Fertile soil

"If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Mark 3.25


It is interesting and no doubt significant to consider the context in which the Lewis Revival of 1949-52 occurred. There was widespread knowledge of scripture throughout the island. Every child could recite the Shorter Catechism and the Bible was taught in all schools. Even in non-professing homes, family prayers were held at least once a day, often twice - morning and evening. And, like the daily grind of crofting and fishing, church life was simple: no programmes or uniformed organisations, just church on Sunday, with Sunday school between morning and evening services in the afternoon, and the midweek prayer meeting - sin e!


So one might say that Lewis was like a spiritual tinder-box, just waiting for a match to be applied in order to burst into flames. That match was the fiery preaching of Duncan Campbell and others. But the elements had been laid over years and generations beforehand.


Not everything went smoothly of course. While every Church of Scotland pulpit was open to Duncan Campbell and while many members of other Presbyterian denominations (there were no others except a small number of Episcopalians and Catholics) were supportive, their ministers were implacably opposed - with the noble exception of the Rev'd William Campbell, minister of Point Free Church. Such resistance sowed confusion and despair and probably accounts for the eventual dissipation of the revival.

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