Archive for the ‘Revival Reports’ Category

Revival Accounts 4

November 10, 2014

From A History of the 1859 Ulster Revival

Now the movement in Ulster—preceded, as has been shown, by an increasing circulation of the Scriptures—gave a mighty impulse—

To the preaching of the Word—It was indeed a times of sowing beside all waters; of setting before men death and life, the blessing and the curse; and as the language of strong feelings is usually brief and pointed, such was very much the style of address induced by the movement.

To the hearing of the Word—As the Gospel was fully, faithfully, and earnestly preached, so it was gladly waited upon. The Word was precious in those days. Day after day, and night after night, multitudes both of men and women—many of them infirm and delicate, and most of them dependent for subsistence upon the labour of their hands—were willing to forego amusement, to forsake their callings and employments, to lack sleep, to deny themselves of their necessary food, and to pass whole nights under the open canopy of heaven, if they might only hear of Jesus! And just in proportion to the fullness with which Christ and Him crucified was set forth—just in proportion to the faithfulness of the heard of the Cross in proclaiming—Ruin by the fall, Redemption by Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Ghost, did they open their mouths wide and pant earnestly for the preaching of the Word.

Now the revival wave carried the conversation of professing Christians—for the time being, at least—far above the ordinary level. And not only did it accomplish this, but it changed for the time, even amongst those who made no profession of religion, the subjects of conversation. The language of Psalm 126 affords an illustration of the results produced in regard to both classes. The ungodly had their mouths opened to speak of the Lord’s doings, in wonder and astonishment—“They said among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.” The godly had their mouths opened to speak of the doings of the Lord also, not, however, in wonder and astonishment at something heard or seen merely, but in gratitude and thankfulness, moreover, for what they had themselves experienced.

RS Notes:

1. The Gospel must be proclaimed, but not what is widely thought of as the gospel in the modern day. The Gospel of Christ and Him crucified has some necessary teachings that go with it. “And just in proportion to the fullness with which Christ and Him crucified was set forth—just in proportion to the faithfulness of the heard of the Cross in proclaiming—Ruin by the fall, Redemption by Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Ghost, did they open their mouths wide and pant earnestly for the preaching of the Word.”

2. The Gospel cannot truly be proclaimed apart from teaching these things:
That men are ruined by the fall.
That redemption is accomplished by Christ and Christ alone, but how He did that.
That regeneration is by the Holy Spirit and how He does that.

3. It is when the Gospel is preached (in its fullness and its corresponding teachings) that men begin to listen
to preaching and it comes to them in power.

4. It is when the Gospel is preached that hearts are changed and people turn from the vain things of the world but also things that are necessary in this world in order to hear and have Christ.

5. It is when the glory of Christ in the Gospel is proclaimed that people turn from their amusements and want to have conversations about Christ.

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Revival Accounts 3

November 6, 2014

An Account from Acworth, New Hampshire 1815 – 1818

In a school in the western part of the society, a regular course of biblical instruction was introduced. Questions were proposed weekly, and one evening in each week set apart for their discussion. The answers to these questions were required in scriptural language. As soon as this mode of instruction was introduced, a visible alteration was seen in many scholars [students]. They began to discover a greater relish for the scriptures. In searching for the answers to their questions, they felt an increasing desire to know more of the lively oracles of divine truth. Every vacant moment when relieved from their other school exercises, the Bible was taken up, and the unheeded tear which now and then would drop over the sacred page, showed that its precious sentiments penetrated their hearts. On Tuesday evening, Jan 14, 1817, when assembled as usual for the discussion of their scriptural questions, occurred a scene on which memory dwells with delight; and which no doubt excited those fresh acclamations of joy in heaven, which takes place on the return of every penitent sinner.

The house on a sudden became a little Pentecost. The first question which was asked a young woman of twenty years of age, was, What is regeneration? She rose, attempted to answer, failed, and sunk under the weight of a wounded spirit. The next in order was called upon, but was unable to reply, from the same cause as the former. The third issued in the same manner; and in a few minutes the whole school consisting of about twenty-six, were overwhelmed in a flood of penitent grief; and cries such as these were heard in every part of the room: How can I live? What shall I do? God me merciful to me a sinner! With these were mingled the pressing anxious request, Do dear master, pray for me—pray for me in particular.

In the scene of general distress, the master [teacher], though no stranger to the throne of grace, and who had previously attended prayers in his school daily, was too much agitated by the occasion to govern his passions to commend his pupils to the Lord Jesus. At this time there was sitting in the midst of this weeping assembly, a young man, who was remarkable delivered from the dominion of sin, and made a trophy of redeeming love a few days before; who had just found a throne of grace for humble suppliants to approach; and how possessed no distinguishing qualifications to fit him to recommend his despairing school-mates to the mercy of God,–seeing the perturbation of the master, and the distress which prevailed on every side, he rose, and with apparent composure said, Let us pray. He prayed; and it was evident God heard; for he was an instrument of His own choosing. A modest youth, naturally diffident, a new born soul of yesterday, committing in language perfectly appropriate, the wants of his distressed companions to that wonder-working God, who alone is able to forgive sins, and impart spiritual life to the soul. It was a scene sufficiently interesting to rouse from lethargy the most stupid sinner and kindle within him a lively sensation of the day of judgment. When this prayer was ended, the master had do far recovered himself, as to be able to offer up a fervent petition in behalf of his school.

RS Notes:
1. Serious study of the Scriptures is needed.

2. Asking questions to learn rather than to be skeptical is a way of seeking God.

3. God brings a deep conviction of sin as He pleases.

4. God shows grace when and where He pleases.

5. Deep despair can accompany the conviction of sin.

6. Deep joy can accompany the forgiveness of grace when a sinner comes out of despair.

Revival Accounts 2

November 2, 2014

An Account from Acworth, New Hampshire 1815 – 1818

Nothing has appeared like a revival in this town until 1814. In this year the Rev. P. Cook was ordained. At the first communion after his consecrations, sixteen offered themselves to the church. Immediately after this, instances of individual conviction made their appearance in different parts of the society and one and another were made to rejoice in God. A solemn and strict attention was paid to the word preached, and the good work progressed gradually until September 1816 in which time about sixty were added to the church. Every seat in the house of God was filled, but not with drowsy inattentive hearers, but with awakened immortals, hanging on the lips of the speaker with almost breathless attention; looking as if their everlasting all depended on the proper improvement of a single sermon. Neither were the people satisfied with attending merely on the duties of the sanctuary. Conference meetings were established in different parts of the society, and were attended with increasing interest.

RS Notes:

1. Conviction of sin began to appear.

2. People paid a solemn and strict attention to the word preached.

3. Every seat in the house of God was filled.

4. People were not drowsy and inattentive.

5. People listened to the preaching with breathless attention.

6. People listened to sermons with eternity and their own souls in view.

7. People were not satisfied by simply attending the services at church.

8. When God visits His people and His presence becomes “felt” and known, the preaching changes and the people listening change. Eternity begins to be seen as something real and even present.

9. If all of these things are true about true revival, then our day is falling far short of anything like that. We must be under a judgment of God and He has turned His back on us. We must earnestly seek Him to turn to us and to come and pour out His Spirit upon us.

Revival Reports 1

October 31, 2014

A Report from Bath, Maine 1816

The first favorable appearance, in this place, that God was about to revive His work, was an uncommon flocking to meetings, attended with a remarkable stillness and solemnity upon those who came. The Spirit seemed to descend like a mighty rushing wind, and soon a general attention prevailed though the town.

Numbers went thoughtless to see the converts profess Jesus before men, but returned deeply impressed with a sense of their sin and danger. The preaching of Christ has been the power of God, and the wisdom of God to many, who walked in darkness, and saw no amiableness in Him who is altogether lovely, and the express image of the Father.

The aged, middle aged, and youth, have been enabled to come to Jesus, to cleanse them from sin. Some influential characters, and some in the lowest walks of life, have been hopefully born of the Spirit. Among the young merchants, the work was so remarkable, that it was often said, that all the stores had become meeting houses. In the time of this revival, all have seemingly endeavored to keep their passions within the bounds of reason, and only a few have made any noise that could disturb the most devout worshippers of the Lamb; and these were so overwhelmed with a sense of their exposedness to endless punishment, that they groaned under the weight of their sins, and trembled at the thoughts of approaching judgment. Deep solemnity has generally marked the penitent; and a holy smile of joy and complacency, the pardoned sinner.

Since the beginning of this good work, about two hundred and fifty have been added to the churches in this town

 

RS Comments:

1.  There was a stillness and solemnity among the people who gathered at the meetings.

2.  Those who were thoughtless received an impression of their own sin and danger. This should be instructive on what was being preached on during this time.

3.  Not only was sin and wrath preached, but Christ was preached. It is not enough to talk about a text during an exposition so-called, but Christ must be preached.

4. People must be enabled to come to Christ regardless of their age.

5.  People were overwhelmed with a sense of being exposed to eternal punishment and the weight of sin.  Surely they did not hear of these things during the midst of jokes and stories most sermons are full of.

6.  Deep solemnity marked the penitent and holy smiles of joy marked the pardoned sinners. Light-heartedness marks our age where people cannot pay attention unless some buffoon tells jokes or stories or quotes a famous person of the day. Where has the reverence and sense of awe for God gone in our day? It has disappeared as the glory has been withdrawn.