The Dark Ages:
Even in the Dark Ages, God gave some gracious revivals. From the 12th to 15th Centuries there were revivals in Southern Europe in which many spoke in other tongues. Foremost among these revivalists were the Waldenses and the Albigenses.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, dealing with the subject of speaking with tongues, says: “It recurs in Christian revival in every age.”
1419 – Vincent Ferrer:
Vincent Ferrer died in this year and is credited with this experience. In the ‘History of the Christian Church’, by Phillip Schoff, we read: “Spondamus and many others say this saint was honoured with the gift of tongues.”
1520 – Martin Luther:
Dr. Martin Luther likewise enjoyed the blessings. In a German church history (Sauer’s History of the Christian Church) we read: “Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues and interpreter in one person, endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit.”
1650 – The Quakers:
Under George Fox, their founder, the Quakers experienced the reviving power of the Holy Spirit. Within six years their following increased to about 50,000. Cromwell tried to bring justice to England with the sword. George Fox sought to do it with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. In ‘The Message and Mission of Quakerism’ by W.C. Braithwaite, quoting from Burroughs’ ‘Preface to Great Mystery’, we read: “While waiting upon the Lord in silence, as often we did for many hours together, we received often the pouring down of the Spirit upon us, and our hearts were glad and our tongues loosed and our mouths opened. And we spake with new tongues as the Lord gave us utterance, and as His Spirit led us, which was poured down upon us.”
1834 – Edmund Irving:
The Irving revival brought thousands to Christ, and Irving’s audiences ranged from 6,000 to 12,000. He enjoyed the baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. Of his death we read: “And so, at the wintry midnight hour, which ended that last Sabbath on earth, the last bonds of mortal trouble dropped asunder, and the saint and martyr entered into the rest of his Lord. Nothing more need be added … which rounds into a perfection, beyond the reach of art, this sorrowful and splendid life.”
1865 – The Huguenots:
Among the revivals within the Huguenots, prophetical gifts were also enjoyed. The Huguenots were led by John Cavalier, a farmer, into inaccessible mountains. Among these persecuted people were those who spoke in tongues. There are records, both by enemies and by friends, as to their prophetic gifts. Prophets went from the Cavennes to Holland and on to Germany. At that time among professors and students there was a great receptivity to God’s power. In 1714 they brought the gift of tongues and prophecy to Wetterau, near Frankfurt-on-Main.”
1878 – Peter MacKenzie:
The celebrated Peter MacKenzie, writing to a Mr. Elliott from Leeds on 5th February, 1878, said: “I was on the old circuit of Padiham last Sabbath. The place was packed, one of the largest and best love feasts I have ever held. The Holy Ghost came down and the gift of tongues was surely granted. O, the power, melting, moving, saving, sanctifying!”
1882 – Dwight L. Moody:
The wellknown evangelist Dwight L. Moody enjoyed the gift of tongues, according to John Davidson, the designer of the Scofield Bible, who was intimately acquainted with him.
Regarding Dwight L. Moody, the Rev. R. Boyd, D.D. (Baptist), who was a very intimate friend of the famous evangelist, says: “When I (a Y.M.C.A. member) got to the rooms of the Young Men’s Christian Association (Victoria Hall, London), I found the meeting “on fire”. The young men were speaking with tongues, and prophesying. What on earth did it mean? Only that Moody had been addressing them that afternoon! “What manner of man is this?” thought I, but still I did not give him my hand… Many of the clergy were so opposed to the movement that they turned their backs… but Sunderland (England) was taken by storm.
1844 – Charles G. Finney:
Finney is regarded as one of the greatest revivalists of history. The following is taken from his autobiography: “I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that I had heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.
Thus I continued till late at night. When I awoke in the morning the sun had risen and was pouring a clear light into my room. Words cannot express the impression that this sunlight made on me. Instantly the baptism I had received the night before returned upon me in the same manner. I arose upon my knees in the bed and wept aloud with joy, and remained for some time too much overwhelmed with the baptism of the Spirit to do anything, but pour out my soul to God.”
The Rev. John Wesley, M.A., preacher, author, teacher and reformer, whose name is treasured in the hearts of believers ever since the Great Revival, would be a competent judge as to whether the miraculous gifts should be in the church today. This is what he says: “It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were common in the church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause, thereby heaped riches and power and honour upon the Christians in general, but in particular upon Christian clergy. From this time, they almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind being found. The cause of this was not, as has been vulgarly supposed, because there is no more occasion for them because all the world were become Christian. This is a miserable mistake, not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause was: the love of many, almost all Christians, socalled, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other heathen; the Son of Man when He came to examine His Church could hardly find faith. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian Church; because the Christians were turned heathen again, and had only a dead form left …
The grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn was not that faith and holiness were wellnigh lost, but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or impostures.”
1907 – Holland:
A gracious outpouring reached Holland in this year and Pastor G. R. Polman of Amsterdam was mightily used of God in that country. Pastor Polman received his baptism in Sunderland, England, and spoke in other tongues. The revival spread from Sunderland to Germany, Central Europe, Switzerland, Italy, Palestine, the Balkans, Russia, China, Japan, and South America. Evangelist Smith Wigglesworth had splendid meetings in Italy some years later, and Principal George Jeffreys had revival meetings in Palestine itself.
The founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, says: “There is not a word in the Bible that proves that we may not have them (tongues and other gifts) at the present time.”
General Booth’s daughter, ‘the Marrechale’, testified to having received the baptism of the Spirit with accompanying signs of speaking in tongues, and the late Ambassador Herbert Booth said: “My four nephews, sons of the Marrechale, have similar experiences, and are Pentecostal preachers.”
Mighty Promises Fulfilled
This cumulative evidence from the Day of Pentecost to today proves the truth of the words of our Lord in MARK 16:15-18: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”