Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Woman Of God Who Blessed Many Through Her Weakness!

Annie's Story

By Rowland V. Bingham 


Annie was born on Christmas Eve, in the year 1866, in the little town of Vineland, New Jersey. Eldon and Jean Johnson, the father and mother, welcomed that Christmas present as the greatest earthly gift. The father was of English descent, and the mother was Scottish.

The only remembrance of her mother dates back to the time just before her mother's death in 1869 (at the age of twenty-three) following the birth of a baby sister for Annie. She must have looked with wonder from that baby face into the mother's face that day, for it was the only imprint of that mother's likeness that lived in her memory. The baby was left for life-long companionship. The father took the children to board with the widow of an old army comrade who had been killed in the Civil War. It was not a happy arrangement. The woman had two children of her own and her means were very limited. During the two years the Johnson girls added to the cares of that family, they were evidently unwelcome and unwanted.

But it was at this time when the outlook seemed so dark for their young lives, that a neighbor interposed in a kindly way. She loomed in the memory as Aunt Susie, although she could claim no blood relation to this friend. Aunt Susie was a school teacher, and boarded near the school in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Flint. She became so strongly attached to the Johnson girls that she was continually speaking of them to the Flints, and at last so aroused their sympathy on behalf of the motherless children, that a little over two years after their mother's death they were adopted by the Flints, whose name thereafter they bore. While their name might sound hard and stony, their hearts were very tender. Two things made Mr. Johnson willing to part with the children: first, he was suffering at the time with an incurable disease from which he shortly afterwards died; second, the Flints offered a home after his own desire. They were Baptists, and Mr. Johnson was very anxious that the children should be brought up in the Baptist faith. Later Annie was converted in a Methodist revival meeting and many of her most intimate friends were connected with those churches. Then as the years rolled by she was helped by men and woman in many branches of the evangelical church, and in return she herself became God's channel of blessing to that wider fellowship. She looked upon that "household of faith" as really one great family, with one faith, one Lord, one baptism, working under one Divine Spirit, having one Master over all.

Mr. and Mrs. Flint were true Christians, and love reigned in their home. The two girls were taken right to their hearts, and loved as though they were their own flesh and blood. The daily training was thorough, both in Christian and domestic spheres. When Annie was eight years old the family left the farm and moved into Vineland, New Jersey, but the touch of the country life never left her in all her years. When they reached their new home in town, revival meetings were in progress, and she attended. It was during one of those meetings that the Spirit of God operated upon that young heart and brought her to saving faith in Christ. She always believed that at that time she was truly converted, and while she did not join the church until ten years later, she never doubted that the eternal work was then wrought. She strongly opposed the idea that young children cannot apprehend spiritual truths. She felt that divine mysteries were often plainer to the simple faith of a child than to many adults, blinded by their own prejudices and intellectual doubts. It was not difficult for her to endorse the words of the Master, "thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."


It was about the time that she passed through this spiritual experience that the poetic interest began to awaken within her. She tells of the thrill of her life when she realized that she could express herself in verse. Then came another move. When she was fourteen the family went to Camden, New Jersey, and there the two girls continued their schooling. There was nothing special to mark the years that flew by in that time. She was very fond of reading, and made good use of her adopted father's library, which contained a good number of the works of standard authors such as Dickens, Kingsley and Bulwer-Lytton, in addition to a majority of the poets. It was at this period that she formed one friendship that continued through the years. This friend told of her early recollections of Annie as she then appeared, "a pretty, dark-eyed girl, with a clear olive complexion, and long black curls. She was kindhearted, merry and vivacious - a general favorite with the boys and girls at school." This friend wrote: "Every Saturday afternoon we met, as a select literary society of two to read our favorite poets, and then we attempted verse ourselves."

When this friend moved from Annie's home to another town, we know little of their later companionships though they kept in touch to the close of life. These years were the formative years. It was then she became more conscious of herself as an individual and of her surroundings. She realized, too, her good fortune in having such a home and such foster parents. The Flints were people of high principle. They taught the girls to be self-reliant, independent and economical. They gave her a healthy horror of debt. "Owe no man anything," was a command tacitly obeyed.

Mr. and Mrs. Flint provided a good home with plenty to eat and enough to wear, but there was no waste. "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost" was a rule strictly observed. By this time she made all her own clothes as well as her mother's, except their best dresses, for which a dressmaker came into the house twice a year. She was also capable of taking charge of the housekeeping if necessary.

It was in her girlhood years that she stored up in the child mind the wealth of these things that burst forth in the later years. In those long, long years in which she was "shut in" those nature psalms would never have had the touch that was given to them but for the memories of girlhood when she ran untrammeled under Heaven's canopy and out into open fields and woods. Not that she lost her observation of nature! We remember standing beside her sick-couch one day when she suddenly observed "We are going to have rain today. My robin has just changed his note. He never sings in that tone unless the rain is coming." Sure enough, the rain came.


Whether by nature or through her early Christian experience, Annie was generally disposed to be cheerful and optimistic. She looked on the bright side of life, and was quite fond of jokes and able to get much enjoyment out of life. Aunt Susie had often told her that when she was just learning to walk she marched across the room with head up regardless of any obstacle in the way, and a forward looking lifted up head was a characteristic attitude. It was typical of the courage which she was to manifest in later life when she was hemmed in by so many trials. She certainly learned to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Then she had a generous nature, and was ever ready to share what she had with others, and was ever more willing to grant favors than to accept them.

But we are sure that it is a mistake to touch on the commendable characteristic in her life records without lifting the veil on the other side. Annie was very human, and she herself had left a record of the glaring faults as she saw them. While still a child she had a very quick temper which flared up on slight provocation, but as quickly died down. She never claimed entire freedom from this tendency, but she had learned the secret of grace in overcoming.

Another characteristic was her acute sensitiveness, which made her keenly alive to the needs and the wrongs of other, and as is usual with one of this nature, her likes and dislikes were intense. She admits further that if she was accused of something she had not done and for which she was unjustly reproved, she indulged in sulky spells which lasted far longer than the storm of temper. She would not speak to anyone while in these moods nor condescend to explain any mistake which might have been made. This was an unfortunate trait in her childhood.

But she records her greatest fault as lack of patience, with herself as well as others. She did not like to wait for a thing. She wanted to see results at once. With this there was coupled a dogged persistence and she refused to give up anything once begun, until it was finished. This helped her to accomplish many a hard and distasteful task, but all through her life the hardest lesson she had to learn was patience. Again and again she had to be reminded to wait patiently for the Lord. It was so much easier to wait eagerly and impatiently, or to spend the time making plans and devising schemes for doing something when the waiting time was over. One text that seemed especially written for her was Hebrews 6:12, That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


Finishing her high school she spent one year at normal school and had a position offered to her. It was a great temptation to begin earning money. But, as her mother was failing in health, and already had had one slight stroke, she felt that she was really needed at home, so she started teaching the primary class in the same school that she had attended as a girl. According to her contract with the normal school she taught for three years, though early in the second year arthritis began to show itself. She tried several doctors in turn, but it steadily grew worse until it became difficult for her to walk at all, and she had a hard time finishing out the third year. After that she was obliged to give up her work, and there followed three years of increasing helplessness.

The death of both her adopted parents within a few months of each other left the two girls alone again. There was little money in the bank and the twice-orphaned children had come to a real "Red Sea Place" in their lives. It was just then that the faithful Aunt Susie again came to the rescue. She had been in the Sanitarium at Clifton Springs, [New York] and was convinced that Annie could find help and healing there. Accordingly arrangements were made for Annie to go and she was to have the rent of the house she was leaving for her income.

Picture if you can the hopelessness of Annie's position when she finally received the verdict of the doctors of the Clifton Springs Sanitarium, that henceforth she would be a helpless invalid. Her own parents had been taken from her in childhood, and her foster parents both passed away. Her one sister was very frail and struggling to meet her own situation bravely. Annie was in a condition where she was compelled to be dependent upon the care of others who could not afford to minister to her except as compensated by her. In after years she always stated that her poems were born of the need of others and not from her own need; but one knows full well that she never could have written as she did for the comfort and help of thousands of others if she had not had the background of facing those very crises in her own life.


With a pen pushed through bent fingers and held by swollen joints she wrote first without any thought that it might be an avenue of ministry, or that it would bring her returns that might help in her support. Her verses provided a solace for her in the long hours of suffering. Then she began making hand-lettered cards and gift books, and decorated some of her own verses.

Her "Christmas Carols" became popular. Two card publishers printed these greetings and this helped to get her foot on the first rung of the ladder of support. It gave her the larger vision of possibly securing openings through some of the magazines, by which her poems could be a wider blessing, and at the same time bring some little return that would minister to her own pressing need. When we [Bingham's] met her first, she had succeeded in placing a number of her poems in the old CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOUR WORLD, and the SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES had accepted several. From the first her writings appealed to us and we early made them a special feature in the columns of THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN. Testimonies came in from many directions of blessing received, so in 1919 we put forth the first little brochure of her poems, under the title "By the Way, Travelogues of Cheer." Seven of these brochures, ever increasingly attractive, and ever more widely circulated, were issued.

The publications of her booklets and the action of the SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES linked her up with a world wide fellowship. For a long time she sought to deal with this ministry herself, and to carry the burden of correspondence. One wonders how she could ever get a pen through those poor twisted fingers; but she was a beautiful writer, and a wonderful correspondent. Her letters were unique, bright and breezy, though written from her bed of affliction. They were as rich as her poems, and whatever the stage of her affliction, or however great the pain through which she might be passing, she always had a touch of humor that was refreshing. One of her great regrets in the after years was that the progress of her affliction made it necessary to dictate the messages to her friends and of course this added to her expense. When she could afford it, she liked to go into the Sanitarium for a month or two around the Christmas season. It gave her a little more care and helpful medical treatment and at the same time she came into contact in that institution with a large number of guests who purchased her booklets and cards.

One of the lessons which she learned in connection with the life of faith was that she could not dictate to the Lord as to how He was to supply the need. She had been brought up with a sturdy independence. She still struggled to make ends meet. She still sought to cut down expenses in order that she might be able to pay as she went. The thought of charity was obnoxious to her. She loved to give to others and help those who were in need, but to receive from others—that was quite another matter. The breaking down of her prejudice in this sphere came about in a very simple way. One of the boarders staying at the house where she lived, when saying good-bye, tactfully slipped into her hand a gift of money. This was the first time such a thing had ever happened, and Annie's pride was up in arms at once. The woman evidently noticed a difference in her manner and explained that she wished to leave some remembrance with her, but not knowing what her special need might be, thought it better to let her choose. Then she added something which went home. Annie never forgot it. She said, "You know Jesus Christ said 'It is more blessed to give than to receive,' but how can there be any givers to whom the blessing can come unless there are those who are willing to receive? It takes two halves to make a whole" Then she appealed to Annie and asked if their positions were reversed and she had the means, would she not be glad to give? This turned things around so completely that she had to admit that she had no right to withhold from others the blessing of giving. She took the gift so kindly meant, and tried to be a willing receiver if that would help some giver to obtain a blessing. Her life was lived, as someone has said, from hand to mouth, but as she liked to have it expressed, the mouth was hers, and the hand was God's and His hand was never empty.

But there came times of real trial and testing. Sales sometimes fell off, and extra needs pressed in. Sometimes for considerable periods she had to have a trained nurse. There were doctor's bills running up, and then too she was under pressure of many other trials; but again it was in these very conditions that some of the heart experiences wrought by them, brought her where she could be a blessing and help to others. One of her sweetest sonnets which she says was born of experience of another would never have found expression if it had not been for her own trials. The special incident that drew it forth was the visit of a little, tired, discouraged deaconess to Clifton Springs. She used to a call and tell her troubles to Annie, and when she left and went back to the west, she wrote saying how blue she felt, and how down hearted, and she didn't see why God allowed such hard things to come into her life. Annie put her answer in a poem. Nothing sweeter ever came from her pen. She titled it : "WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED". In another sphere her friends criticized and challenged her faith. As her story became known far and wide it was natural that she should receive many visitors. Many of these were sincerely interested in her welfare. Among them were some who strongly believed that healing of the body was for every child of God in this life. Their claim was that healing was in the Atonement and purchased for us by Christ, and that everyone who was walking obediently could claim deliverance from physical infirmities and bodily sicknesses. She listened to what they had to say. MORE THAN THAT, she went earnestly and prayerfully to search the Scriptures as to God's will. It was only after a most painstaking study and prayer, and reading of the best writers on this subject that she reached the conclusion that, while God can and does heal in this way in some cases, in others He does not; that He has seen fit to leave some of the most triumphant saints deeply afflicted. She saw too that many of those who pressed their theory were themselves afflicted with infirmity, and while telling others that they ought to claim healing, bore in their own lives the failure of their theory. Annie became thoroughly convinced that God intended to glorify Himself through her, in her weak, earthen vessel, and like Paul she had three times and more prayed that this might be taken from her, there came to her with real assurance the promise which said, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." She reached the place where she could also say with Paul, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me" [2Cor. 12:9].


Annie determined that there was to be "no moaning of the bar when (she) put out to sea." The last years of her life brought her no ease from her affliction, no lessening of pain and suffering. Yet, we think that those closing years she really exemplified more than ever some of the sweetness of her earlier verses.

In Annie's own notes from which this sketch of her life is written, her affliction receives little notice. She would have it so. Although crippled, she did not consider herself helpless and that she could do nothing but bemoan her lot. She believed that God had laid her aside for a purpose, even though that purpose was obscure to her at times, but she also believed that He had work for her to do and she put her very best into the writing of her poems, rendering this ministry unto Him. The result has been that her verses have an unusually deep appeal to human hearts. The simple reason is that she felt what she wrote, and out of the crucible of suffering she was able to administer that comfort to others wherewith she herself had been comforted of God.

No one but God and she knew what suffering she endured as the disease became worse with the passing of the years, and new complications developed. But through it all her faith in the goodness and mercy of God never wavered. There were many times, no doubt, when her soul would be burdened with the mystery of it all and the why and wherefore of the thing that she was called to endure. In that respect she was most human like the rest of us, but the marvelous thing is that her faith never faltered, and that she was at all times able to say "Thy will be done." For more than forty years there was scarcely a day when she did not suffer pain. For thirty-seven years she became increasingly helpless. Her joints had become rigid, although she was able to turn her head, and in great pain write a few lines on paper. But long before these years of helplessness she had received her one great affirmation from God which settled all her doubts. Perhaps the shortest stanza which she wrote was upon the words, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen..." From this verse she wrote:

'Is God-?' 'Does God-?'
Man's 'Why?' and 'How?'
In ceaseless iteration storm the sky.
'I am'; 'I will'; 'I do'—sure Word of God,
Yea and Amen, Christ answers each cry;
To all our anguished questionings and doubts
Eternal affirmation and reply.

Less than a week before her passing, Mrs. Bingham and Mr. Stock, with whom Annie had had most of the correspondence about the publication of her poems, called to see her, in early morning. The nurse gave her "no" to the request for an interview, but when the name was passed in, she said it mattered not whether it was morning, noon or night, nothing should keep them out of her chamber. And for an hour they had delightful fellowship. There was no thought then of the immediate passing. But on Thursday morning, the following week, September 8th, 1932, she felt very tired and wondered if she could live the day out. When the doctor was called he stated that it was just weakness. But all that day she did not improve and the doctor was called again in the evening. He saw at once that she was in great distress and her heart was behaving badly. Before giving her a hypodermic he asked if there was anything she wished to say or have her friend do as she might not rally. Her last words were: " I have nothing to say. It's all right." A few minutes later she had gone to be with Christ, sorrow, pain, suffering and death were ended forever, for the former had passed away.

In considering the life of Annie Johnson Flint one is perplexed with questions as old as humanity itself, such as the mystery of pain and suffering. That the wicked should suffer as the reward for their wrong doing seems just and right, but that the righteous should pass through the furnace, sometimes heated seven times, is a great stumbling block to many people. That is because we only see half the circle of life. One thing we are sure of, and that is that the Divine Potter makes no mistakes as He molds the clay in His hands. When it comes forth from His hand, He has fashioned it indeed, a goodly vessel prepared and fit for the Master's use.

1Peter 1:6"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 

Poetry Of Annie Johnson Flint:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

How I Know God Answers Prayer

Our God Of The Impossible

The following stories of how God can do the seemingly impossible come from Rosalind Goforth, a missionary to China, who wrote How I know God answers prayer.

* * * 

“Behold, I am the Lord, . . . is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

“Ah, Lord God! . . . there is nothing too wonderful for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17, margin).

* * *

A wayward soul

The following illustration of the truth, “What is impossible with man is possible with God,” occurred while we were attending the Keswick Convention in England, in 1910.

One evening my husband returned from an evening meeting, which I had not attended, and told me of a woman who had come to him in great distress. She had been an earnest Christian worker, but love for light, trashy fiction had so grown upon her as to work havoc in her Christian life. She had come to Keswick three years in succession, hoping to get victory, but had failed.

My whole soul went out to the poor woman; I longed to help her. But Mr. Goforth did not know her name, and the tent had been so dark he could not recognize her again; besides, there were about four thousand people attending the convention. That night I lay awake asking the Lord, if he knew I could help her, to bring us together, for I, too, had at one time been almost wrecked on the same rock.

Three evenings later the tent was so crowded that I found difficulty in getting a seat. Just as the meeting was about to begin, I noticed a woman change her seat twice, and then rise a third time and come to where I was, asking me to make room for her. I crowded the others in the seat and made room for her—I fear not too graciously. While Mr. F. B. Meyer was speaking I noticed she was in great distress, her tears falling fast. I laid my hand on hers, and she grasped it convulsively. At the close of the meeting I said, “Can I help you?”

“Oh, no,” she replied, “there is no hope for me; it is those cursed novels that have been my ruin.”

I looked at her in amazement, and almost gasped: “Are you the one who spoke to Mr. Goforth Saturday night?”

“Yes; but who are you?”

Scarcely able to speak for emotion, I told her, and also of my prayer. For the next few moments we could only weep together. Then the Lord used me to lead the poor, crushed and broken soul back to Himself. As we parted, a few days later, her face was beaming with the joy of the Lord.

A hymn verse

While addressing a gathering of Christians in Glasgow I was giving a certain incident, the point of which depended upon a verse of a certain hymn. When I came to quote the verse, it had utterly slipped my memory. In some confusion I turned to the leader, hoping that he could help me out; but he said he had no idea what the hymn was. Turning again to the people, I had to acknowledge that my memory had failed me, and, feeling embarrassed, I closed my message somewhat hurriedly.

Sitting down, I lifted my heart in a cry to the Lord to lead me to the verse I wanted, if it was in the hymn-book used there. I took up a hymn-book and opened it, and the very first lines my eyes fell on were those of the verse I wanted, though it was the last verse of a long hymn. Rising again, I told the people of my prayer and the answer, and gave them the verse. The solemn stillness which prevailed indicated that a deep impression had been made. Some two years after, a newly arrived missionary in China told me he had been present at that meeting, and how this little incident had been a great blessing to him.

“They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded” (Psalm 22:5).

A needy friend

I awoke suddenly one night feeling greatly troubled for one in Canada. So strong was the impression that this friend needed my prayers that I felt compelled to rise and spend a long time wrestling with God on this one’s behalf; then peace came, and I again slept.

As soon as I was out of quarantine I wrote to my friend and told of this experience, giving the date. In time the answer came, which said that—though no date could be given, as no note had been made of it—as far as could be judged, it was about the same time that I had had the burden of prayer that my friend was passing through a time of such temptation as seemed almost overwhelming. But the letter said: “I was brought through victoriously; I know that it was your prayers that helped me.”

A lost key

My husband had gone to hold revival meetings in a distant province, and while he was away I went with my Bible-woman to a certain out-station at the urgent request of the Christians, to preach at a four-days’ “theatrical,” which brought great crowds. The four days there were enough to wear out the strongest; for many hours daily we had to face unruly crowds coming and going; and at the end of our stay I turned my face homeward utterly worn out. My one thought was to get to Wei Hwei, our next station, for a few days’ rest with my youngest children, who were attending school there. A sight of them, I knew, would recover my energies better than anything else.

But in getting home I in some way lost the key of the money-drawer. It was Friday, and the train for Wei Hwei left on Saturday at ten o’clock. Different persons came for money, but I had to put them off with some excuse. There was too much money in the drawer for me to leave with the key lying around somewhere; besides, I myself could not go without money.

As soon as I had my supper I started searching everywhere. Drawers, pigeonholes, shelves, were all searched in vain. After hunting for two hours, until I was too exhausted to hunt any more, I suddenly thought, “I have never prayed about it.” Stopping still just where I stood by the dining-table, I lifted my heart to the Lord. “O Lord, you know how much I need a rest; you know how much I long to see the children; pity me, and lead me to the key.”

Then, without wasting a step, I walked through the dining-room, hall, and women’s guest room into Mr. Goforth's study, to the book-case (which covers one side of the room), opened the door, slipped two books aside, and there was the key. So near did the Lord seem at that moment that I could almost feel His bodily presence. It was not that I remembered putting the key there, but He led me there.

Yes, I know God answers prayer.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

Evan Roberts 1878-1951 - An Overview of the Welsh Revival of 1904/1905

The REVIVAL of 1904-1905 resulted in over 150,000 people converted and added to churches and chapels in Wales. Lives were TRANSFORMED! Lifestyles were CHANGED! Homes and families were HEALED! Churches were packed and on FIRE with fervour and zeal!

All this happened when young people began to experience the reality of God’s divine power, and teams of young people, such as the one led by the most noted of the revivalist, EVAN ROBERTS and his revival party, travelled the country revolutionising the churches.


Here is love, vast as the ocean, loving kindness as the flood,

When the Prince of Life my ransom shed for me His precious blood,

Who His love will not remember, who can cease to sing His praise?

He shall never be forgotten through Heaven's everlasting days.

On the mount of crucifixion fountains opened deep and wide

Through the floodgates of God's mercy flowed the vast and gracious tide,

Grace and love like mighty rivers poured incessant from above

Heaven's peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.


Just after eleven o'clock on a Wednesday evening a hundred years ago, a solo voice rang out with the beautiful Welsh hymn "Here Is Love Vast As The Ocean". Maybe a thousand people were in the Chapel at the time, leaning over the galleries, packing every pew and squeezing into every spare corner. They'd been here for more than four hours, in a service of intense emotion.

Meetings like it were taking place across Wales night after night, with fervent prayer and passionate singing - and similar disregard for the clock. They both excited and appalled, left many puzzled and some frightened, but it was reckoned that in less than a year, over a hundred and fifty thousand people had made a new commitment to Jesus Christ.

Whole communities changed, as men and women found themselves drawn into a powerful experience of God; and sparks from their awakening were soon to ignite fires in more than a dozen other countries.

And the hymn that soloist struck up spontaneously, about "love vast as the ocean", was heard so often that it became known as "the love song of the revival".


Previous Revivals

Alongside and mixed with the political and cultural history of Wales is a stream of Christian history and spiritual revival, traceable to the first century and continuing to the present day. Wales has its own unique spiritual heroes, Saint David and the Celtic Church - William Morgan with his translation of the Scriptures into the Welsh language - Howell Harris, Daniel Rowlands and the hymn-writer, William Williams, who became the leaders of the Great Awakening in Wales.

The conversion of Howell Harris in 1735 marked the commencement of the mighty Revival, which was to have an ongoing impact during the remainder of the 18th century. There were effective missions, revivals and thriving chapels in Wales, throughout the 19th Century, with such leaders as Christmas Evans the one eyed preacher of Anglesey, John Elias, Thomas Charles and hundreds more, culminating in the Welsh Revival of 1859. Led principallyby the revivalist David Morgan, it was estimated that over 100,000 converts were added to the churches during that Revival. All these and other heroes, under God, had such impact, that by the end of the 19th century Wales had become known as "The Land of Revival - The Land of Song". Of course, each Revival had its own special emphasis, distinctives and hymns that seemed to sum up the experience of the move of God in the life of the nation.

Yet, towards the latter 19th century a spiritual decline had begun to set in. So with the dawn of the 20th century, it was time for another Revival! By the year 1900, an evangelistic outreach known as the "Forward Movement" had planted 30 new churches, primarily in South Wales, with an overall attendance of close to 2,000, mostly new converts. Also, the first "Keswick in Wales" Conventions in Llandrindod in 1903 and 1904 were preparing hearts for Revival!

Parallel Revivals

We should bear in mind the fact that whilst God has, at times, seen fit to bless Wales with special outpourings of His Holy Spirit, this has often been in conjunction with similar movements in other places. For instance, the Revival in Wales, which started in 1735, was part of the Awakening also known as the "Methodist Revival", which was flourishing in England under the ministries of George Whitfield and John and Charles Wesley. The Revival also impacted Scotland, Ireland and North America.

The particular influence of the Welsh Revivalist, Howell Harris cannot be underestimated. He was a great unifier, and there is no doubt that he played a vital part in maintaining the link between the Revival in Wales and England, and links between the leaders themselves. A close personal friend of George Whitfield, Harris helped to heal the breach between Whitfield and John Wesley.

Coleg Trefecca in Mid Wales, founded by Howell Harris, also had a very significant role to play, because, with the funding of Lady Huntingdon, Trefecca became a Bible College for ministers involved in the Revival in England and Wales.

Howell Harris also undoubtedly played a major role in bringing the impact of what was known as the "Methodist Revival" to the other non-conformist churches in Wales.

As in 1859, when Revival occurred simultaneously in Wales, the North East of England, Northern Ireland and elsewhere, the Welsh Revival of 1904 was, in fact, part of a global outpouring of God's Holy Spirit!

Pentecostal Revival

The Welsh Revival of 1904 is generally considered as something quite distinct from other spiritual movements that developed before or after it. In fact, that is not the case, as we shall see.

The emphasis of the Revival was without doubt the baptism and fullness of the Holy Spirit, and, as we shall discover, it was not a phenomenon which happened and died out, but it has to be seen in the light of the Pentecostal Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early 20th century.


On December 31st 1903 and January 1st 1904, Joseph Jenkins a minister in New Quay Cardiganshire, who was undoubtedly a key man in the Revival, held a "Deeper Spiritual Life Convention". Joseph had been seeking an enduement of power, and shared the testimony of his experience of the Holy Spirit engulfing him as a flame of fire. This was to impact his Church.

On February 14th, in a Sunday service at his Chapel, a young woman named Florrie Evans stood to her feet and publicly confessed "I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart". As she spoke these words the Holy Spirit seemed to fall on the meeting. Many say this was the real beginning of the Revival. A move of God took place in that Church, as after-church meetings were held to seek the Lord's presence and empowerment, and God began baptising - initially young people, mainly girls and women in their teens and early twenties - with the Holy Spirit, and the fire quickly spread to other young people in the Cardiganshire area.

In September of the same year, Forward Movement Evangelist Seth Joshua was addressing a Convention which included these Spirit-filled young people, at Blaenanerch, just 5 miles north of Cardigan. Seth himself had been praying for years that God would raise up a young man from the coal pits to revive the churches - little did he know that on Thursday September 29th 1904 his prayer was to be answered in a life changing experience for one 26 year old student, Evan Roberts.

Evan Roberts

During the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts was repeatedly awakened at 1:00 a.m. He met with God in prayer until 5:00 a.m.

Evan Roberts was born in 1878, in Loughor near Swansea, and left school at 11 to go and work down in the coalmine with his father until his early 20's, when he became a blacksmith's apprentice with his uncle in nearby Pontarddulais.

Evan had a thirst for spiritual things from an early age. The story is often told of how he would take his Bible down the mine to read it during rest periods. One day there was an explosion that took the lives of five of his fellow workers. He narrowly escaped death, but the flames scorched the pages of the Bible he was reading. Later, when the revival came, pictures of Evan Roberts' scorched Bible were sent around the world - epitomizing the fire that had fallen on Wales.

For years, Evan had been a faithful member of Moriah Calvinistic Methodist Chapel at Loughor. Having been converted as a young teenager, he was a Sunday School Superintendent, a conscientious reader of the main theological works of his day, and more than that, he had been praying for revival for over 11 years, and he continued to pray regularly that God would again visit Wales, in Revival Power. Determined to do his part, he felt compelled to go into the Calvinistic Methodist Ministry, and on September 13th 1904, he became a pupil of the Newcastle Emlyn Grammar School to prepare for Trefecca Theological College.

It was only two and a half weeks after arriving that he found himself at Blaenanerch - and at a crossroads in his spiritual experience. He received a mighty Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which would lead him back to the young people of his own church Moriah, Loughor. On his return to Loughor, he went to the prayer meeting, and asked those who were seeking for a deeper spiritual life to stay behind. He shared with those who stayed what God was doing in New Quay, and what had happened to him. Prophesying that Revival would break out in two weeks, he gave them keys for receiving the Holy Spirit:-

(1) Confess all known sin to God, receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

(2) Remove anything from your life that you are in doubt or feel unsure about.

(3) Be totally yielded and obedient to the Holy Spirit.

(4) Publicly confess the Lord Jesus Christ.

Slowly and quietly, Evan spoke of the deep things of God and Christ, the hours passing quite unobserved, while tears coursed uninterruptedly over the cheeks of his listeners. People passing by the church commented freely and wonderingly upon the unusual spectacle of lights burning in full blaze at such an hour.

Inside the building strange things were happening. Young men and women who had never been known to speak openly of any experience of saving grace stood and testified fearlessly. Others were bowed in prayer. Some sang the hymns of Zion. Tears, sobs, and songs of praise were intermingled, continuing until near midnight. Planning to meet the following evening, the happy throng dispersed in all directions. The next day the event was the talk of the village, and that evening, the chapel was packed with people, many coming out of curiosity. Revival broke out in Loughor, and within two weeks the Welsh Revival was national news! Evan Roberts and Loughor, from this point, became the main focus of the Revival, although many others were involved.

When it became known that some of the outstanding characters of the neighbourhood had been converted after withstanding gospel appeals of eminent preachers for a lifetime, and that these were declaring newfound joy and faith without shame or fear, the excitement became tense. Rumours spread far and wide.

Down in the bowels of the earth, miners not only discussed the services, but sang boisterously the grand old, almost forgotten hymns, learned in their childhood.

This was a Revival with youth on fire - young men, yes and especially young women. It was the prophecy of Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled. After the first stirrings at New Quay, young women continued to play a vital role in the Revival - Florrie Evans went on a team to North Wales with her friend Maud - others used their voices as instruments of God's message, and amongst the most well known was Annie Davies of Maesteg who travelled with Evan Roberts and his team.

Revival teams, consisting of young people, mostly Spirit-filled young women, led by such men as Joseph Jenkins the minister at New Quay, Forward Movement Evangelist Seth Joshua, Sydney Evans who was Evan Roberts' friend at College, and Evan Roberts himself, travelled throughout Wales with their Spirit-led teams, conducting evangelistic revival meetings.

Meetings went on for many hours - often for more than 10 without a break. People lost all sense of time and churches were so full that crowds gathered outside until they could somehow squeeze their way in.

The meetings broke with the conventional and bypassed the traditional - often the ministers just sat down, unable to preach or even to understand the phenomena that took over their usually sedate churches and chapels - and the mighty move of God that impacted them was a manifestation of love and power which completely transformed thousands of lives. The Revival rapidly spread all over Wales, as churches "caught the fire" and the Spirit moved throughout the land, in great power. News of dramatic conversions, confession of sin, and songs of joy spread rapidly.

Wherever Evan Roberts went the Holy Spirit brought deep conviction of sin and a new spiritual dimension into the lives of formerly cold churchgoers. Evan was not an expository preacher and his method was prayer and exhortation, leading to a moving of the Holy Spirit bringing deep conviction.

In one of the valley communities, young men and women walked in procession through the streets, singing hymns and visiting public houses to invite those inside to come to the revival. Many of the places were completely deserted and others had their trade depleted.

In one such drinking place there was one solitary customer sitting gloomily alone. Suddenly the evening air was rent with the jubilant voices of happy songsters, just outside the door. So infuriated were the man and woman in charge at the audacity of these zealous youths that they picked up some of the empty ale-pots and flung them recklessly at the happy youngsters. Disgusted with the conduct of his host and hostess, the solitary patron rose from his seat, joined the enthusiastic processionists, then went with them to the church, where he surrendered to Christ!

There was a new excitement about eternal things. Family devotions and public prayer meetings were started and continued regularly for years. The sales of Bibles increased to such a degree that the shops sold their entire stocks. Everywhere there was a new spirit of prayer and an urgency to preach the Gospel.

The effects of the Revival were not confined to Wales. Reports were distributed internationally in newspaper and magazine reports and the Holy Spirit repeated what He had done in Wales from America to Australia. Evan Roberts prayed for 100,000 converts, and it is estimated that there were, in fact, well over 150,000.

The Effects of the Revival

As revival fire spread across Wales in late 1904 and early 1905, although no official records were kept of the actual number converted, 150,000 is considered a very conservative estimate, during the first six months! People's lives were transformed by the thousands. This was indeed, a sovereign move of God's Holy Spirit!

Whole communities were turned upside down, and were radically changed from depravity to glorious goodness. The crime rate dropped, often to nothing. The police force reported that they had little more to do than supervise the coming and going of the people to the chapel prayer meetings, while magistrates turned up at courts to discover no cases to try. The alcohol trade was decimated, as people were caught up more by what happened in the local chapels than the local public houses and bars. Families experienced amazing renewal, where the money earning husband and father, the bread winner, had wasted away the income and sowed discord, but now under the moving power of the Holy Spirit, following the conversion to be a follower of Jesus Christ, he not only provided correctly for family needs, but was now with the family, rather than wasting his time, and wages, in the public houses of the village or town. Souls were saved, individual lives were changed and Society itself was changed. Countless numbers were converted to Christ.

There are men and women still in churches today whose parents or grandparents' testimonies were that they were converted in the Revival in 1904 or 1905. Not only were individual lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, but whole communities were changed, indeed society itself was changed. Wales again was a God-fearing nation!

Public houses were now almost empty. Men and women who used to waste their money getting drunk were saving it, giving it to help their churches, buying clothes and food for their families. And not only drunkenness, but stealing and other offences grew less and less, so that often a magistrate came to court, and found there were no cases for him.

Men whose language had been filthy before, learnt to talk purely. It is related that not only did the colliers put in a better day's work, but also that the pit ponies were so used to being cursed and sworn at, that they just couldn't understand orders being given in kind, clean words! Yet, still the work output increased. The dark tunnels underground in the mines echoed with the sounds of prayer and hymns, instead of oaths and nasty jokes and gossip.

People who had been careless about paying their bills, or paying back money they had borrowed, paid up all they owed. People who had fallen out became friends again.

During the latter part of 1905, Evan Roberts was suffering increasingly from nervous exhaustion. His ministry was viciously, publicly attacked by a Congregational minister from Dowlais, who called into question the Revival. This actually affected Roberts greatly and, exhausted as he was, he went into deep depression. He went away to recover, and sadly, his absence eventually led to the quenching of the fires of revival.

"War on the Saints" - Enter Jezebel

Ironically, it was the young Evan Roberts' earnestness to be honourable in his ministry and leadership of the Revival, coupled with the fact that he was very impressionable to the opinions of people whom he, sometimes misguidedly, considered more spiritually mature than himself, that, especially in his state of physical, exhaustion, made him not only vulnerable to depression, but sadly, in his confused state of mind, brought about his ultimate withdrawal from his role in the Revival.

When Evan Roberts met Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis at a Keswick-in-Wales Convention, in his vulnerable state of mind, he was easily impressed with her speaking and writing ability, as well as the apparent sympathy shown towards him, both by her husband and herself.

Although there is much to be commended in her earlier writings, sadly, many did not realise the extent to which Mrs. Penn-Lewis had become obsessed to the point of paranoia, with manifestations of a supernatural nature, condemning as demonic virtually all manifestations in the Welsh and Pentecostal Revivals. Entering into confrontation with the leaders of both the Keswick Convention, and the burgeoning Pentecostal Movement based in Sunderland, she caused a great deal of conflict.

As the Welsh Revival was characterised by many manifestations of a Pentecostal nature, with many instances of gifts of the Spirit exercised by many people, including Evan Roberts himself, Mrs. Penn-Lewis condemned much that took place during the Welsh Revival as spurious.

So it was, that Evan Roberts, the "Elijah" of the Welsh Revival came under the influence of the woman many referred to as "Jezebel". Jessie Penn-Lewis gained Evan's confidence, and she and her husband invited him to stay in their home in Leicester, ostensibly to recover from his exhaustion and depression. In fact, as a result, Evan went through a state of spiritual trauma that, sadly, undermined his usefulness to the Revival.

Sequel to the Evan Roberts Story

There is, however, a little-known sequel to the Evan Robert's story. As he began to recover, it evidently began to dawn on him that he was being deceived. Twelve months after its publication, Evan Roberts disassociated himself from the book, "War on the Saints", which was written by Jessie Penn-Lewis.

Evan Roberts did some traveling, writing and preaching, and eventually, in the 1920's, he returned to Wales, making his final home in Cardiff.

Revival and Healing Meetings conducted by Evan Roberts in the Loughor area

One of the former members of Evan Roberts' Revival Team arranged meetings for him in the Loughor area. They were held in the Old Post Office, Gorseinon. Many attended to hear the revivalist, and they were apparently tremendous meetings, reminiscent in many ways, of the Revival itself.

Not only were souls converted, but having shaken off the "Penn-Lewis paranoia", Evan Roberts was now preaching the Full Gospel with signs following, including healing for the sick and casting out demons with effective results. This is consistent with the real legacy of the Welsh Revival.

Evan Roberts had returned to Wales in 1926 to look after his sick father. Reports say that when he was asked to pray at his father's funeral in 1928, witnesses said the anointing of God, as an electric-like force, was so great when he prayed, that they thought Revival would break out again. This apparently characterised each of his rare public appearances in later years. He lived in Cardiff after his father died until he passed away in 1951. He was buried in Morah Chapel, Loughor.


The Welsh Revival was a Pentecostal Outpouring

The Welsh Revival of 1904 is generally considered as something quite distinct from other spiritual movements that developed before or after it. In fact, there is much evidence that the Revival was part of the Pentecostal Outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early 20th century.

The emphasis of the Welsh Revival of 1904 was without doubt the baptism and fullness of the Holy Spirit. The early beginnings of the Revival were influenced by Reader Harris, founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer, who preached a sermon in Carmarthen in January 1904 stating that the Church was to see another Pentecost.

When on February 14th, in New Quay, Cardiganshire, young Florrie Evans stood to her feet and publicly confessed "I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart" a mighty move of the Spirit of God broke out in that Church. Hungry for the Spirit, many young people gathered in after-church meetings, and God began baptising initially, mainly young girls and women in their teens and early twenties, with the Holy Spirit. They began singing and praying spontaneously, there was shouting and rejoicing, even dancing in the meetings, and many of the girls were prophesying.

This was unquestionably a Pentecostal visitation. Evan Roberts exercised spiritual gifts, including the word of knowledge, when things about someone in the congregation would be revealed, often leading to conversion.

The parallels between the Welsh Revival of 1904 and the Pentecostal Revival already taking place in parts of England and the USA were unmistakable :-

(1) Totally Spirit-led spontaneous worship, singing, testimonies and ministry.

(2) The exercise of Spiritual Gifts, including prophecy and word of knowledge.

(3) Claims of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with manifestations such as "wind", "fire" and falling under the Holy Spirit's power.

(4) Many recorded instances of Speaking with Tongues, which became a major controversy with those who opposed such manifestations.

(5) It is a fact that from 1905 when the Revival waned, it was the Pentecostals, who continued in the Spirit of the Revival, and a good percentage of the converts of the Revival joined the newly-formed Apostolic and Pentecostal Churches, many of which were pioneered in Wales, by converts of the Revival.

It is important therefore, to see the Welsh revival not as a phenomenon which happened and died out, but as a major part of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early 20th century, which brought into being the Apostolic and Pentecostal movements that by the mid 20th century had impacted Christians of every denomination.

It is also significant that the theme Scripture of the Revival, inscribed on the Evan Roberts Memorial monument at Moriah, is Acts 2:38 -

"Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit".

The Pentecostal Connection

The Pentecostal nature of the Revival of 1904 is undeniable. Evan Roberts himself often exercised the gift of a word of knowledge during the meetings. His emphasis was constantly on the baptism in the Spirit. The form of the services remind us strongly of the pattern of those described in the New Testament letters. It is small wonder then that a large percentage of the 150,000 saved in Wales became dissatisfied with the traditional churches and joined the newly formed Apostolic and Pentecostal Fellowships.

The Azusa Street Revival Connection

At the height of the Revival in 1905, as news spread around the world, Frank Bartleman, a Christian from Los Angeles - influenced by first-hand reports of the Revival in Wales - wrote to Evan Roberts, asking for his prayers that a similar revival would come to his city.

Bartleman received three letters in reply over a number of months, each indicating that prayer was being offered on his behalf in Wales. The letters contain advice on preparing for coming revival, while the final of the three letters, received in early 1906, contain a claim by Evan Roberts that he was convinced that God was going to send a revival upon the whole world, and that it was just about to happen. Within days of receiving that letter, Bartleman and others were in the thick of a revival that broke out at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, from which the Pentecostal Movement spread, on a global scale.

Rees Howells - Intercessor

We should, of course, mention the profound effect of the 1904 Revival on Rees Howells, Intercessor and Founder of the Bible College of Wales. A convert of the Revival, Howells was mightily used, especially in intercession, during World War II when there were strategic answers to prayer, which it is believed dramatically influenced the course of the War itself. Whilst Howells was not a classical Pentecostal, he certainly preached the necessity of being Baptised with the Holy Spirit.

Pentecostal Pioneers

The Apostolic and Pentecostal movement in Britain, especially throughout South and West Wales, has been described as having inherited the legacy of the Revival, its phenomenal growth having been influenced both by the Welsh Revival itself, and the Pentecostal and Apostolic Movement already impacting the British Isles.

The Apostolic Faith Church

One minister dramatically influenced by the Welsh Revival was Pastor W.O. Hutchinson of Bournemouth, England. After being Baptised with the Holy Spirit, he founded the Apostolic Faith Church, which was the first Pentecostal movement to be established in Britain. The Apostolic Faith Church gave birth to many Churches and ministries throughout Great Britain and overseas.

The Apostolic Church

Under the ministry of the Apostolic Faith Church, converts of the Welsh Revival, Daniel Williams (affectionately known as "Pastor Dan") and his brother Jones were ordained as an apostle, and prophet respectively.

Called as an Apostle to Wales, "Pastor Dan", with the support of his brother Jones, pioneered the work under the name of the Apostolic Church. From the village of Penygroes in South Wales, it rapidly spread throughout Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and overseas.

Elim & Bible Pattern Churches

Also notable amongst the converts of the Revival are George and Stephen Jeffreys, founders of Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance. Their international Evangelistic and Healing Campaigns resulted in multiplied thousands who were saved and healed through the Lord Jesus Christ. George Jeffreys also founded the Bible Pattern Church Fellowship, and held an annual Convention in London's Royal Albert Hall.

The Israel Connection

The Bible says in Joel 2 vs. 28-29 :-

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit".

This prophecy had an undoubted fulfilment during the Welsh Revival of 1904 as perhaps experienced nowhere else in quite this manner and scale, underlining the belief of many, that Wales is an Israel nation, part of the "lost" tribes of the House of Israel. Indeed, there are many who believe that the high proportion of ministers, both political and spiritual, produced in Wales, together with its identification as the "Land of Revival and Song" are a sure indication that a significant portion of the priestly tribe of Levi, including the descendants of Asaph - the appointed singers of Israel - are to be found in Wales!

Although there is no direct evidence that Evan Roberts specifically taught the message of Israel identity, it is evident that the prayers, and many of the messages preached both prior to, and during the Revival, were based on the promises God had made to His people Israel.

Reader Harris

In fact, one of the main inspirations of the Revival, was a sermon preached by the noted Judge, Reader Harris Q.C., founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer, in Carmarthen in January 1904. An ardent believer in Britain's Israel identity, Harris based his belief that Wales and Britain were to experience a Pentecostal Outpouring, on God's promises to Israel.

W. O. Hutchinson

The Apostolic Faith Church, led by Pastor W.O. Hutchinson of Bournemouth, also influenced by the Welsh Revival, was the first Pentecostal movement to be established in Britain, and believed in, and preached, Britain's identity with the "lost" tribes of Israel.

Daniel and Jones Williams

Daniel and Jones Williams of South Wales, converts of the Revival, were ordained by Pastor W.O. Hutchinson, under auspices of the Apostolic Faith Church.

The work in Wales, renamed the "Apostolic Church", flourished in the ongoing Spirit of the Revival, throughout the British Isles and overseas. "Pastor Dan" Williams, with the support of his brother Jones, pioneered the work, from their home village of Penygroes, in South Wales.

The movement rapidly spread throughout Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and overseas. Although the Apostolic Church no longer preaches the "Israel" identity, there is evidence that its founders, and many of its earlier leaders, believed in Britain's Israel identity.

George and Stephen Jeffreys

Undoubtedly George and Stephen Jeffreys were the most noted of the ministers to be produced by the Welsh Revival. Their international Evangelistic and Healing Campaigns resulted in multiplied thousands who were saved and healed through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ardent believers in the "Israel" identity of the British and related peoples, when the Elim movement founded by him suppressed the message, George Jeffreys launched the Bible Pattern Church, which propagated this "Israel" truth. George Jeffreys also held a Convention, annually, with a packed house, in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

God Can Do It Again!

Truly, what God did in Wales in 1904 and 1905 has left us with an amazing legacy of revival and ministry. It was, perhaps, the greatest impact of the early 20th century Pentecostal Outpouring.

Yet, the Welsh Revival should not just be a valuable part of our heritage, but rather we should pray for, and experience for ourselves - AN EVEN GREATER OUTPOURING OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT!

"Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2: 38 - the theme verse of the Welsh Revival).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Heart Cry Of One Man Named Evan Roberts Moved Million Hearts Toward God

Evan Roberts who for twelve years cried out to God for a revival to change the condition of his country, Wales. Evan looked around him and saw that the country was, "as in the days of Noah." It seemed to him that the minds of the people were constantly on evil. Drunkenness, gambling, adultery, murder and theft were rampant. The moral decline of the land was on a downward cycle. And it was in the heart of this humble man that God imparted a burning vision for spiritual revival.

Evan Roberts was born on June 8, 1878. When he as one of seven sons was added when he was born to his mother, she said, "I have another son to serve God now." Thus born to a humble and religious family, as a child, Evan took a Bible with him everywhere. His mother remembers that even early in his life he dreamed of revival. While he was a young coal miner, during breaks he would read 2 Chronicles 6 where Solomon prayed for revival. When he wasn't in the mines, he would be at home studying the Scriptures and praying. A historian J.T. Rees once asked his mother, "Did he pray much at home." She replied, "Oh yes! He used to spend hours in his room alone with God. Sometimes, I believe he spent whole nights in prayer." At times he would not come down to eat meals, telling his mother, "prayer was more important than food."

Roberts Biographer, Barnabas Harper, tells of a night in the spring of 1904 when Evan was praying by his bedside. He had an experience that shook him to the core. Writing in his diary he recalls the incident:

"I was taken up to a great expanse -without space and time- to communion with God. Before that I had a far-off God. I was frightened that night, but never since...After that experience I was awakened every night a little after one o'clock...From that hour I was taken up into Divine fellowship for about four hours..." Harper then tells us that it was during that time God told him that he was to take part in a great revival. Evan kept that secret to himself.

Throughout the history of Wales small spiritual awakenings occurred over the years, like tremors before an earthquake, calling the people back to a relationship with God. But the people would always go back to their old ways. In the early 1900's most people in Wales attended church as a moral commitment instead of a spiritual one. Except Evan, who in desperation gave himself to fervent prayer and intercession. Though only in his twenties, Roberts had no time for worldly entertainment and pleasure. One close friend remembers, "Day and night without ceasing, he prayed, wept and sighed for a great awakening." In his diary, Roberts writes, "for ten or eleven years I have prayed for revival. I could sit up all night to read and talk about revivals."

Roberts Liardon writes:

"...he was known by some as a ‘mystical lunatic'...there were rumors of him standing trance-like beside the road while uttering deep sighs as his lips moved without any sound of words...several concerned ministers approached Evan regarding his unusual behavior. He simply answered them, ‘But the Spirit moved me.'

His friends introduced him to an American specialist, Dr. Hughes, who said it was "religious mania" that he was suffering from. In Brynmor Pierce Jones's biography, An Instrument of Revival: The Complete Life of Evan Roberts 1878-1951, he writes of the reminiscences of a Christian man who spent some time with Evan:

"We usually had a reading and prayer together before we put out the lamp. Then I could hear Evan calling and groaning in the Spirit. I could not understand what was his message to God again, and some holy fear kept me from asking."

At one place where he was staying he would be in his room spending hours praying and preaching that his landlady became afraid of him and asked him to leave. She thought that in his enthusiasm he was "possessed or somewhat mad."

Many thought him strange but the Spiritual power he portrayed was unmistakable. At a prayer meeting in Builith Wells he was asked to pray. The peoples "hearts were melted within them at the power in the prayer." He told the minister that he knew God was ready to "rend the heavens and come down." He said, "I have reached out my hand and touched the flame. I am burning and waiting for a sign."

It was now 1904 and Evan Roberts was 26 years old. He traveled throughout Wales with a burning flame for God's presence in his spirit. His fire was spreading. During this time almost every denomination in Wales was praying for revival. Evan had been accepted into a Bible college, but he couldn't complete his studies because of his burning desire to preach and pray. He was already well trained in the doctrine of " man, sin, and salvation."

Evan's secret to what would be a most powerful ministry was his willingness to bow to God's Sovereign purpose for his life. This did include being a teacher of a great revival but first it meant being willing to let God have his Divine way in Evan's life. At this time Roberts had entered the preparatory school at Newcastle Emlyn to prepare himself for the Trevecca Bible College entrance examination. Evan was determined to do all he could and to trust in God to do the rest. As mentioned earlier he would never finish school. The Lord did not need Evan's knowledge, He only needed a willing vessel.

In August of that year Seth Joshua, an evangelist, held a "God Meeting" at Blaenanerch a few miles from the school. Roberts and nineteen other young people, including his friend Sydney Evans, attended the meeting. During the seven o'clock meeting Evan was deeply moved and he broke down completely at the close of the service. When Seth Joshua used the words " BEND US, OH LORD," Evan entered into such travail that he heard nothing more. At the nine o'clock meeting the spirit of intercession was moving on the congregation in great power. Evan was bursting to pray and the Spirit of the Lord told him to do so publicly. He did! With tears streaming down his face Evan just began to cry: "BEND ME! BEND ME! BEND ME! BEND US, OH LORD." Then the Holy Spirit came upon the congregation with power that shook the place with a mighty baptism. Historians would refer to the night as "BLAENANERCH'S GREAT MEETING." From that night on Evan Roberts could focus on only one thought...the salvation of souls.

Not long after that Evans roommate and closest friend, Sydney Evans, came into the room to find Evan's face shining with a holy light. Astonished, he asked him what had happened. Evan replied that he had just seen in a vision the whole of Wales being lifted up to heaven. He then prophesied: ‘we are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known...and the Holy Spirit is coming just now. We must get ready...and go all over the country preaching.' Suddenly he stopped and with piercing eyes he cried: ‘Do you believe that God can give us 100,000 souls, NOW?' The presence of the Lord so gripped Sydney that he could not help but believe."

A few days later, Evan was in the school chapel praying "bend me oh Lord" when he says:

"I fell to my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me, and the tears and perspiration freely flowed. I thought blood was gushing forth. It was fearful for about two minutes. I cried: ‘Bend me! Bend me! Bend us...!' What bent me was God commending his love, and I not seeing anything in it to commend. After I was bent a wave of peace came over me...the salvation of souls became the burden of my heart. From that time I was on fire with a desire to go through Wales..." Then he saw a vision of his home town of Loughor and his old companions and many other young people with the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Go to these people."

Evan left the school never to return. It was not an easy trip back to his home town. Wrestling with the Lord he would pray, "I will go willingly among strangers, Lord, but it will be so hard to work among my own people. Never the less Lord if it is your will I will go."

When he got home, as was expected, the ground was hard, but this made Roberts even more determined. Though they offered him little encouragement, his deacons granted him permission to hold some meetings. One deacon said, ‘The ground is stony, and you will have a hard task.'

Roberts persisted and asked for and was granted permission to hold services for young people. That night after the adult prayer meeting he asked all the young people to stay behind as he wanted to speak to them. Sixteen adults and only one little girl stayed. After the disappointment wore off, Evan began to explain his reason for coming home. He said that according to the Holy Spirit that here at the Moriah Chapel large numbers of young people were going to be saved. And above all, a mighty revival was coming to Wales. Everyone politely thanked him for sharing his vision and then left.

After that disappointing service, the next day, he held services at Pisgah, a small chapel nearby. This was a Tuesday night and strangely the audience had significantly increased...that meeting lasted until 10pm. The next day he was back at Moriah and he spoke on The Four Great Tenets. They were:

1) Confess all known sin.
2) Deal with and get rid of all unforgiveness in everyone's lives.
3) Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.
4) Confess Christ publicly.

The next meeting he held lasted until midnight. It was announced that the next night the meeting would be for young people, but that evening just as many adults crowded into the chapel. There was a strange expectation in the air that God was going to do something marvelous and no one could bear to stay away. Many of the children began to have wonderful conversions, astonishing their parents. Again the meeting lasted past midnight.

In less than a week the meetings had gone from being cold and powerless to a level that neither the young preacher nor the people had witnessed before. Days before it seemed that Evan's words just fell to the floor. Now his words had the power to penetrate even the hardest heart and genuine repentance was rolling over the people like waves. Evan's vision was being fulfilled before his eyes.

News of these meetings were spreading throughout Loughor. The spirit of the people had gone from unbelief to hope, to expectation, to awe. At the Moriah Chapel the Monday evening prayer meeting was not considered among the congregation as a highlight. Like most of the prayer meetings in the church today, only a handful of regulars attended. On Monday, November 7, the chapel was packed all the way back to the door. This had never happened before in the history of the chapel. Almost everyone in attendance that night were moved to tears; many crying in agony. Witnesses say that by midnight the presence of the Lord was so intense that it could hardly be contained. Those crying in remorse for their sins could not be distinguished from those crying in ecstasy at the nearness of God. It was after 3am before an attempt to close the meeting was possible.

Throughout the city everyone was talking about a Great Awakening. The next evening the people crowded into the chapel early just to be able to get seats. But that night the meeting was cold and lifeless. Evan and a few faithful stayed and prayed until the early morning but most of the people were gone before midnight or sooner. The question on Evan's mind as he went home was ‘why had the Lord departed so quickly?' The lesson they were about to learn is that sometimes God does not want to speak to us as much as He wants us to just wait on Him.

Listen to what happened then: "Just as Evan was about to fall asleep he was awakened by a strange noise in the streets. It was just 6:00am but the streets were noisy with crowds on their way to the early morning prayer services! The entire population of the town had responded in repentance and was being transformed into a praying multitude who would never fall asleep in the presence of the Lord again."

The underlying fervor in this move of God was actually coming from the children just as Evan prophesied. The children had so boldly grabbed hold of what the Lord was doing that they were the ones who were equipping their parents and teaching the adults the ways of the Lord. Little children were having their own prayer meetings and witnessed boldly to the most hardened sinners. Thousands of young people were converted and immediately sent throughout the land testifying to the Glory of God.

The kindling was now ready and the spark was about to ignite the world with what many call the greatest revival in modern time. In a Sunday morning worship meeting a young girl by the name of Florrie Evans, who had been gloriously converted just a few days before, stood and with a trembling voice said: "I LOVE JESUS CHRIST WITH ALL MY HEART!" With that the heavens were rent and the Glory of God fell among His people...The hearts of the people burst in a consuming fire and the great Welsh revival that would eventually touch the whole world had begun.

Joel 2:28..."And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy..."

About The Welsh Revival:“The chief need of Wales is a spiritual awakening. Not a reform, but a revival. Not a local agitation…but a sort of spiritual high-tide to flood the whole country, such as would saturate all classes with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost…the chief need of my country and my dear nation, at present is a spiritual Revival through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.” Dean Howell of St. David’s parish

“The revival in South Wales is not of men, but of God. He has come very close to us…We are teaching no sectarian doctrine, only the wonder and beauty of Christ’s love. I have been asked concerning my methods. I have none…but leave that to Him. I am not the source of this revival, but only one agent among what is growing to be a multitude. I wish no personal following, but only the world for Christ.” Evan Roberts

“The scene is almost indescribable. Tier upon tier of men and women filled every inch of space. Those who could not gain admittance stood outside and listened at the doors. Others rushed to the windows where almost every word was audible. When at 7:00 the service began quite 2,000 people must have been present.” Local newspaper report

"If you go to South Wales and watch the revival you will feel there is something there from another world. You cannot say from whence it came or whither it is going, but it moves and lives and reaches for you all the time. You see men and women go down in sobbing agony before your eyes as the invisible Hand clutches at their heart. And you shudder...If you are afraid of strong emotions, you have better give the revival a wide berth." William T. Stead, editor Pall Mall Gazette

"I found the flame of Welsh religious enthusiasm as smokeless as the region's coal. There are no advertisements, no brass bands, no posters. All the paraphernalia of the got-up job (typical meetings) are conspicuous by their absence. There is no instrumental music. The pipe organs lie unused. There is no need for instruments for in and around and beneath surge the all-prevailing thrill and throb of a multitude praying, and singing as they pray...You feel that the thousand or fifteen hundred persons before you have become merged into one myriad-headed but single-souled personality. You can watch what they call ‘the influence of the power of the Spirit' playing over the congregation as an ebbing wind plays over the surface of the pond... And all this vast quivering, throbbing, singing, praying, exultant multitude is intensely conscious of the all-pervading influence of some invisible reality...they call it THE SPIRIT OF GOD." The London Daily

The Welsh revival was revival God's way. The entire country of Wales was engulfed in an all consuming consciousness of the manifestation of the presence of God. One hundred and fifty thousand people or one in twenty of the Welsh population were converted in less than a year. The fire of this revival was so intense that when letters or newspaper stories about it were read in other parts of the world, revival would break out there also. Whole cities were converted on a scale that had not been seen before or since. The entire country of Wales was covered with this Glory cloud. In a short time it would spread from this small principality of the British Isles to England, Ireland, Europe, and the United States where it erupted into the Great Pentecostal Revival that was to directly impact hundreds of millions of lives.

Soon the news of the revival was spreading around the world. The entire press in Wales was devoted to almost exclusive coverage of the revival. A short article that appeared in The Western Mail of Cardiff, Wales led with this headline:

Great Crowds of People Drawn to Loughor, Congregations Stay Til Half-Past Two in the Morning

"A remarkable religious revival is now taking place at Loughor. For some days a young man named Evan Roberts...has been causing great surprise at the Moriah Chapel. The place has been besieged by dense crowds of people unable to obtain admission. Such excitement has prevailed that the road on which the chapel is situated has been lined with people from end to end. The congregation remained praying and singing until two-thirty in the morning! Shopkeepers are closing early in order to get a place in the chapel, and the tin and steel workers throng the place in their working clothes."

The revival was unstoppable. Prayer meetings had so overflowed the chapel that people were opening their homes for meetings throughout Wales. Wagons and carts were pouring into the towns from all over the countryside. Before long even the home prayer meetings were overflowing as crowds stood outside many of the homes straining to hear what was going on inside. The evangelists were running from chapel to chapel and house to house. The Spirit of the Holy Ghost was flowing down the streets like a great flood.

The Lord continued to move through the younger generation of that day. Evan Roberts was only twenty-six years of age when the revival broke out. His sister, Mary who was such an important part of the work, was sixteen. Their brother Dan and Sydney Evans, Mary's future husband, were both twenty. The "Singing Sisters', who were greatly used, were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. Many great preachers and spiritual leaders from around the world came thinking they could give direction and leadership to this new unorganized movement. There was a concern that this revival was run by teenagers and children. World renowned ministers like G. Campbell Morgan, F.B. Meyer, Gypsy Rodney Smith, and General William Booth marveled at this great visitation. They sat quietly in the meetings while the young people prayed, sang, and testified in the Spirit. Many of these leaders were so consumed by the presence of the Holy Spirit that they sat dumb and mute before Him and the children He had chosen. The Lord Himself was in control.

From the very beginning of this revival, Evan Roberts was totally convinced that he was not needed to fuel the flames. He would move from chapel to chapel and stick his head in to discern the Spirit and say go at it and leave. Thirty years later a women living on the island of Anglesey off the west coast of Wales remembered that before Evan Roberts crossed the Telford's famous bridge into Anglesey, there were already open manifestations of the operation of the Holy Spirit in at least five different chapels. When Roberts came to these places, in some cases he looked into the church and "sensed" that God was there, and simply said, "Obey God." She went on to say, that to those places he never came again during the duration of the Welsh Revival. Roberts was just a yielded vessel that the Lord could use. There were also a multitude of pastors and evangelists who were also used. The revival spread to the outermost parts of Wales even though Evan Roberts never visited there. E. Douglas Shields called Roberts one of the "most humble and self-effacing men in the country." There is a story of a man who went looking for Roberts to meet him. The meeting was crowded. After much effort he found himself a place. Three hours seemed to pass in a moment. The visitor turned to the one seated near him and asked if anything had been seen of Evan Roberts in this Spirit-filled meeting. The man then replied,"I am Evan Roberts." Seeing the astonishment on the visitors face, he added smilingly, "You see they do not need me."
Barnabas Harper tells of another incident:

"At another of the revival services, Evan put the following questions to the people, with answers coming back in a chorus: ‘You all believe in God, do you not?" "Yes." "You believe in Christ's promises?" "Yes." Then he opened his Bible and read, "Lo, I am with you always," and asked " Then you believe that he is here?" Once more the answer came, "Yes." "Then," he said, quietly and naturally, as he closed the book, "I am not needed here." He then turned and left the hall."

The meeting lasted until five the next morning.

Often he would simply lead the people in prayer or read the scriptures. At other times he just remained silent, while one after another different people confessed their sins and gave testimonies. There were also times of glorious worship which lasted hours. Roberts just gave humble instruction from time to time and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. A controlling spirit could not grip him. He was a constant example not how to preach, but of how to be led by the Spirit.

One historian said that the "Welsh Revival was a mighty invasion of the Spirit; God's kingdom radically manifested on earth." Groups of people, praying and singing, would leave one town to travel to another and before they would cross the next city limits revival would break out in that town also. While the revival was spreading throughout the country, Evan Roberts' ministry was mostly confined to just one of twelve counties. The fire of the Holy Spirit burned in towns he did not even visit. And as he traveled to many places he found that the fire of revival was already there. He then would fan the flame a little and then go back to his home county. As was said earlier, Roberts knew from the beginning that he was neither the source nor the perpetuator of what was going on. He simply tried to stay yielded to the Spirit.

According to Roberts Liardon the revival meetings held by Evan were unlike any Wales had ever seen:

"One such service began with two girls standing in the pulpit. One pleaded and prayed for the people to surrender to the Holy Spirit. Then the other gave her testimony in song before bursting into tears. They called this, "warming the atmosphere." If the congregation wondered why Evan Roberts didn't take the platform after the two girls finished, they only needed to look at him. He was on his knees, weeping and pleading with God. Many said it was not the eloquence of Evan Roberts that broke men-it was his tears." Frank Bartleman quotes an eyewitness as saying, "Roberts in the intensity of his agony would fall in the pulpit, while many in the crown fainted." Liardon continues, "It was common in Evan's meetings for members in the congregation to suddenly fall on their knees and pray aloud. Waves of joy and sorrow would flood the congregation. Women fell to their knees and men laid in the aisles weeping, laughing, and praying. All the while, there was no sermon or instrument playing...It was even said the congregation was so caught up in God that they forgot to go home for Sunday dinner. This was unheard of in southern Wales in those days. As the day progressed, the evening service would become a continual prayer meeting. Evan could be seen walking up and down the aisles swinging his arms, clapping his hands, and jumping up and down."

David Matthews describes one of the meetings where he met Evan Roberts:

"There came a sudden calm. Hearing a movement in the pulpit behind me, I looked up. Evan Roberts was on his feet. Our eyes met for a few seconds. I solemnly avow that those eyes searched me through and through. They burned like coals of fire. In a split second, my innermost soul was laid bare. I feared and shook...Had there been a cover nearby, I most assuredly would have sought it."
Matthews relates that one of the most extraordinary gifts was Roberts' ability to discern what was going on in the revival services:

"Wherever he felt the perfect liberty of the Spirit in a service, his eyes glistened, his face became almost transformed and his smile radiant...Sensitive to these changing moods of the Spirit, Mr. Roberts would reflect them in his face."

Barnabas Harper writes that Roberts developed a habit of confronting those who, in the meetings, would resist the Holy Spirit. D. M. Phillips explained: "It is a fire to his soul to hear a deceitful man..."

If one could see the country of Wales before and then after the revival it would be hard to believe that it was the same place. Local stores throughout Wales could not keep Bibles in stock. Because of the revival, men in the coal mining industry had a serious problem. Their workhorses had so been trained to respond to instructions that were so full of profanity would not now respond to their born again masters. They all had to be retrained because the animals didn't know how to respond to commands without a curse word in it. The earnings of the workmen, instead of being wasted on drink and gambling and vice, were now being brought home with great joy to the families. Outstanding debts were being paid by the thousands of young converts. The gambling and alcohol establishments lost the business and closed down by the hundreds. Many of the owners, being converted, refused to do that kind of business ever again. The theaters in the cities closed down for lack of patronage. Political meetings were cancelled or abandoned, it seemed nobody was interested any longer in that type of activity. The political leaders from Parliament in London left the meetings and went to the revival gatherings. Wave after wave of the Holy Spirit was passing over the land. At the time the revival broke out the whole nation was in a frenzy over the favorite Welsh sport, football (soccer). All anyone could think or talk about was this one obsession. Gambling on the games was rampant. Then the star players were converted and joined the revival meetings to testify of the glorious things that the Lord had down for them. Soon the players were so captivated by the Lord that they lost interest in the games, the teams disbanded and the stadiums were empty.

Rick Joyner explains it this way:

"This miracle could only be compared to turning on your television set one Sunday afternoon to watch a National Football League game, only to hear the announcers trying to explain that none of the players had shown up because they were out evangelizing the city, and none of the fans had shown up because they were out there too! No one preached against sport or football-the people had simply become so passionate for the Lord that , for a season, such games just could no longer interest either the players or the people...even letters and telegrams from Wales seemed to carry the fire-as they were read souls would be saved and revival would break out."

William Seymour, a one-eyed black man, an unknown preacher who were ministering in a tiny little mission (an old barn) on a side street in Los Angeles heard about the revival and wrote Evan Roberts for more information. Evan sent him 5,000 pamphlets titled "The Revival in Wales, which Seymour distributed to various churches. Shortly thereafter the Azusa Street Revival erupted and birthed the Pentecostal Movement in America.

Soon word of the revival spread to other nations. People from South Africa, Russia, India, Ireland, Norway, Canada, and Holland were all visitors at one meeting. Many carried the fire of this revival back to their own nations. The biggest and most influential newspapers in Wales were soon completely dominated by news of the revival. Since there was no crime, violence, and scandal to report the headlines told of conversion counts, news from the meetings, the words of new hymns and revival maps detailing where the Spirit was moving with the greatest intensity.

By 1906 Evan Roberts' participation in the revival was coming to an end. Due to his inexperience he pushed his body to the limit. Evan was operating around the clock without rest. He replied to those concerned, "Tired? Not once. God has made me strong and manly. I can face thousands. My body is full of electricity day and night and I have no sleep before I am back in meetings again." But as Charles Finney had said, "No revival can last if the workers do not learn to rest." It is documented that Roberts slept and ate very little during the revival. In fact, when he did take time to sleep, he would only allow himself two to three hours. In order to continually walk in the Spirit one of the laws instituted by God is to take care of our physical body. Even Jesus took time to escape to the mountain and rest. God the Father rested on the seventh day. Evan was showing signs of emotional and physical strain but continued to go from town to town. Soon Evan suffered a physical and emotional breakdown. It took a while but Roberts recovered and began to devote the rest of his life to solitary prayer and intercession. His part and influence on the revival was over. Even after his breakdown and recovery he always dreamed that God's kingdom was about to appear and that the fullness of God's purpose for his church would be manifested. His hunger for revival never abated even into his latter years.

On January 29, 1951, Evan Roberts entered the greatest revival eternity!

2 Chronicles 5:14..."The priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God."

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