By Owen Murphy
Electrified by this conviction, the great crowd of people, drawn from every part of the earth to this world-famous Keswick Convention (England), began to slowly file out of the Convention tent. Suddenly, a woman in an awe-struck voice exclaimed: "IT WAS JUST AS THOUGH GOD HAD STEPPED OUT OF HEAVEN!"
And so it seemed, for I, too, had sat spellbound listening to the most thrilling, faith-inspired message I had ever heard. A MESSAGE, that has been destined to sweep across the face of the earth, stirring men and women to seek the Face of God as never before. It was news of the gracious "Visitation of God" to the Hebrides.
Never, In its many years of history, had that great Convention been more mightily stirred, as it listened to the report of the amazing scenes that had taken place just a few hundred miles away. "Hundreds had been converted, many without a word being spoken to them! Drunkards trembling under conviction in the drinking houses while people gathered in churches to pray, great conviction of sin sweeping over districts, causing sinners to fall helpless in the roads. Meetings lasting for hours, and four services being held nightly, with churches being transformed! The preacher being called at four o'clock in the morning to pray with men and women, outside the police station who had been stricken with great conviction and were crying for God to have mercy upon them."
(Memories of [the] great Welsh Revival of 1904 gripped the people. They remembered the amazing scenes of those historic days; meetings being held day and night, and churches packed to capacity, while thousands turned to Christ. Because of lack of patronage, theatres and saloons were closed. Thieves and murderers surrendered to the Lord, and police courts were idle. Sins were confessed and old debts were paid. Work was forgotten, and frequently meetings would last for days at a time. Christmas, 1904, was the first real Christmas many children in Wales, and even men and women ever had! Instead of being spent in saloons, as formerly, hard-earned wages were used for groceries and toys. The poverty of former days had been replaced with joy and plenty, for Christ had been invited into thousands of homes. Virtually the whole of Wales was on its knees on Christmas Day. That Revival lasted about four years, and then swept through England, Ireland, parts of Europe, and even crossed the oceans to Australia and America changing the lives of thousands.)
From that unforgettable meeting in Keswick, ministers and Christian workers of all denominations, stirred as they had never been before, hurried back to their churches to call their people to prayer, convinced that a great heaven-sent spiritual awakening was about to break forth in the world.
And now, as the great crowds slowly leave the tent, filling the long narrow streets of this little market town, a man is standing by my side talking to me-it is the man whom God had used in this remarkable "move" of God! I can still hear his closing words of challenge:
"When you return to America, rouse the people; tell them what GOD is doing! I believe every church can have what we are having in the Hebrides. There is no 'mystery,' but there is a 'secret.' If God can find a people over there, prepared to 'pay the price' as they have over here, He will visit them in the same revival of power!"
Every word that fell from his lips seemed to burn into my soul, as I became conscious that the Spirit of God was speaking to me, and giving me a new commission. As I remembered the tremendous IMPACT of the message upon that great crowd of people that afternoon, a great conviction gripped me - HERE WAS THE MESSAGE OF THE HOUR WHICH SURELY EVERY MINISTER AND CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD OUGHT TO HEAR! Canceling my evangelistic campaigns, I returned immediately to America to rouse the people to seek the Face of God that a similar spiritual awakening might speedily be given.
The impact of this dynamic message, with its tremendous CHALLENGE, upon individuals, churches. and communities has been amazing.
Powerful prayer groups have sprung up everywhere, and church prayer meetings have been revitalized. In many churches the "all-night" prayer meeting has been restored, or introduced for the first time, resulting in real movings of the Spirit of God in conviction of sin, confession, and re-consecration-upon the part of both ministers and congregations. In some towns, city-wide, all-night prayer meetings have been held by the churches as they interceded before God for the whole community.
Godly ministers of all denominations, burdened for real REVIVAL are seeking God in fastings and prayer on behalf of their churches, and many have witnessed gracious manifestations of God among their congregations such as they had not known before. On occasions, it has been impossible for the preachers to preach their sermons. The Spirit of God has quietly swept through the congregations causing people to be brought under conviction, then groups would rise to their feet and walk down the aisles to kneel sobbing at the altars confessing their sins-WITHOUT A WORD BEING PREACHED TO THEM!
Camp meetings, Bible Colleges, and Conventions have been challenged and stirred, while large numbers have swept to the altars to accept Christ as Savior. Churches, hungry for Revival, are anxious for the message to be taken to them.
Realizing the utter impossibility of reaching every church personally with the SPOKEN message, and conscious of the desperate need of Christians facing up to the challenge of this tremendous message NOW that a real "heaven-sent" revival might come to this great country, I send forth this God honored message in the form of this booklet, with a very earnest prayer that wherever it may go, revival blessings shall flow.
No literary excellency is claimed for this simple book, the contents of which are mainly based upon personal interviews with those who were directly connected with the revival, either in active ministry or investigation-reports of which have also appeared in outstanding Christian publications. No attempt has been made to either minimize or exaggerate this gracious "visitation," but, realizing a number of reporters describing the same scenes may differ in minor points, the writer makes no claims for perfect accuracy in chronology of events, or minor details.
It is the conviction of the writer that the gracious blessing of God among the Hebrides is God's message of the hour, containing potentialities for the greatest sovereign moving of God in REVIVAL POWER, that our generation has known, and comes to us as our personal challenge.