The Oberlin Evangelist

March 16, 1853


Shall the Holy Ghost be Recognized in Revivals?

A correspondent of the N.Y. Evangelist, writing from Syracuse, says of Pres. Finney, that "his discourses are very much like those delivered twenty years ago with so great effect, yet that they now make a 'comparatively slight impression on the audience'--a fact (as he says) going to show that a considerable change has taken place in the power of the preacher or the susceptibility of the people."

Upon this the Watchman and Reflector pertinently remarks,

"This closing sentence reminded us instantly of what certain disciples at Ephesus said to Paul: "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Something more than "the power of the preacher," or "the susceptibility of the people," is necessary to the production of any saving effect, and it is most remarkable that forms of expression are so often used which seem to ignore the fact. To retain a place for the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, and to exclude a just recognition of his agency in the work of salvation, is an inconsistency of too painful prevalence, and in the end must work baneful results. It is impossible to expect revivals marked by His presence and His power without seeking these specific blessings; and these blessings will not be sought by those from whose views of divine truth the doctrine of the Holy Spirit's personality and work is permitted to fade away."


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