By S.B. Shaw
INSTANCES OF DIVINE POWER.
I. In the spring of 1858, during the prevalence of the wide-spread revivals described in Prime's "Power of Prayer," I was soundly converted to God. At that time I was in mature young manhood, and in business. My health had been poor for a number of years, and when I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus, I appeared to myself to be standing on the very verge of death and hell.
A short time after the mighty change, I was led to pray for "Hezekiah's fifteen years." Hezekiah, the pious king of Judah, was "sick unto death;" but "he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord," and the Lord was pleased to restore him to health, and made him the promise: "I will add unto thy days fifteen years."
My case occurred long before faith-cure received the attention that it does at present. In fact, nothing special appears to have been known or thought about it in those days. The impression upon my mind was doubtless born of the Holy Spirit. I was not led to pray for restored health, but simply for fifteen years of continued life. My prayer became very earnest, until it resulted in a settled and grounded faith. I most certainly and most devoutly believed that I should yet live fifteen years. But there was a condition in my mind to the promise. This was, that I should not backslide. I felt that if I turned from the service of the God who had wonderfully saved me, I should soon die.
The promise of God -- the witness, if you please -- that my life would be spared, was so clear and pronounced, that I scarcely ever thought of doubting it. Indeed, in preaching funeral sermons, and speaking as one naturally would sometimes of the uncertainty of life, in such a way as to include my own, the words would gag my throat, and I would have to use language that was more guarded and more in accordance with what I understood to be the facts in my own case.
Of course, my life went on in fact, nothing could destroy it while I carefully kept the one only condition-that of fidelity to God But at no time was I impressed or permitted to make any public statement of my assurance, or, indeed, in private, except in possibly a couple of instances, where I thought special good might be the result.
The result was, I not only lived fifteen years -- years added to my natural allotment -- but also, I am now actually considerably advanced on my third fifteenth year! The last fact indicated is no doubt a result of the many prayers of the people of God, as well as my own, that my days of usefulness might still be lengthened out. To God be everlasting glory!
II. I received my first appointment to a pastoral work by Bishop Simpson, in 1860. It was to a comparatively new work, on the northern border of the great "North woods," and not far from the Adirondacks, in the State of New York. It was a lumber region. There were two lakes, the Upper and Lower Chateaugay, and a river, the Chateaugay, running out from them northward until it crossed the frontier, and emptied into the river St. Lawrence. On the east side of the lower lake was an isolated neighborhood, having a schoolhouse. I learned that the gospel was not preached there at all. I was therefore led to send an appointment into the neighborhood for a meeting. It was to be held at a certain hour in the afternoon. This was during the latter part of the summer of 1860.
When the day came for filling the appointment, about a dozen of us started up the river toward the lake, in a boat. The most of the company went for the pleasure of going, but I went solely to preach the gospel of the Son of God. The boat was moved with oars; there was a sail, but this was use while we were in the river. It was a considerable distance up the river, perhaps a mile. But there was a boom in the whole distance up to the lake, and this, added to the facts that the river was very narrow, and there were logs on one side of the boom a large part of the way, made our progress very slow.
As we at last emerged from the river into the lake, with two miles of lake between us and my appointment, I looked at my watch, and saw at once that by rowing we could not reach the school house in time. There was no wind, so the sail could not be used. I sat in the stern of the boat, and thought. Being late to meeting was particularly obnoxious to me; what should be done? I prayed. Prayer always brings us out right; praise God! I said nothing to the company, but simply prayed. As I prayed I began to believe. Believe what? That the wind would spring up, so that I could get to the school-house on time. And, sure enough in a very short time the breeze began, at first very gently, and then increasing, until it became almost a gale. The sail was quickly unfurled, and we scud through that little lake at a wonderful speed. Arriving at the shore, the waves ran so high that it was with some difficulty we could safely land.
The result was, myself and wife arrived at the school-house before any of the congregation. In due time the people were on hand, and I had the pleasure of dealing out to them the saving word of God.
There was no wind, but there was a pressing necessity for it. Prayer was made, faith was exercised, and the wind came. Was it a miracle? That is what I call it -- call it what you will. Praise God!
III. In 1882, I received an invitation to assist Brother S. B. Shaw, the editor of this book, in a series of campmeetings in the State of Michigan. I accepted the invitation, and was at several of the meetings. I was in those years as now, conducting the "Christian Harvester," and depended on subscriptions, etc., received during the campmeeting seasons, for the means of buying a stock of paper, which was usually needed along in the month of September of each year. This year, for some reason or other, I received but little money at the meetings though souls were saved and sanctified and arrived at my home in Ohio with the usual need of paper, and no money to buy it with. I went to God with my need-his need. He inspired my faith that the money should come. At that time of the year comparatively little money was wont to come in through the mails; but soon after praying, they began to bring in unusual amounts. One man in Illinois sent me twenty dollars -- a man who was an entire stranger possibly he had seen me, but I did not remember him. All he asked in return for the money was a year's subscription to the Harvester, and that I should pray for him. The unusual in flow of money continued until a sufficient amount was received to pay for the stock of paper then it immediately stopped. Sammy Hick, the eccentric Yorkshire local preacher, had faith for a wind to grind out his wheat, the flour being needed to feed the people who were coming to the "quarterly-meeting;" and the moment Sammy's grist was ground the wind ceased, and none of the neighbors could get any grinding -- unless, as the miller said, they had Sammy's faith. So in my case -- and showing that it was a matter of pure faith, and not in the usual order of things-when money enough came to supply the need, further supply was immediately withheld. Again, to God be all the glory! Amen. -- Thos. K. Daly.
PERSECUTORS PUT TO SILENCE, AND CONVERTED.
The following is from the Autobiography of that wonderful revivalist, Charles G. Finney. The circumstances as related occurred early in his ministry, at Gouverneur, N.Y.
I have said that there was a Baptist church, and a Presbyterian, each having a meeting-house standing upon the green, not far apart; and that the Baptist church had a pastor, but the Presbyterian had none. As soon as the revival broke out, and attracted general attention, the Baptist brethren began to oppose it. They spoke against it, and used very objectionable means indeed to arrest its progress. This encouraged a set of young men to join hand in hand, to strengthen each other in Opposition to the work. The Baptist Church was quite influential; and the stand that they took greatly emboldened the opposition, and seemed to give it a peculiar bitterness and strength, as might be expected. Those young men seemed to stand like a bulwark in the way of the progress of the work.
In this state of things, Brother Nash and myself, after consultation, made up our minds that that thing must be overcome by prayer, and that it could not be reached in any other way. We therefore retired to a grove, and gave ourselves up to prayer until we prevailed; and we felt confident that no power which earth or hell could interpose, would be allowed permanently to stop the revival.
The next Sabbath, after preaching morning and afternoon myself for I did the preaching altogether, and Brother Nash gave himself up almost continually to prayer - we met at five o'clock in the church, for a prayer-meeting. The meeting-house was filled. Near the close of the meeting, Brother Nash arose, and addressed that company of young men who had joined hand in hand to resist the revival. I believe they were all there, and they sat braced up against the Spirit of God. It was too solemn for them really to make ridicule of what they heard and saw; and yet their brazen-facedness and stiff-neckedness were apparent to everybody.
Brother Nash addressed them very earnestly, and pointed out the guilt and danger of the course they were taking. Toward the close of his address, he waxed exceedingly warm,and said to them: "Now, mark me, young men! God will break your ranks in less than one week, either by converting some of you, or by sending some of you to hell. He will do this as certainly as the Lord is my God !." He was standing where he brought his hand down on the top of the pew before him, so as to make it thoroughly jar. He sat immediately down, dropped his head, and groaned with pain.
The house was as still as death, and most of the people held down their heads. I could see that the young men were agitated. For myself, I regretted that Brother Nash had gone so far. He had committed himself, that God would either take the life of some of them, and send them to hell, or convert some of them, within a week. However, on Tuesday morning of the same week, the leader of these young, men came to me, in the greatest distress of mind. He was all prepared to submit; and as soon as I came to press him, she broke down like a child, confessed, and manifestly gave himself to Christ. Then he said: "What shall I do, Mr. Finney?" I replied: "Go immediately to all your young companions, and pray with them, and exhort them, at once to turn to the Lord." He did so; and before the week was out, nearly if not all of that class of young men, were hoping in Christ.
JOHN KNOX'S PREVAILING PRAYER FOR SCOTLAND.
Among the mighty men of faith and prayer whose names will stand forth until this world's history is completed, is that of John Knox. The days of turbulence developed their holy zeal and courage. Summoned before the highest of earth's great ones, true everywhere to God, and a man mighty in prayer, Queen Mary of Scotland once said of Knox that she feared his prayers more than an army of ten thousand men. On England's throne sat Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII., who had been brought up by her mother, Catharine of Aragon, in the dark faith of Rome, a complete tool in the hands of the priests, whose one design was to destroy the Protestants. Soon the jails were filled, the fires kindled in Smithfield, and the whole land was one scene of desolation, and the Protestants were hunted as partridges on the mountains. The great heart of John Knox was stirred. On his knees, on his face for hours together before God, he pleaded for Scotland. "All Scotland for Christ! " was his ceaseless cry.
In one of these seasons of mighty taking hold of God, he sprang to his feet with the cry: "Deliverance has come! Deliverance has come!" As soon as the courier could speed his way from London to the city where John Knox lived, he made the proclamation: "Mary, Queen of England, is dead!"
Pray ye the Lord of the Harvest, to raise up such men in our days, when the tide of worldliness threatens the whole church, and Catholicism is spreading her baneful influence over the free institutions of our land; only waiting for the chance to re-enact the scenes of St. Bartholomew's day in France, or the massacre of ten thousand Protestants in one day as in Ireland, to crush out the religion of our fathers, to burn the Bible, and plunge the whole land into papal darkness -- Sarah A. Cooke.
THE BLIND RESTORED TO SIGHT.
At the age of twenty years, a lady in Winchester, Iowa, began to lose her health, and in a short time was confined to her bed. And she writes; "In addition to this, I lost the use of my eyes, and was blind and helpless, a greater portion of my time, for five years.
"I enjoyed the blessing of prayer and trust some six months before feeling at liberty to pray for the healing of my body; fearing I should desire it without due submission to God's will. It was with fear and trembling that I first made known this request. Though my pleadings in this direction were earnest, and often agonizing, yet I could say with a fervor as never before: "Not my will but Thine be done."
"About the end of November, or early in December, 1873, I realized that my faith was perfect, that I was ready now to be healed; that my faith was momentarily waiting on God, and resting without a doubt on the promises. From this time forward, my faith remained fixed with but one exception. During the time between December, 1873, and July 1874, I was healed to such an extent that I could walk some, and see more or less every day, though sometimes with only one of my eyes. A portion of this time, I felt as though in a furnace of fire; but amid the flames, I realized the presence of the Son of God, who said: 'I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.' This for a time seemed an answer to my petition, and so I thought it my life work to suffer. For a while my faith became inactive, and I almost ceased praying for my health. Though I felt submissive, yet somehow I was soon crying, and that most instinctively: "Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!" After this, my faith did not waver. Oh, the lesson of patience I learned in thus waiting on God's good time! And with what comfort could I present my body an offering to Him, realizing that as soon as at all possible with His will, I should be healed; I had an assurance of this, but did not know whether it would be during life, or accomplished only at death.
In this manner I waited before God until the morning of the 26th of July, when, without ecstasy of joy, or extra illumination, came a sense of the presence of Jesus, and a presentation of this gift, accompanied with these words: "Here is the gift for which you have been praying; are you willing to receive it?"
I at first felt the incoming of the Divine power at the parts affected, steadily driving out the disease, until death was swallowed up in victory. I at once arose from my bed, and proceeded to work about the house, to the great astonishment of my friends, some of whom thought me wild; but I continued my work, assuring them that Jesus had healed me. Realizing the scrutiny and doubt with which I was observed, I said to my father: "What do you think?" He replied: "It is supernatural power; no one can deny it."
"My healing took place on Wednesday; on Saturday I was persuaded to lie down, but found the bed was no place for me; I thought of Peter's wife's mother, who arose and ministered to them, I knew that to her, strength as well as health was instantly given, as in the case of the palsied man, who rose, took up his bed, and departed. I returned to my work, backing my experience with those in God's word, and since then have not lain down during the daytime.
My friends could not realize the completeness of the cure, until I read a full hour, and that by lamplight, and until asked to desist, the first opportunity after being healed.
A week from this time, I discharged the hired girl, taking charge of the household work, which I have continued with perfect ease. About four weeks after my healing, I had occasion to walk four miles, which I did with little or no weariness. Let me add, to the praise of God, that I have no disease whatever. Am able to do more hard work with less weariness than at any other period in my life, and faith in the Lord is the balm that made me whole." -- Selected
SPECIAL ANSWERS TO PRAYER.
Our old friend, J. Baker, now preaching at Hartford, Mich., who has for years trusted the Lord for all things, both temporal and spiritual, sends us the following:
At the Raisin Center campground, August, 1886, a brother came to me on Saturday evening, requesting that I should come to his tent on Sunday morning, and anoint him for the cure of his deafness. He was a man between forty and fifty years of age. He had been deaf ever since a boy; his deafness being caused by scarlet fever. At the time appointed, in company with Clara Rouch and Carrie Kimball, I went to his tent, and anointed him with oil, we laying our hands upon his head. He was instantly healed, and shouted and rolled on the ground, calling on those standing around to help him praise the Lord. He declared he could hear the faintest whisper.
When I lived in Detroit, in the winter of 1883 I had a house in view which I desired to use as a home for friendless women. The rent was $20 per month. I asked the Lord for the amount to be given me inside of six days, if it was his will I should have the house. In a few days I received a check for $25, from Chicago. Some years afterward, I met the individual who sent the money, and he told me he was very forcibly impressed to send me the money. He never knew what it was for until I told him the circumstance.
THE SECRET OF JAMES CAUGHEY'S WONDERFUL SUCCESS.
This wonderful evangelist was known to only a few of the present generation. He died at a good old age in New Brunswick, N.J., but two or three years before the publication of this book.
In one of his books, Mr. Caughey says: "I am now fully persuaded that in proportion as the Spirit of God shall condescend to second my efforts in the gospel message, I shall be successful. No man has ever been signally used in winning souls to Christ without the help of the Spirit. With it, the humblest talent may astonish earth and hell, by gathering into the path of life thousands for the skies; while, without it, the finest, the most splendid talents, remain comparatively useless"
Mr. Caughey was called of God to visit England and Ireland, in which countries he labored seven years with the most signal success. During this time, " nearly twenty-two thousand persons professed conversion under his immediate labors, and nearly ten thousand entered into the rest of full salvation." He gives the following account of his call, in a letter to a friend, from which we extract as follows
"You will remember our Conference of 1839 was held in the city of Schenectady, N. V. That year I was appointed to Whitehall, N. V. Shortly after, I had my library study furniture forwarded to my station.
"It was then I began seriously to reflect upon the propriety of choosing a wife, believing that 'marriage is honorable in all men.' I had traveled a number of years, studied hard, and expended all my time and strength in winning souls to Christ. My brethren approved of my intention. But while indulging in this purpose-for some reasons I could not explain-my heart became very hard. The Lord seemed to depart from me; and that countenance, which so often beamed upon me from above, and had daily, for many years, brightened my soul into rapturous joy, appeared now to be mantled in the thickest gloom.
"The more I reflected thus: 'I can see no good reason why I should be singular among my brethren, nor continue to lead this solitary life, my heart became harder, and my dark-ness increased. I was soon involved in a variety of evil reasonings. My will seemed to be in a conflict with some-thing invisible. God, who had honored me with such intimate communion with himself since my conversion, apparently left me to battle it out alone. So it appeared to me then; but now I see God himself was contending with me. I was about to step out of the order of his providence; and he was resolved to prevent it, unless I should refuse to understand why he thus resisted me. Had I continued the conflict, I believe he would have let me take my own course; nor would he have cast me off; yet I solemnly feel he would have severely chastised my disobedience.
"My distress and gloom were so great, I could not unpack my library, nor arrange my study. I began to reflect most solemnly upon my unhappy state of mind, and became more concerned to regain my former peace and joy in God, than to obtain any temporal blessing whatever. The world was a blank, a bleak and howling wilderness, to my soul, without the smiles of my Savior. In fact, that I could not live, but must wither away from the face of the earth, without his comforting and satisfying presence. Like a well-chastised son, I came back to the feet of my Heavenly Father, and with many tears I besought him to reveal his face to my soul; that if my purposes were crossing his to show me; and whatever was his will, I would at once, by his help, yield my soul unto it. "Lord God," I said, "if my will crosses thy will, then my will must be wrong; for thine cannot but be right." Now I cared not what he commanded me to do, or to leave undone; I stood ready to obey. I felt assured clear light from God on some points would soon reach my soul; and I was fully prepared for it. But I no more expected such an order as came soon after, than I expected he would command me to fly upward and preach the gospel in another planet. During three days I cried to God, without any answer. On the third day, in the afternoon, I obtained an audience with the Lord. The place was almost as lonely as Sinai, where Moses saw the burning bush. It was under open sky, a considerable distance from the habitations of men; steep rocks and mountains, deep forests, and venomous reptiles, surrounded me. Here, and in a moment, the following passage was given me to plead: "And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed: "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." -- Exodus 34: 5-7. I took hold of this; many of the words were as fire, and as a hammer to break the rocks in pieces before the Lord. The fountains of tears were opened, and the great deep of my heart was broken up. I left the place, however, without receiving any light; but my heart was fully softened and subdued, and I felt assured I had prevailed in some way with God. I was confident light and direction were coming; but of what nature I could not tell.
"This was on the 9th of July,1839. The same evening, about twilight, eternal glory be to God! When reading in, small, room adjoining my study, a light, as I conceived from heaven, reached me. . My soul was singularly calmed and warned by a strange visitation. In a moment I recognized the change; the following, in substance, was spoken to my heart; but in a manner, and with a rapidity, I cannot possibly describe. Every ray of Divine glory seemed to be a word that the eye of my soul could read, a sentence which my judgment could perceive and understand: 'These matters which trouble thee must be let entirely alone. The will of God is, that thou shouldst visit Europe. He shall be with thee there, and give thee many seals to thy ministry. He has provided thee with funds. Make thy arrangements accordingly; and, next Conference, ask liberty from the proper authorities, and it shall be granted thee. Visit Canada first; when this is done, sail for England. God shall be with thee there, and thou shalt have no want in all thy journeyings; and thou shalt be brought back in safety again to America'
'I arose from my knees under a strong conviction that God had called me to take this tour. Letters were written immediately to Canada, etc. The next day my soul was calm and happy. My books were unpacked, and everything in my study arranged with a glad heart and free. Eleven months were before me, to criticize the impressions on my soul.
With delight I commenced my pastoral work, visited from house to house, and had the pleasure of seeing a most powerful revival of religion in my circuit. During this period not the least wish entered my heart to form any connection or engagement whatever that would entangle or hinder me from fulfilling what I conceived to be the high and solemn commission I had received from the Lord. I continued to resign the whole matter to God, entreating him to overrule all to his glory, and to hedge up my way if it were not his will I should leave America."
"LET THEM ABIDE TILL THE MORROW."
The beautiful valley of Wyoming, on the banks of the Susquehanna river, in Luzerne Co., Pa., has long been known alike to the student of history and the lovers of poetry and song.
Dr. W. H. Van Doren records, in The Evangelist, an incident which recalls the calamities that overwhelmed Wyoming, and illustrates the gracious care of an everpresent God, for those who trust in Him.
It was in the beginning of July, 1778, that an aged saint, who with his four sons, lived on a mountain overlooking the valley, found that his barrel of meal was nearly exhausted, and bade his sons fill their sacks with grain, and early in the morning descend the long road to the mill in the valley. As requested, before daylight each of the boys had fed his horse, and they were all prepared by sunrise for their journey. And as the day would be too far spent to have their grain ground, they were accustomed at such times to spend the night near the mill in Wyoming.
As the patriarch came forth in the morning from the closet of prayer, and said to the waiting sons, "Not today! the young men were greatly surprised.
"But, father, our supply is used up, and why should we delay?" they said, as they turned and gazed over the valley, which lay in calm and quiet peacefulness before them.
"Not today, my sons," repeated with emphasis by the man of prayer, satisfied the youths that the father meant what he said. He added: "I know not what it means, but in my prayer my mind was deeply impressed with this word "Let them abide till the morrow."
Without charging their venerated parent with superstition or ignorance, the obedient sons yielded to his, unladed their beasts, placed them in their stalls, and waited for another morning to come.
That memorable night a horde of savages, with torch and tomahawk, entered Wyoming Valley, and commenced their work of destruction; and it is said that before the bloody drama ended, not a house, barn, church, school, or mill, escaped the flames; and few of the inhabitants escaped the sudden but deadly blows of the savages. From one end of the valley to the other the settlers were butchered or burned with remorseless fury.
In the morning at sunrise, the father and sons were standing on the highest point, and lo! the valley was filled with volumes of ascending smoke and flames. The awful truth flashed on their minds. The aged saint kneeled down with his sons on the mountain-top, and in humble, adoring prayer thanked God for the promise: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him." -- Guiding Hand.
"BEHOLD, I SEND YOU FORTH AS SHEEP AMONG WOLVES."
How continually, as we follow the Lord closely, do His own blessed teachings, His own words, come with full force to our memory, clothed with life and power! One such experience I shall never forget. We were holding tabernacle meetings in Shiawassee county, Mich. One night, as we gathered to commence, everything looked ominous The dark countenances of the men gathered on the outside of the congregation, soon broke out in murmured words of threatening. God was working, and the great adversary, "the devil, and father of lies," had circulated through all the community the report that we were breaking up families; as some, contrary to the wishes of relatives, had decided to take the "narrow way, to "forsake all, and follow Jesus." The crowd increased, and soon we found it impossible to carry on the service.
Then came the words of Jesus: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep among wolves." Our little band, as my eye glanced over them, how helpless they looked! As hemming us in was a rough crowd, whose teeth gleamed and whose howlings were like those of wolves. The scene of the martyrdom of Stephen came up right before me. How they gnashed on him with their teeth!
Soon our leader, Brother S. B. Shaw, sprang upon a stump of a tree, saying: "Every one get on his knees, and hold right on to God." In a lower tone he said: "They have got Brother Jenkinson, and will tear him to pieces, if we do not hold on to God for him."
Soon mighty cries went up unto Him who is able to save. For about two hours the scene lasted. While at its very height, the assuring words came to me from the blessed Savior: "There shall not a hair of your head perish." Then the crowd began gradually to disperse, and full of thankful joy we lay down in our little tents to slumber; the angel of the Lord encamping round about us.
"I knew," said Brother Jenkinson, "they could not hurt me while you were holding on to God for me in prayer; and while their fists came down upon me they seemed as soft as pads of velvet." His clothes were much torn, but not one bruise or mark of violence was upon his person. One man, more full of violent hate than the others, had threatened that he would yet take the life of Brother Jenkinson; but the Lord told him to fear him not, for his enemy was no more in his hands than a little stick, and as easily broken. - Mrs. Sarah A. Cooke.
As this sister has contributed several articles to the of this book, it will not be amiss to say, that we have been acquainted with her ever since the day of our conversion she helped pray us into the light of salvation. We never knew a person to spend more time than she does in prayer, or to manifest more joy in the Lord's work. She is one of the two sisters, so often mentioned in connection with the experience of Mr. Moody. They were so greatly burdened for him that Sister Cooke went to him repeatedly, and told him of his lack of power. He was brought under deep conviction, and requested them to pray for him. The three finally went on their knees, and there wrestled with God; he groaning and agonizing until the baptism of fire fell upon him. The world knows the results of the wonderful experience which, under God, these humble sisters were there enabled to lead him into; and for which multitudes praise God on earth, and will praise him in heaven. -- Editor.
THE SECRET OF JOHN SMITH'S SUCCESS.
This extraordinary man died at the early age of thirty-seven He commenced his labors as a Wesleyan minister in England, in 1816, and closed them nearly simultaneously with his life on the 3d of November, 1831. The following, which reveals the secret of his success, is from "Sketches of Wesleyan Preachers," a very interesting work, by Robert A. West:
"Constant communion with God was at the foundation of Mr. Smith's great usefulness. In this he was surpassed by none of any age. Whole nights were often given up to prayer, and always, when in anything like moderate health often, too, when wasted by painful disease-he arose at four o'clock in the morning, and throwing himself before the mercy-seat, for three hours wrestled with God in mighty prayer. The writer has heard, from persons in whose houses he has been temporarily residing, that in the coldest winter morning they have heard him at that hour with suppressed voice pleading with God, while his groans have revealed the intensity of his feelings. Immediately after breakfast and family worship, he would again retire with his Bible into his study, and spend until near noon in the same hallowed employment. Here unquestionably was the great secret of his power in pubic prayer and in preaching -- the Lord, who seeth in secret, rewarding him openly. Every sermon was thus sanctified by prayer.
"On one occasion, when at a country appointment, the time for commencing the service had elapsed, and Mr. Smith did not make his appearance. He had left the house where he was a guest about half an hour before, after being some time in his closet. At length he was found in an adjoining barn, wrestling in prayer for a blessing upon the approaching service; having retired thither, that unobserved he might pour out his full soul before his heavenly Father. He arose, briefly expressed his regret at not having observed the lapse of time, and on the way to the chapel relapsed into silent prayer.
"During the sermon that evening the fervent prayer of the righteous man proved effectual. The Spirit of God descended upon the congregation; the deep, attentive silence observed at the commencement of the discourse was soon interrupted by sobs and moans, and these ere long were followed by loud and piercing cries for mercy, as one after another the hearers were pricked to the heart, and the strongholds of Satan were beaten down; until, so universal was the cry of the broken hearted, that Mr. Smith found it necessary to desist from preaching, and descend into the altar. As he had continued his discourse for some time after its remarkable effects first showed themselves, there was considerable confusion for want of a leading and controlling spirit, and the disorder was rapidly increasing; but when he descended from the pulpit, and took charge of the meeting, his admirable plans and great influence, aided by a yet almost equal to the roar of thunder, soon wrought a change and in perfect order, though not in silence, the meeting continued until midnight. Whatever apparent confusion there might be in these meetings, they were, actually, conducted systematically. Mr. Smith had his method amid the surrounding excitement, and he never delegated control to another, but was the last to retire from the scene of the Redeemer's triumphs." -- Anecdotes of the Ministry
HOW WILLIAM TENNENT DEFEATED THE POWERS OF DARKNESS.
During the great revival of religion in America, which took place under Mr. Whitefield, and others distinguished for their piety and zeal at that period, Mr. Tennent was laboriously active, and much engaged to help forward the work; in the performance of which he met with strong and powerful temptations. The following is from his own lips:
On the evening preceding public worship, he selected a subject for the discourse intended to be delivered, and made some progress in his preparations. In the morning he resumed the same subject, with an intention to extend his thoughts further on it; but was presently assaulted with a temptation that the Bible was not of Divine authority, but the invention of man. He instantly endeavored to repel the temptation by prayer, but his endeavors proved unavailing. The temptation continued, and fastened upon him with greater strength as the time advanced for public service. He lost all the thoughts which he had prepared on the preceding evening. He tried other subjects, but could get nothing for the people. The whole book of God, under that distressing state of mind, was a sealed book to him; and, to add to his affliction, he was "shut up in prayer;" a cloud, dark as that of Egypt, oppressed his mind.
Thus agonized in spirit, he proceeded to the church, where he found a large congregation assembled, and waiting to hear the word; and then he was more deeply distressed than ever; and especially for the dishonor which he feared would fall upon religion through him that day. He resolved, however, to attempt the service. He introduced it by singing a psalm, during which time his agitation increased to the highest degree. When the moment for prayer commenced, he arose, as one in the most painful and perilous situation, and, with arms extended to heaven, began with this exclamation: "Lord, have mercy upon me!" On the utterance this petition he was heard; the thick cloud instantly broke, away, and light shone upon his soul. The result was a deep solemnity throughout the congregation; and the house, at the end of the prayer, was a place of weeping. He delivered the subject of his evening meditations, which was brought to his full remembrance, with an overflowing abundance of other weighty and solemn matter. The Lord blessed this discourse, so that it proved the happy means of the conversion of about thirty persons. This day he ever afterwards spoke of as his harvest day." -- Anecdotes of the Ministry.
IN INDIA -- IN ANSWER TO PRAYER.
The following very interesting account was written by request, expressly for this book. The author was a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church in India for a number of years. He is, at the date of our publication, pastor at Huntington, O.:
In January, 1888, my devoted wife, since gone to glory and myself, were appointed by Bishop Thoburn to open work in a district of the native state of Hyderabad, India. Our parish embraced more than a thousand towns and villages, over a million souls -- a district practically untouched Christian evangelism. Full of faith in God, the missionaries cheerfully proceeded to the new field of conflict. Six months later. visited for the third time, Kinnal, a village of probably souls, sixty miles from our center, for the purpose of supervising a day-school and Sunday school, recently begun, preaching the gospel to the people. We had not a single Christian convert in the village except Andronika, our native teacher, and his young wife and these were imported for the purpose intimated. Weary from our long bullock-cart ride, we spent an h6ur in rest and at dinner, after which the school work was after. At five o'clock the people were called together to hear a short gospel talk, and witness the first Christian baptismal service they had probably ever seen. Nearly the entire village, in an amazingly brief time, had congregated in the street just in front of our little mission-room, which we had --recently purchased for thirty rupees ($10).
The village was just being scourged by those deadly diseases, cholera and small-pox, and the deluded natives had sacrificed nearly all their poultry, sheep, goats, and much fruit, to appease the anger of their imaginary deities; and still the scourge went on. For eight months there had been no rainfall, and the people were in a semi-starved condition, and hence a ready prey to these virulent diseases. It is need. less to say that our simple discourse upon "Jesus, the all-sufficient sacrifice," had many eager listeners in this sad, spirit-broken assembly.
Then followed a scene we shall never forget. Just in front of the missionary and his companion stood Andronika and his wife presenting their little babe for Christian baptism.
Before the ceremony was finished, a man of the weaver's caste prostrated himself before us, preparatory to the making of an urgent appeal. We beckoned him to wait until the close of the service. Then, after another prostration, the poor fellow advanced to make his request.
With a sad expression on his face and tremulous voice, he proceeded to say: "My wife is dying. For four days I have been breaking cocoanuts and making poojahs, and my wife has been growing worse all the time; now I beg of you -- to pray to your God, to see if he will hear and save my wife!" We were conducted by the sad husband into a little mud hut near by, followed by the multitude. There lay the poor wife, unconscious and moaning. A brief examination all the broken-hearted husband had said. It was quite evident that the case was beyond human help. An indescribable burden came upon my soul while contemplating the situation. I turned to my dear wife and said: "There no use giving this woman any medicine; it is too late, I can do nothing for her. Only God can help her. And if the purpose of the miracle on Mount Carmel, in answer to the prayer of Elijah, was to vindicate God's cause before the worshipers of Baal, may not the Lord raise this woman to health, to vindicate himself in this province of a million devotees to false gods?"
Her answer (I'll never forget it) was: "According thy faith be it unto thee." Then I said to the husband: "Jesus Christ, who is the only God, can save your wife if he thinks best. Now if he cures her, will you then forever renounce your idols, and worship Jesus Christ only?" - A moment of intense anxiety, and his aged mother rushed up to him, and plead with him in tears to answer in the negative.
He replied: "I can make better answer after she is cured." But I insisted that I could not feel justified in asking my Savior to interfere in his behalf, unless he was willing to answer the question in the affirmative, and worship Jesus if he showed Himself by His superior power to be God.' Then there came to the poor tried soul another awful struggle.
All his relatives and the priests gathered around him and tried to persuade him that it would be better for his to die than that he should mal- such a promise.- Another moment of awful suspense, and the brave soul turned answered: "Houdu" ("yes," in the Canarese tongue) Jesus Christ can save my wife, it shows that what you right -- my gods are false, and I ought then to Christ"
With eyes uplifted, we prayed the dear Lord to get Himself a great name among these benighted souls. Oh what a baptism of assurance came into our souls!
We turned immediately to go away, and in less than a minute the excited husband came rushing after us, "Jesus Christ, He is God! My wife is well and began, in every conceivable way, to express his gratitude.
Till nearly midnight the voice of that joyful man, up and down the narrow streets of the village, was heard crying: "Jesus Christ, He is the only true God!" Towards morning, a copious shower of rain fell, and the natives said: "It is because the missionary is praying."
At five o'clock next morning, we left the village, with hundreds of its grateful people following in procession, to do honor to those whom they said brought so much blessing to their village. For miles they followed, and not until we earnestly remonstrated, did they turn back. We believe that that event of providence will be blessed to the salvation not only of hundreds in that village, but to many in other places; or among those who witnessed what has been related, were more than a score who had been sent from adjoining villages to induce, if possible, the missionary to begin work in their towns. These may for a time continue in heathenism, but they will not forget the strange Power which wrought such wonders before their eyes.
Praise the Lord for His wonderful goodness! -- A.E. Winter.
"CAN I BE SAVED?"
Away on the western coast of England there stands a steep rock that is known to everybody as' the "Lady's Rock." At high water it is surrounded by the sea; but at low water it stands upon a sandy beach, and is easily reached.
It gets the name from an accident that occurred years ago. One summer day a lady walked along the beach as this rock, and there sat down and began to read a book that interested her. She read on, never thinking of any danger, when she was suddenly startled by a loud cry from the cliffs The coast guard had seen her and shouted across the bay She looked up and in a moment saw her peril Between herself and the shore there were the curling waves and the white foam spreading over the sands. Her first look showed her nothing but certain death, for the waves were rising every moment; and as she stood hesitating, a huge-breaker dashed its spray over her. Above her frowned the steep, black rock, and even the fisherlads could scarcely climb to get the sea-birds' eggs; there seemed to be no way of escape there. She looked across to the crowd that were gathering on the shore, but no boat could live in that tumbling sea. Then, as she stood with the waves creeping up after her like wild beasts that chased their prey, she wrung her hands in agony and burst into tears, crying:
"Can I be saved? Can I be saved?"
A moment before it was nothing to her; now it was everything -- Wealth, luxury, comfort, pleasure-all thought of these were swept away. Her only anxiety was this: "Oh, to be saved!" Then across from the shore came the cry from the coast-guard again: "You must climb the rock! Your only chance is to climb the rock! She looked at it hanging over her with jagged sides, and steep, slippery front. How could she climb it? But as she delayed, a wave swept up and flung itself over the place where she stood, and below her the waters surged and hissed. Then she grasped the rock desperately, and dragged herself up, and hung to the face of it, tremblingly feeling for a higher foothold, rising, little by little, until she reached a ledge, from where she looked shudderingly on the waves below. Then crept upward until again the spray flew about her. "Climb higher!" rang from the shore, this time from a hundred voices; for the tidings of her peril had spread to the adjoining village. Again she gathered her strength, and hardly I know how, she crept, little by-little, hanging on with dragging herself through narrow openings, pressing up the steep, slippery places, until now within her reach a tuft of grass; seizing it she fell fainting on the top b the reach of the waves, while the excited people cried shout "She's saved! Thank Heaven she's saved!'
A story wild and strange, like the coast, and yet it is very life-true of you, reader. Slowly the sea is chasing you from point to point. The sea is rising about, you. You can look back and see how it has driven you from day to day, from year to year; and yet you are unmindful of it: 'Taken up with a hundred things, you do not see it. It is the last thing you think of. You have time for everything else. -You can think of business, of pleasure, of politics, of the markets, of friendships-of everything else but this. And yet the time is coming when you will see the peril, when your own eyes shall look upon the threatening danger, and all of these things of today shall be nothing. Suddenly, all in a moment, you will start up with the cry: " What must I do to be saved? " and it may be too late. -- Rev. Mark Guy Pearse.