Letters - 1905.12.04 to Mr. Baring-Gould
Dec. 4, 1905
Dear Mr. Baring-Gould,
Just a line to tell you that The Revival has come to Fukien! though not, as yet, into our C.M.S. circle. It is coming and we doubt not and our united missions prayer meeting every Monday for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost has received new stimulus. Last Friday I received the enclosed information from Mr. Bissonettee, a Methodist worker, “Last night was a Pentecostal night at Tieng Ang Dong; the Spirit falling in marvelous power upon the people in prayer. The whole assembly seemed to give utterance audibly to the Spirit and they prayed until the room seemed to be shaken. The fire from heaven has indeed fallen in our midst and unless it is trodden out of our hearts by the things of the world it will sweep the whole church. This is only the beginning.”
For about a fortnight now the Methodist colleges and school have witnessed wonderful scenes. The work began in a prayer meeting held by the boys amongst themselves and now most of the 300 men in the Anglo Chinese College and nearly all the girl students in the boarding schools are longing for the first month to come that they may go home and tell their unsaved relatives what God has done for them.
Last Saturday evening, as I was free for an hour or two, I attended an ordinary weekly prayer meeting in the vestry of the Church of the Methodist Mission (American) about 60 men were present and a dozen women. The leader was a Chinaman evidently under the influence of God the Spirit and he spoke just a few words with great power on, “If thou bring thy gift to the altar and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee” etc. etc. He then asked if any present were not at peace with each other and if so would they make peace? About six men in all asked forgiveness of one another and then the meeting was left open for prayer. I have never heard such prayer anywhere!! Strong men on their knees crying to God, some with tears, for mercy and forgiveness and pleading the precious blood. It was wonderful! When the stream of prayer seemed most violent suddenly it ceased and we rose from our knees to sing “Just as I am” which one man had chosen.
Towards the close of the meeting another remarkable time of prayer made me realise as I never have realised before the awful state of a soul out of harmony with God. The plea urged again and again by these praying souls was “for the sake of the precious blood.”
We are all looking to God to do a similar work in our C.M.S. colleges and schools in this district and province. Will you ask prayer for this please at your next weekly meeting.
I am, dear Mr. Baring-Gould
M. E. Barber
Note by Baring-Gould
Upon receipt of this letter, Mr. Baring Gould attached the following note:
In any use made of this letter I trust that caution will be exercised. Real harm has too often resulted from failure in this respect.
Observations from the note.
From this note by Mr. Baring-Gould it is safe to say that Miss Barber’s letter was read beyond Mr. Baring-Gould’s desk. Perhaps it was read at a weekly committee meeting as she requests, or at C. M. S. prayer meetings. Such a letter would be useful to inspire and inform those praying as to the state of the work in Fuzhou.
Mr. Baring-Gould’s note is interesting because of its clearly cautionary tone. While Miss Barber’s letter would aid a prayer meeting, it does not paint the mission in the best light. And in lieu of the strife stirred up abroad by the recent Status and Probation of Missionaries proposal, many on the home front could infer something of a negative spiritual state from this letter.