The Revival on the Island of Lewis: 1948-1953 had an amazing effect on the British Isles. My grandmother former Mamie Allan (nee Begg) would often tell us grandchildren about it. She had a sincere reverence about her, that I respected and feared.
I traveled specifically to Stornoway in 2011 to be in a place where God’s presence had left a mark on society. I have also spent considerable time with Dr. Colin and Mary Peckham (who authored the book “Sounds from Heaven”). It is from these moments I want to pen some points that will always be a trigger or a target in our hearts for revival to awaken us again. Here are some thoughts:
The effect of the 1820’s revival at Uig: where scripture was taught to be revered at school brought the word to prominence.
A righteousness and decency prevailed in society. The Preacher would not have to explain to the congregation who Moses, Abraham, Philip was, they already knew. What started in 1939 was born in 1949. What was sown to one generation at school – when they grew up and had children of their own – they did the same: taught the scriptures to their children which resulted in a new awakening. What was that revival of?
A new respect and authority of the word. A Heb 1:3 where they knew the power of word and knew the word of His power. Where prayer was not an event in the week it was heart sensitivity all the time, anytime, anywhere, any place. There was great expectancy: a overwhelming conviction in knowing when you grieved the Holy Spirit. A sense that eternity was real, heaven was real, hell was real. People lived in a sea of pure divine love.
They never tried to defend the work of God among themselves they dared not try to ‘steady the ark’. Some of the manifestations were criticized by the religious and unsaved yet when they encountered the mercy of God they were silenced and obeyed. As one man said, we did not wait for a pure instrument or godly preacher, we were all rough and we did what we knew best at the time. We responded to Him. They all had a continued consciousness of the presence of the Lord. “You could sense His presence in the air you breath”. His power and presence were expressed under the weight of conviction – through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
They did nothing but worship until they felt His presence as it is of utmost importance. “All the Holy Spirit did was exalt the one whose blood we are indebted to. “
Worship is simply the breath of God playing on the strings of the human heart or vocal cords. Singing was like a fire going through you. Singing was sensed and not described. There were no hymn books or over-head projections of music – that is a commercial degradation that has been invented by man. There was such joy … Oh a joy where they could not stop crying for joy. There was no segregation or denomination aggravations. But bonds between people were formed forever.
When church finished at 9pm every night we would go to one – two cottages or homes. The stairways became seats as we crammed into the dwellings. You see church was the main event of humanity not a weekend two hour pause in life to squeeze God in. We would return home at 3am. to repeat it again for three years. It was normal. When a Great Awakening happens or Revival reigns you really wake up.
Revival for Duncan Campbell was 5 meetings a day … day after day.
Some may ask what was preached? Well definitely not what is given today about how rich we can become, how you can be a better you. Law and its judgments. Jesus as Savior. Eternity. On power of the cross. On glory of the redeemed. On the wonders heaven. Depravity of the human heart. Sincerity was seen and felt. Fiery impacting words, thundered with boldness, as everything was put into each meeting. Practical, plain, personal, passionate, penetrating, powerful, from the heart to the heart. No theology. Sheer simplicity, no Greek definitions or concepts to explain. And the Holy Spirit’s presence was huge.
What happened after the meetings? Great deep sincere time spent on ensuring salvation. Trances – fainting – slain in the spirit. Houses shaking. Heavenly music/worship was heard. Visions, dreams, fire dance about at their feet when they walked home at night. Some say, “A revival is an abnormal condition” Not so! A revival is a normal condition. This low, dead, lifeless condition is abnormal. Lets attract the opening of the flood-gates of heaven once again.