The King's Business
Published once a month by the BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, U. S. A.
ONE DO L L AR A YEAR
üJlrr Kings Knatess MOTTO : " / the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.’’—Isa. 27:3. __________________ R. A. TORREY, Editor T. C. H orton , J. H. HUNTER and J. H. SAMMIS, Associate Editore A. M. ROW, Manager Organ of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Inc. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Entered as Second-Class Matter November 17, 1910, at the postoffice at Los Angeles, California, under the Act of March 3, 1879. C opyright by Bible In stitu te of Los A ngeles, 1915
Rev. A. B. Prichard, Vice-President. Leon V. Shaw, Treasurer. R. A. Torrey. Giles Kellogg. H. A. Getz.
Lyman Stewart, President. William Thorn, Secretary. T. C. Horton, Superintendent. E. A. K. Hackett. J. M. Irvine.
DOCTRINAL STATEMENT We hold to the Historic Faith of the Church as expressed in the Common Creed of Evangelical Christendom and including: The Trinity of the Godhead. The Maintenance of Good Works. The Deity of the Christ.
The Second Coming of Christ. The Immortality of the Spirit. The Resurrection of the Body.
The Personality of the Holy Ghost. The Supernatural and Plenary au thority of the Holy Scriptures. The Unity in Diversity of the Church, which is the Body and Bride of Christ. The Substitutionary Atonement. The Necessity of the New Birth. P u rp o se The Institute trains, free of " cost, accredited men and women, in the knowledge and use of the Bible. Departments: g L J e fh e id d aU y exceptSaturdays and Sundays. (2) Extension work. Classes and con ferences held in neighboring cities and towns. (3) Evangelistic. Meetings conducted by our evangelists. (4) Spanish Mission. Meetings every night. (5) Shop Work. Regular services in shops and factories. (0) Jewish Evangelism. Personal work among the Hebrews.
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The Life Everlasting of Believers. The Endless Punishment of the Im penitent. The Reality and Personality of Satan, House-to-house , visitation and neighborhood classes. (8) Oil Fields. A mission to men on the oil fields. j (9) Books and Tracts. Sale and dis tribution of selected books and tracts. (10) Harbor Work. For seamen in Los Angeles harbor. (11) Yoke Fellows Hall. Thoroughly manned. Our Mission for' men with Boot Black and Newsboys Class and Street Meetings. (12) Print Shop. For printing Testa ments, books, tracts, etc. A complete establishment, profits going to free dis- J tribution of tracts. I i (7) Bible Women.
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...TABLE OF CONTENTS... Editorial: Spring and Summer—What Books Should We read?—Love and Force— “Love Your Enemies”— What Helps You Most—Unprincipled Methods of Enemies of the Truth..____ _______ 4,.......... ..................— 365 Supernatural Answers to Prayer. By Arthur T. Pierson...... 371 Light on Puzzling Passages and Problems................................ 385 Great Revivals and Evangelists— II. George Whitefield, Continued. By John H. Hunter-------- -4.....................—. 389 Lights and Shadows of the War......................................... ...... 395 At Home and Abroad.............. — ........—...-.............. 405 Hints and Helps ...................... ....... -—.....— — — —-— 409 Institute Department Work. By the Superintendents............. 411 International Sunday School Lessons. By R. A. Torrey and T. C. Horton____ _____ —— —.................—.—..—. 421 Daily Devotional Studies in the New Testament for Indi vidual Meditation and Family Worship. By R. A. Torrey ____ ______ _________ 439
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PUBLISHED BY THE ' BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES 536-558 SOUTH HOPE STREET LOS ANGELES, CAL.
The Wondrous Joy si S o u l W i n n i n g
Is it Yours?
Are you a Christian Worker—Saving Souls ? Do you want more Joy in Service—more Souls? Would you like to get others at work—also saving Souls? Then read Dr. Torrey’s latest book— The Wondrous Joy of Soul-Winning Written at the request of Mr. Thomas Hogben, founder of the “One by One” Personal Workers’ Band. The following expressions are taken from book reviews in different periodicals: “The counsel given is sound and practical, and, if followed, is sure to produce blessed results,” “The book is one that ought to be in the hands of every Christian worker.” “This is an earnest and practical appeal to the individual Christian to realize not only the responsibility but the joy of being a ‘fisher of men.’ ” “It is a book to be read and pondered.” Send in your order today. Price, Fifty Cents. The Return of the Lord Jesus Here are a few words that others have said about thia book: “We urge the study of this subject upon all our Christian brethren, both ministers and laymen, suggesting that they could not get a better text-book with which to begin the study than this of Dr. Torrey.” “This great evangelist, Bible teacher, scholar and author has put his whole heart into this little work.” “Dr. Torrey is vigorous in his style, and his appeal is wholly to the Scriptures.” “For a comparatively small book it is exceedingly exhaustive on the glorious theme all Christians should have so much at heart.’ Paper, Twenty-five Cents Cloth, Fifty Cents Address all orders to THE BIOLA BOOK ROOM Bible Institute of Los Angeles 536-558 South Hope Street Are you looking daily for the return of our Lord and Savior? Do you want to tell others why you are looking ? Is it your desire to awaken sleeping Christians to this great privilege? Read Dr. Torrey’s new book on
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E D I T O R I A L Spring and summer are the two especial seasons of the year for sowing and reaping. If properly improved, they may be also the two great seasons of the year for sowing and reaping irt our Lord’s harvest field. They offer un
Spring and Summer
usual opportunities for soul-winning work. During these seasons, people are accessible as they are at no other time of year. The outdoors invites them, and it is not necessary to search them out in their homes and other places of seclusion. The street^ and parks; the fields, the mountains, the beaches are full of people, and the vast crowds invite every alert follower of the Lord Jesus to speak to them and win them for Christ. If we would only get out of the notion that we can only have services in churches or halls, and realize that our Lord and His disciples did most of their work in the open air, we could accomplish great things. Open air meetings, tent meetings, grove meet ings, beach meetings, afford opportunities for aggressive evangelistic work that cannot be found either in churches, halls, or tabernacles. Far greater results can be accomplished with a much smaller outlay of money than by the regular methods employed by our churches. Our publishing houses are pouring out books in the present What Books day as never before in all the world’s history, and the Should We question what not to read is an important one for every Read? - one who would be a useful minister or Christian worker. There is enough that is thoroughly good to occupy our time, and it is foolish to waste our time on that which is either bad or use less. A very ugeful list of books “Indispensable for the Minister or Chris tian Worker” is given in the closing volume of The Fundamentals. But one book that we cannot endorse has somehow crept into that list, namely, “The Bible Dictionary” by Jacobus and Zenos. Some of the articles of a critical character in this dictionary are utterly unreliable and misleading, seriously tainted with the Destructive Criticism. There are safe and sane and sound and satisfactory Bible Dictionaries and one is not dependent upon those that are tinctured with error as a number of them are. In these days of overweening personal and national ambi- Love and tion and boasting and hatred and war, we are reminded of Force what the evangelist. Sam P. Jones once said: “The om nipotent principle of the world is love. When Alexander the Great wanted to conquer this world he mustered his forces, and blood flowed like a river; and poor Alexander when he died was a conquered
366 » THE KING’S BUSINESS wretch. When Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to conquer this world, he mus tered his forces and all Europe was drenched in blood; and Napoleon died a defeated wretch at St. Helena. But when Jesus Christ wanted tdconquer the earth He looked at it, loved it, walked to Calvary, and laid down and died for it; and Christ has well-nigh conquered the world. Napoleon said: ‘Alex ander, Charlemagne and myself founded our kingdoms on force, and they have crumbled under our feet; but Jesus Christ founded His kingdom on love, and today millions of men would die for. Him.’ ” The German newspapers still give evidence of the bitter “Love Your hate that is rankling in the hearts, not merely of one Ger- Enemies” man here and another there, but of a large body of Ger mans, toward all Englishmen. The “Frankfurter Zeitung” says: “No self-respecting German will ever consent to remain in any room of which an Englishman is the occupant. If the German cannot eject the Englishman, he will himself leave the room. We cannot be expected to breathe the same polluted air as our deadliest foes who fell upon us from the rear and in the night. There can be no compromise on this point. We have to swear a national vendetta against the English never to rest, never to cease our preparations for another war, never to spare an effort until the last sem blance of English power is destroyed, and there will be no rest or repose for any honest German until the British Empire has been swept into the oblivion of past history.” Even more sad is it to see that this bitter, demoniacal hatred is not con fined to the English, but is vented toward all who do not see eye to eye with the Germans on the matter of this war. In the same paper we read : “Finally, there are thé neutral nations ; most of them side in sympathy with the English, Russians and French; most of them entertain hostile feelings against Ger many. We do not need them. They are not necessary to our happiness nor to our material interests. Let us ban them from our homes and our tables. Let us make them feel that we despise them. They must understand that they are condemned to be left out in the cold, just because they do not merit German approval. Germany must and will ,stand alone. The Germans are the salt of the earth; they will fulfill their destiny which is to rule the world and to control other nations for the benefit of mankind.” These words need no comment. If we could believe that they really express the sentimeht'of the German people as a whole, we would be forced to believe that the German nation had gone mad with egotism and selfishness. They probably do not express the real sentiment even of the editor of the paper. It is reported that the author of the poem of devilish hate referred to in a previous number of T he K ing ’ s B usiness has been decorated by the govern ment as an expression of approval of this awful poem. We trust that this report is untrue. It would be a national disgrace if it were true. It is our ambition to make T he K ing ’ s B usiness the most What Helps helpful magazine possible for ministers, Sunday School You Most? superintendents, Sunday School teachers and all Christian workers. In making it so, we desire the co-operation of our readers. It would greatly help us in our future plans for the magazine, if each reader would write and tell us what part of the magazine they enjoy
THE KING’S BUSINESS 367 the most and what part they would most readily dispense with. Do not be afraid of hurting the feelings of the editors; criticise freely. We have no desire in the matter but to help the most people to the largest extent possible. We read in Acts 6 :10, 11, “And they were not able to Unprincipled Methods withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he of Enemies of spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have the Truth heard' him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” In other words; the religious lead ers of Stephen’s day were unable to answer his presentation of God’s truth, and therefore, they sought not only to undermine his influence by perjury, but to take his life. Many centuries have passed since then, but the enemies of the truth are pursuing exactly the same tactics today. Rev. A. C. Gaebe- lein, on his recent visit to Los Angeles, received the following letter: “Rev. A. C. Gaebelein, “Los Angeles, Cal. “Dear Bro.'S—I see you will be with Dr. R. A. Torrey in March, and I wish you would ascertain for me the truth of a statement I heard the other day regarding the Doctor. “I was in conversation with my District Superintendent in the Methodist Episcopal Church recently, who made the assertion that all the ministers of Los Angeles (and I think other coast cities) have banded together to keep Dr. Torrey and his student preachers out of their pulpits, on account of the recent heretical teaching into which the Doctor has fallen very lately. “I would like to inquire what is that ‘teaching’? And if the above report is true? I owe to you and Dr. Torrey a great deal by way of gratitude for what I consider right teaching in God’s Word; that is, in the major issues, and this report hit where it hurt, hence this inquiry. “Thanking you for your trouble, I remain, “In sincerest respect and fellowship.” We do not give the name or address of the man who wrote the letter, though the letter is in our possession. The brother who wrote the letter did exactly the right thing, he made honest inquiries before forming a judgment. Doubtless, the same statement has been made to other ministers who naturally believed it because of the source from which it came, and did not take the trouble to make inquiries. What are the facts? One fact .alone will be sufficient to show the utter falsehood of the statement that was made to this minister. So far from all the ministers of Los Angeles banding together to keep Dr. Torrey out of their pulpits, there is being held during Lent, finder the auspices of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Los Angeles, an evangelistic campaign. Meetings are being held in the First Methodist Episcopal Church, the most centrally located church in the city, every Friday noon during Lent and, every noon during “Holy Week.” One representative minister from each of the different denominations, Methodist, Christian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Lutheran, United Brethren, was asked to preach on the successive Fridays, but it was thought best to have just one minister for every day of the last week, and the minister chosen for this service, by the unanimous choice of the committee, was Dr. R. A. Torrey. , It is true, however, that there have been several secret movements ever since Dr. Torrey began his evangelistic work in Great Britain to shut him out of the pulpits. This was usually not done openly, but letters were sent secretly
368 THE KING’S BUSINESS to leaders in different cities he was to visit. The first of these movements was conducted by the Destructive Criticism and New Theology party. Dr. Torrey’s first mission in-Great Britain was in Edinburgh, and he was ap proached by a leading niinister and asked,that he might say nothing against the Destructive Criticism. The promise was made if he would not, he would have the support of the leaders among the Destructive Critics as, well as the support of the more evangelical party. Dr. Torrey refused to consent to such a compromise, as he felt himself called of God to declare the whole counsel of God. From that, day on, he was relentlessly pursued, sometimes by secret attacks and sometimes by open attacks in the papers by those who had ac cepted the Destructive views of the Bible. Before he reached America to begin his campaign here, letters were written to different ministers in different cities, to induce them to oppose any evangelistic campaign that he might hold, and articles opposing his work appeared in some of the papers- controlled by the New Theology party. The second movement was carried on by the Seventh Day Adventists. They found it so difficult to answer the pamphlet which Dr. Torrey published on the Seventh Day question, that they constantly misrepresented him in their press, their tracts and in private letters, and sought in many ways to thwart the influence of his meetings. There has been a third movement of a similar character^ by a few in-- tensdy bigoted Postmillennarians. Dr. Torrey has been for many years a Premillennarian, and though he seldom preached on the question in his evan gelistic meetings, unless specially asked to do so, his premillennarian views are well known through his book, “What the Bible Teaches,” and more re cently through his book, “The Return of the Lord Jesus,” and several persons have put forth great efforts to prevent his being invited to hold union evangelistic meetings and to keep him out of such pulpits as they controlled. As far as is known, the ministers who were at the head of this movement were confined to one denomination, but that denomination as a whole has been very hearty through its bishops and many of its ministers in the support of Dr. Torrey’s work. It is probable that the present attack to which the above letter refers came from this source. Now as to the immediate question of the letter, viz., “The recent heretical teaching into which the Doctor has fallen very lately.” Dr. Torrey has not recently fallen into any “heretical teaching,” nor into any new teaching of any kind , heretical or orthodox. He holds and teaches exactly the same things today regarding the Return of our Ford , and regarding every other subject, that he did when he published his book, “What the Bible Teaches,” in 1898, seventeen years ago. His views on the Return of our Lord Jesus are found at length in that book, and the substance of everything that is in his more recent book is iff “What the Bible Teaches.” That book is founded upon a very careful study of the Bible in the original languages’, and Dr. Torrey'by his further study has found no reason for changing one single doctrine found ifi that book. The book is used as a text book in many institutions of various' denominations, for training min isters and Christian workers, both at home and abroad. It has been trans lated into several languages and has had the endorsement of recognized teachers of orthodoxy in many lands. So, the statement that Dr. Torrey “has fallen very lately into heretical
THE KING’S BUSINESS 369 teaching,” or into any different teaching from that which he has done around the world, is an absolute falsehood. Dr. Gaebelein says he has received several letters from ministers in dif ferent parts of the country of a similar tenor to this, and this is a clear proof that exactly the same methods that were used by the enemies of the truth in Stephen’s day are used today. It is. sad to think that any minister of the Gospel would stoop to-such methods. But there is little doubt that those who do it, do it with good conscience aijd think they are doing God service, just as the enemies of Stephen thought, and they are deserving of our pity and our prayers rather than our anger or abuse. ------ $------
LYMAN STEWART President, Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Inc.
BIBLE INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES
Supernatural Answers to Prayer
By R ev . A rthur T. P ierson , D. D.
( N ote .— Dr. Arthur T. Pierson was one of the ablest defenders of ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints” that his generation produced. He combined in an unusual way a very broad scholarship with the ability to make himself understood by the common people. While he was a man of unusual literary gifts, his abilities in this direction "were always held in check by the desire to"be understood. Though he was the author of many published works, it was found after he had left his “earthly house of this tabernacle” and de parted to be with Christ that he had left many valuable unpublished manu scripts behind him. Some of the most useful of these were turned over ,by his son to the Executive Secretary of the Fundamentals for use in those publications. Several of them were used but quite a number remain still un published. Mr. Delavan Pierson has consented to the publication of some of these in The King’s Business. We give one for our leading article this month. It is upon one of the most vital issues ® PRAYER a positive a t th e p re se n t h o u r.—E ditor .)
natural, which convinces and over whelms my own mind. To others, my experience may not bring convic tion, but it satisfies me; and as ‘every praying soul may have the same es sential testimony, there can be no ex cuse for abiding in the darkness, The most dangerous doctrine, con cerning prayer, is that current philos ophy of the matter, which presents a half truth only; allowing the subject ive value, but denying all objective efficacy to prayer, i. e., admitting a benefit, as attached to a devout habit, but limiting the benefit to the work ing of natural results, entirely within the suppliant. For example, here is a man who becomes conscious of vicious tenden cies through his bodily appetites, to ward intemperance and gluttony; through his carnal lusts, greed of gain or ambition; through his temper and disposition, being naturally impatient or irascible, mean or malicious. Feel ing the true dignity of his manhood, conceiving a high idea of character and self-control, he sets that idea up before him, in an ideal which he aims to reach. He believes in the positive
I n /JÊJ /A power in man’s relation w A Jw ith God? This question NQRSÉ f s,of e resPec.ts’ the most vital, practical ques tion, touching the religious life of our day. The age of miracles may be past; supernatural signs may be no longer wrought, in the forms in which they once astonished mankind ; there may be no more need of public and popular attestation and authen tication of Christianity, such as was demanded at the outset for the per petual establishment of its august claims. But if a human soul may have personal communion and contact with an unseen and spiritual God ; if blessings and benefits may be ob tained, directly from our Heavenly Father, which no effort of our own can secure, ànd no mediation of our fellow men can procure ; if I may, un mistakably, discern divine interposi tion in the affairs of my own life, and recognize the invisible hand by unerring tokens of God’s guarding, guiding, governing presence—then I have a perpetual miracle in my own life—a permanent proof of the super-
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power of prayer; and 'so he shuts himself up daily alone with God, and makes this grand self-conquest the subject of earnest wrestling with God. He believes God hears him, and that he receives a higher divine help and strength'. He goes out of his closet, consciously stronger, like a giant ex hilarated with new wine, and in course of time he actually becomes a transformed man; his bodily appetites are no longer his masters, but his' slaves; greed no longer vexes him with an insatiate lust of gold; ambi tion no longer excites him with an in sane desire for place and power—he becomes gentle and generous, meek and unselfish, and renewed in the whole tone and temper of his being. He attributes it all to the power of God, working in him, in answer to those mighty daily wrestlings with God. Now your transcendental philoso pher says: “All this is a harmless delusion, but let him believe it, if it comforts him. The fact is that God has nothing to do with the matter— it is simply self-culture. The man has been reflecting and sees his true self mirrored. He sees his moral deform ities and sets himself to correct them. He forms a true idea of what man ought to be, then he shapes his idea into an ideal, perhaps an example— some heroic soul, living or dead, be comes a perpetual presence before him, inciting and inspiring to a noble v victory over self.” EXAMPLE'S POWER. Seneca advised one of his, friends to represent to himself Cato, Socra tes or some other sage, as a constant observer, a formative power. Alex ander’s statue inflamed Caesar, ana Caesar’s image inspired Napoleon. The victories of Miltiades would not suffer Themistocles to sleep, and so Themistocles became the rival of Mil tiades for military glory. In some such way does modern naturalism ac
count for all spiritual attainments and achievements; secured by the praying soul. They are the natural results of self-scrutiny and self-conquest and self-culture, under lofty ideas and ele vating and educating ideals of char acter and destiny. A man puts his hand on a lever, and by it lifts a weight which, without it, he could not stir from its place; or he.pulls himself up by a pulley-rope. He thinks that God’s power is exerted on the lever, and raises him by the pulley; in fact, says the skeptic, it is only a right ap plication of human strength in ac cordance with laws of natural philos ophy. I give to ,the naturalist’s explana tion of prayer ample room, because I want the theory fully apprehended, that, we may be. warned against its plausible philosophy; and that I may present the answer, both of Bible truth and historic fact. A HALF-TRUTH. There is no doubt that, as far as this explanation goes,' it is true ; but it is only a half-truth. There is a whole hemisphere of truth and fact, not visible from this point of view, not included within this horizon. The Bible affirms a positive advan tage in prayer: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and deliv- ereth them.” (Ps. 34:6, 7.) Here Jehovah is represented as hearing prayer and interposing to save the suppliant. And the idea is further expanded by a reference to the de liverances wrought by the “Lord’s angel.” This reforence carried great weight, to a Tew. The angel of the Lord was a historic reality, working supernatural signs and wonders, all through that wonderful career of the chosen people of God. Not less than one hundred times does this myste-
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rious' personage appear in Hebrew history, and with what marvelous miracles are his golden footsteps at tended! He pours a rain of fire on Sodom, and opens a fountain for Hagar in the desert, and provides a lamb for Abraham’s altar; he smites the firstborn of Egypt, and guides the exodus of Israel; he arrests Balaam with his drawn sword of flame, and consumes Gideon’s cakes with mirac ulous fire; he ascends unharmed in the flames of Manoah’s sacrifice, and smites 185,000 Assyrians in one night; he preserves the three holy children in the furnace, and Daniel in the den of lions; he announces the birth of John Baptist and Jesus, and conducts the celestial choir in the anthem of the nativity; he rolls back the stone from the sepulchre of Jesus, and opens the prison door for Peter. A REAL POWER. The angel of the Lord was to the Hebrew the synonym of the unmis takable power of God. No theory of rationalism could account for his august and awful interpositions—and here he is especially connected with answers to prayer! There is no mis taking the Bible doctrine on this sub ject. When such events as these can be explained by natural causes, by self-scrutiny, self-conquest and self culture, then prayer may be brought down to the level of natural philos ophy and moral philosophy. But un til then, there must remain in this mystery a supernatural factor. And in confirmation of this Biblical doctrine I shall array some examples and proof of the supernatural force working in response to believing sup plication. The examples, selected al most at random, are chosen not so much for their startling andpexcep tional character, as to illustrate a pos itive result, not to be explained by the plausible philosophy already re ferred to.
It has been customary for skeptics to account for answers to prayer by a theory of coincidences—or a mere accidental correspondence between the thing sought and the thing obtained. This might do in one or two cases ; but the testimonies to answered prayer run through the whole history of faith and supplication; and not the ignorant alone, or the highly imagi native, whose superstitions or fancies might be supposed to invest events with a needless dignity, but the most intelligent, sober-minded and cautious disciples form the great cloud of wit ness-bearers. J We read of the marvellous deliv erances of Israel. Are there no cor responding interpositions in more re cent times ? A remarkable case- of deliverance from persecution, and of punishment^ visited upon cruel persecutors, is re -' corded of the Jewish colony at Alex andria, about two hundred years be fore Christ. FUTILE ANGER. Ptolemy- Philopator, furiously an gry at the refusal of the High Priest to permit him to invade the temple courts at Jerusalem on his return to Egypt, flung into prison all the Jews upon whom he could lay his hands. There was at Alexandria a huge hip podrome used for gladiatorial shows, and here a host of captives were con fined. The king decreed that ele phants, made furious by intoxicating and stimulating drugs, should be let loose upon them in the arena of this amphitheatre, and allowed to trample them to death. For two days his own drunken revels delayed the execution of this horrid decree, and for two days there went up ceaseless prayer to Israel's God that he who delivered Daniel from the lions, would rescue his helpless people. The third day came, and the infur iated monsters were driven into the
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“Let us pray here, for if the Lord hear not our prayer, and save us, we are all dead men.” He then prayed, “Twine about the hill, O Lord, and cast the lap of thy cloak over puir old Saunders and these puir things.” Before he had done speaking a mist rose up about the hill, and wrapped the devoted little band about like the very cloak of the Lord he had prayed for. In vain their enemies sought to find them, and, while they were wearying themselves in the effort, an order came which sent them on an errand«in a different direction. When the Protestants in Rochelle were besieged by the French king and in peril of starvation, God sent into the bay a shoal of fishes to feed them, such as were never before seen in that harbor. GOD’S HAND. To an attentive eye, the world is constantly coming to new crises which can be safely turned only as God’s own power interposes; and praying souls who watch the signs of the times both seek the divine deliverance and mark the footsteps of God’s own angel. Our own country Jias been the theatre of these marvellous inter positions repeatedly, from the time when a flight of paroquets turned Columbus to the San Salvador group until now. Sometimes these answers to prayer are on a colossal scale,' both as to the territory they cover and the time through which they ex tend. For example: S. H. Willey, D. D., one of the pioneer Home mis sionaries on our western coast, has, in his “Thirty Years in California,” shown us on what hinges turn the destinies of whole States and na tions. Before the gold of California was known there were many adventurers from the United States and Europe already there, drawn by advantages of the climate and regarding it as a
amphitheatre and goaded! forward, to torture the'prisoners. But, wonderful to relate, instead of attacking and de stroying these Jews, they turned mad ly upon the guards and spectators, killed many of them and ' drove the- rest in terror from the corridors! Ptolemy was so impressed with this exhibition of power of the God of the Jews that he released the prisoners, and like Ahasuerus, permitted them to destroy their foes. The Waldenses are the Israel of the Alps, who, in their mountain fast nesses, for centuries, guarded the ark of primitive faith and worship; while the terrors of the Vatican confronted them—that summit terror which was “an Olympus for its false Gods, a Sinai for its thunders, and a Calvary for its blood.” Read the story of the siege of La Balsille, their mountain fortress. Hemmed in by the French and Sardinian army through the sum mer, gaunt famine stared them in the face; the foe guarded every out let of the valley, and . their ungath ered crops lay ip the fields. In mid winter, driven by gnawings of hun ger to visit the abandoned harvest fields, beneath the deep snows they found God had kept the grain un hurt, and part of it was gathered in good condition a year and a half after it was sown! In the spring after, a merciless cannonade broke down the breastworks behind which they hid, and the helpless band cried to the Lord. At once He who holds the winds in his fist and rides in the clouds as a chariot, rolled over them a cloak of fog so dense that in the midst of their foes they escaped un seen ! EFFECTIVE PRAYER. A company of Covenanters had been pursued by their persecutors until their strength was exhausted. Reaching a hill which separated them from their pursuers, their leader said,
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ply one example from thousands of the way in which God remembers His praying people, even in the turn ing of the scale of national history and destiny, and no philosophy can account for such cases which denies a Divine Providence ruling in human affairs. WONDROUS FORCE. The Power of Prayer is the per petual sign of the Supernatural. Without doubt much of the benefit and, blessing received by prayerful souls might be accounted for by nat ural and secondary causes. But in hundreds of other instances we must either ' deny the facts or admit a supernatural factor. They can no more be accounted for without a divine interposition than the deliver ance of the three holy children from the furnace or Daniel from the den. Jonathan Edwards may be taken as an example of thousands. From the age of ten years, his prayers were astonishing both for the faith they exhibited and the results they secured. With thé intellect of a cherub and the heart of a seraph, we can neither distrust his self-knowledge nor his absolute candor. His communion with God was so rapt and rapturous, that the extraordinary view of the glory of the Son of God, his pure, sweet love and grace, would over come him so that for an hour he would be flooded with tears, weeping aloud. Prayer- brought him such power as Peter at Pentecost scarcely illustrates more wonderfully. For in stance, his sermon at Enfield on “Sin ners in the hands of an angry God,” which, delivered without a gesture, nevertheless produced such effect that the audience leaped to their feet and clasped the pillars of the meeting house, lest they should slide into per dition. A TRUMPET CALL. That one man, in the midst of an
golden gate to Pacific and Asiatic commerce. They saw that, for the development of its resources, Califor nia ought to be cut loose from Mex ico, and attached to some more pro gressive nation. Most of them fa vored a British protectorate and there was a British fleet hovering near by waiting for a pretext to take posses sion, and the United States was also waiting to have ground for similar action. When the war with Mexico began, the news, slowly moving, reached the commanders of the American and British forces at the same time, and both at once started for the harbor. , Commodore Sloat hoisted the Stars and Stripes only a week before Admiral Seymour ar rived. In the same month of July, 1846, 260 Mormons sailed from New York and reached San Francisco well sup plied with all that could furnish a Mormon colony, but found the Amer ican flag floating over the harbor. The colonists, who hoped to have set tled on the coast; bitterly disap pointed, sent messengers to meet Brigham Young, who was advancing overland, and the result was that he stopped at Salt Lake. By such a trifling circumstance was that column of 15,000 Mormons prevented from making the Golden Gate their har bor. On the same day, Feb. 2, 1848, on which the treaty was signed by which Mexico ceded California to the United States, gold was found. Had the discovery been one day ear lier, the signature would probably never have been put to that docu ment. California as narrowly es caped being a slave State. While the settlers were'mostly miners, they adopted a State constitution with an article prohibiting slavery. Soon after came that large migration from the Southern States that would have de termined its future for slavery, had they not come too late. This is sim
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ica Samuel Blair declared, that^ re ligion “lay a-dying.” IDEE PUEPIT. But what was the pulpit doing in those days? Nothing. “Natural theology without a simple distinctive doctrine of Christianity; cold morality or barren orthodoxy formed the staple teaching both in established church and dissenting chapel.” The best sermons were only Moral Essays, a thousand of which held not enough gospel truth to convert one soul. All seemed to agree to let the Devil alone. It was the church and not Satan that was chained. The grand, weighty truths for which Hooper and Latimer went to the stake, and Baxter and Bunyan to jail, seemed like relics of the past. The land was flooded with irreligion and infidelity. Collins and Tindal stigmatized Christianity as priestcraft. Woolston declared the miracles of the Bible to be allegories and Whiston denounced them as impositions and frauds. Clark and Priestly openly taught Arianism and Socinianism, and helped to make heresy fashion able. Blackstone, the lawyer, went from church to church and heard every clergyman of note in London ; and says he heard not one discourse which had more Christianity in it than the writings of Cicero, or from which one could tell whether the preacher were a disciple of Con fucius, Mahomet or Christ. An open disregard of religion was, as Archbishop Seeker said, “the char acteristic of the age.” Even the Bishops led the way in worldliness, as Archbishop Cornwallis gave balls and routs at Lambeth Palace, till even the king interfered; and it was said that the best way to stop Whitefield in his work of reform was to make him a Bishop. Such a state of things caused true disciples great humilia tion and drove them to God in sheer despair. All over the Christian world
apostasy from God that well nigh wrecked religious life in England and America, pealed out his trumpet call, summoning the whole Christian world to prayer, in 1747. In that tract, in which he pleads for a “visible union of God’s people in extraordinary prayer,” he refers to the day of fast ing and prayer kept at Northampton the year before, which was followed that same night by the utter disper sion and defeat of the French Ar mada under the Duke’ d’Anville; and Edwards adds, “this is the nearest parallel with God’s-wonderful works of old in times of Moses, Joshua and Hezekiah, of any that have been in these latter ages of the world.” That trumpet peal "to universal prayer in 1747 marked a turning point in modern history. This is one of those instances in which the subject can be understood only from a high point of prospect, that sweeps a wide horizon. We can understand the need of God’s inter position, and the desperate necessity that drove his disciples to prayer, only by a knowledge of the condition of the world at that time. And that at least one example may be given in full, let us stop to take in if possi b le the whole range of this ajwful spiritual desolation. The opening part of the eighteenth century presented a prospect as dreary and hopeless as has been seen per haps since the dark ages. The lead ers of English society were Hume, Gibbon and- Bolingbroke, giants of in fidelity: in France, Voltaire, Rous seau and Madame de Pompadour: in Germany, Frederic the Great, the friend and companion of Voltaire, and like him a deist. “Flippancy and frivolity in the church, deism in theology, lasciviousness in the novel and the drama”—such was the state of things in England, which Isaac Taylor said was in a condition of “virtual heathenism,” .while in Amer
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there began to be little prayer circles of devout souls, begging God to pluck His hand out of His bosom. MEN OF FAITH. Of such a chariacter was that little gathering in 1729 in Eincoln College, Oxford, when John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Kirk- ham met for conference and prayer, burdened with the apostate condition of the church. Six years after these meetings began there were but four teen who assembled; but out of that prayer meeting Methodism was born, the mightiest modern movement known for evangelical faith and evan gelistic work! God heard those pray ers and Whitefield and the Wesleys began to preach with tongues of Pen tecostal flame—resisted by a rigid, frigid church, driven into fields and commons, but so reaching the people as they could not have been reached inside chapel walls. Then, as I have said, in 1747 Jona than Edwards, in America, flung broadcast his mighty tract, with tre mendous power, urging concerted prayer upon the American churches, at the very time when beyond the seas went forth a summons to all dis ciples to unite in special prayer “fo'r the effusion of God’s Spirit upon all the churches and upon the whole habitable earth.” And so the com panies of praying souls, gathered in England, Scotland, Wales and Ire land, and throughout New England and the Middle States. In 1780 came another mighty tidal wave of revival, under the influence of the Haldanes, Andrew Fuller^ Rowland Hill, Sutcliffe, etc. William Grimshaw, Wm. Romaine, Daniel Rowlands, Jno. Berridge, Henry Venn. Walker of Truro, James Her- vey, Toplady, Fletcher of Madeley,— these men all belonged in that grand apostolical succession that kept up the revival fires during that period of
reformation, raised up in such num bers and in, such a crisis by Him who answers prayer, to stem the awful tide that was sweeping away every land mark of religion and morality. , BIRTH O.F MISSIONS. -Yes, and the full significance of those concerted prayers never can be fully known till eternity opens its awful doors. In answer to them came the era of Modern Missions, the establishment of the Monthly Concert of Prayer, the founding of the first Foreign Missionary Society in Eng land, the consecration of Wm. Carey to the missionary work, who alone secured the translation of the Bible into, forty different tongues and the circulation of 200,000 copies. More than this came in answer to those earnest prayers. All that mod ern missions has accomplished, open ing doors into every land, multiplying organizations till we have now ’ up wards of seventy, translating the Bible into nearly 250 languages and dialects, and setting up the cross in every quarter. More even than this may be traced to that concerted prayer, about the middle of the eighteenth century. To reach Asia with the gospel we must get to the heart of the continent, and India was the working center. Eng land . was there in the East India Company, but that company was the foe to missions. But God was mov ing. He gave Britain a foothold in this central field of Oriental missions, and a sceptre over 200,000,000 people; this made it necessary to keep open the line of communication with the home government, to maintain an open highway of travel and traffic; and hence came, in the Providence of God, that remarkable influence which determined the attitude of every na tion along that highway, as at least neutral if not favorable to Christian Missions. And so came the battle of
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devastated Minnesota and Dakota for several years, until it seemed as though famine threatened the people. A day of fasting and prayer was ap pointed in Minnesota and devoutly observed. The next spring the grass hoppers appeared, but immediately a parasite attached itself to them, which prevented their doing damage and laying eggs against another season. It made a prdfound impression on the people that from the time of that public humiliation the scourge disap peared. [N ote . —The details of this deliverance are far more remarkable than as told by Dr. Pierson. They are given in a tract by Rev. Dr. Breed, published by the American Tract Society.] Spurgeon designates as “modern workers of miracles,” Frankce J. Falk, Jung Stilling, J. , Gossner, George Muller, Theodor Fleidner, L. Harms, J. Wichern and others who by faith and praver have originated and developed Christian institutions of the, most remarkable character. For one, I am alarmed at the waning faith in the supernatural, found even within the nominal church of Christ. The drift is toward a blank, bleak naturalism. The inspiration of the Bible is resolved into the inspiration of genius; the incarnation of God in Christ into an impersonation of godly character; the Divine atonement by blood into a mere human martyrdom; the regeneration by the Holy Ghost into a human reformation, and so the supernatural power of prayer is refined away. A man pulls himself toward shore by a rope attached to a stake and persuades himself the shore moves toward him. Results proceed, “not from the influence of the sup pliant on God, but from the mystic working of one soul on another.” EVEN GREATER. As Christlieb says again, here is a greater miracle than that God should
Plassey in 1757 which determined that Protestantism and not papacy should rule in India; and later the Sepoy Rebellion, which swung the great English power in India over to the side df Christian Missions. These- are only the outlines of a grand march of. events, only just now in progress, all of which began under the bugle call of the angel of the Lord, in answer to prevailing prayer. A WORLD POWER. We have given this one instance in full outline only as an example, among numberless ones, how prayer does- sway the balance of national history and a world’s destiny. Even ungodly men can scarce watch human history without feeling the presence of a pre siding power. Franklin will not be accused of being a Christian believer. Yet in the national convention of 1787, at that momentous crisis when no prog ress seemed to be making toward a closer bond of union between the confederated States, he arose and ad dressed the President: “How has it happened, sir, that, while groping so long in the dark, divided in our opinions, and now ready to separate without accomplish ing the great objects of our meeting, we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the great Father of Lights to illuminate our under standings? In the’ beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room fOr divine pro tection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and graciously answered.” And Franklin then moved that “hence forth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.” ' A DELIVERANCE. A terrible plague of grasshoppers
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answer prayer. How often help comes from a person of whose existence, even, the suppliant did not know, in response to an existing need unknown to anyone but the needy. It has been said of Muller that “the ‘Lord’ who went before him was merely another form of his own German energy, his simple, feeling heart, etc., a form dear to him and imposing to the Eng lish public.” And so forsooth we are to account for the fact that during a half century, without ever applying to a human soul for a gift, he re ceived millions of dollars, to build those orphan houses, to provide food and clothes and all needed comfort for 2,000 orphans; and, in the crisis of want, lest it should seem that he was indirectly applying to the public for aid, he even withheld the annual reports in which the story of past needs and divine supplies is told! HEALING FAITH. Travelers in Germany visit that wonderful hospital within three or four hours’ ride of Tübingen, which is more interesting than the famous University of Wittemberg, where Reuchlin and Melanchthon taught. Here Pastor Blumhardt, a man of singular gifts and graces, of most serene temper and apostolic earnest ness, drew to him unceasingly the sick and suffering; and in the cham bers of that hospital, astonishing vir tue went forth in connection with prayers for their recovery. Even those nervous maladies, which mod ern medicine seems most powerless to reach, yielded under the prayers of this godly and apostolic man, until he was compelled to give up the pulpit and parish to give himself wholly to the prayer of faith for healing, and at times 300 persons were at once in the hospital. The story of Dorothea Trudell is briefly this: Miss Trudell’s mother was a woman of remarkable faith. It
was her custom, when any member of her family was ill, to appeal direct ly to the Great Physician for healing without the additional resort of medi cine. After her mother’s death, Miss Trudell Assumed her mother’s place as the head of the family, and fol lowed the example of her mother’s faith. So marked were the answers to prayer for the recovery of the sick that she was often asked to visit her friends who were ill or receive them into her house. Thus her home, be came in" time a hospital; and at her death, in 1865, her work had grown to such proportions as to attract pa tients from every part of Switzerland. But her mantle.fell upon other men and women, who are still in charge of the institution which she left at Mannedorf; and the account of the healings wrought there in answer to the Prayer of Faith are such as can be accounted for only upon the as sumption that “the Prayer of Faith shall save the sick,” as truly now as when this promise was fresh from the pen of inspiration. A young man in the State of In diana left home for a business open ing in Ohio. There a gentleman from his own native place found him, and was shocked to discover that he had become a profane swearer. Returning home,' he felt constrained to tell Iiis pious parents of his awful degeneracy. They said little, and, in doubt whether they had understood him, he called the next day and repeated the statement. The father calmly replied, “We un derstood you: my wife and I spent a sleepless night on our knees pleading in behalf of our son; and about day break we received the assurance from God that James will never swear again.” Two weeks after, the son came home a changed man. “How long since this change took place?” asked his rejoicing parents. He re plied that just a fortnight before he was struck with a sense of guilt soPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100
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