WHEN THE SPIRIT’S FIRE SWEPT KOREA
JONATHAN GOFORTH D.D.
MY BELOVED MOTHER, Mrs. Jonathan Goforth, would have been writing this introductory word, but last May 31, at three A.M., at the age of seventy-eight, she laid down her pen which had been so signally used by the guiding hand of God. Like the husband whose life and work she shared with such heroic devotion through nearly fifty years in China, Mother was spared any long illness and suffering, passing suddenly into the “gloryland.” Her face lit up with expectation, and her last words rang with confidence: “This is the summons from my King. I am ready to go! ”
And now, being dead, they are both yet speaking to our hearts through their writings. By My Spirit, the one book Father wrote alone, has been recently reprinted by the Zondervan Publishing House because they are convinced that its message on revival is a most timely and urgently needed one.
This little booklet, in which Father tells the story of the Korean Revival as he lived through it, is considered a fitting companion publication to By My Spirit. In rereading this, the message has, I must confess, searched, then scorched, my own soul. We of this generation may well ask ourselves, as he does: “Do we really believe in God the Holy Ghost?”
Even in these days of unprecedented world catastrophe the Church of Jesus Christ is shamefully neglecting the powerhouse of prayer, and putting faith in the might of men and armaments, instead of giving the Holy Spirit of God His rightful place of sovereign power. May He use this story of the great revival fire that swept Korea to awaken our Laodicean Church to the stark fact that victory and eternal salvation will come “not by [man] might, nor by [man] power,”-as Father often (quoted his favorite text-“but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts.”
MARY GOFORTH MOYNAN
I WRITE of the revival in Korea because it has done so much for me. I cannot even consider the attainments and sacrifices of the Korean Christians without feeling ashamed of the little I have ever done for the Master. I have often seen Chinese Christian audiences break down and weep when I told them the story. If you realize that you have been “bought with a price” you will surely be ashamed and humbled too if you give this tale of Gospel triumph in Korea a fair hearing.
It was in the year of the great revival, 1907, that I visited eight of the chief mission centers of Korea. On returning to China I told the facts to the Chinese Christians at Mukden, and they seemed deeply moved. I went to Pei Tai Ho and told the missionaries there how the Lord had blessed Korea; and I heard some in tears vow that they would pray until a like blessing came to China. Afterwards I was invited to go to Chi Kung Shan, another health resort, to tell about Korea. I told the story on a Sunday evening. As I finished it occurred to me that I had been too long, and immediately I closed with the benediction. But no one moved. The stillness of death reigned. This lasted six or seven minutes, and then suppressed weeping broke out over the audience. Sins were confessed; forgiveness was asked for bid temper and quarrels, and the like. It was late when the meeting broke up, but all felt that the Holy Spirit had been among us, refining as by fire. Then we had four days of conference and prayer. It was the most wonderful time I have ever seen among missionaries. We resolved that we would pray every afternoon at four o’clock until the Church of China was revived. That autumn we began to see the power of God manifested among the people, but increased in mighty measure after the beginning of 1908 in Manchuria and elsewhere.