Old Time Revivals
Spring brings new hopes and joy to us. I have seen many summers and winters come and go, and this past winter has seemed quite long. It gave us much time to ponder and reminisce.
I've been thinking of the old time revivals. It seems that revivals of today are pretty regular affairs. There was usually one revival a year in the old days. It was held after the farmers had layed by their corn.
We always looked forward to attending. Folks would come for miles around in wagons, buggies and on horseback. A brush arbor would be built by the men a few days before the meeting. Boards, or planks as we called them, would serve as benches. The meetings would sometimes last for two weeks. The preacher would stay around with the folks at night. Services would start in the early evening. A half hour or more would be devoted to singing. Old church songs were sung, some of which had their birth in the Ozarks hills.
We did not have many song books; and to enable large groups to sing without books, we sang simple, easy to follow songs. They were on the order of round singing--Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Christian and sinner--were built into the songs of like wording. Such songs were: "Oh, Father Will You Meet Me?", "I Have a Father In the Promised Land," "It Has Come Down."
The words of the above last named old song echo in my soul today. "The love of God is coming down, Oh, glory hallelujah!" Christians shouted we are gaining ground, and sometimes they added, "The Devil's mad and I am glad. He lost one soul he thought he had." And "The Old Time Religion." Is there any wonder those old time Christians would shout?
There was an "Amen Corner" where the old men would sit and shout, "Amen!" if the preacher stressed some particular theme. There was a mourner's bench where sinners would kneel. Christians knelt with them for prayer.
Today one doesn't hear of a mourner's bench in church. But sometimes I think that if we could return to those old times, this world would be a better place.
Young people were brought up then to go to church and Sunday school. We never heard of juvenile delinquency in those days. Parents usually knew where their children were. We, as children, listened to our parents' advice; we never questioned their judgment of things; we never talked back or sassed them. They demanded respect which they deserved.
There was a curfew when youngsters went out at night. We youngsters had to return home by 10 o'clock. We often wondered why we had to be home so early, but there was a reason which we never questioned.