Revival at Berneray.
Rev. Dr. Paul Jinadu
I turned to the chairman and told him my convictions. “Oh,” he said, “you cannot leave the convention. You are down to give the closing address.” Oh, but I couldn’t give the closing address with this conviction! So, to make a long story short, it was agreed that I should leave the convention. I left the following morning by plane to the city of Glasgow, and from Glasgow by plane to the town of Stornoway, and then by car across the island where a ferry boat met me and took me to this island of, say, 500 inhabitants.
On arriving, I met a young lad. I said nothing to the man who ferried me across. They were strangers to me. I was never on the island. I was never invited to the island, and to my knowledge no one on the island had ever met me. But I was there. And I said to the man that met me, “Would you direct me to the nearest minister?” “We have no minister on the island. Just now both churches are vacant.” “Would you then direct me to the nearest elder?” “Yes, the nearest elder lives in that house on the hill.”
So I said to the lad, “Do you mind going up to the elder and telling him that Mr. Campbell has come to the island? And if he asks, ‘What Campbell?’ tell him the Campbell that was on the Island of Lewis.”
So that young lad went up and after a few minutes came back and said, “Hector McKennon was expecting you to arrive today. And you are to stay with his brother. And he asked me to tell you that he has initiated a meeting at the church at 9:00 tonight and he expects you to address it.”
The Secret of Revival at Berneray
Now, explain that as you will. Here was a man who on the morning of the day that I sat in the church of Bangor Island, decided to spend the day in prayer.
He was concerned about the parish, particularly about the state of the young people growing up in a state of indifference to God and to the church. And his wife told me that on three occasions she went to the door of the barn where he was praying and she heard him pray, “God, I do not know where he is, but you know, and you send him.”
About 10:00 that evening he was possessed of the conviction that God heard his cry and that I would be on the island on this particular day. Hence, the initiation that I would preach in the church at 9:00 that evening. We went to the church. Quite a considerable congregation gathered–about 80. The service was a very ordinary service. Indeed, at the end, I wondered after all if I was led to the island. But there were men there nearer to God than I was.
This old man that I already referred to came to me and said, “I hope you are not disappointed that revival has not come to the church tonight. But God is hovering over us, and He will break through any minute!”
Here was a man near to God! “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.”
The Difference Between Human Faith and Saving Faith
Oh, there is a difference between human faith and saving faith. I heard a prominent evangelist say something that really startled me. He said, “You exercise faith in a plane. You go into that plane and you exercise faith that that plane will take you to your destination. You go into a steamer and you exercise faith in the steamer and the captain and the crew to take you to your destination. Exercise that faith in the promises of God.” Did you ever hear or listen to such nonsense? That is human faith! It is not given by God!