Here the donkey stopped, and nothing the man could do could make it move a foot farther. In despair the man alighted. Now it happened that some of the Christians who had attended the Liaoyang meetings were holding a service in the church. The gambler, standing non-plussed outside the door, heard the sound of singing. His curiosity aroused, he decided to enter and see what it was all about.
The power of God was present there that day. He heard this one, in tears, confessing his sins, and that one, with radiant face, telling of the joy and peace that had come into his life. Soon a powerful conviction came over the man. He stood up and confessed his sins and told how he had been led to the meeting. I thought I had better tell you, right at the beginning, that you need not expect similar results here.
Even our leaders won't pray unless you ask them to individually. And as for women praying -- that's quite unheard of! The following morning, after I had given my address, I said to the people: "Please let's not have any of your ordinary kind of praying. If there are any prayers which you've got off by heart and which you've used for years, just lay them aside. We haven't any time for them.
But if the Spirit of God so moves you that you feel you simply must give utterance to what is in your heart, then do not hesitate. We have time for that kind of praying. Now, the meeting is open for prayer. The missionaries were astounded. They confessed they had never seen anything like it. After the evening address, that same day, over twenty men and women followed one another in prayer. Next day even the schoolboys and schoolgirls were taking part.
Holly Goforth (Book One: The Stalking)
On the third day the eagerness to pray was so strong that no one could get started unless he began his prayer before the one preceding him had said "Amen. Won't you tell them to hold back for a little while and give the women a chance? Presently, however, a woman did get started, and for fifteen minutes or so the men had to hold their peace. After one such meeting a visiting missionary was heard to remark, "I've never heard such praying as that before.
Why, it just seemed as if it had suddenly dawned upon those people that a way of access had been opened to the Throne of Grace, and they were eager to get in all their confessions and petitions before the day was closed. After the evening meeting, on the third day, a few of us missionaries were conversing together.
So far all the praying has been done by the ordinary church members. Goforth came the leaders didn't hold back at all.
Why, then, should they be so silent now? It is sin that makes them dumb. Goforth," she said, "you surely don't expect us to believe that there are such sinners among our leaders as there were at Mukden and Liaoyang. Why, we would be ashamed of ourselves, if there were. On the fourth day we began the afternoon meeting about four o'clock. Following my address the same deep intensity in prayer became evident. After prayer had continued for about half an hour a strange thing happened.
More than half the congregation went down on their knees. Strange, I say, because it was a Presbyterian Church, and the people had always been accustomed to stand while praying. Then an elder stood up and said to another elder, who was seated on the platform: "In the session meetings it was always my bad temper that was the cause of trouble.
Please forgive me. I'm just as much at fault as you are. It's you who should forgive me. A few minutes of silence followed, and then a man rose from his knees and in a clear voice, though he was bordering on tears, began to pray. For several days I had been taking note of the man, although I did not know who he was.
He had a strong, intelligent face, upon which anxiety was plainly written. When I came to these meetings I determined that, come what would, I would keep my sins covered up. I knew that if I confessed my sins it would bring disgrace not only upon myself but upon my family and my church. But I can't keep it hidden any longer.
I have committed adultery. But that is not all. My plain duty was to report the affair to the missionary, but the deacon bought me a fur garment, and I accepted it and it sealed my lips. But I can't wear it any longer.
Then he continued to pray with glowing intensity until the whole audience was swept as by fire. Even the smallest children began to cry out for mercy. The meeting did not break up until ten o'clock that night, having lasted six full hours. At this meeting there was an unusually large number of outsiders, their curiosity doubtless having been aroused by the strange rumours that were current throughout the district. As their numbers kept increasing, Mr.
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H-became alarmed and herded them together near the door, so that if they got obstreperous he could rush them out. But his fears were groundless, for no sooner had the movement begun among the Christians than they, too, came under conviction, got down on their knees and began crying for mercy. Another remarkable thing about the movement on that memorable evening was the way in which conviction came over certain Christians who, for some reason or other, were not able to attend the meeting. Among these was a prominent member of the session. About the time when the movement in the church was at its height, this elder began to suffer intense pain, so much so, in fact, that he became convinced that he was going to die.
As he lay on his bed, writhing in his agony, his deadened conscience was stirred, and he was reminded of the time when he had been overseeing the building of the street chapel. There were so many pieces of timber and so much brick and other material which be had coveted and which be had used in the construction of his own house. Not being able to write himself, the wretched man had his son make a list of the things which he had stolen, and be made the young man promise that he would read the confession aloud to the congregation on the following day.
Next morning, however, the elder was better. Courageously he went himself and gave his confession, creating a deep impression upon the whole Church. After the meetings, bands of revived Christians toured the surrounding country. When the bands returned to the city this particular place was made the occasion for special prayer.
In a village, not far from Kwangning, there was a young fellow who enjoyed a peculiarly notorious reputation. His father was a Christian, which fact served but to emphasise the scandal of his own life. Not to mention his other nefarious activities, he was associated with a company of bandits who made of his home a sort of headquarters where plans could be discussed and loot divided. Rumors of this finally reached the ears of the local mandarin, who had the young fellow seized and put under torture in order to extract a confession from him.
Many forms of torture were resorted to, but to no avail. He would reveal nothing. At last, in despair, the mandarin invited one of the missionaries to try and see what he could do.taylor.evolt.org/map13.php
The missionary pleaded and argued with the man, but still he refused to open his month. His courage, in the face of what he suffered at the hands of the authorities, was remarkable. You've got a spite against me because my father is a Christian. That's your only excuse for arresting me. So impressed was the mandarin by the bold stand taken by the young fellow that he began to doubt whether after all he was really guilty.