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Touching Incidents: Part 16

By S.B. Shaw


      'A great many years ago I knew a lady who had been sick for two years, as you have seen many a one, all the while slowly dying with consumption. She had one child-a little boy named Henry.

      One afternoon I was sitting by her side, and it seemed as if. she would cough her life away. Her little boy stood by the post of the bed, his blue eyes filled with tears to see her suffer so. By and by the terrible cough ceased. Henry came and put his arms around his mother's neck, nestled his head in his mother's bosom, and said, "Mother I do love you, I wish you wasn't sick."

      An hour later, the same loving, blue-eyed boy came in all aglow, stamping the snow off his feet. "O mother may I go skating? It is so nice Ed and Charley are going." "Henry" feebly said the mother the ice is not hard enough yet." "But mother," very pettishly said the boy, "you are sick all the how do you know?" "My child, you must obey me," said his mother.'

      It is too bad angrily sobbed the boy, who an so loved his mother. - "I would not like to have my little boy go," said his mother, looking sadly at the little boy all covered with frowns; "you said you loved me - be good." "No, I don't love you now, mother'," said the boy, going out and slamming the door.

      Again the dreadful coughing came upon her, and thought no more of the boy. After the coughing had commenced, I noticed tears falling thick upon her pillow, but sank from exhaustion into a light sleep.

      In a little while muffled steps of men's feet were heard coming into the house, as though carrying something; and they were carrying the almost lifeless body of Henry.

      Angrily had he left his mother and gone to skate -- disobeying her; and then broken through the ice, sunk under the water, and now saved by a great effort, was brought home barely alive to his sick mother.

      I closed the doors, feeling more danger for her life than the child's, and coming softly in, drew back the curtains from the bed. She spoke, "I heard them-it is Henry; Oh I knew he went. Is he dead?" But she never seemed to hear the answer I gave her. She commenced coughing-she died in agony -- strangled to death. The poor mother! The boy's disobedience killed her.

      After a couple of hours I sought the boy's room. "Oh I wish I had not told mother I did not love her. Tomorrow I will tell her I do," said the child sobbing painfully. My heart ached; tomorrow I knew we must tell him she was dead. We did not till the child came fully in the room, crying, "Mother I do love you." Oh l may I never see agony like that as the lips he kissed gave back no kiss as the hands he fell lifeless from his hand instead of shaking his hand like it always had and the boy knew she was dead

      "Mother I do love you now" all the day he sobbed and cried "O mother mother forgive me" Then he would leave his mother "Speak to me, mother!" but she could never speak again, and he - he last words she had ever never speak again him say, were, "Mother, I don't love you now."

      That boy's whole life was changed; sober and sad he was ever after. He is now a gray haired old man, with one sorrow-over his one act of disobedience, one wrong word embittering all his life -- with those words ever ringing in his ears, "Mother, I don't love you now."

      Will the little ones who read this remember, if they disobey their mother, if they are cross and naughty, they say every single time they do so, to a tender mother's heart, by their actions, if not in the words of Henry, the very same thing, "I don't love you now, mother?"


      A story related by Mr. Finney, will illustrate the power of the mighty prayer of faith, even when every human aid seems withheld, and nothing remains but the burning, throbbing heart, breathing out its longings, and pouring out its groans and tears before the Lord.

      In a certain town there had been no revival for many years; the church was nearly run out, the youth were all unconverted, and desolation reigned unbroken. There lived in a retired part of the town, an aged man, a blacksmith by trade, and of so stammering a tongue that it was painful to hear him speak. On one Friday, as he was at work in his shop alone in his mind became greatly exercised about the state of the church, and of the impenitent. His agony became so great that he was induced to lay aside his work, lock the shop door, and spend the afternoon in prayer.

      He prevailed and on the Lord's day, called on the minister and desired him to appoint a conference meeting. After some hesitation -- the minister consented -- observing, however, that he feared but few would attend. He appointed it the same evening, at a large, private house.

      The people gathered from far and near, doubtless to surprise of the unbelieving and faint-hearted. A solemn sense of the presence of God seemed to oppress the as feelings too deep for speech were welling up in many hearts. All was silent for a time, until one sinner broke out in and said, if any one could pray, he begged him to pray for him. Another followed, and still another, until it was found that persons from every quarter of the town were under deep conviction. And what was remarkable was, that they all dated their conviction at the hour when the old man was praying in his shop. A powerful revival followed. Thus this old stammering man prevailed, and as a prince had power with God. -- Records of Prevailing Prayer.


      From the life of that devoted and noted evangelist, Rev. J. S. Inskip, we quote the following incident, which occurred while he was pastor at Springfield, Ohio, January, 1851. A few days before its occurrence, he recorded in his journal that he felt unusually encouraged to look unto God for a revival of religion in his own heart, and among the members of his church, and that he was favored with much freedom in discoursing upon the duty and encouragements to prayer. We give the account in his own words:

      "This has been one of the greatest days I have ever seem! In the morning I went into the high school and conducted the opening exercises. I then went into the church and attended to some items of business, intending to go subsequently into the country. As I passed along the street I received a message from Brother Howard, requesting me immediately to repair to the high school. I went without delay and found in one of the rooms of the institution such a scene as I never witnessed before. There were over thirty of the young ladies and smaller children weeping and crying aloud for mercy. The exercises of the institution were suspended. We held a meeting for the benefit of the students in the afternoon. I presume, during day there were some eighteen converted. At night we held a society meeting. There were some eight or ten more convent making in all some thirty conversions during the day. Twenty joined the society. I never knew such a work. To God be all the glory, glory, glory in the highest! My soul is unspeakably happy." From this manifestation of Divine power, the work spread into the town. It was a time of great excitement.


      In Dr. Adam Clark's record of his life and early ministry, he relates the following instance of prevailing prayer:

      John Wesley, with some of his co-workers, had been laboring in the Norman Islands, and had appointed a day to be at Bristol. Taking passage with Dr. Clark, Dr. Coke, and Joseph Bradford, in an English brig which had touched at Guernsey, on its voyage from France, they left Guiernsey with a fine, fair breeze, and every prospect of making a quick passage. In a short time the wind died away, and a contrary wind arose, and blew with great force. Mr. Wesley was in the cabin, reading; and hearing the bustle on deck, occasioned by putting the vessel about, he put his head above deck and inquired the cause. Being told that the wind was contrary, and they were obliged to tack ship, he said; "Let us go to prayer." - At his request, Coke, Clark, and Bradford prayed. As they concluded, Mr. Wesley broke out into fervent supplication, which seemed, says Dr. Clark, to be more the offspring of strong faith than mere desire. He said: "Almighty and everlasting God, thou hast thy say everywhere, and all things serve the purposes of thy will; thou boldest the winds in thy fists, and upon the water-floods, and reignest a king forever -- command these winds and these waves, that they obey THEE, an take us speedily and safely to the 'haven where we would be," etc The power of his petition was felt by all He from his knees made no kind of remark, but took up his band continued his reading Dr Clark went on deck, surprise, found the vessel standing on her course with a steady breeze, which did not abate, but of nine or ten miles an hour, until they were safely at their desired port. Mr. Wesley made no remark on the sudden change of the wind. "So fully," says Dr. Clark, "did he expect to be heard, that he took it for granted he was heard. Such answers to prayed he was in the habit of receiving, and therefore to him the occurrence was not strange."

      He who hath "gathered the wind in his fists," (Prov. Xxx:4,) and who rules the raging of the sea, bends low to hear his children cry, and deigns to hear their prayer. "Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and his wonderful works to the children of men


      In his "Memorials of Methodism in Virginia," Dr. W.W. Bennett relates the following incidents in the life of John Easter, one of the pioneer ministers who labored there nearly one hundred years ago. He is represented as being the most powerful exhortatory preacher of his day. His faith was transcendent, his appeals irresistible, his prayers like talking to God -face to face. Perhaps no man has ever been more signally honored of God as an instrument in the conversion of souls. -- On one of his circuits eighteen hundred members were added to the church in a single year. Many thrilling scenes under his preaching yet linger in memory of the people in those counties where he principally labored. A most extraordinary display of his faith was witnessed in Brunswick. At Merritt's meeting house a quarterly meeting was in progress, and so vast was -- the concourse of people from many miles around, that the services were con ducted in a beautiful grove -- near the church. In the midst of the exercises, a heavy cloud arose, and swept rapidly toward the place of worship. From the skirts of the grove the could be seen coming on across the fields The people were in consternation; no house could hold one third of the multitude and they were about to scatter in all directions Easter rose in the midst of the confusion, "Brethren,"' cried he at the top of his voice, "be still while I call upon God to stay the clouds, till his word can be preached to perishing sinners."

      Arrested by his voice and manner, they stood between hope and fear. He kneeled down and offered a fervent prayer that God would stay the rain that the preaching of his word might go on, and afterward send refreshing showers. While he was praying, the angry cloud, as it swiftly rolled up to them, was seen to part asunder in the midst, pass on either side of them, and close again beyond, leaving a space several hundred yards in circumference perfectly dry. The next morning a copious rain fell again, and the fields that had been left dry-were well watered. -- Records of Prevailing Prayer.


      William Taylor, now M.E. Bishop to Africa, and one of the greatest of living men, was converted in 1841, when about twenty years old. He soon entered the ministry and spent seven years in the Baltimore Conference, and a second seven years in California. While there he became known the world over as the "California Street Preacher." At the end of that time God clearly called him to general evangelistic work and for nearly forty years he has proved himself one of the most mighty men in Christian faith and labor that the church of God has ever known. In every continent on the globe and many of the Islands of the sea he has proclaimed to listening multitudes the unsearchable riches of Christ, and untold thousands have been converted to God. His first field, outside of the United States and Canada, with the exception of a few months in England & Ireland, was Australia, where God gave him six thousand souls as the result of the labor of two and one-half years. But more wonderful victories awaited him. From Australia God led his servant to Africa, and, there among the heathen; speaking what was to him an unknown tongue, God wrought so mightily, so gloriously, that the record is one of the most remarkable that can be found in all the history of the Christian Church. In the short space of' seven months nearly 8,000 souls were converted. Out of this number 1,200 were colonists, and the rest were Kaffirs, Fingoes and Hottentots. The following account of a meeting held at Heald Town is quoted from "Life of William Taylor," by Rev. E. Davies, and is a fair illustration of the victories of that seven months tour in Africa.

      "The Wesleyan Chapel will hold about eight hundred. The first service was to the natives, but Charles Pamla was not there to interpret; but they found a Kaffir boy, who, after private instruction from Mr. Taylor, answered a good purpose. His name was Siko. He put the sentences into Kaffir very rapidly. An extraordinary power rested upon the audience. Silence reigned, except the suppressed sobs. After the sermon the simplicity of the gospel was explained, and the way of salvation by faith, and when they were invited, about three hundred rushed forward to take the kingdom by storm. They all prayed audibly, and the floor was wet with their tears, yet none seemed to be crying louder than their neighbors. The pastor was afraid, but God was in the movement.

      "Fourteen whites were among the seekers. As soon as any one was converted he was placed in a seat on the side of the pulpit and had an opportunity to testify for Christ. One hundred and thirty-nine natives and seven whites gave their names as converted in one service, which lasted five hours.

      "In a few days after he held another service in the same place, at which God's power was manifested almost as on the Day of Pentecost. It surpassed anything Mr. Taylor ever saw. It was as the Spirit of God moving upon the waters, yea, as the Spirit that moved in the valley of dry bones and raised them up an exceeding great army.

      At this second service at Heald Town there Were one hundred and sixty-seven converted, making a total for two services of three hundred and six natives and ten whites saved.

      Many will wonder what kind of preaching could produce marvelous results. He remarks:

      I. He preached the law, as proclaimed from the burning Mount of Sinai, the law-that is holy, just and good, the law that is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. He sought to kill before he made alive, to convict before he sought to point out Christ.

      II. He preached the gospel in all its wonderful and glorious provisions of justification, regeneration, adoption and the witness of the Spirit, and that no professor of religion should live without this grace.

      III. He preached purity of heart and the baptism of fire to all true believers, and his speech and his preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

      IV. He spent much of time in wrestling with God for divine guidance and power to win souls. At one place he could not succeed in starting a school until he had spent a whole night in prayer. All the most important movements of his life were the result of prevailing prayer.

      As a result of his faith and devotion, self-supporting missions have been established, not only in Africa, but also in India and South America, that are a wonder to the world. Christ-like in his devotion, strong in faith and mighty in prayer, his life with its results must prove a never-failing inspiration to church till time shall be no more.


      A good clergyman was once sent to a wild and dangerous part of Australia on some errand of duty and mercy traveled up to the place too poor to be in any great from bush-rangers or robbers, but as he came back he had to bring in his saddle-bags a large sum of money not of his but belonging to the dying man he had been sent for to comfort.

      He knew that a dangerous robber was aware that riding along this lonely track through the bush with all his about him, and when he got to one part of the road he felt so frightened that he thought he was not trusting God as a Christian should.

      He wanted a little quiet, so he got off his horse and by it, with his eyes shaded against it, praying for faith courage not to be afraid of bush-rangers or robbers, and to guarded against them. He prayed till he felt calm enough ride on, and then he mounted his horse and reached the in safety with the money which he had in charge.

      Some time later he was once more called to visit a man a sick bed, and he recognized him as the robber of whom had been so afraid in his ride. This man told him that he felt he could not die without confessing that on that day he had followed him, intending to rob and murder him, but could get no opportunity.

      "Why did you not do it when I got off my horse?" asked the clergyman in surprise.

      "I could not then," said the bush-ranger; "there were too many of you."

      "What do you mean?" asked the clergyman. "I was quite alone in the bush, standing with my head resting against my horse's side for a long time. You could have killed me then."

      "You were not alone," said the bush-ranger; "I saw you standing as you describe, but there was a man on each side there had been no other men with the clergyman in that hour of terror when he cried to God, but it is just possible that God really opened the robbers eyes and showed him his angels guarding his servant as he went on his dangerous duty, as Elisha's servant's eyes were opened to see guardians around his muster.

      Whatever may be the explanation God did send his angels to frighten away the robber, and by so doing he saved him from a great crime as well as the good clergyman from death. - The Mission Worker.

      "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to for them who who shall be heirs of salvation?"


      In 1861, a Christian physician in the city of Boston first recorded his desire to open a private hospital, or home, for those consumptives who were excluded from the public hospital on the ground that they were incurable. His professional income was already wholly consecrated to the Lord, but it was not at all sufficient to justify such an undertaking, and his only hope was that if his desire was prompted by the Holy Spirit, God would provide the way for its fulfillment.

      Nearly two years later, as his biographer tells us, "the burden of the possible and yet impossible work grew so heavy that he began to pray in that alternative manner by which. in after years he was accustomed to seek the settlement of difficult questions: 'O Lord, if this thought is from thee, give me the means to realize it; and if not, I pray thee take it out of my mind.' On the evening of that very day a trifling sum of money was given him, unsolicited, by a friend who knew of his plan for a consumptive's home." Such was the beginning of a work for God that has justly ranked Dr. Chas. Cullis among the, greatest men of faith the world has ever known.

      Of the miracles of grace manifested in answer to the prayers of this devoted servant of God, we can only make a few, brief statements. In September, 1864, he opened his first consumptive's home. Within twelve months, by the purchase of a second building the capacity of the home was doubled and all bills were paid. Constant proofs had been given, both and spiritual, that this servant of God had not trusted in vain The amount of money received during the first year--$5916.28. The second year was in many respects one of trial. His faith was at times severely tested, but eighty-eight patients were cared for souls were converted and the total receipts given in answer to the prayer of faith were $8293.10. During the third year a children's orphanage was added to the work. At the end of the fifth year the work included five departments, Consumptive's Home, the Orphanage, the Deaconness' House with its training school for nurses, the Willard Tract Repository and the Willard street Chapel. This summary of the report of the home for this year Dr. Cullis wrote:

      "The Lord has given in answer to prayer, in cash during the year, $13,360.45. For the Home, since the commencement of the work, $47,627.85," and adds:

      "We still trust that every death has been in Christ. Regarding one case only, we cannot express ourselves with certainty; as this patient entered in a dying state, and in about thirty-six hours passed away. During this time he was too feeble to do more than to say he would ask for pardon through the blood of Jesus."

      How severely at times his faith was tested, is shown in the following item early in the sixth year; "This noon I had but twenty cents in the world, belonging to myself or any branch of the work. Money was needed to purchase groceries for supper. I asked the Lord to send the amount in season. At three o'clock a messenger from the Home called for the needed money. Just at the same moment, the mail arrived; the last letter opened contained a check for ten dollars from Dover, N.H. Truly they that trust in the Lord shall not be confounded!" Yet the same year he contracted for Grove Hall, property, and agreed to pay $90,000.00 for it, in order that he might give his great household of suffering ones what the city, could not afford them, abundant liberty and light and air. Thus the work grew upon his hands and in the introduction to the report of the seventeenth year of this work, are these memorable words:

      "For seventeen years I have believed! The word has been true to me. My God faileth never. The promises stand out upon the firmanent of his word as the stars in the blue above, and they shed their light as truly as the stars; but, like them, they are only seen by those who look up The promises are revealed to those who are looking unto Jesus"'

      In the same year of the work, the entire amount of money received m response to simple faith in God reached and passed sum of half a million dollars; and at the end of the twentieth year, two thousand seven hundred and seven consumptives had been cared for, the grand total of receipts was $621,960.36 and the value of; real estate held in trust for the work at home and abroad, over and above the mortgages upon it, was not for from $300,000.00, and almost a thousand souls had in the Home I found pardon and peace in the Saviour. Nor have we even mentioned the millions of tracts and books circulated, the home and foreign missions established, the Cancer Home, the Spinal Home, the Boydton Institute, and other departments of this great work. How many thousand Christian hearts have been strengthened, how many of the Lord's children have been healed of disease, how many souls saved, how many believers baptized with the Spirit in our own and other lands, as a direct result of the devotion of this servant of God, only the heavenly records can show. All this an answer to prayer? And yet the record is not finished, for though Dr. Culls has gone from labor to reward, the different departments of the work which he established still prosper and his mighty influence still lives and the power of his life is still felt all over the Christian world. And when at the last great day all that has been accomplished by his life is made known, will not the answer of the redeemed, in glory be: "ALL THIS IN ANSWER TO PRAYER."


      Some years since when we were living in Grand Rapids and were trying to pay for our little home there, our heart was burdened because of a payment of one hundred dollars that would be due in a few days. We were at the time laboring in; revival work in the southern part of the state, were in very close circumstances and from the human standpoint could see no way of deliverance. But as we took the matter to the Lord's in prayer we were greatly helped of the Spirit and received the evidence that God would supply the money needed to make the payment on the home, and wrote to wife that we had the evidence beyond the possibility of a doubt that the money was coming And it came, $50.00 from a brother in Texas whom we had never seen but once or twice, a brother in the Lord and the balance in smaller from different sources. Nor is this by any means the only case which God has helped us in a time of especial need now we have great reason to praise him that in a time of severe and general financial depression he has so greatly prospered us in the circulation of this book and for the evidence we have had that the" book is proving a blessing and encouragement to thousands of hearts. We also wish to record to the glory of God, his great mercy in healing our wife of consumption in January last (1894) About a year before her father died of the same disease, She cared for him during part of his last illness and from that time her own strength steadily failed until she was entirely unable to work. Her lungs pained her constantly -- her life was evidently rapidly wasting away, and aside from the power of God to deliver, she had no hope of living more than a few months.

      We too felt that in God was our only hope of deliverance.

      On the evening of January 15, we attended prayer meeting and then received the assurance of God's willingness to heal her. On our return we said to her, "If you will walk in the light God will heal you not many days hence." Little more was said, but a few minutes after she remarked to a friend who was visiting us, "My lungs certainly feel different." Early the next morning we were each led out to pray for the work to done and were enabled by faith to claim victory. The same moment the difference in her breathing was clearly observable. Her lungs felt as if having received new life and she rapidly gained strength. The same morning she was healed she clearly felt called to go out in evangelistic work in answer to a call that had come from friends not knowing, of her illness but two weeks she started. Before her healing she had only attended public service once in about two months and then in great weariness, but while absent from home she preached every night for five weeks, without exception or difficulty with her lungs and saw over fifty souls gloriously converted to god.

      Truly our God is the Lord, and he is able and willing to help his children in every time of need.

Back to S.B. Shaw index.

See Also:
   Touching Incidents: Introduction and Preface
   Touching Incidents: Part 1
   Touching Incidents: Part 2
   Touching Incidents: Part 3
   Touching Incidents: Part 4
   Touching Incidents: Part 5
   Touching Incidents: Part 6
   Touching Incidents: Part 7
   Touching Incidents: Part 8
   Touching Incidents: Part 9
   Touching Incidents: Part 10
   Touching Incidents: Part 11
   Touching Incidents: Part 12
   Touching Incidents: Part 13
   Touching Incidents: Part 14
   Touching Incidents: Part 15
   Touching Incidents: Part 16


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