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Henrik Renqvist

1789-1866. Finnish pastor. While still at school he experienced a personal revival and was greatly influenced by a book on conversion by Arthur Dent, the English Puritan. During Renqvist's hard inner struggles he came into contact with the “Prayer Movement,” and his own conviction became clear. He liked especially the emphasis on “repentance” and “conversion” in the Pietistic movement called the “Prayers.” Another important influence on him was the Scot, John Paterson, who underlined the work of the Bible Society (founded in Britain in 1804). Thereafter Renqvist was especially interested in the printing and spreading of inexpensive Bibles and Christian literature. He started writing and translating Christian books-some sixty titles altogether. In his own religious outlook he was a mystic. He stressed in his books the necessity of spiritual exercise, especially praying on one's knees. He was a pioneer in temperance work and missions in Finland.