“Wilt thou not revive us again.”–Psalm 85 :6.
David is asking in this verse for a revival. He distinctly specifies the character: “Wilt thou not revive us.” He wanted a Divine work as opposed to a mere human effort and result. Something not worked up, but sent down.
Several reflections may be drawn from this Scripture.
1. ALL OF US SHOULD BELIEVE IN REVIVALS.
Most of us have been brought to God and into the church through the instrumentality of the revival. Even where this is not the case we have been refreshed, renewed and in various ways benefited by genuine revivals of religion. Some historians say that English society was saved by the Wesleyan Revival of last century.
The Methodist Church certainly ought to believe in them. She was born in one, cradled and rocked in others, and made strong by ten thousand more. Like the animal Daniel saw in his vision she has advanced North, South, East and West just as she has pushed along this special line of spiritual effort and Divine blessing. Nothing can stand before her when putting on the garments of salvation and with revival power in her heart and revival song and sermon on her lips, she turns upon the powers of darkness. Sinners and sinful institutions alike go down before her. Here is her glory and power. Other churches feel that they have other things of which to boast in the shape of rituals, rank, wealth, splendor of showy form and massiveness of Cathedral buildings. These things are their glory, but the glory of Methodism has ever been the revival. If she forfeits that, she has lost her peculiarly distinguishing feature as well as true work and noblest heritage, and becomes poor indeed. Giving up this she will cease to b e blessed in herself and a blessing to others. There are few more painful sights than the spectacle of a Methodist congregation patterning in various ways after some cold, worldly, ritualistic church. It argues the forgetfulness of her origin and training, the ignoring of the secret of her past success, and the laying down of her mighty weapon of glory and victory.
All churches ought to believe in revivals, if they believe in the Bible. There they are mentioned again and again as the result of the people turning to God with repentance, faith and prayer. There were revivals in the time of Moses, David, Jehosaphat, Elijah, John the Baptist and the Disciples of Christ. All of them were remarkable in their wide reaching results and were accredited by the presence and power of God. As for the Saviour, His course all through the entire country was marked by revivals. Women lifted up their voices under his preaching, saying, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breast that gave thee suck.” Unclean spirits cried out under his presence and sermons; defrauders rectified the wrongs of the past; unholy Magdalenes became pure; multitudes hung on his words; many shouted aloud his praises, and many others forsook all and followed him. What was all this but a sweeping revival. Let only a few of these scenes take place in a pastorate and instantly a letter would go forward to the church paper declaring that God had visited his people and a time of refreshing had come.
The spiritual movement of the church reminds one of the flight of a bird. Close scrutiny reveals that the bird does not fly in a straight line where every point is equally distant from the earth; but rises by a rapid movement of the wings to a higher altitude and then slides down a plane of atmosphere. Then it flutters again, rises again, and slides down again as before. The rapid beat of the wings overcomes the law of gravitation. Then as the movement is discontinued the earth asserts its power and brings the bird down. The study of any church will reveal this to be its similar course. It rises into higher experience and holier living through increased observance of the means of grace, which is a flutter of spiritualness. In the force gathered, it not only rises, but rushes forward with accelerated and easily recognized momentum. Then comes after awhile a downward inclination and movement to the world. After this is held another protracted meeting, there follows a revival rise, a rush forward, and another letting down.
Many suppose this is a normal and proper state. But what is right in the bird is not the best flight possible to the church. An annual flutter of the church’s wings in the shape of a revival is a great deal better than no flutter at all. But what the church wants is a continuous flutter. The bird is not going to heaven, but the church is; so let the wings of Zion be constantly in motion. The day is coming when the life and progress of the church shall be marked, not by an undulating course, but by a straight line that does not bend anywhere to the world. Better still, the end of the line that once dropped earthward, will be raised heavenward, and there shall be an increasing force and accumulating life and glory all the while.
In the last days, John says, there shall be seen an angel flying through the midst of the heavens having the everlasting gospel to preach. That angel is the church, for no one but men and women can preach the gospel. Moreover the church will be so full of love that it will look like an angel and so full of desire to reach all men that railroads and steamers will be too slow, and so it will invent swifter modes of travel and appear fairly flying.
The revival should remain in the church. The idea of saving men in July and August and not in the other ten months is simply fearful. A great many sinners die in January. The idea of the church ever letting down its holy life and work of winning souls! There is a bird called the Paradise Bird, that is never known to alight. Shall God’s Church be outstripped by a bird.
The Apostolic Church after the Baptism of the Holy Ghost added daily to their number such as should be saved. It was not an annual, monthly or weekly work with them, but every day! So when the church shall see that the blessing of Pentecost is a distinct work of the Holy Ghost qualifying us for such a life and work, and when it shall be sought as a separate blessing, then shall we enter upon an unbroken revival in the church. Conversions will take place at every service, sanctifications will occur while the preacher presents the doctrine, great rejoicings will fall upon the assembly, and we will enter upon toils and triumphs that some would confine to history and the Bible, but which, thank God, can be seen in these present days.
2. THE SIGNS OF THE ABSENCE OF A REVIVAL.
These are many and unmistakable. They are always the same. In John the Baptist’s time, in Luther’s time, in Wesley’s days, as we look we behold churches grown cold, preaching mechanical and professional, the Bible neglected, the Sabbath desecrated, sin defiant, sinners not sought after, and the houses of worship half empty.
Nor are these all the tokens of spiritual coldness and deadness. Stiffness between the people is a sign. Do we not all know, and have we not all seen how social frigidities and class petrifications melt away under the breath and touch of the Holy Ghost! The Apennines sink out of sight between France and Spain and the Atlantic dries up between Europe and America when Christ descends and fills all hearts.
Lack of spontaneous singing is a sign. A revived congregation cannot keep silent, they must sing and will sing. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of song and the inspirer of praises; so when He is present He makes Himself known in that way through the lips of the people. So set it down as a fact that the absence of spontaneous and general singing declares the presence of spiritual death. The dead sing not. The tongue of a corpse is silent and motionless.
Dressiness is a sign. We are not here advocating a fanatical undress system, but speak of that richness and gaudiness against which the Scripture clearly speaks. A rule is that just as people recede from God do they emphasize dress, and the measure or grade of spiritual condition is clearly revealed externally. Nor is this all, but the farther down we go amid the ranks of the ungodly, the more we are impressed with the increasing stress laid upon dress. It is well known that sparkling ornaments, striking colors, and general gaudiness mark those that are farthest from heaven. While on the street the flashy style shows the abandoned woman, and the showy dress of the sport and gambler is equally significant.
Church entertainments is another sign. When God’s people have to be coaxed by food and amusements to give to His cause, then are they spiritually in a bad way. The church entertainment is a mistake all around. It is a social mistake, for it nearly always produces misunderstandings and ruptures. It is an ecclesiastical mistake, for it brings the church into contempt before the world. It is a financial mistake, for such proceedings dry up the fountain of liberality, and prevent the spontaneous and sacrificing giving that God desires and demands. It is a religious mistake, for it will produce deadness in any church that undertakes them. When a genuine revival comes how these things disappear. Christ in spirit overturns the tables and banishes the merchandise again as He once did in Jerusalem.
Absence of conversions is a final sign of spiritual weakness and death. God says when Zion travails then sons and daughters are born unto God. Travail we know is an agony. It requires this upon the part of the church to bring about the salvation of sinners. In true revivals this is always seen. When a church is without it there may be accessions but no conversions.
Look around and see if this travail or agony of soul is upon the congregations you know. Look at the faces in pulpit, pew and choir. Listen to the people talking on their way home from church. Who is in concern. Look in closets for forms bowed and eyes weeping over men falling into hell. What Nehemiah is there who surveys at night a desolate Jerusalem with tears? What Moses is saying, “Save these people, Lord, or blot my name out of the book”? What Fletcher stains his walls with the breath of prayer, and what Knox falls upon his face with sobs praying, “Give me these souls or I die?”
Cannot anyone see why the altars are not lined with weeping penitents? Why should they be there? What is being done to bring them? What is there in our words and lives and appearance to make men smite their breasts and say, what must we do to be saved?
Are not all these signs of lost or absent power? Something is lacking or something is gone. Samson can shake himself, but he cannot overwhelm the Philistines. Oh, for God’s people to humble themselves, fall on their faces and weep before God! How soon the sound of a going in the trees of life would be heard, and salvation sweep the land like a cyclone. Alas, there are no lack of signs of spiritual coldness. There are too many if anything.
Some one was once looking at a row of small houses on a cold winter day. Every one had snow on the roof but one. It needed no Solomon to give the reason. The snow-roofed houses had no fires burning inside. The exceptional dwelling did, and so the warm atmosphere within had affected even the shingles, and the icy mantle had slipped off. So there is no trouble today to tell what churches are spiritually fireless. Frost in the pulpit, snow in the choir, and icicles in the pew, tell the sad story that the holy fire burns low or has gone out. It is vain to call the congealed condition of things “decency and order” and dignity. God knows better and the world knows better. All can see that the Holy Ghost fire has been quenched. The snow is on the roof. Or to change the figure the sun is down, winter has come, a polar night has settled, the old ship of Zion is caught among the floes, icebergs are grinding all around, and the best hope is for a Relief Expedition in the shape of a revival in order that some may be saved.
3. THE TRUE REVIVAL IS THE SOLUTION OF EVERY CHURCH PROBLEM.
There are problems in the church. No thoughtful person will deny that they are numerous and of grave character. The souls of many of God’s children are burdened with them; the tongues, pens, brains and hearts of scores of the most gifted in Zion are busy in suggesting, devising and executing in order to bring about a happier state of affairs. But the problems seem to defy solution.
One is the social problem. How are we to bring people of different classes together in Christian fellowship? The rich and poor have but one Maker, how are we to get them to believe this and act according to their faith? How are we going to make diverse classes feel they are brethren and melt them with a common love and fire them with a single purpose. Can Christianity accomplish this? If not, then must the gospel be counted another one of the great failures of mighty efforts projected on this line. If the religion of Jesus can do it, and has not yet, then is there some grace or blessing in the Divine system not yet generally known by the followers of Christ.
Then there is the feud problem. We have people in the church is every stage of coolness toward each other from the Temperate through the Frigid Zone up to the North Pole itself where the ice never melts, where everything is frozen solidly through the entire year, and Inaccessibility sways the icicle scepter over the snowy region. How can the people who dwell in these different zones be brought together in kindness and love, and this reproach upon the cause of Christ be taken away? They have been visited, talked to and prayed with. Every new minister tries his hand on them. He sails to the Northern regions where they live, walks over ice fields that are ten, twenty and thirty years old, and searches in vain for the parties who are responsible for this dazzlingly white, shiveringly smooth and cuttingly severe state of things. They of course are never to be found, and finally he is rescued himself, nearly frozen to death, by his pulpit successor.
There is the financial problem. This I find to be general. Preachers, stewards and deacons everywhere are wrestling with it. The church may be small or large, in village or metropolis, it matters not; the same anxious question is before them all: How can we meet one thousand with five hundred, and five thousand with three thousand, and ten thousand with seven thousand? Money seems always to be tight and hard to come at according to the Monetary Boards of Zion. Each new member is taught in a single meeting to carry on his brow the mournful interrogation “How?”, and on the second meeting to say with the drooping mouth “We cannot.” A friend of the writer once labored in a church that was groaning under a fifteen hundred dollar financial problem; and yet there sat before him nine men whose aggregated wealth was over ten millions of dollars. In an official meeting to consider the debt, they were all bowed down in spirit with the question, “How can we raise fifteen hundred dollars?”
There is the missionary problem. How are we going to win the world for Christ? There is and can be no more important question. And yet at the rate we are going how far off does the solution appear to the thoughtful man. Over one hundred millions of heathen children are born every year. How many converts does the church make? What if the heathen children are born faster than the people become Christians!
There is the problem of great evils in the land. I mean the presence of wrong institutions, of demoralizing and corrupting agencies in our midst, the gambling den, saloon, club, and house of shame and death.
There is the empty bench problem. Few churches but have them. Some have more than others. Some have more benches unoccupied than occupied. I have seen twenty filled and forty unfilled. I have seen two filled and sixty without a soul in them. What is the matter? What shall we do with these empty benches? How shall we fill them with men, women and children?
There is the salvation problem. The church was sent out by Christ to be a Saving Institution; not to amuse, entertain, with mongrel features of restaurant and theatre and lyceum. It is to save souls and bring the world to Christ. This is its one business, and the when and how has long ago been told to her by the Saviour Himself. Is it not strange that the church should be sending here and there for men to help us do, or teach us how to do what every Christian congregation in the land ought to know and ought to be doing continually? And yet the problem is before us today, and never has the question gone up more frequently, How shall we get men converted to God and fully saved?
I repeat that there are problems in the church; and I repeat that there is a blessed way of solving them. God has a grace and blessing that if sought and obtained will immediately give the triumphant answer to every one of these questions. The pity is that men will not go to God in this matter, and in the way He lays down; and so time is lost and failure is protracted and perpetuated by the substitution of human wisdom and methods for a Divine plan that has never been known to fail.
Look and see how wise and even good people are trying to meet the troubles I have mentioned.
The social problem is handled by parlor receptions at the pastor’s home or at the church. Looked at from a distance it seems to be a success, but after all is over the various sets and circles retire to their respective zones. It is also afterward remembered that the cordiality and friendliness seen was exchanged between parties already friendly. There were long lines of human icicles that bordered the walls, and great lumps of chilly material that formulated in groups or froze in icebergs of various size. True, some noble spirit who did much to bring about the “Reception” and whose own heart was warm will say it was a glorious occasion; but in after days he will recall that he did all the running. He ran to the congested groups, the groups did not run to him. In fact he ran so much and was so melted himself that he thought everybody else was running and everybody else melted.
The feud problem is undertaken and managed with like success. The offending parties are told their duty, of which they were perfectly aware before. The guilty one is sought after but cannot be found. Both are innocent. Everybody is right. What is wanted is the Searcher of hearts! God coming down in mighty power upon the soul. Then would each one cry out: “I have sinned,” and each one say, “I am the chief of sinners.”
The Christian work problem is likewise undertaken. Each preacher thinks he has the secret. The pet scheme is to form new bands or start some fresh societies. Whenever a preacher fails to obtain a revival, he organizes a society of some kind. If his ministry is not spiritual or remarkable in winning souls to God, he will either form a Chautauqua Circle in his church or create a Chautauqua Institute in the neighborhood. Especially does the organizing mania possess him. It looks like life, real life had entered into the inactive body, especially during the election of the President, secretary and Treasurer. But the movement was not born of real life, it was simply an electric shock that moved the limbs and raised the eyelids for a second, and all was still again. It was a rocking chair and not a steam-car movement. The delusion with some is that organization produces life, when nature and grace both alike teach that life produces organization.
The financial problem is grappled with. And this is the way it is handled. Laymen are sought after who understand finance. Merchants, lawyers and bankers are coveted for the church and when secured are promptly put on the official board. Preachers who know how to lift a collection are sought after far and wide, for pastors. Especially the minister who knows how to get money out of outsiders is felt to be beyond price. The brother who has a new and good method for raising church funds is like an angel from the skies. The man who invented the weekly envelope system is worthy of being canonized. And yet in spite of all these bankers, lawyers, preachers and inventive geniuses with cards and envelopes, the problem remains unsolved. The bankers themselves give it up.
The missionary problem is grasped. Two or three new secretaries are thrown into the field, and the gaze of the people directed in horizontal lines that end in man instead of the vertical that lifts the eye to God. Little savings banks are distributed among the people. Surely this device will succeed, especially if we write the words China or Brazil on the little clay or iron toy. Suddenly some one suggests that the women and children be organized into missionary bands and societies. All the men are enthused with the idea. The bankers and merchants think it is the very thing. Certainly! let the women and children help the struggling, suffering men.
Another cry is made and this time we are told that the hens of the barnyard ought to be a mighty factor in settling the missionary question. At once “missionary hens” abound. The women and children are forgotten for a few moments while the church turns a distracted gaze at the motherly old hens clucking over the land. If ever hens had a burden upon them, and a great moral obligation to lay eggs rapidly, it was when the church to which we belong, representing hundreds of millions of dollars, fell on its knees so to speak before those aforesaid hens and turning its agonized eyes upon them, said, “Lay us eggs for the missionary cause or we are undone.”
The empty bench problem is taken in hand. This is variously worked at through the medium of stately edifices, carpeted aisles, cushioned seats, paid choirs, and talented, drawing preachers.
The salvation problem is undertaken. How shall souls be saved? At first it was thought to be difficult, but there were some who assured the church that the whole matter was very easy, that it consisted simply in raising the right hand. Numbers were thus saved. Truly it appeared easy and was all very delightful and astonishing; but when it was noticed that there was no change in the face at the time and none in the life afterward, some doubted this plan still there were other methods. One consisted in standing on the feet until the heads were counted. Another was going into a room to be talked and prayed with. Many went into the room to see what was going on, and some who were conversed with had been Christians for forty years. Yet they were all counted as new converts by the manipulator of the meeting. If these methods fail, then the next effort is to get them to join the church. By and by the preacher and people become accustomed to and contented with this arrangement. Listen to the reports made at Conference where the number of accessions and amount of money collected is emphasized and rung out, and scarcely anything said about conversions.
Evidently, none of these things spoken of are able to meet the difficulties that exist in the church. Constant failure through the centuries ought to convince the most skeptical.
Something else is needed: And that something is the subject of this discourse. The Revival as taught in the Gospel and epistles, and as seen in the second chapter of Acts, is the true solution of every problem in the church. We want the abiding presence of Christ, the descending sweep of the Holy Ghost, the overwhelming power of the Triune God. Let such a revival come and every question will be answered and every problem immediately solved.
There will be no trouble to bring the people together. There will scarcely be any necessity for introductions, and no need to beg people to visit other people. They will come together with a rush, drawn by the tremendous attractive power of Jesus Christ, suddenly implanted or set up in each.
The individual family and church feuds will end as suddenly as they began. Faster than the deer casts his antlers, the snake his skin, or the warm roof slips off the snow, will all these bickerings and animosities disappear. They will feel as did a certain man when suddenly filled with all the fulness of God–” O for an enemy in order to forgive him and love him.”
If you have quarrels in your churches, aim at once for a revival. Nothing else will destroy them. I once saw five different family feuds settled in as many minutes when the Holy Ghost had fallen in power on a morning service.
There will be no trouble in raising money. When the disciples had a genuine revival the Gospel says they sold all they had and no one was allowed to suffer. The various denominations have drifted so far from that apostolic spirit that they seem unable to appreciate that beautiful act. Men call the sacrifices of love of that day socialism and fanaticism. But is it not wonderful how the Holy Ghost fell on those so-called socialists and fanatics. Chrysostom says that the church at Antioch supported fifteen thousand dependent persons! While some congregations today groan if they have eight or ten needy individuals on their list. I remember once a board of stewards who for years grumblingly allowed four dollars a month to a poor widow. The cause of this difference seen here was that the churches in Jerusalem and Antioch had a revival, the very thing we need all over the land today. When that revival comes the financial problem will be solved, and not till then.
The missionary money question will be settled when the Pentecost Revival comes. Before it arrives what begging and arguing, what demonstrating and what running around is required to secure some contemptible amount. Who is not familiar with the humiliating and painful spectacle of one man standing in the altar facing a crowd, while the oft-repeated and unreplied to call “Who will give five dollars,” falls upon the ear with the regularity and monotonousness of the voice of an auctioneer.
Let the true revival come and such a scene as this will take place. A quiet statement by the preacher that so much money is needed for the Lord, a simple pointing to the altar table near by, a calm invitation to come–and then lines of people will move down upon the table and streams of money will be heard pouring on its surface. I have repeatedly seen this take place. At one time there had been a revival. Money was called for on church questions, and it rained, rattled and poured on the table until it rolled off on the ground. The sum needed was given and one thousand dollars over. In another place and in the midst of a revival blaze, the missionary call was made, and the immediate and rushing response was gold, silver, bales of cotton, and a note from a gifted woman, saying, “I give myself.”
Brethren, let us eat up all the missionary hens in the land, give the little earthen jugs and savings banks to the children for toys, and have a grand, glorious, overwhelming revival. If it comes, as certain as God lives and reigns the missionary problem will be solved.
The revival will also settle the matter of Christian work. A preacher will not have to point out work to the people and beg them to do it. Neither will they have to come to the preacher to find out what to do. They will suddenly discover and make work for themselves. When the Holy Ghost fills a man–mind you I fills him–that man has a fire in his bones and cannot keep quiet. Can you sit still with a fire burning your body? Neither can you rest with fire burning in your soul. When the holy fire came upon Isaiah he cried out, “Here am I, Lord; send me,” and sprung to his life work. When the Baptism of Fire fell on the disciples, from that time to the day of their death they fairly flew to do the bidding of God. This is the blessing we need, one that will be like fire in the bones, such a burning as will lift people out of their late morning beds, and out of their easy rocking chairs, and drive them out from their pleasant parlors and libraries into the roads of the country and the streets of the city to save souls and bless mankind. A genuine revival will kindle that fire. We need no more organizations, no more church machinery; we have enough today to bewilder a church of twice our size. What we want is fire! Lord God of Heaven, send it down everywhere on the church as it once fell on Mt. Carmel, and afterwards on the day of Pentecost.
The Revival will solve the empty bench problem. The apostolic revival means that Christ has come in unclouded glory and in fulness of salvation. When Christ comes, the people come. He said long ago, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” The church seems not to have realized the blessed truth. If we want the people to come, we must first get Christ to come, and when He is lifted up and felt to be there–the audience will be there.
A revival means a good time and good things for the church. Let the world see that we have something better than they possess, and it is in human nature to come at once and see. The people cannot be kept away when we are happy in the love of God. Let us show that we are glad, blessed, overflowing with the grace and glory of the Redeemer, and a great hunger and thirst, a mighty desire will come upon the people to obtain what we enjoy. There will be no need to ask them to come and fill the empty benches of the church; they will come without being asked, and there will be no empty benches to fill. You will not be able to keep the crowd away. A man might as well try to sweep the waves of an incoming tide back into the sea with a broom, as to keep people from coming to a church or building where a real revival is going on. The Sanhedrin might as well have tried to beat back the north wind with the palms of the hands, as to prevent the inhabitants of Jerusalem from rushing toward the Upper Room when the Holy Ghost fell and a genuine revival swept down out of heaven into the souls and lives of the people of God.
Who cares to visit a church to see a few lines of people all stiff and frozen sitting all upright in their pews with no more warmth and response than is beheld in a set of statues. I can see stiff lines of people in the street cars or in fashion plates, but when I go to church let me look on something different. And when there is something different there, when hearts are warm and souls are glad, and faces shine with the light of salvation, the world will rush to church as they did at Pentecost.
The revival will solve the salvation problem. It requires a certain atmosphere of prayer, a certain spiritual warmth or heat in the church before conversions can take place. Let that condition prevail and the salvation of souls will be frequent, beautiful and clear as I have seen grains of popcorn suddenly expanded burst forth into forms of snowy whiteness through the heated air of the oven. No need to ask such people if they are saved; they will announce the fact themselves in tones and with words that will thrill every heart. There will not only be individual cases, but penitents will come through the gate of mercy in rejoicing bands; the Spirit will mow down lines at a time. The altar will be swept from end to end, filled again, and emptied again by the mighty pardoning and cleansing power of God. The faces of the converts will be epistles upon which will be seen the unmistakable handwriting of God. Their cries of rapture and shouts of joy will pierce the hearts of the backslider and sinner, other and deeper convictions will take place, and salvation will roll on with the majestic accumulating force and irresistible power of an ocean tide.
What the church wants today is not a shower of blessing, not even a down pour;–but a torrent, leaping and dashing down the hills of heaven upon us; a resistless tide of salvation that shall wash away all forms of sin from the streets of Zion and leave her clean and beautiful; a perfect Noah Deluge of grace and glory that will overtop the mountains of sin, bury worldliness out of sight, while the redeemed, shut in the ark of Christ Jesus, sail triumphantly over the dead forms of iniquity far beneath them.
What the church wants is a revival, deep, broad, profound, far-reaching, heart-searching, life-changing, permanent and Pentecostal. Such a revival would settle at once every difficulty, and solve every problem. We are simply wasting time and energy in trying to do anything else until we secure that. We are making no progress. We are trotting hard all day in the shade of one tree. We are climbing up ten feet one day and slipping back nine feet and twelve inches the next day. Sometimes we slip still lower. We are beating the air.
It would pay the church to turn its attention from every enterprise in its walls and borders and go to seeking a revival. It would pay the church to shut up stores and offices, leave boats and plantations, give up money-making and money-saving, let the missionary work alone for a year, let everything alone, forget almost to eat and sleep,–and falling on its knees and face pray God importunately, continuously, persistently and inconsolably for a revival, and do this if needs be for a year.
O, how it would pay! How the world would stand in awe. How Christ would come as John saw Him on Patmos. How God would bend the heavens. The Holy Ghost would rush upon us with the sweep of a storm and speak to us through living tongues of fire, while sinners would cry out for mercy, saints rejoice in the fulness of salvation, money be poured out like water before the Lord, every work and enterprise of the church bear the smiles and blessings of heaven upon it, and Christ’s kingdom become the reigning, triumphant, overshadowing kingdom of the world.
O Son of God, O blessed Jesus, send us the revival of Pentecost! May all the people say Amen.