This 'revival' may not be a revival according to my definition, but I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that everything I have read concentrates on reporting on the manifestations of Holy Spirit and not on salvations. There was such an unusual outpouring of Holy Spirit at that time that I am sure it must have have been accompanied by salvations. Anyway, the move of God spread to several places in the area, so, in my opinion, it qualifies to be included here.
The story is quite complicated, so I think it would be helpful if I begin by listing the main participants.
John MacLeod Campbell - Church of Scotland minister of Row (Rhu) Church.
Alexander J Scott - Campbell's assistant and then works with Edward Irving in London.
Mary and Isabella Campbell - sisters living in Rosneath.
Robert Story - Church of Scotland minister of Rosneath parish, next door to Rhu,
James and George Macdonald - Brothers living in Port Glasgow.
Margaret Macdonald - Sister of James and George in Port Glasgow.
Edward Irving - Church of Scotland minister in London.
Henry Drummond - Banker in Albury, Surrey who co-founded the Catholic Apostolic Church.
The uniqueness of this revival is that it included the revelation of two new theologies. The first was that salvation was available to all as opposed to the general view of the Church of Scotland that it was only available to the 'elect'. The second was that the Gifts of the Spirit were available to 'today'. It was also, I believe, the first occasion where the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues and the speaking of prophecy were seen in the United Kingdom. There may have been the odd individual in the past, but not a general experience as happened here. Another very interesting feature of this revival is how the enemy succeeded in snuffing it out completely and it was to be another 75 years before the United Kingdom experienced the gifts again, after the Azusa Street revival of 1906.
The story begins with the appointment of John MacLeod Campbell as minister of Rhu in 1825. He was very concerned about the state of religion in his parish which was at a very low ebb. There were generally two types of minister in Scotland at the time; the Moderates, who believed that the morality of a person was his main concern, so he seldom preached on salvation, and the Evangelicals, who normally preached a sermon that dealt too much in grim and narrow self-inspection. The situation was improving as the Haldane brothers had been changing the Scottish Church since 1799 with James spreading revival and Robert building churches and training future ministers.
Robert Story, minister of Rosneath parish wrote, 'Campbell's predecessor was a man of superior gifts, a good scholar, and of more than the average accomplishment of the ministers of his day. He was, however, a cold intellectual preacher merely, rather inclined to repress anything in the form of enthusiasm of feeling, than attempt to stir up any great earnestness in the religious tone of the people. With few exceptions, indeed, it may be stated, that religion was at a low ebb throughout the families of the parish. Mr Campbell having entered upon his parochial charge with a deep sense of the responsibility of his office, and with a single-minded desire to devote all his energies to the accomplishment of its duties, felt, upon surveying the condition of the parish, that every effort must be made to awaken an interest in the great things that belonged to his people's peace, and to rouse them from a state of what seemed such spiritual carelessness and insensibility.'
'Campbell shut himself up in his study with his Bible and Concordance alone, and with weapons drawn from that armoury only, in the strength and by the counsel of his Master, determined to make war upon the enemy of truth, and rouse the immortal souls committed to his pastoral charge from their deep and perilous slumber. Week after week, so prepared for his public ministrations, it may be easily imagined what freshness and vitality there must have been in his presentation of the truth to his audience, urged, as it was, with intense earnestness of manner.'
His studies led Campbell to the belief that salvation was available to all. This was a radical thought in Scotland at the time as the Calvinist view was only the elect could be saved. With this revelation in mind, he began to preach on subjects that might awaken his congregation to the idea of sin in their lives and lead them to the idea that they must be born again. He told them that anyone who turned from sin would at once be embraced by a loving God.
This different kind of preaching (around 1827) stirred up the neighbourhood and a revival began. 'There was an awakening of religious life there which got its first impulse from the Rhu Kirk. Greenock, Glasgow, Edinburgh thrilled as with the gush of a fresh spring-tide.' (Albury Apostles, 'The story of the body known as the Catholic Apostolic Church', by Rowland A Davenport.)
At this time Alexander Scott preached his first sermon after ordination for J M Campbell who was very impressed, so Scott remained for a short time to assist Campbell in his ministry. Scott too had begun to believe that salvation was available to all, but there began to form in his mind a new revelation, that the Gifts of the Spirit were available for now, and were not just for apostolic times.
Meanwhile, a banker, Henry Drummond, had bought an estate in Albury, near Guildford and from 1826-30, each year he had a conference made up of evangelical leaders. The main theological input came from Edward Irving, who was the minister at the National Scotch Church in Regent's Square, London. These meetings concentrated on praying for a great outpouring of Holy Spirit. It was known as the Albury Circle.
During 1827/8 Story was ill and went down south to visit Drummond and Irving. He was stirred by the conference he attended at Albury and spent time, much as Campbell did, re-evaluating his understanding of the Gospels. He came to the same conclusion Campbell had that salvation was open to all.
While Story was away, Campbell looked after his parish and his preaching made quite a stir in the district. 'What we popularly term a revival, began in Rosneath; a revival, for which Mr Campbell's labours of love in Mr Story's absence had prepared the way, and which was now all the more thorough and lasting, that it entirely lacked the accompaniment of those painful and disorderly demonstrations, which have of late marked the progress of the so-called religious movements. There were no prostrations of the body, no outcries, no crowded midnight meetings, no public confessions and details of conviction and conversion; there was a quiet, earnest, prayerful seeking after God's truth — a vivid enlightenment — a living reformation. Nor was this confined to the members of his own flock merely — others elsewhere hearing of the work that was going on, came to witness it and to share the blessing.' (Many writers of the time were keen to show a revival was conducted in an 'orderly' way, inferring that such a revival was more genuine) In March 1828 Story wrote a pastoral letter to his people setting out his new theology, specifically, 'believe that in Christ your sins are forgiven.' It too created quite a stir in the area.
In May/June Edward Irving did a tour of Dumfriesshire and the area around Rosneath and Rhu. Irving was a good looking man, was very charismatic and was a powerful preacher. Thousands came to hear him speak. One might think that the large numbers he attracted was due to his charisma, but I believe that it was more due to the revival atmosphere that pervaded the area. He met Scott and was so impressed that he asked him to come down to London to help him in his work, something Scott agreed to. Also, at this time it appears that Irving had come to the same conclusion as Campbell, Scott and Story; that salvation was available to all by faith.
It was about this time that the enemy began to move against these new revelations and the revival that was spreading. 'Amid all opposition, Campbell's words had free course. The pulpits of the neighbouring clergy, one after another, were closed against Mr Campbell. The Greenock ministers (not including Scott) refused to take part in the services of the Seaman's Chapel, in that port, if Messrs Campbell and Story were allowed at any time to officiate, and their names accordingly were struck off the list of officiating ministers. In every way, distrust and resistance were displayed, but still his teaching prevailed.' Local ministers were unhappy that teaching went away from the norm of salvation only for the elect.
The next stage of this story begins here with the life and death of Isabella Campbell, who lived at Fernicarry House at the edge of Story's parish. Isabella 'was one of his Sunday school scholars, and was by him admitted to the Holy Communion, and after many a long and painful struggle, she was able in God's light to see light and to enter into the glorious liberty of his children. While yet a girl in her teens a pulmonary disease attacked her, and gradually reduced her so low that at last she was chained almost entirely to her home at Fernicarry. While there her minister saw her constantly, and while he helped to instruct and comfort her, his own spirit was much quickened by its intercourse with hers; for during this illness she seemed step by step to enter into the very Holy of Holies, and to enjoy a most rapt and intense communion with her God and Saviour, to the peace and joy of which she bore perpetual witness by the exalted utterances of her faith and love. Her life was indeed hidden with Christ in God; its fountain was within the Veil; there, she felt as few are able to realize, were the realities, here the illusion. "I am not conscious", says one who went, as many did for the truth's sake, to visit her on her dying bed, " that I ever was made so to feel the reality of eternal things; their being had in possession. When I rode away from the house, I actually felt as if the firmament overhead, and your mountains and the lake at our feet, and the very ground over which we were yet sensibly passing, were all elusive, and as if I could have put up my hand to push them all aside, to make room again for the great realities which I seemed to have left with that wonderful girl."'
Isabella's life and death were an inspiration to many and people poured in to visit this godly girl. She died in November 1828 and Story wrote a short memoir about her - 'The Memoir of Isabella, though almost studiously divested of literary grace, or any interest external to herself depicted a life so consecrated by suffering, by faith, by prayer, by rapt, almost mystic, communion with its Divine source, that it produced a very vivid impression. It was immensely read in England and Scotland and was promptly reprinted in America, where it likewise had a wide circulation. To how many it was made by God's Spirit a messenger of peace and salvation, His day shall declare; but even had it produced no effect, save in those cases which became personally known to its author, the result would have been richly ample.' This memoir added to the revival that was going on, further stirring the population.
At the end of 1829, Scott came up to Scotland and spoke for Campbell at Rhu and also at Port Glasgow, speaking for the first time on the Gifts of the Spirit being available for today. 'Religion had at this crisis taken a hold upon the entire mind of the population, which it very seldom possesses. It was not only the inspiration of their hearts but the subject of their thoughts, discussions, and conversations. ’They seem not only to have been stimulated in personal piety but occupied to an almost unprecedented degree with those spiritual concerns which are so generally kept altogether apart from the common tide of life. On such a state of mind Mr Scott’s pregnant suggestion fell with the force that might have been expected from it. That which to the higher intelligence was a matter of theoretical belief became in other hands an active principle, wildly productive, and big with results unpremeditated and unforeseen.' ('The Life of Edward Irving.' Volume 2, page 107, by Mrs Oliphant).
Isabella had a sister called Mary, who developed the same disease as her sister (large abscesses on the lungs) early in 1830. Like her sister she was beautiful and she spent a lot of time seeking God. She became locally famous from the selling of the memoir about her sister and she had many visitors to Fernicarry. Mary had a great desire to become a missionary, she had had a fiance who died, with whom she was going to go abroad as a missionary.
Mary had heard Irving speaking about healing and she had heard Scott teaching on the Gifts of the Spirit late in 1829 when he was visiting his father's manse in Greenock. One Sunday in March Mary was suddenly filled with Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for about an hour. 'The handmaiden of the Lord, of whom he made the choice on that night (a Sunday evening at the end of March), to manifest forth in her His glory, had been long afflicted with a disease which the medical men pronounced to be a decline, and that it would soon bring her to her grave, whither her sister had been hurried by the same malady some months before. Yet while all around her were anticipating her dissolution, she was in the strength of faith meditating missionary labours among the heathen; and this night she was to receive the preparation of the Spirit; the preparation of the body she received not till some days after. It was on the Lord’s day; and one of her sisters, along with a female friend, who had come to the house for that end, had been spending the whole day in humiliation, and fasting, and prayer before God, with a special respect to the restoration of the gifts. They had come up in the evening to the sick- chamber of their sister, who was laid on a sofa, and along with one or two others of the household, they were engaged in prayer together. When in the midst of their devotion, the Holy Ghost came with mighty power upon the sick woman as she lay in her weakness and constrained her to speak at great length, and with superhuman strength, in an unknown tongue, to the astonishment of all who heard, and to her own great edification and enjoyment in God. She has told me that this first seizure of the Spirit was the strongest she ever had; and that it was in some degree necessary it should have been so, otherwise she would not have dared to give way to it.' ('The Life of Edward Irving.' Volume 2, page 129, by Mrs Oliphant). There were several people present and they tried to discern which earthly language she was speaking, not realising that she spoke a heavenly language. This was the beginning of the first move of God that released the gift of tongues in the United Kingdom.
The story now shifts to Port Glasgow where there were five Macdonald siblings living together. The Macdonald brothers came to Jesus in 1828 and they started prayer meetings for the state of the Church and the world that were held two or three times a week. Their local minister spoke against them but they continued praying for revival. Having heard Scott preach they were praying for and expecting the restoration of Spiritual Gifts.
One of the three sisters, Margaret, 'for several days had been so unusually ill, that I quite thought her dying, and, on appealing to the doctor, he held out no hope of her recovery, unless she were able to go through a course of powerful medicine, which he acknowledged to be, in her then case, impossible. Mrs -- and myself had been sitting quietly at the bedside when the power of the Spirit came upon her. She said, "There will be a mighty baptism of the Spirit this day" and then broke forth in a most marvellous setting forth of the wonderful works of God; and, as if her own weakness had been altogether lost in the strength of the Holy Ghost, continued, with little or no intermission, for two or three hours in mingled praise, prayer, and exhortation. " At dinner-time, James and George (brothers) came home, as usual, whom she then addressed at great length, concluding with a solemn prayer for James, that he might at that time be endowed with the power of the Holy Ghost. Almost instantly James calmly said, "I have got it." He walked to the window and stood silent for a minute or two. I looked at him, and almost trembled, there was such a change upon his whole countenance. He then, with a step and manner of the most indescribable majesty, walked up to Margaret's bed-side, and addressed her in those words of the twentieth Psalm, "Arise, and stand upright." He repeated the words, took her by the hand, and she arose when we all quietly sat down and had our dinner. After it, my brothers went to the building-yard, as usual, where James wrote over to Miss Campbell, commanding her in the name of the Lord to arise. The next morning, after breakfast, James said, "I am going down to the quay, to see if Miss Campbell is come across the water" at which we expressed our surprise, as he had said nothing to us of having written to her.'
'On Wednesday I (Mary Campbell) did not feel quite so languid but was suffering some pain from breathing and palpitation of my heart. Two individuals who saw me about four hours before my recovery said that I would never be strong — that I was not to expect a miracle to be wrought upon me. It was not long after until I received dear brother James McDonald's letter, giving - an account of his sister being raised up, and commanding me to rise and walk. I had scarcely read the first page when I became quite overpowered and laid it aside for a few minutes, but I had no rest in my mind until I took it up again and began to read. As I read, every word came home with power, and when I came to the command to arise, it came home with a power which no words can describe; it was felt to be indeed the voice of Christ; it was such a voice as could not be resisted. A mighty power was instantaneously exerted upon me: I felt as if I had been lifted from off the earth, and all my diseases were taken from off me at the voice of Christ. I was verily made in a moment to stand upon my feet, leap and walk, sing and rejoice." (these last two paragraphs came from 'Memoirs of James and George Macdonald of Port Glasgow' by Robert Norton)
Mary then crossed the water and met an expectant James who was waiting at the dock.
'After her restoration to health, Mary Campbell went to Helensburgh, where, in the summer of 1830, meetings were constantly held, amid much wonder and excitement, in which persons who were believed, and probably believed themselves to be, under the influence of the Spirit, spoke in tongues, prophesied, interpreted, &c. To these meetings, envoys came from Edinburgh and London, who, returning to their respective congregations inaugurated similar scenes in both these cities.' At the same time James and Geroge Macdonald held daily meetings in Port Glasgow.
One of the Macdonald sisters wrote a letter on 18th May 1830. 'What wonderful things have taken place among us since I last wrote... I have thought of writing to you every day for some time, but since --- was raised and the gift of tongues given the house has been filled every day from all parts of England, Scotland and Ireland; some of them are people enquiring what must they do to be saved, but the greater part are Christians come to glorify God by witnessing what great things God is doing amongst us, and there are a few who have come to dispute and deny the gifts... One night at a prayer-meeting two persons were brought to know the Lord and are going on making progress in the life of God. Last Wednesday the gift of tongues was given to Miss--- and on Friday to our servant.' ('Memoirs of James and George Macdonald of Port Glasgow' by Robert Norton)
Meanwhile, the annual conferences were continuing at Albury and the news of the revival going on in Scotland came to the group which seemed to possibly an answer to their prayers as they heard that speaking in tongues, healing and prophecy were being experienced there. At the final conference in July they decided to send six people to check it out to see if it was indeed a work of God.
One of their number, John Cardale, wrote in November 1830 in a Journal owned by the Albury Circle, a first-hand account of the meetings while visiting the Macdonalds.'
'Dear sir,—You have requested me to state some particulars of what passed under the observation of my five fellow-travellers and myself during our recent stay at Port-Glasgow. I do not hesitate to comply; earnestly praying that the mere relations of facts may be made instrumental to the reception and understanding of the scriptural doctrine of the Holy Spirit, both in his power and in his love (for the Spirit is One), without which the manifestations, which we witnessed, of his gifts, will be but as an idle tale.
We spent three weeks, arriving in the latter end of August, in Port Glasgow and the neighbourhood, and attended regularly while there at the meetings; which meetings were held every evening, and occasionally in the morning. The history of one of these meetings is the history of all: I may probably as well relate what took place at the first which we attended. The mode of proceeding is for each person who takes a part first to read a Psalm in metre, which is sung by the meeting; then a chapter from the Bible and he then prays. On this occasion, after two other gentlemen, James Macdonald read and prayed. His prayer was most remarkable. The sympathizing with the mind of our Saviour; interceding for a world which tramples on his blood and rejects his mercy, and for the church which grieves the Holy Ghost; the humiliation for sin, and the aspirations after holiness, were totally different from anything I had ever before heard. He then, in the course of prayer, and while engaged in intercession for others, began speaking in an unknown tongue; and after speaking for some time he sung, or rather chaunted, in the same tongue. He then rose, and we all rose with him; and, in a very loud voice and with great solemnity, he addressed us in the same tongue for a considerable time: he then, with the same loudness of voice and manner, addressed us in English, calling on us to prepare for trial, for we had great trials to go through for the testimony of Jesus; to crucify the flesh; to lay aside every weight; to put far from us our fleshly wisdom, power, and strength; and to stay us in our God. After he had concluded, a short pause ensued when suddenly the woman-servant of the Macdonald's arose and spoke (for a space of, probably, ten minutes) in an unknown tongue, and then in English: the latter was entirely from Scripture, consisting of passages from different parts, and connected together in the most remarkable manner. The meeting concluded with a psalm, a chapter, and prayer from another gentleman. Immediately on conclusion, Mrs. ——, one of the ladies who had received the Spirit, but had not received the gift of tongues (she received the gift while we were in the country) arose, went out of the room and began speaking in a loud voice of the coming judgments. After she had spoken about five minutes, Mr Macdonald commenced also speaking, and Mrs. —— instantly ceased speaking. It is impossible to describe the solemnity and grandeur, both of words and manner, in which she gave testimony to the judgments coming on the earth; but also directed the church to the coming of the Lord as her hope of deliverance. When she had concluded, we left the house.
Although unnecessary to give you a detailed account of succeeding meetings, I will, with your permission, add a few remarks, in the course of which I shall be enabled to mention various occurrences of which we were witnesses.
The prayer-meetings are strictly private meetings and for prayer. The rules they lay down for themselves do not allow of exposition, but simply the perusal of Scripture. During our stay, four individuals received the gift of tongues; of these, two, Mrs. —— and Mr Macdonald, had repeatedly spoken in the Spirit previously to their receiving the gift of tongues.
The tongues spoken by all the several persons, in number nine, who had received the gift, are perfectly distinct in themselves and from each other. James Macdonald speaks two tongues, both easily discernible from each other. I easily perceived when he was speaking in the one, and when in the other tongue. James Macdonald exercises his gift more frequently than any of the others; and I have heard him speak for twenty minutes together, with all the energy of voice and action of an orator addressing an audience. The language which he then, and indeed generally, uttered, is very full and harmonious, containing many Greek and Latin radicals, and with inflections also much resembling those of the Greek language. I also frequently noticed that he employed the same radical with different inflections; but I do not remember to have noticed his employing two words together, both of which, as to root and inflection, I could pronounce to belong to any language with which I am acquainted. George Macdonald's tongue is harsher in its syllables, but more grand in general expression. The only time I ever had a serious doubt whether the unknown sounds which I heard on these occasions were parts of a language, was when the Macdonald's servant spoke during the first evening. When she spoke on subsequent occasions, it was invariably in one tongue, which was not only perfectly distinct from the sounds she uttered at the first meeting but was satisfactorily established, to my conviction, to be a language.' (these last five paragraphs are from, 'The Morning Watch Journal, volume 2, pages 869-71)
I am not sure how long the revival lasts in Scotland; somewhere it mentioned three years, but I have not seen any confirmation. It does go down to Edward Irving's church in London (more later), but it is at this time (the end of 1830) that the opposition of the enemy really manifests.
Obviously, something so new would bring opposition and so it did. The attack was in two directions, against the ministers who preached that salvation was available for all and against the idea that people could speak in tongues or be healed. The most obvious person to attack was Mary Campbell. As the first person to receive tongues and the second to be healed in this move of God; if you could discredit her, you could argue against the whole movement. Unfortunately, Mary had weaknesses that made her an easy mark. Most of the criticism against her came from her own pastor, Robert Story. In the biography by his son, Story suggests that Mary's head was turned by all the attention she received after the death of her sister. He points out that she was very selfish, telling the story of how despite her brother dying upstairs, she continued to sing hymns and pray loudly with friends downstairs, making so much noise that her brother could not sleep. She later married and went down south to be with Irving for a time and on one of her trips back to Scotland she seems to care little for her poor family while dressing in silks herself. Story met her and wrote a long letter to her, pointing out where she was going wrong and urging her to get back on the right path. Mary had told him that the Lord wanted her to be a missionary but now she showed no inclination of doing so. Story also writes that Mary admitted to him that some of the prophecies she uttered were from her own imagination. I want to be generous towards her here because people in those days must have wondered what was going on if a prophecy they spoke was not fulfilled. They did not have the experience we have these days, knowing that we prophesy in part and that the timing of God is different from ours.
Once her own minister was known to question what happened to Mary, it was easy for others to do the same. Her healing and Margaret's were easily discarded by some by saying that they were on the mend anyway. I think it unfair to discard what happened to Mary. She may have not had a perfect character and led away by the world but I do not think that diminishes what she experienced which was witnessed by several people.
What happened at the Macdonalds was less easy to dismiss. From what I have read the Macdonalds were held in high esteem throughout the area.
The Church of Scotland did the enemy's work quite well moving against the ministers involved. In 1831 the General Assembly found J M Campbell guilty of teaching heretical doctrines and deprived him of his living. His heresy was saying that salvation was available to all. Robert Story very nearly received the same fate as his friend. He defended Campbell but after the judgement of the General Assembly the issue died down. On 27 May 1831 A J Scott was charged with heresy for the same reason before the presbytery of Paisley, and deprived of his licence to preach, a sentence which was later confirmed by the General Assembly. As for Edward Irving, the London Presbytery found him guilty of heresy in November 1830. In April 1832 he was thrown out of the Nationa Scotch Church for allowing laity to lead parts of the service. In March 1833, the Church of Scotland in Irving’s hometown of Annan charged him with heresy regarding Irving’s doctrine of the “sinfulness of our Lord’s human nature.” He was inevitably found guilty. So, all those who were telling truth about the atonement were silenced by the Church of Scotland.
As for the main people involved with tongues, prophecy etc in Scotland, the enemy chose a different way to silence them. I have already described how Mary Campbell fell back towards the world and she died young in 1839. Margaret Macdonald died in 1840 at the age of just 25. Her brothers, James and George both died in 1835 from tuberculosis.
Some visitors to the revival thought that it was a genuine move of God, but many thought it was demonic. It is understandable that there was such opposition because, as I have already mentioned, they had nothing to compare with. We can now look back at what happened with much more knowledge and experience than they did in 1830 and for various reasons I am certain this was a powerful move of God.
So, that was the end of the outpouring of revival and the gifts of the Spirit in Scotland until 1906 and the beginning of the Pentecostal movement that began in Azusa Street, Los Angeles.
(All the quotes above that are not attributed, all come from, 'Memoir of the life of Rev Robert Story,' by his son in 1862)
Finally, we turn to London to see what happened there.
Edward Irving was expectant of the Spiritual Gifts breaking out in his church. After the six returned from Scotland prayer groups were started in various homes to pray for an outpouring of Holy Spirit. Irving began a 6.30 am prayer-meeting in the spring of 1831 where up to a thousand people attended. On April 30th Miss Cardale spoke in tongues and prophesied in a private meeting; the first such occurrence in London. Others started to speak in tongues as well, but the church's board members generally opposed the manifestation of the Gifts and did not want them happening inside the official church meeting. Unfortunately, those who were using tongues wanted them in the Sunday meeting, so Irving had a problem.
'It was not until the end of October did the new wonder manifest itself publicly. In the interval, notwithstanding his eagerness and strong prepossession in favour of these miraculous pretensions, Irving took the part of an investigator, and, according to his own conviction, examined closely and severely into the wonderful phenomena now presented before him.'
In the end the decision was taken out of Irving's hands. A Mr Pilkington testified to what happened in the Sunday service. '...and was, as usual, much gratified and comforted by Mr Irving’s lectures and prayers; but I was very unexpectedly interrupted by the well-known voice of one of the sisters, who, finding she was unable to restrain herself, and respecting the regulation of the Church, rushed into the vestry, and gave vent to utterance; whilst another, as I understood, from the same impulse, ran down the side aisle, and out of the church, through the principal door. The sudden, doleful, and unintelligible sounds, being heard by all the congregation produced the utmost confusion; the act of standing up, the exertion to hear, see, and understand, by each and every one of perhaps 1000 or 2000 persons, created a noise which may be easily conceived. Mr Irving begged for attention, and when order was restored, he explained the occurrence, which he said was not new, except in the congregation, where he had been for some time considering the propriety of introducing it; but though satisfied of the correctness of such a measure, he was afraid of dispersing the flock; nevertheless, as it was now brought forward by God’s will, he felt it his duty to submit. He then said he would change the discourse intended for the day, and expound the 14th chapter of Corinthians, in order to elucidate what had just happened. The sister was now returning from the vestry to her seat, and Mr Irving, observing her from the pulpit, said, in an affectionate tone, "Console yourself, sister! console yourself!" He then proceeded with his discourse.'
At the evening service, Irving announced that in future he would allow tongues and prophecies in the meetings and he preached on the Baptism of Holy Spirit at the mid-week meetings. Unfortunately, the board of trustees were against the exercising of these gifts as they thought the service became disorderly. The board brought the issue before the London Presbytery, who, in May 1832 decided Irving was in violation of the order of worship and he was locked out of the church. As a result Irving took nearly all his congregation to a new building in Newman Street, London.
Irving had long believed and preached on the imminent second coming of Christ. He and his congregation were convinced that this was going to happen. In their new independent church they set up a new government based upon Church authority resting on the apostles. In November they appointed John Cardale as the first apostle. They appointed prophets, elders, evangelists and deacons and gave Irving the title of 'angel'. Irving taught on the restoration of the Gifts, the Baptism of Holy Spirit and Healing.
As already mentioned Irving was kicked out of the Church of Scotland in March 1833. After this his influence in his church declined, but sadly he had something more important to worry about, his health. He was showing signs of tuberculosis and he died at the end of 1834.
(The quotations above came from, 'The Life of Edward Irving', Volume 2 by Mrs Oliphants 1862)
Irving wrote several theological papers including the subject of supernatural gifts etc. It is difficult to know if what happened in this revival influenced anything that happened in 1906 with the start of Pentecostalism, but, even though there were 75 years between the two outpourings, I find it unlikely that Irving's works and what happened in the revival would not have been known by the influencers of those days.
In 1832 Henry Drummond formed his own 'church' down at Albury. A few months later one of them spoke in tongues and prophesied. At the end of 1832 Drummond was ordained by John Cardale, who had been one of the Albury Circle, but who now was an apostle and the 'angel' of Irving's Newman Street church. Drummond began speaking in tongues and prophesied and by 1834 the church was 200 strong. Newman Street and Albury were both part of the Catholic Apostolic Church as they called themselves in 1849. Albury became the centre of government for the new organisation. All appointments and major decisions were made through prophecy. Around 1860 there was a split and the group breaking away called themselves the New Apostolic Church. The Catholic Apostolic Church pretty well died out in the 20th century, but the New Apostolic Church grew to around 500,000 by 1970, and then exploded into Africa so there are now around nine million members.
Clearly the Spiritual Gifts were exercised in the Catholic Apostolic Church after Irving's death, but I have not been able to trace them any further. It would be interesting to know if they continued with the Gifts into the twentieth century, therefore being a link to the outbreak of Pentecostalism.
So that concludes the story of what I call the 'Tongues Revival of 1830'. I find it a fascinating tale and we can learn a lot from it going forward.