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Prayer was the natural breathing of his soul. He was saturated with piety. But, so far from this involving him in an effort to produce specific, technical "conversion," after the manner of any and all types of this experience, in him the great reality of the spiritual life is dissociated from all these things. The aim of Jesus is infinitely profounder than all this conventional desire of revivalism. In him the spiritual life never ends in anything said or done at any stated time. It is not a set event, like repentance or conversion. It is the introduction of a new power into life. It is a germ, a seed cast into the soil. It is a new quality of experience which is a leaven, filling the soul, shining in the eyes running over, dropping like honey from the lips, imparted like the perfume of a rose to all the neighborhood. . . . There is a cry for "results" in most churches and in most people. And by results they mean things or converts they can count and tabulate. But we repeat that this is not the method of Jesus. His work is to breathe upon and in men this new life from above. He introduces into the soul a dynamic energy, a mighty, moulding, transforming energy, but he does not harness this to some formula.

Christianity was spread at the first, both by the Master and by his followers, not so much by great missionary organizations, nor by the persuasion of great preachers, as it was by the conversation and influence of lowly, humble, every-day working saints. It was the sense of brotherliness that introduced and spread the new religion. Hardly any book were written. They lived up to the new commandment that they love one another. It was such a new thing in human experience that it spread with marvelous rapidity where no apostle or preacher had ever gone. And the joy of it was the joy of the Lord. It exalted the depressed. It was a flush of divine life to those almost crushed. It reasserted the original thought of God that every man was capable of receiving and preaching that gospel that made even Jesus rejoice in the Holy Spirit.

August 25, 1906

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