In The World Aflame, Rick Joyner recounts the testimony of an eye witness to the 1904 Welsh revival.
Mr. Stead, the famous London editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, thought by some to be the most powerful man in Britain, visited the [Welsh] revival. Here are excerpts of his impressions when interviewed by the London Methodist Times on his return (published in The Great Revival in Wales, Shaw, page 56):
“Well, Mr. Stead, you’ve been to the revival. What do you think of it?”
“Sir,” Mr. Stead replied, “the question is not what I think of it, but what it thinks of me, of you, and all the rest of us. For it is a very real thing, this revival, a live thing which seems to have a power and a grip which may get hold of a good many of us who at present are mere spectators.”
“Do you think it is on the march then?”
“A revival is like a revolution. It is apt to be wonderfully catching.”
It may be difficult to imagine the intense power and supernatural conviction that marked this revival.
Later, the interviewer asked Stead:
“You speak as if you dreaded the revival coming your way.”
“No, that is not so. Dread is not the right word. Awe expresses my sentiment better. For you are in the presence of the unknown. You have read ghost stories and can imagine what you would feel if you were alone at midnight in the haunted chamber of some old castle and you heard the slow and stealthy step stealing along the corridor where the visitor from another world was said to walk.
“If you go to south Wales and watch the revival, you will feel pretty much just like that. There is something there from the other world. You cannot say whence it came or whither it is going, but it moves and lives and reaches for you all the time.
“You see men and women go down in sobbing agony before your eyes,
as the invisible Hand clutches at their heart. And you shudder.”
This is true revival. It is what we at the Sentinel Group long to see and work to help communities prepare for. In the misty haze caused by the myriad of events labeled revival, we need to recapture a clear and historical definition of that for which we are praying.