Revivals in the 19th Century
1871 – October – New York, America – D.L. Moody
Dwight Lyman Moody, converted in 1855, later led powerful evangelistic campaigns in America and England. Two women in his church prayed constantly that he would be filled with the Spirit, and his yearning for God continued to increase. In 1871, while visiting New York to raise funds for churches and orphanages destroyed in the Chicago fire of October that year – in which his home, church sanctuary, and the YMCA buildings were destroyed—he had a deep encounter with God. Later he wrote:
I was crying all the time God would fill me with his Spirit. Well, one day in the city of New York—oh, what a day!—I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask him to stay his hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths; and yet hundreds were converted. I would not be placed back where I was before that blessed experience for all the world—it would be as the small dust of the balance (Moody 1900, 149).
On a visit to Britain he heard Henry Varley say, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.” D.L. Moody resolved to be that man.
Moody worked vigorously to establish the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in America and England as a means of converting and discipling youth. A Baptist minister in London, the Rev. R. Boyd, went to a meeting where Moody had just spoken and observed, “When I got to the rooms of the Young Men’s Christian Association, Victoria Hall, London, I found the meeting on fire. The young men were speaking with tongues, prophesying. What on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had addressed them that afternoon” (Hyatt 1997, 141).
God’s Spirit powerfully impacted people through Moody’s ministry, especially in conversion and in deep commitment to God. Among the thousands converted through Moody’s ministry were the famous Cambridge Seven, who were students at Cambridge University and national sportsmen, including international cricketer C. T. Studd. They all eventually served the Lord in overseas missions.
© Geoff Waugh. Used by permission.