|When the Spirit Came - Part I|
It is true that there must be the human side of revival; "The sword of the Lord - and Gideon." It is true that God searches out and uses broken, clean vessels for His work, and that in Evan Roberts He found such a vessel. Moreover, during these years, He prepared and used hundreds of such instruments in different parts of the principality who led thousands to Christ. These young converts, in turn, went out to witness to the grace and power of god. Yet, every one of these men and women would point the reader to the divine Spirit of God who was the instigator and promoter of the mighty movement in Wales and surrounding districts in 1904-05.
Another outstanding feature of true revival is that the movement does not depend on money, organization or advertising. You can't organize or control the fire of God.
The astounding feature of this awakening was the lack of commercialism. There were no hymn books, no song leaders, no committees, no choirs, no great preachers, no offerings, no organization.
I have scanned newspapers of Wales which came out in 1904 and 1905 and found no paid advertisements there announcing the meetings. So far as I can discover in my research while reading magazines and books and asking numbers of people who were saved at that time, not one single dollar was spent in advertising the revivalists. As the late Lord Pontypridd once remarked, "The revival finances and advertises itself. There are no bills, no hired halls, no salaries.
The only time I can discover that a committee organized a planned evangelistic campaign for Evan Roberts was in the city of Liverpool in 1905. Even on this occasion, the Spirit of God disrupted the plans and broke through the machinery by the time the revivalist arrived.
The movement was entirely under the control of the Spirit of God. Evan Roberts seems to have learned his lesson in the matter of making his own plans early in the revival. Just a few weeks before the revival broke out in his home church in Loughor, Evan had planned campaigns throughout Wales with his brother Dan and his friend Sydney Evans. Soon he was to discover that the Spirit had another plan - something better and deeper. After this, he greatly feared man's planning and organization. In my long talks with Sydney Evans and Mary Roberts-Evans, his wife, and also with the widow of Dan Roberts, I discovered that Evan would not announce any meetings for a week ahead. He simply announced a day or two ahead, if at all, that he hoped to be in a certain place at a given time. Even then it was not sure when, where, or if he would preach! He moved only with the Spirit. When the campaign was organized in Liverpool, the committee pressed him to state a definite time when he would come and begin meetings, but he refused to say, and when he did eventually go there (his only meetings outside his beloved Wales) he gave the committee only a three or four days' warning. Even then, though 100,000 Welsh people in the great English city were longing and waiting to hear him, he insisted that he could not know in which of the crowded chapels he would speak at a given time!
This is copyrighted material from James Stewart's book Invasion of Wales by the Spirit through Evan Roberts, PO Box 6068, Asheville, NC 28816 available from Revival Literature,