The Awakening in Wales by Jessie Penn-Lewis

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Jessie Penn-Lewis was one of the major players during the Welsh Revival of 1904. While still in the wake of that movement, Penn-Lewis writes this account to chronicle what she believes was an incredible working of the Holy Spirit. In our day many look back on the Welsh Revival with awe, believing that it was an outpouring of God second only to The Great Awakening. But a careful examination of The Awakening in Wales shows it to be not dissimilar to the Brownsville Revival of our day. Both are filled with bad theology, emotional and physical excesses, demonic activity, and false signs and wonders. The connection between the birth of the Pentecostal movement in America and the Welsh Revival is obvious but usually ignored by modern revivalists.

What disappoints me the most about such literature is the blatant dishonesty. Penn-Lewis does not record the fallout from this Awakening. Nor does she inform her readers that Evan Roberts, the father of the revival, basically had an emotional breakdown, months into the excesses, from which he never recovered. The value of the book is that it is a sympathetic account that can be easily exposed by anyone with a basic understanding of Scripture.

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