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The Way of the Lord.
‘‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths
straight.” Matt. 3: 3.
TLANTA is now on the lookout for
the beginning of the Torrey-Alexander
meetings. ’Within the next two or three
weeks hundreds and thousands of peo
ple will be gathering day after day in
these meetings, the object of which is
to lead souls to Christ and quicken the
spiritual lire of our churches. It is
well for us, in view of this fact, to
stop awhile and ponder, Eo great movement of any
kind was ever exploited without preparation. The
history of the rise and fall of empires and king
doms will show that foundation work is always
necessary to any great culmination.
Business men appreciate this and hence they are
careful about their foundations. Statesmen and
politicians see it, and hence their vigorous cam
paigns of education and preparation.
It is just so in matters of religion. Jesus would
not enter upon his ministry without the prepara
tion of John the Baptist: “Prepare ye the way of
the Lord; make his paths straight,” was the spe
cific message that John was sent to deliver. This
note has been necessary in all the great religious
campaigns of the world. It is said that preceding
the great revivals of Whitfield and Wesley months
of preparation were observed. Business men of all
ranks were known to give up their business and
spend their time in prayer and preparation for the
great revival expected to come through the instru
mentality of these men.
It has also been true in this country. Charles G.
Finney, the great Presbyterian revivalist, would
never go to a place to conduct a meeting until he
was assured that there had been thorough prepara
tion on the part of the Christian people. Every
detail of the proposed meeting had to be settled,
and much time in prayer, and ofttimes fasting, was
The same was true in the great meetings of D. L.
Moody in this country and abroad. He was always
very careful about much preparation. He used to
say: “Have just as many committees and get just
as many people to work as you possibly can, but
when I come please let all of your committees re
sign, for I cannot be bothered with committees.”
Torrey and Alexander.
The same plan is insisted upon by Dr. Torrey and
Mr. Alexander in their great campaigns throughout
the world.- In Australia, England, Ireland, Scot-,
land and this country they have insisted upon a
thorough coming together of the people in the com
munities where their meetings are to be held and
that much time be given to prayer and prepara
Atlanta is now in the midst of such a prepara
tion. We are expecting a great outpouring of the
Holy Spirit upon the whole community and the en
tire Southland. But we need not expect this to come
through Dr. Torrey’s preaching and Mr. Alexan
der’s singing alone. They can only be the channels
wl KIM Mmwffir
The Golden Age for May 10, 1906.
tof blessing. If we are to have the great revival
expected it must come through the Holy Spirit
Himself as He reveals Jesus Christ to us. But this
is not to be expected unless the way is prepared.
y God is not going to make an exception in favor
of Atlanta. He has blessed it in many ways, and is
to-day blessing it, but this great spiritual awaken
ing that some of us are looking for is not coming
unless Atlanta, like every other place, sets itself
to the work of faithful, honest, spiritual prepara
First, we must lay aside all mere denomination
alism. I believe in denominations. The man who
sets himself up to knock down all denominational
lines is himself a denominationalist. The creed of
his denomination is no creed, and no creed is de
Generally speaking, the man who advocates no
denominational lines is so narrow as to demand
that everybody shall come into his denomination.
If he is a Baptist, he is in favor of everybody giv
ing up their denomination and becoming a Baptist,
ii lie is a Metnouist, lie is m favor of everyuody
becoming a iVietlioaist. Ao,'we are not here talk
ing about the obliteiation of ail denominational
tenets and creeds; but we are talking about laying
our denominational differences down, for the time
being, that we may unite m one great campaign for
soui-winning, tor that is the most important work
of the Church. There is religion enough expressed
in the creed of any of our evangelistic churches to
save the worm, if only it was lived up to.
Let us then not be giving ourselves to the ques
tion of church distinctions. 1 do not personally
care wnether Dr. Torrey and Mr. Alexander and
their workers are Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist,
or Quakers. What I want in this campaign is to
see Atlanta on hie with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I want to see sinners converted. I want to see all
of our people who believe in Jesus Christ and His
atoning blood, join hands in one great pull for the
salvation of souls.
Let there be no church lines in this effort. I
shall feel free on the platform or the floor. I shall
feel that it is as much my work as it is the work
of the leaders. 1 shall give myself just as much to
it as if it were a meeting of my own church or de
Oftimes the blessing in a work like this is lost
because churches get jealous about the reception
of members. The fact is, too much of our evangel
istic effort is to get members into our churches so
as to swell our reports. If there ever was a dam
nable motive inspired of the devil it is this. It is
all right to get members into the churches. We
want to get them and we ought to get them. A
saved man has no business outside the church, but
in heaven’s name let us have a higher motive for
an evangelistic effort than that. Let us get men
saved. The saved man will go to heaven whether
he is in my church or not.
No Social Distinction.
Again, if this work is to be of God there must
be no social distinctions made. It is not to be
considered a work for the salvation of Peachtree
or Decatur street. A soul is a soul wherever found.
A lost man or woman is hellbound. The fires of
hell will burn just as hot for a lost bum on De
catur street as a lost beauty on Peachtree street,
and no hotter. Let its remember this. It is a
campaign for salvation and not society; it is for
inspiration and not influence.
Some people have acted as if we cannot have a
great revival in Atlanta unless it is promoted by
the influential classes. I abominate any such senti-
Le n G . Broughton
ment. It is not of God. God is not dependent
upon the influence of any man. Surely it looks
to me like it is time we were realizing that fact.
Paul was not a man of influence. He lost every
whit of the influence he had when he became a
Christian. But, thank God, he got something that
was better than influence, he got power. Pie did
not have influence enough to keep out of jail, but
be had power enough when chained fast in stocks
to open the prison doors and shake off the shack
les that bound him and walk out.
Christ did not have any influence. He did not
have influence enough to keep off the cross, but he
had power enough to break the bands of death and
rise from the dead.
Away with all this talk about influence, position
and money. We want all of it, we need it, but we
do not want it nor do we need it at the expense of
power. It is the humble, consecrated, Spirit-filled
saint in this city that this meeting depends upon
more than all the flary flounces of society.
Let us seek a revival that revives without regard
to class or distinction. Let us see the business
man leave his office and win souls. Let us see the
rich and the poor unite at the same altar. Let us
see the ignorant and the learned all together mix
up in one great meeting, laboring for salvation for
themselves and for their people.
R'ght with God.
But, again, there must be heart preparation. God
is not going to come in saving power upon this city
until the Christian men and women get their hearts
right in His sight. There is too much sin and
worldliness in the churches of Atlanta to have a
great revival. There must be a cleaning up and a
cleaning out before God will come in.
This work must begin at the most influential cen
ter of our churches. The officers and leaders must
get right. Their lives are known to the community,
and more still they are known to God.
Israel once bemoaned its condition and God
spake to them through His prophet saying, “The
Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But
your iniquities have separated between you and
your God, and your sins have hid his face from
you, that He will not hear.”
This is the trouble with God’s people to-day and
it is the only trouble.
One of the explanations given by the Russians
for the defeat of their fleet by the Japanese is that
the day before the conflict a leak was sprung in
one of their main vessels which admitted water
into the powder magazine. They discovered the
leak but thought it was so small that it would not
affect anything; and so they rushed the great ship
into the thickest of the fight, and found, when it
was too late, that the powder would not explode.
How true this is of the church in religious cam
paigns.- We have our machinery in good shape. I
think now that the machinery for the coming meet
ings, from what I can gather, is in good trim; but
about the powder magazine I do not know. I am
satisfied of this,, that there are numerous leaks
that have been recognized for a long time by our
churches. But they have not been repaired and are
still causing defeat. There is the leak of worldli
ness, of bitterness and jealousy, the leak of com
mercialism and indifference.
When men and women who are leaders in the
church, pay no attention to the church services;
ignore meetings for prayer; stay at home on Sun
day nights and entertain their friends; I say, when
such conditions as these exist the powder magazine
is in poor shape for a vigorous campaign.
Let us get right. Let us all get right. Let us
begin at the pulpit and not stop until we get to the