New Wine Articles
God's Manifest Presence

III. Historical Precedents for the Manifestations

Extraordinary physical phenomena caused by the operation of the Holy Spirit's presence upon people is fully documented and affirmed throughout the history of revivals in virtually every branch of the Christian church. Following are just several of hundreds of possible quotations substantiating this fact.
  1. St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) on being "rapt in ecstasy" -- "The subject rarely loses consciousness; I have sometimes lost it altogether, but only seldom and for but a short time. As a rule the consciousness is disturbed; and though incapable of action with respect to outward things, the subject can still hear and understand, but only dimly, as though from a long way off..." Overcome By The Spirit (Chosen Books, 1990), Francis MacNutt

  2. Jonathan Edwards, regarded to be one of the greatest theologians of history, lived during the time of the Great Awakening in America in the 1730's and 1740's. Edwards provides the most thoughtful and comprehensive biblical evaluations, reflections and writings about the manifestations of the Spirit. (Taken from A Narrative of Surprising Conversations and the Great Awakening, Vol 4 of The Works Of Edwards)

    "It was very wonderful to see how person's affections were sometimes moved -- when God did as it were suddenly open their eyes, and let into their minds a sense of the greatness of his grace, the fullness of Christ, and his readiness to save...Their joyful surprise has caused their hearts as it were to leap, so that they have been ready to break forth into laughter, tears often at the same time issuing like a flood, and intermingling a loud weeping. Sometimes they have not ben able to forbear crying out with a loud voice, expressing their great admiration" (Narrative pp. 37-38)

    "...some persons having had such longing desires after Christ or which have risen to such degree, as to take away their natural strength. Some have been so overcome with a sense of the dying love of Christ to such poor, wretched, and unworthy creatures, as to weaken the body. Several persons have had so great a sense of the glory of God, and excellency of Christ, that nature and life seemed almost to sink under it; and in all probability, if God had showed them a little more of himself, it would have dissolved their frame... And they have talked, when able to speak of the glory of Gods perfections" (Narrative p. 45)

    "It was a very frequent thing to see an house full of outcries, faintings, convulsions and such like, both with distress, and also with admiration and joy." (The Great Awakening p. 547)

    "many in their religious affections being raised far beyond what they ever had been before; and there were some instances of persons lying in a sort of trance, remaining for perhaps a whole twenty-four hours motionless, and with their senses locked up; but in the meantime under strong imagination, as though they went to heaven, and had there a vision of glorious and delightful objects." (The Great Awakening p. 550)

  3. The following was the report of an atheist "free thinker" named James B. Finley, who attended the Cane Ridge, Kentucky revival in 1801: "The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human beings seemed to be agitated as if by a storm... Some of the people were singing, others praying, some crying for mercy in the most piteous accents, while others were shouting vociferously. While witnessing these scenes, a peculiarly-strange sensation, such as I had never felt before, came over me. My heart beat tumultuously, my knees trembled, my lip quivered, and I felt as though I must fall to the ground. A strange supernatural power seemed to pervade the entire mass of mind there collected...At one time I saw at least five hundred, swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens...I fled for the woods a second time, and wished I had stayed at home." (Quoted from When the Spirit Comes With Power by John White p.70)

Revised: October 19, 1995