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THE REVIVALS IN IRELAND.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR EDITOR, -Several readers of us that, “the children attending the your valuable journal have been hoping school, established and sustained by the for some reference to, and remarks upon, Irish Society, and taught by a young the extraordinary (so called) “revivals, man who had found peace, &c., were each which are now taking place in Ireland ; and all simultaneously prostrated.” Who but as September number is now to hand, can doubt but what these children were with no allusion to these movements, we just like a flock of lambs, who, because venture to lay before our friends a few one ran a certain way all did the same, facts, which we have collected from without any purpose or meaning ? No; various sources, with the hope that such I don't think such conversion as this will draw out the opinions of those per- will do for the Lord's living family. sonally acquainted with the wonderful Still, far be it from us to say that the scenes that are being daily exhibited in Lord is not at work; nay, we believe the northern parts of Ireland. And that in most of these movements there here let me (at the risk of being by some, is an under current of good; there is deemed censorious) put in a caution : real conversion going on, and if we can We must ever bear in mind that extra- only remove the thick coatings of husk, ordinary popular delusions upon religious we shall find a kernel within of true matters is no new species of excitement. and living fruit. One thing is very In pagan times, for hours together, favourable to such an impression, and would a deluded multitude cry out, that is, the Roman Catholics themselves "Great is Diana of the Ephesians;" and are considerably alarmed at the movein later days the frames and feelings of ments which are taking place at home the crowds that rushed to the revival and abroad. meetings of John Wesley, cried out to A lady in Dublin, who takes an active anything that he chose to advance, a part in the missionary work there, and sort of infection taking possession of has been honoured greatly to help it in the spirits of one after another. As a various ways, recently wrote as folwriter truly observes : "All excesses lows :are dangerous, and none perhaps more “We have wonderful encouragement so than an excess in devotional feeling. to work, and such crowded, earnest
, and Of religious excesses, originating either hearty meetings for praise and prayer. in imposture or the delusions of an The priests are sorely troubled. They over-heated temperament, the world has say, "The people used to come to conhad many lamentable examples. During trorersy--that was bad enough; but the last thousand years there have now, when four hundred Roman Cathoappeared as many as twenty false lics meet in the Coombe in open day, for Messiah's, besides an incalculable num- worship with the heretics, we know not ber of persons who have presumed, with where it will end."" equal impiety, to declare themselves And we have further proof of the to be prophets specially sent of God. alarm which pervades the Roman CathoHistory abounds in accounts of these lic prelates in the expressions at the deluded beings, and of their temporary close of their late lengthy pastoral; success in working on the credulity of they say, followers.” So, dear friends, it behöves Addressing you on various subjects us to be cautious, and not receive all as concerning your spiritual and temporal genuine in such a counterfeit world; and welfare, we should, venerable and dearly although we are not going to say for beloved brethren, be wanting to you, to a moment that the work going on in ourselves, to
common spiritual Ireland is not genuine, still we must Father, did we not call upon you to offer say that some of it bears the impress of up fervent prayers to Heaven for our a mere excitement of the feelings. For Holy Father the Pope, that God may instance, an Irish paper before us, tells deliver him from all his enemies at home
and abroad, may shorten the days of his —and others crying aloud in frenzied affliction, and may give him to see once' supplication for Heaven's mercy: In one again reigning around him, what alone : corner of the room we observed a greyhe sighs for, glory to God on high, headed old man-trembling in every and on earth peace to men of good limb and regardless of all around him will.""
fervently and audibly imploring God to But let us come, dear reader, to the pardon his manifold transgressions, for reality of the work going on in Ireland, the Redeemer's sake. A boy, some and if asked what do you consider the fourteen or fifteen years of age, was evidences which show whether the work writhing in fearful agony of mind upon is genuine or not, our reply would be, the floor, calling incessantly for mercy, 1st. Does it lead to conviction on ac- and for deliverance from the expected count of sin, and confession before God? torments of an anticipated hell. Oh, 2ndly. Does it lead to Jesus as the only Saviour of sinners,” he exclaimed, deatoning sacrifice for a poor, lost sinner? liver me from this horrible pit! Oh, 3rdly. Is there the living a life of faith Jesus of Nazareth, set my feet upon that upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and a daily rock! In another part of the room a dependence upon the guidance and young man was reclining, in a state of direction of the Holy Spirit ? And now, partial stupor, in the arms of a more having named these tests, we will lay aged supporter, who was earnestly the facts before our readers as we have labouring to tranquillize his mind with received them, and leave them to judge words of gospel consolation. At this of the work going on. The first extract moment a young woman who had preis from Ballymena; the writer says, viously been carried from the church in
We paid a short visit to the Pres- a state of insensibility, and had been byterian Church in Wellington Street at seated on a chair of the apartment, a very late hour of one evening this recovered animation, but, immediately week; and a description of what we thereon, fell prostrate with her face toobserved on that occasion would have wards the floor in a most frightful corresponding application to the pro- paroxysm both of soul and body. Every ceedings of almost every other evening possible assistance was rendered to this for the last fortnight. On entering the person by some pious members of the gate of enclosure (at nearly eleven congregation, who were necessarily in o'clock) we found fifty or sixty persons, attendance; but, for a considerable of both sexes, assembled in the open air period, her suffocating sobs were minabout a young woman of very interest - gled with appalling cries of terrible ing exterior, who, at an earlier hour, and despair. The other cases in the vestrywhile in attendance at services within room were of a milder class, and some the church, had been suddenly and very of them had not occurred on that evendeeply impressed with a conviction of ing for the first time-several of the sin. 'In this case the usual outburst of parties having been previously among mental agony was past, and the sufferer the number of the reformed—but they had partially recovered strengtli
, but was had become so deeply affected whilst still too weak for removal to her resi- attending the services of the church, dence. In the vestry-room, we beheld a that, being unable to restrain their feelscene which it would be impossible to ings, they were obliged to retire. The forget, but equally impossible to prevailing emotion among this class of describe. The apartment was filled with the converts was exhibited in silent tears persons of both sexes, who had been of penitence and gratitude-or in an borne from the church under the most outburst of prayer. excruciating agonies of strong convic- "Open-air prayer meetings continue to tion-some of them in a fainting state- be held in every portion of the neighsome prostrate and moaning heavily- bourhood; and we have been informed, some shuddering in every muscle from on credible authority, that forty-three mental excitement which they found it new cases of conviction' occurred at impossible to restrain-some calling one of them in the course of a single upon the name of the Lord Jesus-some evening. The Rev. Mr. Mooney, Inejaculating prayers for grace and faith cumbent of Ballymena, is heartily co
operating withi his fellow-labourers manifest Himself to the people assemamong the clergy of the Presbyterian bled. It having been found that one Church, in promoting the cause of evan. speaker would not be heard to the congelical reform in the community. He fines of the vast assembly, the clergypreached an excellent sermon on the men took up various stations on the subject of religious revivals on Sunday field, and each had a very numerous last, and presided at a crowded meeting auditory. Devotional exercises, which in the Parochial School on the evening were conducted with what every one felt of Tuesday, on which occasion the was unwonted fervour, having been assemblage was faithfully and eloquently engaged in by the ministers, the plataddressed by the Rev. Mr. Maguire, In- forms were alternately occupied by some cumbent of Muckamore. Irrespective of the converts from Ballymoney. of the local evening services, mid-day These young men—for they were for the meetings for united prayer are now held most part mere youths, and one who in the Town-hall, on every Tuesday and spoke with much effect could not be Friday. The first of these took place on more than fifteen years of age-told Tuesday last, on which occasion William their experiences, and the happy termiYoung, Esq., of Fenaghy, occupied the nation to their mental throes, when chair, and the religious services were relieved from the terrible terror of deconducted by the Rev. Messrs. Moore, served condemnation, in words which Mooney, and Dill. In spite of threats, spoke the language of the heart, and and even acts of violence on the part of told of strong conviction. The theme of relatives, the Roman Catholic converts each and all who found peace was continue in steady adherence to the - Jesus '-a name which they pronounced doctrines of the Reformed religion, and with deep emotion. But the work of their number is on the increase. One revival in our town had commenced ere of them-a poor woman resident at some any of the meeting had assembled, and distance in the country-was this week anxious prayers that the labours of those urged, by some of her fellow.converts, to to come might be successful had gone to ollow their example, and burn her the throne of grace from many a hearth Manual of the Roman Catholic faith. and public prayer-meeting; and scarcely 'No,' she replied, “I will not do so, for had the meeting began to assemble, and it contains some portions of the Word before any addresses had been delivered, of God, but I will bury it in the earth.' until an unfortunate girl, who had forAnd she buried it accordingly." merly resisted all the appeals of con
science until conscience seemed dead, “This revival is now in our midst. was carried away from the field uttering Nothing at all approaching to it in ab- loud cries for mercy, and wailing for past sorbing interest has ever before visited and countless offences. Others followed our country. From being spectators of in rapid succession, until scenes of sufthe marvellous results of awakened con- fering souls in distressing agony, which sciences in others, the people of our own we knew would have a glorious termilocality and the inhabitants of our own nation, were to be found in every corner town, have become sharers in the of the place of meeting. Earnest young showers of blessings with which a wise men, whom we scarcely believed, so and gracious Providence has been pleased youthful were they, could display that to refresh the thirsty ground." At a firmness of nerve and powers of consolameeting held on Tuesday evening, when tion which they display, casting all false it was understood several of those ‘en- shame aside, met in grođps round the lightened' in Ballymoney would address stricken brother' or sister,' to pray the assemblage, more people than we with them. The day after the meeting ever saw attending any meeting, whether (Wednesday) not fewer than 150 cases for instruction or amusement, were pre- of decided conviction were known, and sent. We were exceedingly delighted those who had found peace and joy to see ministers of all Protestant denomi- through such terrible tribulation were nations standing side by side, strength-sought after to give consolation to friends ening each others' hands and heart in in distress. The ministers of religion seeking that the Holy Spirit might were indefatigable in their exertions, and
untiring in their attendance on the peo- as they and another young man, who is ple; and many of those who had taken also one of the newspaper staff, have all part in conducting religious services the been prostrated, like those who have evening before, were kept out of bed all“ found peace in Jesus," we have had a night that they might answer the calls of difficulty in getting out the Chronicle. distracted friends for assistance to dear We have, of course, visited the young ones in trouble. There is not a street lads, and, had we not known that the nor a lane in the whole town but can change in others has led to a different number three or four of those who have walk and conversation, we would have been enlightened, and on every face been surprised at the effect a few short there is either an undefined fear, an hours had wrought in their conversation attempt at a sneer, or, as is the case in and desires. As it is, they informed us, the great majority of instances, a joyful with tears in their eyes, and in language looking forward and anxious desire for a whose earnestness told of conviction, share of the blessings. Many Roman that for nothing the world could offer Catholics have been, like their fellow- would they barter the love of their dear sinners of other creeds, “turned from Saviour, who had put a new song in darkness to light.'
their mouth,' and through whose great " The services of Wednesday evening, love and intercession they had found to which a great number will look as the peace in believing ;' and the effect on means of their conversion, were impres- others in the office has been most marked sive in the extreme, and well calculated and salutary. A most intelligent young to lead many to Christ. Whether the lad, who has the inisfortune to be both phenomenon which was seen in the deaf and dumb, but who is otherwise heavens could be ascribed to natural gifted with good reasoning powers, on causes or not, a flash of light in the sky, witnessing the astounding effects wrought which was visible for a few seconds under his own eyes, with his fellow.apwhile prayer for the outpouring of the prentices, seemed wonderfully impressed, Holy Spirit was being offered, brought and, in reply to a question from ourthe whole congregation present at the selves, what he thought of the great time, with a few exceptions, to their change, told us, by dumb signs, that he knees, and nine individuals, many of hoped he would be similarly affected, them with deep groans and cries for because he thought that he would then mercy, were carried or assisted off the be as able to speak of the great love of ground, exhibiting all the mental emo- Christ as the others. This is an illustion which has been a characteristic of tration of the impression the physical this awakening since it commenced. suffering, and mental agony of Strong men and young women, as well awakened soul has on an eye-witness, as children, have all been affected, but even when the on-looker has been de by far the largest number of cases has prived of two great aids for acquiring occurred in the homes of the stricken knowledge. As an evidence of the fact ones after they were conveyed home. that the conversion of their intimate We have known in one house-the resi- acquaintances and fellow-workmen had a dence of a young man who works as a solemnising effect, we may mention that compositor in our own office--as many a prayer meeting of a deeply-interesting as sixteen individual cases of conviction, character was held in our office, when all the young
members of the family, and two of the young men converted engaged their friends and neighbours who came in devotional exercises of a truly evanto pray having become impressed, con- gelical nature.
The service was one victed of a knowledge of sin, and their which, from the peculiar circumstances need of a Saviour-and all of whom in which many of their friends are placed, have since been acknowledging with joy had a very, visible effect. Prayer-meetthe hand of Divine power in thus bringings are held throughout the day in ing to their souls that peace which several of the houses of worship ; and passeth understanding, and which they during the night, and all day, the voice hope and believe will last for ever. of prayer and supplication, as well as
* In the house to which we refer, two praise to God for His great mercy, is of the one family are compositors, and, I heard in every street.
“On Friday evening, the children at- own breasts, to the exclusion of all else. tending the excellent school established The meeting began to assemble about and sustained by the Irish Society, and half-past six, but before long, evidences taught by a man who had, we are sure, of the presence of God were apparent. found 'peace and joy in believing him- Attentively listening to the words of self long ago, were each and all, we truth and soberness, round converted might say, simultaneously
, prostrated sinners, we saw young girls, one after that the work of the Spirit in them another, to the number of twelve or might out of the mouths of babes and thirteen, attacked with that indescribable sucklings perfeet praise.'. A more af- agony of mind, and prostration of plıyfecting or impressive sight could not be sical energy, which point to the superwitnessed this side the grave, than with natural nature of the agency at work nessing those young children crying for with their spirits. The school-house was mercy with such earnestness that they open all night, many coming from Ballymust have felt deep need of a Saviour; money having determined to remain, but when they had, by the great good- rather than leave with the train which ness of our God,' obtained peace, and was put on for the purpose of carrying the light of a soul at peace with their them home, and abandon those in whom Creator and Judge shone in their infan- they had taken an interest, and in whom tile faces, a glimpse of their bappiness they hoped to witness a saving change sent a thrill of joy to one's heart, and through faith. Those of the enlightmust have made unbelievers tremble, and ened' ones that did leave by the train, sent the arrow of conviction to the occupied the time in singing praises to heart of the most inveterate sceptic.”- God; and we have heard since of a Coleraine Chronicle.
young man from Coleraine, who came along with them, and whose family have all been converted, being stricken in the
railway carriage, and that he has since “Such unwonted excitement was never been blessed by being made a partaker exhibited before by the inhabitants of in the covenant of grace. When the this beautiful little town, as was felt by train arrived at the Coleraine station, a them and the quiet country people of the very large crowd of persons had collected, surrounding district, on Monday evening many of whom were evidently surprised last, when, by the invitation of the Pro- at the news which had come before the testant clergyman of the place, a number train, and when they heard, loud above of those who have, we firmly believe, the din of the train, the voice of prayer been made heirs of salvation, visited it rising from the crowded carriages. Since from Ballymoney. There were indivi- the above was written, we paid another duals of both sexespresent, and thecrowd visit to Portrush, where the work has of those who came to hear was immense. made marvellous progress. We had it The reverend gentlemen, who took part on the statement of a most trustworthy in the proceedings, chose that part of the individual whom we observed very zealous common convenient to the rear of the in the work of comforting and strengthHotel—a site which commands a beau- ening, so far as human agency can, those tiful and comprehensive ocean view, labouring under conviction, and who has with the distant headlands of Enni- large opportunities of knowing the real showen, on the north-west of which facts, that upwards of one hundred indithe setting sun shed the last of his de- viduals had been enlightened through scending rays, ere any of the crowd left the instrumentality of those who came the green
knolls, where stories of re- from Ballymoney, and that in the evendeeming love fell from the lips of earnest ing and morning succeeding their visit. speakers - clerical and lay-men and We bave no doubt but many have since women, young girls and boys, and even been turned from darkness to light; children, essaying the task of instruct- meetings for prayer and exhortation, coning in the mystery of Godliness those ducted by ministers and people, have whom they knew to be ignorant or care been held every night and morning since." less of the great love which filled their — Coleraine Chronicle.