[estimated date, 1905]W7172 REVIVALS; CHINA AND SIERRA LEONE [EXCERPTS]
Jan 1 1905
To: Grafton Ontario
Great progress reported in mission fields1. . . .A revival in Madagascar in the Betulin country which was first evangelized by Welsh missionaries 80 yrs ago has many Welsh men still at work. These missionaries hearing of the Welsh movement told the native Xtians about & formed a solemn league & covenant among them to prepare & pray for a similar revival. Quanets were made up (injuries forgiven) & as far as possible every hindrance removed. A few weeks were spent thus in preparation & prayer & then the answer came in a profound sense of God's presence & power at a prayer meeting. This led to the decision of 83 nations on the following Sabbath and a wave of blessing followed.
In India a great revival had come in connection with this we wish specially to notice, that a week of prayer for India had been arranged in England and on the first day of that week when the first great wave of prayer reached India the spirit of God broke out in melting power and marvellous have been the results. I am sure all our hearts must have been thrilled & melted as we read of these revivals and so has come to us a reflux of the blessing. This the "flux & reflux" which Madam Griegore speaks about of the life of God flowing from Him into--I thought all who are in communion with Him. O how little we realize the possibilities & power of prayer & the surging life which is ever more flowing from the heart of God into the world, ready to break forth in quickening power whenever hearts are prepared by seeking Him. What a view of themselves men & women received under the great search light of the Spirit of God, how clearly they saw dishonesty & hatred & spite & how the missionaries were convicted of lack of faith, lack of prayer & consequently little fruit bearing. And we noticed too how as on the day of our Lord the devil fought against God, as it were openly. O how busy he always is, though he hides his work so cleverly, suggesting all sorts of reasons why we should not engage in various kinds of work for God, putting all kinds of excuses into our minds even when we are on our knees distracting our thoughts, paralysing our memories, so that we lose our connection with God, and the channels of blessing are broken.
4 Viceroys, rulers of 8 provinces with a population over 179,000,000 appealed to their own government to seek the aid of Great Britain in saving their country from ruin through opium, because they say China can never be strong and stand shoulder to shoulder with the powers of the world when 1/4 of her subjects have been reduced to skeletons and look half dead. They call upon them to use the Japanese methods in Formosa and by doing so China can be saved in 30 years.
Zackary Macaulay, father of the great historian had been for 10 years overseer of a West Indian Estate, he was of high character [& great mental power] & laboured hard to promote the Slave's interests. In 1792 compelled to return to England on account of ill health, he became acquainted with friends of Africa, who induced him to go out to Sierra Leone. He became Governor.
In 1799 the Sierra Leone Co made him their English Secretary & he resided at Clapham in close communication with the founders of the Church Missionary Society for Africa & the East. Among these founders were Charles Simeon of saintly memory, Wm. Wilberforce, the Champion of the Slaves in Jamaica & the veritable John Newton. Lying off the Southern promontory of Sierra Leone are the Banana Islands, now the seat of a flourishing Xtian Church. Upon one of these islands there landed in 1746 a wretched youth, clothed in rags who entered the service of a white slave trader living nearby. Many bitter hardships did he suffer from the severity of the climate & the cruelty of his master's negro mistress. He had lost all faith in God or man, but was brought out of his troubles by a series of remarkable deliverances. His future career is briefly sketched in his epitaph written by himself & now to be seen on the walls of St. Mary Woolnoth Church, of which he was for many years Rector: "John Newton once an infidel & libertine. A servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the Rich mercy of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ [?] restored, pardoned & appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy."
At Cairo the mission are experiencing many encouraging opportunities for speaking & preaching to moslems & even to students Al Azhar. Rev. D.M. Thornton has recently addressed men from Sierra Leone, Timbuctoo, Shangit, Yemen, Fez & Turkey. The Bible bought at the mission depot is [even] possessed by a number of Moslem students & is even read openly within the walls of the great Moslem University Al Azhar itself. Mr. Thornton writes: "Praise for blessing coming, for hearts-softening, for doors opening, for converts openly preaching & teaching Christ up & down the land. Let the brethren know that the time is ripe & the harvest coming soon so keep on believing. I find that Toney is right "Preach for results & you get them," though Lord Cromer would not have Xtian Missions work in Sudan. Xtians belonging to U.P. churches in [?] are moving into Sudan for business purposes are taking Xtianity with them & are now arranging to have pastors & preachers, so the gospel will be preached in Sudan.
The British in Foreign Bible Society reports that the demand for copies of the Scriptures is three times what it was a year ago & one bookseller writes "No trouble now to sell Bibles, the trouble is to get them."
1 For examples of Mary Baker McQuesten’s Presbyterian Missionary Society and Public Addresses, see W7172, W7181, W7193, W7203, W8422, W8432, W8447, W0127a, several others are illegible.