Revival in the Hebrides (1949)
By Duncan Campbell
From the “Shilohouse. Org” Web Site
Note: The following is a transcript of a taped message on the Hebrides Revival. The report was delivered in 1968 by Duncan Campbell, an eye witness. Where we could not understand the tape, a blank is used.
There are two things that I would like to say in speaking about the revival in the Hebrides. First, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I did not bring revival to the Hebrides. It has grieved me beyond words to hear people talk and write about the man who brought revival to the Hebrides. My dear people, I didn’t do that. Revival was there before I ever set foot on the island. It began in a gracious awareness of God sweeping through the parish of Barvas.
Then I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand of revival. When I speak of revival, I am not thinking of high-pressure evangelism. I am not thinking of crusades or of special efforts convened and organized by man. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is something altogether different from evangelism on its highest level. Revival is a moving of God in the community and suddenly the community becomes God conscious before a word is said by any man representing any special effort.
Now I am sure that you will be interested to know how, in November 1949, this gracious movement began on the island of Lewis. Two old women, one of them 84 years of age and the other 82-one of the stone blind, were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their own parish. It was true that not a single young person attended public worship. Not a single young man or young woman went to the church. They spent their day perhaps reading or walking but the church was left out of the picture. And those two women were greatly concerned and they made it a special matter of prayer.
A verse gripped them: “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” They were so burdened that both of them decided to spend so much time in prayer twice a week. On Tuesday they got on their knees at 10 o’clock in the evening and remained on their knees until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning–two old women in a very humble cottage.
One night, one of the sisters had a vision. Now remember, in revival, God works in wonderful ways. A vision came to one of them, and in the vision she saw the church of her fathers crowded with young people. Packed to the doors, and a strange minister standing in the pulpit. And she was so impressed by the vision that she sent for the parish minister. And of course he knowing the two sisters, knowing that they were two women who knew God in a wonderful way, he responded to their invitation and called at the cottage.
That morning, one of the sisters said to the minister, “You must do something about it. And I would suggest that you call your office bearers together and that you spend with us at least two nights in prayer in the week. Tuesday and Friday if you gather your elders together, you can meet in a barn-a farming community, you can meet in a barn-and as you pray there, we will pray here. Well, that was what happened, the minister called his office bearers together and seven of them met in a barn to pray on Tuesday and on Friday. And the two old women got on their knees and prayed with them.
Well that continued for some weeks–indeed, I believe almost a month and a half. Until one night; now this is what I am anxious for you to get a hold of–one night they were kneeling there in the barn, pleading this promise, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty, floods upon the dry ground” when one young man, a deacon in the church, got up and read Psalm 24. “Who shall ascend the hill of God? Who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity or sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing (not a blessing, but the blessing) of the Lord.” And then that young man closed his Bible. And looking down at the minister and the other office bearers, he said this-maybe crude words, but perhaps not so crude in our Gaelic language-he said, “It seems to me to be so much humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God.” And then he lifted his two hands-and I’m telling you just as the minister told me it happened-he lifted his two hands and prayed, “God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? ” But he got no further. That young man fell to his knees and then fell into a trance. Now don’t ask me to explain this because I can’t. He fell into a trance and is now lying on the floor of the barn. And in the words of the minister, at that moment, he and his other office bearers were gripped by the conviction that a God-sent revival must ever be related to holiness, must ever be related to Godliness. Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? The man that God will trust with revival-that was the conviction.
When that happened in the barn, the power of God swept into the parish. And an awareness of God gripped the community such as hadn’t been known for over 100 years. An awareness of God-that’s revival, that’s revival. And on the following day, the looms were silent, little work was done on the farms as men and women gave themselves to thinking on eternal things gripped by eternal realities.
Now, I wasn’t on the island when that happened. But, again, one of the sisters sent for the minister. And she said to him, “I think you ought to invite someone to the parish. I cannot give a name, but God must have someone in His mind for we saw a strange man in the pulpit, and that man must be somewhere.” Well, the minister that week was going to one of our great conventions in Scotland. At that convention he met a young man who was a student in college and knowing that this young man was a God-fearing man, a man with a message, he invited him to the island. “Won’t you come for 10 days-a 10-day special effort? We have had so many of them over the past couple of years, but we feel that something is happening in the parish and we would like you to attend.”
This minister said, “No, I don’t feel that I am the man, but quite recently there has been a very remarkable move in Glasgow under the ministry of a man by the name of Campbell. I would suggest that you send for him.” Now at that time I was in a college in Edinburgh. It wasn’t very easy for me to leave but it was decided that I should go for 10 days. I was on the island within 10 days.
I shall never forget the night that I arrived at the piers in the mail steamer. I was standing in the presence of the minister whom I had never seen and two of his elders that I never knew. The minister turned to me and said, “I know Mr. Campbell that you are very tired-you have been traveling all day by train to begin with and then by steamer. And I am sure that you are ready for your supper and ready for your bed. But I wonder if you would be prepared to address a meeting in the parish church at 9 o’clock tonight on our way home. It will be a short meeting and then we will make for the manse and you will get your supper and your bed and rest until tomorrow evening.” Well, it will interest you to know that I never got that supper.
We got to the church about quarter to nine to find about 300 people gathered. I would say about 300 people. And I gave an address. Nothing really happened during the service. It was a good meeting. A sense of God, a consciousness of His Spirit moving but nothing beyond that. So I pronounced the benediction and we were leaving the church I would say about a quarter to eleven.
Just as I am walking down the aisle, along with this young deacon who read the Psalm in the barn. He suddenly stood in the aisle and looking up to the heavens he said, “God, You can’t fail us. God, You can’t fail us. You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground-God, You can’t fail us!”
Soon He is on his knees in the aisle and he is still praying and then he falls into a trance again. Just then the door opened–it is now eleven o’clock. The door of the church opens and the local blacksmith comes back into the church and says, “Mr. Campbell, something wonderful has happened. Oh, we were praying that God would pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground and listen, He’s done it! He’s done it!”
When I went to the door of the church I saw a congregation of approximately 600 people. Six hundred people–where had they come from? What had happened? I believe that that very night God swept in Pentecostal power-the power of the Holy Ghost. And what happened in the early days of the apostles was happening now in the parish of Barvas.
Over 100 young people were at the dance in the parish hall and they weren’t thinking of God or eternity. God was not in all of their thoughts. They were there to have a good night when suddenly the power of God fell upon the dance. The music ceased and in a matter of minutes, the hall was empty. They fled from the hall as a man fleeing from a plague. And they made for the church. They are now standing outside. Oh, yes–they saw lights in the church. That was a house of God and they were going to it and they went. Men and women who had gone to bed rose, dressed, and made for the church. Nothing in the way of publicity–no mention of a special effort except and intonation from the pulpit on Sabbath that a certain man was going to be conducting a series of meetings in the parish covering 10 days. But God took the situation in hand–oh, He became His own publicity agent. A hunger and a thirst gripped the people. 600 of them now are at the church standing outside.
This dear man, the blacksmith, turned to me and said, “I think that we should sing a psalm.” And they sang and they sang and they sang verse after verse. Oh, what singing! What singing! And then the doors were opened and the congregation flocked back into the church.
Now the church is crowded–a church to seat over 800 is now packed to capacity. It is now going on towards midnight. I managed to make my way through the crowd along the aisle toward the pulpit. I found a young woman, a teacher in the grammar school, lying prostrate on the floor of the pulpit praying, “Oh, God, is there mercy for me? Oh, God, is there mercy for me? ” She was one of those at the dance. But she is now lying on the floor of the pulpit crying to God for mercy.
That meeting continued until 4 o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t tell you how many were saved that night but of this I am sure and certain that at least 5 young men who were saved in that church that night are today ministers in the church of Scotland having gone through university and college.
At 4 o’clock, we decided to make for the manse. Of course, you understand, we make no appeals–you never need to make an appeal or an altar call in revival. Why, the roadside becomes an altar. We just leave men and women to make their way to God themselves–after all, that is the right way. God can look after His own. Oh, God can look after His own! And when God takes a situation in hand, I tell you He does a better work. He does a better work.
So we left them there, and just as I was leaving the church, a young man came to me and said, “Mr. Campbell, I would like you to go to the police station.” I said, “The police station? What’s wrong?” “Oh,” he said, “There’s nothing wrong but there must be at least 400 people gathered around the police station just now.”
Now the sergeant there was a God-fearing man. He was in the meeting. But people knew that this was a house that feared God. And next to the police station was the cottage in which the two old women lived. I believe that that had something to do with the magnet, the power that drew men. There was a coach load at that meeting. A coach load had come over 12 miles to be there. Now if anyone would ask them today, why? How did it happen? Who arranged it? They couldn’t tell you. But they found themselves grouping together and someone saying, “What about going to Barvas? I don’t know, but I have a hunger in my heart to go there.” I can’t explain it; they couldn’t explain it, but God had the situation in hand.
This is revival dear people! This is a sovereign act of God! This is the moving of God’s Spirit, I believe in answer to the prevailing prayer of men and women who believed that God was a covenant-keeping God but must be true to His covenant engagement.
I went along. I went along to that meeting. As I am walking along that country road-we had to walk about a mile-I heard someone praying by the roadside. I could hear this man crying to God for mercy. I went over and there were four young men on their knees at the roadside. Yes, they were at the dance but they are now there crying to God for mercy. One of them was under the influence of drink, but a young man he wasn’t 20 years of age. But that night God saved him and he is today the parish minister, university trained, college trained, a man of God. Converted in the revival with eleven of his office bearers. A wonderful congregation. Well, he was saved that night.
Now when I got to the police station, I saw something that will live with me as long as I live. I didn’t preach–there was no need of preaching. We didn’t even sing. The people are crying to God for mercy. Oh, the confessions that were made! There was one old man crying out, “Oh, God, hell is too good for me! Hell is too good for me!” This is Holy Ghost conviction! Now mind you, that was on the very first night of a mighty demonstration that shook the island. Oh, let me say again, that wasn’t the beginning of revival–revival began in a prayer barter meeting. Revival began in an awareness of God. Revival began when the Holy Ghost began to grip men and that was how it began.
And, of course, after that we were at it night and day-churches crowded. A messenger would come–I remember one night it was after 3 o’clock in the morning–a messenger came to say that the churches were crowded in another parish 15 miles away. Crowded at that hour in the morning. And we went to this parish minister along with several other ministers who I thank God for the ministers of Lewis–how they responded to the call of God. How they threw themselves into the effort. And God blessed them for it. We went, and I found myself preaching in a large church-a church that would seat 1,000–and the Spirit of God was moving, oh, moving in a mighty way! I could see them falling, falling on their knees. I could hear them crying to God for mercy. I could hear those outside praying. And that continued for, I’m sure, two hours. And then as we were leaving the church, someone came to me to tell me that a very large number of people had gathered on a field–they could not get into the church. They couldn’t get into any of the churches. And they had gathered in a field. Along with the other ministers I decided to go to the field. And here I saw this enormous crowd standing there as though gripped by a power that they could not explain. But the interesting thing about that meeting was a sight that I saw. The headmaster of a secondary school in the parish is lying on his face on the ground crying to God for mercy. Oh, deeply convicted of his desperate need and on either side of them, two young girls, I would say about 16 years of age-two on each side of him. And they keep saying to the headmaster, “Master, Jesus that saved us last night in Barvas can save you in ________ tonight. Jesus that saved us last night in Barvas can save you tonight.” It is true that when man comes into vital relationship with Jesus Christ, his supreme desire is to win others. To win others! And they were there that night to win their master, and they won him. Oh, God swept into his life, I believe in answer to the prayer of four young girls, 16 years of age who had a burden–who had a burden.
Now that was how the revival began and that is how it continued to begin with for five weeks. The first wave of the revival continued for five weeks and then there was a lull-perhaps a lull of about a week. Oh, the churches are still crowded, people are still seeking after God, and prayer meetings are being held all over the parishes. It was the custom there that those who found the Savior at night would be at prayer meeting at noonday. A prayer meeting met everyday and noonday. At that time all worked stopped for two hours–looms are silent. For two hours work stopped in the fields, and men gathered for prayer. And it was then that you got to know those who had found the Savior on the previous night. You didn’t need to make an appeal. They made their way to the prayer meeting to praise God for His salvation.
That continued for almost 3 years. Until the whole of the island was swept by the mighty power of God. I couldn’t tell you how many–I never checked the number. I was afraid to do that always remembering what David did. I left the records with God. But this I know, that at least 75% of those who were born again during the revival were born again before they came near a church. Before they had any word from me or any of the other ministers. I can think just now of a certain village–the village of Weaver–and there was a row of cottages by the roadside. There were seven of them altogether. And in every cottage a loom and a weaver. One morning, just as the men were being called for breakfast, it was discovered that the seven of them were lying prostrate behind their looms. Lying on their faces behind their looms and all of them in a trance. Now I can’t explain this. But of this I am certain that this was of God because the seven men were saved that day. Now, I should say six of them were saved that day, one of them on the following day. But they came to understand that something supernatural had taken possession of them. An awareness for God gripped them, and a hunger possessed them and they cried out to God for mercy. And God swept in. I was visiting them recently–I happened to be up in the Hebrides–and what a joy it was to listen to them tell again of that wonderful experience when God swept into the seven houses. My dear people, that’s revival. I mean, it is so different from our special efforts. So apart altogether from man’s best endeavor. God is in the middle and miracles happen.
Now perhaps I should go into some of the features that characterized this remarkable movement. Well, already I have mentioned to you that men were found in trances. Perhaps I should say this that in the Lewis revival we never saw anybody healed, that wasn’t a feature of it. We never heard anybody speaking in tongues–in a strange language. Personally, I never heard anybody speak in tongues until a year or two ago. And that was in England. We knew nothing whatsoever about such manifestations. Don’t misunderstand me–I believe in every gift mentioned in the word of God but it wasn’t God’s plan or purpose that we should be visited in that way and we weren’t. But we saw strange manifestations. I think just now of a certain island. Up until then God hadn’t moved on this island–one of the smaller islands, perhaps an island of 600 souls. And I was asked to go to this island to officiate at a communion. Now, a communion in Lewis is just like one of your conventions. They begin with a prayer meeting on Wednesday night and then on Thursday, the first day when schools are closed, shops are closed, no work is done, it’s just like another Sabbath. That’s Thursday. Friday, then, is testimony day when men give their testimonies. They ask the women to be silent. You’ll never hear a woman give her testimony at such meetings. But the men speak; however, I am glad to say that many of the dear women got glorious liberty during the revival and they are meeting for prayers and praying with the men today. That is a transformation that has taken place subsequent to the revival.
But I am on this island, and I felt the going fearfully hard. Oh, it was difficult to preach–you felt your very words coming back and hitting you. And I was a bit distressed. I turned to one of the other ministers and I said, “Now don’t you think that we should send for the praying men of Barvas?” Let me say in passing that the praying men of Barvas were praying for us just now, there were at least five of them in this part of God’s vineyard who promised to do that and I believe they were keeping to their promise. However, I sent for them and in the conversation that I had with this businessman, one of the praying men, I said, “If it is at all possible will you bring little Donald Mc_____.” Now I will tell you later how Donald came to know the Lord. But bring him.
Now Donald had a remarkable experience on the hillside a fortnight after he was born again. And God came upon him–the Holy Ghost came upon him. He had a mighty baptism. I hope you believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a distinct experience. You may disagree, but I believe in it. I don’t think that I am preaching one set of doctrine that insists upon gifts. I am not thinking of that at all because I believe that the baptism of the Holy Ghost in its final analysis is just the revelation of Jesus. It is Jesus becoming real-wonderful, powerful, and dynamic in my life. And He expressing Himself through my personality. That is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that I believe in. Not that I disbelieve in anything. Of course I don’t. Some of my dearest friends are among those who exercise the gifts. But that, by the way, this young fellow had such a baptism of God among the heather, that he forgot about coming home and a search party had to be sent out to find him in the hills. And they found him on his face among the heather repeating over and over, “Oh, Jesus, I love You. Oh, Jesus I love You.” And wasn’t he near to Jesus if he spoke like that? He was, of course.
Well, I asked the men to bring little Donald with them. And now we are in the service in the church. And I am preaching from the text, “Who is this that cometh from Edom . . . this that is glorious in his apparel traveling in the greatness of his strength. I that speak in righteousness am mighty to save” that was the text. But oh, I tell you, the going was hard. The going was hard. I looked down and I saw little Donald sitting there in the seat. And I saw that his head was bowed and I saw that the floor was wet with his tears. And I said to myself, “Well, now, there is a young lad nearer to God that you or I. Oh, there is a young lad who is in touch with God.” And I stopped preaching. And looking down at this young lad, I said, “Donald, I believe God would have you lead us in prayer. ” It was right in the midst of my address. And that young lad stood to his feet.
Now that morning at family worship they were reading Rev 4 where John has the vision of the open door. “I saw a door opened in heaven.” And as that young man stood, that vision came before him. And this is what he said in his prayers. “God, I seem to be gazing in through the open door. And I seem to see the Lamb standing in the midst of the Throne. He has the keys of death and of hell at his girdle(?).” Then he stopped and began to weep. And for a minute or so he wept and he wept. Oh, the brokenness. And when he was able to control himself, he lifted his eyes towards the heavens and he cried out, “God, there is power there-let it loose! Let it loose!” And suddenly, the power of God fell upon the congregation. Of course in Lewis and in other islands of the Hebrides, they stand to pray, they sit to sing. And now, one side of the church threw their hands up like this. Threw their heads back and you would almost declare that they were in an epileptic fit, but they were not. Oh, I can’t explain it. And the other side they slumped on top of each other. But God, the Holy Ghost moved. Those who had their hands like this stayed that way for two hours. Now you try to remain like that with your hands up for a few minutes and you will find it hard-but you would break their hands before you could take them down. Now, I can’t explain it-this is what happened.
But the most remarkable thing that night was what took place in a village seven miles away from the church. There wasn’t a single person from that village in the church. Not one single person. Seven miles away, it was a while away certainly but while Donald Mc_____ was praying, the power of God swept through __________, that’s the name of the village. Swept through the village and I know it to be a fact that there wasn’t a single house in the village that hadn’t a soul saved in it. Not a single house in the village.
A schoolmaster that night looking over his papers 15 miles away from this island on the mainland suddenly was gripped by the fear of God. And he said to his wife, “Wife, I don’t know what’s drawing me to Barvas, but I must go.” His wife said, “But it’s nearly 10 o’clock and you’re thinking of going to Barvas. I know what’s on your mind, I know that you are going out to drink and you are not leaving this house tonight!” That was what she said to him–he was a hard drinker. And he said to his wife, “I may be mistaken, oh, I maybe mistaken, but if I know anything at all about my own heart and mind, I think I say to you now that drink will never touch my lips again.” And she said to him, “Well, John, if that’s your mind, then go to Barvas.” And he got someone to take him to the ferry, someone to ferry him across, and I was conducting a meeting in a farmhouse at midnight and this schoolmaster came to the door and they made room for him and in a matter of minutes he was praising God for salvation. Now that’s miracle. I mean you cannot explain it in any other way. A father, a mother and two daughters and a son were saved that night in this village but one of the daughters who was in the medical profession was in London. She was in London. A very clever girl. She is walking down Oxford Street after leaving a patient and she is suddenly arrested by the power of God. She went into a closet(?) and cried to God for mercy and God saved her there-the whole family saved! My dear people, these are facts. And I tell you of them to honor God. That girls is today the wife of a Baptist minister in Tasmania. He was for a fortnight in the Hebrides at that time and the day came when he asked her hand in marriage and they married and both of them in Tasmania today.
These are some of the remarkable movings of God. That very night, a captain in the clan line was saved sailing down M_______ at that very hour. The Spirit of God laid hold of him in his cabin. The Spirit of God moved upon lobster fishermen in the sound–they had to leave their boats and their creels and make for the island. By the morning they were saved. Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw God move in that way in this community? God could do it.
I think one of the most outstanding things that happened I believe will go down in history as long as revival is mentioned was in the parish of Arnot(?). Now, I regret to say that here I was bitterly opposed by a certain section of the Christian church. Opposed by ministers who were born-again without question. They were God-fearing men, but for some reason or other they came to believe that I wasn’t sound in my doctrine because I preached the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I proclaimed a Savior who could deliver from sin. Glorious emancipation! And they got it into their minds that I was teaching absolute perfection or sinless perfection–a thing that I never did, nor could I ever believe in. Of course, I believe in conditional perfection: “If we walk in the light as he is in the light we fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s son cleanses us from all sin. ” That is scriptural perfection! That is based on obedience–on obedience. But the dear men somehow believed–of course not one of them ever listened to me-they listened to stories brought to them. And of course if was arranged that there was a special effort to be made to oppose me. To oppose me. And several ministers were brought from the mainland to this particular parish to conduct mission meetings opposing Campbell and his revival.
Well, they came, and they were so successful in their opposition that very few people from this particular community came near any of my meetings. It is true that the church was crowded, it is true that people were standing outside that couldn’t get in, but these were people who came from neighboring parishes. Brought by coaches, brought by cars and what have you-but there were very few from this particular village. So one night one of the elders came to me and said, “Mr. Campbell, there is only one thing that we can do. We must give ourselves to prayer-give ourselves to prayer. Prayer changes things.” Well you know I am very willing for that. I said, “Where will we meet?” “Oh,” he said, “There is a farmer and he is very willing to place his farmhouse at our disposal.” It was winter and the church was cold. There was no heating in it. The people believe in a crowded church to provide its own heat. But hear we wanted a warmer spot, and the farmer was approached. Now the farmer wasn’t a Christian nor his wife but they were God-fearing. Now let me explain that you can be God-fearing and know nothing of salvation. There are thousands of people in upper Scotland who are God-fearing. They have family worship morning and evening-they would never dream of going out to work in the morning without reading a chapter of the Bible and getting down on their knees to ask God to have mercy upon them and the family. The man may have been under the influence the night before-he may not darken the door of the church, but he would not dream of going out to work without reading the Bible. That is why I believe that the average unsaved person in the Hebrides has a far greater knowledge of the Word of God than the average Christian anywhere else. I think I can say that. It is because of this custom: family worship.
This man had that. He wasn’t a Christian, but a God-fearing man, so we gathered at his house. I would say there were about 30 of us including five ministers of the church of Scotland. Men who had burdens-longings to see God move in revival. And we were praying and oh, the going was hard. At least I felt it hard. It came to between 12 or 1 o’clock in the morning when I turned again to this blacksmith whom I have already referred to. Oh, he was a prince in the parish. And I said to him, “John, I feel that God would have me to call upon you to pray.” Up until then he was silent. And that dear man began-he must have prayed for about a half an hour. When he paused for a second or so and then looking up towards the heavens he cried, “God, do You know that Your honor is at stake? Do You know that Your honor is at stake? You promised to pour water on the thirsty and floods on the dry ground and, God, You are not doing it.” Now my dear people, could we pray like that? Ah, but here was a man who could. Here was a man who could. He then he went on to say, “There are five ministers in this meeting and I don’t know where a one of them stands in Your presence, not even Mr. Campbell.” Oh, he was an honest man. “But if I know anything at all about my own poor heart, I think I can say and I think that You know that I’m thirsty! I’m thirsty to see the devil defeated in this parish. I’m thirsty to see this community gripped as you gripped Barvas. I’m longing for revival and God, You are not doing it! I am thirsty and you promised to pour water on me.” Then a pause and then he cried, “God, I now take upon myself to challenge you to fulfill Your covenant engagement!” Now it was nearing two o’clock in the morning.
What happened? The house shook. A jug on a sideboard fell onto the floor and broke. A minister beside me said, “An earth tremor.” And I said, “Yes.” But I had my own thoughts. My mind went back to Acts chapter 4 when they prayed the place was shaken. When John Smith stopped praying at twenty minutes past two, I pronounced the benediction and left the house. What did I see? The whole community alive. Men carrying chairs, women carrying stools and asking, “Is there room for us in the churches?” And the Arnot revival broke out. And oh, what a sweeping revival! I don’t believe there was a single house in the village that wasn’t shaken by God. I went into another farmhouse-I was thirsty, I was tired, I needed something to drink. And I went into ask for a drink of milk and I found nine women in the kitchen crying to God for mercy–nine of them! The power of God swept-and here was a little boy. Oh, he’s kneeling by a pigsty and he is crying to God for mercy. And one of the elders goes over to him and prays over him and little Donald Mc_____ came to know the Savior and I believe more souls were brought to Christ through that one lad’s prayers than through the preaching of all of the ministers from the island, me included. God used him. He was the boy that prayed, “I gazed upon an open door.”
Now that night do you know that the drinking house was closed-the drinking house was closed. Now that’s a way back–1952–and it has never been opened since. I was back some time ago and an old man pointed at this house with its windows boarded up and he said, “Mr. Campbell, do you see that house over there? That was the drinking house of the past. Do you know that last week at our prayer meeting 14 of the men who drank there were praying men.” Now, people–that’s revival. That is God at work. Miracles, supernatural, beyond human explanation-it’s God. And I am fully persuaded, dear people, that unless we see something like this happening the average man will stagger back from our efforts, our conferences, conventions and crusades–they will stagger back disappointed, disillusioned and despairing. But oh, if something happens that demonstrates God!
And the communists will hide in shame! I remember one night I saw seven communists–up until then they will spit in your face, talk about religion being the dope of the masses. Educated men. Wouldn’t go near a church. But dear old Peggy had a vision one night and in the vision she saw seven men from this particular community from this center of activity born again and becoming pillars of the church of her father. She sent for me and told me that God had revealed to her that He was going to move in this particular village. Oh, yes, there were communists there, godless men there but what was that to God when God began to work He would deal with that. So she kept on talking like that. I said, “Peggy, I have no leadings to go that village. You know that there is no church there, and the schoolmaster is one of those men who would never dream of giving me the schoolhouse for the meetings. I have no leadings to go.” And do you know what she said to me? She said, “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 it from the Lord. Oh, dear people, it is good to get the Word within you. It is good to see yourself as others see you. That was how I felt. I said, “Peggy, would you mind if I call for the parish minister and together we will spend the morning together with you in prayer?” “Oh, I’ll be happy too.”
So we came and we knelt with her and she began to pray and in her prayer she said this–Lord, do You remember what you told me this morning when we had that conversation together?” Oh how near she was God! “I’m just after telling Mr. Campbell about it but he’s not prepared to take it-You give him wisdom because the man badly needs it!” That was what she said! “The man badly needs it!” And of course she was speaking truth. Of course I needed it. I needed to be taught. But I was at the feet of a woman who knew God in an intimate way. And I was prepared to listen. So I said, “Peggy, when will I go to that village?” “Tomorrow.” “What time?” “Seven o’clock.” “Where am I to hold a meeting?” “You go to the village and leave the gathering of the people to God and He will do it.”
And I went to the village and when I arrived I found a crowd around a seven room bungalow. I found five ministers waiting for me. And the house was so crowded that we couldn’t get in-indeed, we couldn’t get near it. And I stood on a hill in front of the main door. I gave out my text: “The times of _____Lord we ______ but now commands men everywhere to repent and because he hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained.” I preached for about 10 minutes when one of the ministers came to me and said, “Mr. Campbell, you remember what you spoke about at five o’clock this morning out in a field in that wonderful meeting when you tried to help those that were seeking God?” I happened to speak from John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” He says, “Could you not go to the end of the house there and some men there and we are afraid that they will go mental they are in such a state. Oh, they are mighty sinners and they know it-they are spoken of here as communists.” And they say that three of them were here in the United States and went back communists.
I went and I saw seven men. The seven men that Peggy saw. And they were crying to God for mercy. The seven of them were saved within a matter of days. And if you go to that parish today, you would see a church with a stone wall built around it, heated by electricity and all done by the seven men who became pillars of the church of Peggy’s father.
Oh, my dear people–that is God at work! The minister saw two young men on their knees in the field crying to God and he recognized them as two pipers that were to have played at a concert and dance under the auspices of a nursing association off the island in his parish. He turned to his wife and said, “Isn’t that wonderful? There’s the two pipers who were advertised to play in the parish hall tonight. There they are crying to God for mercy. Come on, we’ll go home and we will go to the dance and we will tell them what has happened.” So off he went-oh, this was a man of God. Off he went with his wife–it was about 15 miles. Went to the dance and they were not at all pleased with his appearing. He was there to disturb them–they knew that he wasn’t there to dance for they knew the man. However, he went in and when a lull came in the dancing, he stepped onto the floor and he said, “Kinfolk, something very wonderful has happened tonight! The Smith pipers were to be here, the two brothers were to be here–they are crying to God for mercy in Barvas! ” Suddenly, stillness. Not a word. And then he spoke again, “Young folk, will you sing a psalm with me?” “Yes,” said one young man “if you lead the singing yourself.” And he gave out Psalm 50: “For God is depicted as a flame of fire” and while singing that psalm, the power of God fell upon the dance. And I understand that only 3 who were there that night remained unsaved. And the first young man to cry to God for mercy was really a boy–just last year he was inducted into one of the largest parishes in Scotland. He found the Savior that night with many others. Oh, dear people, this is the doing of God.
You ask me, “What is the fruit of this type of movement?” Some little time ago the parish minister was asked to give a report in the record of the church of Scotland. He was asked to give a report on the fruit of the revival. Did they stand? Any backsliding? Now this is what he wrote: “I will confine my remarks to my own parish–I will allow the other ministers to give their own reports. But let me speak of my own parish. In a certain village 122 young people found the faith and I’m not talking about middle age or the old. They were wonderful, but I’m thinking about the young people. 122 all of them over the age of 17. They found the Savior during the first day of the revival. Today I can say that they are growing like flowers in the garden of God, there is not a single backslider among them.”
Now, dear people, that’s true, that’s true. But oh if you knew the young people that have gone forth from that to Bible colleges who are today missionaries in this, that and the other part of the world, who came into saving relationships, growing as he said like flowers in the garden of God. Oh how we thank God for the stream of young people who have gone into the ministry-I’ve sometimes said that supposing Lewis produced nothing but one young girl, a wild, wild girl, just 17 years of age. And outstanding singer, frequently singing at big concerts in Glasgow-she is outstanding. God saved her. She went to a Bible school and today I have no hesitation in saying that she is among the leading Bible expositors in __________- and that is saying a lot. She is just now in South Africa addressing conferences and conventions. Has been instrumental in bringing blessing to scores of ministers and she was the fruit of the movement. I will never forget the night that she prayed. I remember she was steeped in the doctrine of Calvinism. She was brought up in a God-fearing home; her father and mother weren’t Christians but they were saved at that time. And she was now on her knees in her room, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and she begins to pray and she says, “God I’m turning from the ways of the world–you’ll never see me on a concert platform again. I will follow your people, I will be with them in the prayer meetings. I will never go back to the ways of the world. God that is what I am purposing doing though at the end you send me to hell. That is what I deserve. God six months after that saved her. Oh, I remember the night that the Holy Ghost fell upon her at a communion service. She lifted her two hands like this and she cried, “Oh, Bridegroom, Bridegroom of my heart possess it all. Oh, Bridegroom, Bridegroom of my heart possess it all!” And the Holy Ghost came upon her in such a way that she began to cry, “Oh, God, hold You hand! My young body cannot contain it! God! Hold Your hand! My young body can’t contain it!” That was God. That’s the fruit. And what we are seeing today_____________ a movement again among teenagers. And we asked a minister recently _________________ now can you explain it? Can you explain this movement in any way? ” He said, “Yes, I can-I can. I believe this has broken out because of the steadfastness of the young people who found the Savior during the big revival years ago.” The steadfastness of the young people. I can say without fear of contradiction that I can count on my 10 fingers all who dropped off from the prayer meetings-of course they are scattered all over the world, they are in the mission fields and different places today, but according to the ministers in _____________and other places, they are standing true to the God of the covenant, true to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now my dear people that’s the story. And I tell it because I fear that another man has been going about the states, telling stories about the revival and writing books about it and I regret to say that statements have been made by him and written in his books that are not true to fact. But that is the story of the revival that can bear the light of examination. God did it. And we bless Him for it.