Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Marks of true revivals

Once or twice, I heard some friends saying that there had been no revivals in Australia. I didn't know how to respond to that when I heard it because I had no idea whether that was true or not, and also because my understanding of revival seemed to be somewhat different to what those friends emphasised.

Recently I have been reading Australian Christian Life from 1788: An introduction and and anthology. In this fascinating book (which I will be posting about later on), John Watsford is introduced. According to the author, Iain Murray, John Watsford was the first outstanding preacher to be born in Australia.

What John Watsford says about true revivals is instructive. Referring to the revivals that occurred in areas around Parramatta, Liverpool, and Windsor in 1840 - 1841, which he himself witnessed, he wrote:
These were true revivals. The fruit soon appeared in changed lives, in earnest work for Jesus, and in cheerful giving to His cause. What collections we used to have! At one of our missionary meetings at Castlereagh, Mrs. G---- brought in her missionary gold. When the box was at last opened, sovereign after sovereign rolled out, until we counted forty. At one of our meetings Mr. Lewis and I had to stop the people in their giving. We positively refused to take any more.

-- p.155, from Australian Christian Life from 1788: An Introduction and an Anthology

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