George Salmon - The Evidence of the Work of the Holy Spirit
Type of Spiritual Experience
George Salmon, who was Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, published in 1859 a factual account of supposed possession by the Holy Ghost, in the great Belfast revival of that year; the after-effects of which were said to have profoundly influenced the religious life of the town.
A description of the experience
George Salmon – The Evidence of the Work of the Holy Spirit
Strong men burst into tears; women fainted, and went off in hysterics. The piercing shrieks of those who called aloud for mercy, and the mental agony from which they suffered, were, perhaps, the most affecting that you could imagine. The penitents flung themselves on the floor, tore their hair, entreated all around to pray for them, and seemed to have the most intense conviction of their lost state in the sight of God……. The physical affections are of two kinds.
(1) The patient either becomes deeply affected by the appeals which he or she may have heard, and bursts into the loudest and wildest exclamations of sorrow, and continues praying and pleading with God for mercy, sometimes for hours; or
(2) falls down completely insensible, and continues in this state for different periods varying from about one or two days . . . During continuance of the state (2) the person affected remains perfectly tranquil, apparently unconscious of everything going on around; the hands occasionally clasped as in prayer, the lips moving, and sometimes the eyes streaming with tears; the pulse generally regular, and without any indications of fever .. . and the persons who have recovered from it represent it as the time of their 'conversion'. There is a most remarkable expression in their countenances, a perfect radiance of joy which I have never seen on any other occasion. I would be able to single out the persons who have gone through this state by the expression of their features.