When The Fire Fell
T. DeWitt Talmage writes, “In the winter of 1875 we were worshipping in the Brooklyn Academy of Music. We had great audiences, but I was impressed by the fact that conversions were not numerous.
“On Tuesday, I invited to my house five consecrated Christian men. I told them I had called them for special prayer, explaining that without it a real revival would be impossible. The prayer meeting began, and it was a most intense crying unto God. I asked that they keep the meeting a secret, and they agreed to do so.
“The next Friday night came the usual prayer meeting. No one knew what had occurred on Tuesday night, but the meeting was unusually thronged. Men accustomed to praying with great composure broke down under emotion. The people were in tears.
“There were sobs and silences and solemnity of such unusual power that the worshippers were amazed. When the following Sunday came, although they were in a secular place, over four hundred arose for prayer, and a religious awakening took place that made that winter most memorable.”
God Draws Near
Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman was once preaching in Hereford, England. For days there was a signal absence of power and conviction of sin.
“But when John Hyde came there, God came to town,” said Wilbur Chapman.
When Chapman made the appeal on the first night after Hyde was in that town, fifty men came to Christ. Chapman begged Hyde, “Pray for me.”
Into a room these two men went. Hyde turned the key in the door, turned his face up to God, then turned the fountains of his great heart open.
Chapman adds, “I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God. With upturned face and tears streaming down, John Hyde said two words: ‘O God!’
“For five minutes at least, he was still again, and then when he knew he was talking with God his arm went around my shoulder. There came from the depth of his heart such petitions for men as I had never before heard. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was.”
Hidden Source of Revival Power
Charles G. Finney went to Bolton to minister, but before he began, two men knocked on the door of a poor widow’s cottage, wanting lodgings. The woman looked amazed, for she had no extra accommodation.
After some negotiation, the two men, named Fathers Nash and Clary, rented her dark and damp cellar for twenty-five cents a day for the period of Finney’s meetings in the town. There it was, in that self-chosen cell, that those prayer partners battled the forces of darkness.
With all due credit to Mr. Finney for what was done, it was the praying men who held the ropes. The tears they shed, the groans they uttered, are written in the book of the chronicles of the things of God.