The instances in which, in answer to prayer, God has sent remarkable deliverances to people, are numerous and striking. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, die terrible Spanish Armada was scattered or destroyed in answer to fervent prayers offered by the people of God in England. In 1746; the French armament of forty ships, prepared under the Duke d'Anville against the American colonies, was, in answer to prayer, totally ruined by a tempest. The leaders of the expedition were so overwhelmed at the suddenness and completeness of their disaster, that both of them committed suicide.
But God can save his beleaguered people without destroying their foes. LeClerc tells us that when, in 1672, the Dutch were expecting an attack from their enemies by sea, "public prayers were ordered for deliverance. It came to pass that when their enemies waited only for the tide, in order to land. the tide was retarded, contrary to its usual course, for twelve hours, so that their enemies were obliged to defer the attempt to another opportunity; which they never found, because a storm arose afterwards, and drove them from the coast."
How wonderfully God has answered prayer in behalf of good institutions founded to alleviate human misery. Of this we have a striking instance in the Orphan House, at Halle, founded by Francke. His school was unendowed. In 1696, he had not money to support the school a week longer. When the last morsel was about to be consumed, a thousand crowns were received from an unknown source. At other times of distress he received, answer to special prayer twenty, thirty, and fifty crowns. He says: "Another time all our provision was spent, but in addressing myself to the Lord, I found myself deeply affected with the fourth petition of the Lord's prayer, 'Give us this day our daily bread;' and my thoughts were fixed in a more especial manner on the words 'this day,' because on the very same day we had great occasion for it. While I was yet praying, a friend of mine came before my door in a coach, and brought the sum of four hundred crowns' -- Power of Prayer, by Prime.
EDWARDPAYSON, A MAN WHO PRAYED WITHOUT CEASING.
This well-known man of God was for many years pastor of the Congregational Church at Portland, Me. His remarkable success was, to a very great extent, the result of his prevailing prayers. Oh, that many might follow his example! We clip the following from a sketch of his life in "Shining Lights":
He prayed without ceasing. Aware of the aberrations to which the human mind is liable, he most earnestly sought the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit. He felt safe nowhere but at the throne of grace. He may be said to have studied theology on his knees; much of his time he spent literally prostrated, with the Bible open before him, pleading the promises: "I will send the Comforter -- and when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."
To his ardent and persevering prayers must, no doubt, be ascribed, in a great pleasure, his distinguished and almost uninterrupted success; and, next to these, the undoubted sincerity of his belief in the truths which he inculated. His language, his conversation and whole deportment, were such as brought home and fastened on the minds of his hearers the conviction that he believed, and therefore spoke. The revivals of religion which took place under his labors were numerous, and were characterized by a depth and power seldom seen. Nor was his eminent usefulness confined within the narrow sphere of his own congregation. In. distant parts of the country, at various special gatherings, his ministry was made a blessing to many thousands, both in the conversion of souls and in raising the tone of piety among believers.
When his body, full of pain, was gradually sinking into the grave, he wrote to his sister: "Were I to adopt the figurative language of Bunyan, I might date this letter from the land of Beulah, of which I have been for some weeks a happy inhabitant. The celestial city is full in my view. Its glories beam upon me; its breezes fan me; its odors are wafted to me; its sounds strike upon my ears, and its spirit is breathed into my heart. Nothing separates me from it but the river of death, which now appears as an insignificant rill, that may be crossed at a single step, whenever God shall give permission. The Sun of Righteousness has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer, appearing larger and brighter as He approached, and now He fills the whole hemisphere; pouring forth a flood of glory, in which I seem to float like an insect in the beams of the sun; exulting, yet almost trembling, while I gaze on this excessive brightness, and wondering, with unutterable wonder, why God should deign thus to shine upon a sinful worm. A single heart and a single tongue seem altogether too inadequate to my wants; I want a whole heart for every separate emotion, and a whole tongue
He was asked: "Do you feel to express that emotion reconciled?" "O, that is too cold! Rejoice! Triumph! And this happiness will endure as long as God himself, for it consists in admiring and adoring Him. I can find no words to express my happiness. I seem to be swimming in a river of pleasure, which is carrying me on to the great fountain. It seems as if all the fountains of heaven were opened, and all its fullness and happiness, and, I trust, no small portion of its benevolence, is come down into my heart."
To his wife he said, while dying: " Hitherto I have viewed God as a fixed star, bright, indeed, but often intercepted by clouds; but now he is coming nearer and nearer; and spreads into a sun so vast and glorious, that the sight is too dazzling for flesh and blood to sustain." This was not a blind adoration of an imaginary Deity; for, added he, "I see clearly that all these same glorious and dazzling perfections, which now only serve to kindle my affections into a flame, and to melt down my soul into the same blessed image, would burn and scorch me like a consuming fire, if I were an impenitent sinner."
THE ANGEL OF MERCY.
The following pathetic story of our late war is told by a Christian writer:
"At the close of the first bloody day of the battle of Fredericksburg, hundreds of the Union wounded were left lying on the ground, and the road ascending Mary's Heights. All night and most of the next day, the open space was swept by artillery shot from both the opposing lines, and no one could venture to the sufferers' relief. All that time their agonized cries went up for "Water! Water!" But there was no one to help them, and the roar of the guns mocked their distress. At length, however, one brave fellow, behind the stone ramparts where the Southern forces lay, gave way to his sympathy, and rose superior to his love for life. He was a sergeant in a South Carolina regiment, and his name was Richard Kirkland. In the afternoon he hurried to General Kershaw's headquarters, and finding the commanding officer, said to him excitedly: "General, I can't stand this any longer. Those poor souls out there have been praying and crying all night and all day, and it's more than I can bear. I ask your permission to go and give them water?"
"But, do you know,"' said the general, admiring the soldier's noble spirit, "do you know that as soon as you show yourself to the enemy you will be shot?"
"Yes, sir; I know it; but to carry a little comfort to those poor dying men, I'm willing to run the risk."
"The general hesitated for a moment, but finally said, with emotion: "Kirkland, it's sending you to your death, but I cannot oppose such a motive as yours. For the sake of it I hope God will protect you. Go."
Furnished with a supply of water, the brave sergeant immediately stepped over the wall, and applied himself to his work of Chris Like mercy. Wondering eyes looked on as he knelt by the nearest sufferer, and, tenderly raising his head, held the cooling cup to his parched lips. Before his first service of love was finished, every one in the Union lines understood the mission of the noble soldier in gray, and not a man fired a shot. He staid there on that terrible field an hour and a half, giving drink to the thirsty and dying, straightening their cramped and mangled limbs, pillowing their heads on their knapsacks, and spreading their army coats and blankets over them, as mother would cover her child; and all the while he was so engaged, until his gentle ministry was finished, the fusilade of death was hushed."
So it is on life's battlefield. The cannonade of sin and wickedness is hushed and powerless before the fearless Christian soldier who dares to do right, even though his life hangs in the balance. -- N.W. Christian Advocate.
lVY POISON SUDDENLY HEALED.
In answer to our request, Sister S.E. McKeen, of Lake City, Iowa, has furnished us the following account of a wonderful case of physical healing. Her statement is entirely reliable. We give it in her own words
"Last August, I attended a meeting held at Storm Lake, Iowa, for the promotion of holiness, and while there became acquainted with a young minister and wife from Dakota by the name of Cone. Unfortunately for them, they pitched their tent where poison-ivy had grown, and she became sadly poisoned. When I first saw her on Thursday evening, she was suffering from fever, and in great pain. Her face was swollen, her eye bloodshot, and her whole body was covered with the eruption that follows the ivy-poison. Her stomach also refused to retain food or medicine, and if she raised her head she became faint.
"Physicians were consulted, and various remedies tried, but still she found no relief. The tent had been moved, and on Sabbath morning, when I called to see her on my way to the tabernacle to morning service, she was no better. That morning her husband had told me that she wanted them to pray that she might be healed. I went on to the service, but the tent was so crowded, and I was feeling so very tired, that I went to our tent to lie down for rest, and read my Bible. I had lain but a few minutes when her sister-in-law came in, and said that Mrs. Cone wanted me. On asking what was wanted, she said: "She wants you to pray that she may be healed." To say that I was surprised does not express it; I was amazed, for ' faith-cure' was something I did not know much about, never having given it any serious thought.
I did not understand the work of the Holy Ghost, being myself a new convert to holiness, and having come to this place to be established in the doctrine.
"I said: 'I'll go. O Jesus, show me what to say to the dear one, and for her to Thee." I sat down by her bed a moment, and then asked: 'Do you believe the prayer of faith will save you?' She quickly answered: 'Yes.' I knelt down beside her, and prayed, and the Holy Spirit took complete possession of me, for I did not know where I was or what I said; but when I arose my soul was so full I could not speak. I left her, still in prayer, without a word.
"I was engaged in one of the small tabernacles, and had so completely given her over to Jesus that the whole thing passed from my mind. It was five o'clock when I returned, and as usual went to see how the sister was; when, lot I found her sitting outside her door, and dressed for evening service. When she saw me she said "Praise God! I'm healed.' Glory to Jesus! The Great Physician had been there and she was restored whole. Her husband had only that morning got permission to leave his tent on the ground, for the Storm Lake physician had said she could not be moved for a week. Hallelujah! How it strengthened my faith, and how strong I felt to do God's will. I have often felt my weakness since then, but it has been a bright spot to look back to ever since. I am walking in the highway of holiness, and light streaming down from above makes my pathway all clear, going home to Jesus."
REVELATIONS FROM GOD IN DREAMS.
All dreams that make you better are from God. How do I know it? Is not God the source of all good? It does not take a very logical mind to argue that out. Tertullian and Martin Luther believed in dreams. The dreams of John Huss are immortal. St. Augustine, the Christian father, gives us the fact that a Carthagenian physician was persuaded of the immortality of the soul by an argument which he heard in a dream. The night before his assassination, the wife of Julius Caesar dreamed that her husband fell dead across her lap. It is possible to prove that God does appear in dreams to warn, to convert, and to save men. My friend, a retired sea-captain and a Christian, tells me that one night, while on the sea, he dreamed that a ship's crew were in great suffering. Waking up from his dream, he put about the ship, tacked in different directions, surprised everybody on the vessel -- they thought he was going crazy -- sailed on in another direction hour after hour, and for many hours, until he came to the perishing crew, and rescued them, and brought them to New York. Who conducted that dream? The God of the sea.
In 1695, a vessel went out from Spithead for West India and ran against the ledge of rocks called the Caskets. The vessel went down, but the crew clambered up on the Caskets, to die of thirst or starvation, as they supposed. But there was a ship hound for Southampton that had the captain's son on board. This lad twice in one night dreamed that there was a crew of sailors dying on the Caskets. He told his father of his dream. The vessel came down by the Caskets in time to find and to rescue those two dying men. Who conducted that dream? The God of the rocks, the God of the sea.
The Rev. Dr Bushnell, in his marvelous book, entitled "Nature and the Supernatural," gives the following that he got from Captain Yount, in California, a fact confirmed by many families: Captain Yount dreamed twice one night that one hundred and fifty miles away there was a company of travelers fast in the snow. He also saw in the dream rocks of a peculiar formation, and telling his dream to an old hunter, the hunter said " Why, I remember those rocks those rocks are in the Carson Valley Pass, one hundred and fifty miles away." Captain Yount, impelled by this dream, although laughed at by his neighbors, gathered men together, took mules and blankets, and started out on the expedition, traveled one hundred and fifty miles, saw those very rocks which he had described in his dream, and finding the suffering ones at the foot of those rocks, brought them back; to confirm the story of Captain Yount. Who conducted that dream? The God of the snow, the God of the Sierra Nevadas.
God has often appeared in dreams to rescue and comfort. You have known people --perhaps it is something I state in your own experience -- you have seen people go to sleep with bereavements inconsolable, and they awakened in perfect resignation because of what they had seen in slumber. Dr Crannage, one of the most remarkable men I ever met -- remarkable for benevolence and great philapthropics -- at Wellington, England, showed me a house where the Lord had appeared in a wonderful dream to a poor woman. The woman was rheumatic, sick, poor to the last point of destitution. She was waited on and cared for by another poor woman, her only attendant. Word came to her one day that this poor woman had died, and the invalid of whom I am speaking lay helpless upon the couch, wondering what would become of her. In that mood she fell asleep. In her sleep she said the Angel of the Lord appeared, and took her into the open air, and pointed in one direction, and there were mountains of bread, and pointed in another direction, and there were mountains of butter, and in another direction, and there were mountains of all kinds of worldly supply. The Angel of the Lord said to her: "Woman, all these mountains belong to your Father, and do you think that he will let you, his child, hunger and die?" Dr. Crannage told me, by some Divine impulse he went into that destitute home, saw the suffering there, and administered unto it, caring for her all the way through. Do you tell me that that dream was woven out of earthly anodynes? Was that the phantasmagoria of a diseased brain? No; it was an all-sympathetic God at dressing a poor woman through a dream.
Furthermore, I have to say, that there are people in this house who were converted to God through a dream. The Rev. John Newton, the fame of whose piety fills all Christendom, while a profligate sailor on shipboard, in his dream, thought that a being approached him and gave him a very beautiful ring, and put it upon his finger, and said to him, "As long as you wear that ring, you will be prospered; if you lose that ring, you will be ruined." In the same dream another personage appeared, and by a strange infatuation persuaded John Newton to throw that ring overboard, and sank into the sea. Then the mountains in sight were full of fire, and the air was lurid, with consuming wrath. While John Newton was repenting of his folly in having thrown overboard the treasure, another personage came through the dream, and told John Newton he would plunge into the sea and bring the ring up if he desired it. He plunged into the sea and brought it up, and said to John Newton: "Here is that gem, but I think I will keep it for you, lest you lose it again;" and John Newton consented, and all the fire went out from the mountains, and all the signs of lurid wrath disappeared, from the air; and John Newton said that he saw in his dream that that valuable gem was his soul; and that the being who persuaded him to throw it overboard was Satan, and that the one who plunged in and restored that gem, keeping it for him, was Christ. And that dream makes one of the most wonderful chapters in the life of that most wonderful man.
A German was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and in his dream he saw a man with a handful of white flowers, and he was told to follow the man who had that handful of white flowers.
The German, arriving in New York, wandered into the Fulton street prayer-meeting, and Mr. Lamphier -- whom many of you know-the great apostle of prayer-meetings, that day had given to him a bunch of tuberoses. They stood on his desk, and at the close of the religious services he took the tube roses and started homeward, and the German followed him, and through an interpreter told Mr. Lamphier that on the sea he had dreamed of a man with a handful of white flowers and was told to follow him. Suffice it to say, through that interview and following interviews, he became a Christian, and is a city missionary preaching the gospel to his own countrymen. God in a dream!
John Hardock, while on shipboard, dreamed one night that the day of judgment had come, and that the roll of the ship's crew was called except his own name, and that these people, this crew, were all banished; and in his dream he asked the reader why his own name was omitted, and he was told it was to give him more opportunity for repentance. He woke up a different man. He became illustrious for Christian attainment. If you do not believe these things, then you must discard all testimony, and refuse to accept any kind of authoritative witness. God in a dream! -- T. DeWitt Talmage
THE WONDERFUL RESULTS OF A LITTLE PRAYING BAND.
In the year 1874, a little band of humble Christians was formed in Chicago, having for its one object the salvation of souls. Four of the number had been local preachers in England, others were lay-workers. But alike, their hearts burned within them to spread abroad the knowledge of redeeming love.
Among them were Charles Cooke, now gone to join the innumerable company around the throne; W.G. Hanmer, now a chairman of the Free Methodist Church in Wisconsin; Mrs. Sarah A. Cooke, still engaged in evangelistic work; Richard S. Martin, at present pastor of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago; Thomas Fluck, now preaching on the Pacific coast; Samuel Gittins, now in California; David Andrews, from that time to this out in the great harvest-field; and a Brother and Sister Jones, now working in Chicago. James Bird, now in glory, Henry Huck, and others, were engaged in business, but were with the band more or less throughout the great awakening of which we will speak.
They labored for a time in Chicago; but in answer to earnest prayer for God's blessing and guidance, they were led out into North-Western Indiana.
Their first Macedonian cry from outside the city was from Hessville, a small, neglected place, where the teacher of the day-school, a Mrs. Price, had been trying, amidst much opposition, to commence a Sabbath school. In such seemingly unfavorable surroundings the work broke out in great power. Other workers came to their aid, and soon the community was in a flame of revival. Great and glorious were the results. From Hessville the band were called to Gibson; and here, as before, the work spread in every direction.
They went from Gibson to Ross station, where we first saw them. At the latter place, the meetings were held in a school-house; but crowds flocked together from the country round. We were then unsaved, and the manifestations of God's presence, and the working of His Spirit on hearts, were beyond anything we had previously witnessed, and were a great mystery to us. Such scenes cannot be described. It is enough to say, that sinners wept as if their hearts would break with sorrow for sin, and cried aloud for mercy, until their cries of penitence were changed to songs of praise for deliverance.
Of the experience of the workers, Sister Cooke writes us: "We journeyed from place to place, as surely guided as the children of Israel when led by the pillar of fire. How often as our every want was supplied would the Savior's query come to our minds: 'When I sent you forth without purse or scrip, lacked ye anything?' and they said: "Nothing." Our God did supply all our needs. When a call came, we only asked: "Are we needed in that place? Is this God's call?" These questions satisfactorily answered, we went forward, dwelling with unspeakable delight upon the promise: 'Lo! I am with you alway.'
Merrillville was their fourth point. Here a tent was donated by a Brother Morgan, who had been wonderfully blessed in the meetings. It was afterwards successively pitched at Wood's Mill, Blachley's Corners, Hebron, and other places, and at each place thousands thronged to the services. Under that tent, while it was located at Wood's Mill, the prayers of our sainted mother, who died when we were but thirteen years old, were answered, and we were gloriously and marvelously converted to God; and since that day God has in His mercy given us thousands of souls.
In spite of opposition, the influence of the work was so great that it was felt in all that part of the state. In each place visited, the revival became the chief topic of conversation among all classes of society. In the very busiest seasons of the year, including the harvest-time, farmers might be seen all along the roads for miles, carrying loads of people to the meetings, and singing and praising God as they went. Truly those were days long to be remembered! In many cases people attended regularly, who lived eight or ten miles distant; and this interest continued, not only night after night, but week after week, and month after month. Sinners of every grade were saved, by scores and hundreds. Many of the converts were called to the ministry, and several labored with the band after their conversion; and many, to this day, are successful laborers in gospel fields.
But we have not space to follow the progress of the work definitely. Hobart, Wheeler, Crown Point, Porter Cross Roads, Valparaiso, North Judson, Knox, and other places, were, in their turn, visited by that little, humble, fire-anointed band. After the weather became too cold for the use of the tent, large halls were used; and in some cases, large tabernacles were built especially for their use. Everywhere the mighty power of God was revealed, and many were rescued from eternal death. No account was kept; but multitudes were numbered among the redeemed, as the direct result of that glorious work, and thousands more are already saved, as the indirect result of their labors.
But what was the secret of such abundant success? Most assuredly the work was not wrought by human might or wisdom, and no dependence was put in the arm of flesh. But it was wrought by the power of the Spirit, and that power was revealed in answer to earnest, constant) humble, prevailing prayer. Well has one of the workers said: "The work was cradled in prayer." In every hour of need, prayer was their one recourse. Truly they lived at the foot of the cross, and so constantly manifested the mind of Christ. To our personal knowledge, it was their custom, before each service, to repair together to some secluded spot, and there together pour out their souls to God in pleading for His blessing, and a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. And when they entered the meeting, they were so anointed by the Holy Ghost that revival fires were kindled by their very presence. Most of their preaching was in the form of burning exhortation. There were no prepared sermons. Just before the service, the question was asked "Who has the message?" and the one who felt it laid upon his heart, read the Word, and commented as he was led by the Spirit. They were also eminently given to secret prayer, and everywhere they went were called "The Praying Band."
The second secret of their success was perfect unity in heart. Though members of different denominations, they never allowed mere differences of opinion to result in prejudice. By prayer and humility they were always able to see eye to eye concerning the work; and all who saw them were compelled to exclaim "Behold, how these love one another!"
To this day, our heart burns within us as we think of what God there wrought through those faithful, humble souls and we exclaim with Sister Cooke: "I would go all around the world to see another work so glorious." -- Editor.
TRIUMPHANT DEATH OF THREE CHILDREN.
Three children of Brother and Sister I.L. Miller, of Sycamore, O., died about the beginning of 1893, of diphtheria. Brother Miller wrote us some of the particulars; and from these an account, though imperfect, is subjoined, mostly in his own language:
"One was a girl of thirteen years, who was converted in our meeting, two years ago. Another was a girl of nine years, who was converted a short time after the death of the first, at family worship. Also a son, eighteen years of age, who was converted during his sickness. He rejoiced, and praised God until death.
"The first, little Effie, was an earnest Christian worker." Often as we started for prayer-meeting, she would say: 'Wait until I go and get a little schoolmate." She talked much during her sickness about Jesus, although her suffering was great. At one time, a day before she died, she said to me: 'If I could rest a little while.' I said: "Don't you think Jesus would help you, if you would ask Him?" "Yes," she said; "you ask Him." She folded her hands and fell asleep, for a full half hour. On waking with a smile, I said to her: 'You had good rest.' 'Yes, I had; and I saw Jesus. He talked with me, and said he was coming for me soon. He showed me heaven; oh, such a beautiful place!' Soon after she called all, bidding them good-bye, saying: 'I am going to live with Jesus, and I want to meet you in heaven.' As the family were weeping, there was not a tear on her cheek; but with smiles and expressions of delight, she said: . 'Don't weep; Jesus will let me stay another day.' And so it was.
"The next one was little Vetta, who died about a month later. One day she had been in an apparent stupor. She commenced to call 'Laurie,' several times. On waking she said that she had seen her aunt Laurie and her sister Effie; that they were together, and she would never come back any more to live here. So she talked freely of leaving, and of heaven. After this she, refused to take any more medicine, and said she wanted to die, and go to heaven, where Effie and Jesus were. -- Thomas K. Doty, Editor Christian Harvester.
A GUIDING VOICE.
A touching story came to us from Minnesota. A farmer, living on the edge of one of the many lakes of that state, started to cross it in a small sail-boat one evening after dark. The wind changed, and a gust overturned the boat when he was in the middle of the lake. The surface of the water was covered with large masses of floating ice. The farmer was an expert swimmer, and he struck out boldly towards the shore, where he thought his house stood; but he grew confused in the darkness; the ice formed rapidly over the whole lake.
He was in a small, quickly-narrowing circle, in which he beat about wildly, the chill of death creeping over his body. He gave up at last, and was sinking in the freezing water, when he heard a sound.
It was the voice of his little girl calling him: "Father! Father!" He listened. The sound of her voice would tell him which way home lay. It put fresh life into him. He thought: "If she would only call once more! But she will be frightened at the dark and cold. She will go in and shut the door"
But just then came the cry, loud and clear: "Father!" "I turned," said the man afterward, in telling the story, "and struck out in the opposite direction. I had been going away from home. I fought my way; the ice broke before me.
I reached the shore and home at last. But if my dear away from home. I fought my way; the ice broke before little girl had not persisted in calling me, though hearing no reply, I should have died there alone under the ice." -- Wesleyan Methodist.
What a multitude of souls about us, like that poor man, have lost their balance, and let go their grip on the life-boat, and are struggling amid the cold, icy waves of sin -- soon to sink to the bottomless pit and be forever lost, unless some one goes as near to them as possible, and calls them in the right direction. Just one word spoken in Jesus' name may show them the right way, and be the means of their salvation.
Dear brother, the sound of your voice, the words you may speak, the kind action you may do, may show some fallen brother the right way home. O let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. -- Editor.
A WONDERFUL ANSWER TO PRAYER.
Robert Green was born and brought up a slave in Charleston, S.C. His master was a Methodist minister, who owned a large number of slaves, and was consequently very rich; but the act of emancipation suddenly reduced him to poverty. This reverse of fortune so overcame him, that he was taken immediately sick, and died soon after. Robert had by this time become a first-class cook, and when freed, he went as cook on board a steamship running from Charleston to New York. This position he held for two years, after which he came to New York to live, and found no difficulty in getting and keeping a situation as cook in saloons or hotels. While engaged in this business he was taken sick with a rheumatic disease, which confined him to his bed for six months. After having spent all of his savings for doctors and nurses, he was carried to the Home, a helpless cripple; he could use neither hands nor feet.
One afternoon as we were visiting through the wards, finding him so very sick, we stopped by his bed, and began to talk with him about his soul, warning him to get ready for death. Until this time he had been careless and unconcerned about eternal things; but to find strangers so interested in his soul's welfare, and the solemnity and earnestness with which the exhortation was delivered, so deeply impressed him, that he could not obliterate the effect from his mind. He slept none that night, for the solemn words kept ringing in his ears: "Get ready for death! Get ready for death!" At one time during the night, he felt quite sure that he saw the same missionary standing by his bedside, repeating the same words: "You better get ready for death!" He heard her voice, and knew it to be the same that warned him in the afternoon. The following day he would take no food, but said that he must fast and pray until the Lord had forgiven his sins. He was in great distress of soul, praying day and night for mercy. The next Wednesday he asked if he might be taken into the chapel to the meeting. The doctor said he was not able to go; but he begged so hard that he finally consented; and two of the men helped him into the chapel. After the sermon, an invitation was given for sinners to come to the altar for prayer. Robert said he wanted to go, and the men helped him to the altar, where he began to cry for mercy. The praying ones gathered around him, and carried his case to the Lord in mighty prayer. He had a hard struggle, but came off victorious. The blessing came in overwhelming power; he began to shout the praises of God, and asked to be helped on his feet. They told him he could not stand, and had better remain sitting. But he begged them to help him on his feet; so they raised him from the chair, and held him, while he continued to shout: "Glory to God! Glory to God!" Soon he told them to let him go, and, breaking away, he walked off a few steps, and stood shouting: "Glory to God!" for a few moments. Then he began walking to and fro in front of the altar, still shouting: "Glory to God! He has converted my soul, and healed my body! I am a well man. Glory to God! He has converted my soul, and healed my body!"
The next day one of the doctors came into the ward, and left him some medicine. He said: " Doctor, I don't want any more medicine. The Lord has converted my soul, and healed my body." "I heard," said the doctor, "that you walked from the chapel into the ward yesterday; Are you well to-day? Let me see you walk!" Robert rose to his feet, and walked across the ward and back. "That will do," said the doctor; "I guess you will be able to leave the Home soon." And he did leave soon after, and engaged in his -former business. It is about four years since his conversion. He has enjoyed perfect health ever since, is a member in good standing in one of the churches, and continues faithfully following the Lord. -- Brands from the Burning.
MISS CARRIE WEBB'S STORY OF HER RESTORATION TO HEALTH BY PRAYER.
Miss Carrie C. Webb, who believes that she experienced faith-cure recently, while sojourning at Northport, L.I., has returned to her home, 416 Gold-street, Brooklyn, and many friends and neighbors have called to see her, and hear her remarkable story. She is twenty-three years old, and of slender form. She has been a teacher in the Hanson Place Baptist Church for several years, and her father is a deacon in the Bedford Avenue Baptist Church, whose venerable pastor, the Rev. Dr. Hutchings, with many members of his congregation, are firm believers in the efficacy of prayer in removing disease. Two months ago Miss Webb went to spend the summer at her brother's house, in Northport, and her condition, physically and mentally, was such that her friends never expected to see her come back alive. She has, however, returned, with her mind bright and clear, and her health apparently fully restored. This is Miss Webb's explanation of how the change was brought about:
"I had been declining in health for nearly seven years, suffering constantly from bronchitis and a severe cough. My mind became affected, and I had strange and uncontrollable fancies, and became morbid and despondent. I was at last attacked with neuralgia, and often prayed that I might die, as I became a burden to my family. One day soon after I arrived at Northport and while I was lying on a lounge in the library, at my brother's house, my eye lighted on a book on the faith-cure. I read it. That same afternoon my brother asked me if I had ever thought of faith-cure, and told him about the book-incident, adding that I had never thought of it in connection with myself. I said, I did not think I had sufficient faith to receive such a blessing. He told me to think over and pray about the matter; and three days after I went to him and told him I was ready to be anointed. My brother sent for the Presbyterian minister of the village, and when he arrived, we went into the library. The service was very impressive, and I wept all the time it was going on, and when he was pouring oil on my head. I did not feel any better the next day, but rather worse.
"Just one week after the anointing I awoke in unusual pain, and prayed to God to let me die. Then I suddenly thought it would be better for me to pray for health; and I prayed, and cried, for three hours. Finally, when I arose and stood erect, I felt a sensation of health and strength I had not known for seven long years. I realized that I was well again, and that my prayers had been answered. Not only had my pains all vanished, but the cloud also disappeared from my mind. The cure was genuine and complete. I have not had a pain or ache since that morning of prolonged prayer." -- New York Sun.
REMARKABLE PRAYER OF MISSIONARY COX AND HIS BROTHER, FOR THEIR BROTHER.
Melville B. Cox was the first missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church to Africa. He labored in Liberia but a short time, and died. It was he who, just before his death uttered those words, that have often been reiterated, for the purpose of stimulating the endeavors of the missionary cause, as follows: "Let a thousand fall before Africa be given up!" His memoir was prepared by his brother, and published by the Methodist Book Concern. In it is a letter, which will fully explain itself, and at the same time show why we have given it a place in these pages. It is as follows:
"NEW YORK, July 25, 1835.
"My Dear Sir: There is one circumstance in the life of the late Mr. Cox, which, at least to some of his Christian friends, may claim a degree more of attention than he has given to it, and which it is probably out of your own power to give, without some additional facts in the case. If I recollect rightly, he has merely recorded the fact, and that rather incidentally. A relation of the circumstances is the more important, as without the detail, the fact may become a subject of ridicule by the semi-infidel, hut with this detail may afford him a suggestion, the truth of which he cannot so easily gain say. I am aware, too, that the occurrence may he passed over, as have been thousands of others of a similar, and even of a more striking character, without acknowledging any supernatural agency; but it must be on the ground of admitting greater mysteries in the explanation than would be found in frankly confessing even the agency of the Deity.
"The following are the facts they occurred when Mr. Cox was about twenty years of age. At the time of this singular incident, his brother James, who, it will be seen, was concerned in the affair, was at sea, being master of the brig, 'Charles Faucet,' which was then on her passage to New Orleans. This young gentleman, although well fitted for his business in every other respect, and irreproachable in his conduct among men, was destitute of religion.
"From the hour that James sailed for New Orleans, Melville, with another brother of his, and who was alike partner in his 'precious faith,' made the absent brother a constant subject of prayer. Such, indeed, were their feelings for James, and so absorbing to them was be great question of his soul's salvation, that it became, for a few weeks, with them, their first and last thought for the day.
"One evening, just as the sun had fallen, the two brothers, as they were sometimes wont- to do, visited the edge of the woods, back of the village, where they then resided, and there knelt down to pray. The first object of interest before them was their absent brother, whose image came up to their view with more than ordinary distinctness, and who, it seemed to them, was not only far away on the sea, tossed upon its waves as the spirit of the storm might drive him, but ' without hope, without God in the world,' and liable to fall into the gulf of woe. As they prayed, their own spirits seemed in agony for James ; and they poured out their feelings in alternate offerings, with a depth of sympathy, of religious fervor, of faith in God, never before experienced by them for him. It was given to them to wrestle with God in prayer, and to importune as for their own souls. And thus they did, unconscious of the nightly dews that were falling upon them, until the conflict seemed past, and the blessing they sought gained. They both rose from prayer, and without exchanging a word upon the subject of their feelings, went to their different homes for the night.
"The next morning, the brothers met; but the feelings of the past night were yet too vivid to be dissipated. Said Melville to the younger 'What did you think of our feelings last night?' 'I think,' said the younger brother, 'James has experienced religion.' ' Well, I think,' said Melville, 'THAT HE IS DEAD and I have put it down in my diary, and you will see if it is not true.' A few weeks passed away, and tidings came that James was dead. He died within a few days' sail of the Balize, in the evening, and, as the brothers supposed, by a comparison of the letter they received with Melville's diary, on the same hour in which they were engaged in prayer for his soul.
"The above letter contained no reference to his religious feelings, so that the correctness of the younger brother's impressions was yet to be determined. - On the return of the brig, however, it was ascertained by conversation with the mate, that the feelings of both were equally true. It appeared from the mate's testimony, and other circumstances, that immediately after his sailing, James became serious, abandoned profaneness, to which he had been accustomed for years, and forbade the indulgence of this profitless and degrading crime on board his vessel; and this Seriousness continued to the hour of his death. He communicated his thoughts, however, to no one, excepting to his friends, upon paper, which they received after his death. Yet it does not appear from any of these circumstances, that he found peace to his mind, unless it were in his last hour.
"On the morning of the day on which he died, he said to his mate," he thought he should die that day;' and, accordingly, made what arrangements he could for such an event. He gave some directions about the vessel, and requested a lock of hair to be cut from his head; which, with a ring that he took from his finger, was handed to his friends. He then gave himself up to his fate. In the evening, the mate went below; and seeing quite a change had taken place in his appearance, and that death was rapidly approaching, he took his hand, and thus addressed him: 'Captain Cox, you are a very sick man.' 'Yes, I know it,' was calmly, though feebly articulated. 'You are dying,' continued the mate. 'Yes, I know it," he again whispered. 'And you are willing?' 'Yes, blessed' and burst into a flood of tears, and expired.
"To the Christian, I have nothing to say on the above circumstance. To him all is clear as the light of day. But to the infidel, I may propose one question. How was it possible that the event of James' death, and the change which he evidently experienced in his feelings -- call it by what name you please, and the consolation of which no one would take from the dying-how is it possible that the event should be so strongly impressed upon the minds of these two brothers, when he to whom they related was thousands of miles distant; and how could it occur, too, on the very hour when the events were taking place?
"Affectionately yours, F."
THE HEAVEN BUILT WALL.
In the campaign of Napoleon in Russia, while the French army was retreating from Moscow, there lay in a poor, low cottage, in a little village, an invalid boy. This village was exactly in the course of the retreating army, and already the reports of its approach had reached and excited the terrified inhabitants. In their turn, they began to make preparations for retreat; for they knew there was no hope for them from the hands of soldiers, all seeking their own preservation, and giving no quarter to others. Every one who had the strength to fly, fled; some trying to take with them their worldly goods, some to conceal them. The little village was fast growing deserted. Some burnt their houses or dismantled them. The old were placed in wagons, and the young hurried their families away with them
But in the little cottage there was none of this bustle. The poor crippled boy could not move from his bed. The widowed mother had no friends intimate enough to spare a thought for her in this time of trouble, when every one thought only of those nearest to him and of himself. What chance in flight was there for herself and her young children, among whom one was the poor crippled boy?
It was evening, and the sound of distant voices and of preparation had died away. The poor boy was wakeful with urging his mother to leave him to his fate, now dreading lest she should take him at his word, and leave him behind.
The neighbors are just going away; I hear them no longer," he said. "I am so selfish, I have kept you here. Take the little girls with you; it is not too late. And I am safe; who will hurt a poor helpless boy?"
"We are all safe," answered the mother; "God will not leave us, though all else forsake us."
"But what can help us?' persisted the boy. "Who can defend us from their cruelty? Such stories as I have heard of the ravages of these men! They are not men; they are wild beasts. Oh, why was I made so weak - so weak as to be utterly useless? No strength to defend, no strength to fly."
"There is a sure wall for the defenseless," answered his mother "God will build us up a sure wall."
"You are my strength now," said the boy; ' I thank God that you did not desert me. I am so weak, I cling to you. Do not leave me, indeed! I fancy I can see the cruel soldiers hurrying in. We are too poor to satisfy them, and they would pour their vengeance upon us! And yet you ought to leave me! What right have I to keep you here? And I shall suffer more if I see you suffer."
"God will be our refuge and defense still," said the mother and at length, with low, quieting words, she stilled the anxious boy, till he, too, slept like his sisters. The morning came of the day that was to bring the dreaded enemy. The mother and children opened their eyes to find that a "sure wall" had indeed been built for their defense. The snow had begun to fall the evening before. Through the night it had collected rapidly. A "stormy wind, fulfilling His word" had blown the snow into drifts against the low house, so that it had entirely covered it -- a protecting wall, built by Him who holds the very winds in his fists, and who ever pities those who trust in Him. A low shed behind protected the, way to the outhouse, here the animals were, and for a few days the mother and her children kept themselves alive within their cottage, shut in and concealed by the heavy barricade of snow.
It was during that time that the dreaded scourge passed over the village. Every house was ransacked; all the wealthier ones deprived of their luxuries, and the poorer ones robbed of their necessaries. But the low-roofed cottage lay sheltered beneath its wall of snow, which, in the silent night, had gathered about it. God had protected the defenseless with a "sure wall." --Guiding Hand, by H.L. Hastings.
A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.
In 1890, Sister K. J. Convers, of Stanton, Mich., wrote us of her remarkable recovery through the faith and prayers of Sister N.G. Fisher, of the same place. We are well acquainted with these saints of God, and know the circum-stances as related to be reliable. Sister Convers' statement is as follows:
In the year 1885, I was healed by the hand of God, and am still telling of His power, and praising Him for His love to me. At that time I had had poor health for a number of years, but for several weeks previous to my healing was dangerously ill. I went to a great many doctors. They all said I must die. The last one who came said I could not live but a short time. But in early life I gave my heart to God, and, so was only waiting for Him to take me home. March 1, 1885, I was taken worse. Friends came to see me, expecting it would be the last time. Brother and Sister Honer sat up with me. In the morning, just before they started home, he said: "Sister Convers, at half past two, look to God. We will remember you in prayer for your healing." For nearly a year before, every time I saw Sister Fisher she would say that God wanted to cure me. I would answer: "I would like to get well;" but that was about all the thought I ever gave it, until God fitted me for the work to be done. At the time Brother and Sister Honer appointed for special prayer, I was taken very bad. Every time I coughed they had to raise me to keep me from strangling; and that time when I laid down I saw Sister Fisher standing at the foot of my bed, while at the same time she was one mile away praying for me. Just by her side I saw the blessed Savior standing. I saw His hand pointing toward me, and heard Him say "If you take that medicine you will surely die at four in the afternoon." God sent Sister Fisher to see me. He came with her, and filled both of us with His blessed faith; praise His name! I had consumption. My lungs were so nearly gone that my voice could only be heard in a faint whisper. I had heart-disease, and a tumor in my right side, so that I could not touch my feet by bending over. My left side had been struck with paralysis, and my hand was helpless. Had ulcers on my liver, and had not lain on my left side for six months. It was just half past four when Sister Fisher came, and at half past six I was a well woman, and up off from my bed, praising God for what He had done for me. I felt God's hand laid on every diseased spot. When the hand was laid on my arm, I felt the hand so plainly I could tell the side the fingers were on. When it passed off from my arm, the Lord said to me: "Now can you raise clean hands?" My husband said my hand went up; I held it there one hour without even moving a finger. One Monday evening after God healed me, I walked one mile to church, and told what God had done for me. It has been five years since God healed me, and I keep well, by having faith in Him; and when I feel badly I just ask God to keep me well, and I have faith He will, and He does. My faith is strong today. If God can save us from sin, He is able to heal our bodies. I have laid aside medicine, and taken God for my physician, and am telling to everybody what God can do, if we will believe His word. Praise His matchless name forever! O you of little faith, take God at His word and be healed.