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The Autumn of 1857 saw New York in the midst of financial failure which ruined many of its one million people. J.W. Alexander, returning there from Europe, found ‘a pall of mourning over every house’. But, unlike other times of national disaster this era was accompanied by a renewed spirit of prayer to be followed by a manifestation of the ‘marvellous lovingkindness’ of God as thousands were brought form worldly sorrow to the possession of lasting riches.Samuel Prime’s work, written with the aid of other ministers, gives a first hand record of the year which saw America’s last national awakening– a revival which, noiseless and unexpected, was in striking contrast with the idea that evangelism is primarily a case of human effort. In 1858 the great truths ‘made exceedingly prominent’ were ‘the influence of the Holy Spirit and free salvation through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ’.This is largely the human story of people into whose lives God came. But the main lesson is abiding. The Spirit of God, Prime believed, intended the revival to be a lasting example to the church of the relationship between His work and believing prayer. This rare title was the last which Dr. Martyn Lloyd–Jones urged for republication before his death. Few books can be more relevant for the church today.
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