Revivals, Great Awakenings and visitations from God in the United Kingdom over time
John Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire, England, probably in the year 1328. In 1346 he studied Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law at Oxford. At the age of 26 he became master of Balliol College, Oxford. In 1361 he was ordained by the Catholic Church to become the vicar at Fillingham. He returned to Oxford, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1365 and his doctorate in 1372.
John Wycliffe was invited by Parliament to lead the discussions on papal taxation, since his fame as a theologian was already great. At that time, the papacy was installed in Avignon, France, this was in middle of the hundred years war. Parliament was looking for ways to prevent the collection of ecclesiastical taxes, since the amount collected in England was enriching France. The Parliament, on the basis of argument provided by Wycliffe, stated that England’s submission to a foreign authority was illegal because it had been decided without the consent of the nation. Until the end of the reign of Edward III, in 1377, England was the only State that assumed, this stance against the Church.
John Wycliffe supported Edward III and, on the theoretical basis of royal policy, wrote “A Definition of Property,” with which he defended the right of the state to legislate on the problem of ecclesiastical taxes. With these arguments he gained hostility from the clergy and favours of the English Government. He was appointed rector of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, in 1374, a position he held until his death.
As early as 1374, Wycliffe received a mission which led him to Bruges, as a Government delegate, to deal with the papal issue of “provisions”, that is, the Holy Father’s traditional right to appoint anyone who wished to hold ecclesiastical offices. Wycliffe was against but did not get anything practical.
In 1376 he published the most important of his works “On Private Property,” in which he affirmed that all rights, including property, emanated from God, and that the earthly goods of the clergy should be taken and the Church should devote itself only to spiritual matters. It presupposed the need for state encroachment of lands belonging to the Church.
Wycliffe wrote 65 works in English and 96 in Latin. He translated the Bible into English in order to make it accessible to the people. He attacked the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The Church was divided, Clement VII elected by the French clergy in Avignon, and Urban VI, Elected Pope in Rome. The clash between them, was what Wycliffe needed to call the Popes Antichrists. He turned against all the dogmas of the Church: absolution of sins, the host, all were a targets for the attacks of Wycliffe.
Another important point of Wycliffe’s criticism was the defense of the “supreme authority” of Scripture and the non-interference of papal opinion about them and the Christian tradition. This principle attacked the pope’s authority as representing Peter on earth and bearing the “key of the Church.” Wycliffe came to qualify some Popes as antichrists because of this.
One of his principal treatises was the De veritate Sacrae Scripturae (published in 1378). For Wycliffe, unlike the Pope, the scriptures were infallible. This thesis influenced both Lutheranism and Calvinism and its ramifications. One of Wycliffe’s last actions was to translate the Bible into English.
The Hundred Years ‘War and the peasants’ revolt brought about the condemnations of the poor Church. Wycliffe was condemned by the archbishop of Canterbury, although he maintained the position of rector. He continued his work and at the end of his life he wrote “Trialogus,” a summary of his theories.
John Wycliffe was a professor at the University of Oxford, a theologian and English religious reformer, considered to be the forerunner of the religious reforms that shook Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. He worked on the first translation of the Bible into the English language, which became known as the Wycliffe Bible.
He died in Lutterworth, England, on December 31, 1384. In 1415, the Council of Constance ordered his remains to be burned and the ashes cast into the waters of the Swift River, at Lutterworth.
“ebiografia.com” “acessado em: 19/02/2019 / 13pm” (Dilva Frazão)
One cannot say that there was a revival in Scotland, but rather a Reformation led by John Knox in the 16th century (1560) that triggered major changes in the Church of his Country.
John Knox was born in 1514 in the Lowlands region of Scotland, in or near Haddington, native to the county town of East Lothian. His father William Knox, from a good family, without being especially distinguished, had fought in the Battle of Flodden and was native to the county of Haddington. His mother’s name was Sinclair.
He was ordained a priest before 1540, when his priesthood status was mentioned for the first time. Until 1543 Knox remained under Rome’s command. By this time however, he seemed to have given private lessons instead of having parochial obligations, he was very brave and dynamic making many things happen in his day. He confessed his Protestant faith for the first time in late 1545. The Church was in real chaos, there was a great persecution of Christians and John Knox went to take refuge in Germany where he met Calvin, studied at his school and after a while returned to Scotland again to make a total reformation in the Church with a Calvinist-influenced approach.
In 1559, the Scottish Parliament established the Presbyterian Church. John Knox believed that the Presbyterian system of government was a new form of government as in the New Testament, that is, the Church should be governed by officers elected by the Church itself and not as it currently was; chosen by the state which chose the bishops who led it.
The manifestos of 1560 are more influenced by Knox than any other individual and his confession was very important for the new Church in his declaration about faith, concluding in the introduction of Protestantism by the reformist Parliament. The Sunday service was forever changed through the Knox Liturgy, with the Book of Common Order ordering religious services in the local language and placing the Word as the centerpiece of everything.
Instructions for the Protestant community were given in their Book of Discipline which included topics on general education, measures to help the poor, the elderly and the sick, and more cooperation between the Church and the state.
He worked for the purity of the service, saying that only the Scriptures should guide the way God was to be worshiped – biblical worship. The Church service became a corporate activity where people were actually involved contrary to the model of the Catholic Church. He exchanged Latin for English in meetings and began to use the Bible in English which made it much easier to understand.
The Presbyterian model came from Scotland, so he was considered the Father of the Reformation in Scotland.
From August 1559 until his death, he was the minister of the High Church of Edinburgh or St. Egidio (St. Giles, High Kirk of Edinburgh).
George Fox is the first real prophet of the English Reformation. Rufus Jones.
George Fox was born in Leicestershire, England in July 1624. The son of an English weaver, he was raised in the religion of his parents, Anglicanism, the official Protestant religion of England. Unhappy with the creed he professed, he did not feel the presence of God during worship, nor did he see a future in any other religion. In search of a new way of expressing his faith, he had a “vision,” in which the divine will indicated the way to propagate the belief that God communicated directly with the spirit of man. “There is one, the same Christ Jesus, who can speak with thy condition.” This discovery of Christ as a present reality transformed George Fox from a frustrated seeker to joyful discoverer and initiated a great Christian awakening in England George Fox was. At 23 years old George Fox was already a critic of his culture. When human counselors could not fill his spiritual emptiness, he resorted to Bible reading and prayer. In 1647 he began to preach, travelling and working as a travelling shoemaker. His ministry is centred in Mansfield and Nottinghamshire.
In 1652 he met Margaret Fell of Swarthmore Hall and she was converted. After the death of her husband, Judge Fell, in 1658, she married George in 1669. Margaret Fell became the principal organizer of the Society of Friends.
Much influenced by Anglicanism, the fulfillment of the Quakers´ mission began in the north of England with massive adherence. In 1652 the Society of Friends was positively established. Soon the movement spread rapidly from the north of the country to Bristol and London, carried by numerous Quaker ministers. The Friends would be dressed in black; they had a formal way of communicating, and extreme fervor also identified them. They were called Quakers: “those who tremble before God.”
In 1660, with more than 40,000 members, George Fox and his Society began to face problems with the Official Church by opposing it with his concept of faith. He was also opposing the State by advocating freedom of worship and spreading the idea to members that one was not required to perform military service nor swear allegiance to the King.
The persecutions were constant; often the Quakers held their services in the streets after having their meeting places closed. Many Friends did not escape death and others took refuge in the American colonies. The Quaker Exodus to America lasted two years, from 1656 to 1658. The Friends who remained in England, about 50,000, knew some peace when in 1689 the Law of Tolerance was passed.
Even as a boy, Fox was extraordinarily sensitive to God, having been well taught by pious parents. He remembered having experienced the “purity” of the divine presence at the age of 11. This view of the world as God intended contrasted sharply with the world of political violence and ecclesiastical hypocrisy which he experienced as a young man. George Fox worked first as a shoemaker and later as a partner with a wool and cattle dealer. His integrity brought him commercial success. But spiritual conflict raged furiously inside him until his experience of Christ brought peace.
The legacy he left and Fox’s influence in the Friendship Society were tremendous, and his beliefs were largely carried forward by this group. Perhaps its most significant achievement, in addition to its predominant influence in the initial movement, was its leadership in overcoming the twin challenges of the post-Restoration government’s prosecution and internal disputes that threatened its stability over the same period.
George Fox’s name is often invoked by traditionalist friends who dislike modern liberal attitudes toward the Christian origins of the Society. At the same time, the Quakers and others may relate to Fox’s religious experience, and even those who disagree with many of his ideas see him as a pioneer.
George Fox died in London on January 13, 1691.
During the 18th century, England was experiencing economic and political difficulties. There was a prevalence of lawlessness, unbelief, immorality; gambling, drunkenness and prostitution. In London, one in every six houses was a brothel. The Church was in an unhealthy state and spiritually cold. The chapels were empty and there was a sense of desperation and hopelessness. But God, in his infinite goodness, will always responds by raising up those who will refuse to conform to such a situation and begin to cry out for a visitation of the Lord. It was in such a time that God raised up some students in Oxford, amongst them being one named John Wesley.
John Wesley was born on June 17, 1703, in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. At the age of seventeen he began studying theology at Oxford College, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in 1724 and his doctorate in 1727. He was ordained as a minister of the Anglican Church in 1724. John continued in Oxford College where he was a member of the Lincoln College Council and a professor of Greek.
In 1729 Charles Wesley, John’s brother, and two other students began a small group that met for prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement. John soon became the leader of the group, which was called the “Holy Club”. They used a methodical system of self-examination and self-discipline, and for this reason they were called ‘Methodists’ by some. The group never grew much, ranging from 10 to 15 members, with a maximum of 25. Another young man named George Whitefield joined the group after a few years, becoming a close friend of John Wesley.
In October of 1735 John and Charles Wesley traveled to America as missionaries, but stayed there for a little more than two years. John returned to England, in February of 1738, preoccupied with his own salvation.
“I went to America to convert the Indians,” he lamented, “but, oh, who will convert me?” Soon after he met Count Zinzerdof and saw that salvation does not depend on works but on the grace of God A few months later, on May 24, John had an experience in which he was assured of his salvation by faith. A few years later, John, along with other members of the Holy Club had a powerful experience of filling with the power of the Holy Spirit , since then the Churches no longer wanted to have it him their pulpits.
On New Year’s Day, 1739, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and four other members of the Holy Club held a feast of love in London. About three in the morning, while they were praying, The power fell tremendously upon us, to the point that many shouted for joy and others fell to the ground (overcome by the power of God). As soon as they recovered some reverence after being surprised by presence of His majesty, they began to sing with a loud voice: “We praise you, O God, we recognize you as Lord”. “We praise you, O God: we acknowledge you as Lord”. This event was called “Pentecostal movement”.
This was the start of the Great revival. Within a month and a half, George Whitefield, only 22 years of age, was preaching outdoors to crowds of thousands. John Wesley was doing the same within three months.
The crowds increased daily to twenty thousand listeners. The wealthy people sat on their cars and others on their horses. Whilst others sat in the trees and wherever they could, gather to hear Whitefield preach. The people were sometimes brought to tears, as the Spirit of God fell upon them.
Whitefield continued to urge Wesley to go to Bristol and help him. In April, Wesley stood beside Whitefield in Kingswood, still wondering whether it was appropriate to speak outside the Church building. That night Whitefield preached on the Sermon on the Mount. Suddenly he realized that Jesus had also preached in the open air. Whitefield returned to London and the next day, Wesley preached outdoors to three thousand in Kingswood. He stayed in Bristol for two months, busier than ever. His 7am Sunday morning services usually had five thousand to six thousand listeners.
There, much to Wesley’s surprise, he began to watch the Holy Spirit powerfully convicting people of their sins as he preached. Well dressed, mature individuals would suddenly cry out as if in agony.
Both men and women, inside and outside the Church buildings, trembled and fell to the ground. When Wesley interrupted his sermon and prayed for them, they soon found peace and rejoiced in Christ.
With John Wesley and George Whitefield preaching to crowds at every level of society, there was a great awakening in Great Britain through the simple preaching of the Word of God on the streets and in the open air, which became the main feature of this Great move of God throughout the nation. This struck the whole of the Country and saved England from a Revolution, and averted a great bloodshed, similar to what was happening in France at that time.
Whitefield continued to preach to thousands in England and the United States until his death at age 56 in 1770. He and John Wesley had a difference in theology, with Whitefield becoming a Calvinist and associating with the Presbyterian Church, but the two remained great friends. Knowing their doctrinal differences, someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see John Wesley in the heaven. “I fear not,” he replied, “he will be so close to the eternal throne, and I so far away, might not be able to see him.”
Wesley’s ministry of evangelism continued to grow, and he began to create “revival societies” in the places where he ministered. These small groups gathered for prayer, encouragement, and Bible study. At first Wesley encouraged groups to remain in the Church in England, but differences with the Church regarding their style of outdoor preaching, their message of salvation by faith, their use of lay people as preachers and leaders of societies led to the establishment of the Methodist Church.
The Great Revival of the years 1739 – 91 is often called Wesleyan Revival. Although God had used George Whitefield, the two Wesley brothers, and dozens of lay preachers to light the fire of revival. It was John Wesley who preached in more places to more people and for a greater number of years than the others. He also did more to preserve the fruit of the revival. John Wesley was clearly the leader chosen by God for this awesome spiritual awakening.
John Wesley traveled extensively in England and America, and the revival fire spread rapidly. In August 1770 there were 29,406 members, 121 preachers and 50 zones in England and 4 preachers and 100 chapels in the United States. When Wesley died on March 2.1791, there were more than 120,000 Methodists in their societies.
“I consider the whole world as my parish, wherever I am; I consider it right correct and my sacred duty, to declare to all who are willing to hear the good news of salvation.” – John Wesley.
Avivamentoja.com – Pr Paul David Cull
On Earth as it in Heaven – Stephen L Hill
O fogo do avivamento – Wesley Duewel
George Whitefield was born (the youngest of seven children), on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. He was born at the Bell Inn, where his father, Thomas, was a wine merchant and innkeeper. His father died when George was two and his widowed mother, Elizabeth, struggled to support her family. By the age of fifteen, George persuaded his mother to let him leave school and work at the inn because he felt he would never make much use of his education.
At an early age, he discovered that he had a passion and talent for acting in the theatre; a passion that he continued with him in his theatrical reenactments of the Bible stories during his sermons. He was educated at The School of Crypt, Gloucester, and Pembroke College, Oxford. As Whitefield came from a poor family, he did not have the means to pay his tuition. Therefore he entered Oxford as a servant: the lowest grade of Oxford students. In exchange for free education, he was assigned to serve the senior registered students. His duties included waking them up in the morning, polishing their shoes, carrying their books, and even taking their course. He was part of the “Holy Club” at Oxford University with the Wesley brothers, John and Charles.
This, however, did not prevent him from feeling ever more distant from God until his conversion in 1735. In his own words, it was as if a “heavy burden” had been removed. He gave his first sermon in the Church where he had been baptized. His fervor was evident; some mocked, but others were impressed. There were complaints that fifteen of their listeners “went mad” (converted)! After this he preached the message of the new birth and justification by faith to large crowds in London, but others began to refuse him the pulpit and to oppose him strongly.
On the eve of his consecration to the ministry, he spent the day in fasting and prayer. After being ordained a deacon and graduating, he left for Georgia, United States, at the invitation of John Wesley, where he helped found an orphanage. He returned to England three months later to be received into the priesthood of the Anglican Church. Realizing that many pulpits were still closed to him, he broke with tradition and began to preach in the open air. It is said that he almost never preached without crying and that he used to read the Bible on his knees. Having consecrated the life to Christ, he often prayed.
The size of the crowds that came to hear Whitfield impressed John Wesley who then began to use the same method of preaching in the open air. When he returned to missionary service in America in 1739, he began a period of activity as a Congregational minister. With Jonathan Edwards he held a series of preaching events in New England for more than a month, speaking to crowds of up to eight thousand people almost every day. This missionary activity was probably the event that triggered the revival movement known as the Great Awakening. His work also laid the foundation for the founding of approximately 50 American colleges and universities, including Princeton University and Pennsylvania University. Whitefield became the focus of the revival in America, visiting seven times, but his work in the Old World was also quite vigorous: on one occasion in Scotland he preached to 100,000 listeners and 10,000 converted.
As a firm defender of Calvinism, Whitfield broke with John Wesley’s Arminianism in 1741, but they remained friends. Because of this, he became known as the leader of the Calvinist Methodists. Whitefield continued to preach extensively in the United States and throughout Great Britain and Ireland. He is believed to have preached more than 18,000 sermons throughout his life.
Whitefield was an astonishing preacher from the outset. It was said that “his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he would receive up to 20,000 people at the same time in Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. He was a firm Calvinist in his theology, but unequaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though he was lean in build, he invaded the pulpit as if he were a giant. Although he was a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated and had a profound impact on people and Churches of many traditions – Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists and, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as Methodists. In his preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the ‘apostle of the British empire’. A century later, the great Baptist preacher, CH Spurgeon, wrote of Whitefield: “Often, as I read your life, I am aware of a distinct vivacity whenever I turn to it. Other men seemed only half alive; My own model, if I can have such a thing in due subordination to my Lord, is George Whitefield, but with unequal steps I must follow on his glorious path.
George Whitefield died in the United States in 1770, as he had wished: in the midst of a preaching series. At his funeral, John Wesley honored him as a great man of God. He is buried in Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts in the United States.
Like many revivals, the revival of 1859 came against a backdrop of apostasy in the Church. The island of Ireland had just suffered the great famine that occurred in the early 1850s, with many young people migrating to America to escape poverty. Throughout the 1850s, there was a cloud of depression that hovered over Ulster, just as it did over the rest of Ireland. However, no matter what the spiritual temperature on earth, the Lord always has a remnant of people who dare to believe God. This was certainly the case in Ulster during the years 1857 to 1859.
It was with a deep desire for God that a prayer meeting began in a rural school near Kells, Ireland. This was the place where the four young men, James McQuilkin, Jeremiah Meneely, Robert Carlisle and John Wallace, could meet weekly to cry out to God by themselves for an Awakening, and study the Scriptures more deeply. The Spirit impressed these verses upon their hearts: I John 2:20 and 27.
On Fridays, each of them carried some pieces of coal and his Bible into their hiding place. They based their faith on the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and the power of prayer. Thus, they pleaded for three months for a Revival, with no visible result. On the first day of 1858, however, their first victory came, and on every subsequent night there were conversions. At the end of the year, fifty people were attending the meetings, asking for just one thing: that the Spirit be poured out on them and all the surrounding country. Solid conversions in response to specific and insistent prayers served to encourage them greatly.
In 1858 the news of the Awakening in North America came to them through two faithful brethren named Dr. William Gibson and Rev. William McClure, who had just returned from North America and had witnessed firsthand the awakening that was taking place in the Church there. It was their report and the zeal with which they delivered it that aroused a deep desire among listeners that the Spirit of God would move in the same way here in their beloved Ulster. They heard how 12,000 businessmen were meeting daily in New York to pray and this set their hearts even more on fire.
It pleased God to use the simple testimony of four young men Connor in a very extraordinary way. Through them, the revival reached the capital of Ireland, Belfast. Pastors who had toiled in vain for years were suddenly surrounded by people conscious of their sins, crying out for the life-giving Word. If it were not for the loving cooperation of Sunday School teachers and other friends, the ministers would soon have become exhausted by the overload of work.
Huge, memorable meetings took place. Neighbourhoods that were notorious fighting spots witnessed the triumph of the Gospel of peace. Bitter adversaries knelt together at the Saviour’s feet. Belfast became like the city of God.
In May 1859, the revival was being talked about everywhere; in Belfast, special meetings were being held. One such meeting was at the Great George Street Presbyterian Church, which saw numbers so large that more than a thousand people could not get in and had to be preached to in the street by another minister. Both indoor and outdoor meetings saw hundreds of people repenting and seeking Christ as their Saviour. Revival had come to Belfast. The Belfast Telegraph reported in June 1859 that “in almost every street in the city there are converts. In every family some soul has found salvation, even the marginalized in the street have repented.” Sinners all over the city were being saved and entire families rejoiced to receive salvation. Belfast was tasting the forgiving love of the Saviour and the Gospel was in the air. During the first six months of 1859, the revival spread from Kells and Connor to Belfast and beyond.
What was also happening at the time was unity in the Church; all Protestant denominations worked together. It was this unity that made such an impression on the unsaved. Revival was the main theme of conversations. Everywhere in Ulster, people were talking about the things of God, who had been saved or how the revival was progressing. Nights were spent reading the Scriptures, and those who were unable to read would have the Word of God read to them.
In the hundred years following the revival of 1859, all Protestant Churches benefited from its rich legacy. It brought about a spirit of unity which, in turn, created a spiritual environment capable of transforming Ulster into the spiritual center of the British Empire. Rivers of living water were to flow from her six counties as she carried the Word of God and her Protestant faith throughout the world.
It is believed that about one hundred thousand people came to Christ in Ulster during this revival period. The true number is known only to God and his recording angel. 1641 was the year of Ulster’s horror, but 1859 was his “year of grace”, the year that Heaven came down.
Labaredas de Fogo – Rosalee Appleby
There was a time when simply opting for the Gospel was to put your life on the line. In the 15th Century, Charles V, the Spanish Emperor, burned thousands of evangelicals in public squares. His son, Philip II, boasted that he had eliminated from the Low Countries of Europe about 18,000 “Protestant heretics”. To escape relentless persecution, thousands more Christians escaped to England. Among them was the family of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), the man who would become one of the greatest preachers in the whole of the United Kingdom. Charles achieved such great results in his evangelistic ministry that, in addition to influencing generations of pastors and missionaries with his sermons and books, to this day he is called the Prince of Preachers.
Spurgeon was the son and grandson of shepherds who had fled persecution for their faith. However, it was only at the age of 15 that he truly did encountered Jesus. According to the books that tell the story of his life, Spurgeon prayed for six months that “if there was a God,” He would speak to his heart, since he felt like the greatest of sinners. Spurgeon visited various Churches but without making a decision for Christ.
One night, however, a snow storm prevented the pastor of a local Church from taking the pulpit. One of the members of the congregation – a humble cobbler – took the floor and preached in a very simple way a message based on Isaiah 45.22a: Look unto me, and ye shall be saved, all the ends of the earth. Short of experience, the preacher repeated the verse several times before making the final appeal. Spurgeon could not restrain his tears, such was the impact caused by the Word of God.
After his conversion, Spurgeon began distributing leaflets on the streets and teaching the Bible at the Sunday School for Children in Newmarket, Cambridge. Although he was young, Spurgeon had a rare ability in handling the Word and evidenced the basic characteristics of a Gospel preacher.
His preaching was so electrifying and intense that, two years after his first sermon, Spurgeon, now aged 20, was invited to take the pulpit of the Baptist Church of Park Street Chapel in London, formerly pastored by the theologian, John Gill. The challenge, however, was immense. After all, what chance of success was there for a boy raised in the country? (Formerly, Spurgeon had pastored a small Church in Waterbeach, far from the English capital).
Located in a metropolitan area, Park Street Chapel had been one of the largest Churches in England. However, at that time, the building, with 1,200 seats, had a congregation of just over a hundred people. The last half of the 19th Century was a very difficult time for the English Churches. London had been rapidly industrialized, and people worked for many hours. People had no time for dedicating themselves to the Lord. In spite of this, Spurgeon accepted the challenge fearlessly.
Spurgeon’s inaugural sermon in that huge Church was delivered on December 18th, 1853. There was a group of believers who had never stopped praying to God for a glorious revival:
“At first, I preached to only a handful of listeners. But I cannot forget the insistence of their prayers. At times, it seemed that they pleaded until they saw Jesus’ presence there to bless them. So the blessing came, the house began to fill with listeners, and dozens of souls were saved”, Spurgeon recalled a few years later.
In the years that followed, the chapel, once empty, could not contain the congregation, which amounted to ten thousand people, plus the attendees of all the services during the week. The number of people was so great that the streets near the Church became impassable. Soon, the chapel’s facilities became inadequate, and so the great Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, with a capacity of 12,000 listeners. Even so, every three months, Spurgeon asked the people who had attended the services in that period to stay away so that others could be in the building to receive the Word!
Many other congregations, a seminary, and an orphanage were established. Over time, Charles Spurgeon became a worldwide celebrity. He received invitations to preach in other cities in England, as well as in other countries such as France, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Holland. Spurgeon took the Good News not only to outdoor gatherings, but also to huge buildings eight to twelve times per week.
According to one of his biographies, the largest audience he preached to comprised exactly 23,654 people: this huge audience packed the Crystal Palace, London, on October 7, 1857, to hear him preach for more than two hours.
More than a hundred and twenty years after his death, many theologians are still trying to discover how Spurgeon achieved such success. Some attribute it to his remarkable illustrations, the ability he possessed to surprise the audience and the way he viewed people’s suffering. However, for the famous American theologian Ernest W. Toucinho, author of a biography of Spurgeon, the factors that attracted the crowds were strictly spiritual:
“The power of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of sound doctrine, a first-hand religious experience, passion for souls, devotion to the Bible and prayer to Christ, much prayer.”
In addition, it is worth remembering that all biographies, even the most conservative ones, recount the miraculous healings performed by Jesus in the services directed by this English preacher.
The people who listened to Spurgeon at that time made comments about him that would make any evangelical proud. On one occasion The Times published this about the English shepherd: He puts old truth in new clothes. The Daily Telegraph, however, stated that Spurgeon’s secrets were zeal, seriousness, and courage. For the Daily Chronicle, Charles Spurgeon was indifferent to popularity; a genius at mastering an audience. Pictorial World recorded Spurgeon’s love for the people.
On September 20th, 1856 Spurgeon married Susannah Thompson and they had two children, non-identical twins Thomas and Charles.
“We always had family devotions, whether we were staying on a ranch in the mountains or in a sumptuous hotel room in the city. And the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit, which many believers say is impossible to attain, was for us the natural atmosphere. We lived and breathed Him”, Susannah once reported.
The importance of Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher is equaled only by that of his printed works. Spurgeon wrote 135 books over 27 years (1865-1892) and edited a monthly magazine called The Sword and the Trowel. His various biblical commentaries are still widely read; among them are David’s Treasury (on the book of Psalms), Morning and Night (a devotional) and Matthew – The Gospel of the Kingdom. Up until his last day as a pastor, Spurgeon had baptized 14,692 people. On the occasion of his death – February 11th, 1892 – six thousand people read this text over his coffin: Look unto me, and ye shall be saved, all the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 45.22a)
Spurgeon also founded a pastors’ college to train those who were called to pastoral and evangelistic ministry. Spurgeon’s wife also raised funds for him and distributed many homiletic books to aid preachers. After Spurgeon’s death, the college was renamed Spurgeon’s College, in honour of its founder.
Revista Graça, ano 2 nº 19
Mente Aberta / Atosdois.com.br
William Booth was born in the city of Nottingham, England, on April 10, 1827. His father was a builder who ended up losing everything, and at thirteen William started working in a pawn shop. His father died soon after, and William needed to help support his mother and sisters with whatever he earned.
At the age of fifteen, William, who had not been raised in a Christian home, began attending the Nottingham Methodist Church Chapel where he had a strong conversion experience.
“As an irresponsible young man of fifteen, I was taken to attend Nottingham’s Wesley Chapel, I do not recall anyone having guided me about the need for personal surrender to God. I was convinced, regardless of human effort, by the Spirit of the Holy One, who has created within me a great thirst for a new life”
Immediately after his conversion Booth began preaching in the poor areas of his city, along with other teenagers. But when he led a group of poor young men to Church, the upper-middle-class congregation was scandalized.
After moving to the great city of London in search of employment, William continued his association with the Methodist Church and had opportunities to preach. In 1850 he was accepted as a lay preacher in a group of dissident Methodists, and thus began his ministry as an evangelist and revivalist.
Booth was used mightily in the Methodist Churches, and in 1852 he was ordained as a preacher. He married Catherine Mumford on June 16, 1855. Initially attached to a Church in London, in that same year of 1855, Booth was released to serve within the itinerant evangelist ministry.
In 1858 Booth was consecrated as Minister but also forced to assume the position of a pastor of a local Church. He felt that his calling was more evangelistic than pastoral and in 1861 he left the Methodist Church to follow the evangelistic ministry.
With small children and no financial support, the years that followed were difficult for the Booth family.
The villagers roamed the hills, and the fishermen rowed eight to ten miles from the dark sea to the cities where William Booth was preaching. Local newspapers reported that, in some places, trade was paralyzed.
Throughout that corner of the duchy, from Camborne to Penzance, the flame burned with increasing force. Hundreds of conversions have been made. Scenes “beyond description” happened; the cries and moans “were enough to melt a heart of stone”; in the city of St. Just, a thousand people have joined the different Churches.
In 1865 the Booth family moved to the city of London. Whilst out walking one day on the west side of the city, William was shocked to see the poverty and misery of its residents.
“When I saw the crowds of poor people, so many of them evidently without God and with no hope in this world, and I found that they heard me so readily and eagerly, following me from the open-air meeting to the tent, and accepting, in so many instances my invitation to kneel at the Savior’s feet. At that very moment, my whole heart extended to them. I returned home and told my wife: ‘Oh Kate, I have found my destiny! These are the people for whom I have longed for all these years. ‘”
“That night,” said the General, “the Salvation Army was born.”
Booth founded a ministry, the Christian Mission, to minister to these people. From the beginning, his methods and the results were unconventional. Initially hosted in a tent, which was destroyed by a gang of troublemakers, the mission later moved to a dance hall. Outdoor meetings have also always been an important strategy for the mission. Later, bands marching in the streets were used to draw crowds to hear the preaching of the Gospel.
The mission continued to grow, even though it suffered much opposition. In Christmas of 1878 the name of the Christian Mission changed to “The Salvation Army,” and William Booth was called its General (a title he resisted at first for being pretentious).
Given his tactics of invading the streets and poor areas with the preaching of the Gospel, the Salvation Army was, in the early years, heavily persecuted. In the year of 1882 – 669 Salvation Army soldiers were attacked or brutally assaulted. Sixty buildings were almost demolished by the crowds. Up to 1,500 police on duty every Sunday appeared to be unable to protect Booth’s troops.
But at the same time, its phenomenal growth could not be denied, and even the Church of England (an Anglican denomination) proposed a partnership with the Salvation Army.
Early in 1882, the Archbishop of York, Dr. William Thomson, suggested a radical change: the unification of the Salvation Army with the Church of England. There were people, he confessed, that his Church could not reach; a poll done one-week night in London showed almost 17,000 worshiping in Army barracks against 11,000 in ordinary Churches …
Booth graciously summed up a cleric who was perplexed by the Army’s success, “We do not have a reputation to lose,” and the results continued; not intimidated by persecution and poverty, these warriors between 1881 and 1885 brought 250,000 men and women to altars of the Salvation Army.
Its growth was not limited to the country of England. The Army extended to the USA and Australia in 1880, and then to France the following year. Divisions in South Africa and New Zealand began in 1883.
Catherine Booth, the “Mother of the Salvation Army” died on October 4, 1890. In that year, the Army had already achieved unimaginable success since its inception, twenty-five years earlier.
Now they were operating nearly 2,900 centers, raising £ 18,750,000 to help men to whom the world denied a second chance. The “Blood and Fire” flag was raised in thirty-four countries. At the International Headquarters, the subject of salvation now involved 600 telegrams and 5,400 letters each week.
But Booth had won more than territory and funds; he had captured the eyes and ears of the world. Each week its 10,000 officers, most under the age of twenty-five, preached the Gospel to the crowds at 50,000 meetings. In England alone, they visited 54,000 homes each week and its twenty-seven newspapers reached thirty-one million readers.
In 1909 Booth, now eighty but always an evangelist, began his “Motorized Campaigns” where he traveled by car in England, evangelizing.
In sixty years as an evangelist, Booth traveled five million miles, preaching nearly 60,000 sermons – and his hypnotic spirit drew 16,000 officers to follow the flag in fifty-eight countries, preaching the gospel in thirty-four languages. In 1881, when Booth moved to Queen Victoria Street, the headquarters’ workers felt overwhelmed by the task alone of opening a thousand letters each week. Now they were sunk in a flood of a thousand letters every day.
The Salvation Army was well known for its many social works, even though these were the result of a true revival and a passion for lost souls. Commenting on this, Booth wrote:
“Our Social Work is essentially a religious activity. It cannot be contemplated, initiated or continued with great success, without a heart full of compassion and love, and clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit.”
It is difficult to measure the impact of the Salvation Army, which certainly marked the 19th century profoundly. His struggle for social justice and for the excluded and disadvantaged of society led Booth to write a book entitled, ‘In Darkest England and the Way Out’, which became widely discussed throughout England, and encouraged the growth of the Army’s social works.
For Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a famous Baptist preacher who commanded multitudes of 20,000 at a time, the Army was irreplaceable, “five thousand more police will not take their place in repression of crime and disorder”
William Booth died on August 20, 1912.
This hymn-prayer was written by the great revivalist General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, and shows the reason why we desperately need a revival today:
O Christ, flame that burns and cleanses
Send the fire
Your gift purchased by blood we ask today
Send the fire
Look down and see this waiting crowd
Give us the promised Holy Spirit
We want a new Pentecost
Send the fire
God of Elijah Hear Our Cry
Send the fire
To make us fit to live or die
Send the fire
To burn every trace of sin
To bring light and glory inside
The revolution starts now
Send the fire
It’s the fire we want, by the fire we cry
Send the fire
The fire will meet all our needs
Send the fire
For the strength to always do what is right
For grace to conquer in battle
For power to walk the world dressed in white
Send the fire
To make our weak hearts strong and brave
Send the fire
To live to save a world that is dying
Send the fire
Come and deliver us to your altar.
Our lives, our everything, this very day
To crown the sacrifice now we pray
Send the fire
General William Booth – Thou Christ of Burning, Cleansing Flame
Smith Wigglesworth was born in Menston, Yorkshire, England, on June 8, 1859. He grew up in a humble family and when he was six he helped his father in the fields. At the age of seven, he accompanied his father to work in a woolen cloth factory. He learned the first words with his mother, studying in an old bible. His grandmother was a Christian and made a point of taking him to Church. At the age of eight he began to participate in the songs of worship.
At age 13, his family moved to the city of Bradford and there he began to actively participate in the Wesleyan Methodist Church where he regularly heard New Testament teachings. At that time, along with other young men, he was invited by the Church to speak at a special meeting for new preachers. He climbed into the pulpit and preached for 15 minutes. When the preaching was over, he was surprised with applause and shouts of enthusiasm.
When Smith Wigglesworth was 17 years old, he became a plumber. In 1882 he married Mary Jane Featherstone, known as Polly, a young Methodist, born in a wealthy family but who had left behind society’s luxuries to preach along with the Salvation Army. Polly helped Smith to read and read by going through the Bible with him.
Often Polly invited Smith to preach but he declared that he would never speak in public again. Howver, in 1907 he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and from that moment he felt his life transformed. The next Sunday he went to Church and preached with great clarity.
Gradually, he came to understand that sickness was the devil’s strategy and could be cured divinely. Around 1890 he traveled to Leeds and visited a Church where divine healing was taking place. In 1900 Smith himself first experienced of this healing and from then on he did not stop ministering for healing too. His life was an example of faith and willingness to serve God.
Smith Wigglesworth also went through times of suffering. In 1913, when he was on his way to a meeting where he would preach, his wife Polly died for no apparent reason. When he returned to his house, Wigglesworth went to the room where the body of his dead wife lay in bed. He rebuked the spirit of death and commanded life to return. Polly opened her eyes and said, “Why did you bring me back, Smith?” She did not want to go back to earth. After an affectionate conversation, he let her go to heaven.
Fourteen people were documented as bring resurrected from death to life through Wigglesworth’s ministry. (Unofficial sources account for twenty-three people.) It seemed there was nothing too big for his faith. From headaches to cancers, it was all the same to him. Was there anything too hard for God?
The ministry of this man of God has influenced many other men and women such as Kathrin Kulman, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Bud Wright and Kenneth Hagin.
Years later, he became a man of such magnitude that Oral Roberts, a healing evangelist, once said before other fellow evangelists, “we owe this man a debt impossible to calculate.”
Smith Wigglesworth left an extensive work on the topic of Faith, among them the book “Dare to Believe”. In it he gives excerpts from the teachings that lead readers to believe in God andto have faith to help other people be transformed. It shows the reader that it is necessary to read the Bible and be attentive to the voice of God. The book brings meditations on these principles and reinforces the need for believers to believe!
Smith Wigglesworth died in Wakefield, England, on March 12, 1947.
“<ebiografia.com>” “acessado em: 20/02/2019 / 11am” (Dilva Frazão)
Of all the revivals that have taken place here in the UK, one of the greatest was undoubtedly the Welsh revival, which had its greatest instrument in Evan Roberts. At the turn of the 20th century, the country was not doing well economically. The Church was not thriving either – there was a certain spiritual coldness, yet there was a group of people within the Church who were not satisfied and wanted more of God. Revival is always preceded by this spiritual dissatisfaction and some people who turned to seek God, desiring a new move and something different, began praying for a revival in Wales. It was in this context that God raised up a young man named Evan Roberts.
He was born in Loughor, a town in the County of Swansea / Wales on 8th August 1878. As the son of a coal miner, at the age of thirteen Roberts began to hunger and thirst for God, and to pray for two important things: (1) for God to fill him with His Spirit, and (2) for God to send revival to Wales. Roberts made perhaps the largest investment in God’s prayer bank in benefit of the revival that the Lord wished to send. At the age of 16 he attended a school of theology in another city, but he always had a hunger for God in his heart and he sought spiritual experiences. One day while attending a conference about God’s divine calling, he talked to the speaker about what he had in his heart: a vision God showed him where he was speaking about the love of God to all his childhood friends, and the speaker replied “Then go back to your city and start doing what God has put in your heart!” Evan did not hesitate and returned to his hometown.
He sought out the pastor of the Church and asked to have a prayer meeting with the young people on Mondays, and the pastor readily agreed. After some time, in one of these meetings the pastor asked the young people who Jesus was for them, and each one gave their answer. One young woman answered, “I love Jesus because He saved my life!” – and suddenly a brokenness came over them and everyone began to confess their sins and to seek God.
Evan Roberts continued to cry out in prayer for a supernatural visitation of God in Wales, and this spiritual hunger began to affect his friends too, who prayed with him at the dawn of each day. One day he had a vision of an arm extended from heaven over Wales, and this vision intensified their prayers to see an outpouring of God and to win 100,000 souls.
Evan Roberts prayed, “Bend us Lord, break us O God,” followed by a confession of sins, a call to holiness and more crying out that God would send the Holy Spirit to bring a love for Jesus.
Then came the outpouring of God in the meetings, which were no longer held only on Mondays, but all week long. People came from all over the city, and other cities heard about what was happening in Loughor and also came to experience what God was doing.
Evan Roberts was only twenty-six years old when the revival broke out. His sister, Mary, who played an important part in the work, was only sixteen. His brother Dan, and Mary’s future husband, Sydney Evans, were both in their twenties. The “Singing Sisters,” who were greatly used by God, were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. Thousands of young people were won to the Lord and were immediately sent throughout the land testifying of the glory of God. Children were also used powerfully in the revival, winning many souls for Jesus. New converts led large prayer meetings and Bible studies; the chapels became overcrowded with young people.
This revival had an impact throughout the city: no one wanted to go to the football games, theaters, or pubs. Instead they were drawn to the Church by the manifest presence of God. The meetings continued without interruption, and Evan Roberts depended heavily on the Holy Spirit, sometimes preaching for only fifteen or thirty minutes – or saying nothing at all – allowing the Holy Spirit to lead everything. Sometimes there was only praise and worship and the presence of God touching lives, with salvation and healing being released in awesome ways. He was known as the “silent preacher” – one who did not like to take pictures and all credit was given only to the Holy Spirit. During this move of God, Bibles sold-out throughout Wales and Evan Roberts travelled from town to town speaking about the move of God and the many salvations. This revival was birthed by young people and, led by Evan Roberts at the age of 26, they indeed reached 100,000 souls for Christ.
All of Wales was impacted by the presence of God, and people came from all over the UK and Europe to see this great move of God up close and returned on fire for their own cities and countries. The revival in Wales transcended Churches and buildings; leaders from different Churches worshiped God together and exchanged pulpits to proclaim a single message of repentance and seeking the presence of God. This is a great example of the Church overcoming the world, for everyone, unanimously, preferred to go to Church to experience the the presence of God than to other activities in the city. The presence of God was in every place and sometimes when people went to the pubs, they could not drink anything because the presence of God was so strong there.
Evan Roberts was one of the greatest revivalists we have known, but unfortunately, he did not take proper care of himself and, after spending a few months during the revival without taking any rest, suffered a nervous breakdown. He went to London to receive treatment where he was told by the doctors that he should not preach any longer, and that he had to take rest to stay alive. Eight years later, he returned to his house in Wales, but the flame of revival was no longer the same. No longer leading the revival, his health waned, and Evan Roberts lived the rest of his days in intercession, writing articles for evangelical magazines, and receiving visitors. He died in the city of Cardiff in 1951.
Avivamentoja.com – Dr. Paul David Cull
CPPI – Carol Bazzo
Reverend Boddy was an Anglican vicar who came from an ecclesiastical family, and he was principle leader and promoter of the Pentecostal Movement in Great Britain.
As he was a person who was always seeking more of God, he went to Wales in 1904 to observe the revival that was happening there led by Evan Roberts, with whom he talked a lot.
In 1907, he learned of something that was taking place in Norway, led by a Methodist, Pastor Tomas Ball Barratt. Barratt had been in Los Angeles and had come back impacted by the revival on Azuza Street, especially some features such as speaking in tongues as evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and other spiritual gifts in evidence in the Pentecostal Movement. Boddy was so touched that he invited TB Barrett to come to his Church in Sunderland, England to share what God was doing in Norway and other countries in Europe. In the years that followed, he promoted conventions to publicize the Pentecostal Movement throughout Great Britain. Between1908 and 1926, he published articles on the Pentecostal Movement in the “Confidence” magazine, and this greatly helped to spread the movement.
Alexander A. Boddy died in 1930, at the age of 76, pastoring a small Church in Pittington, near Durham.
On what was the Pentecostal Movement:
Pentecostalism is a movement of renewal within Christianity that gives special emphasis on a direct and personal experience of God through Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, a Greek word that describes the Jewish feast of the Firstfruits Harvest. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in Acts 2. Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power, worship style, and teachings that were found in the early Church.
Origin of the Pentecostal Movement:
There are many controversies regarding the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement, which is so called because it rescued the fullness of the experience of Acts 2, which occurred during the Jewish feast of Pentecost or Harvest Feast. The gifts of the Spirit, the so-called “signs”, were promised by Jesus (Mark 16: 17-20). In addition to the episode of Acts 2, we see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in various parts of the book of Acts. In some cases, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are bound: tongues and prophecies, principally (Acts 10: 45-46). Baptism in the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in other languages, known or unknown to the hearer, but always unknown to the speaker, was extremely common in the early Church. The spiritual gifts were exercised constantly. The apostle Paul devoted part of his First Epistle to the Corinthians to speak of the correct use of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14). After the apostolic period, the signs continued at full throttle, especially in the first century.
George Jeffreys was born February 28th, 1889, the sixth of eight children born to Thomas and Kezia Jeffreys. The family belonged to the Independent Welsh Church. George and his brother Stephen were converted during the Revival at the Shiloh Chapel Independent in Nantyfyllon, Wales on November 20th, 1904. This was the time when the Welsh Revival was at its peak. The family had suffered many losses. Four brothers, his father Thomas, and a sister had all died. George himself was in poor health, had a speech impediment and showed the onset of facial paralysis.
When news of the Pentecostal experience came to Wales, George was initially opposed to it. His nephew Edward, however, had a Pentecostal experience and began speaking in tongues. This meant that by 1911 he was convinced that this was a valid experience and he was baptized in the Llynfi River. He was then baptized in the Spirit and was also healed. He immediately joined a group of Pentecostals and began preaching. His brother, Stephen Jeffreys, was also baptized in the Spirit and began his own work. George helped him for a few months at the beginning of that year.
In the many Churches, conventions, and camp meetings where George and Stephen Jeffreys preached in the subsequent years, there were reports of many miracle healings and other acts of God. Such healings brought George to his “foursquare” belief that Jesus is Saviour, Healer, Baptizer, and the Coming King. George, along with a small group of colleagues, became known as the Elim Evangelistic Band in Belfast and throughout Ulster. This group of people attracted crowds to their large tent and, later, to the Belfast hall they purchased. Thus George founded his first Church in Belfast in 1914, followed by one in Monaghan in 1915, and the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance, as it is officially known.
There was a growing disagreement between George and Stephen. Their personalities were radically different. Stephen was possibly the most talented of the two, but George carried a strong presence.
Stephen often agreed to meetings in more than one place on the same date. He would let meetings run without taking offerings or letting take part. Stephen would say what came to his mind, no matter the consequences. He also came to believe that George was jealous of him. In 1926 Stephen left the Elim movement and joined the Assemblies of God of Great Britain and Ireland.
The years between 1925 and 1934 were extremely significant for George. He started an evangelistic campaign that swept England. He invited Aimee Semple McPherson to speak at the Surrey Tabernacle in March 1926. The response was so positive that he rented the Royal Albert Hall a month later and invited her to join him again. Healings and miracles began to occur in significant numbers in their meetings. When Aimee “disappeared” her mother actually wrote Jeffreys and asked him to consider taking over as pastor of Angelus Temple in the USA. At one crusade in Birmingham there were 10,000 converts. He visited Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, and Switzerland, seeing14,000 converted to Christ.
In 1940 he finally resigned as head of the Elim movement and began a new group called Bible Pattern Church Fellowship, based in Nottingham, and today it is known as Kensington Temple (a name that he chose) in London. He asked his brother Stephen to accompany him, but although he came, Stephen’s health needed care and he could not help. George continued to preach, but he became more and more isolated. He never again had the same impact as he had during the years 1925-1934, but he had a resurgence of influence in France and Switzerland in the period between 1946 and1950, coinciding with the rise of the healing movement outside the USA.
In 1962, George spoke with Reinhard Bonnke, the evangelist, about the ministry that Bonnke was about to start in South Africa. Bonnke had stumbled upon Jeffreys’ home in Clapham whilst on holiday in London. The old evangelist invited Bonnke in for tea. Jeffreys prayed for the 22-year-old Bonnke, passing on his “mantle”.
George Jeffreys died on January 26th, 1962, at the age of 72. He is known as one of the greatest evangelists that England produced, after George Whitfield and John Wesley.
Revival is neither more nor less than the impact of the personality of Jesus Christ on a Church or community. The inner area becomes conscious of God. Duncan Campbell
The Hebrides are small islands that are to the North-west of Scotland, the largest of which are called “Lewis and Harris”. The revival began in 1949 when two sisters, old ladies, Peggy and Christine Smith, began praying for a revival. They believed that God gave them the promise of Isaiah 44: 3: “For I will pour water upon the thirsty, and torrents upon the dry land.” The persistence and aggressiveness of the prayers of these two ladies, Peggy and Christine, one of whom was blind, contributed a great deal to the beginning of this revival. Night after night they prayed and cried to God for the young people of those islands till the wee hours of the morning they prayed, “One night,” one of them reported, “we felt such weight in prayer that we felt God would certainly respond. We could not sleep. We continue praying until dawn.
While these two ladies were praying heavily for the youth, at the other end of the island God began to operate in a group of seven young men who were praying for the revival as well. They met three or four nights a week in a shed to pray, often going on until two or three o’clock in the morning. They were prepared and resolved in their hearts to pay the price of revival. They were willing to cleanse their personal lives and prevail in prayer until God’s response came.
One night as they prayed one of the young men challenged the others and said, “Let’s look at Psalm 24. Let’s see what it says there.” Who will go up to the mountain of the Lord? Who is to remain in his holy place? “He who is cleansed of hands and pure in heart, who does not surrender his soul to falsehood, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall obtain the blessing of the Lord, and the righteousness of the God of his salvation “(Ps 24.3-5).
We have thought of a revival and we wanted the blessing of God, “he continued, not only for us but for others. We have the cleansing blood that is effective in our behalf (1 John 1: 6-9), and the promise of God (Isaiah 44: 3) What can hinder the answer to our prayer ? The text of Psalm 24 was a challenge to the seven youths They continued to challenge one another as they prayed, “Is your heart clean?”. Here is the promise of God. We have your purifying blood. Thus, as they purified their lives and confessed their sins, God gave them the answer: Revival, the barn was suddenly filled with the glory of God, and the power that was manifested filled that little barn, and shook the whole community.
The local Church pastor, Reverend James McKay, invited a preacher named Duncan Campbell to visit the island and fan the flames of revival. At first, Campbell declined the invitation because of a conference scheduled for the same time, but the Smith sisters encouraged Pastor McKay that Campbell would in fact visit the island, and the other conference was canceled at the last minute.
On his first night on the island, Campbell preached in the crowded Church, but apparently without a great move of the Spirit. Some people continued to pray in a house after worship in a hut. In the hut about thirty people knelt in prayer and began to intercede before God. At about 3 o’clock in the morning, God invaded the place, and a dozen lay prostrate on the ground. Something had happened-God was acting, as He had promised. The revival had come and the men and women were about to find release.
When the group left the hut, they found men and women seeking God. Lights were lit in the houses along the road – no one seemed to be thinking about sleeping. Three men were found lying by the roadside in a rush of conviction, crying out to God to have mercy on them! The Spirit of God was coming into action and soon the parish of Barvas would be completely agitated, a cry vibrated in the air. One of the young men’s prayer soldiers was touched to the point of agony, while pouring out his soul for revival. he fell prostrate on the ground.
The second service ended in complete silence. God spoke to hearts. In the end, Campbell dismissed the crowd and the building emptied. But suddenly the Church door opened again and an elder signaled for Campbell to come to him. The entire congregation was outside, so touched by the Spirit that no one wanted to leave. Other people, who had not attended the service, were drawn from their homes by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many faces showed deep distress. Campbell called everyone back to the Church.
The majestic presence of God was so profound that the unsaved began to groan in distress and to pray in repentance. Even Christians felt the weight of their sin. Strong men cried out for mercy, and as each received the assurance of salvation, others praised God and even shouted for joy. A mother wrapped her arms around her son, thanking God, tears of joy running down her cheeks. The prayers of years were answered.
For five weeks the power of God was poured out upon that region. On one occasion, almost six hundred people, sent to Church, were suddenly struck by the power of the Holy Spirit and knelt on the road in repentance. Duncan Campbell conducted four services every night while the powerful revival move lasted.
The revival fire has spread to other communities. Kathie Walter recounts what happened in the small village of Arnol. People could not sleep and the houses were lit up all night. People walked the streets in great conviction, others knelt beside their bed, weeping for forgiveness. When the men left the prayer meeting, the preacher went into a house to ask for a glass of milk and found the mistress of the house with seven other women on their knees, crying out to God.
The presence of God began to spread throughout the region, and there were two more waves of revival in 1952 and 1957. The Keswick Journal of 1952 spoke about the fruits of the first revival: More people are attending the prayer meetings in Lewis today that witnessed Sunday before the revival. Social evils were swept away as by a flood in the communities touched by this wonderful movement. Men and women are living for God. Family worship is in almost every household; five or six prayer meetings a week in the Church, pastors and elders are building up men and women in the faith. Of all the hundreds who came to Christ in the first wave of the Holy Spirit, so far, only four young women have stopped attending prayer meetings.
Rev. Duncan Campbell, minister of United Free Church of Scotland, was powerfully used in the Hebridean revival that began in December 1949 and continued on several waves in successive years. Perhaps no minister of this century has experienced so many remarkable manifestations of the Lord’s power. He was not part of the charismatic movement and did not emphasize the manifestations of gifts.
Approximately 100,000 people were reached during that revival and the Churches were added.
avivamentoja.com – Pr Paul David Cull
O Fogo do Reavivamento – Wesley Duewel
Bright and Shining Revival – Kathie Walters
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