Religious Items

Revivals versus Regular Work.—Those who disparage revivals of religion often express the greatest faith in what they call "the regular work of the Church." But the trouble with "the regular work of the Church" is that it is frequently on so low a plane that it would be unreasonable to expect much from it in the way of converting unbelievers or edifying those who have been converted. "The regular work of the Church" too often means the formal repetition of stereotyped services without much warmth or spiritual power.

But even were the ordinary activities of our Churches sustained at a much higher spiritual level than they are, we do not see how any one familiar with the New Testament teachings and with Christian history can doubt that revivals of religion, in which the interest of multitudes in spiritual things is simultaneously experienced, are greatly to be desired. Many of our older readers probably can remember such seasons. The people were hungry for the word of God, and there was no question of church attendance. Even those who had seldom crossed the threshold of a church were drawn by subtle influences to the sanctuary. There God's message found them and they responded to it. It was easy to speak with others about spiritual things. The very air seemed to be charged with gracious powers. In such revivals of religion our missionary societies, our theological seminaries, and our Christian colleges were born, and multitudes of souls entered upon the deathless career of sons of God.—The Watchman.

February 6, 1902

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