OBJECTIONS TO REVIVALS.
It cannot be denied that very strong prejudices are entertained by many of our most intelligent, sober-minded, and sincere Christians against revivals. It is both unjust and untruthful to allege that their real objection is against all vital godliness and genuine Christianity. Such persons as those we allude to love both, and desire the advance of truth as truly and sincerely as any “revivalist” in the land, and much more so than many who bear the name. But from their education, their temperament, their views of truth, and from what they have seen or heard regarding the “revival movements,” they have been led to question the reality of sudden conversions, the evidence of the instrumentalities and means ordinarily employed to effect them, and the correctness of the teaching imparted, either to awaken or build up; while other things which appeared always to accompany “a revival,” as if essential to it,—such as the extravagant and exaggerated coarse addresses of some, the impudence, conceit, and spiritual pride of others, the thrusting aside, as if of no value, all that was quiet, sober, and truthful, and the bringing forward all that was noisy, demonstrative, talkative, and excited,—has had such an effect on their minds that the very name of “a revival meeting” produces a feeling of repulsion and aversion as against a falsehood.
Now, we do not profess by any means to defend whatever has presented itself to public notice in any village or district as “a revival.” A good name, whether assumed by men, meetings, or movements, does not necessarily make either of them good or worthy of their name.[A]