Skip to comments.The Price of Liberty, Part 6: Revival
Posted on 09/23/2012 8:22:42 AM PDT by Kaslin
This is the sixth and final post in my blog series, titled: The Price of Liberty. If youre just now starting the series, you can begin with the first post here.
During the middle of the nineteenth century, spiritual conditions in the United States deteriorated considerably. Conditions were quite different then because the nation had moved away from its early days of godliness. Moreover, people became obsessed with making money, and as they prospered they turned their backs on God.
Then a man named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Manhattan section of New York City. After advertising the prayer meeting in the city papers, only six people showed upout of a population of nearly one million. The following week, 14 people came. The next week 23 people made their way to the prayer meeting. These diligent, earnest people decided to meet daily. Soon they filled the Dutch Reformed Church, the John Street Methodist Church, and numerous buildings in downtown New York. Before long, a landslide of prayer began.
People were converted at the rate of 10,000 a week in New York City, and the movement spread rapidly throughout New England. Church bells would bring people together to pray at 8:00 in the morning, at 12 noon, and at 6:00 in the evening. The revival raced up the Hudson River and down the Mohawk River. Within a year, more than one million people were converted.
The prayer revival even crossed the Atlantic. It broke out in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. It even traveled to the southern part of India and other parts of the world. The effect of this prayer revival was felt for 40 years! The revival began in a movement of prayer and was sustained by a movement of prayer. It lasted for a generation, but at the turn of the century the nation again needed an awakening.
Special prayer meetings began at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago; at the Keswick Convention in England; in the Nilgiri Hills of India; in Melbourne, Australia; and at Wonsan, Korea. All around the world people were united in prayer for God to send a new awakening. In 1905, God answered these prayers, just as He had earlier. Some interesting statistics that resulted from the meetings are:
· Twenty-five percent of the students at Yale University were enrolled in prayer meetings and Bible studies
· In Portland, Oregon, 250 store owners closed from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day for prayer. They signed an agreement among themselves that no one would cheat and stay open.
· Five years later, J.P. Morgan wrote a book that tried to debunk the revival. His main criticism was that of the 100,000 people who joined churches in the five months of revival, only 80,000 remained in the church after five years - that is, 80,000 out of the original 100,000 converted!
· In the same year, the famous Welsh revival broke out and had an astounding impact on Welsh society. Judges were presented with white gloves because they had no cases to try - no rapes, no murders, no embezzlements. The district counselors held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do with the police!
How we yearn for a return to such days! Our fervent prayer today should be, Lord Jesus, come quicklyor send us a revival.
Change will happen when we repent.
Change will happen when we call our nation to repentance. Change will happen when the nations citizens insist that the biblical principles of its founding fathers be reinstated by Congress, thus overturning the Supreme Courts bad decisions.
Change will happen when we again honor motherhood and see children as gifts from God. Change will occur when fathers take their rightful place as head of the home.
Finally, change will take place when our nation returns to the God of its fathers and understands anew the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (see Proverbs 9:10). Change will also come when once more we start hiding the Word of God in our hearts. We stand with Andrew Jackson who, while pointing to the Bible, said, That book, Sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.
Let us take to heart Jacksons words and put the Bibles words into practice. Then we can continue to lead the world as a Christian nation. We should desire nothing more nor less.
On the "prayer" for our nation thread today, I have posted a portion of a stirring call to the nation in the form of a sermon by a Black minister and Ohio State Legislator on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.
That Minister's "Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon" can be read in its entirety at the American Memory section of the Library of Congress, but excerpts from it are contained my post here.
In that post, Arnett's concluding remarks are quoted; however, the section of his Sermon just preceding that conclusion call attention to a "movement" being led by what he described as "liberals"--men who wanted to change the Constitution's protections for religious freedom into a sinister restriction on that freedom. The "movement" sounds eerily like that of so-called "progressives" who, as we can see, already have accomplished many of the goals outlined in what Bishop Arnett called "The Danger to our Country":
"The Danger to our Country.
"Now that our national glory and grandeur is principally derived from the position the fathers took on the great questions of right and wrong, and the career of this nation has been unparalleled in the history of the past, now there are those who are demanding the tearing down the strength of our national fabric. They may not intend to tear it down, but just as sure as they have their way, just that sure will they undermine our superstructure and cause the greatest calamity of the age. What are the demands of this party of men? Just look at it and examine it for yourselves, and see if you are willing that they shall have their way; or will you still assist in keeping the ship of state in the hands of the same crew and run her by the old gospel chart! But ye men who think there is no danger listen to the demands of the Liberals as they choose to call themselves:
"'Organize! Liberals of America! The hour for action has arrived. The cause of freedom calls upon us to combine our strength, our zeal, our efforts. These are The Demands of Liberalism:
"'1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.
"'2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State Legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.
"'3. We demand that all public appropriations for sectarian educational and charitable institutions shall cease.
"'4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.
"'5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.
"'6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.
"'7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.
"'8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.
"'9. We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.'
"'Let us boldly and with high purpose meet the duty of the hour.'
"Now we must not think that we have nothing to do in this great work, for the men who are at the head of this movement are men of culture and intelligence, and many of them are men of influence. They are led by that thinker and scholar, F. E. Abbott, than whom I know but few men who has a smoother pen, or who is his equal on the battle-field of thought. He says in an address on the duty of his leagues:
"'My answer may be a negative one to all who see nothing positive in the idea of liberty. The conviction I refer to is this: that, regarded as a theological system, Christianity is Superstition, and, regarded as an organized institution, Christianity is Slavery. The purpose I refer to is this: that, whether regarded as theological system, Christianity shall wholly cease to exercise influence in political matters. Although the national Constitution is strictly secular and non-Christian, there are many things in the practical administration of the government which violate its spirit, and constitute a virtual recognition of Christianity as the national religion. These violations are very dangerous; they are on the increase; they more and more give Christianity a practical hold upon the government; they directly tend to strengthen the influence of Christianity over the people, and to fortify it both as a theology and a church; and they are therefore justly viewed with growing indignation by liberals. Not unreasonably are they looked upon as paving the way to a formidable effort to carry the Christian Amendment to the Constitution; and the liberals are beginning to see that they must extinguish the conflagration in its commencement. I believe all this myself, with more intense conviction every day; and therefore I appeal frankly to the people to begin now to lay the foundations of a great National Party of Freedom. It is not a moment too soon. If the liberals are wise, they will see the facts as they are, and act accordingly. Not with hostility, bitterness, defiance, or anger but rather with love to all men and high faith in the beneficence of consistently republican institutions, do I urge them most earnestly to begin the work at once.'
"He acknowledges that this is a religious nation and wants all men to assist him in eliminating the grand old granite principles from the framework of our national union. Will you do it freeman; will we sell the temple reared at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure? These men would have us turn back the hands on the clock of our national progress, and stay the shadow on the dial plate of our christian civilization; they would have us call a retreat to the soldiers in the army of Christ; the banner of the cross they would have us haul down, and reverse the engines of war against sin and crime; the songs of Zion they would turn into discord, and for the harmony and the melody of the sons of God, they would give us general confusion; they would have us chain the forces of virtue and unloose the elements of vice; they would have the nation loose its moorings from the Lord of truth and experience and commit interest, morally, socially; religiously and politically to the unsafe and unreliable human reason; they would discharge God and his crew and run the ship of State by the light of reason, which has always been but a dim taper in the world, and all the foot-prints it has left are marked with the blood of men, women and children. No nation is safe when left alone with reason.
"But we have no notion of giving up the contest without a struggle or a battle. We are aware that there is a great commotion in the world of thought. Religion and science are at arms length contending with all their forces for the mastery. Faith and unbelief are fighting their old battles over again, everything that can be shaken is shaking. The foundations of belief are assaulted by the army of science and men are changing their opinions. New and starting theories are promulgated to the world; old truths are putting on new garbs. Error is dressing in the latest style, wrong is secured by the unholy alliances, changes in men and things, revolution in church and state, Empires are crumbling, Kingdoms tottering; everywhere the change is seen. In the social circle, in the school house, in the pulpit and in the pews. But amid all the changes and revolutions there are some things that are unchangeable, unmovable and enduring. The forces that underline the vital power of Christianity are the same yesterday, to-day, to-morrow and forever more. They are like their God, who is omnipotent, immovable and eternal, and everywhere truth has marched it has left its moccasin tracks."
So said Benjamin W. Arnett in 1876. Do we hear his words?
Indeed, there is need for a "revival" of the ideas of liberty in America in the Year 2012!