Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History




Description Thereof

The recent revivals of religion, as they have been termed, appear to have commenced in the Western part of New York, in Rochester and the surrounding region, in the autumn of 1830. During the next three or four months, the work spread rapidly, and extended itself over a considerable portion of the state. In the course of the winter, favorable appearances were observed in the city of New York, which at the opening of the spring, assumed a most cheering and decisive character. Nearly all the evangelical churches in the city have shared in the revival, and thousands, it is hoped, have been born of God. Whilst the work was thus pervading the city and state of New York, it made its appearance in the Western parts of Massachusetts, and in various places in Connecticut. At the same time, the tokens of God’s presence and power were displayed in some of the principal towns in Maine. About the first of March, an unusual spirit of prayer was imparted to the churches in Boston, and it began to be apparent that the Lord was there. From that time, the work has been in progress in Boston, and the surrounding region, and many have been made the happy subjects of renewing grace. At the same time that the revival was thus extending itself Eastward, it was also spreading to the South and West. Philadelphia, Charleston, the District of Columbia, Cincinnati, and various places in the Middle, Southern and Western States, have been visited, and in nearly every place to which the workhas come, it is still in progress. It has been estimated by one who has paid particular attention to the subject, and has the best means of forming a judgment, that as many as a "thousand congregations in the United States have been visited within six months, to a greater or less extent, with revivals of religion; and that the whole number of conversions is probably not less than fifty thousand." Truly this is a great and glorious work—sufficient to fill the hearts of God’s people with humility and gratitude and their mouths with thanksgiving! A work, in the promotion of which holy beings on earth and in heaven have combined their influence, and have rejoiced together!

This work derives additional importance from the situation and rank of many of the principal places that have been visited. It is worthy of special notice that those places have partaken most largely of the blessing which exert the greatest influence upon society. Cities and colleges have been the scenes of the deepest interest, as if the divine Spirit would correct the streams of moral influence by purifying the fountains. The colleges which have been most favored are Yale, Amherst, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Williams, Hamilton, Jefferson, Kenyon, Union, Hampden Sydney, New-Jersey, Western Reserve, and the University of Ohio. The whole number of students who appear to have become subjects of piety in these institutions, during the present revival, is three hundred and twenty. The effects of this change will not be limited to these young men. Hundreds and thousands will doubtless, experience in consequence of it a similar change in their characters and destiny for eternity, and a multitude which no man can number will rejoice in the result forever.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In this work of salvation, individuals of all ranks, ages, and characters have been included. The child of six and seven years, yet in the infant school, and the aged sinner who had passed his fourscore years in rebellion, have, in the same congregation, been brought together at the feet of Jesus, and some of all the intermediate ages. The great and learned officers of State, and the most illiterate servants, have been found together in the same prayer meeting, on a level before the throne of God. The man of wealth and the poor man, have united in begging for mercy of Him who is no respector of persons. It is however believed that no previous revival ever took so large a proportion of the wealth and learning and influence of society as this has done. Literary and professional man who are at the head of society, giving the tone to public sentiment, have been brought into the kingdom in far greater numbers than ever before was known. Moral men, who have regarded themselves as approved of God on account of the purity of their lives, and the openly vicious and profane, have been alike humbled before God on account of their vileness, and the just sentence of wrath which was upon them. In many instances the intemperate, tottering upon the verge of a drunkard’s grave, have been rescued by the sovereign mercy of God, and made temperate, sober Christians. Some of every character and condition in life have been taken, so that we need not despair of any, but should labor and pray in hope and faith for all.

In some congregations, especially in the western section of the state of New York, the work has been so general and thorough, that the whole customs of society have been changed. Amusements and all practices of a doubtful character, the object of which is simply pleasure, have been abandoned, and far higher and purer enjoyment is found in the exercises of devotion, and engagements for the glory of God, and the salvation of men. . .

Text—The American Baptist Magazine, Vol. XI, pp. 276–278.


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "Description Thereof," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 424–426. Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2023,

MLA: . "Description Thereof." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 424–426. Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2023.

Harvard: , 'Description Thereof' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.424–426. Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2023, from