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  • ISBN 9781845503772
  • Author LENNIE TOM
  • Pub Date 22/03/2009
Just released - revised & updated edition of this exciting title!
No nation on earth has a richer, more colourful and more long-standing heritage of evangelical awakenings than Scotland.

Yet most people are almost entirely unfamiliar with this dramatic, and somewhat incredible, legacy.

Of the infrequent historical studies written on Scottish revivals, most stop at, or before, the Moody and Sankey Revival of 1873-74. It is commonly assumed that very few genuine revivals have occurred since that date.

'Glory In the Glen' thoroughly debunks this theory, showing that religious awakenings were relatively common in Scotland until as recently as the late 1920's.

Beginning in 1880, Tom Lennie provides a comprehensive account of the multifarious and exciting revivals that have taken place throughout Scotland during each successive decade up to 1940.

Awakenings in the Outer Hebrides and North East fishing communities, that had several unique and striking features, are considered in separate sections. Revivals amongst both children / students and Pentecostals are likewise given separate treatment.

Of particular significance is the first comprehensive account of the 1930's 'Laymen's Revival' in Lewis. This fascinating but near-forgotten movement is considered to have been even more powerful and influential than the later, better-known, Lewis Revival of 1949-53.

This book is the result of painstaking research, conducted over more than half-a-decade, from hundreds of source materials as well as numerous personal interviews. Much of the material collected has never before been published.

Stornoway Gazette - Thursday 4 June 2009

'Glory in the Glen'

Several books on the history of evangelical revivals have appeared over the years, but none as comprehensive as Tom Lennie's 'Glory in the Glen: A History of Evangelical Revivals in Scotland 1880-1940'. It is a tour de force of its narrow historical and geographical compass, but as comprehensive as John Gillies' '1845 Historical Collection of Revival Accounts'.

Tom's book is in five parts. The first, 'Glory Filled the Land' covers a vast swathe of Scottish history, from north to south. It tells of evangelical revival in the closing years of the nineteenth and the early years of the twentieth centuries, following the evangelistic tours of Moody and Sankey. From the opening chapter, with its record of events in South Lanarkshire in the 1880s, this is a gripping read of extraordinary movements of the Spirit of God.

Few of these movements have been documented anywhere else. Several of the revivals recounted were during local ministries in particular parishes, others were as a result of Faith Mission work, but many I had no knowledge of. The revival in Rothesay, for example, in 1888-9, or in Tiree from 1895-1904, or in Cowcaddens in the same period, are recorded for posterity, and I, for one, am thankful for that.

The years of the First World War are particularly interesting. Tom is right to point out in his book that they were spiritually barren. The church literature of the period shows that many ministers expected that the horrors of the trenches would turn many servicemen to God - but in fact it only secularized them, when they found in the trenches a brotherhood and fellowship that the churches could not offer them at home. Yet in the wake of the war, when many Highlanders moved to Glasgow, for example, there were movements of God's Spirit there too.

Part two focuses more narrowly on the fishing towns and villages of the north east, straddling the Moray Firth. Beginning with the spiritual movements of Findochty in 1880, and following the ministry of Rev James McKendrick during that decade, Tom records many important movements and places in the history of Scottish revival. Notwithstanding the hardness and skepticism the war produced, it was in the aftermath of the Great War that revival was powerfully experienced among the fisherman of the north east, although Tom couples with this a tendency to pre-millenialism which Tom links to prophetic speculation following the war years.

Related to the fishermen were the fishing girls - not least the girls from Lewis and Harris who found work in places like Fraserburgh gutting fish during the fishing season. Often Free Church ministers would be appointed to preach to them in Gaelic, and Tom comments on the remarkable blessings experienced in such unlikely mission endeavours. The famous evangelist Jock Troup also had a wonderful ministry linked to the herring seasons.

Part three covers revivals in the Outer Hebrides during the course of the period. I for one am thankful that finally the myth is dispelled that only one revival ever took place in Lewis, and that there is a record of a more or less continuous work of the Spirit of God from the earliest stirrings of evangelical witness in the Long Island in the early nineteenth century. We are still drawing on that legacy.

Tom begins his story with the ministry of Donald John Martin in Stornoway, for whom Martin's Memorial Church is named. A man of deep spirituality, Martin was to see a great movement of the Spirit of God among his congregation which spread throughout the community. Something similar was taking place in Uist at the same time.

One of the remarkable things of all of this was the church controversy taking place throughout Scotland, leading to the Free Presbyterian secession in 1893, the formation of the United Free Church in 1900, and the minority Free Church from which the present denomination has grown. Tom notes the significant fact that while many ministers were discouraged by the unfolding of these events in their denominations, they were extremely encouraged by the evident fruit of the Holy Spirit's ministry in their own churches.

The post-War years saw some remarkable movement, recounted by many ministers who assisted at communion seasons, which would see congregations of over 1500 gathered into church buildings of rural Lewis.

Tom devotes a large section of this part to events in Carloway during 1934-8. Of all the revivals that occurred in Lewis this was surely one of the most significant, even if it has gone largely unnoticed in the literature. A time of deep despondency for the minister was to blossom into a time of rich harvest. The following decades were times of rich gleanings in the Gospel, as Tom conscientiously records.

Part Four of the book deals with young people and with Pentecostal movements, while Part Five attempts to synthesise the information and appraise the phenomena. Lennie does a good job of this, and brings his tour de force to an end.

By focusing on a particular historical period, Tom has forced us to the realization that significant movements of the Spirit of God pre-dated the better known revivals; and by focusing on Scotland in particular, he has lifted our vision to the possibilities of our land turning to Christ once again.

He is aware, of course, of the counterfeits and of the controversies. Tom has not accepted uncritically the accounts of revival in the past. He is aware that people can be swept up in a movement without any genuine or deep spirituality. It is possible to think that excesses of emotion or experience are hallmarks of genuine revival. But Jonathan Edwards taught us a long time ago that the are not.

Nor has he overlooked the controversies. Every movement has its cranks and its extremists, and revival movements are no exception. Sometimes criticism is justified against the excesses of a movement, even when the movement itself is genuine.

This is an excellent resource. It will be a reference point for any history of church life in Scotland at the turn of the twentieth century. The photographs are a welcome addition, although unfortunately the wrong 'Sandy Mor' appears on p399. I know Tom regrets this error very much, since the rest of the book is marked by care and precision. We thank him for his book, and pray that it will stimulate a deep sense of need, and a wide cry to God that he will visit us again with '
'power from on high.'
- Iain D Campbell

Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 15.5 x 19.7 cm

Paperback 512 pages