An extract from the diary of Rev. Donald Macfarlane
MR Macfarlane’s biographer, the Rev. Donald Beaton, wrote of him, “A very noticeable feature of his character as a Christian was prayer. All who were privileged to enjoy his company could not help feeling that here was a man who held frequent intercourse with heaven in fact, one whose conversation was in heaven. He lived in an atmosphere of prayer, and those who never knew him must feel in reading his diary that this was a man upon whom the Spirit of supplication and prayer had been richly poured.”
The following extract from Mr Macfarlane’s diary is for 1st December 1907.
“In preaching from Isaiah 11:31, in Gaelic, last Sabbath, I got some reviving, which encourages me to wait on the Lord, especially in private, for a revival of His work in our midst as a congregation. I have often got a revival of the spirit of prayer at this season of the year. In 1856 I began to pray as a sinner, and for many years since my ordination in 1876, the Lord gave me a kind of a spiritual anniversary at this season. I was favoured with this gracious visitation more since 1893, the year in which we made a stand in defence of the truth of the Gospel, which I take as an evidence of the Holy One’s approval of the step we have taken. It was not a leap in the dark’, but, a leap out of that darkness introduced into the Church by unfaithful ministers and other men, into the light of the Gospel, which we endeavoured through grace to retain in our land.
“I was needing much of a revival of soul at this time, as I have experienced great darkness in private devotions for some time, though I often in public service enjoyed much comfort and enlargement in preaching the Gospel. A revival of the spirit of prayer in private is the first token of a more general revival of the other graces of the Spirit. True godliness begins in secret and develops itself outwardly in public profession “Behold, he prayeth” whereas the religion that will not stand begins in public profession. The rich crop of corn the farmer reaps in harvest springs from the seed sown under the clod. The full corn in the ear is not the origin of the crop, but the seed sown under the ground. So it is with true godliness, it begins in private when no eye sees it but the eye of the Omniscient. Every revival of the renewed soul begins in private.
“So it is also in the revival of the church in general. The revival of Pentecost began in private in the “upper room” in Jerusalem and from thence it spread abroad. Then let me wait on the Lord in private for the outpouring of His blessed Spirit upon myself, my household, my congregation and yea, upon the whole world. Lord, give us some revival in our bondage. We need it as individuals, as families, as a congregation and as a generation. I feel concerned about all these.”