ANDREW STROM WRITES: Before we get to the amazing piece written by Finney, I just want to thank all of you who have been praying for us. We are now safe in Kansas City and running this List from the USA. Our NZ house was rented out literally the day before we left - praise God! And we arrived here to find that people had been filling our new house with free furniture. Even yesterday someone gave us three brand-new dressers and more. We cannot believe how God has been blessing this move to America. Two nights ago I preached here for the first time, and it felt like God may already be on the move. Lately I have been working on a book that modernizes Charles Finney's writings about his most powerful Revivals. It has been such a joy to work on. The book is absolutely loaded with John-the-Baptist type preaching and agonizing prayer - that produced the most extraordinary results. I have never heard of such powerful Revivals - and every one of them is true and documented. I am hoping to have the book finished within two weeks. Below is just one example of the kind of thing that happened in his ministry all the time: ***************** "Revival in Sodom" -by Charles Finney. An aged man came to me and asked if I would go and preach in a schoolhouse in his neighborhood, saying that they had never had any services there. He wished me to come as soon as I could. I appointed the next day, Monday, at five o'clock in the afternoon. At the appointed hour I found the schoolhouse full, and I could only get a standing-place near the open door. I read a hymn, and I cannot call it singing, for they seemed never to have had any church music in that place. However the people pretended to sing. But it amounted to this: each one bawled in his own way. My ears had been cultivated by teaching church music, and their horrible discord distressed me so much that, at first, I thought I must go out. I finally put both hands over my ears, and held them with my full strength. But this did not shut out the discords. I stood it, however, until they were through; and then I cast myself down on my knees, almost in a state of desperation, and began to pray. The Lord opened the windows of heaven, and the spirit of prayer was poured out, and I let my whole heart out in prayer. I had taken no thought with regard to a text upon which to preach. But as soon as I had finished praying I arose from my knees and said: "Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city." I told them I did not recall where that text was, but I told them very nearly where they would find it, and then went on to explain it. I told them how exceedingly evil Sodom became, and what abominable practices they fell into. I told them that the Lord decided to destroy Sodom, and visited Abraham and informed him what He was about to do; God promised him that if He found ten righteous people in the city He would spare it. But it was found that there was only one righteous person there, and that was Lot. And the angels said to Lot, "Whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place... because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it." While I was relating these facts I observed the people looking as if they were angry. Many of the men were in their shirt sleeves; and they looked at each other and at me, as if they were ready to fall upon me and chastise me on the spot. I saw their strange and unaccountable looks, and could not understand what I was saying that had offended them. However it seemed to me that their anger rose higher and higher as I continued the narrative. As soon as I had finished, I turned to them and said that I understood they had never had a religious meeting in that place, and therefore I was compelled to take it for granted that they were an ungodly people. I pressed that home upon them with more and more energy, with my heart full almost to bursting. I had not spoken to them in this strain of direct application for more than a quarter of an hour, when all at once an awful solemnity seemed to settle down upon them. The congregation began to fall from their seats in every direction and cry for mercy. If I had had a sword in each hand, I could not have cut them off their seats as fast as they fell. Indeed nearly the whole congregation were either on their knees or prostrate in less than two minutes from this first shock that fell upon them. Everyone who was able to speak at all, prayed for himself. Of course I was obliged to stop preaching; for they no longer paid any attention. I saw the old man who had invited me there to preach, sitting about in the middle of the house, and looking around with utter amazement. I raised my voice almost to a scream to make him hear, and pointing to him said, "Can't you pray?" He instantly fell upon his knees, and with a stentorian voice poured himself out to God; but he did not at all get the attention of the people. I then spoke as loud as I could, and tried to make them listen. I said, "You are not in hell yet; Now let me direct you to Christ." For a few moments I tried to hold forth the Gospel to them, but scarcely any of them paid any attention. My heart was so overflowing with joy at such a scene that I could hardly contain myself. It was with much difficulty that I refrained from shouting and giving glory to God. As soon as I could sufficiently control my feelings, I turned to a young man who was close to me and was engaged in praying for himself, laid my hand on his shoulder to get his attention, and preached in his ear Jesus. As soon as I got his attention to the cross of Christ, he believed, was calm and quiet for a minute or two, and then broke out in praying for the others. I then turned to another, and took the same course with him, with the same result; and then another, and another. In this way I kept on, until I found the time had arrived when I must leave them, and go and fulfill an appointment in the village. I told them this, and asked the old man who had invited me there to remain and take charge of the meeting, while I went to my appointment. He did so. But there was too much interest, and there were too many wounded souls, to dismiss the meeting; and so it was held all night. In the morning there were still those there that could not get away; and they were carried to a private house in the neighborhood, to make room for the school. In the afternoon they sent for me to come down there, as they could not yet break up the meeting. When I went down the second time, I got an explanation of the anger of the congregation during my introduction the day before. I learned that the place was called Sodom, which I did not know; and that there was but one pious man in the place, and they called him Lot. This was the old man that invited me there. The people supposed that I had chosen my subject and preached to them in that manner because they were so wicked as to be called Sodom. This was a striking coincidence, but so far as I was concerned it was altogether accidental. Although revival came upon them so suddenly, and was of such a powerful type, the converts were sound, and the work permanent and genuine. I never heard of any disastrous reaction as having taken place.