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“A matter of very great importance in dealing successfully with souls is to know how to the find the right angle of approach, so as really to commend the message. This spiritual tact is the supreme human qualification for catching men."

How Dr. Mabie applies the principles he thus enunciates, the length of my paper, already too long, forbids my entering upon. Suffice it now to ask : How much of this method and tact have we in our dealings with individual souls ? And the anterior question : How large a place does tender, persistent, soul-seeking find in our time and effort ? Let us study the method of the Chief Shepherd and we shall not fail to notice how, with infinite love and patience, He went after the individual soul until He found it, with what insight and tact, he approached it, and with what patient tenderness He kept by it till His saving hand could grasp it and lay it on His shoulders rejoicing.

But I must pass on to my last point, first in my thought as I pondered the subject of this paper, but last in presentment of it to you, because it is the thought that I would have linger in our minds as we close. I mean the consideration of

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4. The Missionary as Priest. We have together breathed the atmosphere of the city, and then of the prairie, and again of the meadow. Now we enter and breathe the incense laden atmosphere of the Most Holy Place. This fact alone makes the last point fundamental to the whole. The missionary is nothing if he is not priest. It is in the sanctuary, the secret place of the most high, that the vision of God awaits him. And it is for the priest emerging from the presence of the Shekinah Glory, where he has been “making intercession" that the people wait. For in some mysterious way the world's blessing is dependent on the prayer of God's children. I sometimes wonder whether it is not the case that the world is waiting till God's people as one whole realise their priesthood. It is this one feature of the priestly office that I ask you to look at for a very brief space.

During my furlough I attended a Young People's Missionary Conference. I shall always be thankful that I did so if only for one address I heard on this subject of prayer, from Dr. Pierson. I shall not readily forget the picture of the grim prophet face as he spoke of what he called “The Sense of God.” Referring to his own experience he pleaded that in a darkened room, with all external distracting sights and sounds excluded, we should sit before the Lord in quietness till we realise the sense of God, and then pray. You know what he meant. The great mystery of Christian experience is that, having known it, we can bear to go a single day without it. And yet-let me for once speak for myself—there are times when the heavy burden on my soul is that, seeing failure in all else, there is most of all failure here at this very point. But it may be that there is nothing in which our experience is more alike than this. Shall I use an expression I once heard McLaren use and say “tragically alike?" For is it not tragic ? Here at our hand are reserves of power which pale our puny efforts in service into utter insignificance, and they lie dormant and unused ! Inexpressibly tragic if, as we have suggested, the world is waiting for the putting forth of that power ! We neglect prayer for ourselves, and spiritual declension follows. That we recognise and deplore. We neglect prayer for our work, and

. it lacks power. That too we recognise and deplore. But do we recognise how much is lost in spheres outside these two because we do not pray? We are priests to intercede for other men and other work. Prayer is work. We can and may accomplish by prayer what we could not by work. We can do more for that boy or girl in our school, for that enquirer or enemy of the truth we are seeking to win, we can do more by such intercession than by all we may say to them. We can do inore for China to-day by prayer than if we held the reins of power as adviser to her statesmen. The Master says: “If two of you


agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for thein of my Father which is in heaven." What strange mysterious paradox do these words reveal! The putting forth of divine power contingent on the prayer of two or three! It is as though the Master said : “For some reason which now you cannot know, but which hereafter you shall know, I can do nothing except you pray.” “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name I will do it, but until you ask I cannot work." The mystery is beyond our grasp, but it is not beyond our belief and acceptance. It is but part of a larger mystery, and we have the clue to it if we remember the words of the apostle : “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.S. D. Gordon in his books frequently touches on this point. He seems to emphasize in an evangelical direction what R. J. Campbell has emphasized in a very different direction—the truth

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of the divine immanence. Do we realise it ? Immanent in us all, ever striving against the lower elements in our nature, ever interceding for us against ourselves with unuttered groanings, ever yearning in us and through us to make intercession for others, is the Divine Spirit, that mysterious Person of the Divine Trinity, which is the immanent response to the outpouring of the divine love, the invisible, uninvited guest in every heart, waiting patiently till we shall yield ourselves to His silent but invincible power. If we liave so yielded ourselves, or if we so yield ourselves to-day, we shall find that these promises of Scripture, which are so perplexingły limitless in their scope, do not fall short of the truth by one whit. And further, if such prayer is in many hearts united, 11ot simply because we meet together and receive our promptings from each other, but united because the one Spirit moves in each heart in ways infinitely varied, but with the inevitable result that we are of one accord and of one mind, then Pentecost will come. Should we not look back on this as a red-letter day in our mission's history if here and now, in each one, there were a silent, real, effectual, turning the back on all miserable lame-dog experiences and an entering on a career of power in unbroken continuity-power in the intercessory prayer of the priest ? I do not mean that we should make resolvesi Still less that there should be any mutual compact of the external sort. But why should we not place such a value on prayer that we would not grudge a whole day of time that we may get near to God in humble pleading for the outpouring of His Spirit on this people ?

The situation calls for the wisdoni of the apostle. Not less it calls for the moral and spiritual passion of the prophet, the man with the vision of God. Myriads of bewildered sinstricken souls call for the love of the seeking Shepherd-love and patience that never despair. But above all, and more thani all, the situation here and everywhere else calls for priests wlio in the secret of the sanctuary intercede with effectual fervent prayer.

In a day long past there was a crisis in the history of God's people. In the midst of thať people was one whose habit it was to pray three times a day. But there came a day wlien it was borne in upon him that the set time for blessing for liis people had come.

His prayer assumed a new phase-vicarious confession and tender tearful intercession. "And whiles I was'


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speaking” he tells us “and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God : yea whiles I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel touched me and said : • At the beginning of thy supplications, the commandment went forth and I am come.

If one or another or all of us shall thus for a nation or for a church or for a mission humble ourselves in contrition and intercession, be assured that to us shall come that One whom in a later vision Daniel saw : “ His face was the appearance of lightning and His eyes as lamps of fire and His feet like in colour to burnished brass and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude." And the word He will speak, as we stand trembling, will be : “Fear not, for from the first day that

“ thou didst set thy heart to understand and to humble thyself before thy God, thy words were heard."

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How to Gain God's Presence and Power in

Our Work*


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1 Kings xviii, 21-40. Live in the Presence yourself.-Elijah habitually dwelt there, ch. xvii, 1 and xviii, 15. God's presence brought to bear on souls. Conviction of sin, confession and cleaving to Christ

. are but the results of this. To me there is such a lack of conscious presence of God in nature here in China. I think because He is not recognized by the men whom He has made, He is denied in the presence of His own works. I weighed the thought thus one day: “If others, by denying Himn, can rob me of any measure of God's conscious presence, cannot I by reckoning on Him gain a consciousness of His presence for them, even though they attribute it only to the unknown God'?" I believe we can. The life that can pray”—as Dr. Andrew Murray puts it ; this is what we want. Men who are at home in the Presence, who live there, who bring it to bear on the details of daily life,-such men will not be found

* It was a message passed on at prayers one Conference morning during Mr. Goforth's visit to Shansi and is published by request.




wanting in the hours of crisis. They will be a power anywhere, at home or in the mission field.

Stand by the sacrifice, ch. xviii, 36.-“At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice." "And he put the wood in order and the bullock on the wood . .. . and Elijah the prophet came near.” No emphasis here on many worded prayers (Matt. vi, I, “they think”), nor on length of time spent in praying, nor even on earnestness in prayer. The prophets of Baal would apparently have taken the palm in this: “From morning until noon," "they leaped," "cried aloud," cut themselves tiil

till the blood gushed out,” “prophesied until . .. evening,” xviii, 26, 28, 29. The emphasis is on the sacrifice. The other men might have from morning until evening, but the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice was Elijah's time; prayer there was mighty; it touched the heart of things, for it touched the heart of God, and the prayer of a minute gained the answer that turned a nation back again.

In the New York harbour stood a rock which had long hindered free traffic in and out of its waters. A contract was undertaken for its removal, plans were made, a train of dynamite laid down, and all that was left to complete the work was a child's pressure on the electric button. That brought the unseen force to bear upon the rock, the hinderance of years gave way, and the harbour was free.

was free. How grandly simple the prayers of Jesus are. See Jno. xi, 41-43, xii, 2728. Simplicity is well in contact with such a presence and power as the sacrifice of Jesus. The man that stands there is mighty ; he touches Christ and therefore touches God. That is why contact with the sacrifice touches the heart of things.

3. Do all things at God's word. xviii, 36.—Elijah accepted God's programme and learned to live in it. He kept step with God. And God's programme leaves room for failure, the failure of the false to wreck us on the true, the unfailing. The law failed to bring us perfection that it might bring us to Christ. Peter failed trusting in the flesh that he might triumph trusting in the Holy Ghost. Saul, the people's choice, failed, to make room for David, “the man after God's own heart." Paul failed till in an agony of helplessness he cast bimself on Jesus Christ, Rom. vii, and “the law of the spirit of

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