A true revival is to be looked for in the church of God. Only in the river of gracious life can the pearl of revival be found. It has been said that a revival must begin with God's people: this is very true, but it is not all the truth, for the revival itself must end as well as begin there. The results of the revival will extend to the outside world, but the revival, strictly speaking, must be within the circle of life, and must therefore essentially be enjoyed by the possessors of vital godliness, and by them only.
When revival comes to a people who are in the state thus briefly described, it simply brings them to the condition in which they ought always to have been: it quickens them, gives them new life, stirs the coals of the expiring fire, and puts heavenly breath into the lanquid lungs. The sickly soul which before was insensible, weak, and sorrowful, grows earnest, vigorous, and happy in the Lord. This is the immediate fruit of revival, and it becomes all of us who are believers to seek this blessing for backsliders, and for ourselves if we are declining in grace.
When a minister obtains this revival he preaches very differently from his former manner. It is very hard work to preach when the head aches and when the body is languid, but it a much harder task when the soul is unfeeling and lifeless. It is sad, sad work - painfully, dolorously, horribly sad, but saddest of all if we do not feel it to be sad, if we can go on preaching and remain careless concerning the truths we preach, indifferent as to whether men are saved or lost! May God deliver every minister from abiding in such a state! Can there be a more wretched object than a man who preaches in God's name truths which he does not feel, and which he is conscious have never impressed his own heart? To be a mere signpost pointing out the road but never moving in it, is a lot against which every tame heart may plead night and day.
Brethern, let us seek a revival...Let us pledge ourselves to form a prayer-union, a sacred band of suppliants, and may God do unto us according to our faith.
(Excerpt from "The Sword and the Trowel" December 1866)