Revive Us Again Hymn Story and Lyrics

Revive Us Again Hymn Lyrics

William Paton Mackay (1839–1885).

1 We praise thee, O God, for the Son of thy love,
For Jesus who died and is now gone above.

Refrain:
Hallelujah, thine the glory!
Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, thine the glory!
Revive us again.

2 We praise thee, O God, for thy Spirit of light,
Who has shown us our Savior and scattered our night. [Refrain]

3 All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain,
Who has borne all our sins and has cleansed ev’ry stain. [Refrain]

4 Revive us again – fill each heart with thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above. [Refrain]

Revive Us Again Hymn Story


“Revive Us Again” is a hymn written by William Mackay in 1867. William Mackay was a minister in the Presbyterian church in Scotland. Besides being a minister, he was also a trained medical doctor.

During the 1860s there were a lot of hymns that came out of Scotland that continue to bless us to this day and the present hymn is one of those that was composed during that time.

This period followed what has come to be known as the “Third Great Awakening”. This was in reference to the great revival that occurred in Scotland in 1959 – 1860 following the ministry of evangelists Charles Grandson Finney and Edward Payson Hammond.

This hymn was one of the favorites of Ira D Sankey who led the music during Dwight L Moody evangelistic meetings in the 1870s.

It was also a favorite of the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades led by Cliff Barrows. During the crusades when it came to the refrain one side of the audience would sing “hallelujah” and the other side would sing “Thine the glory,” and so forth until you reach the final phrase “Revive us again” which was sung in unison.

This practice followed the ancient practice used during the performance of Hebrew Psalms.

At this moment I would also like to discuss William Mackay’s life before he came back to the Lord. It is when you learn of his life before conversion that you will understand what revival meant to him.

William Mackay was born in a deeply religious family but somehow lost his way when he left home to go and study medicine. Before he left for medical school his mother gave him a bible in which she personally signed his name and a verse of scripture.

Unfortunately, at medical school Mackay lost his way and one sold this bible to fund his drinking habits.

After he left medical school he found a job as a medical doctor.

During this time, a young man who had fallen off a scaffolding was brought to the medical practice for treatment. The young man was so poorly that Mackay’s role was just to relieve his pain while waiting for his demise.

He asked the young man if he relatives around and the young man told him that he had none, but he asked him to send a message to his landlady as he owed her some money and also to bring his book. When Mackay asked for the name of the book the young man said the landlady would know the book.

The landlady came and brought the young man a bible.

Mackay observed as the young man spent most of the time reading the bible and when he could not read anymore as his condition deteriorated, he just placed it on his chest.

Not long after the young man passed away. The nurses who attended to the dead body asked him what they should do with the bible and Mackay told them to give it to him so that he can destroy it.

When the nurses gave him the bible the nurses noticed that after reading a few pages he slammed the bible shut and had a strange look on his face. The nurses asked if he said he was all right but would be in his office if they wanted any help.

Mackay went back to his office, and he opened the bible again and there before him was his mother’s handwriting. It was the same bible that his mother had given him, and he had decided to sell to pay for his beer. He went through it and discovered that the young man had underlined several verses in the bible and that it was worn out.

It was the reading of this bible that was a secret in the young man’s peace during his time in hospital. As he went through the bible, verses he had come to know in his youth came back to him.

With tears in his eyes, Mackay prayed for God to forgive him and to grant him again the joy of salvation.

Mackay wrote this hymn, Revive Us Again, a few years later after this experience.

William Paton Mackay - Revive us again hymn writer
William Paton Mackay

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Revive Us Again Hymn YouTube Video

Below is a video featuring this hymn, “Revive Us Again” by the Gaither Band.

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