The Fourth Worldwide Awakening of 1857

The Fourth Worldwide AwakeningThis Great Awakening (often called the 3rd) was the greatest to date in its extent, effects and lasting impact.

It began slowly in Canada, when 21 were saved, and grew steadily until between 25 and forty were converted each day. Slowly reports of small awakenings began to emerge from various states in America. Then, in September 1857 Jeremiah Lanphier, a businessman and convert of Finney's (a decade before), began a noon day prayer meeting on Wednesdays in a New York church. The small but growing numbers decided to meet daily in early October. Within six months over 10,000 business men were meeting in similar meetings across America; confessing sins, being converted and praying for revival. It was a lay-led movement that harvested a million souls in two years.

In 1858, from February to June, around 50,000 people a week were added to the church - in a nation whose population was only 30,000,000. Across the Atlantic another million were won to Christ by 1865. This was in Britain's population of 27,000,000. Ulster saw 100,000 converted, Scotland 30,000, Wales 100,000 and England 500,000.

Evangelistic, missionary and philanthropic enterprises blossomed on every hand. Moody and Sankey enjoyed their greatest success. William and Catherine Booth, converted under the ministry of James Caughey, launched the Salvation Army and attracted great crowds to Christ. Walter and Phoebe Palmer, the American evangelists, saw a remarkable work of the Spirit attend their ministry. Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached to capacity crowds each week, filling the largest halls in London. Hudson Taylor began the China Inland Mission. Gawin Kirkham started the Open Air Mission.

Lord Shaftsbury championed for the cause of the young, the poor and the oppressed. Barnardo founded his famous orphanages. David Livingstone and Mary Slessor propagated missionary work in Africa. Such was the impact of this fourth great awakening.

The revival also swept around the world. Rapid growth was reported in continental Europe, western Russia, Australia, The South Seas, South Africa and India.

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  • Bennett, William W. Open or Close
    A Narrative of the Great Revival...

    This book, written by an army Chaplain in the American Confederate Army during the Civil War, outlines the revival amongst the Confederate troops in the early to mid-1860’s.

    It explains the hindrances as well as the helps to the revival and continues to give more precise details, of the revival which occurred in extremely harsh conditions.

  • Cauchi, Tony Open or Close
    The Revival in Jamaica

    The phenomenal worldwide revival of 1858-1859 initially spread like wild-fire across America reaping a million souls before it leapt across the Atlantic to sweep another million into the Kingdom of God throughout the British Isles. The results of this revival were filled churches, transformed lives, missionary expansion, evangelistic passion, philanthropic growth and a massive re-vitalisation of the universal church. It was extraordinary - even in Jamaica!

  • Conant, William Open or Close
    Narratives of Surprising Conversions

    The full title of this book is ‘Narratives of remarkable conversions and revival incidents: including a review of revivals from the day of Pentecost to the Great Awakening in the last century – conversions of eminent persons – instances of remarkable conversions and answers to prayer – an account of the Great Awakening of 1857-8.’

    This well describes it’s contents!

  • Evans, B. Open or Close
    The American Revivals

    This fascinating and extremely rare pamphlet, being the outline of a lecture delivered at Scarborough, England in 1859, gives a brief history of American revivals and a very helpful assessment of the 1858-59 awakening, which was currently in progress in the U.S.

    It is clearly amongst the earliest works on this particular move of God and was possibly one of the means that God used to spread the effects of that revival across the Atlantic to Great Britain.

  • Gibson, William Open or Close
    The Year of Grace

    This is a very useful work, written fairly early in this revival, initially ignited by a cable from the revival in America. There were tens of thousands of Irish-Americans in America at this time and it is no surprise that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland sent two of its most prominent and trusted ministers to visit the scenes of awakening.

    Their reports ignited revival fires which resulted in a hundred thousand converts in Ireland during this great revival.

  • Harding, William H. Open or Close
    The Ulster Revival of 1859

    William Harding wrote a number of books on revivalists including Brownlow North, Charles Finney, William Burns and Robert Murray M'Cheyne.

    This short, but thrilling account, just a sixteen-page pamphlet on the 1859 awakening in Ireland, is a very rare work housed at the Revival Library.

  • Haslam, William Open or Close
    From Death Unto Life

    William Haslam has the unique testimony of being converted in the midst of one of his own sermons! The immediate results were so evident that a Methodist local preacher in the congregation shouted out, ‘The Parson is converted!’ This was in 1851.

    Thereafter Haslam adopted the Methodist revivalistic approach and saw local revivals in a number of his parishes over the next few years.

  • Paisley, Ian R. K. Open or Close
    The '59 Revival

    This book begins by outlining the background to the 1859 Revival by charting the previous Ulster Revival of 1630 and a brief history of the Ulster Church up until the origins of the '59 Revival.

    The origins of the Revival are described in some depth and then the effect of the Revival spreading out through the districts .

  • Poole-Connor, B. J. Open or Close
    Visitations of Grace

    This small tract references a number of historic revivals amongst English speaking people throughout the ages, but it majors on the 1859 Revival in Britain.

    The author mentions the Reformers, the Puritans, the Stewarton revival and the outpouring at Shotts before moving on to the 1859 revival.

  • Philips, Thomas Open or Close

    The Welsh Revival

    This rare book, published in 1860 as the first comprehensive account of the 1859 revival in Wales, was written by an eye-witness of this awesome awakening who shares his story along with other observers from all parts of Wales.

    The author is concerned less with the emotional and numerical effects experienced (and there were plenty of both) but rather with the clear marks of authentic revival.

  • Prime, Samuel I. Open or Close
    The Power of Prayer

    The autumn of 1857 saw New York in the midst of financial failure which ruined many of its one million people. But, unlike other times of national disaster, this era was accompanied by a renewed spirit of prayer, to be followed by a manifestation of the 'marvellous loving kindness' of God as thousands were brought from worldly sorrow to the possession of lasting riches.

  • Various Open or Close
    Henry Ward Beecher As His Friends Saw Him

    This book is definitely not about a successful revivalist, but rather a man who fell from being an evangelical revivalist into a rather cultured and popular clergyman of his day. 

    Henry Ward Beecher, son of Lyman Beecher, began his ministry on the western frontier, where he engaged vigorously in the labours of a revivalist.  Asahel Nettleton had considerable influence over his life in those early years.  He moved to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn in 1847. By this time he had developed a national reputation for his oratorical skills, and drew crowds of 2,500 regularly every Sunday. He strongly opposed slavery and favoured temperance and woman's suffrage. Unfortunately, his time in Brooklyn was marred by a radical departure from his earlier position.  Although Plymouth Church was greatly affected by the revival of 1857-185, this pastor’s life was tragically marred by accusations of infidelity and theological wavering.

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