This city has just witnessed a mighty outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the churches, with the same wonderful manifestations which have characterized His work in Wales, in Korea, in Manchuria, and in other parts of China.
For months the missionaries and Christians of Nanking and the surrounding region have been in prayer that when Mr. Goforth came here he might be the agent of the Spirit of God in quickening the church and leading it into the fulness of blessing. The prayer has been answered, and for many days there has been a volume of confession, prayer, and renewal of vows such as this great heathen city has never witnessed.
"For months the missionaries and Christians of Nanking and the surrounding region have been in prayer that when Mr. Goforth came here he might be the agent of the Spirit of God in quickening the church and leading it into the fulness of blessing. The prayer has been answered, and for many days there has been a volume of confession, prayer, and renewal of vows such as this great heathen city has never witnessed."
A great tent was built, with a seating capacity of over 1,200, and this was filled for ten days, twice a day, from February 27th to March 7th. The Lord answered prayer in giving exceptional weather, else the pavilion could not have been used at all. For four days, beyond an evident deep interest and prayerfulness, nothing remarkable was visible in the meetings. Mr. Goforth spoke simply, but powerfully, of the absolute sovereignty of God as displayed in other places where He had cleansed and purified His church. Then a break came, and men, women, boys, girls, with weeping and deep contrition confessed their sins. Some confessed to the grosser sins; others to coldness, hypocrisy, lying, covetousness. During the last days, beside many who rose or knelt at their seats to confess, fully ﬁve hundred came forward to the platform to acknowledge their sins and ask the prayers of the multitude.
The evidences of the actual presence and work of the Holy Spirit were too numerous to be gainsaid. Sins unrepented of, of years gone by, often forgotten sins, were brought to light. Some who came to the meetings, resolved that “Mr. Goforth should never drag a confession from them,” were compelled to acknowledge it all and to tell out the story of defection and sin. It was felt by very many that these were days of judgment such as Joel foretold, and that to hide their sins now would be the cause of being eternally ruined in the last day. The terrors of Sinai were not preached by Mr. Goforth, but they were brought home to the people by the Spirit Himself. Some of the most remarkable facts were these:
I. The terrible burden of sin, made clear by the Holy Spirit’s convicting power. Hatred, anger, impatience of authority, contention, lying, selfish ease in the church without care for the unsaved, etc., etc., were confessed with bitter anguish.
2. The reality of the cross of Jesus. The love of the Savior, who died for us, was vividly realized by many as never before.
3. The sadness and coldness, friendlessness and hopelessness, of life, of any life, away from Christ.
4. The tremendous value of human souls and the fearful guilt of being a stumbling block in the way of others, and even of not praying and working for them.
5. The power of prayer.
These are realities in Nanking to-day. The reproach of Christ has been rolled away; men know now that this is not a “foreign “ church, but that the very power of God is in our midst. The visitors from the surrounding regions have gone to their homes with great zeal for souls; some of them, when they came, were burdened with guilt and far from Christ. The five communions established in Nanking are aﬁre. One of our workers, in prayer in the daily meetings still going on, has been oppressed even to physical pain, almost beyond endurance, for those who had wandered away from the church during the past ten years. The officers of the church are alive to the needs of the Christians as never before, and are earnestly devising means for reclaiming wanderers, winning the lost, and building up the weak. All hearts are full of joy and seeking to serve the Lord with full consecration and acceptableness. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me; bless His holy name!—J. C. Garritt, The Chinese Recorder, April, 1909, pp. 229-230