When the Fire Fell

By George T.B. Davis



Chapter I  When the Fire Fell from Heaven

On rare and memorable occasions, in Old Testament times, the fire fell from heaven.

One of these significant events occurred in the life of David. King David had sinned in numbering the people, and judgment was being poured out upon Israel. David earnestly confessed his sin and prayed. God heard his prayer. Judgment was stayed. Then, in obedience to God's command, David built an altar and offered sacrifices. And God "answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering" (I Chronicles 21:26).

Again the fire fell from heaven when Solomon dedicated the Temple. The falling fire signified the divine acceptance of the confession and prayer of his servant Solomon:

"Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house."

At this marvelous manifestation of God's power the assembled multitude of the children of Israel bowed themselves in worship: "And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever" (II Chronicles 7:3).

Later, Israel departed from the Lord in following Baal and worshipping idols. The prophet Elijah called the prophets of Baal and the children of Israel to Mount Carmel in a contest to let it be known which was the true God. Elijah said: "The God that answereth by fire, let him be God." The prophets of Baal built an altar and laid a bullock for sacrifice upon it. All day long they called upon their god, but there was no response.

At the time of the evening sacrifice Elijah repaired the altar of the LORD, and laid the bullock for the sacrifice upon it. At the command of the prophet they filled twelve barrels with water and poured them upon the sacrifice, until the water filled the trench about the altar. Elijah then quietly called upon God to manifest His power in order to bring the people back to Him: "Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God." (I Kings 18:38, 39.)

In New Testament times the sound of a rushing mighty wind," and "cloven tongues like as of fire" marked the descent of the Holy Ghost on the "birthday" of the Christian Church. This occurred after 120 faithful disciples had spent ten days, between Christ's ascension and the day of Pentecost, "with one accord in prayer and supplication."

Then the "cloven tongues" appeared, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. They became flaming witnesses for Christ. Former cowards were transformed into men of boldness and courage. In one day 3000 souls were born again; and on another day, a little later, 5000 souls were saved.

Throughout the centuries since that memorable day of Pentecost God has sent the "fire from heaven" again and again to revive his children, and to lead multitudes of precious souls into the light of the gospel. These heaven-sent visitations of the Spirit have been like enkindling flames--warming, reviving, convicting, converting, empowering, men and women.

This little book is a record of some of these thrilling, never-to-be-forgotten times of revival. May the recounting of these times of blessing encourage us to believe that once again God is waiting to visit his Church with a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in mighty quickening power! May He make us willing to fulfill the conditions of prayer, confession, and dedication, in order that the fire may fall again upon ourselves and upon our land!

Again and again throughout the centuries of the Christian era, the fire of God has fallen from heaven with untold blessing. In Scotland, in the year 1630, a young minister named John Livingston was invited to preach to a great assembly of people in the open air. Realizing the importance of the meeting, groups of earnest Christians formed themselves into little companies and spent the night in earnest supplication for God's blessing upon the gathering. The young minister himself, John Livingston, was a member of one of the companies of all-night intercessors.

The next day as the hour of the meeting drew near, the young man felt himself utterly unworthy to preach to such a great gathering of people. He felt himself so insufficient for the task that he was preparing to steal away into the fields. However, his friends gathered about him and constrained him to remain. As the young man spoke, the Spirit of God came upon him in great power. His text was Ezekiel 36:25, 26: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."

For two hours and a half the young man spoke with burning lips to the great audience. The heavenly "fire" fell upon the multitude and the scene was like another Pentecost. Rev. John Shearer in his book "Old Time Revivals" tells the story of what happened:

"The Spirit filled the speaker with a fullness that must be outpoured. The people seemed rooted to the ground in a great stillness. Five hundred men and women, some from the high ranks of society, some poor wastrels and beggars; were converted where they stood, and lived from that day as those who had indeed received a new heart and a new spirit. The memory of that day has never died, and the very telling of the story has proved a fount of revival."

In the early days of the American colonies, the fire of God again fell from heaven in a great spiritual awakening, under the leadership of Jonathan Edwards. During the early part of Jonathan Edwards' ministry in New England we are told "there was a marked decline in the religious life of the community. Among the young people the bands of morality had sadly relaxed. Frolics continued far into the night, and became the handmaid of vice.

With such conditions about him Jonathan Edwards gave himself to prayer and the ministry of the Word for eight years. Then suddenly the fire fell. Mr. Shearer gives a graphic picture of the scenes that were witnessed as the Spirit of God came down upon the people of the whole community. Suddenly, "conversions began to take place throughout the town. One of the first was that of a frivolous young woman, a leader in the 'frolics.' She became in very truth 'a new creature' so humble, pure, and gracious, so utterly transformed, that she was an object of wonder and amazement. The news of this conversion 'acted like a flash of lightning upon the hearts of the young people'; and as it flew from lip to lip the convicting Spirit seemed to pierce every heart that heard it. Indeed, throughout this revival, probably the most potent awakening agency was the simple news of another's conversion. A hunger for the same blessing was at once aroused in the hearer's heart.

"In the early months of 1735 the people pressed into the church daily, and for a time Northampton was literally filled with the presence of God. In almost every house parents were rejoicing over their children, and in the sanctuary the tears of penitence, of newfound joy, and deep compassion flowed freely. The whole congregation became like a heavenly choir, and praise was a sweet and holy sacrifice.

"The Bible was a new book. Texts that had been read a thousand times appeared with such fresh and novel interest that even old saints were tempted to think they had never seen them before, and regarded them with a strange wonder. Young converts read their Bibles with such eager intensity that their eyes became dimmed and they could not distinguish the letters. The tavern was emptied, and in the streets men paused to speak to one another of the beauty and matchless love of Christ.

"Ministers from other parts came to witness these wonders of Divine Grace. When they recounted them to their people, the Spirit used their testimony, often in a remarkable way. The fire spread thus from town to town and from county to county. It spread not only throughout New England; it passed also to other lands."

About the time of the awakening in New England there was a remarkable revival among the American Indians, under the leadership of David Brainerd, the apostle to the Indians. It was one of the notable spiritual awakenings in the history of the Christian Church. When Brainerd first began his work among the Indians, he had little success. His health became impaired. He retired from the work for a time. He was offered a pastorate among "wealthy and kindly people," and his heart went out in love toward the daughter of Jonathan Edwards. But day-by-day he heard in his soul the pitiful cries of the poor lost Indians who were so degraded and steeped in sin.

He made the great decision. He deliberately gave up a life of ease and comfort, and went back into the wilderness to proclaim the gospel to "his poor Indians." With dauntless heroism he went from place to place preaching to various Indian tribes. His tours among the tribes covered "more than three thousand miles, through forests, over dangerous mountains, in fierce rains, and freezing cold."

As time went on Brainerd realized more and more, that it was only through the mighty power of God, and the fire falling from heaven, that the hardened hearts of the stolid Indians could be changed. He decided to give himself unreservedly to intercessory prayer. It is said "whole nights were spent in agonizing prayer in the dark woods, his clothes drenched with the sweat of his travail." As the result of such intense fervent intercession it is little wonder that the windows of heaven were opened and the fire fell. Mr. Shearer tells the thrilling story:

"Suddenly, the Spirit was outpoured upon the whole region of the Susquehanna. His first audience there had consisted of four women and a few children. Now there came streaming in upon him from all sides a host of men and women, who pressed upon him, and grasping the bridle of his horse, besought him with intense earnestness to tell them the way of salvation. In a great, glad wonder he looked upon them, and the text that leaped to his lips was, 'Herein is love.'

"Men fell at his feet in anguish of soul. These were men who could bear the most acute torture without flinching. But God's arrow had now pierced them; their pain could not be concealed and they cried out in their distress, 'have mercy upon me.' What impressed Brainerd most deeply was that though these people came to him in a multitude, each one was mourning apart. The prophecy of Zechariah was fulfilled before his eyes. The woods were filled with the sound of a great mourning, and beneath the Cross every man fell as if he and the Savior God alone were there. Gradually as the missionary spoke, there came to them, one by one, the peace and comfort of the Gospel.

"As the days passed he had full proof that a heaven-sent revival had come. A passion for righteousness possessed the converts. The wretched victims of the 'fire-water' were delivered, and the Indian camps were cleansed at once from their physical and moral filthiness. The love of Christ expelled every unlovely thing. As one poor woman expressed it, 'Me to be Him for all,' became the motto of their lives. They became themselves ardent missionaries of the Cross. The light spread through all that dark region, and a strong Indian Church was established."

In another land across the sea the fire fell from heaven in answer to earnest intercessory prayer. In the early part of the eighteenth century the spiritual life of the people of Great Britain was at a low ebb. Moral and spiritual declension was much the same as in America and Great Britain at the present time.

But John Wesley and George Whitefield and others of like mind, were not content to let conditions remain in a state of stagnation. They were men of vision, men of faith, men of prayer. They began to cry to God for an outpouring of His Spirit. Whole nights were spent in intercessory prayer. At length the fire of God fell upon them in the early morning hours of one of these all-night prayer meetings. Wesley in his Journal tells what happened: "About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground."

Filled with the Spirit of God, Wesley and Whitefield and others went everywhere preaching the gospel. Like a gale from heaven they went up and down the British Isles preaching to vast multitudes sometimes numbering 20,000 and more. Their zeal for souls was so great that they came over to America and helped greatly in evangelizing our new land. The Rt. Hon. Lloyd George, British Prime Minister during the First World War, declared that the revival under Wesley changed the history of the British Isles.

Here in America, before the middle of the last century, there was a man of God who believed that prevailing prayer would open the windows of heaven and bring down the heavenly fire in the form of a mighty revivals He was Charles G. Finney, a Spirit-filled lawyer. He and "Father Nash," and Abel Cleary and others, prevailed in prayer.

For many years Charles G. Finney and his associates went up and down the land conducting revival meetings. Great multitudes were saved, and Christians were quickened in their faith. Prayer was the keynote and cornerstone of Finney's work. In speaking of the spirit of prayer that came upon the people in connection with his meetings, Finney said: "The spirit of prayer that prevailed in those revivals was a very marked feature of them. It was common for young converts to be greatly exercised in prayer.

"Not only were prayer meetings greatly multiplied and fully attended, not only was there great solemnity in those meetings, but there was a mighty spirit of secret prayer. Christians prayed a great deal--many of them would spend hours in private prayer. It was also the case that two or more would take the promise: 'If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven,' and make some particular person a subject of prayer; and it was wonderful to what an extent they prevailed. Answers to prayer were so manifestly multiplied on every side, that no one could escape the conviction that God was daily and hourly answering prayer.

Finney further said: "If anything occurred to threaten to hurt the work, if there was an appearance of any root of bitterness springing up, or any tendency to fanaticism or disorder, Christians would take the alarm, and give themselves to prayer that God would direct and control all things, and it was surprising to see to what extent, and by what means, God would remove obstacles out of the way in answer to prayer.

"Prayer is an essential link in the chain of causes that lead to a revival just as much as truth is. Some have zealously used truth to convert men, and laid very little stress upon prayer. They have preached, and talked, and distributed tracts with great zeal and then wondered why they had so little success. And the reason was that they had forgotten to use the other branch of the means, EFFECTUAL PRAYER. They overlooked the fact that truth by itself will never produce the effect, without the Spirit of God, and that, the Spirit is given in answer to earnest prayer."

On one occasion Finney went to Rochester, New York, to hold a series of revival meetings. Abel Cleary went to Rochester also, but not to attend the meetings. He rented a room, and while Finney preached Abel Cleary prayed. He interceded with God in an agony for souls. The Spirit of God was poured out mightily upon that city. Practically every lawyer in Rochester was converted. And the revival fires swept east and west and north and south throughout the land.

Rev. John Shearer in his book on revival says: "Sometimes the blessing spread like a fire with marvelous rapidity, and in every direction. The northern portion of Pennsylvania was then known as 'the lumber region.' Here a vast number of scattered households dwelt in almost heathen darkness. A great awakening took place in Philadelphia, under Finney's ministry, and some of the lumbermen, coming down to the city with their wood, heard the message and carried a spark of the fire back to the great forests. There it caught, and spread in an astonishing manner. In a region where there was not a single minister settled, 5000 people were converted in a short time."

The climax of the great awakening was reached in 1857. Ministers called upon their people to pray earnestly for revival to meet the onslaught of evil that was sweeping over the land. Prayer meetings to intercede for an outpouring of God's Spirit and for the salvation of souls sprang up everywhere.

Mr. Shearer tells how the fire fell from heaven and of the glorious results that followed:

"In answer to the Church's united cry, ascending from all parts of the land, the Spirit of God, in a very quiet way, and suddenly, throughout the whole extent of the United States, renewed the Church's life, and awakened in the community around it a great thirst for God. When the Church awoke to the full consciousness of the miracle, it found that from east to west, and from north to south, the whole land was alive with daily prayer meetings. And it was in these daily-united prayer meetings that the great majority of these conversions, of all ages and classes, took place. "The divine fire appeared in the most unlikely quarters. A large number of the aged were gathered in. White-haired penitents knelt with little children at the Throne of Grace. Whole families of Jews were brought to their Messiah. Deaf mutes were reached by the glad tidings, and though their tongues were still, their faces so shone that they became effective messengers of the gospel. The most hardened infidels were melted, some being led to Christ by the hand of a little child.

"Nor was the blessing confined to the land. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and a multitude of seamen saw a great light. It was as if a vast cloud of blessing hovered over the land and sea. And ships, as they drew near the American ports, came within the zone of heavenly influence. Ship after ship arrived with the same tale of sudden conviction and conversion. It was wonderful beyond words! In one ship a captain and the entire crew of thirty men found Christ out at sea and entered the harbour rejoicing.

"The North Carolina--a battleship of the United States Navy--lay in the harbour of New York. Her complement was about a thousand men. Amongst these were four Christians who discovered their spiritual kinship and agreed to meet for prayer. They were permitted to use a very retired part of the ship, on a deck far below the water line. Here, then, they gathered one evening. They were only four men, but they were a united band. They represented three denominations, one being an Episcopalian, another a Presbyterian, while two were Baptists.

"As they knelt in the dim light of a tiny lamp, the Spirit of God suddenly filled their hearts with such joy of salvation that they burst into song. The strange sweet strain rose to the decks above, and there created great astonishment. Their ungodly shipmates came running down. They came to mock, but the mighty power of God had been liberated by rejoicing faith. It gripped them, and in one moment their derisive laugh was changed into the cry of penitent sinners! Great fellows, giants in stature, and many of them giants in sin, were literally smitten down, and knelt humbly beside the four, like little children.

"A most gracious work straightway began in the depths of the great ship. Night after night the prayer meeting was held, and conversions took place daily. Soon they had to send ashore for help, and ministers joyfully came out to assist. A large number were added to the various churches, and the battleship became a veritable House of God! The North Carolina was a receiving ship, from which men were constantly drafted to other ships.

"The converts of the revival were scattered throughout the navy. A revival convert is a burning brand. The holy fire spread rapidly from ship to ship. Wherever the converts went they started a prayer meeting and became a soul-winning band. Thus ship after ship left the harbor of New York for foreign seas, each carrying its band of rejoicing converts, and the fire of God was borne to the ends of the earth."

Dr. Frank G. Beardsley in his History of American Revivals speaks of the numerical results of the revival of 1857: "For a period of six to eight weeks, when the revival was at its height, it was estimated that fifty thousand persons were converted weekly throughout the country, and as the revival lasted for more than a year, it becomes evident that the sum total of conversions reached a figure that was enormous. Conservative judges have placed the number of converts, in this great spiritual awakening, at five hundred thousand."


Chapter II When the Fire Fell in Ireland


There were four young men in Ireland whose hearts were burdened for the salvation of souls. They believed in the power of prayer, and met together for united earnest intercession for revival. The story of George Muller, and his great orphanage at Bristol, England, supported entirely in answer to believing prayer, quickened the faith of the young men. They began to believe that God could and would do mighty things in answer to their prayers.

Others also, who longed for revival, joined this prayer band, and they began to see definite conversions in answer to their intercession. Then came the news of the great revival in the United States, and the faith of the members of the prayer group was still further strengthened.

They heard that in New York City large numbers of businessmen met daily for prayer. Like Jacob of old, the young men cried out: "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." They believed the Word of God in Matthew 18:19 and 20: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Prayer meetings in Ireland began to multiply, and people were being saved daily. Then the fire fell from heaven! John Shearer in his book "Old Time Revivals" tells what happened: "A great revival is like a forest fire. At first there is only a thin line of flame. But soon its progress is so swift and widely diffused that the eye can no longer keep pace with it. The flame bursts forth at once in many places, and now we see but one great conflagration. So it was with this marvelous work of grace. You might observe its course in Connor and a little beyond in 1858. But in 1859 the heavenly fire was leaping up and spreading in all directions through Antrim, Downs, Derry, Tyrone, and the other counties of Ulster, and to this, day '59' is remembered as the pre-eminent year of grace.

"As it advanced, it burned with a fierce intensity. In Connor the conversions were of a comparatively quiet type. But in Ahoghill, Ballymena, and elsewhere, there was a great smiting down. Sin was felt as a crushing and intolerable burden, and men and women often fell to the earth and continued for days in a state of utter prostration. Others were suddenly pierced as by a sharp sword, and their agonized cry for help was heard in the streets and in the fields. Here, for example, is a 'farmer returning from market in Ballymena. His mind is wholly intent upon the day's bargain. He pauses, takes out some money, and begins to count it. Suddenly an awful Presence envelops him. In a moment his only thought is that he is a sinner standing on the brink of hell. His silver is scattered, and he falls upon the dust of the highway, crying out for mercy.

"There was a wonderful work amongst the children. The blessing had come to Coleraine, and one day the school master observed a boy so troubled that he was quite unfit for lessons. He kindly sent him home in the company of an older boy who had already found peace. As the two lads went on their way they saw an empty house, and went into it for prayer.

"While they knelt the painful burden lifted from the boy's heart. He sprang to his feet in a transport of joy. Returning to the school, he ran up to the master and, with a beaming face, cried out, 'Oh, I am so happy! I have the Lord Jesus in my heart.' The effect of these artless words was very great. Boy after boy rose and silently left the room. In a little while the master followed and discovered his boys ranged alongside the wall of the playground, every one apart and on his knees!

"Very soon their silent prayer became a bitter cry. It was heard by those within and pierced their hearts. They cast themselves upon their knees, and their cry for mercy was heard in the girls' schoolroom above. In a few moments the whole school was upon its knees, and its wail of distress was heard in the street.

"Neighbors and passers-by came flocking in, and, as they crossed the threshold, came under the same convicting power. Every room was filled with men, women, and children seeking God. The ministers of the town and men of prayer were sent for, and the whole day was spent in directing these mourners to the Lord Jesus. That school proved to be for many the house of God and the very gate of heaven.

"It pleased God to use in a very remarkable manner the simple testimony of the four young men of Connor. Through them the revival reached Belfast. Of a sudden, ministers who had toiled in vain for years found themselves surrounded by sin-sick souls clamoring for the life-giving Word. But for the co-operation of Sabbath School teachers and other friends they would speedily have been exhausted with the work. Vast and memorable gatherings were held. Districts notorious as the scenes of party strife, witnessed the triumph of the gospel of peace. Bitter opponents knelt together at the Savior’s feet. Belfast became like a city of God."

The awakening that followed was indeed extraordinary. It was the greatest spiritual quickening that the land had witnessed for generations. Visitors from many lands flocked to Ireland to witness the great awakening. Churches were filled to overflowing. The hearts of the ministers sang for joy as they saw sinners in an agony of soul under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit; then bursting forth into ecstatic joy as they found pardon and peace; and going forth with the light of heaven on their faces to tell others the glad tidings.

A stirring history of the revival was written by Professor William Gibson, the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. It is a book of some 500 pages. It is filled with authentic stories of large numbers of people who were converted during the revival. In speaking of how the awakening started in a quiet corner of Ireland, and spread rapidly here and there, Professor Gibson says: "In startling and impressive grandeur it burst forth in a comparatively sequestered region; and scarcely had the new-born flame, drawn down by a few earnest watchers there, begun to burn, when it spread in all directions over an entire province. All classes and all ages caught the heavenly fire.

The fact that there were "some temporary excesses and extravagancies" in connection with the revival did not trouble Professor Gibson. He asked, who at such a time would criticize or ''grudge to these new--gathered souls the overflowing fullness of their joy?"

As is so often the case in revivals the converts of one place carried the fire to other communities. Rev. A. J. Canning of Coleraine, Ireland, tells how the awakening came to that town: "Upon the evening of the 7th of June, 1859, an open-air meeting was held in one of the market-places of the town, called 'Fair-Hill.' The announced object of the meeting was to receive and hear one or two of the, 'converts,' as they began to be called, from a district some eight or ten miles south of Coleraine. The evening was one of the most lovely that ever shone. The richly wooded banks of the river Bann, which bounds one side of the square in which the meeting was held, were fully in prospect, and there was not a cloud in the sky.

"Shortly after seven o'clock, dense masses of people, from town and country, began to pour into the square by all its approaches, and in a short time an enormous multitude crowded around the platform from which speakers were to address the meeting. After singing and prayer, the converts, a young man and a man more advanced in years, and both of the humbler class, proceeded to address the meeting. Their addresses were short, and consisted almost entirely of a detail of their own awakening, and earnest appeals to the consciences of sinners. After the lapse of nearly an hour, it became manifest that more than one-half of the congregated multitude could not hear the voices of the speakers on the platform. Then it was suggested that the people should separate into distinct congregations or groups, and that a minister should preach to each group. This was immediately done, and some three or four separate audiences were soon listening with most marked attention to as many preachers, for all the ministers of all the evangelical churches in the town were present.

"I was engaged in addressing a large group of people, composed of all ages and of all ranks of the community, from a portion of Scripture, when I became struck with the deep and peculiar attention which every mind and heart was lending to what I said. As to manner, my address was very calm; as to matter, it consisted of plain gospel truth, as it concerns man's lost condition on the one hand, and the free grace of God, as displayed in salvation, on the other. I know that the addresses of my brethren were of a like character. I never saw before, in any audience, the same searching, earnest, riveted look fixed upon my face, as strained up to me from al most every eye in that hushed and apparently awe-struck multitude. I remember, even whilst I was speaking, asking myself, 'How is this? Why is this?' As yet, however, the people stood motionless, and perfectly silent.

"About the time the last speaker was closing his address, a very peculiar cry arose from out a dense group at one side of the square, and in less than ten- minutes a similar cry was repeated in six or eight different groups, until, in a very short time, the whole multitude was divided into awe-struck assemblages around persons prostrate on the ground, or supported in the arms of relatives or friends.

"I hurried to the center of one of these groups, and having first exhorted the persons standing around to retire, and leave me to deal with the prostrate one, I stooped over him, and found him to be a young man of some eighteen or twenty years, but personally unknown to me. He lay on the ground, his head supported on the knees of an elder of one of our churches. His eyes were closed; his hands were firmly clasped, and occasionally very forcibly pressed upon the chest. He was uttering incessantly a peculiar deep moan, sometimes terminating in a prolonged wailing cry.

"I felt his pulse, and could discern nothing very peculiar about it. I said, softly and quietly in his ear, 'Why do you cry so?' when he opened his eyes for an instant, and I could perceive that they had, stronger than I ever saw it before, that inward look, which indicates that the mind is wholly occupied with its own images and impressions. 'Oh!' he exclaimed, high and loud, in reply to my question, 'my sins! my sins! Lord Jesus, have mercy upon my poor soul! 0 Jesus! come! 0 Lord Jesus, come!'

"I endeavored to calm him for a moment, asking him to listen to me whilst I set before him some of the promises of God to perishing sinners. At first I thought that I was carrying his attention with me in what I was saying, but I soon discovered that his whole soul was filled with one idea--his guilt and his danger-- for, in the middle of my repetition of some promise, he would burst forth with the bitter cry, '0 God, my sins! my sins!' At length I said in his ear, 'Shall I pray?' He replied in a loud voice, 'Oh, yes!' I engaged in prayer, and yet I doubt whether his mind followed me beyond the first sentence or two.

"As I arose from prayer, six or eight persons, all at the same instant, pressed around me, crying, 'Oh, come and see (naming such a one--and--and) '--until I felt for a moment bewildered, and the prayer went out from my own heart, 'God guide me!' I passed from case to case for two or three hours, as did my brethren in the ministry, until, when the night was far spent, and the stricken ones began to be removed to the shelter of roofs, I turned my face homewards through one street, when I soon discovered that the work which had begun in the market-square was now advancing with marvelous rapidity in the homes of the people. As I approached door after door, persons were watching for me and other ministers, to bring us to deal with some poor agonized stricken one; and when the morning dawned, and until the sun arose, I was wandering from street to street, and from house to house, on the most marvelous and solemn errand upon which I have ever been sent."

An eye-witness of the revival in Ballymena says: "It was in the opening summer that the revival came, when the light lingers so long at, nightfall, and the bright mornings break so soon. We can remember how many lighted windows there were though the night was far-gone, and how prayer meetings were prolonged till the day had returned again. Every evening the churches were crowded, and family worship became almost universal. In the country, large meetings were held in the open air. Part of the dinner-hour was generally devoted to singing and prayer, and the sound from numerous groups of worshipers could be heard far at a distance as it was borne on the summer breeze. Thousands of tracts were circulated and read with avidity, and long neglected Bibles came into general use.

"When the great outpouring came, worldly men were silent with an indefinite fear, and Christians found themselves borne onward in the current, with scarce time for any feeling but the overpowering conviction that a great revival had come at last. Careless men were bowed in unaffected earnestness, and sobbed like children. Drunkards and boasting blasphemers were awed into solemnity. Sabbath-school teachers and scholars became seekers of Christ together; and languid believers were stirred up to unusual exertion. Ministers who had often toiled in heartfelt sorrow suddenly found them selves beset by inquirers, and wholly unequal to the demands, which were made. Every day many were hopefully converted, passing through an ordeal of conviction more or less severe, to realize their great deliverance, and to throw themselves with every energy into the work of warning others, or of leading them to the Lord. All this came suddenly."

The revival was not a mere emotional upheaval. The work of God's Spirit was deep and lasting. Rev. John Stuart tells of the revival in a place not far from Coleraine: "Never was there such a summer as the last; never such an autumn; never such a winter, so far as it has gone. Hundreds have been savingly converted to the Lord; some 'stricken' down when the Spirit came upon them like a 'rushing mighty wind'; others convinced and converted whilst He spake to their consciences by the 'still small voice.' The first effect of the revival was, that 'fear came upon every soul.' Then our church was filled to suffocation, and we were obliged to take to the open fields to declare the message of mercy to a hungering and thirsting population. The hitherto unoccupied pews were ardently sought after. The aisles were filled with anxious hearers, and now preaching became a luxury. I had pastor's work to do. I had living men and living women before me. They came to the sanctuary on the sole errand of obtaining the 'bread of life.' Every Sabbath was a day of 'sweet refreshing.' On every week-day evening 'they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard,' and 'there were added to the church daily such as should be saved.' Of all the stricken ones--two hundred in number--I do not know of one backslider."

Throughout the revival the Spirit of God came upon sinners in great convicting power, and upon Christians in giving them an intense passion for souls. There were also unusual physical manifestations. Rev.- Andrew Long tells of some of them in a rural district in Donegal not far from the city of Derry. "The Divine influence came down upon the people at each service throughout that interesting day. There were many physical manifestations. Upwards of one hundred persons lay prostrate in the pews, and agonized in prayer. Many of the cases were quite unusual. One young woman continued to sing a sweet, mournful air, apparently her own, to words that occurred to her at the moment, all about Jesus, and all as beautiful as if arranged by the finest poet. She seemed unconscious of those around her and sat in her pew all the time with her eyes steadfastly gazing upwards. Never did I, or any of that awe-stricken audience, listen to sounds so unlike those of earth. It was like an angel's song. Her voice seemed to be attuned by some celestial power; and its clear, sweet,


Chapter III Thrilling Days at Dundrod


The revival that came to the town of Dundrod in Ireland was very extraordinary. A stirring narrative of the awakening was written by Rev. William Magill, who was an eyewitness of the scenes, and played a prominent part in the revival in his district. He gave this account of how the fire fell from heaven, and the remarkable events that followed:

"I had been in Belfast the day previous, and had leaned over the prostrate bodies of men and women laboring under strong conviction of sin. I had heard, for the first time in my life, the sighs and groans of breaking hearts, and witnessed with a feeling of wonder and awe the mental agony and the terrible struggle of souls wrestling with 'the principalities and powers of darkness,' and 'contending earnestly' for life and liberty; and when the battle was won, I heard with almost equal wonder the shout of victory, like the pealing of a trumpet on the field from which the enemy had fled. I came home filled with strange thoughts, cherishing high hopes, and breathing earnest prayers that the Lord would come over the mountains and visit my people.

"I expected something, and I was not disappointed. When dressing on the following morning, I observed a man approaching the manse, and the thought at once arose in my mind, 'This man is perhaps coming for me -- the work is begun.' It was even so. I was soon on my way to his house. He told me as we went, that one of his daughters, after returning home from the prayer-meeting, had fallen ill, strangely ill--that she was up all night, and had raised the whole family to engage in prayer with her and for her--that she had never ceased praying and reading all night, and when he left her she was worse than ever, and he feared she was 'going wrong in her mind.' He had done all he could to pacify her, and said to her, that if she wanted to be converted, to take the matter coolly, and not create uproar about the house to alarm the neighbors.

"Before reaching the house, I heard her voice in loud and earnest and continuous prayer. When I opened the door and looked in, I saw her mother and two sisters, all on their knees and in tears. In the centre of the group, the picture of woe, was the 'stricken one,' with eyes upturned to heaven, and face covered and seamed with tears. Her arms were now extended to their utmost length, as if to grasp some distant and coveted object, and then brought together with violence as she clasped her hands, as if in mortal agony, whilst from her lips there burst forth words of fire, as living streams from a burning mountain: '0 Christ, help me! Lord Jesus, save my guilty soul! 0 Jesus, come; come soon, and give relief to my guilty soul! 0 thou quickening Spirit, come! Oh, create in me a new heart, and give me a heart of flesh!'

"Then as her eyes rested on me, as I stood riveted to the spot, witnessing in silence this exciting and wonderful scene--for I never had heard such prayers before--she exclaimed, without rising from her kneeling posture, 'Oh, here is my minister! I knew I would have no peace till he came. Oh, come, come pray for my guilty soul!'

"I knelt beside her and prayed, her voice accompanying mine all the time, while her expressions at intervals were so rich, varied, and scriptural, that I had often to pause, and then to follow instead of lead, as text after text from Old and New Testament, prophet and psalmist, Christ and apostle, were changed into beautiful and impassioned prayer. Such asking, seeking, striving to enter the 'kingdom,' I never heard before. It was, indeed, Mercy knocking her loudest knocks at the door of the heavenly mansion, so that the Lord himself, startled by the peals which rouse up all the inmates, comes quickly, and with a smile opens the door, and takes her by the hand and brings her in.

"Now the struggle is over. She rises up, and begins the song of triumph! What a change-- a perfect transformation! The cloud has passed away, and God, like the sun in his glory, is lifting upon her the light of His countenance. Her eye, as she sings, is lighted up with strange and unearthly fire. Her voice is no longer tremulous and plaintive, but now rings like a trumpet; while her whole face is covered with a smile, such as we might suppose an angel to wear.

"'Let us sing,' said she again, 'the 51st psalm. Oh! I bless God for that Psalm, and for all the Psalms I learned in the Sunday school and Bible-class.'

"'When the Psalm was sung, 'Now, said our first convert, 'father, mother, sisters, down on your knees, and we will pray for you. 0 Lord, save my father, and mother, and sister,' etc. At her request I read to the family the second chapter of Acts and sang the 60th Paraphrase.

"During the singing another sister, who was standing with a child in her arms, fell to the ground, and went through the same process, being, if possible, more violent, rolling on the floor in agony, tearing her hair, wringing her hands, and in heart-rending tones exclaiming, 'Oh, is there no pardon for me? I am too great a sinner to be forgiven. 0 God! for Christ's sake, save me, save me!' Her sister, now filled with joy, stands over her like a ministering spirit, and cheers her with gospel promises and earnest prayer. 'Now,' said she, 'I shall have a sister in the Lord. Who would have thought of it--two souls converted this morning in this house?'

"The Lord had begun his work. The strange news spread from lip to lip, and house to house, over the country. Like the 'fiery cross,' it roused the people, and old and young, men and women, husbands and wives, little girls and mothers with infants in their arms, ran to witness the strange doings, and to hear the wild, wondrous, but heavenly words that flowed from the lips of these plain country girls, changed in a few hours, by the Spirit of the Lord, into 'new creatures.' What is this? Is this conversion? Is this the work of the Spirit of the Lord? Has God come down to earth? Are the 'last days come or have these girls gone mad?' are asked on every hand. The reply is--'These are the last days, and God is beginning to pour out his Spirit upon all flesh.'

"That evening a prayer-meeting was held at this house in the open air, in the street before the door. It was a still, fine summer evening, and under the clear, open sky hundreds of all ranks and ages met to unite in prayer, looking up to heaven for a blessing. Farmers and farm-servants, men, women, and little children, Roman Catholics and Protestants of various names, knelt together on the hard ground, reviving the recollection of primitive times, and forgetting or overlooking for the time every mark of distinction, in the common awe which all felt, and in the earnest prayer which all offered up to God.

"A psalm is sung, a word of exhortation given, and prayer offered up, and the benediction pronounced, but the multitude stand still. Another psalm is sung, and now the converts rush in among their friends and neighbors, shouting, pleading, and with heaving hearts, and sparkling eyes, and beaming countenances, and in strange sweet tones, telling of their newborn joys. The multitude heaves to and fro like a ship in a storm; and like drunken men in the streets the men stagger and fall with a shout or a deep sigh. Tears are shed, and groans, as if from dying men, are heard. Prayer and praise, tears and smiles, mingle together. Husbands and wives are locked in each other's arms, weeping and praying together; while those who came to scoff stand still, and in 'fear and trembling' contemplate this strange thing that is going on before their eyes. 'The dead' are rising from their graves, as if at the sound of the archangel's trumpet, for the Lord is quickening those who were dead in trespasses and sins. As the people separated, they formed into groups, and marched to their respective homes, some singing, some praying, some mourning, and some rejoicing.

"On the first Saturday evening when we met in the church for prayer, the scene was indescribable; the groups from all the districts to which the revival had spread--and it spread with amazing rapidity--came literally 'walking, and leaping, and praising God;' and as they rushed into each other's arms, straining and pressing each other to their breasts in the front of the pulpit and up the aisles, the people 'were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto them.'

"On the following Sabbath the work went on. Arrangements were made to keep down excitement, and confine the converts to their own seats, and the public services were not disturbed. In the evening, for the first time, a neighboring minister came to my aid, and a layman from Belfast also joined in our services. I gave a short address, stating what the Lord had done among us, when one of the converts, our first one, rose, and with beaming countenance and eyes, which told of the joys within the heart, said a few things to the people. Almost immediately throughout the church, parties rose and went out, laboring under deep conviction, and immediately the graveyard is filled with groups singing and praying around the prostrate bodies of men and women. Some are as in a trance, others crying for mercy. Some are still falling into the arms of friends, and sinking as into a swoon. Some stagger to a distance, and drop on their knees to pray over the graves of the dead; and a few rush to the gates, and fly in terror from the scene.

"The converts are going from group to group, and raise a shout of triumph as one after another, like the jailer of Philippi, is seen trembling and heard crying out, 'What must I do to be saved?' Up to this evening the work had gone on chiefly among the females. Soon, however, the men were impressed. I shall never forget the look and shout of joy with which one of these females proclaimed the triumph of the Lord, when strong men were writhing in agony, or stretched out still and calm, but with clasped hands and heaving heart, on the graves around. I think I see that lady now--her bonnet hanging behind her head and her Bible in her upraised hand-- and I still hear her shout, 'The men are coming now--the men are coming now!' For ten days and more the whole country was in a state of intense excitement.

"I met one of the young women when going to visit a man and his wife. She had visited some houses, read, exhorted and prayed. 'The Lord,' said she to all the people in these houses, 'has sent me to bring you to Him. He is waiting for you. Arise, and follow me.' And strange, but true, they immediately rose and followed her. A widow woman, her sons and grandchildren, a mother with one child in her arms, and another at her feet, trembling and in tears, girls and boys who had risen from their looms, and men who had dropped their spades and left their work in the open fields, all followed her across the country, while she marched at their head like a general. 'Here,' said she, when I met her, pointing to her train of followers, 'is my day's work; is it not a good one? They wanted me to stay at home, but I would not, for I knew that the Lord had work for me to do. He has given me these.'

"As I stood before this young Deborah, I also fell into the rear, and became one of her followers. It is right to state, that in a few days she calmed down, and became what she still continues to be--a warm hearted, zealous, and consistent follower of Jesus. The excitement is gone, but not the Spirit, which gave it, birth. She did her work. She roused the countryside for the Lord, and then retired into private life, and in the quiet of the family circle she and her sisters are adorning the doctrine of the gospel by a becoming walk and conversation. Indeed it is pleasing to have to record the same testimony in favor of all the other converts in Dundrod without a single exception. Though numbering upwards of 200, no evil thing can be said of one of them."


Chapter IV The Revival Fire Spreads


The revival rapidly spread from place to place in Northern Ireland. In homes, in churches, in open-air meetings, people came under the influence of the heavenly flame, and found their lives transformed by a new power that flooded their souls with heavenly glory.

In one district not far from Dundrod there was a young man of wild and reckless habits who treated the revival with scorn. He was so much opposed to the movement that he forbade his sisters to go too near the meetings lest they should bring the plague home with them. But he himself soon became one of the most zealous of the revival converts.

There was a girl who had been converted in the Dundrod meetings. She was now filled with a great love for the lost and a great desire to lead them to Christ. This girl went from house to house pleading with the unsaved to accept Christ. In a providential manner she was led to the home of this young scoffer. She pled with him with gentle, but intense earnestness. She implored him to pray. Presently, under the influence of the Spirit of God, the young man softened and began to yield. Now let the revival narrator tell the rest of the story:

"Now, they are on their knees together; while father and mother, and sisters and brothers, stand awhile in wonder, then kneel too, and all pray earnestly. The young man struggles, feels a choking sensation in his throat, and a pressure on his heart; his bosom heaves with strange emotions. The strong man is bowed down, the hard heart is softening, the Spirit is striving; and now the struggle is over, and another Saul stands up. Rejoicing in his newborn freedom, he asks for work, saying, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' The work is given, and with all his heart he sets about doing it.

"In his family he begins, and soon all the members of the household are changed; father, mother, sisters, and brothers--blessing God for bringing salvation into their home. Now he goes in haste to rouse his sleeping neighbors and friends. He stands up in the midst of hundreds in the open-air meetings proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation, and glorying in the possession of a light, and life, and joy, never felt nor dreamed of before.

"He seeks his old companions, whom he led in many a revel; and on the following Sabbath, in the face of the most crowded and solemn assembly ever held among us, he marches up at the head of nearly one hundred individuals, who in front of the pulpit, sign the total abstinence pledge. His mission does not end here. He and others visit from house to house, hold prayer meetings, and the revival spreads around until every family in the district can count its converts; and in more than one instance whole families 'joy in God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom they have received the atonement.'

"There is life now in the people, a new, a spiritual life. The Spirit has quickened hundreds who were 'dead in trespasses and sins.' The cry is heard on all sides, 'Such times, such glorious times! The Lord indeed is come among us.' Prayers issue from lips that never moved in audible prayer before; and oh, such prayers! So rich in Scripture language, so fervent, for icy hearts are melted as if by fire from heaven. Men and women pray; father follows a son, or a sister, or a brother. They are resolved to take heaven by force, and not to yield until they themselves, and their friends, stand within the city of God.

"Prayer-meetings are appointed in the several districts of the congregation, but wherever there is an earnest seeking soul, the people meet for prayer. The songs of Zion ascend from almost every house. And in the still summer evening, strains of heavenly music seem to, float on the tremulous air. Imagination is busy, and no wonder, as men pauses on the highway to catch the sweet sounds, now soft and low, rising and falling, and now ringing like the chimes of church-bells. They thought the angels were above and around them. They thought they heard the festive chimes of heaven, the pealing of the bells in the city of God, as the heavenly host proclaimed the triumphs which their Lord was achieving over his foes on the earth.

'Hark, how they sweetly sing,
Worthy is our Savior King;
Loud, let his praises ring,
Praise, praise for aye.'

The Spirit of God came upon people right in their own homes, and sometimes they were thrown into an agony of remorse for their sins. Rev. J. M. Killen of Comber tells of one such case:

"An elderly woman, the mother of a family, who had been a careless, cursing creature, and one greatly opposed to the revival, was suddenly and violently prostrated on her own kitchen floor. When I first saw her she was rolling on the ground and writhing with agony. Her appearance was certainly the most satanic I ever beheld. The bystanders were overawed; all felt that influences more than human were at work. A medical man was sent for, but he fled at the sight, declaring that it was a case for a clergyman, and not for a physician. The unhappy woman was evidently the subject of a great spiritual conflict. Her cries for about an hour were terrific. She declared that Satan and all the devils in hell were round about her.

"Gradually her shrieks subsided, and as .the paroxysms wore off, she settled down into a sort of despairing calm. For days she continued weak in body and distressed in soul. But at length the light broke, her bonds were loosed, she saw and embraced Christ, obtained peace, and was filled with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. And she is now one of the finest specimens of Christian character, and of a mother in Israel, I have ever known-- distinguished by her strong faith, her ardent love, and her Christian meekness, her sweetness of temper, and an almost uninterrupted realization of 'her Redeemer's presence, combined with a very profound reverence for Messiah's character, a strong desire to promote his glory, and a most extreme sensitiveness lest she should do anything to forfeit the enjoyment of his love. '0 Sir,' said she lately to me, 'I am just watching how I lift and lay down my feet, lest I should offend Him.

As was natural in such a spiritual awakening the public houses (saloons) lost many of their customers, while some of them were closed entirely. A minister who took an active part in the revival tells how one of the largest public houses in his district was closed:

"The owner did a large business, and was making money fast. He had a wife and rising family to support. But he had a conscience, and had for some time felt uneasy and unhappy in his mind because he could not reconcile his profession as a Christian with his trade as a publican (saloon-keeper). He told me, that even before the revival, he could not, with profit, sit under my ministry, and dared not go to the Lord's table while engaged in such an accursed business.

"The revival came. It roused his conscience afresh, and it gave him no rest. In his neighborhood, particularly in one house, were many cases of conviction, and many meetings. He attended them all; saw, and heard, and judged for himself.

"He said to me one morning, 'I want to consult you about this business of mine; I don't like it--I have long felt unhappy in it-- I will give it up. Shall I do so now--or wait until I sell out my stock?'

"I gave him my opinion, and on that same evening every puncheon of whiskey, and barrel of beer and ale, every bottle and glass, and every article used in the trade had disappeared; and on the next morning I saw their vacant spaces filled with barrels and bags of meal and flour, sides of bacon, etc. This was a noble triumph. Dagon had fallen before the, Ark of God. One fountain of evil was closed forever.

"Great was the amazement of the traveler, when he called the next day for his customary glass. He opens his eyes, and stares and wonders. And 'still his wonder grows' when he steps out of the shop and finds that the signboard is gone. ''Tis strange, passing strange! Either God or the devil is here.' Some say, 'He is gone mad like the rest. He has been bewitched; he has taken the revival.' He has, indeed, and has therefore renounced the devil and all his works.

"Afterward in the public meeting, men heartily joined in the prayer from the pulpit, 'God bless him, and reward him an hundredfold'; and God heard the prayer, and he is blessed, and rejoices in the smiles of an approving conscience, and is thankful for the grace which enabled him to trample on self and sin. This case gave a great impulse to the whole movement. Another public-house soon closed its doors, and a third, and now the only one in the neighborhood, gets almost nothing to do."

The ministers of Northern Ireland did not simply stand by, and watch the revival fire spread from place to place. They took active steps to promote the movement. Rev. Robert Wallace, a Wesleyan minister, of Derry, told of some of the means used to fan the revival flame: "Early in the summer, arrangements were made to bring down from Ballymena and Ballymoney a number of those who had been recently brought under gracious influence, and it was agreed that they should take part in the public services in the Presbyterian and Wesleyan Churches, and also in the open air at the market-places At these services great crowds attended. The persons recently awakened spoke with great simplicity of the wonderful change that God had wrought in them, by grace, in the course of the last few weeks or days. A solemn awe rested upon the people. At the commencement of the meetings, a number of ministers, representing various denominations, met by request at the house of the senior Presbyterian minister, and arranged plans for combined efforts to promote the cause of God; and in this manner a service was held in the market-place every evening throughout the summer. The utmost unity prevailed, and this greatly tended to deepen the interest among the people."

One of the chroniclers of the revival wrote: "When I visited one district, I found that all labour was completely suspended, and that all the people were running in groups from house to house. In some houses, at one time, I counted more than a score, old and young, more or less affected. The people here seemed to 'take it' with wonderful rapidity. There was a regular chain of meetings kept up night and day, each meeting feeding the flame of zeal, and from each, as from a burning altar, live coals were taken to touch the cold lips and fire the dead souls of the few 'careless ones' elsewhere. Another eye-witness of the awakening tells of the change that took place among the employees of a mill when one of them was converted and resolved to "pray through" for his ungodly work-mates: "A poor man, advanced in life and unmarried, was converted in our congregation at the beginning of the work. As soon as he himself had embraced the Lord, he became most anxious for the conversion of the family with whom he resided, and of his fellow-workmen in the mill where he was employed. But all these were most ungodly; and when they saw the change which had taken place in him, instead of rejoicing in his joy, they mocked, swore, sang impure songs, and did all they could to thwart and distress him. He saw that remonstrances were vain, and he resolved to pray for them. He did so, but for a time, no answer came, and he was sorely discouraged. Still he resolved to continue his supplications on their behalf. Then suddenly one day the men in the mill were astonished at cries proceeding from their homes, which were nearby. The business in the mill was suspended, and the men rushed to their houses to see what had caused the cries. They found their wives and daughters prostrated under strong conviction, crying to the Lord for mercy. The hitherto despised convert was at once appealed to, and, with a heart overflowing with gratitude, he led their supplications and directed all to Christ. Soon the Lord vouchsafed His mercy; the weeping penitents became rejoicing converts, and wives and daughters were that day added to the Lord.

"But his prayers were as yet only partially answered. They were soon to receive a more glorious fulfillment. Some days after the above occurrence, the mill had again to be stopped, but this time not because of the women, but the men. Husbands and brothers, whilst engaged at their work, were arrested and smitten down whilst in the very act of attending the machinery. Some of the strongest men and greatest scoffers in the whole country fell powerless in a moment under the mighty and mysterious influence that was at work.

"Never had there been such a day in that establishment. Strongmen were seen prostrated and crying for mercy. Converted wives and daughters bent over them with tears of joy, whilst they returned thanks to God for the awakening of their husbands and brothers, and prayed that soon all might rejoice with one another as heirs together of the grace of life. And such has been the case. The poor man's prayers have indeed been answered. He has just been telling me that the seven souls in the house where he resides are now all converted, and that about nine-tenths of the workers in the mill have been visited by the Spirit of the Lord."

The same chronicler tells of the change that came to the men of a stone-quarry when the Spirit of God fell upon them: "Near the outskirts of the parish, there is a quarry, which was formerly notorious for the wickedness of those who wrought in it. It was, in fact an emporium for all sorts of vice; but when our revival commenced in Comber, it was such a strange and unheard-of thing among these quarrymen, that they resolved, through curiosity, to come and see it. They accordingly attended the nightly prayer meetings in our congregation. Gradually a change crept over them. Drinking was diminished, swearing was given up, seriousness and anxiety prevailed. I was requested to go and preach to them during working hours in the middle of the day. I did so. Immediately on my appearance all work was suspended; and, at the very busiest time, master and men attended for upwards of two hours. Under the open sky, in a sort of large amphitheatre, formed by the excavation of the quarry, and surrounded by the mountains rocky walls, I proclaimed to them the glorious gospel of the blessed God.

"Prayer-meetings amongst the men were immediately established. The head of the quarry soon announced to his men that he himself was entirely changed, and declared that he had resolved to live henceforth only for Christ. A marvellous transformation was soon apparent among the men. The head of the establishment told me that out of ninety-six families in his employment, upwards of ninety have now established family worship. 'Drunkenness,' he said, 'has disappeared, and neither oath nor improper expression is now heard in that quarry. As for myself,' he continued, 'I consider myself as a mere steward, having nothing of my own, and bound by feelings, both of responsibility and gratitude, to live for God's glory.

The results of the revival were deep and permanent and far-reaching. The awakening brought a new era of grace and glory to the churches of Northern Ireland. One of the ministers wrote: "After examining the facts as far as I could gather them, I judge that not less than one hundred thousand persons in Ulster were brought under gracious influence during that time. The revival had the help of almost the entire secular press. It was not confined to any one denomination, but embraced all evangelical churches; and up till the present time, all those have maintained an unprecedented unity. I consider it the most glorious work of God ever known in this country in so short a time.”


Chapter V When the Fire Fell in Wales


The results of the revival in Ireland were long and lasting. Ministers and laymen looked back with profound gratitude to God for the glorious awakening of '59.

After a period of forty-five years the fire again fell from heaven--this time in Wales. Once more there was a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit. Vast multitudes were saved, and the Christians of the land were wondrously quickened in the faith.

For the time being Wales became the spiritual center of Christendom. Visitors from many lands flocked to Wales to witness the revival meetings, hoping, if possible, to carry back some of the revival fire to their own countries. Revival was the chief topic of conversation. The Welsh newspapers devoted columns to the movement each day; and occasionally special Revival Editions were issued.

A Chicago publisher, Mr. S. B. Shaw, was so stirred by the news of the great awakening in Wales that he compiled a very interesting book containing eyewitness reports of the revival, which had appeared in various religious papers in Great Britain and America. The book was entitled "The Great Revival in Wales." It was published forty years ago. Providentially some copies were preserved by the publishers throughout the past decades and recently came into the possession of Mr. C. F. Chapman, of Jacksonville, Florida, who is earnestly praying and working for another great spiritual awakening in our land.

Mr. Chapman kindly sent me a copy of the book, and from it I received great spiritual blessing and also much helpful material. I praise God for leading Mr. Shaw to gather so many interesting incidents about the revivals in Wales and Ireland, and I am deeply grateful to Mr. Chapman for sending me a copy of the book. How marvelously God works His wonders to perform!

Here is a vivid description of the revival in Wales that appeared in a religious paper in Chicago at the time of the great awakening:

"A wonderful revival is sweeping over Wales. The whole country, from the city to the colliery underground, is aflame with gospel glory. Police courts are hardly necessary, public houses are being deserted, old debts are being paid to satisfy awakened consciences, and definite and unmistakable answers to prayer are recorded.

"The leader in this great religious movement is a young man twenty-six years of age, Evan Roberts. First he worked in a coal mine, then became an apprentice in a forge, then a student for the ministry. But all his life he has yearned to preach the gospel. He is no orator, he is not widely read. The only book he knows from cover to cover is the Bible. He has in his possession a Bible, which he values above anything else belonging to him. It is a Bible slightly scorched in a colliery explosion. When the evangelist was working in a colliery he used to take his Bible with him, and while at work would put it away in some convenient hole or nook near his working place, ready to his hand when he could snatch a moment or two to scan its beloved pages. A serious explosion occurred one day. The future Welsh revivalist escaped practically unhurt, but the leaves of his Bible were scorched by the fiery blast. 'Evan Roberts' scorched Bible' is a familiar phrase among his friends.

"Little more than a month ago Evan Roberts was unknown, studying in one of the Welsh colleges at Newcastle-Emlyn to prepare for the Calvinistic Methodist ministry. Then came the summons, and he obeyed. He insists that he has been called to his present work by the direct guidance of the Holy Ghost. At once, without question and without hesitation, he was accepted by the people. Wherever he went hearts were set aflame with the love of God.

"The dominant note of the revival is prayer and praise. Another striking fact is the joyousness and radiant happiness of the evangelist. Evan Roberts smiles when he prays, laughs when he preaches. 'Ah, it is a grand life,' he cries. 'I am happy, so happy that I could walk on the air. Tired? Never! God has made me strong. He has given me courage.'

"He is a leader who preaches victory, and shows how it may be won--victory over the dull depression and gloomy doubt of our time. It has long been felt in Wales as elsewhere, that the time was ripe for a great religious revival. As the Rev. H. M. Hughes, a Congregational minister in Cardiff, recently pointed out, all efforts, movements, and organizations did not stem the flood of evil or stop the growth of pleasure seeking and mammon worship. A generation had risen that had not seen the arm of God working as it had done in 1859 in Ireland.

"Now, the revival has arrived, and it has many of the marks of previous great awakenings. Strongmen are held in its grip; the Spirit of God stirs to their very depths whole neighborhoods and districts. There is a tumult of emotion, an overpowering influence, and a conviction of sin that can only be attributed to Divine agency.

"Personal eloquence, magnetism, fervor, or mental power do not account for it. The only explanation is the one which the evangelist gives--it is all of God. And it has already done infinite good in places far away from its immediate locality. Men everywhere are thinking, talking, discussing religious topics, and at last God, Christ, and the soul have to some degree come to their own. The revival seems to work especially among young people. Its form is that of prayer, praise, and personal testimony. Its absence of method makes it the expression of the emotions of young hearts aflame with the love of God."

In an article on the revival in the Methodist Times of London, England, Rev. T. Ferrier Hulme records some of the impressions of his visit to Wales to see the awakening: "It will give us all renewed faith in prayer, for this is emphatically a praying revival. Evan Roberts told me that prayer became so passionate and mighty at Caerphilly that at midnight a number of men formed themselves into a 'Get-them-out-of-bed brigade,' and, in an hour or two, three of the sinners prayed for became so miserable in bed that they dressed hurriedly, and came on to the service, and yielded to Christ there and then. I have seen over and over again the complete abandonment with which men give themselves up to pleading, as if they were totally unconscious of any presence but that of Christ, and are quite unaffected by anything or anybody else. Even when I could not understand a single word I have been indescribably moved.

"Extraordinary incidents are as numerous as ever. At Cardiff a young man, who had been lost to his parents for three years, turned up at the very service where his father (a county magistrate) and his mother were praying for him. His father knelt at his side to help him to Jesus, but the son did not recognize him till they both rose to give praise! They then went together to find the mother, who in another part of the chapel was earnestly praying for her lost boy, and was totally oblivious of anything and any one around her. The scene was indescribably pathetic, and the joy of all was ecstatic.

"What was and is remarkable right throughout the meetings is their spontaneity. On some occasions as many as half a dozen commence to pray at one time, and continually brothers and sisters are on their feet to pray, waiting turns. One old brother six times attempted to pray and each time was forestalled by someone else.

"It was a glorious sight to see sinners rising and coming to the penitent form seeking forgiveness. After the singing of 'Come to Jesus, the question was asked, 'Who will come to Him now?' A man got up and shouted, 'I will,' and then broke down. Then his wife came out to the penitent form, and all his children. Another case occurred during the singing of 'Throw Out the Life-Line.' A passer-by who was drunk was so affected by the singing that he turned into the meeting. It was wonderful to see the change that took place in him before the meeting was over. He came forward and confessed Christ, and when the meeting closed he was a sober man. Never has the Spirit of God been felt in such a powerful manner before.

"Many who have long been prayed for have yielded; backsliders have come back, and many wonderful cases of conversion have taken place. The football field, the dance, and the dramatic entertainment have been given up, and many things laid aside for the 'revival meetings.

Another report in the Methodist Times tells of the decrease in drunkenness and crime, as the result of the revival: "Reports from all the districts in South Wales affected by the revival show that the Christmas holidays, so dreaded by new converts who formerly devoted the whole of the time to drink and revelry, have passed by without the defections from the faith which were loudly prophesied by the unsympathetic and unbelieving. South Wales has never known such a quiet and peaceful Christmas.

"In Cardiff, police reports show that drunkenness has diminished over 60 per cent, whilst on Saturday last the Mayor was presented by the Chief Constable with a pair of white gloves, there being no case at all on the charge sheet--an unprecedented fact for the last day of the year.

"The same thing happened at the Swansea County Court on the previous Saturday, and the magistrate said, 'In all the years I've been sitting here I've, never seen anything like it, and I attribute this happy state of things entirely to the revival.'

"The streets of Aberdare on Christmas Eve were almost entirely free from drunkenness, and on Christmas Day there were no prisoners at all in the cells. At Abercarn Police Court, responsible for a population of 21,000, there was not a single summons on Thursday--a thing unknown since the court was formed fourteen years ago--and here, too, was enacted the ceremony of the white gloves.

"The change in the language of the crowds has been just as marked as the change in their drinking habits. As the old hymn says:

Suffice that for the season past
Hell's horrid language filled our tongues,
We all Thy words behind us cast,
And lewdly sang the drunkard's songs.
But, 0 the power of grace divine!
In hymns we now our voices raise,
Loudly in strange hosannas join,
And blasphemies are turned to praise!

"Whilst bands of enthusiastic workers have paraded the streets, arresting the attention of the careless by joyful song and earnest invitation, homely meetings have been extemporized in cottages, and here some of the most precious experiences of the revival have been obtained. At one of these family gatherings no less than five conversions were recorded.

"The secular press is still fanning the flame by its sympathetic reports of the revival meetings. Surely one of the most remarkable facts yet recorded in daily journalism is the 'Revival Edition' of the Evening Express, published in Cardiff. The managers had found a football edition paid them well, so they experimented with a 'Revival Edition,' in which every article, every report, every paragraph, and every portrait, indeed every line, except the advertisements, dealt with religious work. It has had such an enormous sale that a similar edition was produced last Tuesday."

Another report of the revival tells of the great increase in the sale of New Testaments and Bibles, and a corresponding decrease in the sale of low-class literature: "The Welsh are supposed to be a Bible-reading people, and judging by the numerous and apt quotations in their prayers they know a great deal more about the contents of the Book than the average man. And yet again and again when Evan Roberts has tested the congregations it was found that even among Christian people Bible readers were in a minority. Those who have confessed their neglect have promised to amend their ways, and they have so far kept their vow by purchasing Bibles in large quantities.

"The increase in the sales has been very great. A bookseller at Ton, in the heart of the Rhondda, who has been eighteen years in the trade, says the increase has been 'tremendous' --and there has been a corresponding decrease in the sale of low-class literature. So say two booksellers in the neighboring town of Pentre, who add that the most remarkable increase has been in the purchase of pocket Testaments by young men. At Neath a bookseller states that before the revival he regarded Bibles as dead stock, but in recent weeks he had cleared out all his old stock and has had to get further supplies. To some of his customers the Bible was quite unknown, and they carried it off as a hoarded treasure. Along with this there has been a decided slump in 'penny dreadfuls.'"

Oh, that such faith and fervor, such forsaking of sin, and such a Bible reading revival might come to America and other lands today! It will, if we will believe and "pray through."


Chapter VI A Personal Visit to the "Fire Zone"


When the Welsh awakening began I was in Liverpool, England, writing up the Torrey-Alexander revival meetings in that city for various religious papers in America.

My soul was deeply stirred by the reports of the revival in Wales. I longed to see the spiritual awakening with my own eyes.

Accompanied by a friend I left Liverpool to go to the center of the revival in Wales. And here is the story of our visit, written just after our return to Liverpool:

"I have just returned from a two days visit to the storm center of the great Welsh revival which is sweeping over Wales like a cyclone, lifting people into an ecstasy of spiritual fervor. Already over 34,000 converts have been made, and the great awakening shows no sign of waning. All observers agree that the movement is fully as remarkable as the memorable revival of I859-60. It is sweeping over hundreds of hamlets and cities, emptying saloons, theatres, and dance halls, and filling the churches night after night with praying multitudes. The policemen are almost idle; in many cases the magistrates have few trials on hand; debts are being paid; and the character of entire communities is being transformed almost in a day. Wales is studded with coalmines, and it is a common occurrence to have prayer meetings held a thousand feet under ground amid the tinkle of the horses' bells and the weird twinkle of the miners' lamps.

"The leader of the revival is Mr. Evan Roberts, a young man only twenty-six years of age, who was a collier, and was later apprenticed to become a blacksmith. Then he felt a call to the ministry, and was a student in a preparatory school when the Spirit came upon him in such power that he felt impelled to return to his native village of Loughor and tell the people of God's love for them. He did so, and, as he spoke, the fire fell from heaven upon the community. The people were so stirred that they crowded into church after church, and remained until four o'clock in the morning. The flame spread from district to district throughout South Wales with almost incredible swiftness, and soon scores of towns were being shaken by the power of God. From the beginning, however, Mr. Roberts has been the leader of the movement, and wherever he goes the revival reaches fever heat. The fore-most Welsh newspapers devote columns each day to his meetings and give photographs of him; and souvenir post-cards representing him, are sold everywhere. Some idea of his sudden fame may be gained from the fact that sixty newspaper representatives endeavoured to interview him in two days recently.

"It was my good fortune to take two meals with Mr. Roberts, and to attend three meetings he conducted. But let me give my impressions of the meetings and of Mr. Roberts in order as they were formed during the visit.

"At noon on Tuesday I wired one .of the leading Welsh newspapers, asking where Mr. Roberts would speak that evening. The reply came back that he would be at Swansea for the next two days. At 2 p.m. I left Liverpool with an American friend, and we arrived at Swansea at 9:30 p.m. Hastening to a hotel we found it filled with visitors, who had come to 'catch the fire' of the revival. A second place we found in a similar condition, but at the third place we secured accommodations, and then hastened to the church, which was fortunately situated in the downtown district. It was 9:45 when we reached the place, and even at that hour there were some scores of people in the street seeking admission. But the gates were closed and guarded by policemen, for the church was already packed to the doors.

"Going up to one of the policemen I whispered that I was an American journalist, and that my friend and I were from Chicago. These words acted like a magic charm, for he at once asked us to come to another gate, where we were speedily admitted and ushered into the building. My first impression! How am I to describe it? As we entered the door I beheld a room, meant to seat about 700 people, crowded to suffocation with about 1,500. But this was not the chief thing that attracted us. Up in the gallery a young lady was standing, praying with such fervor as I had rarely if ever heard before. One hand was upraised, and her tones were full of agonized pleading, and though it was in Welsh, so that I could not understand a word she uttered, yet it sent a strange thrill through me. Then a young man arose, and with rapt upraised face prayed as though he were in the presence of the Almighty. The entire atmosphere of the room was white-hot with spiritual emotion, and my chief thought was: 'This is a picture of what must have occurred in the early church in the first century of the Christian era.'

"A hymn was now started, and my attention was riveted on Evan Roberts, who stood in the pulpit and led the music with face irradiated with joy, smiles, and even laughter. What impressed me most was his utter naturalness, his entire absence of solemnity. He seemed just bubbling over with sheer happiness, just as jubilant as a young man at a baseball game. He did not preach; he simply talked between the prayers and songs and testimonies, and then rarely more than a few sentences at a time. Imagine a Christian Endeavour meeting where those present are wrought up to a pitch of holy enthusiasm until they are figuratively 'on fire,' and you will have a picture of the proceedings at Trinity Chapel that night.

"To my surprise the meeting terminated at 10:30. The reason for this, it was explained, is that Swansea is a city of nearly 100,000 population, and the people must go to their work early in the morning. We were also informed that Mr. Roberts was now usually ending the meetings at about this hour so as to avoid a nervous collapse.

"The next morning my friend and I went to the place where Mr. Roberts was staying, and were not only successful in securing a cordial interview, but were also invited to have luncheon with him. In appearance the young evangelist is of medium height, slender, brown-haired. He is extremely nervous in temperament, and his pallor showed the strain of the meetings upon him. When asked for a message for America, he grasped my hand, and gave me the following:

" 'The prophecy of Joel is being fulfilled. There the Lord says, "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh." If that is so, all flesh must be prepared to receive. (1) The past must be clear; every sin confessed to God, any wrong to man must be put right. (2) Everything doubtful must be removed once for all out of our lives, (3) Obedience prompt and implicit to the Spirit of God. (4) Public confession of Christ. Christ said, "I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto me." There it is. Christ is all in all.'

"The afternoon and evening meetings we attended were very largely like the first one, save that in each meeting the mood of Mr. Roberts was different. At the afternoon meeting, while describing the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, he broke down and sobbed from the pulpit, while scores in the building wept with him. The meeting had been announced to begin at 2 p.m., but before 12 the building was packed, although it was at the, edge of the city. It was with the utmost difficulty, aided by the police, that my friend and I squeezed ourselves in at the rear door, and then we stood near the pulpit scarcely able to move an arm. The air was stifling, but the people minded this not a whit. They had forgotten the things of earth, and stood in the presence of God. The meeting began about noon, and went on at white heat for two hours before Mr. Roberts arrived, and ended at 4:30 p.m.

"At the evening meeting Mr. Roberts was silent much of the time. For full twenty minutes he sat or stood motionless with closed eyes. But the meeting went on just as fervidly as though he were speaking. It was strange indeed to hear some one praying undisturbed while a hymn was being sung; or to hear two, three, or four engaged in prayer at the same time; yet, as has been so often remarked, there was perfect order in the midst of the seeming disorder. It was the Lord's doing, and it was marvelous in our eyes!

"Presently a young girl--not over sixteen years of age--arose in the gallery, and began to pray. I understood not a word she said, but in a few seconds, in spite of myself, the tears were streaming down my cheeks. I looked up, and lo! old grey haired ministers of the gospel were likewise weeping! There was something in the very tones of her voice that lifted one above the world, and pierced to the core of one's heart.

"It was nearly 10 p.m. when the most thrilling and beautiful incident of our visit occurred. A respectably dressed young man of about nineteen came down from the gallery, crying like a child, the tears streaming down his face as he staggered down the aisle towards the 'set fawr' (penitent form). He was nearly fainting when he got to the entrance to the big seat, and he threw his arms around the neck of the Rev. William James, the pastor of Ebenezer, which is the church he attends.

" 'Pray for me! Pray for me!' he shouted, as he embraced the minister who was moved to tears. The young man dropped into a chair. Mr. Roberts, who had been sitting on a chair in the pulpit, was on his feet. Something seemed to have told him what was the matter, and his face beamed with joy. Down the pulpit stairs he proceeded, and, on reaching the young man, threw his arms around him in a most affectionate manner. Mr. Roberts talked to him, and in a few minutes both were on their way to the pulpit. The young man was in first. 'What a change! The symptoms of being overcome had disappeared. His face had never worn a brighter appearance! 'Is mother here? Is mother here?' he shouted. A voice from the back of the chapel answered. 'Yes! Yes! She's here!'

"At this point every one in the audience was so deeply touched by the affecting scene that there was scarcely a dry eye to be observed. Some one started the Welsh hymn which is always sung when a person yields completely to God, and which has become the chant of victory of the revival. In thrilling and triumphant tones they sang fervently:--

Diolch Iddo, diolch Iddo, diolch Iddo,
Byth am goflo, Ilwch as llawr.
Which being interpreted means--
Praises, praises, praises to God
Who has remembered such as we are.

"When all was quiet, he said, 'Mother, I have had to give in! Yes, indeed! I tried to refuse, but I was compelled to submit!'

"A little later on he was calling for others to surrender, as it was 'grand.' He would not give his mother any more trouble! The mother, broke into prayer, and when her son recognized her voice, he shouted, 'Well done, mom!' (Well done, mother.)

"Numerous accounts have been given of the beginning of the mighty awakening, no two of which agree. Some attribute it to a young girl who spoke at a Christian Endeavor meeting with such fervor that her hearers were melted into tears, and the flame started there. Others declare that it began when Evan Roberts went back to his native town of Loughor, two months ago, and set it on fire with his Spirit-filled pleading to accept Christ. But the fact is that the revival broke out in a score of places almost simultaneously, and Evan Roberts and the other young and fiery evangelists who have arisen during the last few weeks are largely the products rather than the causes of the awakening.

"The true origin of the movement is probably to be found in the prayer circles which have honeycombed Wales for the last eighteen months. The people who had banded them selves together were crying out mightily for a revival, and God at length graciously answered the prayers of His saints. It is interesting to Americans to know how the prayer circles were started. A lady living in Australia read a book by Dr. R. A. Torrey, in which he reiterated the statement that we must 'pray through' for revival. At that time Dr. Torrey and Mr. Charles M. Alexander, noted American evangelists, were conducting their great revival in Melbourne, the success of which was largely due to the 2,000 prayer circles, which were held throughout the city. Shortly afterward the lady, who had been so stirred by Dr. Torrey's book, came to England. She became the means of starting thousands of prayer circles throughout the British Isles, the object of which was to pray for a worldwide revival. The answer to those prayers has come in part in the Welsh awakening, and may God speed the day when the revival fires will spread all over Britain and America, and throughout the entire world!"


Chapter VII A Modern Pentecost


In the white heat of the revival, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, the well-known Bible teacher and expositor, made a special trip to Wales to get his own first-hand impressions of the awakening.

His soul was thrilled and his heart was filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for the things that he saw and heard. He returned to London and gave his congregation at Westminster Chapel a stirring account of his visit.

Dr. Morgan began by reading verses 15 to 18 of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles:

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God; I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my hand-maidens
I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

"I have not read these words as a text, but as an introduction to what I desire to say, as God shall help me, concerning the most recent manifestation of Pentecostal power. I refer to the great work of God that is going on in Wales at this time. In the simplest way I want to speak to you of what my own eyes have seen, my own ears heard, and my own heart felt.

"Yet I cannot help reverting, before going further, to the passage that I have read in your hearing. Peter stood in the midst of one of the most wonderful scenes that the world has ever beheld. When men said of the shouting multitudes that they were drunk, Peter said, No, these men 'are not drunken as ye suppose'; but 'this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.' If any one shall say to me, 'What do you think of the Welsh revival?' I say at once, 'This is that.'

"This is no mere piece of imagination, and it certainly is not a piece of exaggeration. 'I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,' is the promise now evidently fulfilled in Wales. If you ask for proof of that assertion, I point to the signs. 'Your young men shall see visions!' That is exactly what is happening. It does not at all matter that this cynical and dust-covered age laughs at the vision. The young men are seeing it. 'And your old men shall dream dreams,' and that is happening. The vision goes forward, the dream goes backward; and the old men are dreaming of '59, and feeling its thrill again. Yea, 'and on my servants and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.' It does not at all matter that some regular people are objecting to the irregular doings. 'This is that.' If you ask me the meaning of the Welsh revival, I say, without one single moment's doubt, IT IS PENTECOST CONTINUED.

"Let me talk familiarly and quietly, as though sitting in my own room. I left London on Monday, reaching Cardiff at 8:30 that evening, and my friend who met me said to me, ' What are you going to do? Will you go home, or will you go to the meeting?' I said, 'What meeting?' He said, 'There is a meeting in Roath Road Chapel.' 'Oh,' I said, 'I would rather have a meeting than home.' We went. The meeting had been going on an hour and a half when we got there, and we stayed for two hours and a half, and went home, and the meeting was still going on, and I had not then touched what is spoken of as--it is not my phrase, but it is expressive--the 'fire zone.' I was on the outskirts of the work. It was a wonderful night, utterly without order, characterized from first to last by the orderliness of the Spirit of God.

"It was my holy privilege to come into the center of this wonderful work and movement. Arriving in the morning in the village, everything seemed quiet, and we wended our way to the place where a group of chapels stood. And everything was so quiet and orderly that we had to ask where the meeting was. And a lad, pointing to a chapel, said 'In there.' Not a single person outside. Everything was quiet. We made our way through the open door, and just managed to get inside, and found the chapel crowded from floor to ceiling with a great mass of people. What was the occupation of the service? It is impossible for me to tell you finally and fully. Suffice it to say that throughout that service there was singing and praying, and personal testimony, but no preaching.

"It was a meeting characterized by a perpetual series of interruptions and disorderliness. It was a meeting characterized by a great continuity and an absolute order. You say, 'How do you reconcile these things?' I do not reconcile them. They are both there. I leave you, to reconcile them. If you put a man into the midst of one of these meetings who knows nothing of the language of the Spirit, and nothing of the life of the Spirit, one of two things will happen to him. He will either pass out saying, 'These men are drunk,' or he himself will be swept up by the fire into the kingdom of God. If you put a man down who knows the language of the Spirit, he will be struck by this most peculiar thing. I am speaking with diffidence, for I have never seen anything like it in my life. While a man praying is disturbed by the breaking out of song, there is no sense of disorder, and the prayer merges into song, and back into testimony, and back again into song for hour after hour, without guidance. These are the three occupations-- singing, prayer, testimony. Evan Roberts was not present. There was no human leader.

"As the meeting went on, a man rose in the gallery, and said, 'So and So,' naming some man, 'has decided for Christ,' and then in a moment the song began. They did not sing 'Songs of Praises,' they sang 'Diolch Iddo,' and the weirdness and beauty of it swept over the audience. It was a song of praise because that man was born again. There are no inquiry rooms, no penitent forms, but some worker announces, or an inquirer openly confesses Christ. The name is registered, and the song breaks out, and they go back to testimony and prayer.

"'In the evening exactly the same thing. I personally stood for three solid hours wedged so that I could not lift my hands at all. That which impressed me most was the congregation. I looked along the gallery of the chapel on my right, and there were three women, and the rest were men packed solidly in. If you could but for once have seen the men, evidently colliers, with the seam that told of their work on their faces--clean and beautiful. Beautiful, did I say? Many of them lit with heavens own light, radiant with the light that never was on sea nor land. Great rough, magnificent, poetic men by nature, but the nature had slumbered long.

"Today it is awakened, and I looked on many a face, and I knew that men did not see me, did not see Evan Roberts, but they saw the face of God and the eternities. I left that evening, after having been in the meeting three hours, at 10:30, and it swept on, packed as it was, until an early hour next morning, song and prayer and testimony and conversion and confession of sin by leading church members publicly, and the putting of it away, and all the while no human leader, no one indicating the next thing to do, no one checking the spontaneous movement.

"When these Welshmen sing, they sing the words like men who believe them. They abandon themselves to their singing. No choir, did I say? It was all choir. And hymns! I stood and listened in wonder and amazement as that congregation on that night sang hymn after hymn, long hymns, sung through without hymnbooks. Oh, don't you see it? The Sunday school is having its harvest now. The family altar is having its harvest now. The teaching of hymns and the Bible among those Welsh hills and valleys is having its harvest now. No advertising. The whole thing advertises itself. You tell me the press is advertising it. I tell you they did not begin advertising it until the thing caught fire and spread. And let me say to you, one of the most remarkable things is the attitude of the Welsh press. I come across instance after instance of men converted by reading the story of the revival in the Western Mail and the South Wales Daily News.

"Whence has it come? All over Wales--I am giving you roughly the result of the questioning of fifty or more persons at random in the week--a praying remnant has been agonizing before God about the state of the beloved land, and it is through their prayers that the answer of fire has come. You tell me that the revival originates with Roberts. I tell you that Roberts is a product of the revival. You tell me that it began in an Endeavor meeting where a dear girl bore testimony. I tell you that was part of the result of a revival breaking out everywhere. If you and I could stand above Wales, looking at it, you would see fire breaking out here, and there, and yonder, and somewhere else, without any collusion or prearrangement. It is a Divine visitation in which God--let me say this reverently--in which God is saying to us: See what I can do without the things you are depending on; see what I can do in answer to a praying people; see what I can do through the simplest, who are ready to fall in line, and depend wholly and absolutely on Me.

"What effect is this working producing upon men? First of all, it is turning Christians everywhere into evangelists. There is nothing more remarkable about it than that, I think. People you never expected to see doing this kind of thing are becoming definite personal workers. Let me give you an illustration. A friend of mine went to one of the meetings. He walked to the meeting with an old friend of his, a deacon of the Congregational Church, a man whose piety no one doubted, a man who for long years had worked in the life of the church in some of its departments, but a man who never would think of speaking to men about their souls, although he would not have objected to someone else doing it.

"As my friend walked down with the deacon, the deacon said to him, 'I have eighteen young men in an athletic class of which I am president. I hope some of them will be in the meeting tonight.' Presently there was a new manifestation. Within fifteen minutes the deacon left his seat by my friend and was seen talking to a young man down in front of him. Soon the deacon rose and said, 'Thank God for So and So,' giving his name, 'he has given his heart to Christ right here.' In a moment or two he left him, and was with another young man. Before that meeting closed that deacon had led every one of those eighteen young men to Jesus Christ. And this was the man who never before thought of speaking to men about their souls.

"My own friend, with whom I stayed, who has always been reticent of speaking to men, told me how, sitting in his office, there surged upon him the great conviction that he ought to go and speak to another man with whom he had done business for long years. My friend suddenly put down his pen, and left his office, and went on 'Change,' and there he saw the very man he had come to seek. Going up to him, and passing the time of day, the man said to him, "What do you think of this revival?' He looked his friend squarely in the eye and said, 'How is it with your own soul?'

"The man looked back at him, and said, 'Last night at twelve, for some unknown reason, I had to get out of bed and give myself to Jesus Christ, and I was hungering for some one to come and talk to me.' Here is a man turned into an evangelist by supernatural means.' If this is emotional, then God send us more of it! Here is a cool, calculating business ship owner that I have known all my life, leaving his office to go on 'Change,' and ask a man about his soul.

"The other day down in one of the mines-- and I hope you understand I am only repeating to you the instances that came under my personal observation--the other day in one of the mines, a collier was walking along, and he came, to his great surprise, to where one of the principal officials in the mine was standing. The official said, 'Jim, I have been waiting two hours here for you.' 'Have you, sir?' said Jim. 'What do you want?' 'I want to be saved, Jim.' The man said, 'Let us get right down here,' and there in the mine, the mining official, instructed by the miner, passed into the kingdom of God. When he got up he said, 'Tell all the men, tell everybody you meet, I am converted.' Straightway confession.

"The movement is characterized by the most remarkable confession of sin, confessions that must be costly. I heard some of them, men rising who have been members of the church, and officers of the church, confessing hidden sin in their hearts, impurity committed and condoned, and seeking prayer for its putting away. The whole movement is marvelously characterized by a confession of Jesus Christ, testimony to his power, to His goodness, to His beneficence, and testimony merging forevermore into outbursts of singing.

"Men are seeing God. Well, but you say that will pass. It is passing. The vision is passing out into virtue, and men are paying their debts, and abandoning the public house, and treating their horses well. Did you say the next revival would be ethical? It is that, because it is spiritual, and you will never get an ethical revival except in this way. Vision is merging into virtue. Theatrical companies are packing up and going back because there are no audiences, and on every hand there is sweeping down these Welsh valleys a great clean river. It is the river of God, and men are being cleansed in it, in personal and civic relationships. Tradesmen are being startled by men paying debts. An emotion that will make a man do that is worth cultivating, and it is good all the way through.

"No man ever yet could describe a burning bush, and I know I have not described this to you.

"There is nothing so important as the saving of men, and when the church says that, and is ready, God will come. We need then to wait upon Him in earnest, constant prayer. Oh, brothers, sisters, pray, pray alone! Pray in secret! Pray together!"


Chapter VIII Can the Heavenly Fire Fall Again?


After reading these thrilling and true stories of revival, I believe that most of us are convinced that revivals come in answer to earnest, intercessory prayer.

Is God's arm shortened in our generation? Can the fire again fall from heaven? Yes, we can certainly have another great spiritual awakening if we will pay the price in prevailing prayer. God's arm is indeed not shortened. It is our lack of faith that prevents the fire from falling in our own day and generation. We are too busy "doing things" to take time to "pray through" for another great outpouring of God's Spirit. And all our "doing" accomplishes so little without the mighty empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Not long after our fair young republic was started, the forces of evil came in like a flood to destroy it. In his "History of American Revivals" Dr. Frank G. Beardsley tells of the conditions that prevailed in our land at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He says: "It was a time of beginnings in the life of the nation, a time moreover when the religious character of our country was suspended in the balances and the destinies thereof were to be decided for generations to come. For a while the overthrow of Christianity seemed to be complete. Churches were declining. Revivals were few. The educated and influential almost universally regarded Christianity with indifference, if not with open contempt. Infidelity was rife and was increasing alarmingly on every hand. In fact, all indications seemed to point to a decline in that faith which had animated the Pilgrim Fathers and inspired the hopes of the early settlers of our country."

But godly people determined to pray earnestly and fervently day by day to prevent the destruction of the young republic. Mr. Beardsley says: "Christians entered into a solemn covenant to spend a definite portion of their time in prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit of God for the salvation of men."

The result was the great revival of 1800. In estimating the influence of this awakening on the life of our nation, Mr. Beardsley says:

"All the Christian activities of the land throbbed with the pulsations of a new life. Every condition of society was reached from the cultured classes of staid New England to the untutored settlers on the frontier of what then constituted the remote West. Infidelity became a vanishing force, while the religious character of the United States was assured for generations to come.

If multitudes of God's children will forsake every known sin, and covenant with themselves and with God that they will spend some portion of time daily in intercessory prayer for revival, then the windows of heaven will once more be opened, and we shall certainly witness another great spiritual awakening in our land.

There are four definite ways in which each one who reads these lines can have a very real and vital share in helping to bring revival to our land in this hour of crisis:

First: You can make a sacred covenant with your own heart and soul to spend some time each day praying for revival for our land, and victory for our arms, in this hour of crisis. And rest assured that the Lord will graciously bless and reward you! I have found from experience that the more I pray for revival, and the more I seek to enlist others to pray, the more the Lord blesses my regular daily work. Try it, and see if it will not be true in your own life and experience.

Second: A prayer card has been printed, giving helpful suggestions for daily intercession for revival. It is called "My Prayer Covenant." It is printed in two colors, with a gold border, and makes an attractive bookmark for your Bible. The ten prayer suggestions on the card are given on a later page. You can send for a supply of these prayer cards. Use one, yourself day by day; distribute the others in your church and community; and send them out in letters to your friends. The prayer cards will be sent free of cost. Please order only the number of prayer cards that you feel sure you will be able to use, so none will be wasted.

Third: You can lend your copy of this book to others, and ask them to read it, and to return it to you as quickly as possible. See the lending plan outlined on a later page.

Fourth: You can order copies of this book, amid distribute them among praying people. In this way you will be rendering effective service in enlisting a greater volume of prayer for revival. If a copy of the book could be given to each member of your church or Bible Class, it would surely help greatly in promoting revival in your own community.

Just as I am writing this concluding chapter I have come across a recent report of a chaplain among our troops. He tells the old, old story of how prayer brings revival. The chaplain, Major William H. Beeby, a graduate of Wheaton College, sends this up-to-date story of a work of grace among our own fighting men, and all in answer to prayer. He says:

"Several chaplains in this area were deploring the spiritual depravity of many of the service-men, and felt that the only way to break the crust of indifference was to start revival meetings. We prayed about the matter, and then waited for the Spirit to lead. One night a group of earnest Christian men held a prayer meeting. It lasted until midnight. The men came to us the next day and said, 'Chaplain, we need a revival around here to stir up the Christians, and get some of these other men saved.' This was the answer to our prayer--a request from the men for a revival. On the following Monday night we opened our services, and to the surprise of the skeptics the meeting place was filled, and there were conversions almost immediately. After the first week we moved to a chapel that had been enlarged for the occasion, and after the first night it was filled.

"At this writing, three weeks of the meetings are past, and there have been over 75 definite conversions, and many backslidden Christians have been restored. The Spirit continues to work, and what was to be two weeks of services promises to continue for several more weeks.

"The day and age of godly sorrow that worketh repentance is not over as yet; and if anyone thinks that servicemen have lost the power to weep over their sins in true repentance, let that thought disappear. At the invitation every night (and very few nights go by without conversions--on four or five occasions eight to ten have come out in response to the altar call) we witness a scene of mingled tears: tears of repentance of the unsaved, and tears of joy among the Christians.

"One skeptical chaplain came to the services and afterwards said to me: 'You've got something there. It changes men's lives, and the testimony of the new converts tonight can't be denied as an evidence of the value of this kind of work. I never thought that the old sawdust trail would~ work in the army.'"

Oh friends, the time is short! A great cancer of sin is eating its way day by day into the very vitals of our land, both among civilians, and among the men and women in our armed forces. Man-made palliatives and remedies will not cure the dread disease. It is only another Pentecostal outpouring of God's Spirit, in answer to prayer, that will bring our nation back to God!

Christian, for your sake, and for your country's sake, consider and heed God's challenge which is as true today as when it was given to Solomon so long ago:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chron. 7:14)

After this book was written I received an interesting letter from a minister friend in an Eastern state telling how they are interceding for revival in his district, and how the Lord is already hearing and answering prayer. He says:

"Over on a farm about fifteen miles from' here a man is praying night and day. He says God has put a great burden of prayer on his heart for the ministers of S--. county, and for lost souls in our county who are disgracing God's Name. Already he has prayed down great blessing on two ministers, and has prayed one soul into the kingdom--a terrible drunkard who has been converted! Two boys who had been arrested and put in jail for stealing a car have confessed Christ. Marks of a revival are everywhere. In a church twenty miles from here they are having two prayer meetings a week. In my own church, God has been pouring out blessing--Christians awakened; many confessing Christ."

Another pastor in an Eastern state writes:

"The Lord is beginning to move on the hearts of my people. They have requested a special prayer meeting for the purpose of praying for revival. We are going to meet every Sunday evening after the church service." He also said the ministers of the community desired to have 1000 copies of the "My Prayer Covenant" card to give to people in their churches.

At the last minute, just before this book went to press, I received a letter from French Equatorial Africa telling how glorious revival has broken out there in answer to earnest intercessory prayer.

The account of the revival was sent by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Paulson of Kembe, French Equatorial Africa. One or both were formerly students in the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Paulson write:

"Over a year ago God heard the prayers of a group of missionaries at Fort Crampel and sent glorious revival.

"We firmly believed that if God could do that for Crampel He could also do it here at Kembe and at all the other mission stations, and yes, even in America. It is simply through PRAYER! We covenanted with the missionaries of Fort Crampel to pray; and since November constant prayer has ascended to our Heavenly Father's Throne. Each day we waited expectantly and God answered after two months of prayer. Jesus said: 'That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.'

"We met with the natives twice a week for prayer and they prayed earnestly for themselves and all the surrounding heathen villages. The Head Chief, 'Chief Canton' of this area, who is over all the lesser chiefs, accepted Christ as his Saviour, and others came for salvation also. This strengthened our faith and the faith of our native brethren to pray more.

"On the 27th at the close of our native prayer meeting while the closing prayer was being offered, the Holy Spirit came upon us in great power. The evangelist, who always had his special chair, fell to the ground on his face; others likewise and many just kneeling with their heads on the ground began to cry out to God in agony for their sins--not just one by one the way we have always prayed, but everyone was praying. Some were praising and thanking God, others asking forgiveness and confessing their sins to God, others praying for salvation--everyone was praying. There wasn't a dry eye in that meeting. The prayer meeting lasted for many hours and all at once without any interruption on our part, there came a calm and peace over all present.

"It is now a little over a week since the revival fire began in our midst and it is~ gaining momentum steadily. Already many souls have come to Christ. The Christians, some of them dead timbers, have been kindled with fire and enthusiasm. The singing has taken on a glorious note unknown in our midst before. Many of the natives are actually continuing in prayer without ceasing. Yesterday one of our faithful deacons arose to give his testimony, and said that in the night he wasn't permitted to sleep. Three times he was awakened with a burden of prayer. Our native evangelist, a fine young man who has faithfully proclaimed the Word for over six years here at Kenibe, is filled to overflowing. People who never gave a testimony and never prayed are spurred on by the Spirit to rise to their feet and tell what the Lord hath done for them. A divine influence seems to pervade the mission station.

"We are praying for every mission station in Africa and for the churches in the homeland. The Devil has had his revival during this terrible war. It is time that God's people band together, as never before, and pray, pray, pray!! A revival is America's only hope. If thousands of God's children in America and Great Britain and other lands will determine to spend a definite time daily in private intercession; and if thousands of revival prayer groups could be formed; who can tell what glorious things may speedily be witnessed? Let us 'bestir ourselves,' and 'advance on our knees,' knowing that the Lord is going on before us, and leading us on to victory."