On December 4th he is inducted to start work in Finnieston, Glasgow. In a letter to his brother James, he writes: "...in the afternoons we have always a considerable congregation, many or most of them "Zacchæuses", but these may be called down from their sycamore tree."
A year later he writes: "It has been a day when God seemed dealing with men in unusual earnestness. Are these beginnings of revival times?" Revival is something he has been praying for.
|20 India Street
65 St Vincent Street
In May he completes his notes on the Psalms, called: Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms, and writes: "May the Lord use it to lead many to see their full provision in Christ!"
There are some encouraging signs that God's Spirit is working, and his prayers are getting more fervent.
On Sunday 1st of April his little son Andrew dies in the early morning after an illness of several weeks. It affects him deeply and he writes: "Come Lord, and wipe away all tears. Come Lord, cast death and hell into the lake. Come quickly. I was able to preach all day."
1861 (Death of Prince Consort - Albert, husband of Queen Victoria)
Tuesday June 18th: "At nine o'clock a little girl born, and all well...Lord, I have given this little one to Thee from her very birth. Lord, O that I and the children Thou hast given me be with Thee in the New Jerusalem, each adding another note to the heavenly song."
In October he finishes the edition of Rutherford's Letters which has taken him several months. He notices that in this edition there are exactly 365 letters, "the number of years lived in the earth by Enoch, that man of God of whom Rutherford often reminds us."
1863 (Metropolitan Railway opened in London)
Saturday, September 24th. "This morning, about eight o'clock a daughter was born to us....Lord, may this little one be another of Thy saved, a precious stone in Thy breastplate, one in whom Thou shalt be glorified."
Saturday, October 15th.- "O what a wound! Last night most suddenly, after three hours' sinking, my dear, dear Isabella was taken from me. Lord, pour in comfort, for I cannot. It needs the Holy Ghost to work at such a time. Lord, what innumerable kindnesses Thou gavest me through her: a true wife, a true mother, a true mistress, a true friend. She passed away so gently that, till I held her and touched her cheek, I could scarcely believe it was death. I have needed this affliction. It brings to my remembrance sins of many, many kinds: neglected prayer, neglected thanksgiving, self-indulgence, my life too much a life for myself and family. Lord, let me not love Thee less, but more, because of this stroke, and from this day may I work more for the ingathering of souls."
Several days after her funeral he writes: "This morning I came upon the two books she was last reading in her bed. The one was Hill's Deep Things of God, the other, Bridge on The Proverbs..... Our marriage day was looked forward to with immense desire, but not less shall be (through His grace) the marriage day of Christ, when we shall meet together for ever."
In November, the motherless baby, Mary Elizabeth, is baptized, and he writes: " I saw my children were all deeply moved. I came home feeling all the way an indescribable sadness, and yet as if a hand were underneath holding me up."
At the end of the year, he writes that it is the close of the most memorable year since the death of Robert M'Cheyne. He bemoans his selfishness, and asks the Lord to fill him with a desire for souls and a delight in His work and His fellowship.
Instances of revival keep occurring. In February he mentions a revival "near us in Hillhead; not less than forty souls, young and old, already brought in, to all appearance. To-night preached there. Though the night was quite wintry, the ground deep with snow, the schoolroom was quite crowded. It has gone on very much by one speaking to the other."
It makes him pray more fervently for revival in his own congregation, and he seeks the Lord with fasting and prayer.
On May 29th he moves to 20 India Street.
He often struggles with feelings of unworthiness for the task of preaching the gospel, but he receives encouragements when people are brought to Christ by his preaching. His reaction: "O blessed Lord, it is thus Thou comfortest the cast-down".
His sorrow over Isabella's death continues, and he writes: " Last Sabbath I nearly broke down in the forenoon; but, though I was obliged to shorten the service, got through."
For many years he has been interested in prophecy and typology, and in March he writes: "Last week went to Crossford to lecture upon the Tabernacle to the awakened people there, a most interesting assembly. Afternoon at three about two hundred women, and in the evening as many men."
Almost every year, several friends and relatives die. On July 8th he writes: "Heard of the death of William Burns, one of Christ's great missionaries to earth in our day. How many in one year! Why are such as myself spared?"
He often reminds himself of the great spiritual giants of the past. In May he writes: "Three pictures in my study often rebuke me- of Robert M'Cheyne, William Burns, and John Milne; and at times the photograph of Samuel Rutherford's tomb suggests to me what coldness of love is in my heart compared with such a man. And the little I have learned from affliction is a constant grief to me."
Communion is always a special occasion, when several ministers help during the service. Things do not always go as they should: On 25th July -"Communion at Ardrishaig. By mistake I did not get the bread and wine. Felt somewhat strange, but I learned some things. Thus, it may be the Lord was thus gently chastising me, reminding me to take off my shoes because the ground was holy. Then, I learned sympathy with those who often, at this season, are not permitted in the providence of God to go. Then also, I felt a hunger I had not felt for a long time - a hunger for the bread and wine. I see that I will need every day, more and more, in the morning, before any business begins, a cup of the new wine of the kingdom - fellowship with God; and I must pray oftener, though but for a minute, during the day."
1870 (Papal Infallibility Proclaimed at the Oecumenical Council of the Vatican)
30th January: "In the evening, at the very close of our day's work, the Lord sent a person to tell me of the blessing that had attended the accidental perusal of my little book, The Cup of Wrath."
In May the M'Cheyne Memorial Church in Dundee is opened. Andrew Bonar writes on the 14th: "Having come to Abernyte on my way to the opening of the M'Cheyne Memorial Church, I was left alone all day, and spent some hours in prayer; part of the time in the little church, and then with Mr. Wilson. Felt deep, deep sorrow at the thought of the past. What gales of the Spirit have blown, and yet my sails have been ill set, and caught little of the breezes in these great awakening times."
Sabbath, 15th - "Preached in the M'Cheyne Memorial Church in the morning, and St. Peter's in the afternoon. In the evening, finding a great crowd who could not get in, preached in the open air, right opposite the Memorial Church, while Mr. Macgregor was preaching within. I know that the God of Elijah still lives."
In March he is asked by the management of the Cunningham Lectureship to take the next course, but he refuses. He feels that they mistake his learning and ability for such work, and writes "May the Master use me in my true sphere and give me the grace of prayer in far higher measure."
He laments the state of the country and in the Free Church and writes: The state of the land is not good. 'When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?' Our Church is not what it was, and the Spirit seems not among us as in other years." He speaks out in the General Assembly against the proposed Union, and finds it very "trying to the flesh. But it seemed to me plain duty."
He keeps on praying for a revival of the Holy Spirit's work: "To-day, in a retired spot by the side of a wood near Southlatch, Abernyte, was enabled to cry for the Holy Ghost with much desire, and to plead for His blessing...."
The division in the Church appears to worsen and a new split is feared. He spends much time in prayer, and prays that they will be able to say: "What has God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23). On his birthday - 29th May - he writes: "Deliverance has come! A most marvellous turn in the discussion after all seemed very dark. Both sides were led to an adjustment.....We have had most powerful incitements to pray henceforth more and more."
In December, he attends the meetings of Moody and Sankey in Edinburgh, and writes: "What a sight! Our great Assembly Hall crowded with eager, praying, listening souls from ten o'clock till four. ...This is the answer to the prayers since the Union strife was closed for revival and blessing."
In February, the revival comes nearer to Glasgow: "This city has been at last visited; Moody and Sankey, sent by the Lord, as when 'He sent them two and two to every place whither He Himself would come.' ....What can our God do? My soul has begun to feel quickened, and the days of 1839-40 and onwards come up to view. But there is more now than then."
Again he prays for more personal holiness as the work increases, and he writes on Sunday 15th March: "The work of God goes on among us in this city. This morning, at nine o'clock, a gathering of three thousand young men, and the lecture on Daniel was most memorable. In my own church, Mr. Moody preached on the Second Advent." A few weeks later he writes, that there are "fifty-four coming to the Lord's Table for the first time."
In the magazine 'Sunday at Home' of April 25th, there is an interesting article about this time in Glasgow. It can be read here on a separate page.
On Wednesday 22nd of April he receives his degree (D.D.) at the University of Edinburgh.
Again he hears of blessing on his writing: "Cheered....by one of our men wishing to speak, awakened by my little book, The Cup of Wrath." In July, he is in London with Mr. Moody. "Immense crowds, wonderful sight, and more wonderful impression......There is great talk about 'Higher Life', and much movement in that direction, and, though there is error mingled, this may be the Lord's way of answering the prayers which some of us have long sent up, asking more holiness for the saints, in their life more likeness to Christ."
On Sunday 11th July, at Camberwell Hall ".....not less than 9000 assembled, morning, noon, and night. In the morning, before eight o'clock, I was summoned away to preach to the overflow in the neighbouring church."
The most memorable event to him is the 'Bible-Reading', with Mr. Moody and about 30 others, talking over the Bible, and ending with 'the Lord's Supper.'
On 14th October, he attends a Convention in the Kibble Palace (Glasgow), with not less than 7,000 people present, and George Müller speaking on 'the power of the Spirit.'
Days of prayer and fasting are essential in his busy life: "I got last Saturday set apart as a day of prayer; and I trace much of my help to that day." Every year the months of March and October are the most difficult. In March he always remembers the death of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, and in October the death of his wife Isabella. On that day this year he writes: "Time for prayer and fasting. Specially led back to the day of my great bereavement. My heart's desire is that the sweetness of divine communion may to me be such that it will make all other wants forgotten. Come near, Lord. Come very near."
Alexander Somerville, a friend and one of the members of the Exegetical Society (see 1831), gives his farewell lecture in April in the Kibble Palace before leaving for Australia.
The controversies in the Church about modern 'broad' theology are taking much of his time and energy. In June he writes: "Our troubles with broad theology are not over. I am compelled to read and take part in discussions about these things, which to me are very wearisome and trying....my heart has been distracted and worn out by most dangerous error in the Church at large and within the bounds of our own presbytery."
On 20th June the memorial-stone for the new church is laid.
In November he hears that he has been nominated to the Moderatorship of the Free Church, despite his objections. "...every letter that has come insists upon the call of God through the Church to me. This is very trying to me : a real cross." In December : "I have been constrained to let the brethren nominate me to that office after all. How very strange are the Lord's doings!.....In all this I know my brethren have respect, not to myself so much as to our family descent, and the work done by those of our family on present and former occasions."
Despite his apprehension, his Moderatorship works out well, as he writes on June 4th : "Returned from the assembly, where my closing address was received with great attention. Indeed, there has been a singular calmness and solemnity in the meetings that has made us say, 'The Lord has been among us.' What a load of care is lifted off my mind to-night! my fear being more that I should not prove a blessing to the church and people of God.....I think I have sought the Lord's glory, not my own honour."
On 1st December the new church in Finnieston is used for the first time. Above the door is the inscription from Proverbs 11 in Hebrew.
It is also Andrew Bonar's text for the evening service, "...our
banner, I trust." These words were put there to remind people of the reason for
the existence of the church, and also in the hope that some Jews might see
them, and come in to worship the God of Abraham. In his sermon he reminds
people that 'winning souls' needs careful preparation, just as David carefully
chose 5 smooth stones before he met Goliath.
1879 (In December of this year the Tay Railway Bridge collapses in heavy storms into the Firth of Tay at Dundee, killing at least 75 people who were on the train.)
On the 1st January he completes a revision of the Scots Worthies,"....that for a month has given me considerable care. It took off my time for prayer, and yet it was for God's glory, and the examples there often struck me to the heart."
In April he revises the proofs of The Brook Besor, and also finishes the editing of the Scots Worthies. In June he writes: "My little book,The Brook Besor, has already been found comforting to some of God's saints."
Every month he gives a lecture on Prophecy, and feels that it is one of the things that seems to be the finishing of his works.
At the beginning of this year he writes a leaflet on the terrible disaster at the Tay Bridge.
He is still battling with the problems in the church, and writes inMay ;"The most anxious time since the Disruption. From time to time my prayer was fro the Church and General Assembly. I felt bitterly the state of things among us, in regard to our young ministers especially. Prayed for the outpouring of the Spirit, and the checking of the evil at this Assembly. For Satan is trying to wile ministers and people away from the great, glorious Gospel."
In August, he visits Iona, and records his impressions: "Came here to the Communion : a memorable day. ..As we crossed the Sound on our way to church, those in the boat sang hymns from time to time, going and coming. I preached on Exodus 34:29. After the first table we gave place to the Gaelic congregation, and took their place in the open air, on the spot where the last of the Druids were buried. There were present a minister from the English Presbyterian Church, an Episcopalian minister, an Established Church minister, and a United Presbyterian minister."
There is also encouragement :"One day alone here I found hid treasure in the words, 'The very hairs of your head are all numbered.' All my family, all my classes, my texts, my writings, my sermons, my trials and cares."
A new venture opens up in April: "Have been troubled by being pressed to go to America for two months by Mr. Moody. My way is far from plain, however." In May he writes: "Have decided to go to America, as being an opening for preaching the Word such as I will never have again ; it is the Northfield Conference."
A middle-aged man from Musselburgh tells him that he was converted by Andrew Bonar's tract : The Near Way to the City, one and a half years ago, and has not had a desire for strong drink since that day.
On 7 July he sets off for America, until 10 September. While he is in America he visits Northampton, "where Jonathan Edwards laboured and was blessed, and where Brainerd also prayed.....And it is most interesting as well as humbling to me also to find how many ministers and students and others spoke about Robert M'Cheyne's Life as very useful to them."
On Wednesday 21 December his church has an evening of thanksgiving and prayer for twenty-five years of work and blessing..."I tried to tell the story of the past twenty-five years and was followed by several of the office-bearers. There was much that was fitted to draw forth wonder and praise ; but little did some of them know, when speaking in praise of the minister, how he saw in himself and in his work a shallowness and meagreness in every grace that filled him with sorrow before God."
In February Moody is visiting Glasgow, and he writes: "Beyond question now another wave of blessing has come. Mr. Moody's meetings are more than ever before full and overflowing. I hear of several of our people touched and hopefully changed." In April : "The two last evenings have been remarkable for Mr. Moody's meetings. Church crowded. The impression is great, more in the form of 'thirst' than of alarm and deep sense of sin. These are solemn times." In June he writes on the same subject : "It seems to me plain that the Lord shows His sovereignty by making that man a vessel through which the converting power of God may be poured out on various classes of men. The drunkards have had their 'day of visitation' and many others of the working men especially."
A special day occurs on July 2nd : "In the evening baptized the Jew, Marcus Buck. I bless God that I have had this privilege in my ministry before its close."
Although by now he is 72, he still preaches every week, even on holiday at Craignure, in Mull. He tells this amusing story in a letter to his friend, the minister James Manson:
'Yesterday, there being no English service here I undertook to give it, and accordingly reached the spot (Lochdonhead), got into the pulpit, and essayed to read the first psalm - but, ah me! I had forgot my spectacles and my eye-glass too! What was to be done? I acted on the old principle engrained into us in our study of the classics : "Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito." I therefore repeated the psalm, and then descended from the pulpit to the seat where my four daughters were sitting, piteously begging the use of Isabella's eye-glass. But, alas! it gave me no help, and so after the prayer I repeated a few verses of a chapter which I contrived to find out correctly, and found out my text by a sort of instinct. It was all right now, for you know I do not use paper; otherwise, what a fix! Have you ever had such an adventure in the pulpit?'
The two things he longs for before his ministry ends, are: fervent zeal for the glory of God in Christ, and tender compassion for souls. He also says: "I feel almost alarmed now at my congregation, the number being about 1030."
In April he concludes after a Communion service: "Our numbers now are too large for one man, being to-day 1040.....Never felt more than now that earth's sources of comfort are 'cisterns that can hold no water.'"
His brother Horatius is chosen as Moderator for the Assembly this year.
In June he gives the closing lecture on Prophecy, the last of forty. Six of them were delivered by others.
On holiday in July he does not forget his church: "Tried to pray over the list of all my people. As I did so, I got several discoveries of my negligence, and of the great want of the power and presence of the Holy Ghost with me in my visiting."
One of the entries that reveals his humility is in his diary in March: "Have been more and more led to be unwilling to speak of work done by myself or my congregation.....Matthew 18:4 lately made a great impression upon me. It shows so clearly that our great doings are the little things which not a creature knows but Christ, which we have done heartily because it was to Him, in some of His people or such like."
He also, as every year, marks the anniversary of M'Cheyne's death: "A day of many memories. Friends in glory; and some of us spared wonderfully. I have been noticing, among my many mercies in contrast to several of my brethren, that I have been 'kept in secret from the strife of tongues.'"
He also remembers his other bereavement: "Led back in my experience to the days when Isabella was taken from me. At that time how dreary, how truly empty, everything seemed on the side of earth. A constant want was what I felt at home and in every corner. But yet the Lord has led me on, and has quietly taken the place of all, by His own blessed presence and fellowship."
In September he gets the last proof of his Memoir of James Scott, and prays that the Lord may use it much.
His brother-in-law David Dickson, dies suddenly in December: "...it is blessed to be able to say, I know Him who has the keys of death! "
1 January: "'So much the more as ye see the day approaching' has increasing significance. Every effort more earnest; prayer and praise more intensely an outpouring of the heart; love more really a flame."
He feels at times that he is not now so useful, but then he is encouraged again: "When I was very much inclined to fear that the Lord had set me aside, a little girl came with a message. After settling the message, I asked her if she knew Christ. She said 'Yes,' and then told me it was one forenoon when I was at Maryhill Industrial School and said a few words to the young people."
In November he is in Dundee, for the celebration of the jubilee of St.Peter's: "The church was crowded in every corner, .....As for myself, the Lord gave me unusual liberty and calmness and enjoyment; even my voice seemed to have got back its early power."
To his sadness things are changing in the church in the name of 'progress': "The giving up of Fast-Days is another sign of the times; and then, also, it necessarily breaks off a good deal of ministerial fellowship, such as used to be at these seasons. No more preaching on Fast evenings to children in Edinburgh, no more in Greenock; then, also, no more going to assist Dr. Laughton in Greenock, he being laid aside; and Horace no more able to come and assist us here at our Communion. 'The sands of time are sinking.' Each of these changes is a particle of sand falling out of sight......Many things have made earth to me more than ever a wilderness or a land of broken cisterns. But the Lord Jesus is more than ever a full heaven to me."
On his 77th birthday he writes: "Lord, give me the heart for service, make me Asaph as well as Epaphras. But I have been taking a solemn view of the Sabbaths of my life. Leaving out seven years, and beginning where I might be fully expected to make right use of God's holy day, there have been in my seventy years no less than 3640 Sabbaths! What use have I made of these at all adequate to the privilege? It is a most solemnizing, almost an appalling question. Through that time I have enjoyed about ten years of Sabbaths!!"
July is his usual holiday, and he has been meditating on the Lord's sovereignty: "Election seems to me a most blessed truth this day, for therein I discover how I may cast off every lurking idea of my unfitness standing in the way of infinite fulness being mine.....So, also, I find it good to connect this wisdom with all the little events of daily life; out of these the Lord brings such grand results from time to time. This is the only Sabbath for many years in which I have been quite silent, not preaching even once!" Every day on holiday he keeps a special hour of prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit on the congregation and district, and all the churches in the city. He writes: "My fasting here has been chiefly giving up all else in order to pray. One good token is found in this, viz., my dreams of late have been full of comforting thoughts."
Friday 14th October: " Memorable to me as the anniversary of my beloved Isabella's sudden departure to be with Christ. And now my son's son, a child of three days old, has been taken from them. Broken cisterns, broken cisterns all around; but the fountain remains full."
In April his brother Horatius has his Jubilee: "Everyone testified to the hymns which the Master had given him for the Church." In May, he is "much struck with all Mr. Spurgeon is passing through, because of his faithful testimony for the truth."
On Wednesday 22 August he hears "of a Brahmin getting light and helped into Christ by reading my book, The Gospel pointing to the Person of Christ, and now that little book is to be translated into the native language."
His own Jubilee is celebrated on 29 November, and he writes: "May the Lord save me from the danger that lurks under praise and laudation of friends. I had no idea that I had so many friends in various parts, and that the Lord had been pleased to use me in so many ways." At the end of the year, after the church anniversary, he returns home and feels deep and bitter regret at the thought of the past. "I think I felt what is meant by 'being ashamed before God,' as Ezra expresses it....I have been thinking to-night that perhaps my next great undertaking may be this, 'appearing at the Judgment-seat of Christ,' when I give an account of my trading with my talents. I wish to hide in the shadow of the Plant of Renown, and be found there when the voice says, 'Where art thou?'"
In May the general assembly of the Church remembers that the deputation to the Holy Land was fifty years ago. Andrew Bonar is requested to tell reminiscences, and "Dr. Adolph Saphir spoke most profitably. I am the only survivor of the deputation, and very few of those that took much interest in the Jews at that time, are now alive. But how wonderfully the Lord has blessed this work!"
Horatius Bonar dies in July. On Wednesday 31st the diary entry reads: "Certainly I have been expecting it; but, when the reality comes, there is something of awe in it; the gates of the unseen have opened to take him in."
A few days later: "When Horace entered heaven, and was led to his place by the Elder Brother, what a moment! 'Denique Coelum!' (Family motto) And soon he looks round, and there, father, mother, sisters, brothers! And then beloved companions who went before, M'Cheyne, John Milne, William Burns, Dr. Chalmers, James Hamilton, and hundreds of such!"
Monday, 14th October - "Got great joy when reading Proverbs 23:16, as the word of the greater than Solomon addressed to us preaching His Gospel: 'My son, my reins shall rejoice when thy lips speak right things.' Christ listening to our sermons!"
1st January - "More carefully than ever I hope this year to give two hours before going out every day, to meditate on the Word, and prayer. And in this way there shall go out of me heavenward 'rivers of living water' that will bring down refreshing rain-showers." March 2nd - "My last visit to Crossford. preached funeral sermons. What memories! How fast the Lord seems to be breaking up our circle of friends! I preached in the morning upon Aaron's death on Mount Hor, and in the evening upon 'Abraham's bosom.'"
Friday, 30th May - Yesterday I finished my eighty years! I have to-day begun my eighty-first. O that like Moses this new period of my life may be full of the Lord's interviews with me! and perhaps some more blessing to the Church through me, just because I am 'the worm'. Wondrous grace thus to spare me! Increasingly solemn to know how near I am advancing to Eternity."
Although he is now eigthy, he still preaches full-time, and even preaches and works in London, Mildmay and Greenwich for eight days. At an annual congregational meeting he says: "Some of you don't hear me very well now. I think there may be something that may be a sermon to you even in the sight of an old minister who has for over fifty years been preaching the Gospel, and has found it perfectly satisfying, and has no desire to change it. If an angel from heaven were to tell him another way would be better, he would say, 'Get thee behind me, Satan.'"
On June 11th Mr. David M. M'Intyre is chosen as his colleague, to help him in his growing congregation (more than 1050).
His brother John dies in July, and he writes: "I am now the only one left of our family. My father, mother, sisters (4) and brothers (6), all gone before me. I hope to meet them all in the kingdom, but meanwhile it is very solemnizing to be left thus alone." He often spoke about the way he wished to die: "I shall preach on Sabbath, take the Prayer-Meeting on Wednesday, and on Thursday night people will be going about saying, 'Do you know that Dr. Bonar is dead?' There is still encouragement: Friday, 21st August - "Was gladdened to-day by finding that Mr. M'Intyre had been led into fulness of the Gospel by me preaching. And God is giving me many encouraging tokens. A young woman, who had not been in church for some weeks, has been awakened by a text. Was not this in answer to the prayers we have been sending up for the Spirit to work among the people here?" Sept. 25th - "Last night the Induction services. Mr. M'Intyre is now among us, all settled happily. It was this week fifty-two years ago that I was set apart for the ministry in Collace, and now I have arrived at a new stage of my journey, the last stage of it. O what a comfort to me that, if I be soon called away, my successor will be a man of God, most earnest to do faithfully the whole work of the ministry, and holding fast the old truth, the everlasting Gospel. Many prayers have been answered, and many more prayers are going up, here and elsewhere, for me and my beloved people. Lord, hear!
Yesterday and to-day I have had some glimpses within the veil, as if to prepare me more for what may now soon come. It is very solemn to find myself near the threshold of Eternity, my ministry nearly done, and my long life coming to its close. Never was Christ to me more precious than He is now."
Thursday 21st January - "Yesterday was memorable; we had a remarkable meeting with Moody and Sankey at Edinburgh, and a day of prayer for the Holy Spirit. We were seeking that, like Isaiah 6, ministers especially, but also all God's people, might be visited by the outpouring of the Spirit."
March 10th - Considerable movement, under Moody and M'Neill. we find also in our congregation, in our district, souls saved. The meeting to-day has been remarkable: especially the evening one, when 4000 persons filled the place, and all seemed so attentive. 'Awake, awake, O arm of the Lord' is our cry. It was a most fascinating sight, that great multitude of people so eagerly listening to the Word. This is the third great wave of revival in my life."
He was always praying for the unsaved, and the following entry shows his heart:
Wednesday 3rd August: "That verse in Romans 8.26 may well afford us great joy, for it tells that, apart from our direct prayers, the yearning we feel toward the unsaved, and the sorrow we carry about with us even when engaged in other things, are understood by the Holy Spirit, who stirs up our heart in these 'groanings that cannot be uttered,' and Christ takes them up to his Father as strong cries and prayers."
His last diary entry is: Tuesday 6th December: "I find that just at the hour when I was deeply exercised in prayer on Sabbath night, Mr. M'Intyre felt a remarkable impression in the Mission Hall, though he was not speaking anything but the plain truths of salvation." That same evening he wrote a letter to him: "I am keeping home to-night, but am with you in spirit.....When at home last sabbath evening I felt for about an hour an unusual weight on my mind that led me to special prayer for the Spirit's working. I trust these are tokens of the Lord's presence among us - "a movement in the top of the mulberry trees...."" On Sabbath, 25th December, he preached, did his usual afternoon visiting during the next days, and was present at the Wednesday prayermeeting. The next day he was ill, and on Saturday-evening, the 31st, he called his family together for family worship beside his bed. At the end of the evening he quietly fell asleep, to be with the Lord whom he loved so much.
Article from The Scotsman, 31st December 1892, announcing his death.
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