in churches and counties widely apart. It seems, on such occasions, as if the voice of the Bridegroom were heard, saying to the church at large, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; for, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone: the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Cant. 2:10-13)

About the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century most of the churches, whether in the United Kingdom or the American colonies, were in a comparatively low state. Arianism and Deism prevailed in England. In Scotland, the old style of preaching was being fast laid aside, and cold formal addresses, verging towards a kind of Socinianism, were becoming fashionable. Old Mr. Hutchison, minister of Kilellan, in Renfrewshire, who saw but the beginning of this progress, used to say to Wodrow the historian: “When I compare the times before the restoration with those since the revolution, I must own that the young ministers preach accurately and methodically; but there was far more of the power and efficacy of the Spirit and of the grace of God went along with sermons in those days than now. For my own part (all the glory be to God), I seldom set my foot in a pulpit in those days, but I had notice of some blessed effects of the word.” The Arianism of England was carried to the North of Ireland, and finding a state of feeling suited to its reception, it took root and grew up so as to characterize a distinct section of the presbyterian church, arid now distinguished by the name of the Remonstrant Synod. The south and west of Ireland were subjected to a blight not less withering, though of a different kind, and which continued much longer—continued, to a great extent, throughout the whole of the last century.

The following extract is from a letter now before us, written in 1838 by a highly honoured servant of God in the Irish establishment, and who, perhaps more than any one else, is able to speak of what God has since done in these parts: “The state of the south and west of Ireland is very peculiar. The counties have twice changed their landholders. In the time of Cromwell and of king William there were forfeitures, and these continued till the reign of George I. The principal lands were given to military officers and soldiers connected with the two armies; but some of the estates were purchased by English adventurers—all, however, protestants. In some places the original land tenants were driven out, in others they were allowed to remain, but nearly all the original proprietors went to the continent, most of them to France. The gentry were now all soldiers, and utterly regardless about religion education, morality, or anything tending to the instruction or improvement of the people. They gave themselves to sporting and carousing, leading a kind of half-savage life. Many noblemen and gentlemen rose above this; but as their manners got more refined, they generally went to England, leaving the country at the disposal of mere foxhunters, few of them remaining longer than during the sittings of the Irish parliament. As agriculture extended, benefices became more valuable, unions were multiplied, and large districts of country were in consequence severally placed under one clergyman. The clergy were usually all sons of the gentry, and accustomed to their sporting, drinking, and riotous habits. They had no preparation for ministerial duties but a college degree; and no education, either literary or moral, which had not been obtained among wild young men at college. According to the interest, which they happened to have, they passed at once from college to ministerial charges, and again mixed in all the dissipation of the districts where these lay. Ignorant of the truth, they and their congregations were satisfied with some short moral discourse. The people were very generally as ignorant of the Scriptures and Scripture truth as the inhabitants of Hindostan. The priests were meanwhile at work among the people, and they had many helping them. The sick and dying were watched; their fears were wrought upon. They were told of the power which the priests had—of the influence possessed by the Virgin, and much about the OLD CHURCH; and as soon as any seemed to give way, on whatever point the priest was sent for—he plied them anew, and seldom failed in succeeding with the poor ignorant people. They were now ready to receive absolution; but he had farther conditions to propose. The whole family must submit to be rebaptized, or at least promise to attend mass; and this, also, was not infrequently gained—the protestant clergyman being all the while at a distance, neither knowing nor caring much about what was going on. In this way more than two-thirds of the lower and middle classes of Protestants went over to the Church of Rome. Throughout whole districts our churches were almost emptied, and many in country places were allowed to fall into ruins.”

In New England, the visitation of barrenness was much more of the kind common to most of the other countries, and its continuation was, like theirs, temporary. Dr. Increase Mather, writing towards the end of the seventeenth century, says: “Prayer is necessary on this account that conversions have become rare in this age of the world. They that have their thoughts exercised in discerning things of this nature, have sad apprehensions that the work of conversion has come to a stand. During the last age scarcely a sermon was preached without some being apparently converted, and sometimes hundreds were converted by one sermon. Who of us now can say that we have seen anything such as this? Clear, sound conversions are not frequent in our congregations; the great bulk of the present generation are apparently poor, perishing, and, if the Lord prevent not, undone; many are profane, drunkards, lascivious, scoffers at the power of godliness, and disobedient; others are civil outwardly, conformed to good order, because so educated, but without knowing aught of a real change of heart.” The same esteemed writer says, in 1721: “I am now in my eighty-third year, and having had an opportunity of conversing with the first planters of this country, and having been for sixty five years a preacher of the gospel, I feel as did the ancient men, who had seen the former temple, and who wept aloud as they saw the latter. The children of New England are, or once were, for the most part, the children of godly parents. What did our forefathers come into this wilderness for? Not to gain estates as men do now, but for religion, and that they might have their children in a hopeful way of being truly religious. There was a famous man who preached before one of the greatest assemblies that ever was addressed—it was about seventy years ago—and he said to them, ‘I lived in a country seven years, and all that time I never heard a profane oath or saw a man drunk.’ And where was that country? It was New England! Ah, degenerate New England! What art thou come to at this day? How are those sins become common that were once not even heard of!”

It was amidst circumstances such as these that the revivals of the eighteenth century took their rise. There is perhaps no time during which the natural tide is not either ebbing or flowing, and yet there is a period during which it would be difficult to say, from observation, whether the one has ceased or the other begun. In this case our difficulty is dependent on our judging from appearances, instead of observing the relation of the heavenly bodies. The same thing occurs in those changes, which affect the state of religion. Judging from appearances, it is often difficult to say whether a progress for the better has begun, or whether matters are not still growing worse; but we know that in the purposes of God there is nothing doubtful; and even the observer may sometimes detect, in the undercurrent, a change in the flow of the stream, although not yet perceptible to all. Early in the eighteenth century there were, in many places all over the countries referred to, a feeling of the evil, inquiries as to the remedial means which should be employed, and an enlarged measure of the spirit and exercise of prayer; not a few of the pious were stirred up to unusual wrestlings with God. Societies were formed in various places, but especially in London, for discouraging vice and instructing the ignorant; missionary societies were formed, and missions sent forth to the heathen—the Danish missionaries set sail for the East Indies in 1705; and as regarded societies, something like what occurred towards the end of the last century, though far less in amount, made its appearance; in 1701, the society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts was established, under the auspices of King William, and towards the end of the same year, a society was formed for promoting Christian knowledge at home; in Scotland, also, a society for propagating Christian knowledge in the highlands and islands, and in foreign parts, began to be formed in 1704, and in 1709 received, according to the fashion of the times, a charter from the crown. In the course of a few years, these and many similar undertakings began to lay hold of the religious mind; and this was, no doubt, indicative of divine power, though as yet apparent only, or chiefly, in what concerned others. But it was not bug after this, when the power of the Spirit became manifest and it appeared, not merely in the doings of men, but on men themselves, even the disobedient.

To begin where we stopped—in reviewing the preceding period, and passing over loss remarkable manifestations of divine power, so early as 1734, a very wonderful revival took place in Northampton, New England, under the ministry of the celebrated Jonathan Edwards, a man of deep thought and guarded language, and not at all likely to be either himself carried away with strong feelings, or to be the instrument of mere excitement among others. His own narrative of what took place is so generally known as to render any notice of it here unnecessary. But we ought not to take leave of the labours of Edwards without reminding the reader of that blessed work, some ten years later, among the poor Indians, under the ministrations of the holy and self-denied Brainerd—a work brought before the public through Edwards, and connected also with the society in Scotland. But on casting our eye across the white harvest fields, which were from 1734 downwards heard rustling and falling beneath the gospel sickle, all over New England, and other parts of the colonies, south and north, we are at a loss where to begin or how to shape our way. The vast number of publications issued about the middle of the last century on American revivals, greatly injure the effect, which fewer would have produced. On the history of revivals, whether here or in other parts of the world, we know of no single work, on the whole, better than Dr. Gullies’ Historical Collections. But the letters and journals of Whitefield shed a strong, though rapidly passing light, over the whole of that interesting scene. And as some very naturally call in question strong statements made under strong feelings, they will find a calm and judicious review of the whole in the Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church, by Professor Hodge of Princeton college—a living author, equally distinguished for talents and orthodoxy. As this work is, we fear, but little known in this country, we shall extract from it the more largely. After describing the general deadness which prevailed on both sides of the Atlantic at an earlier period, he adds: “The earliest manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit, in our portion of the church (meaning the Presbyterian), was at Freehold, New Jersey, under the ministry of the Rev. John Tennent, who was called to that congregation in 1730, and died in 1732.” “The settling of that place,” says his brother, the Rev. William Tennent, “with a gospel ministry, was owing, under God, to the agency of some Scotch people that came to it; among whom there was none so painstaking in this blessed work as one Walton (Walter?) Ker, who, in 1685, for his faithful and conscientious adherence to God and his truth, as professed by the church of Scotland, was there apprehended and sent to this country, under a sentence of perpetual banishment. By which it appears that the devil and his instruments lost their aim, in sending him from home, where it is unlikely he could ever have been so serviceable to Christ’s kingdom as he has been here. He is yet alive (in 1744), and, blessed be God, flourishing in his old age, being in his eighty-eighth year.”

This incident is full of interest. In 1685 there was much blood shed in Scotland, many wanton cruelties were practised, and many hundreds were banished to the colonies; and among these New Jersey is particularly mentioned. The name of “Walter Ker” also occurs as “banished to the plantations, September 3, 1685.” (Wodrow.) What wisdom but that of God could so overrule, that the puritans driven from England, and the Presbyterians from Scotland, should be as the sowing of that glorious harvest which was to be so largely reaped towards the middle of the following century; and that this should be a chief means of reviving the cause of God, both in England and Scotland? Yet so it was, as might be shown from other and detailed evidence. “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How un-searchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11.33)

After detailing, to some extent, this work of God, not only among the Presbyterians, but also the Congregationalists and others, the author goes on to remark respecting its character, as genuine or otherwise: “We can compare the doctrines then taught, the exercises experienced, and the effects produced, with the word of God, and thus learn how far the work was in accordance with that infallible standard. The first of these points is a matter of primary importance. How will the revival under consideration abide this test? Is there any doubt as to the doctrines taught by Whitefield, the Tennents, Blair, Dickinson, and the other prominent preachers of that day? They were the doctrines of the reformation, and of the standards of the Presbyterian Church. The doctrines preached,” says Turnbull, “by those famous men, who were owned as the principal instruments of this remarkable revival of God’s work, were the doctrines of original sin, of regeneration by the supernatural influences of the Divine Spirit, and of its absolute necessity; of effectual calling, of justification by faith, wholly on account of the imputed righteousness of Christ; of repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ; of the perseverance of the saints, of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in them, and of its divine consolation and joy.” The second criterion is the nature of the experience professed by its subjects. When we come to ask, what was the experience of the subjects of this revival? We find, amidst much that is doubtful or objectionable, the essential characteristics of genuine conversion. In a great multitude of cases, the same feelings were professed which we find in the saints whose spiritual life is detailed in the Bible, and which the children of God, in all ages, have avowed; the same sense of sin, the same apprehension of the mercy of God, the same faith in Christ the same joy and peace in believing, the same desire for communion with God, and the same endeavours after new obedience. Such, however, is the ambiguity of human language, such the deceitfulness of the human heart, and such the devices of Satan, that no mere detail of feeling, and especially no description which one man may give of the feelings of others, can afford conclusive evidence of the nature of those feelings in the sight of God. We must, therefore, look farther than mere professions or detail of experiences for evidences of the real character of this work. We must look to its effects. What, then, were the fruits of this revival? Mr. William Tennent says, that the subjects of this work, who had come under his observation, were brought to approve of the doctrines of the gospel, to delight in the law of God, to endeavour to do his will, to love those who have the divine image: that the formal had become spiritual; the proud, humble; the wanton and vile, sober and temperate; the worldly, heavenly-minded; the extortioner just; and the self-seeker, desirous to promote the glory of God. The convention of ministers, that met at Boston in 1743, state, that those who were regarded as Converts confirmed the genuineness of the change which they professed to have experienced, by the external fruits of holiness in their lives, so that they appeared to those who had the nearest access to them, as so many epistles of Jesus Christ, written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God.

And after rehearsing the opinion of president Edwards, which we need not copy, he adds: “Turnbull, a later witness, says, ‘the effects on great numbers were abiding and most happy. They were the most uniformly exemplary Christians with whom I was ever acquainted. I was born, and had my education in that part of the town of Albany, in which the work was most prevalent and powerful. Many, who at that time imagined that they were born of God, made a profession of their faith in Christ, and were admitted to full communion, and appeared to walk with God. They were constant and serious in their attendance on public worship, prayerful, righteous, and charitable, strict in the government of their families; and not one of them, so far as he knew, was ever guilty of scandal. Eight or ten years after the religious excitement, there was not a drunkard in the whole parish. It was,’ he adds, the most glorious and extensive revival of religion and reformation of manners which this country has ever known. It is estimated, that in two or three years, thirty or forty thousand souls were born into the family of heaven in New England, besides great numbers in New York, New Jersey, and the more southern provinces.’”

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Chapter II. Introductory Sketch Of The Times Continued

On now turning to England, we are at once met with the full blush of a returning summer. On looking back, we see, so early as 1729, a few students in the university of Oxford meeting for prayer, giving themselves wholly to God, and going forth among the poor and the ignorant to instruct and comfort them. And in the course of ten years, those who had thus been a small and despised meeting of students, went forth as apostles, over England and Wales, and into the American colonies, and were accompanied, especially at home, with men of extraordinary gifts and devotedness. There was now active and open war between the men so raised up and their followers on the one hand, and the world on the other. The history of this period, and especially of the methodists, whether of the school of the Wesleys, or of Whitefield, is large and diversified, and is to a greater or less extent within the reach of most. It would lead us altogether beyond our limits were we to enter upon it. But as the labours of Whitefield are to some extent interwoven with the Scottish revivals, it is necessary to say something of his proceedings before his coming to Scotland.

He was one of the little society in Oxford, and began to attract attention as soon as he received orders, though he was still a very young man—little more than twenty-one years of age. In 1737, the year after he obtained ordination, he went to Georgia, where he projected an orphan institution. Towards the end of 1738, he returned to make collections. This gave him occasion to go forth over England, very much as an evangelist. Early in 1739 he was at Bristol, and preparing to return to America, when it was said to him, “Why go abroad? Have we not Indians enough at home? If you have a mind to convert Indians, there are colliers enough in Kingswood.” He had before this thought of the duty of going forth to the highways and the hedges, that he might compel sinners to come in, but had not yet ventured on what was then altogether unusual. But it seemed to him now that he had a call in providence. The colliers, he was told, were exceedingly rude, so much so that few cared about visiting them, and they had no place of worship. After much prayer and many inward struggles, he went one day to Hannam Mount, and standing on a hill, he began to preach to about a hundred colliers. This soon took air, and meeting after meeting his audience increased, till he found himself addressing nearly twenty thousand persons. His own account of the effects produced is very striking. “The first discovery”, says he, “of their being affected, was in the white gutters made by their tears, which plentifully fell clown their black cheeks, as they came out of their coal-pits. Hundreds and hundreds of them were soon brought under deep convictions, which happily ended in sound and thorough conversion. As the scene was quite new, and I had just begun to be an extempore preacher, I had often many inward conflicts. Sometimes, when twenty thousand people were before me, I had not, as I thought, a word to say; but I was never deserted, and I was often so assisted as to understand what that meaneth, ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ The open firmament above; the prospect of the adjacent fields; the sight of thousands and thousands, some in coaches, some on horseback, and some in the trees, and some of all affected, so as to be drenched with tears, amidst the solemn stillness of the approaching night, were almost too much for me.  I was occasionally all but overcome.

From this time forward, his course was as that of an apostle. But as it is not necessary for the present to follow him much farther, we shall here allow him to introduce us to a separate corner of the Lord’s vineyard less known than England, and which, from its smallness, can be more easily judged of. Wales was at that time more than now separated from England in language, and generally in whatever characterizes a people. The history of God’s work in that country is intensely interesting, and may be, to some extent, learned from a well written life of the great Rowland, and another of Charles of Bala, both of which are in general circulation. But, having access to contemporary information, we shall furnish a few extracts of what is perhaps less generally read.

An awakening had by this time existed in Wales for several years. It is said to have commenced through the labours of Griffith Jones, a truly eminent man, particularly in doing good and devising means of usefulness; and it was being carried forward, especially by Howell Harris, a very extraordinary character, to whom Whitefield will by-and-by introduce us. Whitefield had himself taken leave of his friends in Bristol, and the following entry was made in his journal on his landing in Wales: —

“Cardiff March 8, 1739. —Arose before twelve at night, sung psalms, and prayed; and the wind being fair, we had a speedy passage over to the Welsh shore. Our business being in haste, God having of his own providence sent one to guide us, we rode all night, stopped at Newport to refresh ourselves, where we met with two friends, and reached Cardiff about eleven in the morning.

“The town, I soon found, was apprehensive of my coming; and therefore, whilst I was giving a word of exhortation to some poor people at the inn, who hung upon me to hear the word, Mr. Seward went to ask for the pulpit. But being denied, we pitched on the town hall, which Mr. Seward procured; and at four in the afternoon, I preached from the judge’s seat to about four hundred hearers. Most of them were very attentive, but some mocked. However, I offered Jesus Christ freely to them, and would have rejoiced if they had accepted him; but their foolish hearts were hardened. Lord, make them monuments of thy free grace!

“After I came down from my seat, I was much refreshed with the sight of my dear brother, Howell Harris, whom I knew not in person but long loved in the bowels of Jesus Christ, and on whose behalf I have often felt my soul drawn out in prayer.

“He is now about twenty-five years of age. Twice has he applied for holy orders, being every way qualified, and yet refused, under the pretence of his not being of age, although he was then twenty-two years and six months. About a month ago he offered himself again, and was put off. On this he was, and is still, resolved to go on, and he has already shown indefatigable zeal in his Master’s work. During these three years, he has discoursed, as he told me almost twice every day for three or four hours together; not authoritatively as a minister but as a private person, exhorting his Christian brethren. He has been, I believe, in seven counties, and has made it his business to go to wakes, and to turn people from their lying vanities. Many alehouse people, fiddlers, harpers, &c., cry out against him for spoiling their trade. He has been the subject of many rumours, has been threatened with public prosecution, and has had constables sent to apprehend him; yet God has blessed him with inflexible courage, and he still goes on conquering and to conquer. He is of a most catholic spirit, loves all who love Christ, and is therefore styled by bigots a dissenter.

He is despised by all who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; but God has greatly blessed his endeavours. Many call, and even venerate him as their spiritual father, and would, I believe, lay down their lives for his sake. He discourses generally in a field, but at other times in some house, from a wall, or a table, or anything else. He has established nearly thirty societies in South Wales, and still the field of his labours is becoming wider. He is full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.

“When I first saw him, my heart was knit closely to him. I wanted to catch some of his fire, and I gave him the right hand of fellowship with all my heart. After I had saluted him, and given a warm exhortation to a great number of people, who followed me to the inn, we spent the remainder of the evening in taking sweet counsel together, and telling one another what God had done for our souls. My heart was still drawn out towards him more and more. There seemed to be a strong and divine sympathy between us, and I resolved to promote his interest with all my might. Accordingly, we took an account of the several societies, and agreed on such measures as seemed most conducive to promote the common interests of our Lord. Blessed be God, there seems to be a noble spirit going out into Wales, and I expect that ere long the fruits will be more visible. After much comfortable and encouraging conversation, we knelt down and prayed with great enlargement of heart. This done, we had a little supper, sung a hymn, and went to bed, praising God for having brought us face to face. Satan, I doubt not, envied our happiness; and we hope, by the help of God, that we shall make his kingdom shake. God loves to do great things by such instruments, that the power may be seen to be of God, and not of man.”

Being thus introduced to Howell Harris, we shall next furnish an extract from a letter written by Rowland to Harris, and which is descriptive of both, and of the work of God in their common and much loved country, Wales: -

October 20, 1742. My dear Brother, —I bless you for your letters; they were like showers of rain to a dry land. Indeed, the Lord gave you the tongue of the learned. But O what am I? A painted hypocrite, a miserable sinner! I know all the to’s and fro’s, ups and downs that are in religion; but the blessed liberty that remains for the children of God is still hidden from me. God grant that you may prevail. I wish I could skip and leap over all the mountains of pleasure and laziness, hard-heartedness, unbelief, and rest on the breast of the beloved and never-enough praised Jesus. O blessed time, when all prisoners of hope shall be released, and enter into the rest of their dear Immanuel! I doubt not that your soul joins me in saying, Amen, amen.

“I have been of late in Montgomeryshire, and had great power to convince and build up. Persecution increases. Some of the brethren have been excommunicated. I hope you will consult with the brethren in London, and send us word what we ought to do. At Brecknock, I preached in several churches and houses with uncommon power. I have heard since, that I am brought into court for preaching in an alehouse while there. Your sentiments about this, too, would be very serviceable. Last week I was in Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan, and brave opportunities indeed they were. Whole congregations were under concern and crying out, so that my voice could not be heard. Some persons of quality entertained me with more than ordinary respect. O what am I, that my ears and eyes should hear and see such things? Helping to bless the God of heaven. I hope his kingdom begins to come. Be packing, Satan; flee, flee with trembling, lest the God of Israel overtake thee. Lord, chastise him. Lord, down with him. Let his kingdom be shattered, and let him be himself trampled under the feet of thy children! How long shall he domineer over thy little ones? My dear brother, up, up with your arms; yield not an inch. That God whom we serve can, yea and will, deliver us: Through his might, we shall win the field. Don’t you hear all the brethren in Wales crying out loudly, help, help, help, help, brother Harris—the bold champion, where art thou? What! In London! Though it is now the day of battle! What! Have not London champions enough to fight her battles? Where are the great Whitefield, Cennick, &c. Must poor Wales send help to England? O poor Wales! Thine own ingratitude has caused all this. Good Lord, pity poor Wales! Send our dear brother back among us with thy power, and in the fullness of thy blessing; and let the devil tremble before him. Amen, amen.

“My poor flock increases daily. They would be heartily glad to see and hear you. Brother Williams was here last Sunday, and a sweet day it was. I love him more and more, because of his simple, honest, plain way of dealing with the people. His parishioners are highly incensed against him. I trust we shall have him out before long. (Editors note: Rowland had already been ‘outed’ from his parish and with others had set up the ‘Calvinistic methodist communion’).  Methinks, I hear you inquiring after Carnarvonshire. B.T. is there. They come by thousands to hear. Brother Howell Davies promised to go there; what detains him I know not. I cannot possibly go this winter, for want of one to supply my room at my churches. The next week I promised to be at Pembroke and the lower part of Carmarthen, shortly after at Colvill, &c.

Dear brother, never fail to intercede for me, who am your loving friend, well wisher, and unworthy brother,    
DANIEL ROWLAND.”

This letter from Rowland was written in October 1742. The following extract is from a letter written, by the Rev. Edmond Jones, a dissenting minister in Wales, and is dated the 8th of December 1743, fully a year later. “As for the three ordained Church of England ministers mentioned by Mr. Howell Harris, namely, Mr. William Williams, Mr. Howell Davies, and Mr. Daniel Rowland, I know them very well, although they live at a great distance from this place. They are all three men of unblemished character, very zealous, laborious and popular. Mr. Williams labours chiefly in Brecknockshire and Carmarthenshire.  Mr. Howell Davies lives in Pembrokeshire, and labours there and in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire, and likewise in some parts of Glamorganshire, with great zeal and effect; and Mr. Rowland in Cardiganshire, chiefly where his churches are—but he preaches in many other parts of both North and South Wales. His people are the most zealous in the kingdom, or perhaps in the world. They sing psalms and hymns night and day, when going and returning from their places of worship, and also when at their work. It is with them as it was in St. Jerome’s time in the primitive church. Some time ago, at Landewe Brevi Church, he had above two thousand communicants; and Mr. Philip Pugh, a dissenting minister not far distant, had about five hundred. And besides, there are other meetings and congregations in the same country; so that the lower part of Cardiganshire is almost all over religious. I have been informed, that in one of Mr. Rowland’s parishes there are but two men who are not well affected to religion; and even these come to hear, and are not grossly immoral. I desire both you and Mr. McCulloch (he is writing to Mr. Robe) to be pleased to print some of your best notes of sermons, especially if you have anything remarkable on subjects rarely handled. We, who in this kingdom are for the doctrines of free grace, do greatly affect the sermons and writings of Scots ministers, and desire to have more of them. I do assure you that the works of those famous gospel preachers, the Erskines, are greatly valued, and have been of much use. The sermons entitled Law Death and Gospel Life are in course of being translated into Welsh, in order to be printed. Also Mr. Willison’s Balm of Gilead is come into some hands in this country, and is greatly and deservedly valued. It would be long before we would be wearied of such books, especially as they strengthen our hands against the adversaries of the doctrines of free grace.”

The following extract, or rather abstract, is from a letter dated 14th February 1745: “Last night I came home, after a month’s journey, which our dear Lord carried me through in the most tender manner, more of the divine presence and power I never knew; and such congregations I never before saw. The meetings are generally out of doors, no house being sufficient to contain them. The work is even greater than it was some years ago. The word is quicker and more powerful—the mystical glory of Christ more set forth. The hearts of many are as if on fire, and they seem to set on fire others also. They live as if in the suburbs of heaven, and use much of its language. Others have still to struggle with the bondage of a legal spirit, though hopefully. Some are brought under conviction gradually, and others all at once. Some of the wealthier classes are growing less prejudiced and are coming even to hear; and of them, too, some have been awakened. In several parts of Carmarthen, Pembroke, and Cardigan shires, it is difficult to say where the gospel runs most, and where divine power is most seen. Mr. Rowland is one of the most surprising men that ever I heard. Such wisdom to divide the word rightly, such light in reaching the spirituality of the word, and such power in applying it, I never witnessed. He has four congregations; but the people come from six, seven, or eight counties round. It is impossible to express what life and power, what warmth and holy fire, what praises from some, what mournings and groanings from others, what tears of love and joy, and what looks of happiness, are ministered. These indications can be properly understood only by such as have experienced what they express. Mr. Rowland is assisted by Mr. Williams of Carmarthenshire, who is younger in years and in grace, but is much honoured by his Lord. He is a flaming instrument, and is day and night on the stretch in his Master’s service. In Pembroke, Cardigan and part of Carmarthenshire, the laborious Mr. Davies sounds the glad tidings of the gospel with great success. He is also young, but greatly owned, especially to the English-speaking population of Pembrokeshire, who were, till he went among them, utter strangers to the very forms of godliness. Under his ministry, the Lord does very manifestly display his great power in wounding and healing. These men preach day and night, in houses, in barns, and in the fields; the whole country being open to them.”—It will perhaps occur to some, that these extraordinary effects were the result of the extraordinary gifts of the men described. And so in some sense they were. But these very gifts were of God. Rowland’s mind was once unawakened, and his ministrations were barren. The awakening was of God, and so were the gifts. And it is very observable that such men grew in wisdom as well as eloquence.

On taking leave of Wales, it may be right to notice the extension of this work to the army even in foreign parts. Some will recollect a very interesting account in the Life of Walker of Truro, concerning a work of God not many years after this, among soldiers who were for some time at Truro, before going abroad. But it is more remarkable when found in the army while abroad, and wanting in the opportunities, which they had at home. There was a British army at this time in Flanders; and letters were written by some of the soldiers and others on the spot, and published in the journals of the day. Most of those we have seen are by Englishmen, but the following extracts are from letters written by Scotchmen—the one “by a private Christian,” probably an officer at Bruges, dated 20th March 1745; and the other dated 25th May 1745, from a common soldier. Both are addressed to ministers in this country: “Indeed, there is a great awakening in our army. There is one John Haime, a dragoon in major-general Cope’s regiment; likewise one Clemens in the First Regiment of Guards; and one Evans in the Train of Artillery, who met together for searching the Scripture, for prayer and other duties, as also for rebuking others in following sinful ways, and for setting before them their dreadful state, from Scripture and reason. In our last campaign, there was open field preaching, and there is now, in most of all our regiments, a remarkable awakening. In this company there are three, who were notoriously wicked, and now desire only to know Christ, and him crucified. There is also a society of praying people in this and several other regiments. This society was erected before the awakening. There are two of Colonel Johnston’s regiment who preach. The dragoon belonging to Cope’s regiment and these two preach here every night, in a house they have taken. The general gave them liberty to go to the church, and preach every day. Major-general Ponsonby, who commands here, seems to be more religious; for he both encourages these men, and causes the ministers to go to church every morning and read prayers to the men that mount guard. In Ghent there is another assembly of the awakened soldiers.”—The following extract is from the soldier’s letter: “Rev. Sir, —I received the book which ye sent me. I am obliged to you for your love and kindness to me, and to all my father’s family, and especially as I am but a prodigal, and that I refused all your good advices, and those of my friends. I desire to be very thankful to God that he hath, by your hand, sent me such a book. I hope it will be useful to me, and also to some others of this army, whom are ten thousand times more deserving, and who on all occasions seek to do me good. There are a few who, in this wilderness, where we are deprived of those refreshing ordinances which you have among you, that assemble together; which we believe to be our duty. There are nearly forty of us, who meet as often as we can. But we have not in this campaign the same opportunities we had in the last; and in winter quarters, we commonly meet on Sabbath and Wednesday, and oftener when we can. We begin with prayer, we then sing, then read a Chapter, we have then prayer again, and questions on practical heads of divinity, such as are in the writings of Mr. Isaac Ambrose. There is one young lad in the company who sent to London for his whole works. He got it over in winter; but we could not get it to camp with us. After the question has gone round, duty is gone about, and we conclude with praise. There are amongst us men of different regiments, who take upon them to exhort and preach publicly in the camp. There is a great work of conviction among the men, and I hope that there are also some conversions.  They go after the strain of the Messrs. Wesley in England. If it were not too much trouble, I would be very glad to have your advice concerning our society, and the means whereby we may obtain and preserve the presence of God among us; and concerning myself. I greatly desire to hear of the healing of divisions, and of a reformation-work, both in heart and life, among high and low. O that that promise were made good! ‘When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness.’ (Isa. 269) Surely his judgments are in the earth now, and in some measure executed on our army. His hand seems to be lifted up against both nations and armies.”

When one goes forth in spring, and finds on the exposed hillside the flowers and other indications of the advancing year, he naturally concludes that long ere now these must have appeared in the sheltered valley. So might we also conclude, from what we have seen of the work of God even in the British camp.  Scotland with all its ecclesiastical wrongs and moral degeneracy was comparatively a privileged land. The very sufferings which had been endured on the side of truth during the preceding century, had left behind them witnesses for truth, which, though like the works of God described by the psalmist, having no speech nor language so as to make their voice heard, had their line, nevertheless, going forth over the land, and with a meaning as intelligible as words. In very many cases, the men of this generation were the sons of persecuted fathers, whose prayerful instructions and high testimony for truth were not soon to be forgotten. The very oppression of an ecclesiastical majority, and domineering power of an irreligious age, increased the amount and intensity of their prayerful communings, who wept over the degeneracy of their times. A certain class of ministers, and a greatly larger class of the people, were like the Simeons and the Annas of other days—the life of the church, and the hope of their generation. In such writings as the Memoirs of Boston, the Lives of the Erskines, and others of that age, we have laid open to us many of the hidden springs of a coming change; and in this there is much interest. There were general causes, otherwise so general a change would be unaccountable; but there were also special causes, and these lay hid in the circumstances of the different countries. From almost the very commencement of the century, there were in Scotland indications of returning power. The habitations of horrid cruelty abroad, and the abominations of immorality at home being both glaring, began to engage the public mind. The country was not so far gone as not to feel, at least in many places, a want of gospel light and gospel warmth in the pulpit, and the tyranny of ecclesiastical moderatism in the church courts. For a time the few strove against the many, in seeking to arrest the downward progress in both.  The secession broke the strength of this reclaiming party within the church, and their attention was perhaps all the more directed to other and brighter scenes. Far in the west, beyond the Western Ocean, the Sun of righteousness seemed anew to arise.  It was as if the apocalyptic angel had been seen to “fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred; and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 146-7) So astonishing were the things seen and done, that many of the calmest and most philosophical friends of truth were of opinion, that what they then witnessed was to usher in the full revelation of the millennium. The minds of many in this country, wearied, as if labouring in the fire and for very vanity, were naturally drawn out to behold, and if possible to realize, some share in this coming glory.

But even in separate localities there were special preparations. Among other cases, Mr. Robe of Kilsyth speaks of providential events affecting that parish, and preparing the way for what followed, so early as 1733; and the direct means afterwards blessed, began to be used two years before the commencement of the revival. “In 1740,” says he, “I began to preach on the doctrine of regeneration. The method I followed was, first to press the importance and necessity of it, from John 33: ‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Next, to show the mysteriousness of the way and manner of the Holy Spirit, in effecting it, from John 38: ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ Thirdly, to explain and apply the various Scripture views and expressions of it; as first, being born again, from John 38; secondly, as a resurrection, from Rev. 206, ‘Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection;’ thirdly, as a new creature, from Eph. 210, ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works;’ fourthly, as Christ’s conquest of the sinner to himself, from Ps. 1003, ‘Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power;’ fifthly, as the circumcision of the heart, from Ezek. 449, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger, among the children of Israel;’ sixthly, as the taking away of the stony heart, and the giving a heart of flesh, from Ezek. 1119; seventhly, as the putting of God’s law in the mind, and writing it in the heart, from Heb. 810, I sometimes could observe,” he adds, “that the doctrine of these sermons was acceptable to the Lord’s people, and that there was more than ordinary seriousness in hearing them; yet I could see no farther fruit. But now (1742) I find that the Lord, who is infinitely wise, and knoweth the end from the beginning was preparing some for this uncommon dispensation of the Spirit, which we looked not for; and that others were brought under convictions, issuing, by the power of the Highest, in their real conversion, and in a silent way.” (See Mr. Robe’s Narrative.)

Similar preparations were going on at Cambuslang for some time before the awakening broke out. But these will fall to be considered under a separate head.

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Chapter III. Some Account Of Mr. McCulloch Of Cambuslang, Chiefly As Furnished By His Son, The Rev. Dr. Robert McCulloch, Minister Of Darsie, And Published With A Volume Of Sermons In 1793

The late Rev. William McCulloch, minister of the gospel at Cambuslang, was born towards the end of last century (the seventeenth), at Whithorn, in Galloway, where his father was the teacher of the public school. He received the rudiments of his education from his father, who, perceiving his studious disposition sent him to the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. There he laid a good foundation; and in time acquired the character, which he always maintained among those that knew him, of extensive reading, good acquaintance with the Greek and Roman classics, and uncommon skill in Hebrew. His genius led him also to the mathematical sciences, particularly astronomy and geography, which he afterwards taught in Glasgow to numerous classes of young men, with great applause; and in subserviency to such studies, he constructed small globes with great accuracy. But his favourite study was theology, as contained in the Holy Scriptures; and being early called of God, by his grace, he determined to consecrate all his talents to the work of the ministry. From that time forward no prospect, however alluring, could divert him from his steady purpose of preaching the un-searchable riches of Christ.

After attending the divinity colleges of Edinburgh and Glasgow, he was licensed to preach the gospel by the presbytery of Wigton, in the year 1722. He resided mostly at Glasgow, where, in 1725, he was nominated to preach the annual sermon for the reformation of manners, which he published at the desire of the magistrates. This was the only sermon he ever published. Though at different periods of his ministry he was solicited to favour the public with some of his discourses, his modesty still prevented him. When he was a preacher, and had not yet received ordination, he lived some time in the family of Mr. Hamilton of Aikenhead, in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, where he acquired the esteem and friendship of that respectable gentleman and his family; for whom he always expressed a particular regard.

On the 29th April 1731, he was ordained by the presbytery of Hamilton minister of Cambuslang. This parish lies on the south side of the river Clyde, and about five miles east of Glasgow. It runs about three and a half miles south of that river, and nearly the same length east and west. At present the population is not much short of three thousand, but in 1742 it was only about nine hundred.

All the accounts we have seen of Mr. McCulloch, unite in describing him as able, judicious, and faithful, yet no way distinguished as a popular preacher. “He was not,” says his son, “a very ready speaker. Though eminent for learning and piety, he was not eloquent. Thoughtful and studious, he delivered the truths of God faithfully; but his manner was slow and cautious—Very different from that of popular orators.”

The sermons published by his son correspond with this description. They are in all thirteen, and are throughout clear, simple, and manly exhibitions of divine truth, but no way distinguished either for eloquence or unction.

In speaking of his habits, his son says: “He commonly rose about five in the morning, and excepting about two or three hours, which he allowed for relaxation, he was closely employed in study till about eight o’clock in the evening. His ordinary practice was to write, out and commit to memory two sermons every week. He spent much time in secret prayer, waiting with humble patience for a favourable return, he greatly encouraged private Christians to meet for social prayer, and particularly that God would revive his work everywhere. He was often employed in reading and meditating on the Scriptures; and when his memory began to fail, he transcribed large portions of them, that he might impress them the more upon his mind. ‘I never knew a man,’ said one who had access narrowly to observe his conduct, ‘that seemed to be more conscientious in remembering the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.’”

“In works of charity he was also singular. He was timorous in the extreme lest what he did in this way should be known. To mention a few instances: in 1752, he caused print, with the greatest privacy, three thousand copies of an exact and easy way of teaching children to read; to which he subjoined the Shorter Catechism, and the Proverbs of Solomon. These he dispersed throughout Scotland and America for the benefit of young people of the poorer sort. This cost him about £12. In 1768, he purchased three hundred Bibles, which cost nearly £25, and secretly ordered them to be dispersed for the same benevolent purpose. About the same time, he employed one of his elders, in whom he could confide, to go to Edinburgh with £200 to the society for propagating Christian knowledge, with a strict charge that he should not tell any person by whom it was sent.

“Amidst the increasing frailties of age,” his son goes on to say, “he continued his incessant labours in the gospel, and preached to his congregation till within a Sabbath or two of his death—even when, through weakness, he was obliged to be supported to the church by a person on each hand.

“About the 10th of December 1771, when he was beginning family worship in the evening, he was suddenly seized with the disorder that terminated his valuable life. During his affliction he was almost continually insensible. Recollecting himself one night, he said: ‘The whole is shortly summed up in the words of Jesus Christ, ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’ On the 18th of December 1771, and in the forty-first year of his ministry, after some days of severe distress, he departed in peace from this life, to enter into the joy of his Lord. On the Saturday following his body was interred in the churchyard of Cambuslang, amidst the tears and lamentations of an affectionate people, who highly respected and loved him as their minister. On his gravestone is this inscription: ‘He was holy in his life, esteemed in his congregation, and honoured of God to be remarkably useful in preaching the gospel.’”

Those biographical notices though applicable, perhaps chiefly to an after-period of’ life, are sufficient to bring before us the man with his ordinary habits and constitutional tendencies. And it will now be seen, that there was nothing in these to account for the awakening which took place. There was, indeed, apparently the absence of what might otherwise have been regarded as a hindrance, especially pride of intellect, and a fondness for display; but there was really nothing on account of which the most observant could have said—God will yet employ that man in doing great things.

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Chapter V. Means And Circumstances Apparently Employed In Bringing About The Revival At Cambuslang

It may be well again to return, in a few sentences, to the proceedings of Whitefield, as apparently connected with what we have immediately to add. We last parted from him in Wales, which was in March 1739. In the August following he embarked for America, landed at Philadelphia, went from that to New York, and from this largely over the colonies; and he was thus thrown among the men who had been engaged in America as he had been in England. The field preaching, begun among the colliers at King’s-wood, was now practised in the colonies. He learned from the colonial brethren in some things, and they from him in others; and the work went on between them to the astonishment of all. Large districts of country were now ripened for the spiritual harvest. There was little spoken of but religion, and all who knew the truth were ever saying to their neighbours, “Know ye the Lord.” Ministers, instead of preaching as if engaged in some professional task, dealt with men’s souls in what they said; and hearers had their consciences so awakened, that they could not listen and remain indifferent. The power of God was everywhere felt, and the reports of what in this way occurred were spread everywhere, and especially in the mother country.

Now this was in 1740, and early in 1741 Mr. McCulloch appears to have been in the habit of bringing the intelligence of these interesting events before his people. The following is the statement given of this proceeding in the last statistical account of the parish, and which, as regards this matter, was drawn up by the Rev. Dr. Olason, now of Edinburgh: “The Kirk of Cambuslang being too small, and out of repair, the minister, in favourable weather, frequently conducted the public devotional services of the parish in the open fields. The place chosen was peculiarly well adapted for the purpose. It is a green brae on the east side of a deep ravine near the church, scooped out by nature in the form of an amphitheatre. At present it is sprinkled over with broom, fume, and sloe bushes, and two aged thorns in twin-embrace are seen growing side by side near the borders of the meandering rivulet, which murmurs below. In this retired and romantic spot Mr. McCulloch, for about a year before ‘the work’ began, preached to crowded congregations. On the Sabbath evenings, after sermon, he detailed to the listening multitudes the astonishing effects produced by the ministrations of Mr. Whitefield in England and America; and urged, with great energy, the doctrine of regeneration and newness of life.” In a narrative drawn up in 1742, and approved by Mr. McCulloch, it is said, “The minister in his ordinary course of sermon, for nearly a twelvemonth before this work began, had been preaching on those subjects which tend most directly to explain the nature, and prove the necessity, of regeneration, according to the different lights in which that important matter is represented in Holy Scripture.”

This was the state of matters at Cambuslang during the spring and summer of 1741. But we must now again return to Whitefield, who, at this very juncture, appeared, and for the first time, in Scotland. In the month of March he had arrived in England, and soon after he was invited by many in this country to visit Scotland. Among these, Messrs. Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine, now separated from the establishment, and forming with their brethren of the secession the associate presbytery, were among the earliest and most urgent. Their wish was, that in coming to Scotland Whitefield should preach only in connection with their body, and so help forward the exclusive work in which they were engaged. To this he objected, regarding himself as an evangelist at large; and out of this difference many things that were to be regretted seem to have taken rise. But with these it is not necessary for us at present further to interfere. On the 30th of July he arrived in Edinburgh. He was urged to preach, but declined till he had seen the Messrs. Erskine; and he accordingly proceeded to Dunfermline. Writing on the 1st of August, he says:

“I went yesterday to Dunfermline, where dear Mr. Ralph Erskine hath got a large and separate, or, as it is commonly termed, seceding meeting-house. He received me very lovingly. I preached to his and the town’s people—a very thronged assembly. After I had done prayer, and named my text, the rustling made by opening the Bibles all at once quite surprised me; a scene I never was witness to before.” The day following he returned to Edinburgh, accompanied with Mr. Ralph Erskine, and preached in the Orphan House park to a large and impressed audience. His text was, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 1417.) After sermon, a large company, including some of the nobility, came to bid him God-speed, and among others, a portly Quaker, a nephew of the Messrs. Erskine.  Taking him by the hand he said, “Friend George, I am as thou art; I am for bringing all to the life and power of the ever-living God; and therefore if thou wilt not quarrel with me about my hat, I will not quarrel with thee about thy gown.” On Sabbath evening he preached in the same place to upwards of fifteen thousand; and on the evenings of Monday, Friday, and Saturday, to nearly as many; on Tuesday in the Canongate Church; on Wednesday and Thursday at Dunfermline; and on Friday morning at Queensferry. “Everywhere,” says he, “the auditories were large and very attentive. Great power accompanied the word. Many hare been brought under convictions, and I have already received invitations to different places; which, God willing, I intend to comply with.” Writing on the 15th of August (that is, a week later), he says: “It would make your heart leap for joy to be now in Edinburgh. I question if there be not upwards of three hundred in this city seeking after Jesus. Every morning I have a constant levee of wounded souls, many of whom are quite slain by the law. God’s power attends the word continually, just as when I left London. At seven in the morning we have a lecture in the fields, attended not only by the common people, but also by persons of rank. I have reason to think that several of the latter sort are coming to Jesus. Little children, also, are much wrought upon. God much blesses my letters from the little orphans. [Girls in the hospital.] He loves to work by contemptible means. O my dear brother, I am quite amazed when I think what God has done here in a fortnight. My printed journals and sermons have been blessed in an uncommon manner. I am only afraid lest people should idolize the instrument, and not look enough to the glorious Jesus, in whom alone I desire to glory. Congregations consist of many thousands. Never did I see so many Bibles, nor people looking into them, when I am expounding, with so much attention. Plenty of tears flow from the hearers’ eyes. Their emotion appears in various ways. I preach twice daily, and expound at private houses at night, and am employed in speaking to souls under distress great part of the day. I have just snatched a few moments to write to my dear brother. O that God may enlarge your heart to pray for me! This afternoon I preach out of town, and also tomorrow. Next post, God willing, you shall have another letter. I walk continually in the comforts of the Holy Ghost. The love of Christ quite strikes me dumb. O grace! Grace!  Let that be my song. Adieu.”

In this way he continued preaching very extensively over the country; and early in September he arrived in Glasgow. On the 11th he began in the High Churchyard, and for five days in succession he preached there twice a day, at an early hour in the morning and again in the evening. The expectations were great, not only in Glasgow, but all around, and crowds flocked to hear him. Morning after morning, and evening after evening, that vast churchyard, almost paved as it is with tombstones, was crowded with living worshippers, trembling under the word. But not satisfied with hearing, the pen of the ready writer was from day to day at work, and each sermon was printed by itself, and put immediately into circulation. Eight of the ten are now before us in their original form. On comparing these with the sermons contained in the uniform edition of his works, only three out of the eight appear in that collection. Some of the remaining five will be found in the appendix, as true specimens of the kind of preaching which was so eminently blessed. In these there are specimens of preaching eloquence fitted to impress and to awaken yet is there in them but little of the mere eloquence of intellect or of imagination. They are throughout characterized by great simplicity, as if the language of the preacher merely expressed what he felt; and yet is there so much earnestness and so much closeness of application, as in some measure to account for the effect produced—we mean in so far as that was human. All that we know of that wonderful man from his writings, confirms in us the impression that this was very much the character of all his ministrations; that with the advantage of a thrilling voice and an impressive manner, he was in the pulpit very much what Baxter was in the press. He spoke as a man realizing all that he said, and laying open the feelings of his own heart in addressing the hearts of others. And in this there is doubtless much of the power by which the sympathies of others may be awakened.

The impression produced by these sermons was very great, and they were blessed to not a few. Mr. Whitefield himself returned to England in the end of October, but many letters followed him, detailing the fruits of his labours in Scotland; and one of these was written by Mr. McCulloch. This is important not only as showing the interest which he took in Mr. Whitefield’s first visit to Scotland, but also in making us acquainted with the views which he entertained concerning the effects produced. The following is an extract:-

 “As it is matter of joy and thankfulness to God, who sent you hither, and gave you so much countenance, and so remarkably crowned your labours with success here at Glasgow, so I doubt not but the following account of the many seals to your ministry, in and about that city, will be very rejoicing to your heart, especially as the kingdom of our glorious Redeemer is so much advanced thereby, and as the everlasting happiness of souls is promoted. I am well informed by some ministers, and other judicious and experienced Christians, that there are to the amount of fifty persons already known, in and about Glasgow, who appear to be savingly convened, through the blessing and power of God on your ten sermons. And there are, besides these, several others apparently under conviction, but not reckoned, as being still doubtful. Several Christians, also, of considerable standing, were much strengthened, revived, and comforted, by what they heard. They were made to rejoice in hope of the glory of God, having attained to the full assurance of faith. Among those lately converted, there are several young people, who were before openly wicked and flagitious, or at best but very negligent as to spiritual things; and yet they are now in the way of salvation. Some young converts are yet under doubts and fears, but a considerable number of them have attained to peace and joy in believing. Several of those who were lately wrought upon in a gracious way, seem to outstrip Christians of considerable standing, in spiritual-mindedness, and in many other good qualifications; particularly in their zeal for the conversion of others, in, their love to ordinances, and in their freedom from bigotry and party zeal. Those converted by your ministry have not been discovered at once, but only from time to time. A good many of them have been discovered only of late. Their convictions were at first less pungent, and through the discouragements they met with, in the families where they resided, as well as from their own feelings, they endeavoured for a time to conceal their state. These circumstances afford grounds for hoping, that there are yet others who may afterwards become known. Besides such as have been awakened through the power of God accompanying your sermons, there are others who have been since awakened, and who have been discovered in consequence of the change observable in their conduct. Young converts are very active in seeking to promote the conversion of others, especially their relations and connections. Sometimes this is done by conversations, exhorting them to flee to Christ, and sometimes by correspondence; and there are instances of such means being blessed. Such converts have all a great love for one another, and for all in Christ; and they have great sympathy with any who are in a state of doubt and fear. Such as have not yet attained to comfort, nevertheless of their deep concern and careful attendance on the means of grace, are sometimes useful to Christians of older standing, by the anxiety, which they discover. These, dear brother, are a few hints concerning some of the most remarkable things, as to the blessing, which accompanied your labours at Glasgow. May a rich and powerful blessing give a plentiful increase to them everywhere!

With great respect and esteem, I am, reverend and dear sir, your affectionate brother in the work of the gospel.

“William McCulloch.”

It may be added here, that many of those who were afterwards brought under the power of the truth at Cambuslang, spoke of these sermons as among the first means of awakening them to concern. Instances of this will be brought out in the cases to be afterwards detailed.

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Contents

Chapter 1. Introductory Sketch of the Times in Which the Revival Occurred
Chapter 2. Introductory Sketch of the Times Continued
Chapter 3. Some Account of Mr. McCulloch of Cambuslang, Chiefly as Furnished by His Son, the Rev. Dr. Robert McCulloch, Minister of Darsie, and Published with a Volume of Sermons in 1793
Chapter 4. Means and Circumstances Apparently Employed in Bringing about the Revival at Cambuslang

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Chapter 5. The First Three Months of the Revival at Cambuslang
Chapter 6. The First Communion
Chapter 7. The Second Communion
Chapter 8. The Condition of Cambuslang after the Revival of 1742 had Subsided
Chapter 9. Some Account Of Two Manuscript Volumes Kept By Mr. McCulloch, And Of The Cases Which They Contain
Chapter 10. A Selection of Cases Prepared from the First Volume, and Approved of by the Original Examinators
Chapter 11. A Selection of Cases Prepared from the Second Manuscript Volume
Chapter 12. The Extension of the Work to Other Parts of Scotland

1847   312pp

 

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