Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "The Accidental Ethnographer." (Coming Soon)
Click below for other posts from "The Great Melbourne Revival":
|[a] Down, under RF|
|[b] Versatile RF|
BY J.A. PACKER OF THE DAILY TELEGRAPH STAFF
But, whatever the character of the crowds, they proved a fruitful advertisement, and for the rest of the mission the problem was what to do for the people who could not get into the hall.
|[c] Appeal RF|
The work done at Footscray was both real and deep. The local ministers rallied round Mr. Geil magnificently and caught the true spirit of his enthusiasm. There was also an admirable united choir and a band of willing and devoted workers. Something like 1,300 persons were brought under conviction during the ten nights, and signed cards expressing a firm determination to live the Christian life. Footscray was undoubtedly the brightest spot in the whole mission, and for many years to come Mr. Geil's memory in the district will be as fragrant as ointment poured forth.
It was thought best for Mr. Geil to visit several centres for a night each. Everywhere packed houses greeted him, and many professed conversion. At Cairns Memorial Church a marvellous result obtained as told by the pastor, J.A. Ewen:—
|[d] Revival need RF|
We are not now smiling at the raw, long-legged youth, bashfully sitting by his fair companion, studying photos of plump, well-fed babies, but at the ghastly daguerrotype of a young man lying dead in his coffin. We can see the attenuated hands folded in death, the pale, clayey cheek, the sunken, lustreless eyes. The scene is painfully realistic—a hush sweeps across the audience, and we seem to feel, if not to see, the spiritual dead among the living. 'Where art though?' The speaker suffered from a fearful cold, his voice hoarse, rasping, breaking into jarring notes; but the ring of pathetic earnestness is there. He is on the right track, and he is letting himself go, and one begins to detect a new element in the atmosphere—the voice of God is in the air, and it is coming very near. It is like the voice of a mother seeking her wandering boy, and calling him home; and so he pleads, and pleads, till, finally, his voice gives way, and with something suspiciously like a sob, he stops. 'I can do no more.'
|[e] NZ RF|
Test Number Two: Quietly, with consummate tact, and with something bordering on genius, he besought those who had asked their prayers, to help themselves, to stand up for Jesus. The quiet stillness of God's house became almost painful. Still no response. The tension was hardly bearable. A sigh, a sob, a heartfelt prayer, and then, suddenly, there was a 'sound of going.' Singly and in twos and threes, in families and whole seats, they arose; youths and maidens of seventeen, old men and women of seventy. An appeal to the chivalry of youth brought twenty-one students to their feet, and another to the young ladies of a neighbouring college was responded to by the same number. And all this was done with naturalness and entire absence of anything sensational, that even the most critical could find nothing to carp at. 'All things were done decently and in order.' The church became a valley of weeping, but the tears were tears of joy. The missioner himself was visibly affected, but reminded us that even Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
Test Number Three: Promptly, blank forms were distributed, to be filled in by those who had decided, and in less than ten minutes 120 of these were signed and returned. A few words of kindly counsel, the Benediction, and the meeting dispersed; such a meeting as will live in the memories of those who were privileged to be present so long as memory lasts. We have assisted in evangelistic work along with such masters as D.L. Moody, Professor Drummond, the Rev. John McNeill, and others, yet never in church or hall have we seen such intense earnestness, such a spontaneous response, such a visible manifestation of the Divine presence. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
|[f] Marvel(l)ous RF|