ULSTER REVIVAL OF 1859 By William Henry Harding


The spiritual awakening which rendered the year 1859 forever famous in the annals of Ulster, also furnishes one of the most remarkable illustrations in all history, of Christianity suddenly and potently revived and exercising a transforming influence, swift in its action and wide in its sphere, upon all classes of society.

Who were the people among whom this astonishing movement broke out?

Coming of Scottish and English extraction, the Protestant communities of Ulster represent a colony founded with infinite industry and skill, which has stood through centuries in enlightening contrast to the blighting conditions which obtain in other parts of Ireland under the domination of the priest. The history of Ulster is of a people not only distinguished by industrial ability and commercial integrity, but possessing strong religious proclivities, and contending earnestly in defence of Christian beliefs and Christian liberty.

The Revival led to the reclamation and conversion of vast numbers of people of careless or debased life but primarily it meant the kindling afresh of apostolic zeal and enthusiasm, the setting up of magnificent ideals regarding the extension of the Kingdom of God throughout the world, and, first and last, the reassertion on a majestic scale of the great basal verities of Evangelical religion.

No world-famous name is associated with the Revival. Nevertheless, beginning in the prayer-meetings and wayside conversations of a few humble work-people, it speedily attained the proportions of a national movement. Various springs from the hills of Antrim contributed to swell the meandering rivulet of Revival into a broad and mighty stream.

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