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Posted on this site 14th May 2007

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Read about how:


In the midst of one of the greatest spiritual revivals in all of history, one of the women said, “Oh yes, revival is wonderful­—­for some people. But not for us—there were a number of us women who weren’t in the meetings.” She continued, “We did not have time to be in the marvelous meetings. The breath of the Spirit would come, and it was like women in childbirth. We would fill up and up with the breath of God, and we would be in agony, and suddenly a soul would be born into the kingdom, and there would be relief as the new soul was born. Then the weight would come again, and we would fill up again and again and others would be born. And so it went on again and again.” These women  carried the burden of prayer and through God birthed people into salvation.



–adapted from writings by Duncan Campbell and others

Picture this in your mind: A small group of believers in God are praying, pleading with God, late into the night, begging him to save their community from the corruption and gross sins that are destroying their quality of life. Then, suddenly, after several months of praying, it happens: Without any arrangement or expectation, in the middle of the night, men and women get up from their beds, turn on lights, and fall on their knees, crying out to God to save them from their sins. This happened for a period of many days. Some were on the job, in their farm fields, in their cars, some were policemen or mailmen on their beats, some were weavers operating a spinning wheel in their own homes—and, oh yes, there were a few in churches! All of a sudden the whole community was crying out to God—and no man organized it, called for it, preached it, or expected it! Suddenly, the whole community was standing in the fear of God! Almost everyone could sense it, yet no one knew where it came from.

The worst of sinners, the drunkards, the prostitutes, the criminals, the atheists, the God haters, and all sorts of social rejects—were crying out to God to save them. How did it happen? Read on about a revival that happened on the Hebrides Islands off of the coast of Scotland starting in 1949.



Compiled by JIM MELETIOU

The material for this book came from several sources. Much of it is a transcription of a cassette tape made by Duncan Campbell in 1968, who was the main speaker of this revival.


Duncan Campbell started this message by saying:


In speaking about the revival in the Hebrides, I would like to make it perfectly clear what I understand to be real 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 people. That is not in my mind at all. Revival is far beyond evangelism at its highest level. It is a moving of God whereby the whole community suddenly becomes God-conscious before anyone says a word about God.






Burdened. 3

The First Night 4

The Second Night 6

True Intercession. 7

God Visits Arnol 8

The Power of Prayer in Bernera. 12

Outside the Church. 13

You Can’t Get Away from God. 15

Led of the Spirit 15

Coinneach Beag. 16

Encouragement 16

Ness. 17

Supernatural Manifestations of God. 17

Trying to Escape from God. 18

Angels. 18

Conviction. 21

Visions. 21

The Revival of 1939—... 21

Mary MacLean. 22

Counter-attack. 24

The Praying Men (1948-52) 25

For further reading about this revival: 27






Now I know that you want to know how this gracious movement began on the island of Lewis in November 1949. Two sisters each over 80 years old—one of them stone blind, and the other bent over with arthritis—were terribly burdened because of the appalling state of their own parish. Not a single young person attended public worship. These youngsters 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 matter of special prayer.


One verse from the Bible gripped them: “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” [Isaiah 44:3] 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 elderly women in a very humble cottage. They met two or three nights a week for six weeks. [Some writers say it was for five months.]

One night, one of the sisters had a vision. [Now remember, in revival, God works in wonderful ways.] In the vision she saw the church of her fathers crowded with young people, packed to the doors, and an unfamiliar minister standing in the pulpit. And she was so impressed by the vision that she sent for the parish minister. Knowing that these the two sisters knew God in a wonderful way, he responded to their invitation and called at their 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 a week in prayer: Tuesdays and Fridays. If you gather your elders together, you can meet in a barn, a farming community, and as you pray there; we will pray here.” And that was what happened. The minister called his office bearers together, and seven of them met in a barn to pray on Tuesdays and on Fridays. And the two elderly women got on their knees and prayed with them.


These prayers continued for several weeks. Until one night­—­now this is what I am anxious for you to get a hold of­—­one night while they were kneeling 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 it to me], 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? It is from such a man that God hears a cry for 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 many years. An awareness of God­—­that's revival, that's what revival is. And on the following day, the looms were silent [many in that community worked on looms in their homes], little work was done on the farms. Men and women were thinking on eternal things being 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 an unfamiliar face in the pulpit, and that man must be somewhere.”  Through some contacts, the minister invited me [Duncan Campbell]. It was decided that I should go for 10 days, and 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.


[Back to TOC]

The First Night

We got to the church about quarter till nine to find about 300 people gathered. And I gave an address about Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins [Matthew 25:1‑13]. 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 started leaving the church about a quarter to eleven.


Just as I am walking down the aisle, along came the 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 was on his knees in the aisle, still praying and then he again fell into a trance. 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, about 600 people were there. Six hundred people! Where had they come from? What had happened? Somehow, the spirit of God drew all of these people at the same time to the same location—the church we were in. This was entirely God’s doings! No one invited them; there were no announcements. All of them at the same time became aware of an intense need of God—and that at 11 o’clock at night!


At the same time, there were 100 young people at a dance in the parish hall, and they weren't thinking of God or eternity. God was not at all in their thoughts. They were there to have a good time. Suddenly the spirit of God fell right in the dance hall. The music stopped and in a matter of minutes, the hall was empty. They fled from the hall as people fleeing from a plague and headed 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. Again: there was no publicity­—­no mention of a special effort except an 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—­you could say He became His own publicity agent. A hunger and a thirst for God’s reality gripped the people. 600 of them are now standing outside the church­—­both the 100 young people from the dance hall and the ones in their homes who jumped up and started running to the church all at the same time.


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! And then the doors were opened and the congregation flocked back into the church.


Now the church is crowded—­a church that would 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 any mercy for me? Oh, God, is there mercy for me?”  She was one of those at the dance hall. But she is now lying on the floor at 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 college and university.


At 4 o'clock, we decided to make for the manse. Please understand, we make no appeals—there is no need to make an appeal or an altar call in real revival. Even the roadside was used as an altar. We just leave men and women to make their way to God themselves. After all, God knows how to run his own business. And when God takes a situation in hand, I tell you, He does an astonishing 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. And next to the police station was the cottage in which the two elderly sisters lived. I believe that that had something to do with the magnetic power that drew the 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 and must be true to His covenant engagement.


I went along to that meeting. As I was 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 now they are there crying to God for mercy.


One of the young men–not yet 20 years old–was under the influence of drink. But that night God saved him, and he is today the parish minister, college and university 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!” That was Holy Ghost conviction! Now mind you, that was on the very first night of a mighty demonstration that shook the island.


All of the above happened on the first night.

Much of what follows was taken from other writings besides Mr. Campbell’s.


Oh, let me say again, that wasn't the beginning of revival—­revival began in a prayer meeting. It began when men became aware of God and the Holy Spirit began to grip them.


[Back to TOC]


The Second Night

The second night Duncan preached on the ‘the foolish virgins’. From the four corners of the island, buses brought many people crowding into the church. Seven men were being driven to the meeting in a butcher’s truck when suddenly the Spirit of God fell on them in great conviction, and all were saved before they reached the church building!


As the preacher preached his message, tremendous conviction swept down.. Tears rolled down the faces of the people and men and women cried out for mercy from every corner of the church. So deep was their distress that some of their cries could be heard outside in the road. A young man at the foot or the pulpit cried out, “Oh, hell is too good for me.”


The meeting closed when the people began to move out. As the last person was leaving, a young man began to pray under a tremendous burden of intercession. He prayed for three quarters of an hour, and as he continued to pray, people kept gathering outside until there were twice as many outside as there had been inside. When the young man stopped praying, an elder gave out Psalm 132 and as the great congregation sang the old hymn, the people streamed back into the church again.


The moment the people took their seats, God’s Spirit brought great conviction in their hearts. Hardened sinners began to weep and confess their sins. The meeting continued until 4 a.m.


Revival had come in power—for five weeks it swept across that one parish. Duncan Campbell conducted four services every night; in one church at 7 p.m., in another at 10 p.m. and a third at midnight and then back to the first one at 3 a.m.—then home between 5-6 a.m.—tired—but happy to be in the midst of such a wonderful move of God.


[Back to TOC]


True Intercession

Peggy and her sister shared in the revival. When the minister visited them the next day, they told him how they had been wrestling in intercession for the revival. They told how they had been battling—holding on to the promise. “We struggled through the hours of the night refusing to take ‘No’ for an answer. Had He not promised? Would He not fulfil it? Our God is a covenant-keeping God and He must be true to His covenant engagements. Did He fail us? Never! Before the morning light broke, we saw the enemy retreating and our wonderful Lamb take the field.” The minister asked them what supported their strong faith and Peggy replied, “We had a consciousness of God which created great confidence in our souls which refused to accept defeat”.


Though they were confined to their little home, nevertheless they prayed through the villages, cottage by cottage. They were so close to the Spirit that they knew where the hungry and seeking souls were.


And, of course, after that we were at it night and day—­churches crowded. One night 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! We went to this parish to minister, 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 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 in 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 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 with his face on the ground crying to God for mercy. Oh, deeply convicted of his desperate need and on either side of him, two young girls, I would say about 16 years of age­—­one on each side of him. And they kept saying to the headmaster, “Master, Jesus that saved us last night in Barvas can save you 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. And they were there that night to win their school-master, and they won him! Oh, God swept into his life, I believe, in answer to the prayer of two young girls, 16 years of age 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—­for perhaps a week. Oh, the churches are still crowded, people are still seeking after God, 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 at noon. At that time all work 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.


[Back to TOC]


God Visits Arnol

One of the most outstanding things that happened, I believe, will go down in history as long as revival is mentioned. It was in the parish of Arnol.

[Before Mr. Campbell related what happened at Arnol, he inserted this]:


Now, I regret to say that at this location I was bitterly opposed by a certain segments 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 have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanses us from all sin.” [1st John 1:9] That is scriptural perfection that is based on obedience. But the dear men somehow believed [not one of them ever listened to me] the stories brought to them. And of course they arranged a special effort to oppose me. And several ministers were brought from the mainland to this particular parish to conduct mission meetings opposing me [Campbell] and this revival. Well, they came, and they were so successful in their opposition that very few people from this particular community came near any of our 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 mostly 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.


After this, the revival began to spread to other towns, and what had happened in Barvas began to happen in other places. Men and women throughout the island began to plead with God in desperate intercession for their fellowman and prayer for revival. The Spirit’s power began to increase.


Arnol was a small community which came within the path of the spiritual tornado. This too was a town where hardly a young person darkened the doors of any house of God, the Sundays being given to drinking and poaching. News of the revival spread, and an opposition meeting was held. Although the church was crowded, it was because many people came from various parts of the island—actually only a few were from Arnol. One night an elder came and said, “Mr. Campbell, there is only one thing that we can do. We must give ourselves to prayer. Prayer changes things.”


Well, as you know, I am very willing for that. I said, “Where will be 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 heat in the building. We wanted a warmer spot, and we approached the farmer.


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 their family. The man may have been under the influence [of alcohol] 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 most of the people in the Hebrides—­including those who are unsaved—­have a far greater knowledge of the Word of God than most Christians 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 he was a God‑fearing man.


The little band of prayer warriors made their way to a farmhouse to plead the promises of God. I would say there were about 30 of us including five ministers of the Church of Scotland—­men who had burdens to see God move in revival. We were praying, but oh, the going was hard.


It was after 12 o’clock midnight when I turned again to this blacksmith whom I have already referred to. Oh, in that parish he was a prince with God. And I said to him, “John, I feel that God would have me to call upon you to pray.”


John rose to his feet with his cap in hand and prayed a prayer that will never be forgotten by those who were present. He must have prayed for about a half an hour, then, pausing  for a second, and then looking up towards the heavens and concluded with these words:


“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. 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, I stand before you as an empty vessel, that I'm thirsty! thirsting for thee and for a manifestation of Thy power. 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 after a moment of tense silence, he cried, “God,  your honor is at stake, I now take it upon myself to challenge you to fulfill Your covenant engage­ment!” Here is a man praying the prayer of faith that heaven must answer.


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. There are those in Arnol today who will verify the fact that while the brother prayed, the dishes on the dresser rattled as God turned loose His mighty power. Then wave after wave of divine power swept through the room.


Simultaneously the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could not sleep and houses were lit all night as people arose to pray. People walked the streets in great conviction; others knelt by their bedsides crying for pardon.


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 that’s how the Arnol 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 was needing something to drink. And I went in to ask for a drink of milk, and I found nine women in the kitchen crying to God for mercy—­nine of them!


As the power of God swept there was a 16-year-old young lad there, kneeling by a pigsty crying to God for mercy. And one of the elders went over to him and prayed over him, and little Donald McPhail 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. He became an outstanding prayer warrior and was asked often to pray in the meetings. One day I found him in the barn with his Bible open. When interrupted he quietly said, “Excuse me a little Mr. Campbell, I’m having an audience with the King.”


Now that night the drinking house was closed. Now that's a way back in1952, and it has never been opened since [as of 1968 when Campbell delivered this message]. I was back there 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 in the past. Do you know that last week at our prayer meeting 14 of the men who used to drink there were praying with us three time a week, down upon their knees before God, praying for their old associates and for the spread of revival.” [That was over 15 years later.]


Within 48 hours many young people had surrendered their lives to Christ, and most were at in the prayer meetings!


 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 like that happens; that demonstrates God! Even the Communists will hide in shame!


I remember one night I saw seven communists—­up until then they would 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, but what was that to God? When God begins to work, He can 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 her words to be 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 with you in prayer?”


“Oh, I'll be happy too,” she replied.


So we came and we knelt with her and she began to pray and in her prayer she prayed, “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?”


Peggy: “Tomorrow.”


Me: “What time?”


Peggy: “Seven o'clock.”


Me: “Where am I to hold a meeting?”


Peggy: “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 hillock in front of the main door and I gave out my text: “....the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now he commands all men every where to repent, 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 ten 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 go to that end of the house over there? There are 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 as Communists. And they say that three of them were in the United States and came 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. It is 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 a field crying to God, and he recognized them as two musicians 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 musicians who were advertised to play in the parish hall tonight. There they are crying to God for mercy. Come on, we'll 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. They went to the dance, but the ones at the dance were not at all pleased to see him there. They thought 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 musicians were supposed 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 in that dance hall. And I understand that only three  who were there that night remained unsaved. The first young man to cry to God for mercy was really a boy. He found the Savior that night with many others. Oh, dear people, this is God’s doings.


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 are 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 God’s garden, 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 there to Bible colleges—­who are today missionaries in this, that and the other part of the world, who came into a saving relationship with God, 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.


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The Power of Prayer in Bernera

Some of the most vivid outpouring came when Donald was asked to pray. In the police station one night in Barvas, he simply stood up, clasped his hands together and uttered one word—“Father.” Everyone melted into tears as the presence of God filled the station. In Callenish, he prayed until the power of God laid hold of those who were dead in sins, transforming them into the living stones in the temple of God.


Duncan Campbell wrote:


Now I want to go back and tell you later how Donald came to know the Lord. 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 in the Holy Spirit.


This 16-year-old 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.


One of the most outstanding anointings of prayer happened when Donald Mcphail was in Bernera. I was assisting at a communion service; the atmosphere was heavy and the preaching difficult, so I sent to Barvas for some men to come and assist in prayer. I also asked them to bring little Donald Mcphail with them. And they prayed.


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 one 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 spiritual bondage persisted, so much so that half way through the sermon, I stopped preaching. I looked down and I saw little Donald sitting there, and I saw that his head was bowed and that the floor was wet with his tears. He was visibly moved under a deep burden for souls. I thought, “This boy is in touch with God, and living nearer to the Savior than I am.”


And I stopped preaching. Looking down at this young lad, I said, “Donald, I believe God would have you lead us in prayer.” That 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 Revelation 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 on his belt.” 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!”


The Spirit of God swept into the building and the heavens were opened. The church resembled a battlefield. 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 was moving in them. 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.]But you would break their hands before you could take them down. Now, I can't explain it, but that is what happened.


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Outside the Church

Outside startling things were taking place. The Spirit of God was sweeping over the homes and area surrounding the village, and many people came under the convicting power of the Spirit. Fisherman out in their boats; men behind their looms; men at the pit bank; a merchant out in his truck; school teachers examining their papers were all gripped by the power of God, and by 10 o’clock the roads were streaming with people from every direction, making their way to the church.


As the preacher came out of the church, the Holy Spirit swept in among the people in the road like a wind. They gripped each other in fear. In agony of soul they trembled; many wept and some fell to the ground under great conviction of sin. Several men were found laying by the side of the road in such distress that they could not even speak—yet they had not been anywhere near the church!


So great was the supernatural moving of God that most of the homes did not escape the conviction of the Spirit, and the routine of business was stopped, so that the islanders might seek the face of God—like Nineveh of Bible days. The town was changed, lives and homes transformed and even the fishing fleet, as it sailed out into the bay, took with it a someone to lead them in prayer and worship singing.


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 McPhail was praying, the power of God swept through that village. It swept through the village, and I know it to be a fact that there wasn't a single home in the village that didn't have a soul saved in it. Not a single home in the village.


About 15 miles away from this island on the mainland, there was a schoolmaster that night who was looking over his papers, Suddenly was gripped by the fear of God and 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 want 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. 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. A very clever girl. She is walking down Oxford Street after leaving a patient, and suddenly she was arrested by the power of God. She went into a private place alone and cried to God for mercy, and God saved her there—the whole family saved! So, God saved the whole family at the same time, even though one member was far away!


My dear people, these are facts. And I tell you of them to honor God. That girl is today the wife of a Baptist minister in Tasmania.  At that time he was in the Hebrides for a fortnight, and the day came when he asked her hand in marriage. Today both of them are in Tasmania.


These are some of the remarkable movings of God. That very night, a captain in the Clan Line was saved while sailing down a river—at that very same hour. The Spirit of God laid hold of him in his cabin. The Spirit of God moved upon some lobster fishermen in the sound so that ­they had to leave their boats and their creels and head for the island. By the morning they were saved.

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You Can’t Get Away from God.

According to his biographer, Andrew Woolsey, Duncan Campbell said, “The presence of God was a universal, inescapable fact: at home, in the church and by the roadside. Many who visited Lewis Island during this time became vividly conscious of the spiritual atmosphere before they reached the island.” The scripture, “Wither shall I go from your Spirit, or wither shall I flee from your Presence?” took on a very real meaning. One night a man went to the manse in great concern of his soul. He was brought into the study and the minister asked him, “What happened to you, I have not seen you in any of the services?”


“No,” he replied, “But I can’t get away from the spirit.”


Another man was frightened by what his sister reported of the revival. He actually prayed that God would keep Duncan Campbell away from his village; he did not want to be converted. But Duncan arrived in his village. The man kept well away from the meetings at first, but eventually gave in. In the service Duncan Campbell made a reference to ‘those who had made vows to God while they were in danger at sea.’ “That’s me (his boat had been torpedoed during the war), my sister must have told him about me. I’ll settle with her when I get out of the meeting.”


But conviction seized him and increased as the day went on. Duncan Campbell visited him and prayed with him. That night the burden was unbearable, and when Duncan asked the seekers to come to the vestry for prayer—he rushed to the room to give his life to God. He had difficulty in under­standing the message of salvation, but eventually broke through. He saw at his feet the chains and locks of sin which had bound him. It was so real that he leaped up in ecstasy, thinking he was leaping straight to heaven. Later he met one of the elders by the roadside and a circle of light seemed to envelope them. Looking up he found himself looking into the face of the savior.


Not everyone had that same spectacular experience, but it was not uncommon.


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Led of the Spirit

People were sensitive to the Spirit and were willing to be led by God. A women out in the field, milking a cow, was suddenly led to go to the house of a neighbor to tell of Christ. Another young man driving a bus, was burdened to stop and plead with the passengers to repent. He was sure that someone was hearing God’s call for the last time and they would not be on the return journey. The warning went unheeded and a young man died in tragic circumstances.


Duncan Campbell was very sensitive to the Spirit, often he would know when people were going to be saved, and which house they lived in. Another prayer warrior who lived miles away from Tarbert told the time and day when the revival reached that village. He said, “I was in the barn when suddenly the place was filled with light, I knew that God had broken through in Tarbert.”


A schoolmaster, also a man of prayer continued for weeks with only a couple of hours sleep, snatched after classes each day. Groups of Christians, unwilling to return home, would gather at the sea-shore or roadside, singing praises and sharing together what God had done.


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Coinneach Beag

Duncan Campbell told this story of Coinneach Beag, a man of prayer, and deep spirituality. He had indicated to Duncan that the revival would break out in Carloway at a particular time and was with him in the first meetings. That was a particularly hard meeting, and Duncan Campbell stopped preaching, sat down and called on Coinneach to pray. He stood up and began to intercede. He prayed for about half and hour. Suddenly Coinneach, who had been speaking to God, suddenly said, “Will you excuse me for one moment Lord, while I speak to the devil.”


Mr. Campbell opened his eyes to see Coinneach with his fists raised, as a fighting man, and he addressed the devil purposefully. He demanded that the devil go from that place. Suddenly it was like a bomb exploded in the place. God flooded in. Revival had come! God reigned and Coinneach sat down. The Spirit did His own glorious work that night. Mr. Campbell said that the next time he saw Coinneach, he was fast asleep on the bench. His work was done.. And he slept the sleep of the just.



Hugh Black [who is still alive at the time of this writing—2001] ministered in the Hebrides Islands toward the end of the revival. He tells of a small meeting in a house where there was discouragement owing to a lot of opposition. Three of the group left the house and Hugh sat with his head in his hands. About midnight, when the streets were normally deserted, suddenly there was the sound of running feet. The three who had gone were back at the door. Hugh says that he has never seen people in such an astonishing condition as they were in. They were breathless, unable to speak, as if they were in shock. One of them said, “There is a man out there.”


Hugh thought they must have been pursued in the street and he moved to go out and see. The lady in the group stopped him. “It’s not that,” she said, “He is in White—it is Christ.”


They finally told the story. They had gone down the street and one of them had noticed a band of light in a very clear sky. It formed the shape of a cross, and one of the others gripped her arm and said, “Look at that.” As they watched, out from the cross there came a luminous cloud and from it the figure of Christ appeared, with a hand stretched forward. The three went down on the pavement. Another said, “We couldn’t look again because of the glory.” Then I (Hugh Black) said, “I am going out to see. “We all went outside. For a couple of hours I saw supernatural lights, balls of light moving low in the sky. I felt the effects of that experience in my body for 2-3 weeks. (From Hugh Black’s book: Revival­–­Personal Encounters)


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One night in Ness, the crowd was so great that the people spilled out of the house into a field and sang and sang.


Duncan’s preaching was bold and plain—he spoke of sin and its penalty. It was prophetic preaching, not diplomatic preaching, and the hearers were always confronted with a choice.


The deep conviction of sin characterized in the movement was enhanced by Duncan’s insistence on declaring the true knowledge of sin and judgment. At times his voice was drowned with the sound of people weeping uncontrollably. He would often have to stop preaching because of the distress manifested by those who were being convicted.


A man who had resisted the ministers for a long time was cycling down the road when he suddenly saw balls of fire being spit up on the road in front of him every where. In the fields, at their looms, in their boats, men were suddenly prostrated on the ground. Duncan knew the danger of allowing human sympathy to interfere with the convicting work of the Spirit. He offered no superficial comfort to those in distress.


When is seemed hard to break through, as in Pastor Angus MacFarlane’s church, Duncan would send for the praying men from Barvas. The presence of these praying men in the meetings were of great comfort and encouragement to Duncan. He once said, “More was wrought through the prayers of these men than all the ministers put together, including myself.”

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Supernatural Manifestations of God

So overwhelming sometimes was the presence of God, that people were afraid to open their mouths lest they utter words that would bring judgment upon themselves. People walked quietly before God and, as in every true revival, many shops became a pulpit, many homes a sanctuary, and hearts became an altar.


A visiting minister from Lewis declared, “So tremendous has been this sense of an awareness of God that I have known men out in the fields, others at their looms, so overcome that they fell prostrate on the ground! One outstanding trophy of grace was converted while crossing a field. He testified, “So great was the sense of God’s presence, that even the grass beneath my feet and the rocks around me seemed to cry out, ‘Flee to Christ for refuge.’”


Even the most hardened sinners and notorious characters of the district have literally been found lying helpless by the roadside, stricken with conviction as in the great Welsh revival of 1904. Another remarkable feature was the persistent nature of God’s spirit in following men and women until decisions were made.

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Trying to Escape from God

It was known that some people even left the Island altogether, in order to avoid the searching presence of God. Such was the case of a young man who found that, like Jonah of old, it was impossible to escape from God. One night, after being spoken to about his personal need of salvation, conviction gripped him and he began to tremble. “This wont get hold of me,” he muttered, “I’ll get away from here and drink my way out of it.” Entering the drinking place he ordered a drink, but to his consternation he overheard a group of men discussing their own great need and fear of being lost. He trembled even more. “This is no place for a man who wants to shake this off,” he growled. “I’ll go over to the dance hall and I’ll dance my way out of it.” He hadn’t been in the dance hall for very long when a young lady came up to him exclaiming, “Oh! where would eternity find us if God should strike us dead tonight?” Tremendous conviction swept down upon the young man and he surrendered himself to Christ.



Donald Smith told about hearing the angels singing at Barvas and at Point, and throughout the island. One of the elders who heard them was Colin Nicolson. At Kinloch. Angie Maclead, one of the elders from the church, also reported hearing the angels singing as they were going over to Barvas. One night after a prayer meeting in Shader, the angels were heard singing so the people followed them until they stopped singing. They went into a house nearby and some women were on their knees praying to the Lord to have mercy on them. These dear ladies became shining lights in that village the rest of their lives.


Hugh Black has had several experiences of angelic assistance when he was ministering in the Hebrides. Donald Smith told how that recently he had heard the sound of angels singing as he drove past the barn where the men used to pray. His car was full of the sound of angelic song.


Following are exerts from two letters from Donald John Smith concerning the two sisters:


In August 2000, Donald John Smith wrote:


I had the privilege of praying with Christine and Peggy Smith of Barvas, the two praying ladies mentioned in Rev Duncan Campbell's book. I also used to read the Bible with them every time I called at their home. The fragrance of heaven was in that home.


There were a lot of men and women in the community praying as well. When Zion travails, children are born unto the Lord. Blessed are the ones whose desire is to frequent the gates of Zion, for the Lord's desire is to translate sinners from the Kingdom of darkness unto the Kingdom of light, so that in His light they also may see light.


People would be praying behind airns of stone, behind peat stacks in Barvas, and they were not frightened of who would hear them. One night Mr. Campbell was passing a barn in Barvas, and he heard the people praying. He stopped for a while and listened, but they were not praying for him or the revival in Barvas, but for Greece. Mr. Campbell asked them why they were praying for Greece, but they couldn't explain why.

Mr. Macauley, a retired minister, still living in Bernera, Isle of Lewis, told us afterwards a ship was being built in Belfast, and it was for Greece. When it was ready, one of the mates on that ship (from Isle of Lewis) went to Greece. There he heard that a revival was taking place in Greece at that time—so who can explain the working of the Lord? His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts.


My prayer is that we'll all be there.


God's richest blessing,   Donald John Smith


Following is another letter from Donald John Smith written a few weeks after the above letter:

The Smith sisters in Barvas always humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God, earnestly seeking His face in prayer, then bowing before Him in worship and praise. They were concerned with the souls of men and where they would spend eternity.

It grieved them when Christian people filled most of their conversation with every day secular events instead of being centered around the Lord.


Their home on earth was a humble home, but they were seeking one to come whose builder and maker is God. They just lived from day to day depending on the Lord for their daily food. They were seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness —trusting that all other things would be provided for them. [Matthew 6:33] Their main talk was on revival and they believed that the Lord was to pour down His spirit in a mighty way, and they saw this fulfilled before they went home to glory.


Those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as stars forever and ever. —Daniel 12:3

What a difference it makes in our lives to be a Christian; the love, the joy; the fellowship of the Lord’s people in his house, and the comfort of God’s word, going out in power, anointed by the Holy Spirit as a word in season to the soul that is weary.

Sincerely,   Donald John Smith

Upper Shader, Isle of Lewis


In some districts there was hardly a soul who was not affected by the revival. One man who had very little time for God was driving along the road when he suddenly saw before him a vision of hell. Startled and afraid, he jammed on his brakes, pulled his car to the roadside, then kneeling down, he surrendered his life to Christ.


The following account about the revival in the Hebrides was sent to me by the sentinel group in Washington State [producers of the Transformation video tape].

The following was transcribed from a cassette tape of a message by George Otis, director of The Sentinel Group:       

From 1949 to 1952, there was a revival in that archi­pelago. They had a revival in the true sense of the word. We met and interviewed many of the people who had been at those meetings 50 years ago [which means they were all elderly when interviewed in 2000]. We did a lot of the filming in the church where it all began [called the Barbus Church on the Northern tip of this Island—­quite a remote place].


Some of the stories that I heard and the people that I met impacted me very deeply—­I’ll never be the same again. These people are still rattled [in a good sense] by what happened back in the early 1950’s [before I was born].

I talked to one man who was part of that early prayer movement [one of the original seven men who prayed in a barn for five months] Revivals always start in prayer. This one dear old man that we met was a little bit hard to interview because he kept weeping. In between answering (and I am telling you this seriously), in between answering our questions, all he did was quote scripture and sing hymns. He was filled with the presence of God and the love of the Lord.


At one point he heard we were trying to figure out how to get some transportation, and we needed some currency because places we were staying didn’t accept credit cards. He said, “Oh, I’ll give you two hundred pounds.” That’s probably all the money he owned. “I’ll give it to you,” he said. No hesitation, no thought of getting paid back. This was probably a fortune for him, but he was just filled with the presence of God. He knew if he gave it, God would take care of him.


He talked about how they began to pray and the presence of God descended upon this community. He said all over the town, in the wee hours of the morning, you could see lights on with people in prayer through the night in their living rooms and in their bedrooms, there would be these lights flickering as people were calling upon the Lord to come.


And when the Lord did come, he said it was something that made your hair stand on end. Everybody knew it whether they were Christians or whether they were non‑Christians. The presence of God was pervasive and undeniable, and it changed everything. And wherever people were, whether they were milking the cow, whether they were riding a bicycle and delivering mail, wherever they were, they stopped and they fell to their knees by the side of the road (he took us to these places), and they cried out to God for mercy. That’s what happens when you enter into the presence of the living God. You don’t think about anything except for how you don’t deserve to even live anymore. People cried out to God for mercy and began to repent of their sin; and people started coming from all over this island. With the modes of transportation they had in those days, which took some doing. These people, you have to understand, are about the most conservative people on the face of the earth—­these Scottish Islanders. They are very dower in their natural makeup, very conservative, no music[1] allowed even in the churches—ultra- conservative; and they are the last people on the face of the earth who would exaggerate or embellish anything. Yet, the details that they were sharing were just absolutely phenomenal and extraordinary.1

                                                                                    — end of message by George Otis —


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Sometimes conviction rested upon sinners for days, causing great distress of mind. Such was the case of a man so convinced of his godless life, and seemingly unable to get peace of mind in spite of repentance, that he rushed down to the sea-shore, and hiding behind the rocks, prepared to commit suicide. A young woman in her home, while kneeling in prayer, had a vision of this man: God showed her exactly where the man was and what he was about to do. Rising quickly, she called her minister, instructing him where to find the unfortunate man. The minister arrived just in time to save the man, not only from physical death, but also eternal hell.


Some of the men who were saved became great trophies of God’s grace. One of them was out in the field working, when great conviction fell on him. He began to tremble violently. “You’re not a sissy, what’s the matter with you?” he said to himself. The voice of God seemed to thunder into his soul. “You are a poacher and a Sabbath-breaker.” He knew what God meant—he had been breaking he law—poaching. He was a drunkard, a real godless fellow, and this was a new experience to him. Feeling miserable and wretched because of the burden of sin, he went along to the church and was gloriously converted.


Another man sitting in a hotel was met by God in a similar way. As he stretched out his hand to pick up a beer, he suddenly became conscious of God’s presence. He began to tremble and great conviction took hold of him as the voice of God began to thunder in his soul, and he put down his beer. Shortly afterwards he was gloriously converted to Christ and became a great witness for Jesus.

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There was a young woman used by God during the revival in powerful visions and trances. One night she had a vision of a woman in agony of soul twenty miles away. Duncan was informed that he ought to go and see this women. Without hesitation he motor-cycled to the village and found the women. He witnessed to her and brought deliverance, and introduced her to the savior. Not one message given by this woman proved false. Duncan did not encourage nor discourage these trances, but he recognized it was God and warned people not to interfere or associate it with any demonic activity.


The Revival of 1939—

Following is an account of another revival which broke out in the Hebrides about 1939—­about ten years before the above-mentioned revival. It seems to have started somewhere around the town of  Point. Because the war came and there was a scattering of the people, most of the information about this revival is missing—­or destroyed in the war. But the information that is available about this revival seems to indicate that in some way, this revival was even more powerful than the one that started in 1949. Hugh Black tells that he heard that the Spirit of God would suddenly sweep into a room and half the people would be in a trance-like state—swept up into the realm of the Spirit.


In his book, Revival—Personal Encounters, Hugh Black tells of a women named Barbara, a great prayer warrior who birthed through intercessory prayers many souls into the kingdom. A man named Colin told Hugh Black of his experience when Barbara prayed for him:


One night Colin was in a pub in Stornaway not interested in the revival. He was raising a glass to his lips when he suddenly had a vision of Barbara standing before him. He put down his glass and hastily made his way back to Shader. On the way he knew that he had to pass Barbara’s house. Sure enough as he passed, who should step out into the street but Barbara! The spirit of God did his work in Colin.


Hugh asked Barbara questions about the revival. “Oh yes,” she replied, “Revival is wonderful­—­for some people. But not for us—there were a number of us women who weren’t in the meetings.” Mr. Black was startled to learn these people were not in the meetings. Barbara continued, “We did not have time to be in the marvelous meetings. The breath of the Spirit would come, and it was like women in childbirth. We would fill up and up with the breath of God, and we would be in agony, and suddenly a soul would be born into the kingdom, and there would be relief as the new soul was born. Then the weight would come again, and we would fill up again and again and others would be born. And so it went on again and again.” These women carried the burden of prayer and through God birthed people into salvation.

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Mary MacLean

The praying women used in this revival, like Barbara, were powerfully used by the Holy Spirit. Mary MacLean, whose own testimony is written below, was also wonderfully used to prophesy and pray. Mary would be caught away in the spirit often and God would reveal his secrets to her.


Visions are commonplace among the people Mary came from. She lived in a land where the veil between this world and the spiritual world is thin and she had led a godly life. The following concerns a vision Mary had just prior to the second world war and relates to that war.


On 10th March 1939, Mary had a baby daughter, and she felt herself strongly surrounded by the presence of God. Two nights later the first vision came: Mary related this to Hugh Black:


There came a rushing wind. I was away (in the spirit). The graves opened. I thought it was the last day­—­Judgment Day. I don’t know how long I was away, but when I came back, I said, “Oh Lord, if it’s Judgment Day, everyone here is unconverted,” and the power came to pray for unconverted people all over the world. The whole world came upon me. And I was shaking, and I prayed that I would go away again in the Spirit.


I was just waiting, and there came a rushing wind again. I was taken up. It was the sea that came in front of me this time. And I went down to the bottom of the ocean, and there were ships lying there, and there were bodies of men there. Oh! What a place! When I came back I was shaking and the baby was beside me.


The war broke out in August, and then I knew what I was seeing when I was down at the bottom of the sea. I saw the bodies there. I thought, “This is the war. I have seen the ships down there in pieces and the bodies!” I was afraid that I would go away again . And I wondered what I would see next­—­what would be revealed to me? I decided not to tell anyone of anything I had seen. They would think that the Lord was going to take me away, and they would be so upset.


I told everyone to be out at the meetings day and night and not to miss anything; a great revival was coming. And, oh they were thinking something was wrong with me—they didn’t know what was coming upon me; “Oh! be out (at the meetings), be out morning and night!” I said.


Pressure was coming upon me and prayer was coming upon me. I thought the Lord was going to take me home, but I wasn’t worried about the family. I knew the Lord would get someone to look after them. I was all prepared to be taken away­—­Oh the presence of the Lord was so strong, I thought no one could stay in this cold world without the presence of the Lord.


There was a girl who lived near me and helped me with the baby. “Oh! Hetty!” I used to say to her, “Be out morning and evening. Revival is going to come!”


She said to me, “I was out to every meeting and no revival came!”


“The revival is coming,” I said, “You keep going out (to the meetings), revival is coming.” And I was waiting for the revival, when the power would come.


I had started going into visions again. Some of them were long visions, and I needed my mother’s help to look after the baby. The longest vision I’ve been in was one in which I went cold, as if I were dead. And Oh! the vision I saw there, a vision of heaven and hell. The people were plunging into hell as if they were sheep plunging over a precipice, and I was hearing the gnashing of teeth and the crying. I saw the flames going through the people and I thought, “Even with the furnace fire that was coming out of hell, there wasn’t a hair of my head singed with the furnace.”


But then a vision of Christ—I couldn’t take my eyes off Him—I couldn’t blink. The vision of heaven was so wonderful, and the brightest day here is like darkness compared with the light that’s there in heaven.”


While I was so far away (in the spirit), my sister told my mother, “Mary has passed away, and she won’t come back now. She’s cold and I have taken clothes to put on her and a white sheet, to go over her until the coffin comes.” My sister was so upset­—­I was cold, as cold as a dead person. I don’t remember how long my mother said I was away (in the Spirit). But a crowd was in the house thinking that I had passed away, and there was going to be a wake.


I had a cousin in Lower Shader (a village), a very dear soul, that was under the power like myself. Her brother was an elder in the Free Church, and he went home and told her, “You won’t see Mary again, Mary has passed away.” She didn’t believe it!


My sister told my mother, “You must believe Mary has passed away this time.”


But mother said, “No, I don’t believe it, I have often seen Mary going away like this (in the spirit).”


“Oh, but mum, she’s stone cold all over and I can’t find a pulse anywhere,” my sister continued.


A long time after that, I felt streams going through my body, through my arms and through every part of me, like thin streams warming me up. Then I said to my sister, “Oh Annie, will you make me a hot water bottle?” Annie said that was the most wonderful thing she had ever heard! I couldn’t move at this stage—I couldn’t move my arms or legs, but bit by bit I was warming up ... and I came back to life.  My Mother asked me, when she saw I was fully back, “Oh Mary, did you see anything about our own house?”


“I didn’t see anything, but I know this—you will be left alone. You will be left alone in this house,” [meaning she would lose her sons in the war]. She couldn’t understand how that could happen. “Where were the boys going—the three of them?” [The war hadn’t broken out at that time.]


Later in August my three brothers and my husband were taken away to the war. I stayed with my mother. It was when the war broke out that I finally realized that what I had seen in the vision down at the bottom of the sea—the ships and bodies—were all connected to the war.


One night when I was on my knees praying for my brothers, and everyone in the whole world, I saw the ship that the youngest brother was on; it was a trawler. It was in half­—­it was split in half­—­and I saw him in the water. With what I saw, I got up from my knees and started thinking. ‘It must have been that I was praying for him, and got afraid that this would happen!’”


I started walking the floor. “Oh, what was this?” Anyway, word that he was missing came, and I told people that this happened two weeks ago (the night was clear in my memory). The postman left letters here for me to break it to my mother and father that he was missing. But then word came that he was not found among the survivors, and I told them, “Well, this happened two weeks ago.”


They said, “How do you know that?”


“I saw it,” I said, “I saw it with my eyes, I know this.”


Only a month later, my other brother died on board ship with, I think, a gastrated stomach. He was buried at sea. Supposedly he had been converted. He had talked to a man from Carloway, who was with him on the boat, supposedly a Christian. My brother had said, “When we get home after the war, you’ll go down to our house, so that it will be easier for me to go out to the weekly meetings (a sign of conversion in the revival) with you.”

[The following was taken from Hugh Black’s book: The Strife of Tongues and Glimpses of Revival]:


Hugh Black questioned Mary further about the visions she received about the war. She identified the house in which she was when the news of the fall of France was broadcast on the radio. The news profoundly depressed the people who were gathered there. She threw her hands up in the air and glorified God, knowing that France had to fall before the victory could come. She had foreseen the defeat of Germany and the ultimate triumph of the Allies. At first the company of people thought they had a traitor in their midst, as she was glorifying God because France had fallen. But she went on to explain future events, (that France had to fall first before the ultimate fall of Germany) and the presence and power of God became evident, and the whole company was affected. It was a very wonderful night.

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There were many converts during the ‘39 revival, before the counter-attack came. Mary had been hopeful that the whole community might have been converted. The attack did not come from outside, but from within her own church. Had the leaders moved with God, she felt, that the outcome would have been even more glorious.


The biggest hindrance to revival is not Com­mu­nism or any other “ism” but dead religion that gives people a substitute for the Presence of God Himself.

                                                                                   — End of account of the 1939 revival —


Hugh Black said: “I have found in Lewis a great quickening of spiritual faculties. In a peculiar way the veil between this world and the spiritual world seems to be very thin. God and the things of God become very real. The sense of evil at times too can seem very intense.........”  


 Now, back to:

The Praying Men (1948-52)

Whenever Duncan Campbell was in the Islands after that, he never left without visiting the praying men who had helped so much in the revival, and with whom he had such an affinity of Spirit. He marveled at their discernment and worldwide vision. They prayed for nations they knew little about—but they heard from God and obeyed the calling of the Spirit.


Duncan Campbell wrote:

The revival 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. [1st Chronicles 21:2] 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 am thinking just now of a certain village named Weaver. It was a row of seven cottages by the roadside, and in each cottage there was 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 six of them were saved that day, and one the next day. But they came to understand that something supernatural had taken possession of them. An awareness of 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 [that is, about 15 years later when Mr. Campbell delivered this message], 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 Isle of Lewis revival, we never saw anybody healed, that wasn't a feature of that revival. We never heard anybody speaking in tongues—­in a strange or foreign 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 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, dynamic in our lives. And He expresses Himself through our personalities. 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.


I've sometimes said that supposing Lewis Island produced nothing but one young girl, a wild, wild girl, just 17 years of age. An 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, 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 three 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.”


Six months after that God 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 your 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 are we seeing today? A movement again among teenagers. And we asked a minister recently, “How can you explain it? Can you explain this movement in any way?”


He said, “Yes, 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 ten fingers all who dropped off from the prayer meetings. Of the ones who stayed true to the Lord Jesus, many are scattered all over the world. They are in the mission fields and different places today, but according to the ministers in certain places, they are standing true to the God of the covenant, true to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Now dear people, that's the story. And I tell it because another man has been going about telling stories about the revival and writing books about it that are not true. But this is the story of the revival that can bear the light of examination. God did it. And we bless Him for it.



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For further reading about this revival:

When God Stepped Down from Heaven

—Rev. Owen Murphy, Duncan Campbell, Andrew Woolsey.  Publishers: Hodder and Stoughton and The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, Scotland

Revival: Personal Encounters

—Hugh Black. Publishers: New Dawn Books, Greenock, Scotland

The Clash of Tongues with Glimpses of Revival

Hugh Black—New Dawn Books, Greenock, Scotland

Hugh Black’s books available through:

Good News Ministries

220 Sleepy Creek Road

Macon, GA 31210

Phone: 800-300-9630

Web Page:


Another source of much of this message:


Jim Meletiou

4912 Lancer Drive

Knoxville, TN 37921-3014


This booklet is FREE. Please feel free to ask for a copy.

End Notes

[1]This message was transcribed from a cassette tape at which George Otis was speaking. On the tape, he said, “music.” However, most certainly he meant “musical instruments.” [Return]

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Read about how:


In the midst of one of the greatest spiritual revivals in all of history, one of the women said, “Oh yes, revival is wonderful­—­for some people. But not for us—there were a number of us women who weren’t in the meetings.” She continued, “We did not have time to be in the marvelous meetings. The breath of the Spirit would come, and it was like women in childbirth. We would fill up and up with the breath of God, and we would be in agony, and suddenly a soul would be born into the kingdom, and there would be relief as the new soul was born. Then the weight would come again, and we would fill up again and again and others would be born. And so it went on again and again.” These women  carried the burden of prayer and through God birthed people into salvation.

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