I am reading a Diary of Revival by Kevin Adams on the Welsh Awakening of 1904, and upon reading the introduction; I could not help but to post the last portion. It is an article in a Welsh paper by Dean Howell, printed in 1902. As I read the article I was awed by the reflection his article portrayed of our nation today; it is very striking. I have parenthetically inserted our nation where appropriate and one other parenthetical insertion to a trouble facing our day. The article belongs to Mr. Howell; truly prophetic to our day and I pray would spark an awakening in us all.
What is Wales’ [America’s] greatest need? Some point to the need of political reform…A better educated ministry? A better health service and social services, all things which are important. But are any of these the main need of Wales [America] at this time? In my estimation there is a greater need than all these, something that will reach into the soul of a nation, something that will create a greater effect than all of them, something more lasting in its fruit and all-encompassing in its blessing spiritual and temporal. Spiritual revival, not reformation but revival. And I don’t mean local missions either; rather I’m speaking about the need for a high tide of the Spirit flooding over the whole country that will touch all classes with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This surely is Wales’ [America’s] greatest need at this time.
There has never before been so much preaching, but what of the effects?...From all directions there are complaints that the ministry has lost its power and its convicting edge…The preaching is scholarly, interesting and educational but there is little anointing and convicting in it. Consciences are not pricked as in days gone by, and old phrases of long ago-such as conviction, conversion, repentance, adoption, dying to sin, self-loathing, etc – have become alien and meaningless, while the old experiences that came out of these phrases have become fossilized and without life.
And the result? Family worship is quickly disappearing…The Sunday school is only just holding its own. Congregations in many places are lessening. Keeping the Sabbath has become a matter for debate and the prayer meeting nearly extinct…The authority of the Bible and the foundational truths of Christianity are being judged in the court of reason and criticism…Unshakeable belief in the unseen, the miraculous and supernatural is questioned openly. Temperance is not as prosperous as it used to be, with the curse of drink [marijuana] rearing its head in town and countryside…The desire for pleasure has totally captivated the age…
But what is the answer? There is no argument about this. If there is such a thing as truth between the covers of the word of God-here it is. The Spirit of God is the only source of Spiritual life. There is no way to produce or revive this life other than by the instrumentality of the Spirit. “Not by might and not by power by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Hosts’…It is man’s fault and not God’s will that there isn’t the same unction and authority in the preaching of the gospel in this generation…
Reader! Will you do your part in this blessed work? Will you give yourself fully to this cause? Morning, midday and night? Will you do your best jointly to work with others so that you can create circles of intercession? Great is your privilege-great too is your responsibility. ‘Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down…’
…Take note, if this was to be my last message to my fellow country men throughout the length and breadth of Wales [America] before I am taken to the judgment it would remain thus- the greatest need of my dear nation and country at this time is spiritual revival through a specific outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Heavenly Jubilee, let me see the break of day.
In His Grace,