The Hen-Egg Revival and Peter’s Wife’s Mother

Posted by tcmgo1 on Jun 5th, 2010

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would like to get back to one of the original purposes for this blog, to mine the riches of history and declare the testimonies of those agrarian pioneers that blazed the paths by which our once free and prosperous nation thrived. This also includes truly humorous stories and events, which can help us both to understand and connect with those generations that have preceded us, especially in giving us much needed perspective about ours. Besides, a little merriment can do a lot for a dry spirit, especially in the troubles days we live in. This story is taken from the Centennial History of Missouri, 1821-1921, by Walter Stevens.

Rev. Theodoric Boulware, who became one of the most successful of pioneer Baptist preachers, attributed his own conversion to what was known as “the hen-egg revival” in Tennessee. Some one had taken an egg and inscribed on it, “The day of judgment is close at hand.” The story was given out that the inscription was on the egg when found in the nest. A revivalist produced the egg in the pulpit, read the inscription, and, while he did not claim that there was supernatural agency, he showed the egg and preached powerfully on the doctrine of salvation. Among the many converts was Mr. Boulware who came to Missouri and settled in Callaway. Mr. Boulware often told the story of the “hen-egg revival.” He has his own extraordinary experiences in the pulpit. Once he preached to a Callaway audience from the text, “And Peter’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever.” Among his most attentive listeners was a man who seemed most impressed. Years afterwards, Mr. Boulware preached in the same neighborhood from the same text. He said he was astonished to see the same man in the audience. That man, he said, came to him after the sermon and said: “For the Lord’s sake! Ain’t that old woman dead yet? How long do you think she will live? Poor old critter! What a lot she must have suffered these forty years. I’ll warrant she is needy. Really the people ought to send her something to help her along.”


Now, before you laugh at the absurdity of the hen-egg revival, perhaps we should consider how absurd it is that we highly educated and sophisticated Americans believe strongly in the amazing powers of paper eggs, which millions keep in their nesteggs in the hope that they will someday hatch into even greater riches by the super natural agency of interest.  It appears by the tens of billions of dollars that have been “invested” in paper eggs that Americans everywhere have attended paper-egg revivals throughout the land, believing in the gospel of the usurious, debt-based economics. Perhaps, someday, after we have recovered from the economic devastation that even now is humbling us that future generations of Americans will not be so gullible and will be able to look back and laugh at our absurd ways. —- The Rural Missourian

2 Responses

  1. John W. Suttles Says:

    Ten thousand “Amens” !!
    I am one of thus who saw my “papar egg” go up in smoke in 2008 and am now struggling for exixtence but our Lord is always faithful, even to His foolish children.

  2. Rural Missourian Says:

    John, thanks for dropping in. I am sorry to hear that your nestegg went up in smoke, but perhaps the painful smoke in your eyes will help cement the lesson so that you move in a direction that the Lord will bless. God Bless

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