REV. CHARLES G. FINNEY,
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY. Publishers
Old Tappan, New Jersey
Printed in the
United States of America
Reformatted by Katie Stewart
Table of Contents
WHAT A REVIVAL OF RELIGION IS.
What a revival of religion is not – What it is – The agencies employed in promoting it.
WHEN A REVIVAL IS TO BE EXPECTED.
When a revival is needed – The importance of a revival when it is needed – When a revival of religion
HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL.
What it is to break up the fallow ground – How it is to be performed.
What is effectual or prevailing prayer – Some of the most essential attributes of prevailing prayer –
Some reasons why
God requires this kind of prayer – That such prayer will avail much.
THE PRAYER OF FAITH.
Faith an indispensable condition of prevailing prayer – What it is we are to believe when we pray – Wh
en we are
bound to exercise this faith – This kind of faith in prayer always obtains the blessing sought –
are to come
into the state of mind in which we can exercise such faith – Objections answered.
THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER.
What Spirit is spoken of in the passage: “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities” –
What that Spirit does
for us – Why
He does what the text declares Him to do – How He accomplishes it – The degrees of His influences – How
influences are to be distinguished from the influences of evil spirits – Who have a right to expect His
ON BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.
Individuals may have the Spirit of God – It is their duty to be filled with the Spirit – Why the Spirit
is not obtained –
The guilt of those who have not the Spirit of God – The consequences of having the Spirit. – The
will follow not having the Spirit.
REVIVAL LECTURES text by Charles G. Finney
MEETINGS FOR PRAYER.
The design of prayer meetings – The manner of conducting them – Several things that will defeat the de
sign of holding
MEANS TO BE USED WITH SINNERS.
On what particular points Christians are to testify for God – The manner in which they are to testify.
TO WIN SOULS REQUIRES WISDOM
Are you still there? We still have never received a check from you. Is this a mistake or is it in
should deal with careless sinners – How they should deal with awakened sinners, and with convicted sinners
A WISE MINISTER WILL BE SUCCESSFUL
A right discharge of the duties of a minister requires great wisdom – The amount of success in the discharge
duties (other things being equal) decides the amount of wisdom employed by him.
HOW TO PREACH THE GOSPEL.
Several passages of Scripture ascribe conversion to man – This is consistent with other passages which
conversion to God – Several important particulars in regard to preaching the Gospel.
HOW CHURCHES CAN HELP MINISTERS.
The importance of the cooperation of the Church in producing and carrying on a revival – Several things
Churches must do if they would promote a revival and aid their ministers.
MEASURES TO PROMOTE REVIVALS.
God has established no particular system of measures to be employed – Our present forms of public worship have
been arrived at by a succession of new measures.
HINDRANCES TO REVIVALS.
A revival of religion is a great work – Several things which may put a stop to it – What must be done
continuance of a revival.
THE NECESSITY AND EFFECT OF UNION.
We are to be agreed in prayer – We are likewise to be agreed in everything that is essential to the blessings
FALSE COMFORTS FOR SINNERS.
The necessity and design of instructing anxious sinners – Anxious sinners are always seeking comfort –
comforts that are often administered.
DIRECTIONS TO SINNERS.
What is a proper direction to be given to sinners when they make inquiry for salvation – What is a pro
per answer to
such inquiry – Several errors into which anxious sinners are apt to fall.
INSTRUCTIONS TO CONVERTS.
Several things to be considered in regard to the hopes of young converts – Several things respecting t
heir making a
the profession of religion – The importance of having correct instruction given to young converts – What
should not be
taught – What things are necessary to be taught.
INSTRUCTIONS TO CONVERTS (continued).
Other points on which young converts ought to be instructed – How young converts should be treated by
the Church –
Some of the evils resulting from defective instruction in the first stages of Christian experience.
THE BACKSLIDER IN HEART.
What backsliding in the heart is not – What it is – What are its evidence – What are its consequences – H
ow to recover
from such a state.
GROWTH IN GRACE.
What grace is – What the injunction to “grow in grace” does not mean – What it does mean – Conditions
of growth in
grace – What is not proof of growth – What is proof – How to grow in grace.
WHAT A REVIVAL OF RELIGION IS
O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years, make known; ill wrath remembers mercy. -Habakkuk 3:2.
It is supposed that the prophet Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah and that this prophecy was uttered in anticipation of the Babylonish captivity. Looking at the judgments which were speedily to come upon his nation, the soul of the prophets wrought up to an agony, and he cried out in his distress: “O Lord, revive Thy work.” As if he had said: “O Lord, grant that Thy judgments may not make Israel desolate. In the midst of these awful years let the judgments of God be made the means of reviving religion among us. In wrath remember mercy.
“Religion is the work of man.
It is something for the man to do. It consists in obeying God. It is man’s duty. It is true God induces him to do it. He influences him by His Spirit, because of his great wickedness and reluctance to obey. If it were not necessary for God to influence men, if men were disposed to obey God, there would be no occasion to pray: “O Lord, revive Thy work.”The ground of necessity for such a prayer is that men are wholly indisposed to obey; and unless God interposes the influence of His Spirit, not a man on earth will ever obey the commands of God.
A “Revival of Religion”
presupposes a declension. Almost all the religion in the world has been produced by revivals. God has found it necessary to take advantage of the excitability there is in mankind, to produce powerful excitements among them before He can lead them to obey. Men are so sluggish, there are so many things to lead their minds off from religion and to oppose the influence of the Gospel, that it is necessary to raise an excitement among them, till the tide rises so high to sweep away the opposing obstacles. They must be so aroused that they will break over these counteracting influences before they will obey God.
Look back at the history of the Jews, and you will see that God used to maintain religion among them by special occasions when there would be a great excitement, and people would turn to the Lord. And after they had been thus revived, it would be but a short time before there would be so many counteracting influences brought to bear upon them, that religion would decline, and keep on declining, till God could have time, so to speak, to convict them of sin by His Spirit, and rebuke them byHis providence, and thus so gain the attention of the masses to the great subject of salvation, as to produce a widespread awakening.
Then the counteracting causes would again operate, religion would decline, and the nation would be swept away in the vortex of luxury, idolatry, and pride. There is so little principle in the Church, so little firmness and stability of purpose, that unless it is greatly excited, it will go back from the path of duty, and do nothing to promote the glory of God. The state of the world is still such, and probably will be till the millennium is fully come, that religion must be mainly promoted by means of revivals. How long and how often has the experiment been tried, to bring the Church to act steadily for God, without these periodical excitements! Many good men have supposed, and still suppose, that the best way to promote religion is to go along uniformly and gather in the ungodly gradually, and without excitement. But however sound such reasoning may appear in the abstract, facts demonstrate its futility. If the Church were far enough advanced in knowledge and had a stability of principle enough to keep awake, such a course would do. But the Church is so little enlightened, and there are so many counteracting causes, that the Church will not go steadily to work without a special excitement.
As the millennium advances, it is probable that these periodical excitements will be unknown. Then the Church will be enlightened, and the counteracting causes removed, and the entire Church will be in a state of habitual and steady obedience to God. Children will be trained up in the way they should go, and there will be no such torrents of worldliness, and fashion, and covetousness, to bear away the piety of the Church, as soon as the excitement of a revival is withdrawn. It is very desirable that the Church should go on steadily in a course of obedience without these excitements. Our nervous system is so strong that any powerful excitement if long continued, injures our health, and unfits us for duty. If religion is ever to have a pervading influence in the world, this spasmodic religion must be done away with. Indeed, it will then be uncalled for.
Christians will not sleep the greater part of the time, and once in a while wake up, and rub their eyes, and bluster about, and vociferate a little while, and then go to sleep again. Then there will be no need that ministers should wear themselves out and kill themselves, by their efforts to roll back the flood of worldly influence that sets in upon the Church. But as yet the state of the Christian world is such, that to expect to promote religion without excitements is unphilosophical and absurd. The great political and otherworldly excitements that agitate Christendom are all unfriendly to religion and divert the mind from the interests of the soul. Now, this excitement can only be counteracted by religious excitements. And until there is sufficient religious principle in the world to put down