The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
Labors in Oberlin, Western, and Rome
As usual, after our labors in Syracuse were completed we returned to Oberlin and spent and performed our usual labors with the usual results. I always have expected, and I trust I always shall expect, to see the Word of the Lord take effect in this place, and in every place where it is truly and pointedly preached, and where such efforts are sustained by the prayers of God's people. The next winter at Christmas time we went again to Western, Oneida County, New York, where I have already related that I commenced my labors in the autumn of 1825. They were at this time again without a minister, and we spent several weeks there in very interesting labor, and with very marked and interesting results. The Brayton family, to which I have referred in my former notice of that place, had most of them passed away and gone to heaven. Father and Mother Brayton, their two eldest daughters, Sarah and Cynthia, and their youngest daughter, were all dead. Some very striking things occurred in the revival at this time in that place. Not to go into particulars, I will mention the case of one young man that was quite striking. He was the son of pious parents, and had long been made the subject of prayer. His parents were prominent members of the church. Indeed, his father was one of the elders of the church, and his mother was a godly, praying woman. When I commenced my labors there, to the great surprise and grief of his parents, and of the Christian people generally, he became exceedingly bitter against the preaching, and the meetings generally, and all that was done for the promotion of the revival. He committed himself with all the strength of his will against it, and affirmed, as I was told, that "neither Finney nor hell could convert him." He said many very hateful and profane things, as I was told, until his parents were deeply grieved, but I am not aware that he had ever been suspected of any outward immorality.
However, the Word of God pressed him from day to day till he could stand it no longer. He came one morning to my room. His appearance was truly startling. I cannot describe it. I seldom ever saw a person whose mind had made such an impression upon his countenance. He appeared to be almost insane, and he trembled in such a manner that when he sat down in the room you could literally feel the jar of his trembling. I observed when I took his hand that it was very cold. His lips were blue, and there was manifestly such a determination of blood to his brain as to deprive his extremities of blood to such an extent that his appearance seemed quite alarming. The fact is, he had stood out against his convictions as long as he could endure it.
When he sat down I said to him: "My dear young man, what is the matter with you?" "O," said he, "I have committed the unpardonable sin." I replied, "What makes you say so?" "O," said he, "I know that I did, and I did it on purpose." He then related this fact of himself. Said he, "Several years ago a book was put into my hands called, 'The pirate's own book.' I read it, and it produced a most extraordinary effect upon my mind. It inspired me with a kind of terrible and infernal ambition to be the greatest pirate that ever lived. I made up my mind to be at the head of all the highway robbers, and bandits, and pirates whose history was ever written. But," said he, "my religious education was in my way. The teaching and prayers of my parents seemed to rise up before me, so that I could not go forward. But I had heard that it was possible to grieve the Spirit of God away, and to quench His influence so that one would feel it no more. I had read also that it was possible to sear my conscience, so that that would not trouble me; and after my resolution was taken, my first business was to get rid of my religious convictions, so as to be able to go on and perpetrate all manner of robberies and murders without any compunction of conscience. I therefore set myself deliberately to blaspheme the Holy Ghost." He then told me in what manner he did this, and what he said to the Holy Ghost, but it was too blasphemous to repeat. Indeed, so far as I have been able, I have thrown it entirely out of my recollection. But suffice it to say, it was something as bad as human, and I may say as infernal, ingenuity could conceive.
He continued, "I then felt as if it must be that the Spirit of God would leave me, and that my conscience would no more trouble me. After a little while I made up my mind that I would commit some crime and see how it would affect me. There was a schoolhouse across the way from our house, and one evening about bedtime I went across the way and set the schoolhouse on fire. I then went to my room and went to bed. Soon, however, the fire was discovered, but too late to be extinguished. I arose and mingled with the crowd that assembled to put it out, but all efforts were in vain, and it burnt to the ground." To burn a building in that way was, in that state, a state-prison offence. He was aware of this. I asked him if he had gone any farther in the commission of crimes. He replied, "No." And I think he added, that he did not find his conscience at rest about it as he hoped to have done. I asked him if he had ever been suspected of having burnt it. He replied that he did not know that he had, but that other young men had been suspected, and talked about. I asked him what he proposed to do about it. He replied that he was going to the trustees to confess it, and he asked me if I would not accompany him. I went with him to one of the trustees, who lived very nearby, and the young man asked me if I would not tell him the facts. I did so. The trustee was a good man, and a great friend of the parents of this young man. The announcement affected him deeply. The young man stood speechless before him. After conversing with the trustee for a little while, I said, "We will go and see the other trustees." The gentleman replied, "No, you need not go; I will see them myself, and tell them the whole story." He assured the young man that they would forgive him. That he himself would freely forgive him; and he presumed that the other trustees, and the people in the town, would forgive him, and not subject him or his parents to any expense about it.
I then returned to my room, and the young man went home. Still he was not at rest. As I was going to meeting in the evening he met me at the door and said, "I must make a public confession. Several young men have been suspected of this thing; and I want the people to know that I did it, and that I had no accomplice, that nobody but God and myself knew it." And he added: "Mr. Finney, won't you tell the people? l will be present, and say anything that may be necessary to say if anybody should ask any questions, but I do not feel as if I could open my mouth. You can tell them all about it." When the people were assembled I arose and related to them the facts. The family was so well-known, and so much beloved in the community, that the statement made a great impression. The people sobbed and wept all over the congregation. After he had made a clear breast of it he obtained peace. Of his religious history since I know not much. I have recently learned, however, that he retained his hold upon Christ, and did not seem to backslide. He went into the army during the great rebellion, and was slain at the battle of Fort Fisher.
Everyone at all familiar with revivals of religion is aware that multitudes of cases are occurring from day to day and from week to week of most interesting conversions, conversions that are particularly interesting to those upon the spot, and who are acquainted with the persons and circumstances. But to relate these conversions for the satisfaction of the public would interest them but very little, inasmuch as they know nothing of the persons, and feel no particular interest in their conversion more than in that of any others. In my narrative I have not thought best to go into a detailed account of the conversion of persons not known to the general public, unless there was something very striking or interesting that brought out some great principle in the administration of God's government. Should I go into detail, and notice what occurred from evening to evening and from day to day, my narrative would swell to many volumes. Indeed, should I give anything like a detailed account of any one of the great revivals in which I have labored, it would fill a large volume. Where, for instance, many hundreds, and in some cases some thousands of persons are converted in a revival, numbers of conversions are occurring every day of persons, and under circumstances, that thrill through the community where they are known, and make a most intense impression. But I have not thought it best to go into such detail at all, because however interesting those numerous cases may have been to those upon the spot and who were acquainted with the persons and circumstances, in general the public would take but comparatively little interest in the details. Indeed, I have been obliged, in writing out this narrative, to give only an outline of what the Lord has done, without attempting to give such details as would swell my narrative beyond reasonable dimensions.
In giving my narrative of revivals thus far I have passed over a great number of cases of crime that came to my knowledge, crimes of almost every description, that had been committed by persons who came to me for advice, and told me the facts. In many instances in these revivals restitution, sometimes to the amount of many thousands of dollars, was made by those whose consciences troubled them, either because they had obtained it directly by fraud, or by some selfish over-reaching in their business relations. The winter that I first spent in Boston resulted in making a great many such revelations. I had preached there one Sabbath in the morning upon this text: "Whoso covereth his sins shall not prosper," and in the afternoon on the remainder of the verse: "But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them, shall find mercy." I recollect that the results of those two sermons were most extraordinary. For weeks after that, persons of almost all ages and of both sexes came to me for spiritual advice, disclosing to me the fact that they had committed various frauds, and sins of almost every description. Some young men had defrauded their employers in business, and some women had stolen watches and almost every article of female apparel. Indeed it seemed as if the Word of the Lord was sent home with such power at that time in that city, as to uncover a very den of wickedness. It would certainly take me hours to mention the crimes that came to my personal knowledge through the confessions of those that had perpetrated them. But in every instance the persons seemed to be thoroughly penitent, and were willing to make restitution to the utmost of their ability.
But to return from this digression to Westernville. The revival was of a very interesting character, and there was a goodly number of souls born to God. The population, however, in that region is very much scattered, and there had been for many years an unhappy state of feeling among the inhabitants in regard to supporting a minister.
The conversion of one young lady there I remember with a good deal of interest. She was teaching the village public school. Her father was, l believe, a skeptic; and as I understood she was an only daughter, and a great favorite with her father. He was a man, if I was rightly informed, of considerable influence in the town, but did not at all attend our meetings. He lived on a farm away from the village. Indeed the village is very small, and the inhabitants are scattered through the valley of the Mohawk, and over the hills on each side, so that the great mass of inhabitants have to come a considerable distance to meeting. The farms are large and the farmers wealthy, and consequently the inhabitants are scattered. Western is one of the most beautiful places for a country residence that I almost ever saw. But to speak of the conversion of this young lady. I had heard that she did not attend our meetings much, and that she manifested a considerable opposition to the work. In passing the schoolhouse one day, I thought I would step in and speak with her, and I did so. At first she appeared surprised to see me come in. I had never been introduced to her, and should not have known her if I had not found her in that place. She knew me however, and at first appeared as if she recoiled from my presence. I had heard her name, however, and I took her very kindly by the hand and told her that I had dropped in to speak with her about her soul. "My child," I said, "how is it with you? Have you given your heart to God?" This I said while I held her hand. Her head fell, and she made no effort to withdraw her hand. I saw in a moment that a subduing influence came over her, and so deep and remarkable an influence that I felt almost assured that she would submit to God right on the spot.
The most that I expected when I went in was to have a few words with her that I hoped might set her to thinking, and to appoint a time to converse with her more at large. But on speaking, the impression was at once so manifest, and she seemed to break down in her heart so readily, that in a few sentences quietly and softly spoken to her she seemed to give up her opposition, and to be in readiness to lay hold on the Lord Jesus Christ. I then asked her if I should say a few words to the scholars, and she said, yes, she wished I would. I did so, and then asked her if I should present herself and her scholars to God in prayer. She said she wished I would, and became very deeply affected in the presence of the school. We engaged in prayer, and it was a very solemn, melting time. The young lady from that time seemed to be subdued, and to have passed from death unto life. She did not live long before she passed, I trust, to heaven. These two seasons of my being in Western were about thirty years apart. Another generation had come to live in that place from that which lived there in the first revival in which I labored there. I found, however, a few of the old members there. But the congregation was mostly new, and composed principally of youngerly people who had grown up after the first revival.
As in the case of the first revival, so in this, the people in Rome heard what was passing in Westernville, and came up in considerable numbers to attend our meetings. This led, after a few weeks, to my going down and spending some time in Rome. The state of religion in Western has, l believe, been very much improved since this last revival. The ordinances of the Gospel have been maintained, and I believe considerable progress has been made in the right direction. The Braytons have all gone from Western with the exception of one son and his family. That large and interesting family have melted away; but one of them being left in Western, one in Utica, and one son who was converted in the first revival there, and who has for many years been a minister, and pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Watertown, N.Y.
After the first revival in Rome a good many of the people became satisfied that their old pastor, the Rev. Moses Gillett, was not quite adequate to the performance of the duties devolving upon him in the new condition of things. He had said to me before I left, in the first great revival there, that he had no sermons that were applicable at all to the altered situation of his people. Said he: "My sermons have been prepared entirely for another state of things. And now so far as my people are concerned, the Millennium has come; my people are nearly all converted."
The house of worship was full to overflowing of professed Christians. It resulted in forming another congregation. Mr. Gillett took another field of labor, and many years since passed away to his reward. The two congregations worshipped separately for several years, but finally agreed to unite, and build them a large, commodious church that would accommodate both congregations.
The autumn I was there the first time and for many years after, the church was Congregational. But a few years before I was there the last time, they had settled a Presbyterian minister, a young man, educated, I believe, at Princeton. He felt as if the church ought to be Presbyterian instead of Congregational, and he proposed and recommended this to the church. In some way he succeeded in bringing it about, but to the great dissatisfaction of a large number of influential persons in the church. This created a very undesirable state of things in Rome, and when I arrived there from Western I was for the first time made acquainted with that very serious division in regard to their changing their form of government. Their pastor had lost the confidence and affection of a considerable number of very influential members of his church. When I learned the state of things I felt confident that but little could be done to promote a general revival, unless that difficulty could be healed. But it had been talked over so much, and the persons first concerned in it had so committed themselves, that I labored in vain to get over that difficulty. It was not a thing to preach about, but in private conversation I tried to pluck up that root of bitterness. I found the parties did not view the facts alike. I kept preaching, however, and the Spirit of the Lord was poured out, conversions were occurring very frequently, and I trust great good was done. But after endeavoring in vain to secure a union of feeling and effort such as God would approve, I made up my mind to leave them, and did so. I have heard since that some of the disaffected members of the church went and joined the church in Western, leaving the church in Rome altogether. I presume the pastor did what he deemed to be his duty in that controversy but the consequent divisions were exceedingly painful to me as I felt a peculiar interest in that church.
In the autumn of 1855, we were called again to the city of Rochester. N.Y., to labor for souls. At first I had no mind to go, but a messenger arrived with a pressing request bearing the signatures of a large number of persons both professors of religion and nonprofessors. After much deliberation and prayer I made up my mind to go. We commenced our labors there, and it was very soon apparent that the Spirit of God was working among the people. Some Christians in that place, and especially the brother who came after me, had been praying most earnestly all summer for the outpouring of the Spirit there. A few souls had been wrestling with God until they felt that they were on the eve of a great revival. When I stated my objections to going to labor in Rochester again, the brother who came after me set that all aside by saying: "The Lord is going to send you to Rochester, and you will go to Rochester this winter, and we shall have a great revival." But I made up my mind with much hesitancy after all. But when I arrived there I was soon convinced that it was of God. I began preaching in the different churches. The First Presbyterian Church in that city was Old School, and they did not open their doors to our meeting. But the Congregational church, and the other two Presbyterian churches with their pastors took hold of the work, and entered into it with spirit and success. Since I first labored there in 1830 and '3I the city had grown very largely in its proportions, in its wealth, and in every respect. The two great revivals that preceded this one had left in that city a very strong and predominant Christian influence. The Baptist churches also entered into the work at this time, and the Methodist churches went to work in their own way to extend the work. We held daily noon prayer meetings, which were largely attended, and in which a most excellent spirit prevailed.
Soon after I commenced my labors there, a request was sent to me, signed by the members of the bar and several judges--two judges of the Court of Appeals, and I believe one or two judges of the Supreme Court who resided there--asking me to preach again a course of lectures to lawyers on the Moral Government of God. I complied with their request. I began my course to lawyers this time by preaching first on the text: "Commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." I began by remarking that the text assumed that every man had a conscience. I then gave a definition of conscience, and proceeded to show what every man's conscience did truly affirm. That every man knew himself to be a sinner against God; that therefore he knew that God must condemn him as a sinner; and that every man knew that his own conscience condemned him as a sinner. I was aware that among the lawyers were some skeptics. Indeed one of them had a few months before declared that he would never again attend a Christian meeting. That he did not believe in the Christian religion, and he would not appear to do so. That it placed him in a false position, and his mind was made up to pay no more respect to the institutions of Christianity. I shaped my lectures from evening to evening with the design to convince the lawyers that if the Bible was not true there was no hope for them. That their own consciences condemned them, and they must be aware that God must condemn them, and how should they be forgiven? I endeavored to show that they could not infer that God would forgive them because He was good, for His goodness might prevent His forgiving them. It might not on the whole be wise and good to pardon such a world of sinners as we know ourselves to be. That left without the Bible to throw light upon that question, it was impossible for human reason to come to the conclusion that sinners could be saved. Admitting that God was infinitely benevolent, we could not infer from that that any sinners could be forgiven, but must infer from it, on the contrary, that impenitent sinners could not be forgiven. I endeavored to clear the way so as to shut them up to the Bible as revealing the only rational way in which they could expect salvation.
At the close of my first lecture I heard that the lawyer to whom I have referred, who had said he would never attend another Christian meeting, remarked to a friend as he went home, that he had been mistaken, that he was satisfied there was more in Christianity than he had supposed, and he did not see any way to escape the argument to which he had listened; and furthermore that he should attend all those lectures, and make up his mind in view of the facts and arguments that should be presented.
I continued to press this point upon their attention until I felt that they were effectually shut up to Christ, and the revelations made in the Gospel, as their only hope. But as yet I had not presented Christ, but left them shut up under the law, condemned by their own consciences, and sentenced to eternal death. This, as I expected, effectually prepared the way for a cordial reception of the blessed Gospel. When I came to bring out the Gospel as revealing the only possible or conceivable way of salvation for sinners, they gave way, as they had done under a former course of lectures in former years. They began to break down, and a large proportion of them were hopefully converted. As the revival at this time, as well as at other times, took effect to a very large extent among the principal unconverted inhabitants of the city, it spread very generally through the city. What was quite remarkable in the three revivals that I have witnessed in Rochester--they all commenced and made their first progress among the higher classes of society. This was very favorable to the general spread of the work, and to the overcoming of opposition.
There were many very striking cases of conversion in this revival, as in the revival that preceded it. The work spread, and excited so much interest that it became the general topic of conversation throughout the city and the surrounding region of country. Merchants arranged to have their clerks attend, a part of them one day and a part the next day. The work became so general throughout the city that in all places of public resort, in stores and public houses, in banks, in the street and in public conveyances--and everywhere, the work of salvation that was going on was the absorbing topic. I have never known the number of conversions that occurred there in any of these great revivals; but the number must have been very large in each of them, and I should think larger in the last than in either of the two former. Men that had stood out in the former revivals, many of them bowed to Christ in this, and submitted themselves to God. Some men who had been open Sabbath breakers, others that had been openly profane--indeed, all classes of persons, from the highest to the lowest, from the richest to the poorest, were visited by the power of this revival and brought to Christ. I continued there throughout the winter, the revival increasing continually, until in the spring, just at the time when the current was the strongest and the divine influence seemed to be the most all-pervading, I had a carbuncle on my neck which finally laid me aside, and I was obliged to stop preaching and leave the city.
At this time the newly organized Congregational church were without a pastor. While I was there and during the revival the Rev. Mr. Edwards was installed pastor of that church. Rev. Dr. Shaw was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Mr. Ellenwood was pastor of the Fourth, or Washington Street Presbyterian Church. I have said the First Presbyterian Church was Old School. Its pastor was the Rev. Dr. Mclevain. He declined to take hold of the work and his church as a body did not appear to sympathize with it. But a considerable number of its prominent men and several of its elders attended our meetings and took a deep interest in the work. The pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. Hall, was also Old School and declined to sympathize with the revival. His church mainly followed his example and kept away from our meetings. But some of them attended and were much interested in the Spirit's work. Dr. Shaw and Rev. Mr. Ellenwood went heart and soul into the movement and their churches as well as the Congregational church were much blessed and their membership greatly enlarged. Rev. Dr. Anderson, president of the Baptist University, engaged in the work with great cordiality, and as I understood the great mass of the students in the university were converted at that time. The pastors of the two Baptist churches took hold of the effort and I preached several times in their churches.
Mrs. Finney was well acquainted in Rochester having lived there for many years, and having witnessed the two great revivals in which I had labored that preceeded this. She took an absorbing interest in this revival and labored as usual with great zeal and success. As on former occasions, I found the people of Rochester like the noble Bereans ready to "hear the Word with all readiness of mind and to search the Scriptures daily whether these things were so." Many of the ladies in Rochester exerted their utmost influence to bring all classes to meeting and to Christ. Some of them would visit the stores and places of business, and use all their influence to secure the attendance at our meetings of the clerks and employees of those establishments. Many men connected with the operations of the railroad were converted and finally much of the Sabbath business of the Roads was suspended because of the great religious movement in the city and amongst the employees of the Roads.
The blessed work of grace extended and increased until it seemed as if the whole city would be converted. As in the former revivals, the work spread from this center to the surrounding towns and villages. It has been quite remarkable that revivals in Rochester have had so great an influence upon other towns, cities, and villages far and near.
The means used to promote this revival were the same as had been used in each of the preceeding great revivals. The same doctrines were preached. The same measures were used, with results in all respects similar to what had transpired in the former revivals. There was manifested, as there had previously been, an earnest and candid attention to the Word preached. A most intelligent inquiry after the truth as it really is taught in the Bible. I never preached anywhere with more pleasure than in Rochester. They are a highly intelligent people and have ever manifested a candor, an earnestness, and an appreciation of the truth excelling anything I have seen on so large a scale in any other place. I have labored in other cities where the people were as well and even more highly educated than in Rochester. But in those cities the views and habits of the people were more stereotyped--they were more fastidious--more afraid of measures than in Rochester. In New England I have found a high degree of general education but a timidity--a stiffness--a formality and stereotyped way of doing things that has rendered it impossible for the Holy Spirit to work with such freedom and power as He does in Rochester. I have seen and passed through three great revivals in Rochester, and have been uniformly struck with the different type of those revivals from anything that I have seen in New England.
When I was laboring in Hartford, Connecticut, I was visited by a minister from central New York who had witnessed the glorious revivals in that region. He attended our meetings and witnessed the type and progress of the work there. I said nothing to him of the formality of our prayer meetings or of the timidity of the people in the use of measures, but he remarked to me, "Why Brother Finney your hands are tied, you are headged in by their fears and stereotyped way of doing everything. They have even put the Holy Ghost into a straight jacket." This was strong and to some may appear irreverent and profane, but he intended no such thing. He was a godly, earnest, humble minister of Jesus Christ, and expressed just what he saw and felt, and just what I saw and felt that the Holy Spirit was restrained greatly in His work by the prejudices, the fears and the self-wisdom of the people. In Rochester I have witnessed less of this than in any place in New England.
Indeed I must say I do not think the people of New England can at all appreciate the restraints which they impose on the Holy Spirit in working out the salvation of souls. Nor can they appreciate the power and purity of the revivals in those places where these fears, prejudices, restraints, and self-wisdom do not exist. The opposition to the revivals in western and central New York gotten up and persisted in by Dr. L. Beecher and Mr. Nettleton did very much to put New England into an attitude of mind very unfavorable to the free and full development of pure and powerful revivals of religion. But in Rochester there is an earnest intelligent freedom from such bondage, and revivals there consequently take on a type, and progress with a power compounded with the liberty with which the Holy Spirit pursues His work of love. The same is true here, and in many places where I have labored. And neither in Rochester nor elsewhere where this liberty has been employed, have I witnessed any tendency to wildness, extravagance or fanaticism as a consequence. In an intelligent educated community, great freedom may be given in the use of means without danger of disorder.
Indeed wrong ideas of what constitutes disorder are very prevalent. Most churches call anything disorder to which they have not been accustomed. Their stereotyped ways are God's order in their view and whatever differs from these is disorder and shocks their ideas of propriety. But in fact nothing is disorder that simply meets the necessities of the people from time to time. In religion, as in every thing else, good sense and a sound discretion will from time to time judiciously adapt means to ends. The measures needed will be naturally suggested to those who witness the state of things, and if prayerfully and cautiously used let great freedom be given to the influences of the Holy Spirit in all hearts.
The reader will have observed that I have made but slight mention of open opposition to revivals since the failure of the opposition by Dr. Beecher and Mr. Nettleton. The revivals were of so pure and powerful a type, both at the time, and subsequent to that opposition, that opposers were awed and a feeling of general and almost universal confidence in them as the blessed fruits of the Holy Spirit has pervaded all classes. I have already related the reaction that came over the opposers of the revival in Auburn and how those opposers afterwards confessed their mistake and their sin and urged me to labor with them again. At the time of the opposition of Dr. Beecher and Mr. Nettleton, much was said and prophesied of an alarming and crushing reaction that would come over the people and churches where those revivals were witnessed. It was said that the people would become ashamed and disgusted when they looked back upon the scenes through which they had passed, and become so afraid of the repetition of such scenes as not to want or to have any more revivals for, at least, a generation. It was predicted by opposers that the reaction would be so great as to sweep the labors of evangelists from the field, and to give opposers in, and out of the church, abundant occasion to triumph insomuch that the ministers and churches who labored in those revivals would be ashamed and afraid to attempt such a movement again.
It is now more than 40 years since those revivals and that opposition existed and what and where is the reaction? There has been an overwhelming reaction now manifest to all men. But it has been on the other side. It has been in favor of the revivals and against the opposition. All men have become convinced that the course pursued by the promoters of those and subsequent revivals was in the highest degree rational, biblical and blessed of God, and that the course pursued by the opposition was unwise, unjust, and unchristian in a high degree.
Notwithstanding the pains that have been taken to justify the course of the opposition the verdict of the churches and people where these revivals have prevailed, is almost unanimous in their favor and against the opposition. So true is this that for many years I have seen but little open opposition to revivals. I have found that even the unconverted had no confidence in the opposition that had been made to revivals. Reaction! Yes indeed there has been reaction. But it has been against opposers and opposition so that ministers would not dare now to follow the lead of such men as before led the opposition. And where is the fulfillment of those prophesies that the ministers and churches would be ashamed of what they had done, and that there would be no revivals in those churches again for a generation? How exactly opposite to these predictions have been the facts in the case. Blessed are the ministers and people who have no greater reason to be ashamed of what they have done than the promoters of those revivals have to be ashamed of the part they took in those blessed works of grace. God and history will sustain the honor of those revivals, and already results have fully vindicated them and confounded their opposers. Let God have all the praise and glory forever and let man lie low before Him.
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