A Christian revival is a specific period of increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or many churches, either regionally or globally. This should be distinguished from the use of the term “revival” to refer to an evangelisticmeeting or series of meetings (see Revival meeting).
Revivals are seen as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of decline. Massconversions of non-believers are viewed by church leaders as having positive moral effects.
Historians have different numbering and dating systems. There were “Awakenings” around the years 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857, 1882 and 1904. More recent revivals include those of 1906 (Azusa Street Revival), 1930s (Balokole), 1970s (Jesus people) and 1909 Chile Revival which spread in the Americas, Africa, and Asia among Protestants and Catholics.
The 17th Century (1600-1699): Many Christian revivals drew inspiration from the missionary work of early monks, from the Protestant Reformation (and Catholic Reformation) and from the uncompromising stance of the Covenanters in 17th century Scotland and Ulster, that came to Virginia and Pennsylvania with Presbyterians and other non-conformists. Its character formed part of the mental framework that led to the American War of Independence and the Civil War.
The 18th century: Age of Enlightenment had a chilling effect on spiritual movements, but this was countered by the Methodist revival of John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield in England and Daniel Rowland, Howel Harris and William Williams, Pantycelyn in Wales and the Great Awakening in America prior to the Revolution. A similar (but smaller scale) revival in Scotland took place at Cambuslang, then a village and is known as the Cambuslang Work.
A new fervor spread within the Anglican Church at the end of the century, when the Evangelical party of John Newton, William Wilberforce and his Clapham sect were inspired to combat social ills at home and slavery abroad, and founded Bible and missionary societies.
Notes: The Methodist Revival is one of many revivals in history. As stated above, it was a response to the rational movement known as the “Age of Enlightenment.”
This post is provides material from Wikipedia with links to articles and information on English History which forms the background for the development of Methodism. While it is lightly edited, the source is Wikipedia unless noted below. Links above are recognized by blue underlined text and lead to other articles. The major article(s) quoted here are:
A list of links to other articles on specific revivals is at the bottom of this article.