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Frontier Revival

The Baptist preacher John Taylor (1752-1835) tells of revival in a frontier outpost in present-day West Virginia in the spring of 1776: "We met about thirty or forty people and began about the time designed. I went forward. There was nothing visible while I was speaking. Redding [another preacher] dwelt on the awful subject of a Judgment to come. The first appearance was a young lady who began to weep and tremble, sitting by her grandmother. The old lady for some time strove to stop her. At length she began to tremble herself, as if the Judge was at the door. From thence the effect spread through the whole house with solemn groans and lamentations; till at length a woman the name of Clark dropt on her knees in the middle of the house with the greatest appearance of agonizing guilt. And perhaps she did not leave that position for the space of three hours. When Redding stopt speaking, the only remedy I had to prevent [my] hallowing [hollering] with all my might was to vent the tender feelings of my heart by exhortations and feeling invitations to those apparently broken-hearted creatures. Whether Mrs. Clark had ever concerned about her soul before, I disremember [forget]; but she obtained deliverance from her guilt before she left her knees.

"We had quite forgotten all the meetings that were ahead of us, and our worship continued perhaps six hours in prayers, praise, and exhortations among the people. I do not recollect that we took any sustenance before we left the place, for the family where the meeting was [conducted] seemed two [too] much affected to think of anything but the salvation of their souls. I solemnly surveyed the house a little before we started, and it is a fact that the floor of it was as wet with the tears of the people as if water had been sprinkled all over it."