In 1857, James Alexander found himself in the midst of the New York City revival. He thundered out the first chapter of his Revival and Its Lessons in response, posing the following seven questions to his readers. You may read that chapter in full for the punch and exposition of each question, but let me simply lay this man’s bald interrogations before you today.
The Christian can grow dull and inward, and thoughts of revival can imperceptibly fade behind thoughts of self and the smallness of daily church life. Let Alexander’s questions come as a jolt to your soul, then. Ask yourself:
1. Are you an enemy of revival?
2. Do you rejoice in revival?
3. Are you a subject of revival?
4. Do you pray for revival?
5. Are you helping forward revival?
6. Does your heart care for the fruits of revival?
7. Have you sought to honor God in revival?
O forgive us, Lord.
Come suddenly to your temple!
Shock the dead.
For more, read James W. Alexander’s Revival and Its Lessons (New York: American Tract Society, 1858), pp. 1–11.