This story tells of the frigid church conditions prior to revival, when there was a dire shortage of pastors and teachers, and semi-literate Afrikaners clung to their home-spun religion based on the Old Covenant. It describes how God prepared the ground by setting the precursors in place and raising up key leaders to help promote and direct the revival. They were Andrew Murray (Worcester & Wellington), Nicolaas Hofmeyr (Calvinia & Stellenbosch) and Gottlieb van der Lingen (Paarl).
While the tide of the Holy Spirit swelled gently in some towns, in others – like Worcester – it broke without warning. It swept through vast areas of farmland throughout the Cape and beyond, convicting Afrikaners, Coloureds and Africans. Overnight, awakened Christians became prayer warriors and mission enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, overzealousness led to disagreements regarding the boycott of Sunday trains, while a backlash from liberal pastors led to Andrew Murray having to defend the Dutch Reformed Church in legal battles in the Cape High Court and Privy Council in London.
Our story, concludes in 1875 with the victory of the Church over liberal influences, the establishment of educational centres in Stellenbosch and Wellington, and the vision for a Bible translation in Afrikaans emanating from Paarl.