Ray's Blog

. . . if only God forgave

“Then began a meeting the like of which I had never seen before, nor wish to see again, unless in God’s sight it is absolutely necessary.  Every sin a human being can commit was publicly confessed that night.  Pale and trembling with emotion, in agony of mind and body, guilty souls, standing in the white light of their judgment, saw themselves as God saw them.  Their sins rose up in all their vileness, till shame and grief and self-loathing took complete possession; pride was driven out, the face of man forgotten.  Looking up to heaven, to Jesus whom they had betrayed, they smote themselves and cried out with bitter wailing: ‘Lord, Lord, cast us not away forever!’  Everything else was forgotten, nothing else mattered.  The scorn of men, the penalty of the law, even death itself seemed of small consequence if only God forgave.  We may have other theories of the desirability or undesirability of public confession of sin.  I have had mine; but I know now that when the Spirit of God falls upon guilty souls, there will be confession, and no power on earth can stop it.”

Eyewitness account, quoted in Young-Hoon Lee, “Korean Pentecost: The Great Revival of 1907,” AJPS 4 (2001): 77-78.