Revivals, Spurious and True – Charles Spurgeon

MY dear friends, we have, in our time, seen in certain churches great blazings of enthusiasm, as if Vesuvius and Etna had both taken to work; these outbursts of flame have been misnamed revivals, but might just as well have been called agitations. I have known, in my short time, certain churches, in the paroxysms of delirium, meeting houses crowded, aisles filled, preachers stamping and thundering, hearers intoxicated with excitement, and persons converted by wholesale—even children converted by hundreds—they said thousands. Well, and a month or two after, where were the congregations? where were the converts? Echo has answered, “Where, where?” Why, the converts were worse sinners than they were before; or mere professors puffed up into a superficial religion, from which they soon fell into a hopeless coldness, which has rendered it difficult ever to stir them again. I love all genuine revivals, with all my heart, and I would aid and abet them; but I now speak of certain spurious things which I have seen, and which are not uncommon even now, where there has not been God’s Holy Spirit, but mere excitement, loudness of talk, bigness of words, fanaticism, and rant, and nothing more. Now, in such cases, why was it the fire went out? Why, the man who blew the bellows went away to use his lungs elsewhere, and as soon as ever the good man who, by his remarkable manner and telling style had created this stir, was gone, the fire went out.