By Owen Murphy
What impact has the revival made In the districts that have been visited with this gracious moving of God? While, as in all revivals, there are areas that have not been touched in this way, it is interesting to note the "fruit" that remains where there has been a genuine spiritual awakening.
History records that during the great spiritual awakenings of 1857-59, thousands were brought face to face with God. In the streets, at home, as well as in the churches, people were stricken with deep conviction of sin, and out of great soul distress found Salvation. Taverns were neglected, family altars restored, homes reunited, social evils disappeared, and churches found new life. In the mighty manifestation of God in 1904, when Holy Ghost revival swept through the land of Wales, similar scenes were reported. A cutting from a local newspaper at that time declared:
"Infidels have been converted, drunkards, gamblers, thieves saved, and many thousands reclaimed to respectability and honored citizenship. Confessions of awful sins have been heard, old debts have been paid. Theaters and beer saloons in distress for lack of patronage. Several police courts have become completely idle. In five weeks, 20,000 conversions have been reported."
Such were the proofs and fruit of revival in those wonderful days.
The blessing of the Lord in the Hebrides has, of course, been on an infinitely smaller scale and localized to certain small districts, nevertheless, it bears the hallmark of a similar "Divine moving of God" that becomes a CHALLENGE to seek God for far greater things.
What Impact has the revival made upon church and community?
Quoting from the Keswick Journal (1952):
"More people are attending prayer meetings in Lewis today, than attended public worship on the Sabbath day before the outbreak of revival. Social evils were swept away as by a flood, and in the communities touched by this gracious movement you have men and women living for God. Family worship in nearly every home, five or six prayer meetings a week in the parish; and ministers and elders building up the young men and women in the faith. Of all the hundreds who have turned to Christ in that first gracious wave of the Holy Spirit, only four young women have ceased to attend the prayer meetings."
In nearly every home, a FAMILY ALTAR! Prayer meetings better attended than FOUR who have gone back! Converts numbered by their ATTENDANCE AT THE PRAYER MEETINGS! Absence from the prayer meeting meant a "doubted conversion!" (Here is a standard very few churches would dare to adopt! If we judged our "converts"-or even our "membership"-by attendance at the prayer meetings, what would happen?)
One of the remarkable things about the revival Is the fact that over 80 hymns have been composed by the converts, and in spite of the manifestation of GOD IN CONVICITION OF SIN, and WARNINGS OF JUDGMENT, almost every hymn has for its theme the LOVE OF GODI
Communities, homes, and churches felt Its Impact-even the realm of politics came under its influence!
A crowd of people had gathered to listen to one of the leading Socialists, but for some reason he failed to make his appearance. Searching everywhere, his associates at last found him-by his bedside in prayer! "What's the meaning of this?" they demanded. "Don't you know the people are waiting to hear you speak to them?"
Turning a tear-stained face to them, he replied:
"Go back and tell them I have business with God, and if any of them know how to pray, tell them to pray for me because I need it!"
The announcement was made at the political rally with such impressive results that the meeting was broken up in confusion.
Out in the Isles of the Hebrides today, there are hundreds of men and women who are among the happiest in the Islands. They are new men, new women. In this gracious revival they have made the discovery of a lifetime-they have discovered the REALITY OF GOD, and the great things He has been waiting to do for them! Today, they are MIRACLES OF GOD, they have new homes, new lives, and they live in a new world of peace and happiness. Those new lives, changed homes, and transformed churches, stand as living proof of the tremendous potentialities of an extensive heaven-sent revival!