Every faithful, earnest pastor, if he cannot always have living, earnest and consecrated churches, can have such seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Every such pastor in looking back over a reasonable period of service can point to such precious seasons in his ministry. Such seasons result in a growth of true Church life. The means of Grace, after such revivals, are more diligently and more prayerfully used than before. The Word of God and prayer take their proper place in the home. The church in the house is quickened into life and activity. There is increased liberality in the congregation. The pocket book is converted as well as the heart. There is a revival of strict honesty and truthfulness in all business affairs. All tricks of trade, deceptions, imposing on ignorance, short weights and measures, adulterations, making money by betting, taking or giving chances of any kind, everything in fact that is questionable, if not openly dishonest, is abolished.
Worldly companionship, questionable amusements, pleasures that draw the heart away from God, are avoided. Religion is not only a Sunday garment, but a living force that shows itself in every department of life. The world takes knowledge of true converts that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Such are the results of a true revival. In such we believe.
With this chapter we conclude our studies of the Way of Salvation. They have been extended much beyond our original purpose. As we remarked in the beginning, we have written for plain people; for those who, surrounded by all forms and varieties of belief and unbelief, are often attacked, questioned and perplexed as to their faith, and their reasons for holding it. Our object has been to assist our unpretentious people always to be ready to give an answer to those who ask a reason for the hope that is in them.
We also remarked in the beginning that there often come to our people arrogant and self-righteous persons, who say “the Lutheran Church has no religion,” that it “does not bring its members into the light,” and does not “believe in or insist on personal salvation.”
Unfortunately there are only too many Lutherans who do not know how to answer such bold and baseless assertions. Sometimes they apologize for being Lutherans, and timidly hope that they may find salvation in their own Church! Many also have been persuaded to abandon the Church and faith of their fathers to find more light and religion elsewhere. After having been wrought upon and strangely affected by human and unscriptural methods, after they have experienced some new sensations, they proclaim to the world that now they have found the light which they could never find in the Lutheran Church! And thus not a few of our simple-minded and unreflecting people are led to depart from the faith and follow strange delusions.