Hero of the month – Howell Harris 2/2

Hero of the month – Howell Harris 2/2

In 1737 Harris met with Daniel Rowland, who was perhaps the greatest preacher of all time, and they worked together, leading Wales into the ‘Great Awakening’. Between 400 and 2000 people heard him preach at a time, with many giving their lives to Jesus, among whom were two other leaders of the Awakening; Howell Davies (Apostle of Pembrokeshire) and William Williams, the hymn writer of the Revival.

From the beginning of 1738 Harris started preaching full time and he travelled the whole country; mainly at the invitation of Non-conformist ministers. He would go on a tour for weeks at a time, travelling maybe 150 miles a week, speaking between two and six times a day; sometimes speaking at 1.00am to avoid persecution. He was threatened by magistrates and clergy in many places where he preached.

Harris was the organiser of the Awakening, similar to John Wesley. All went well until around 1746 when Howell began to cause trouble by criticising his co-leaders. He was very dogmatic and unbending, and he liked to be the leader and not co-leader. In 1750 Harris and Rowland split, but most of the people followed Rowland.  In 1752 he became ill and it is likely that he had a breakdown. He did other things, but he was by then on the periphery. He died in 1773. To read a lot more go to http://www.ukwells.org/locations/displaylocations/897.

Harris was a remarkable man. Through his energy the Word of God spread throughout the whole of Wales. Undoubtedly the revival would not have spread the way it did had he not travelled so much, and had his organisational skills not put in place a structure in which the Methodist movement could consolidate and grow. In the societies his creative genius found scope and fulfilment. However, he was a man of contradictions; a man of love and yet critical; humble and yet proud. His pride and obstinacy made it impossible for his colleagues to work with him and yet those qualities helped him be an indefatigable evangelist despite persecution and dangers. Few did as much for the spiritual life of Wales as Howel Harris.   

Hero of the month – Howell Harris 1/2

Hero of the month – Howell Harris 1/2

Howell Harris was born at Trefeca, in Brecon in 1714. Wales during his early life was spiritually in as parlous a state as England. He wrote in his journal in 1735, ‘One day in prayer I felt a strong impression on my mind to give myself to God as I was, and to leave all to follow Him. But presently felt a strong opposition to it, backed with reasons, that if I would give myself to the Lord, I should lose my liberty, and then would not be my own, or in my own power; but after a great conflict for some time, I was made willing to bid adieu to all things temporal, and chose the Lord for my portion. I believe I was then effectually called to be a follower of the Lamb.’
Then a few months later, ‘‘Being in secret prayer, I felt suddenly my heart melting within me like wax before the fire with love to God my Saviour; and also felt not only love, peace etc., but longing to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. Then was a cry in my inmost soul, which I was totally unacquainted with before, Abba, Father! Abba, Father! I could not help calling God my Father; I knew that I was His child; and that He loved me and heard me. My soul being filled and satiated, crying, ‘Tis enough, I am satisfied. Give me strength and I will follow Thee through fire and water.’”
He was so fired up by Holy Spirit that he had to go out and tell people about his Saviour. “The Word was attended with such power, that many on the spot cried out to God for pardon of their sins’’ The importance of this was that it was the beginning of the ‘Great Awakening’ in the UK. Harris was leading many to the Lord and forming them into Societies before Whitefield or John Wesley.

My thoughts on what is happening in the nation

Over the last few days I have been touring the north/midlands and have been hearing different things, so I thought I would try to put down what I think is happening, based upon the definitions on the last few posts – for what it is worth!
The most noticeable event is Cwmbran, where there have been healings and salvations since April 10th. Outside of Cwmbran I have heard that there are stirrings in Sunderland, Middlesborough, Bootle and Widnes. I am very excited, perhaps I can stop recording past moves of God and start recording current ones.
The most developed ‘stirring’ is of course Cwmbran, but what is it? – this is a question I keep getting asked. In my opinion Cwmbran is not an awakening; it is not a sovereign move of God. The atmosphere of heaven has not invaded the surrounding area – yet! What I think it is an anointed evangelist/revivalist being used by God as an anointed evangelist/revivalist. I would say that the other stirrings I have heard about are the same, although I should emphasise that I have not been to any of the others. Undoubtedly God is doing something, because said revivalists are moving in more anointing than usual, but it is not the awakening we are longing for.
What I would like to flag up is the danger that those ministries that are being blessed by God in more healings and more salvations; will be satisfied with what they have and not press in for more. It is the awakening that we need to press in for.
Praise God for what is going on. I am very excited and am expecting to hear of more ‘stirrings’ all the time.

Why does Revival happen 2/2

What I believe Charles Finney did not understand is that some people (including him) carry a strong revivalist/evangelist anointing. This means that people with this anointing can come to a church, the presence of God will come and people will be saved, but that is not an awakening. George Jeffreys (1889-1962), the founder of Elim, carried this anointing. He would hire a hall in a town for a week or so, then he would preach to however many came. The word would go round the town and many would come to his meetings and many would be saved. He would then establish a church of those newly saved and then move on to the next place. George was saved in the first weeks of the Welsh Revival in 1904, but most of his ministry was during a time when there was not a revival atmosphere over the nation.
The difference between ministering under a revival atmosphere and ministering under a revival anointing; is that under a revival atmosphere the awakening does not leave when the leader leaves. Generally speaking (please note that I have to speak in generalities all the time, because I cannot possibly have read every account of revival in the UK), when George Jeffreys left a town, the anointing went with him. In an awakening the presence of God moves out over an area and remains until the Lord decides to withhold it.

Why does Revival happen? 1/2

Why does Revival come? This is a question I have puzzled over, but have now settled on an answer. It all depends on how you view the Sovereignty of God. An American revivalist called Charles Finney believed that you only have to do A, B and C and revival would come. He therefore believed that the Sovereignty of God had nothing to do with bringing Revival. The flaw in his argument is that many people have since tried his A, B and C and as far as I know nobody has succeeded in bringing down an Awakening.
At the other end of the spectrum some people believe that God will bring a Revival when He thinks fit and there is nothing we can do about it. Therefore the Sovereignty of God is absolute. But I think that is wrong as well. The Bible tells me that we are His hands and feet, so I believe that He wants to partner with us. How far along the line of the Sovereignty of God the truth is, I do not know. I think the truth lies somewhere along the final third of the line towards complete Sovereignty. I believe that when God wants to bring Revival he tells His prophets first. They pick up His intentions on their spiritual antennae and then, having learned the plans of God, we pray them into existence.