“If he keeps on he will be one of the most influential preachers in Raymond,” said Maxwell to himself when he reached his study. The question rose as to his continuance in this course when he began to lose money by it, as was possible. He prayed that the Holy Spirit, who had shown Himself with growing power in the company of First Church disciples, might abide long with them all. And with that prayer on his lips and in his heart he began the preparation of a sermon in which he was going to present to his people on Sunday the subject of the saloon in Raymond, as he now believed Jesus would do. He had never preached against the saloon in this way before. He knew that the things he should say would lead to serious results. Nevertheless, he went on with his work, and every sentence he wrote or shaped was preceded with the question, “Would Jesus say that?” Once in the course of his study, he went down on his knees. No one except himself could know what that meant to him. When had he done that in his preparation of sermons, before the change that had come into his thought of discipleship? As he viewed his ministry now, he did not dare preach without praying long for wisdom. He no longer thought of his dramatic delivery and its effect on his audience. The great question with him now was, “What would Jesus do?”
Saturday night at the Rectangle witnessed some of the most remarkable scenes that Mr. Gray and his wife had ever known. The meetings had intensified with each night of Rachel’s singing. A stranger passing through the Rectangle in the day-time might have heard a good deal about the meetings in one way and another. It cannot be said that up to that Saturday night there was any appreciable lack of oaths and impurity and heavy drinking. The Rectangle would not have acknowledged that it was growing any better or that even the singing had softened its outward manner. It had too much local pride in being “tough.” But in spite of itself there was a yielding to a power it had never measured and did not know we enough to resist beforehand.
Gray had recovered his voice so that by Saturday he was able to speak. The fact that he was obliged to use his voice carefully made it necessary for the people to be very quiet if they wanted to hear. Gradually they had come to understand that this man was talking these many weeks and giving his time and strength to give them a knowledge of a Savior, all out of a perfectly unselfish love for them. Tonight the great crowd was as quiet as Henry Maxwell’s decorous audience ever was. The fringe around the tent was deeper and the saloons were practically empty. The Holy Spirit had come at last, and Gray knew that one of the great prayers of his life was going to be answered.
And Rachel her singing was the best, most wonderful, that Virginia or Jasper Chase had ever known. They came together again tonight, this time with Dr. West, who had spent all his spare time that week in the Rectangle with some charity cases. Virginia was at the organ, Jasper sat on a front seat looking up at Rachel, and the Rectangle swayed as one man towards the platform as she sang: