We need a work of the Holy Spirit of a supernatural kind, putting power into the preaching of the Word, inspiring all believers with heavenly energy, and solemnly affecting the hearts of the careless so that they turn to God and live.
We would not be drunk with the wine of carnal excitement, but we would be filled with the Spirit. We would behold the fire descending from heaven in answer to the effectual fervent prayers of righteous men.
Can we not entreat the Lord our God to make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the people in this day of declension and vanity?
We want a revival of old-fashioned doctrine. I know not a single doctrine which is not at this hour studiously undermined by those who ought to be its defenders. There is not a truth that is precious to the soul which is not now denied by those whose profession it is to proclaim it.
To me, it is clear that we need a revival of old-fashioned gospel preaching, like that of Whitefield and Wesley. The Scriptures must be made the infallible foundation of all teaching; the ruin, redemption and regeneration of mankind must be set forth in unmistakable terms.
Urgently do we need a revival of personal godliness. This is, indeed, the secret of church prosperity. When individuals fall from their steadfastness, the church is tossed to and fro. When personal faith is steadfast, the church abides true to her Lord.
It is upon the truly godly and spiritual that the future of religion depends in the hand of God. O, for more truly holy men, quickened and filled with the Holy Spirit, consecrated to the Lord and sanctified by his truth!
Brethren, we must each one live if the church is to be alive. We must live unto God if we expect to see the pleasure of the Lord prospering in our hands. Sanctified men are the salt of society and the saviours of the race.
We deeply want a revival of domestic religion. The Christian family was the bulwark of godliness in the days of the Puritans, but, in these evil times, hundreds of families of so-called Christians have no family worship, no restraint upon growing sons, and no wholesome instruction or discipline.
How can we hope to see the kingdom of our Lord advance when his own disciples do not teach his gospel to their own children? O, Christian men and women, be thorough in what you do and know and teach!
Let your families be trained in the fear of God, and be yourselves ‘holiness unto the Lord’. So shall you stand like a rock amid the surging waves of error and ungodliness which rage around us.
We want also a revival of vigorous, consecrated strength. I have pleaded for true piety; I now beg for one of the highest results of it. We need ‘saints’; we need gracious minds, trained to a high form of spiritual life by much converse with God in solitude.
Saints acquire nobility from their constant resort to the place where the Lord meets with them. There they also acquire that power in prayer which we so greatly need. O, that we had more men like John Knox, whose prayers were more terrible to Queen Mary than 10,000 men!
O, that we had more Elijahs, by whose faith the windows of heavens should be shut or opened! Pray for a real and lasting revival!
C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)