I love islands, especially those on the western edge of Europe. It was the cover that first grabbed my attention; a muted snapshot of a man and a young boy aboard a small fishing boat looking directly at the reader, a bank of cloud their backdrop. The clouds seem to presage the mighty working of God in an austere and lonely place.
The book tells of the revival on the Isle of Lewis, 1949-52. This is no dry documentary though. The writers skillfully bring together the revival reports of Duncan Campbell which provide us with an overview or a timeline, with quite thrilling personal testimonies from many key figures. There is some cross-over and repetition but this serves to substantiate memories and to give a rounded view of that time of exceptional blessing. The Peckhams also provide loads of background and insight. Their approach is scholarly, but never dull because this is a work of the heart. Mary Peckham came to faith in the revival and her testimony is included.
The writing is crisp, but never lacks warmth. The voices of witness are vivid. This book transcends its genre, the narrative thrust is sustained. It is a `ripping yarn` that oozes humility. Above all it gives the glory to God.
It is hard to see how we might replicate the specific conditions that gave rise to the Lewis revival of 1949-1952. There are however principles we can seek to apply in our personal search for revival and in a wider sphere, chief among these is a lively and sustained expectation in our dealings with God and a real heartfelt sense of our indwelling sin, which we must take to Him so the blood of the lamb might cover it.
Need I say this book is highly commended!
Alun Jones, Wrexham
A graphic report of a deep move of God's Holy Spirit.
This was no shallow account of man's feeble attempt to emulate a work of God with noise and manifestations, but an account of moving beauty and power.
The testimonies were marvellous examples of a Lord who was willing to woo unbelievers for as long as it took, until they surrendered with joy unspeakable to His great love for them.
Not a book to loan out, it will never return. Buy your friends a copy as a present, then pray and wait for the results!.
Tony. Chichester, W. Sussex.
I found this to be an excellent book, which left me longing for a fresh visitation on the nation from God. The main focus of the book is the revival on the Isle of Lewis from 1949-1952. The book is divided into two parts. The first part gives an account of what happened during revival years. There is some background information on religion on Lewis up until that time, which gives us insight into some other revivals on the island, (such as in 1939). Naturally, the life and ministry of Duncan Campbell (the key figure in this movement) is outlined and we get some of his brief reports of what was going on at the different venues where he visited. There are chapters describing some of the incidents and characteristics of the revival, and we see that even during times of revival, problems can still arise and opposition can still come.
The second half of the book is devoted to a series of personal testimonies - 24 in all- of those who personally experienced the revivals. Some of these are quite thrilling and warm the heart.
I would have liked to have seen some more critical analysis on the life and ministry of Duncan Campbell, and the book doesn't answer all questions that we might ask, such as, why this revival did not spread. Nevertheless, there has been much thorough research done and lots of fresh material for us to study. If you are interested in the subject of revival or are keen to explore some of the important happenings in Scottish church history, then I recommend you get hold of this book. I found this to be quite stirring stuff, and I feel it should give us a clearer understanding of how God works in a community.
Andrew Young, Fraserburgh
I have read and re read and re read the book Sounds of Heaven and after the Bible it one of the most precious books I shall ever own and I have bought many copies and have given them away Its an indesrible book full of history, and personal testimony, and often has brought me to tears, I have studied this revival for years and years and this book has given me tremendous joy, it should be read by every believer in the land