1904 Welsh Revival

The visitation of the Holy Spirit was widespread and ubiquitous in the country of Wales. The revival was felt everywhere. To quote an example, at a smoke-room conversion in Bangor University College, students gathered to discuss the topic of revival. It wasn’t long before one student broke out in song. The students stayed on in prayer, which cut into their lecture! It was commented by one who attended the meetings that “the most extraordinary thing about the meetings I attended, was the extent to which they were absolutely without human direction or leadership. “We must obey the Spirit,” is the watchword of Evan Roberts,…”1. It truly was a revival where God poured out His presence unilaterally, and without focus on any man. It is a divine visitation in which God moves in answer to a praying people.

Go back in time and imagine yourself arriving at the town, hoping to visit a revival meeting. An all-too-common scene is that of visitors being turned away at guesthouses near the site of revival meetings. Upon arriving at the meeting, you would barely have any standing space as the place is packed to the brim with people, hungry to receive from the Lord. It wouldn’t be long before you hear pockets of saints lifting their voices in beautiful melodies. The sound of their voices would cascade across the room until the whole place would erupt in thunderous praise. Occasionally, one would stand to seek prayer for an unsaved loved one. The singing would segue into intercession as loud cries of “mercy” rise to heaven like incense. After a series of urgent prayers, the Spirit would lift the burden and the meeting would transit seamlessly into the next section, as the invisible hand of the Almighty Conductor Himself orchestrates and directs the order. Another would stand up to testify of the Lord’s hand upon his life. Tears of joy and gratefulness would roll out uncontrollably as he speaks of his divine encounter, as the meeting once again is crowned by a symphony of praise. Such was the account of God’s move in Wales.

All over the country, testimonies of hardened souls receiving salvation and lives being changed were the talk of the town. The impact of the Lord’s hand was noticed evidently in the lives of people. Stories of profanity silenced, theaters deserted, courts abandoned due to a lack of crime, and bars shutting down were commonplace. Entertainment such as football matches simply could not compete with the presence of His glorious visitation. Sales of beer and alcohol declined steeply while pocket testaments were snapped up like hot cross-buns as people hunger for the Bread of Life and true living waters.

A story was told of how the horses in the mines were confused because once they were driven by men with use of obscenity and kicks but now there weren’t any. The Revival so seized the nation that the Western Mail in Cardiff published “Revival Editions” 2. How often does one see religious news take front page in a national and secular newspaper? In these editions, revival news superseded current affairs, and testimonies replaced tabloid, telling of how the Welsh were more interested in God and His kingdom than the affairs of this world. The back of the paper even contained a hymn and a summary of the number of conversions to-date.

1. Page 69, The Great Welsh Revival by Rev. S.B. Shaw
2. Page 79, The Great Welsh Revival by Rev. S.B. Shaw

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The 1904 Welsh Revival