Not for my readers to think I was a total slacker after my evening on the couch, I did delve into my out of print book, England, Before and After Wesley, about John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. He is one of my heroes of the faith. If you are Methodist or have a Methodist hymnal, you need to read his instructions for singing the hymns- with as much gusto as you sang the songs of the world before you were saved (or similar words, I'm not quoting).
John Wesley desired to see the Church of England transformed into a true vehicle of faith, not replace it with a new religion. I had also read Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas on William Wilberforce, during this same time period of the late 1700's. Revival does not occur in a vacuum. There was Wesley, Wilberforce, Whitefield, Newton(the Amazing Grace song writer), and women: Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, Hannah Moore and Hannah Ball. The poet William Cowper. The Sunday School movement to improve working class people's lives commenced during this time. Also,"The famous historian, Dr. J.H. Overton, a High Churchman, writes,'It was not Evangelicals, but Evangelicalism that abolished the slave trade.' "
The Church of England, as I read in the first few chapters and I remember from other readings, was corrupt, having little to do with Christ. The Bishop was in one room, while a royal woman dressed in the next room with the door opened under the painting of Venus. The leadership care more for their wines, estates and other luxuries than the Church being the Bride of Christ. Not much different than some things I see today, although, it seems much worse then. "As late as 1810, Evangelical clergymen, dubbed 'Church Methodists' officially considered a 'pestilence.' " from the The English Church of the Nineteenth Century.
The Church has been down this road before and in need of a great revival. I find it fascinating that men and women are called around the same time to start movements of God. Look around you for the next Wesley or Hannah Moore. I believe time is due for the next revival.
But as I was reading in Philip Yancy's book, What Good is God?, we also have cycles of faith. "Every generation of Christians puzzles over how to sustain the revolutionary character of the gospel." Christ brings life, but then complacency returns as people are blessed. Then we need a fresh move of God in our lives. Whether the next break out will be the last before Jesus calls His Church home or one to change things now, nothing happens without prayer.
Is God raising you up?