Weekend Read: “The Secret” Revealed!

This is not about Oprah. This is the account of a revival that started in 1857. Think it could happen again? Read this short, encouraging excerpt, then click the links at the end to read the full story and discover “The Secret” of  this 19th century move of God.

The Presbyterian Magazine reported that as of May there had been fifty thousand converts of the revival. In February, a New York Methodist magazine reported a total of eight thousand conversions in Methodist meetings in one week.  The Louisville daily paper reported seventeen thousand Baptist conversions in three weeks during the month of March.  And according to a June statement, the conversion figures stood at 96,216–and still counting. All but two of the youth in one high school were saved.  A similar event took place in Toledo, Ohio. These are just brief examples of what was happening constantly all across the nation.

Those on ships approaching the east coast at times felt a solemn, holy influence, even one hundred miles away, without even knowing what was happening in America.

Revival began aboard one ship before it reached the coast.  People on board began to feel the presence of God and a sense of their own sinfulness.  As the ship neared the harbor, the captain signaled, “Send a minister.” Another small commercial ship arrived in port with the captain, and every member of the crew converted in the last 150 miles.   Ship after ship arrived with the same story: both passengers and crew were suddenly convicted of sin and turned to Christ before they reached the American coast.

The battleship North Carolina was anchored in New York harbor as a naval receiving ship.  More than a thousand young men were on board. Four Christians agreed to meet together for prayer and knelt on the lower deck.  The Spirit of God so filled their hearts with joy that they broke into song.  Ungodly men on the top deck heard the singing, looked down, and saw the boys kneeling.  They began running down the stairs, mocking and jeering.  The convicting power of the Holy Spirit so gripped them that by the time they reached the bottom deck they fell on their knees and began crying for mercy.

Click here to find out “The Secret” to this revival! (Short Version)

Click here for the longer, more detailed version. (This expanded version comes from a site that chronicles Christianity in America over the last 400 years.)

***Image is of D. L. Moody in the inquiry room.

Comments (6)

  1. Reply

    I doubt very much it can happen again in this age of reason, the account seems anecdotal, and strains believability. All but two were saved? Who were they? There were revivals in America in previous centuries because people didn’t have answers to many questions about the Earth, Universe and life. It wasn’t till the 20th century that mankind began to really learn about biology, physics, and the building blocks of reality, as well as the evolution of living organisms. Those things in mind, its hard for people to turn to religion when science pulls people so strongly to rationalism.

  2. Reply

    Interesting read, I can’t really say one way or another how it all went down, I wasn’t there, but I would have thought the reader would source the quotes from the magazines and papers that covered these revivals, they’re mentioned by name but not articles or editions. Regardless I’m not going to nit pick that it seems factual enough, though I still don’t think in this day and age a nation or even planet wide is going to take place, there are just too many different religions, rationalists, and ideologies abound.

  3. perdita


    Yes, a collapsing economy and several bank failures does wonders for religious belief. But how many of those do you think were false converts? Why would these revivals be any different from the ones with staggering fall-away rates that Ray Comfort cites in “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life” (pp. 75 – 78)?

    vintango says: I still don’t think in this day and age a nation or even planet wide is going to take place, there are just too many different religions, rationalists, and ideologies abound.

    I think as long as there’s fear and panic there’s a possibility for these sorts of revivals. What’s funny is that large scale revivals give birth to new Christian religions/ideologies (i.e. The Great Awakening).

  4. BathTub


    Methodists, pity they weren’t True Christians like Ray or Steve, must have been the work of the devil.

  5. Reply

    Oh there are always cycles and trends where this sort of stuff happens, with all religions not just Christianity. In the middle ages when Christians were inking out an existence in Europe as serfs and feudal lords, Baghdad was the scientific, philosophical, and cultural center of the world. It was open to all faiths, scientists, skeptics, and most importantly ideas. It wasn’t till Islamic fundamentalism took over that things took a turn for the worse. Imam Hamid al-Ghazali and his followers worked against progress and that region stagnated to the point of becoming backward over the next few centuries. Knowledge from the areas of antiquity were preserved in spain byzantine and the ottoman empires, and then eventually in Italy which lead to the renaissance. Regardless though, fundamentalism can no longer be allowed to hinder the growth of science, reason, and progress, it only harms humanity.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *