Fast on the heels of the Second Great Awakening, the third wave of heavenly power crashed on the shores of the evangelical world, this time without the usual decline.
Asahel Nettleton and Charles Finney are names which dominate the American scene, while another American, James Caughey was the most notable revival evangelist active in England.
Finney's well documented ministry began in 1830 and netted 100,000 souls within one year! The Methodist Episcopal church steadily increased in the 1830's, especially through camp-meetings. But their numbers doubled in 1840-1842. Other denominations flourished too.
The greatest effect of this revival was felt far beyond the boarders of North America and for centuries to come. Finney's philosophy of revival, expressed in his autobiography and explained in his "Revivals of Religion", has subsequently affected thousands of Christians and precipitated revivals around the world.
In the UK revivals were widespread throughout the 1830's. Evangelists like Robert Aitkin and William Haslam held highly successful missions. Brethrenism began during this period, restoring the doctrine of the church and the doctrine of the return of Christ. It's noticeable personalities were J. N. Darby and George Müller who pioneered orphanage work, evangelism and missionary enterprise. Another restoration movement was led by Edward Irving, who strongly believed in the restoration of spiritual gifts and apostolic ministries to the church. John Elias, Christmas Evans and William Williams stormed Wales with their powerful preaching. Scotland also boasted some great revivalists like John and Horatius Bonar, the revival veteran, Thomas Chalmers, Robert Murray McCheyne, W. H. Burns and his son, William Chalmers Burns.
On the wider international front, there were local revivals in various parts of the world, particularly in Scandinavia, central Europe, South Africa, the Pacific Islands, India, Malabar, and Ceylon.
This awakening, which began in 1830 only lasted about 12 years ending around 1842. It should be noted that this revival period is often seen as one with the former period. There were a constant stream of spasmodic revivals from 1800-1820 which petered out through the next few years and then exploded from about 1830 onwards. Some of the evangelists, like Asahel Nettleton, played a major role in both periods and some scholars, particularly Orr, refer to this revival time as a 'resurgence.'
Nevertheless, because of the 'new measures' and anti-Calvinistic Arminianism of Charles Finney and the astounding influence of this man's ministry it should be seen as quite a separate event.
Emerson Andrews, born 1806, was awakened under the ministry of the eccentric revivalist, Lorenzo Dow, then converted under the ministry of another revival preacher, Asahel Nettleton.
This powerful preacher enjoyed an effective evangelistic ministry for forty years. His estimates were that 40,000 were converted through his ministry.
This book is a history of the revival he experienced across Britain when he claims to have seen “20,000 profess faith in Christ and 10,000 profess sanctification.”
He campaigned in Ireland and England, mainly in Methodist circles, drawing huge crowds wherever he went. He was a powerful preacher who frequently used the ‘word of knowledge’ in his sermons, resulting in great conviction of sin.
This book continues the story of his former book, ‘Methodism in Earnest.’ It chiefly deals with the remarkable revival he was part of in the winter of 1845-6 in Huddersfield, England. Included are several of Mr Caughey’s sermons and notes of his meditations and during the revival in this northern town. There are addresses on holiness, saving faith, entire sanctification, revivals, hypocrites and many more.
Titus Coan experienced a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which produced what was probably the largest Protestant church in the world at the time.
His outstanding ministry in Hawaii is recorded in this autobiographical work.
These two short articles are an inspiring overview by Oswald J. Smith taken from his book, ‘The Revival We Need’ published in 1933 and a more detailed (but still brief) outline of his successful ministry in Hawaii.
This was originally written by Henry M. Field D.D., as an introduction to Coan’s personal account of a seemingly uneventful missionary trip to Patagonia. They both make exciting reading.
The name of Charles Finney is legendary amongst students of Revival. After experiencing a thorough Christian conversion he received a powerful infilling of the Holy Spirit and subsequently became an unusually gifted itinerant evangelist. It is claimed (not by himself) that over half a million people came to Christ through his ministry. He had a keen mind, always preached extemporaneously, often without any preparation, and emphasized man’s responsibility in salvation.
Robert Murray McCheyne had a brilliant mind and studied at Edinburgh University before assisting the Rev. John Bonar. He was ordained as minister of St. Peter’s, Dundee in 1936 and it was while he was in Palestine on behalf of the Church of Scotland that revival broke out in his parish under the ministry of William Chalmers Burns.
This present work is his response to a variety of questions that were being asked about the revival in Dundee and across Scotland in 1840.