by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Ye shall receive power
Surely this is the greatest need at the present time? Go back and read the history of the great revivals in the Church, and you will find that this power of the Holy Ghost and authority is always present. Two hundred years ago a great evangelical awakening was witnessed in England, in America, in Scotland and in Wales. One of the leaders in Wales was a man called Howell Harris. As you read his journals you find that he keeps on saying something like this: ‘Arrived at such and such a place; preached. Felt the old authority.’ Then another time he says that when he preached in a certain place, ‘No authority’. It grieved him and he was unhappy. He fell down before God, searched his heart and confessed his sin and sought ‘the authority’ again. He was never happy unless he was aware of ‘the authority’.... He knew that preaching ... was vain apart from ‘the authority’.
One cannot read the journals of Whitefield and of Wesley without finding exactly the same thing. I remember reading in the journals of Whitefield.... ‘The Lord came down amongst us’. The authority! ... And John Wesley constantly expresses the same thought. That was the essence of his experience in the meeting at Aldersgate in London when he felt his heart ‘strangely warmed’. It was from that moment that he had this authority, with the result that his ministry was entirely transformed. Jonathan Edwards experienced exactly the same thing. Dwight L. Moody is also a special instance of this matter. It was after that experience while he was walking down Wall Street in New York City, when the Holy Ghost came upon him, that Moody received his authority. He preached the sermons he preached before, but they were transformed. Why? He now had the authority of the Spirit.
Authority, pp. 86–7