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Religious revival in Uig
Religious revival in Uig
Excerpt from Stornoway Gazette and West Coast Advertiser
LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS - UIG
July 23 1920
THE "MEN" OF LEWIS, NO 31
THE UIG GROUP - The parish of Uig in the south of the Island was the cradle of Christianity in the Lews. There the Pentecostal fire fell and leaped along vale and hilltop till the whole parish was ablaze. Were a stranger brought to Uig when the revival under the Rev. Alexander Macleod was at its height, he would regard the place as an enchanted garden. It is difficult in these present times of spiritual commonplace to realise the extraordinary beauty of Uig when hundreds of men and women were shining with the Graces of the Holy Spirit. They were like so many flowers sparkling morning dew and giving out their lovely colours in a spectrum of gold and crimson and violet and blue. The Rev. Malcolm Macritchie of Garrabost was, as a lad, one of the first who rose into this newness of life. The Rev. Peter Maclean of Stornoway was another. There were many - some of whom have already been recorded in these chapters on the "Men". A few others call for notice:-
1) Norman Macleod, Mangersta, known as "Tarmod Buidhe" had been carried to the wars by the pressgang. He had lived a wild life at home. He served in Egypt where he soon lost his sight. On returning home, blind and pensioned, he found himself in the midst of a great spiritual upheavel. He quickly realised that there was a far deeper blindness, which was his. When the mercy of the Lord broke upon him in an inward illumination he leapt into freedom and joy. On every hand there were similar cases of glad emancipation, Runnymede with its Magna Carta was not to be compared with the holy exultation and freedom that filled the parish of Uig. Mr Macleod the minister used to appeal to his people for an annual collection on behalf of the Edinburgh Gaelic Schools Society, which sent its teachers to the island. They were the first spadesmen and sowers in Lewis of the Kingdom of Heaven. Norman Buidhe was one of those who rose into prominence by his liberality to this collection. At first he gave 2s out of his very slender pension.
Next year he resolved on doubting the sum. Immediately there arose a fierce battle in his mind "four shillings! four shillings!" cried the tempter, "and you with a large young family dependant on your small pension! Its an offence against heaven and against your home." Norman was beaten and decided to go back to the 2s. The battle was not at an end. "Norman Buidhe, you are the Ananias of Uig. You have lied to the Holy Ghost. You said that you would give 4s. and now you are to give 2s. only. What a fraud! Are you not afraid you may fall down dead as your relatives did at Jerusalem?" Poor Norman was in a cold sweat. "0 Satan, who delightest to vex me, I am resolved to have nothing to do with either 2s. or 4s. for this collection. I am going to make it 5s."
"Norman Buidhe, you are one of those whom the Bible describes as righteous, over-much. Woe will betide you, you are proudly treading on forbidden ground, and your family, Norman Buidhe, will suffer over this your pride."
Next year, as the result of Satan's onslaught, Norman resolved to make his contribution 10s. That led to a battle-royal. "Nothing but vanity, and the desire to show off moves your soul, Norman Buidhe. You want to be spoken of all through Uig as a generous giver. Faugh! It smells to heaven."