By Jay Rogers
Published March 31, 2008
Amherst College was founded and was maintained for many years with the aim of educating young men to serve God. The school’s Latin motto, “Terras Irradient,” is an allusion to Isaiah 6:3: “The whole earth is full of His glory.” Graduates of Amherst College have included the radical social reformer Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe), and Daniel W. Poor, the pioneer missionary to Ceylon. In the early years of the school, powerful revivals were frequent. The following are eyewitness accounts of one of these revivals by three students then studying at Amherst:
“The most remarkable and important event of our College course, was the revival of 1827. I was away from College on account of ill-health at the time it commenced. In my absence of three weeks, not out of town, I was visited by two of my classmates who came to talk to me in relation to my duty to become a Christian.
“And when I returned to the College, the stillness and seriousness pervading the whole Institution … the meetings for prayer among the students, held by the classes, … and the more general meetings held by the faculty, were so frequent, solemn, earnest, and pervaded by the evident presence of God, that I could not but be strongly impressed.
“Two or three, or it may be four, of the class, did not seem to be much moved, all the rest were manifestly. The whole College was so influenced in that time that through the rest of the year it had an entirely different aspect from any time before. Our class (1828), then Juniors, was essentially changed in character.
“Two who had been decidedly skeptical, Kidder and Winn, became decided and earnest Christians. Humphrey, the President’s son, had been altogether irreligious, wild and negligent of all study. He became, for the rest of his College course, correct in his conduct, serious and earnest as a Christian, diligent and faithful as a student. The class united with the College church or other churches as the result of this revival.
“Of the class before us (1827), I suppose McClure was the most remarkable instance of conversion – I mean publicly the most remarkable. In the class after us (1829), the most marked and externally wonderful change was in Henry Lyman who was afterwards the martyr missionary killed by the Battas of Sumatra. Lyman had been one of the worst, of the boldest in wickedness, apparently defying the authority of God; but when he came under the power of God’s truth and Spirit, he became as ardent and bold for Christ as before he had been in opposition to all good.“1
“An incident illustrative of strong faith in prayer, was this: In the south entry of South College there were a number of our most godly young men, while the majority were impenitent. After mature deliberation, the former resolved to hold a daily prayer-meeting of one hour for the conversion of the unconverted in that entry. The meetings were sustained with vigor and faith, the Holy Spirit wrought powerfully in their midst, and only a few weeks passed away before every student in the south entry of the old South College was converted to Christ.“2
“The students made frequent calls on each other to converse upon the greatest of all subjects, the welfare of souls, and usually joined in prayer before they separated. The meetings of literary societies were turned to prayer-meetings, and frequently the instructors united with their classes in prayer in their recitation rooms. At these meetings, which were well attended, the impenitent were warned and urged to accept the Savior by those who had formerly been their companions in sin.
“It was a deeply affecting scene to witness the love of Christ proclaimed from lips so lately addicted to profanity. Many of the subjects of this work have been those who were farthest from God and all good, not only unbelieving, but wild and reckless. About nine tenths of the Senior and Sophmore classes are now the hopeful subjects of renewing grace.“3
For the next 50 years, spontaneous moves of the Holy Spirit came frequently to Amherst College, attested to by many other accounts. The results of these revivals included the emergence of the world missions movement, the temperance movement, and the anti-slavery movement.
From History of Amherst College, (W.S. Tyler, Clark W. Bryan and Company, Springfield, Mass., 1873), pp.199-201.
1 Letter of Rev. A. Tobey, D.D., Class of 1828.
2 Rev. T.R. Cressey, Class of 1828. 3 Rev. William Hyde, Class of 1829, from a narrative printed in New Haven, Connecticut.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Revival and Spiritual Awakening
Your comments are welcome!
Visit The Forerunner's Discussion Forum!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)