1. Continuous Visitation
2. Revival Is Not An Automated Process
(1) Continuous Visitation
The circumstances under which revival is bestowed can clearly be seen when we look at what happened in London in the mid nineteenth century, where C H Spurgeon, the pastor at that time, was barely out of his teens. Here was a church on the verge of closing, but twenty years later it was said that God’s people had enjoyed a continuous visitation of grace during all that time. According to Spurgeon, "That which would be a revival anywhere else, has been our ordinary condition." 20/18
Spurgeon was only nineteen years of age when he was invited to become pastor of New Park Street Chapel in London, and things were distinctly at a low ebb but soon after his arrival there, numbers dramatically increased to such an extent that eventually it was necessary to relocate in order to cope with the people who wanted to hear him which eventually peaked at around five thousand per service.
Great and mighty things therefore were accomplished under Spurgeon’s ministry, but there is no logical reason why such blessing came upon such a young man so quickly and upon a church that was at the point of closing down and why it lasted for so long, but possibly there were two contributing factors.
The first was Spurgeon’s personal dedication. He said, "In that day when I surrendered myself to my Saviour, I gave Him my body, my soul, my spirit and all I had. I gave Him all my talents, my powers, my faculties, my emotions, my whole manhood," (Auto 1/194).
The second contributing factor was prayer. It was said that "The church, was sadly reduced in numbers, and there seemed no prospect but ultimate dissolution, although there were a few in its midst who never ceased to pray for a gracious revival." Auto 1/364
(2) Revival Is Not An Automated Process
According to Spurgeon the cause of a revival cannot be traced to any special agencies, so how does it commence? He said, “Our answer is this. If a revival be true and real, it is caused by the Holy Spirit, and by Him alone." 4/276.
In consequence if at this present time we are seeking blessing from on high, we need to understand that we are asking for something that will only be given under exceptional circumstances. After all, the history of the Christian church tells us that there have been only comparatively few revivals where the whole country has been affected, but nevertheless we have a responsibility in the matter if blessing is to be ours once again.
Said Spurgeon "If we could join together in supplication, then might we expect an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who is the actual agent, whilst the Word preached, and the prayers of the people, are the instruments, and we have thus explained the cause of a true revival of religion." 4/279