The Welsh Revival: “Here is Love”

October 31, 1904 – Moriah Chapel Wales. A Young man named Evan Roberts spoke to the young people of His Church. What followed was – The Welsh Revival. This Song – “Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean” was sung more than any other song during that Great Revival in Wales.

To read about this move of God:   The Welsh Revival 


10 comments on “The Welsh Revival: “Here is Love”

  1. […] Sola Dei Gloria Rate this: Share this:TwitterEmailPrintStumbleUponDiggFacebookFacebookRedditLinkedInLike […]

  2. One of the risidual effects of that revival happened in the coal mines. The ponies that pulled the underground carts began to ignore commands given by the miners. What happened?

    Many of the miners had been converted and began to remove cursing from their language. The ponies were used to hearing curse laden commands, and now the commands were clean. They had to be retrained to obey commands with wholesome language!

    Would to God His Spirit would move through the western church in power and repentance!

    • aha! I’d not read about the coal miners and ponies. 🙂

      Would to God His Spirit would move through the western church in power and repentance!


      Since posting The New Definition of Revival in America books and articles i’ve read over the years concerning God sent revivals, have been on my mind.

  3. Every time I see the word ‘Revival’, I cringe.

    I think of neo-pentacostalism, charismatics shaking and screaming. In essence throwing away the Gospel, the Good News of Freedom for the captives and the oppressed, of the cross by which darkness was banished and sins blotted out. Instead ‘glory’, insanity and mammon prevails. Or legalism that chokes the life out of men by chaining them with the commands of men. On dress-code, on touch not/taste not and them praying for a ‘revival’ for this. Or a ‘revival’ for the moral people of America, taking a stand for American values, for family and innovation; for America having a ‘revival’ and being a city on the hill.

    Thank you PJ for presenting a counter-weight, a God sent Breath of Life into a nation and seeing men and women entering the Kingdom. Though I still choke saying the word ‘revival’, I see here this is the movement of the Spirit of Christ.

  4. “After his three months training at Newcastle Emlyn he (Evan Roberts) was to return to Loughor to start his ministry. He claimed to have direct visions from the Holy Spirit; very specific visions such as the number 100,000 representing the souls God intended to use him to save. As the revival unfolded Roberts is said to have depended increasingly upon what he considered the guiding of the Holy Spirit.

    “Unlike earlier religious revivals that pivoted on powerful preaching, the revival of 1904-05 relied primarily on music and on paranormal phenomena as exemplified by the visions of Evan Roberts. The intellectual emphasis of the earlier revivals had left a dearth of religious imagery that the visions supplied. They also challenged the denial of the spiritual and miraculous element of Scripture by opponents of the revival, who held liberal and critical theological positions. The structure and content of the visions not only repeated those of Scripture and earlier Christian mystical tradition but also illuminated the personal and social tensions that the revival addressed by juxtaposing Biblical images with scenes familiar to contemporary Welsh believers.”

    In other words, rather than depending upon the Holy Spirit empowered word of God as preachers of the Gospel had before him, he instead was trying to “make it relevant”. And just like modern “revivalists”, their appeal is emotional, resulting in a shallow root conversion that does not last. Just like Roberts. Just like Finney. Just like all men who think that the kingdom of God is something that can be taken by violence (deliberate willful action). The source material is wikipedia. Not a particularly spiritual source, but historically accurate, and extensively cited. And, I was born and raised in England. My family is Welsh. My grandfather was a Welsh coal miner in about that same period. He had many things to say about those days before dying in 1980.

    • Kirby, from books and articles i’ve read concerning the Welsh revival, the preaching was powerful. If there was a difference, it was that preaching was not confined to (only) inside the church building but was taken by Roberts (and other preachers) into the country-side in open-air meetings, where many outside the church heard the gospel were convicted by the Holy Spirit, confessed their sins, repented, and were wondrously saved!

      Were there Spiritual signs? Its reported there were, and i have no reason to doubt the reports due to the power of God being evident (in new salvations and the existing church being “revived”) but also what transpired afterward. I’m a firm believer that God-sent signs and wonders are still for today.

      There is a series on the side-bar by John Piper titled Signs and Wonders.

      Part (3) speaks to what i believe the bible states on the topic: Signs and Wonders: Then and Now (3)

      The source material is wikipedia. Not a particularly spiritual source…

      True. I look to them at times for basic/common information but not spiritual info.

      One last thing. Every true move of God has always had its critics, especially if it contains supernatural/Spiritual aspects which cannot be explained “naturally” (John the Baptist was accused of having a demon). And sometimes their criticism can be valid because revivals are “messy”. Even what begins as a true work of God (through His Spirit) can, as time passes and the revival continues, take on aspects of the flesh. Man seems destined, as long as he lives in this flesh, to interfere with God. Did that occur in Wales? I don’t know. But as my granny use to say “the proof is in the pudding”; If Christ was glorified, true lasting conversions occurred, and real positive change came about inside the church we can’t discount it.

    • If you don’t mind, I’m curious to the things your grandfather saw, thought and considered about the movement. If you don’t want to post them here, I can give you my email. I’m curious out of both my love for Christ and my historical curiosity.


  5. Cal, my grandfather would have been just a boy at that time. The stories I meant are his stories of coal mining. He spent three days, trapped underground, and lost a finger (crushed off during the collapse). In looking around for it, with his oil lamp, he found it just in time to see a rat grab it and run off with it. Eeew! 😉

    PJ: The lasting results are what I am talking about. Just as with all of Finney’s revivals, the movement crushed the churches where it had been, and in the subsequent months, in some cases, obliterated the church from the community entirely. Coming back through, a year later, most times not a single convert from the “revival” could be found, and given that it was people from Finney’s own group doing the looking, you can be sure it was not due to lack of trying. And sometimes even the church itself was a smoking hole (figuratively speaking), just the same as happened with the Browsville revival, the Toronto Blessing, etc. These people destroyed what had up until then been a faithful church of God.

    Any time that music, and “spiritual experiences” are held up over the word of God, this is what will happen. The preaching might have been there, but it doesn’t seem to have been the genuine word of God, or else (more likely) it was adultered with man’s paradigms, man’s wisdom, and man’s emotional appeals. The result? The UK is today one of the most godless of peoples on the planet. Who cares if people were made “converts” (whatever that means). Who cares if they made “decisions for Christ”. Jesus no where asked people to make decisions for him. He commanded them to believe. And in the Welsh 1904 revival, none of them seem to have done so. Just as none seem to today, either. There’s just no fruit on this tree.

    Just my opinion. A lot of what you believe about these sorts of revivals depends a lot upon what you believe about the people writing the history books. So…..

    I tended to put more trust in what Albert Dodd had to say about Finney, seeing as he actually knew the guy, and I certainly do not.

  6. One last comment. Revivals before the time of instant communication and “live” media coverage (such as the case with a revival that took place in 1904), and which reach a national scale were not really “centrally managed” things. There’s usually no one “leader” and no single “core doctrine” to single out and shake a stick at.

    There would likely have been a lot of hype and sensationalism. But there were almost certainly also a lot of very sincere and God honouring people who were also rousted to new devotion. So I cannot really make a blanket statement that “The Welsh Revival was a complete wash”. As in all of men’s endeavours, there are some good, and some bad.

    I recall something about “let the weeds and tares grow together and I will separate them come the harvest.”

    just sayin’… 😉

    • I recall something about “let the weeds and tares grow together and I will separate them come the harvest.”

      Amen Kirby! 🙂

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