Worship: The Glory of Revival -- By: Eric J. Alexander

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 02:1 (Winter 1993)
Article: Worship: The Glory of Revival
Author: Eric J. Alexander

Worship: The Glory of Revival

Eric J. Alexander

The end of all true revival of religion, and indeed of every true work of grace, is the offering to God the worship, honor, praise and glory which is due to His great name.

In terms of revival we can think of the church in two aspects: first, in its moribund condition in need of revival, and second, in its revived state in times of revival. But there is a third picture the Scriptures give us. It is of the church in its glorified condition in heaven. As we read about it, as in Revelation 5, for example, we recognize that the glorified church has as its great business and constant activity the offering to God the glory and honor that are His due. The whole of its preoccupation is with God in His infinite glory, and it cries concerning His worth, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

The significant thing is that whenever the church is quickened here on earth, that revival is marked by an increasing approximation to the worship of the church in glory. William McCulloch wrote how the revival at Cambuslang affected the worship of God’s people:

What was most remarkable was the spiritual glory of this solemnity. I mean the gracious and sensible presence of God amongst His people. Many of God’s dear children declared that they were abundantly satisfied with the goodness of God in His ordinances, and filled with joy and peace in believing. An extraordinary power of the divine Spirit accompanied the Word preached.

Another observer, Ebenezer Erskine, told how revival quickened what he called “the carcass of worship.”

Jonathan Edwards said the same thing of the revival in Northampton:

The goings of God were then seen in His sanctuary. God’s

day was delight, and His tabernacles were amiable. Our public assemblies were then beautiful. The congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on public worship, every ear eager to drink in the words of the minister who was preaching. The assembly in general were from time to time in tears while the Word was preached, some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors. Our public praises were then greatly enlivened. God was then served in our psalmody in some measure in the beauty of holiness. It has been observable that there has been scarce any part of divine worship wherein good men amongst us have had grace to be drawn forth and their hearts so lifted up in the ways of God, as in singing ...

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