Book Review: I Saw the Welsh Revival

Pastor Billy Wallace from Trenton, Georgia gave me a copy of I Saw the Welsh Revival by David Matthews while we were on the UK Vision Tour in June of this year.  While on the tour, we actually visited the church where the Welsh revival began in Lougher, Wales.

It was exciting to read the account of a person who was converted and called into ministry during the revival.  Reading his story helped to make the things we saw on our trip come alive.

The book is an amazing look at one of the greatest revivals in the history of the world.  In just a few months, 50,000 people professed to be saved.  In the eight months following the revival, 150,000 people made application for church membership.  The lives of some of the hardest sinners were completely changed with bars closing down, courts having no criminals to try, and worldly places of entertainment struggling to survive because everyone was going to church meetings.

Several observations came out of my reading of this book:

  • The revival came to a people who had a good foundation of Scriptural teaching.  Many of the sinners who got saved grew up in Sunday school and knew the true but went astray.  I don’t think these kind of revivals can happen without tons of Bible teaching of the truth.  The Holy Spirit works with the Word of God.
  • The revival was a deeply spiritual response to the work of God in people’s lives but it did not do away with the need for discipleship.  After the initial results, many men travelled around the country teaching God’s Word.  Some of the converts were prematurely asked to travel to other parts of the world to share their testimonies, and, because they were not adequately taught, ended up causing maybe more harm than good because they were no ready to be leading and teaching.
  • Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit was a key element in the revival.  Evan Roberts, the spiritual leader of the revival, continuously encouraged people to yield to the Spirit.  I am afraid that in our programmed, planned age, we lack sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in how we conduct ourselves, in our church services, and in the direction of our lives.
  • Man worship hindered rather than helped the revival.  The author of the book points out that after a while the response at the churches were Evan Roberts was not was better than the churches where he was.  People heard about the revival and began to care more about seeing and hearing from Evan Roberts than seeing and hearing from God.  This loss of focus could possibly one of the things that caused the revival to taper out.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the book if you have read it.  Let me know.

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