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The Revival Preacher Circular No.10

Duncan Campbell (2)


In the first article on the life of Duncan Campbell, we saw how God had prepared Duncan over many years for what was to be the most influential time of his life. He had come to realize that he had to be completely honest with God, and obey the Holy Spirit, whatever He told him to do, and whatever it cost him.

Moreover, although he did not realize it himself, all his time in the ministry during the previous 23years had given him invaluable experience and maturity, which would prove of the utmost importance during his time in the Outer Hebrides. A younger, inexperienced person would not have been able to cope with all the demands made upon him there. Furthermore, the fact that he had become an accredited minister of the United Free Church was also of great importance. In the Hebrides, ordained ministers were given a position of authority and respect far above that of laymen, so that Duncan was accepted and respected in a way that an unordained man would never have been. God knew this, of course, and had been preparing His servant for the work which he was now about to do.

The very day that Duncan had his life changing experience, and agreed to go back into mission work, he told his wife of his decision, and wrote three letters, saying he was resigning from his position as pastor, and accepting the invitation he had received to work again for the Faith Mission." This was a real step of faith to return to the mission after 23 years in a settled ministry, and it was also a step of faith for the mission to accept someone of his age, for he was now 50 years old, and someone who was married, with a family. Missioners who work for the Faith Mission are usually single and much younger, as he had been himself in the 1920’s. But the Lord sorted out that problem, and in October 1948, he was offered an appointment to engage in evangelism in the Highlands, commencing on January 1st, 1949.

However, there was no accommodation available for Duncan and his family, so special prayer was made about this, and the receipt of a substantial legacy made it possible for the mission to acquire a house in Edinburgh for him and his family. Little did that person who made the legacy know how important that money was going to be in God’s purposes.

In the meantime, Duncan had to face the church of which he was the pastor. "God knows what it cost me, to stand in my pulpit the following Sunday and make a public apology for pretending what I was not in the midst of my congregation. Five of my office bearers left me within a week. They wouldn't have a fool in the pulpit. Such things happen, you see, in God’s economy. There has to be subtraction before addition." But as a broken man, God could now use Duncan in a new way.

"The result of that night," wrote Woolsey, "was soon evident in his preaching and praying. The old despondency and defeat were gone, and a new fighting spirit entered into him. The awareness of God was obvious in family life as well as in public ministry."

Thus it was that in January 1949 Duncan and his wife and family, now numbering five children, moved to Edinburgh, to the house the Mission had provided as his base for mission work. When it became known that Duncan was available to conduct missions, invitations began to pour into the Faith Mission Headquarters, including the Isle of Skye, to which he went first. "How glad I am," he wrote, that God is a God of new beginnings." He was soon able to report, "I am again fighting the old battle I fought twenty five years ago, but enjoying it on the victory side", as the power of the gospel was at work in many hearts. Here, Duncan learned or relearned many lessons that he would use in Lewis. He preached a very strong message on the holiness of God; did not make appeals, but established after meetings in homes, to which Christians and seekers were invited; and encouraged people to have dealings with God direct.

During this period, the devil sought to stop the work of the Lord in many ways, especially through causing a motor bike accident to the missioner. He was on a journey to Edinburgh, and it was a miracle that Duncan was not killed. It was not till many months later, when visiting a bedridden lady in a Highland village, who did not know him at all, that he heard her testify that on the day of the accident, she had a vision in which she saw Duncan in great danger, and knew that "all hell moved to destroy you, so I was burdened to pray until the burden was lifted, and I knew you were safe."

He would have been content to continue with this work and in fact he was making arrangements for a convention on Skye, when he received an invitation to lead a mission at the village of Barvas on the Isle of Lewis. Spiritual awakenings had marked the religious life on the island on many occasions, most recently in 1939, and now ten years later, some Christians there were earnestly praying that God would once again visit them in revival power. The minister at Barvas, the Rev James Murray Mackay, had been led to write to Duncan through the prayers of his congregation, and in particular two elderly sisters named Peggy and Christine Smith who had received the God-given assurance that Duncan would be the instrument that God would use to fulfil His purposes on the island.

Duncan was quite unaware of these things, and intended to stay in Lewis for just ten days, and then take a rest from his mission work. However, when he got to the island, he was aware immediately of the awesome presence of God that he had known in Skye, twenty four years before, realized that he was amongst a praying people, and sensed the spiritual expectation amongst the people who had invited him.

The story of the awakening there is well known; a powerful work of God which extended throughout the whole of Lewis and Harris and other islands, and so deep and transforming that he later described it as "a community saturated with God".

Neither was it a temporary feature in the lives of the islanders, as many ministers, such as the Rev Angus MacFarlane, the Rev Murdo MacLennan of Carloway, as well as the Rev Mackay of Barvas, all testified to the lasting effects experienced in their churches.

(For a fuller account of the Awakening, ask me about the document I have available.)

Duncan Campbell stressed the need for the proclamation of a positive Gospel, which will give first place to the word of God as such, and bring back the lost, or almost lost radiance of such words as 'Grace', 'Atonement', 'Redemption', 'Salvation", and 'Sanctification'. "It is my firm conviction," he stated, "that God honours the word that He has inspired when that word is proclaimed in the anointing of the Holy Ghost. These are days when there is a tendency to bypass the great words of Scripture, and substitute words that, I fear, have no sanction in the vocabulary of Heaven. May God raise up men and women who will fearlessly proclaim the word of God as "a word from the Lord!"

He was the personification of such a man. Andrew Woolsey wrote that the preaching of Duncan Campbell "was fearless and uncompromising. He spoke with tremendous authority and boldness. The vision of hell that the Lord had given him the year before burned such a passion and urgency into his soul that he exposed sin in all its ugliness, and emphasised the consequences of living and dying without Christ. With a penetrating gaze on the congregation, and perspiration streaming down his face, he set before men and women the way of life and the way of death. It was a solemn thought to him that the eternity of his hearers might turn upon his faithfulness. He was standing before his fellowmen in Christ’s stead, so he could be neither perfunctory nor formal. He was utterly sincere in everything he said. He preached from the heart to the heart. Margaret MacDonald said that often when he was in the pulpit, his face shone, reminding her of Moses when he cam down from the mount. He held people’s attention all the time he was speaking, and that was usually quite long, up to an hour or more. His words were the expression of his whole being. He gave the impression of preaching with his entire personality, not merely with his voice." Jack MacArthur remembered, "If you had seen Duncan Campbell at the end of the meetings, you would know that he had put everything into it. He was wet through!"

His preaching was plain, practical, personal, passionate, penetrating and powerful.

Colin and Mary Peckham, having perused the notes of his sermons, were "amazed at their sheer simplicity. There was nothing complicated or difficult to understand. There were no words explained, no theological concepts unravelled, no detailed analysis of Bible passages. It was simple exegesis backed up by numerous texts from the Scriptures, applied with enormous power by the Holy Spirit in an atmosphere of the presence of God…He stressed the holiness of God, so that man could see his sin. He showed that God has declared that man has to be holy, but he is full of sin, so he has to be cleansed from his sin. He told them that sin’s wickedness had ruined their lives and darkened their understanding; how their hearts were deceitful and desperately wicked, and how they were carnal, defiled, perverted and utterly unable to save themselves. He spoke on the inevitable judgment of God on the sinner, and how a sinner cannot cleanse himself from sin or free himself from bondage to Satan. Therefore, he is without hope He preached on an eternity without God, on the doom of the sinner, on the wrath of God, on the power of the Cross, on the wonders of heaven and the glory of the redeemed. We understood very well that there was a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. It was terrible in the ears of sinners, but thrilling to those who had yielded to the Saviour, and found His reality.

The truth was so directly applied that people had nowhere to hide. By the time he had finished, all his hearers certainly knew where they stood before a holy God." They were called to make a clear choice. "There was no middle path. The wrath of God and coming judgment were continually emphasized, for he knew that God had shown this to him very clearly, and he dare not disobey. On one occasion, having been constantly criticized for his denunciations, he tried to be more pleasing in the presentation of the truth, but he noticed it did not have the desired effect, so he continued to press the flaming sword into the very heart of the foe, resisting every effort to make him retreat.

Undoubtedly, the insistence on a true knowledge of sin and genuine repentance was one of the reasons for the deep conviction of sin which characterized the movement. At times, the preacher’s voice was drowned by the sound of men and women weeping uncontrollably. On occasions, he found it necessary to stop preaching because of the distress manifested by those whose consciences had been awakened….The agony of conviction was terrible to behold, but Duncan rejoiced, knowing that out of the deep travail would be born a rich, virile Christian experience, unlike the cheap easy believism that produces no radical moral change. Duncan knew the danger of allowing human sympathy to interfere with the work of the Spirit, so he offered no superficial comfort to those who were in Spiritual distress, but let the Holy Spirit have His way." (Woolsey)

The preacher stressed the holiness of the redeemed sinner as a consequence of the cleansing from sin by the blood of Christ. As God is holy, when He calls people to Himself, they must be holy. The presentation of the holiness of God shows up the sinfulness in man. The presentation of the Cross shows the remedy in the blood of Christ.

It might be thought that because he thundered out the judgments of God unsparingly on those who continued in sin, that he was a hard man, but there was a beautiful tenderness when he addressed those seeking Christ in true repentance. "Even the young people could see his love for the Lord and for the unconverted," said Norman Campbell.

The missioner, however, knew that apart from Heaven's anointing and the power that is vested in Jesus Christ, man is unable to accomplish anything. "Again and again," he said. "I have known congregations bowing as corn before the wind under the preaching of men and women in the Hebrides who were in touch with God and knew His power resting upon them. I remember one meeting in particular when the truth was being proclaimed. Suddenly there was a cry in the midst of the congregation and in a very short time some were prostrate in the grip of conviction and crying for mercy. Again I was impressed by the power of heaven's anointing, causing men to tremble in the fear of God. Surely this is the preaching that we need today! Men are not going to be impressed by our nicely worded sermons or our essays on the ethical interests of human life. We need to pray the prayer of the prophet: "Oh that Thou wouldst rend the heavens, that Thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence" (Is. 64:1). Our need is for a demonstration of the supernatural, lifting men from the plane of the ordinary to the realm of the extraordinary, to the higher heights of God-realization."

Duncan knew the importance of prayer in breaking the power of the enemy, and whenever the going was tough, he would call up for prayer reinforcements. In every place in the islands, the going was difficult to begin with, so he enlisted the help of prayer warriors, especially the praying men of Barvas. He acknowledged that "more was wrought through the prayers of these men than all the ministers put together, including myself." (Woolsey) So, even "though in many respects, Duncan Campbell was an individualist, a man of independent mind, ploughing a lonely furrow, he knew that the tallest pines need the support of others to remain erect and strong."(Woolsey)

He called people to meet together in prayer before the evening meeting, asking both seasoned intercessors and new converts to pray, for they were all keen to do so. They would pray for two to three hours before the meeting started. Then in the evening meeting, he would ask particular people to lead in prayer.

John Murdo Smith remembered that, "Mr Campbell would preach with great power, preceded by one of the prayer warriors engaging in mighty prayer. One could feel the power coming down, and then Mr Campbell was ready to preach."

It was not surprising, therefore, that on the night that the awakening broke out at Arnol, And the Holy Spirit had been poured out in abundance, the preaching of the missioner, according to Christy Maggie, "was simply overpowering. The Holy Spirit was applying the words to many hearts as we listened to the intense presentation of the gospel. The text rang out time and again: ‘And you Capernaum, who are lifted up to heaven, will be cast down to hell.’ The preacher applied the word personally, ‘You are here tonight, and you have turned your back on God…You have been lifted up to heaven, but you will be cast down to hell.’ The power of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming. The sense of the presence of God bowed all our hearts. Mr Campbell was inspired. He was fiery, and his penetrating words spoke to the heart. He thundered forth the message in great power, with great boldness and utter sincerity."

Duncan knew the importance of prayer, not just as the saying of words, but as the expression of deep longings that came out of hearts that were burdened with the plight of so many souls around them going to hell. "In the early stages of the Hebridean Awakening," Campbell wrote, "how well I recall that Christian men would be so burdened by the vision of need that they were constrained to spend nights in soul-agony, pleading the promises of God. They were men of vision. They saw the need; but they also saw a God who could meet their need. That was the double vision that moved and inspired them and led them to pray the prayer of faith that brought down the blessing of God.
Early one morning, I remember suggesting to a minister who had been in the midst of the movement for many hours without sleep, that he should retire to rest his weary body. But his words to me were: ‘How can I sleep when so many in my parish are in danger of being lost eternally?’ The parish minister of Barvas was a man of vision, and one was not surprised that the movement that swept over the Hebrides began in the midst of his people. Oh, for such men, men who regard themselves as ‘the ambassadors of eternity in the courts of time,’ and who make it their business, under the anointing of God, to ‘permeate the courts of time with the atmosphere of eternity.’"

He had proved this in his own experience. He had learnt how to keep the morning watch without fail every day, and to prevail in prayer until the breakthrough came. At one place he reported. "I am going through the fire. May the Lord help me. I had a most blessed night of prayer and waiting upon God." At another place he reported, "The struggle leading to this glorious crisis was such as I have seldom, if ever, encountered. But God be praised, He enabled us to press through to victory until we saw the ramparts of hell crumbling before His mighty power." This is a level of praying that very few of us know anything about. Let Duncan be our example and inspiration.

"Need I say," he wrote, "that the supreme need of the Christian church today is men and women who wait upon God and plead His promises? Oh, that God may baptize the Church with a spirit of fervent and prevailing prayer."

"If man is God's agent in revival," he wrote, "the word is God's instrument, and that word is compared to a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. That is the word we must preach with passionate, personal conviction. It is the word of the Cross, the word of separation, the word of cleansing and the word of judgment. Is there not a need today to proclaim the word of judgment?"

Campbell then went on to say how impressed he was by words spoken by Lord Samuel in the House of Lords in November 1953: "How we find to our dismay that the vices of Sodom and Gomorrah are rife among us. The moral law has weakened because the dogmas of heaven and judgment no longer grip and control conduct." If those words were true nearly 60 years ago, then how much truer are they today? "We need to proclaim the whole counsel of God," wrote the missioner. "It is my firm conviction that the message the country needs today is a message of righteousness and judgment. Charles Finney said long ago: ‘Away with your milk-and-water preaching of the love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it!’ I remember listening to a Highland minister preaching on this subject saying: ‘Bring me a God who is all mercy but devoid of justice and I will have no scruples in calling him an idiot of your imagination. Remember that the judge is condemned when the guilty is acquitted!’"

We should notice Duncan Campbell’s attitude to the Bible. To him, the Bible was "not an end in itself, it was the means to an end, to lead men into a living, experimental relationship with the Living Word, and to guide them in that relationship. It was not an academic book to study and criticize. Those who used it solely in this way were handling it to their own damnation. If it was not a life giving, transforming, creative Word, it would be an instrument of death. It must be heard and studied with a view to obedience, and obedience would lead to new life in the Spirit. Therefore it must be preached in the Spirit. He often quoted Paul’s words: ‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’ He was afraid lest he should help the devil to damn souls by quoting Scripture in the energy of the flesh. But he also knew the power of the Word when preached with authority and the anointing of the Spirit, and rejoiced to see people tremble at the Word of God.

He was also aware of the danger of underestimating the power of the Bible, and overstating its function. He shuddered at the idea of people telling others they were saved on the basis of them believing some verses in the Bible. "The Word of God is like a hammer that breaks the rock, to remove prejudice and rebellion; it is like a fire, to melt and slacken the icy grip of unbelief; it is like a sword to pierce and open the wounds of sin. In short, it can show men they need to be saved; it can direct them to the Saviour, but it cannot save. Only an encounter with the Living Christ can do that." (Woolsey)

Duncan was not exempt from the trials and tribulations that affect us all. Even though, he was enabled to carry on a very rigorous programme of speaking four or five times in 24 hours, plus counseling and organizing, he did feel the effect, and got very tired at times. In addition, God permitted a sudden, inexplicable darkness to come over his spirit for three months, at the height of the movement. At night, he could hardly sleep, and at other times, he paced the floor, weeping in his affliction. The only relief he had was during the meetings when the power of the Spirit came upon him to minister the word, but, immediately on returning to his lodgings, the veil dropped again. Then, one day, as he was crying to God for light, a voice seemed to whisper, ‘I can trust you now,’ and peace returned to his soul. By being denied the conscious presence of God, his desire was quickened and his heart humbled, preventing from becoming too familiar with the sunshine until he reached out appreciatively after the least glimmer of divine light." (Woolsey)

The story is reminiscent of that of Evan Roberts, who in 1905, at the height of the Welsh Awakening, experienced a similar blackness, but who did not deal with it so effectively as the more mature Campbell.

Constant preaching to hundreds of people without any help from amplification, eventually caused serious damage to his vocal chords, until one night his voice gave out completely. He returned to Edinburgh, and was told by specialists that he would never preach again. He was then advised to see a Christian voice therapeutist in London, through which his voice was "born again," and sounded different. Never again did he have serious trouble with it.

During all this time of great activity, Duncan did not neglect his wife and family. He was aware of the extra responsibility placed upon Mrs Campbell by his absence, he took every opportunity to travel back to Edinburgh to maintain relationships and help in directing and shaping the lives of their children.

The results of the awakening were astounding. Countless numbers were won for Christ, almost all of whom remained faithful. At the end of August 1953, nearly four years after the awakening commenced, he, along with other ministers, visited Uig, Bernera, Barvas and Arnol, and found that not a single convert in those areas had gone back.

James Murray MacKay was also able to report that in his district not one of the converts had gone back. "Their behaviour," he reported, "is fragrant. Their fellowship is blessed. Their love is living and warm. They are trophies of grace as beautiful as any ever seen by men." One cannot but compare this with the shallowness of discipleship and the rate of backsliding seen after today’s evangelistic missions, which is usually well over 50%.

This was achieved in spite of the missioner having to face much criticism and opposition during the days of the revival and awakening, which was unjustified and hurtful. Duncan did not react or respond to the opposition, but it did hinder the work. Campbell quotes one leader who said, "I verily believe that revival would have come to other places, if prayerful sympathy, instead of carnal criticism, had been shown." Yet whatever the devil brings against the Church is always an opportunity for God to display His power. In place after place, where there was opposition, men of God prayed over the situation until the devil was defeated and victory was achieved.

Woolsey quotes a minister from Ness, in the north of Lewis, writing to a businessman in Edinburgh, saying, "I am glad to inform you that the results are very encouraging. The converts are growing in grace, and are definitely an asset to the church and the community. Their interest in spiritual things is steadily increasing, which convinces us that a genuine spiritual awakening has taken place as a result of the stirring preaching of Mr Campbell." We know that it was not just through Duncan’s preaching that this was achieved, but it shows us the way that his preaching was acknowledged.

Over twenty years later, another minister told of how, wherever he goes on the island, he finds men and women walking with God who were brought to Christ through Duncan’s ministry."

It was only to be expected that Duncan would receive a stream of invitations to conduct missions in many other places besides Scotland, and he had a continuous list of engagements, speaking of the mighty acts of God in the Hebrides.

"Wherever he went," wrote Woolsey, "he would challenge the worldliness of the churches. ‘Preach the Word. Sing the Word. Live the Word. Anything outside of this has no sanction in heaven," he declared. "Religious films and plays which involved dramatizing spiritual truth, and particularly the work of the Holy Spirit, were blasphemy to him. Why do we need any substitute if God is still the same, and has promised to impart living faith to men through the spoken word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Why not have the real thing?’

This was his challenge. His fear was that the glory had all but departed from the Church, and entertainment was considered necessary to appeal to an age that was more interested in being amused than in being instructed in the deep things of God; that was more concerned about being happy than facing the real implications of Calvary.

From 1950 onwards, an annual meeting was held in Stornoway, Lewis, developing into an annual convention, to remember the mighty works of the Lord, and praise Him for what He had done. Duncan attended every year, an event that he looked forward to with great eagerness, for it refreshed his spirit to see so many of the converts. On these occasions, he never failed to visit the praying men who had meant so much to him during the awakening, and with whom he had great affinity of spirit.

"The central theme of the message he declared was holiness of life. ‘Revival must ever be related to holiness,’ he stated, ‘True revival is a revival of holiness.’ It meant taking the view that Jesus would take, and making that the ruling principle of our lives. When the will of the heavenly Commander was clear, neither the offer of personal comfort, nor the opinions of others, could weaken his determination to obey." In line with other revival preachers, he emphasized the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, leading to the life of Jesus being reproduced in the life of the believer. "It was this, rather than any supernatural gifts of the Spirit, (which are the prerogative of the Spirit, {1Cor. 12:11}), which are the evidence of the validity of our personal experience. (Mt.7:21-23)

Consequently, he desired the presence of Jesus more than anything else, and at times, Jesus was more real to him than his earthly friends, and many spoke of this as the most arresting feature of his personality."

In the course of the meetings he undertook, some people complained, even then, that he was too old fashioned, but, ironically, "it was the young people who most appreciated the ring of reality in what he said, and the challenge to godly, sacrificial living, which he presented. Scores of young lives were transformed and dedicated to the service of God."

He continued to pour out his energy at conferences and conventions until 1956 when his health broke down while he was taking services at Torquay. He insisted on returning by train to Edinburgh, but collapsed on the journey, and had to have a blood transfusion at the station, which was just in time to save his life.

After a brief rest in Switzerland, he was allowed to keep a long-standing promise to visit South Africa, on condition he did not preach more than four times a week! Duncan had to accept that the work of itinerant evangelism which he so loved was coming to an end, and when he returned to Scotland in 1958, it was to take charge of the Training Home and Bible College of the Faith Mission.

Woolsey comments, "When the young Duncan had been a student at the college, many years before, no one could have envisaged that one day he would become its principal, especially as he had no degrees or outstanding intellectual abilities. But in the intervening years, he had been educated in the school of God, and had graduated with honours in the pursuit of God’s highest." In this position, from 1958 to 1966, he was able to inspire a succession of students as they prepared for ministry, and to impart to them the longing for revival which he felt so deeply. Their principal, wrote Woolsey, "gauged the worth of Christian activity by the measure in which it brought awareness of the presence and power of God, and he taught his students to do the same. Their business was not to impress others with their personalities or their knowledge, but to introduce them to the reality of a great and holy God, and to bring them to the foot of the cross. The vital factor is the atmosphere produced by the presence of God with us, which will penetrate where words fail. At times, the students trembled as he opened the Word of God to them. One of them said, "There was something sacred about the way he used God’s name, and often the atmosphere of heaven filled the room, when with reverence and tenderness, he simply said, ‘Jesus.’ We felt we were standing on holy ground."

Friday mornings in the college were given to prayer and waiting upon God, and it was during one of these prayer sessions on 4th March 1960, that God visited the college in a special way, and did in seconds what others had been trying to do for months. A deep sense of the presence of God filled the place when the principal spoke from Habakkuk 2:1. As a student began to pray for revival in his own life, the power of God fell upon the group. Some wept silently, others cried out for cleansing. One girl said, ‘I never knew what the fear of God was until then. It seemed that if I lifted my head, I would look upon God. I never knew what sin was until then. Outside the grace of God, I felt fit for hell.’ Someone started to sing, ‘Jesus keep me near the cross.’ Tears of joy flowed as Calvary’s healing stream became real. Wave after wave of the Spirit’s power brought inner release, equipping many for more effective service. Heavenly music was heard, which seemed to fill the room where they were kneeling. It was indescribably beautiful and harmonious, such as no orchestra could symphonise." This experience was not new to Duncan, for at least twice during the Hebrides Awakening he had heard ‘celestial melodies’ or ‘sounds from heaven,’ but it was very gracious of the Lord and wonderfully encouraging, to grant it to the students at the college.

Yet even with his full commitment to training the students, Duncan still found time to take meetings wherever he believed that God had work for him to do, for the preaching reinvigorated him. During 1957 and 1958, he was asked to help at meetings in North Uist, an island south of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It was there that Faith Mission Pilgrims, as they call their missioners, had gone to hold meetings. One of the pilgrims was a convert from Lewis, Mary Morrison, and she, along with some others, were finding things difficult. Duncan made several visits there, staying a few days each time, and must have rejoiced at seeing the Lord pour out His Spirit, in answer to fervent prayer. As in Lewis and Harris, there was an overwhelming sense of the presence of God, so that, as John Ferguson wrote, "the atmosphere was charged with the power of God." Many people were won for the Lord, including some of the greatest sinners and staunchest opponents of the work. It was fitting that "the old soldier," as he was called, gave the closing message at the end of the last meeting.

He was due to retire in 1963, but agreed to remain at the college until a successor was appointed, but during these years, he was longing to devote himself entirely to convention and conference ministry.

"In 1965," wrote Woolsey, "an attack of Menieres Disease, causing loss of balance, threatened to terminate his ministry, but through the prayer of a rector in East Anglia, he was wonderfully healed . Not only was his body healed, but his mental powers were so quickened that in the following weeks, he prepared more sermons than he had done in the preceding years.

After his official "retirement" from the Training Home in 1966, Duncan was free once again to undertake the work he felt the Lord had called him to do. "The rugged, uncompromising prophet invaded the Christian scene, which in the early sixties had become shallow and mediocre, and penetrated with materialism. Content to imitate the methods and organization of the world in an effort to retain adherents, many religious bodies were unconcerned that ‘the stream of vital Christianity was running low,’ as Duncan put it. The burden of his preaching was a plea for reality, the reality of God within the bounds of a human personality."

He regularly went to Northern Ireland to help in the evangelical witness there, and especially loved to go to the Killadeas Camp Convention, which, although it had a very basic, rough and ready atmosphere, was also steeped in prayer. One who met with God at the camp wrote, ‘Those were days of heaven on earth, when God came down in awful majesty, and the stones and trees seemed alive with His presence.’

The missioner took a keen interest in Christian work in the province, and through his teaching, many revival prayer groups sprang up throughout the country. A touch of revival was felt at a convention in Lisburn in 1964, when "a strange enveloping sense of the Lord’s presence remained throughout the day. After the evening meeting, the congregation was gripped by an awe-full stillness, so that no one moved for over half an hour. God worked deeply in hearts, and some heard indescribable sounds from heaven. Travelling home from one of these services, a farmer gave one of the highest tributes that could be paid to a preacher. Turning to his companions, he said, ‘You never hear Campbell preach without going home to pray.’ Would that could be said of all preachers. Can it be said of you?

He also made a series of visits to South Wales, where his preaching was blessed with great power. "The outstanding occasion of his ministry in the Principality," according to Woolsey, "was in Aberdare, where much prayer had gone up for a series of meetings. After the second service, a prayer meeting was held which continued until three o’clock the following morning. Many took time off from their employment to pray throughout that next day. At the meeting, an eye witness reported, "When Mr Campbell had spoken for an hour, six young men seated together saw the glory of God come down upon him. A great fear came upon them, and they fell to the floor weeping. Fear also gripped the congregation. Many were overwhelmed by a sense of sin, and scenes of repentance and restoration followed."

Although his health had been uncertain for some time, in 1969 he accepted a programme of engagements in Canada and the United States of America. He had always felt a particular affection for Canada since his life had been saved by a Canadian soldier in the First World War. In June, he preached at a small Baptist church in Saskatoon, where the pastor, who longed for a genuine movement of the Spirit, had prayed for three years that God would send Duncan Campbell to his church. The preacher prophesied that God would answer their prayers for a spiritual awakening, and that it would start in that church. Two years later, the prophecy was fulfilled when a revival began in that very church, and affected a large part of western Canada. Shortly before the news of this awakening reached Britain, Duncan, at his home in Scotland, was specially moved to spend two hours in prayer for Canada.

While he was in the United States, Duncan met Loren Cunningham and his wife who were prayerfully seeking guidance on setting up a place in Europe for training in evangelism, and he willingly agreed to help in every way he could. It was through his cooperation on this venture that Duncan was invited to lecture at the school when it was opened at Lausanne in Switzerland, and it was a great joy to him to spend his last years there, and at a similar training institution in Greece, preparing young men and women for the task of evangelism. It is encouraging to read that one of the students went back to his town in Iowa in the USA, and there witnessed an outpouring of the Spirit, when over two hundred young people were brought under conviction and sought Christ. "It showed me," he said, "that what Mr Campbell said was true. God can move in power without any publicity stunts or gimmicks."

In that same year of 1969, Duncan was invited to take meetings at Lemreway in Lewis, where one of the converts of the Hebrides Awakening, Donald MacAuley, had become the Church of Scotland minister. Many people were praying, full of expectation that the Lord would work in power. After some meetings, Duncan felt that the church was near to revival, and soon, the Spirit came down, and the holy presence of the Lord was felt in the area. It seemed to be like a circle round the village, a canopy over the area. Outside of this area, everything seemed so ordinary, so spiritually dead and lifeless.

People were drawn to the meetings by the Holy Spirit. Everybody in the village was affected, but it did not last long, nor did it spread. It seems that the people did not pray for the Holy Spirit to do a deep work, and for it to spread to other places. This is a reminder that revivals and awakenings can be held back and limited.

Duncan still fulfilled his annual engagement at the convention in Stornoway until 1971, though he felt that it would be his last visit. Shortly after returning to Lausanne in 1972 he had a heart attack, and was taken to hospital. The Lord graciously allowed Mrs Campbell and Sheena to be at his side at the hospital for his last four days before his home call on March 28th. His last message to the students had been based on the text, "So fight I, not as one that beateth the air" (1 Cor 9:26). "Christian experience, he reminded them, is more than happy laughter, it is a battle. Hence real Christianity will never be in vogue. The New Testament reveals Jesus as a realist. He will never be popular, so His followers need never expect to be. He called the students to stand with faith and courage beneath the banner of the cross of Christ. His last words were, ‘Keep on fighting, but see that you are fighting in the love of Jesus.’

"His earthly remains were laid to rest, at his request, in the graveyard of Ardchattan Church, across the bay from where he was born, amidst the beauty and grandeur of the Scottish Highlands that he loved, awaiting the sound of the trumpet on the resurrection morning."

Duncan Campbell had a very full and eventful life, which must have been very tiring at times. He was under pressure for the whole of his life, right from childhood. He had to travel hundreds and hundreds of miles on foot, on horseback, on motorcycle, by boat, by train and by plane. He had to endure the horror of the battlefield with a near death experience, plus many life threatening diseases and medical conditions later. He spent many nights with little or no sleep. He had the responsibilities of leadership in many places, and especially that of preaching many times during the day, right into the early hours of the next day. He had to counsel hundreds and hundreds of people, often at very late times. He faced opposition from many quarters. But he did not complain. His life had been handed over to the Master.

His life is an example to us all. We cannot be the same as him, for we are all different, but we can all be as humble, as holy, as sincere, as serious, as honest, as straightforward, as obedient, as dedicated, as desperate, as passionate and as steadfast as he was. We can be 100% for Christ.

As preachers, you can declare the whole truth about God as he did, exposing sin in all its ugliness, emphasizing the consequencies of living and dying without Christ.

You can have the same concerns and standards that he had.

a) He was concerned that the full gospel was not being preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

b) He was concerned that individuals were not being radically altered by the gospel, because it was such a diluted gospel.

c) He was concerned that those who responded to the gospel were being presented with ‘easy believism,’ whereby people are accepted on the basis of making a decision, without any real repentance or regeneration, or seeking the Lord.

d) He was concerned that churches were becoming more worldly, using worldly means to try and win people, instead of asking God to do His work in His way.

e) He was concerned that Christians were not seeking the face of God, and were not asking Him to come down in power, and fulfil His promises.

f) He was concerned that intercessors in churches were not being used to back up the ministry, and that they were not being trusted.

Do you have the same concerns as Duncan Campbell? Are you resolved that from now on, you are finished with flippancy or levity; that you will preach the full gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit; that you will seek to make churches more spiritual; that you will seek to get all believers to pray for God to pour out His Spirit in power; that you will trust your prayer warriors, and ask them to pray for you both privately and publicly, so that the power of God can be ‘let loose’; and that you will seek to live constantly, as Duncan Campbell did, in the light of eternity.

Woolsey’s biography of Duncan Campbell is sub titled, The Sound of Battle. The preface concludes with the following: This biography "is written with the earnest prayer that God will…bring to a new generation of Christians the reality of what God can do in and through a life that is placed utterly at His disposal." May this story "inflame our desire for God, and quicken our footsteps until the sound of battle is heard more loudly in our lives, bringing revival in its wake."