THIS question may be answered in a few words.

It is a great increase of piety and devotedness to God among Christians, and the conversion to God of large numbers of sinners, through the Holy Spirit's influence upon the mind and consciences of men.

It is a great increase of piety and devotedness to God among Christians. The word revival implies, that life already exists. Where, then, shall we look for spiritual life, but to Christians? The world is dead. Sinners are dead in trespasses and sins, and their conversion to God is the giving of life, and not the reviving of it. For a revival, then, we look to the church of God, because we shall find spiritual life there.

But the word not only implies that life is there, but that it either is, or has been, faint, feeble, ready to die.

That sick man will afford us an illustration. Draw near to his sick, apparently dying bed; see what a deadly pallor is on his countenance; death seems already to have marked him for his own. How motionless he lies. It is only by the slightly heaving chest, and the feeble, flickering, yet still beating pulse, that we know life is there. But restoratives are being tried-the physician's skill is being exerted-God's blessing is being sought. And if God blesses the use of the means, what a wonderful change shall we behold. The man will be brought back from the very gates of the grave, health will take the place of sickness, strength succeed to weakness, energy to lassitude, and the man will tell us he feels himself a new man.

Are there not many, many Christians, whose spiritual state closely resembles the bodily condition of that man, and who equally need the restoring blessing of the Spirit of God? For example, there is love to Christ in that man's heart; but it is faint and feeble. But let the Spirit of God act upon that man, and his love is increased and roused into active exercise, while he cheerfully follows its constraining influence.

There is the fire of religion in that man's soul, but it has long



since ceased to warm him, and it is only a little smoke that is visible occasionally, that tells us the fire is not extinct.

But let the Holy Spirit breathe upon that man, and the fire bursts forth into a flame and consumes the dross of coldness, worldliness, and sin, which had gathered together there.

There is the lamp of truth in that man's mind, but it is long since it was fed or trimmed, and is fast going out.

But let the Holy Spirit influence that man, and the lamp is trimmed; it burns with steady radiance, his light shines before men, while they take knowledge of him that he has been with Jesus.

There is the leaven of the Gospel within that man, but its influence appears completely neutralized by his love of the world, and the things of the world.

But let the Spirit of God descend upon that man, and the leaven re-asserts its power; it begins to influence the thoughts, feelings, temper, and disposition, and bring the whole life of the man more and more into conformity to the mind and will of God. Where these things are seen, there is a revival of religion in those persons, or in that church.

A revival consists, I repeat, of a great increase of piety and devotedness to God among Christians; and in the waking up of the church of God to a higher degree of spiritual life.

Where this takes place, there will be deep searchings of heart on the part of Christians, because they so little resemble their Saviour. There will be mourning over and confessing sin before God, and there will be earnest, importunate prayer in private and in public. They have been restraining prayer before God; but then, with warmth of heart, with eagerness of soul, with fervent desires, they draw near to the throne of grace.

Where a revival takes place, the closet is no longer neglected or forsaken. Christians then seek God. They thirst after the living God. What confessions are made there! What fervent prayers offered there! How with heart and soul they sing,

"Oh, for a closer walk with God,

A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road

That leads me to the Lamb.

"Return, O holy dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest;

I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
And drove thee from my breast."

Nor do they pray for themselves alone. Go to that chamber-door, and listen how the wife is pleading for her husband. Go yonder, and hear the husband interceding for his wife. Go there, and hear the parents' prayer for their children, that God would grant them the joy of beholding their children walking in the truth. Nor are these prayers offered in a spirit of cold formality, but in the spirit of Jacob, for they, too, exclaim, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."

The minister has also a larger share in the prayers of his people than ever. They remember him in his study, and seek God's guidance and blessing upon him in preparing for his public duties. The conversion to God of sinners as the result of his labours, as well as the feeding of the church of God, is more earnestly sought, and the church and the world are alike blessed in answer to their prayers.

There, too, is enjoyment in religion.

Christians do not at such times imitate those Jews who said of God's service, “What a weariness is it!" but the private duties and public engagements alike afford delight. They feel as David felt when invited to the worship of God. "I was glad when they said unto me," &c. They also become inviters, and say, Come, let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of



There, also, is working for Christ.


The Christian, then, no longer tries to excuse his Own ease in Zion" with "that is the minister's work;" but he feels he has a work to do for God, and he prays, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He soon finds work to do. To this one he says,


Come with us to the house of God." To others he speaks about the concerns of their immortal souls. He is astonished that with such freedom he can speak to others about religion, but the heart is full of it, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

There is, on the part of Christians generally, an intense earnestness manifested for the prosperity of the church, and the saving of sinners. This, then, is a revival, when there is a great increase of piety and devotedness to God on the part of Christians, when they are aroused to show by a holy life what Christianity is, and labour energetically to spread the Gospel on every side.

But the conversion to God of large numbers of sinners also forms a most important feature of a revival of religion.

This, indeed, is so often the more striking part of a revival, that the increase of piety and devotedness to God among Christians is overlooked. Both are of immense importance. Life revived in the church, and life given among those without.

In this respect, a revival is not just one and another coming forth now and again, and declaring themselves on the Lord's side, but their doing this by the dozen, by the score, or by hundreds. It is when the church of the living God is increased with men like a flock. When converts, for numbers, come "as a clond," and in their eagerness to make a public profession of their faith in Jesus, resemble the doves flying to their windows.

Like as on the day of Pentecost, when 3000 souls were converted to God.

Like what occurred in Moorfields Fair, when hundreds were led to believe in the Saviour, by a single discourse of George Whitfield's.

Like what happened at the Kirk of Shatts, in Scotland, where 500 were awakened to see their state before God, under a sermon of Livingtone's.

Like what has recently been seen in the United States of America, where half-a-million of persons are estimated as having joined various Christian churches in one year.

Like what has been witnessed in poor down-trodden, priestridden Ireland, where "it is seriously believed that tens of thousands have been brought to God.”

Like what has occurred in Wales, where about 80,000 persons --or one-twentieth of the whole population-have, in the short space of twelve months, come forth confessing their faith in a crucified Saviour.

Like what so recently has transpired in Jamaica, where one minister enrolled 120 persons in a few days as candidates for membership.


This, this, then, is a revival, when the church of God is aroused, and an increase of piety and devotedness to God is apparent, and sinners in large numbers are converted. To Christians in every land, the injunction of the Apostle is addressed-" Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." But these things, we further observe, are produced by the Holy Spirit's influence upon the hearts and consciences of men.

In conversion, the Holy Spirit's influence is always felt. 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot


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enter into the kingdom of God." We apply the term revival to the period when that influence is exerted in an unusual degree, rousing up Christians, and bringing sinners to the Saviour.

If, then, we are sincere in our desires to see a revival of religion, we must earnestly seek for the outpouring of the Spirit of God, upon this land.

That it is the Holy Spirit's work, there can be no doubt; but God has promised to pour out His Holy Spirit in answer to the prayers of His people. It is His appointment, that we "ask of God." It is His promise, "That if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto our children, how much more will He give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him." He has assured us that He will pour out His "Spirit upon all flesh.”

We want, as Christians, to feel our need of the Holy Spirit's reviving influences; to cherish strong desires for this great blessing; and to offer earnest, continued, united prayer till we obtain it.


"Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe."-PSALM CXIX. 117.

AMONG the boundless promises which the Scriptures contain, there are some which possess a peculiar interest, from the brevity and force of their expression. They are not involved passages, or references to promises the fulfilment of which is contingent upon certain results, which may or may not occur, but are plain and emphatic expressions of the Divine will, capable of being understood at a glance. The passage which heads these few remarks is of the kind we have indicated; terse and expressive, it contains a world of meaning in a limited sentence. There are no conditions which are possibly beyond accomplishment, but a clear and positive statement that safety and peace are the sure and certain results of the blessing and support of our heavenly Father. With the support of Him all things will be possible to us.

The fact that we are safe, if upheld by the loving-kindness of the Almighty, naturally directs Our attention to the means by which that support can be secured. "Hold thou me up," says the Psalmist. He does not for a moment suggest a doubt as to the possibility of its being accomplished, but, believing in the power of Him whom he addresses, he intimates that he is safe from every danger while he is divinely assisted. The mode in which this expression is uttered shows that a relation of perfect confidence subsisted between the Creator and the creature. Conscious of his many failings, his grievous sins, and his disposition to depart from holiness, he has yet no fear of consequences, no distrust of himself, while that relation existed. Such is the case with believers at the present moment. Surrounded by difficul

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