Why, I may talk to you ever so long about revivals, but you won’t believe them half as much, nor half as truly, as if one were to occur in your very midst. If you saw it with your own eyes, then you would see the power of it.
If you had lived in Whitefield’s day, or had heard Grimshaw preach, you would believe anything. Grimshaw would preach twenty-four times a week—he would preach many times in the course of a sultry day, going from place on horseback. That man did preach. It seemed as if Heaven would come down to earth to listen to him. He spoke with a real earnestness, with all the fire of zeal that ever burned in mortal breast and the people trembled while they listened to him and said, “Certainly this is the voice of God.” It was the same with Whitefield. The people would seem to move to and fro while he spoke, even as the harvest field is moved with the wind. So mighty was the energy of God that after hearing such a sermon the hardest-hearted men would go away and say—“There must be something in it, I never heard the like.” Can you not realize these as literal facts? Do they stand up in all their brightness before your eyes? Then I think the stories you have heard with your ears should have a true and proper effect upon your lives.
C.H. Spurgeon, Sermon:The Story of God’s Mighty Acts
Go into the public assembly with a design to strike, and persuade some souls there, into repentance and salvation. Go to open blind eyes, to unstop deaf ears, to make the lame walk, to make the foolish wise, to raise those that are dead in trespasses and sins to a Heavenly and Divine life, and to bring guilty rebels to return to the love and obedience of their Maker, by Christ Jesus the great Reconciler, that they may be pardoned and saved. Go to diffuse the saviour of Christ and His gospel through a whole assembly and to allure souls to partake of His grace and glory. - Dr. Watts.
Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, pp. 19
"The building up of believers in their most Holy Faith was a principal object of Mr. Smith's ministry; but he never considered this species of labor successful, except as its results were indicated in the conversions of sinners."--Life of John Smith.
"He most certainly and perfectly edifies believers who is most ardently and scripturally laborious for the conversion of sinners."--Life of John Smith.
Oswald J. Smith, The Revival We Need, p. 21