To John Kirk

26 July 1860


[Published in Helen Kirk, Memoirs of Professor Kirk (Edinburgh: John B. Fairgrieve, 1888), pp. 325-326.]


"MANCHESTER, 26th July 1860.

"My Dear Brother Kirk,--Through Mrs Finney you are informed that our people call so loudly for our return home, that we are about to leave this for our native country. On many accounts we regret this apparent necessity. Yet upon the whole we do not, because it seems to be the will of God. Every week's stay in this country has revealed to us more and more the great and pressing need of a thorough and general revival of religion. But O, Brother Kirk, when will the English ministry be ready to go to work for the promotion of such a revival? The work of grace here has gone on increasing, in connection with our meetings from week to week, and of late more rapidly than ever. The numbers converted no one can tell. Many have professed conversion, but as they are not looked after by the ministers I fear for many of them. As it was in London, so it is here: the great mass of the converts are not known to the ministers, and only a part of them will find their way to unite with churches soon. The number of inquirers has for many weeks been large. Last Sabbath evening we must have had nearly or quite three hundred. I did not count them. But I have counted when certain seats were filled, and, judging from the seats occupied, I judge there was that number. After the most thorough and searching instruction I could give, I found at the close that by far the majority of them had, as they readily professed then, found peace in believing. This city greatly needs a general revival. To human view it appears to be a great pity not to follow up this well begun, and growing revival of religion. Were you and your precious wife here, it would go on. But I am sorry to say, as it is, I have little hope that it will. Some leading laymen are [page 326] stirred up, and have made an effort to get us to go and rest awhile at their expense, and then return and spend the winter here. But under the circumstances I think I must return home. And shall we see you and your dear wife no more on earth? I rule the thought out of my mind, and beseech my wife to do so. We are becoming quite nervous with the thought of seeing so many dear friends as we have in this country, no more. Will you present to all our dear friends in your place our sincerest Christian love? My dear brother, I need not tell you that I love you dearly for Christ's sake. O that England and Scotland had many such men and women as John and Helen Kirk. Such ministers and their wives are the world's great want at present. We bless the Lord often for you both. God bless you and dear Mrs Kirk abundantly with all grace, and give you long and useful lives, is the earnest prayer of your most tenderly-attached brother in Christ Jesus.




The initial J is a mistake. It should be G.