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THE REVIVAL IN THE KHASIA HILLS
Mrs John Roberts
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|2. The Revival In Cherra|
One of the Khasi evangelists belonging to the Nongsawlia Church was present at the Pariong Presbytery. He returned to Nongsawlia full of the fire, and by his glowing account of what he had seen and heard he was the means of stirring up yet more the longing desire of the Christians of that Church. They were encouraged topray more faithfully, more expectantly, and ere long, a week later, they also were remembered, and so graciously that they felt they could never sufficiently thank their God for his kindness to them.
On Saturday, the last Saturday in the month of March, 1905, the Christians
had come together for the preparatory meeting, previous to partaking
of the Lord’s Supper—a beautiful, lovely meeting it was.
The dew of heaven was heavy upon it. Tongues were unloosed, friend after
friend getting up voluntarily to testify to the working of God in their
souls. It was good to be there, and all felt that it was a precursor
of something great. And we were not disappointed. Sunday morning dawned
upon us. A good prayer meeting; a good sermon. About one o’clock
we assembled together to commemorate the death—the wonderful death—of
our precious and gracious Lord. It was a very sacred time, and as the
service went on the feeling deepened greatly, and many were silently
weeping almost the whole time. The last meeting commenced at five o’clock,
and it was in this meeting that the heavenly fire broke out. Several
had spoken, men and women, expressing their feelings and the deep joy
they had had when partaking of the Lord’s feast. In tears, and
with effort, were their words brought out—words of love, words
of praise to Him who had loved them and had bought them with His blood—
lisping, broken words of praise, but very acceptable, we think, to the
Father’s heart. Suddenly a young girl arose, Ka Simal by name.
She began by speaking a few words about herself, then she turned to
pray, and as she prayed she wept—wept and prayed and prayed and
wept—for herself and for her family. The feeling grew in intensity.
Then five or six young girls who were sitting behind, and who had been
silently weeping for some time, could no longer restrain themselves,
and burst out into loud sobs. We scarcely know how to describe what
followed. The women on the one side were all crying out aloud, and in
less time than we have written these words the flame had crossed to
the other side, and the whole congregation was ablaze. God had remembered
His Church in Nongsawlia! He had visited His people. Hearts were touched
beyond control! Oh, the weeping and the wailing, and the rejoicing!
The blessed Spirit had come, and the secrets of hearts were exposed.
A few were screaming in agony and beside themselves with grief. There
was one woman, especially, whose cries were pitiful in the extreme.
She was inconsolable for days, but very happy afterwards. During this
outburst several unsuccessful attempts were made by various persons
to start singing, and some tried to pray;
But that was only the beginning of wonders. Marvellous meetings followed, in private houses and in chapels. Before the gracious visitation we used sometimes to wonder what form the Revival would take in Khasia; but we found that the gracious Spirit worked in His Church there just as He did in Wales, and the people responded much in the same way. He worked in the Church and He searched the very depths of hearts, and with weeping and groaning they would stand up and confess their sins, and beg for forgiveness. We saw some in agony of soul, beseeching for a word of pardon, and we saw them afterwards rejoicing in the assurance of forgiveness. In one Church meeting one of these was beside himself with joy; he was dancing round the chapel because in prayer the previous night God had told him that his sins were forgiven. A young woman came rushing to the Mission House one day in a transport of joy for the same blessed reason. She was almost wild with joy, as well she might be. She declared that she had been forgiven, and that the righteousness of God was now hers.
One evening one of the Christians was speaking in Chapel in a very pathetic and impressive manner. The Spirit had been evidently searching him, and had shown him depths in his heart which he had never before suspected. He was in great distress; for a time he had lost sight of the Saviour. He said with great solemnity that he had seen the flames of hell, and that he understood somewhat of the torments of the lost, and that he could not see his Saviour’s face. Then he turned to the heathen who were present, and addressed them very impressively. He told them of the awfulness of a life of sin, and of the terrible punishment of those who persisted in evil, and begged, and pleaded with them to turn to Jesus Christ. “You see me now,” he said, “in dire distress, but great as is my trouble, and though I do not now see the face of my Saviour, I know He is not far off.” Our hearts were filled with sympathy with him, he was so utterly crushed. But we knew it would be well with him soon, and in two days he was there again, and now standing up to say that he had seen again the blessed face of Jesus, and was happy. He came forward from his place, with two hands outstretched to shake hands with the Missionary. Oh, what a sight it was to see him, and the other man, mentioned before, embracing each other in the intense joy they had both had.
Another night, one man found the joy in the meeting, and wonderful to relate, from a word spoken by one of the Christian women when describing her own experience. After she had sat down, he stood up and said, “I have now had the very word that I needed, and it came to me from God through that Christian friend.” By the way, what a witness this is to the value of Christian fellowship, of interchange of thought and experience among the children; it is truly a means of grace to the strong and to the weak, to the joyous as well as to the discouraged ones. Even as in Wales, so also in Khasia, the “Society,” as established by the Fathers, has been an untold blessing.
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