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FACTS STRANGER THAN FICTION
THE WONDERS OF PRAYER:
A RECORD OF WELL AUTHENTICATED AND WONDERFUL ANSWERS TO PRAYER.
AS NARRATED BY:
GEORGE MULLER, W.W. PATTEN, D.D.,
D.L. MOODY, CHAS. CULLIS,
C.H. SPURGEON, S.I. PRIME, D.D.,
BISHOP SIMPSON, E. KRUMMACHER,
NEWMAN HALL, D.D., MARTIN LUTHER,
BISHOP T. BOWMAN, JOHN KNOX,
CHAS. G. FINNEY, ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
AND HOSTS OF OTHERS.
NEW EDITION. REVISED BY D.W. WHITTLE.
* * * * *
INTRODUCTION TO FIRST EDITION.
The incidents which are published in this volume, are vouched for upon
the strongest proofs of authenticity possible to obtain, and are either
of circumstances known amid my own experience, or connected with the
lives of my correspondents and their friends. They are the thankful
record and tribute to the power of _persevering faith_.
Nothing has been published concerning which there is the least shadow of
doubt. All have been carefully investigated.
Every case has been one of real prayer, and the results that have come,
came only in answer to the prayer of faith, and were not possible to
obtain without it.
They demonstrate to a wonderful degree, the immediate practical ways of
the Lord with his children in this world, that He is far nearer and more
intimate with their plans and pursuits than it is possible for them to
Neither have we depended upon the relation of facts of a few, to
convince the world of the real power of faith, but have added concurrent
testimony of incidents actually known in the experience of such eminent
clergymen as Charles Spurgeon, Newman Hall, Martin Luther, W.
Huntington, Dr. Waterbury, George Muller, Dr. Cullis, Dr. Patton, Dr.
Adams, Dr. Prime, Bishop Simpson, and many others.
Also we have added some incidents known and investigated and found
absolutely true, by the editors of the following journals, who add their
unquestioning belief in the power of prayer: _The Christian, The
Evangelist, The Observer, The Congregationalist, The Advance, The
Illustrated Christian Weekly, The American Messenger, The Witness_.
Likewise we have been greatly assisted by some of our Home Missionaries,
who, from their daily experiences with the poor and suffering, have been
eye-witnesses to remarkable experiences and the wonderful help of the
Lord in answering their prayers.
These testimonies here recorded must be accepted as true. They
demonstrate that answers to prayer are not occasional, and therefore
remarkable that they do occur, but are of constant occurrence.
There may be many minds who, having carried no trial to the Lord, have
never been brought into intimate acquaintances of the ways in which the
Lord tries the faith of his children, nor led to see and observe his
wonderful control over human wills and circumstances. The power of the
Lord is learned only by those who in deep trouble have faithfully sought
Him and seen his ways of deliverance.
None can ever understand the full power of prayer until they have
learned the lesson of trust. It is only when for the _first time_ in the
Christian's own life of faith, it realizes the hand of God in his
personal dealings with him, how near He is, or how clearly he feels the
presence of that tremendous overruling Spirit which
"_Turneth the heart whithersoever He will_."
The actual existence of our God is therefore proved, not alone from
_History_, nor from the Bible alone, nor from current natural or
religious feeling and beliefs, nor from the testimony of old witnesses
several thousand years old, _but from the actual incidents of present
prayer_, and the _literal answer_. Daily faith and trust and prayer have
made the Christian deeply acquainted with Him and his ways, and humbly
dependent upon his care and love and help, in the events of life. _No
one ever faithfully trusted the Lord in vain_.
Circumstances so clouded that it has been impossible for men to control,
have, through believing prayer, been so made to change, that through
them has been revealed _living evidences_ of the presence of
_The Ever Living God_.
* * * * *
BY D.W. WHITTLE.
To recognize God's existence is to necessitate prayer to Him, by all
intelligent creatures, or, a consciously living in sin and under
condemnation of conscience, because they do not pray to Him. It would be
horrible to admit the existence of a Supreme Being, with power and
wisdom to create, and believe that the creatures he thought of
consequence and importance enough to bring into existence, are not of
enough consequence for him to pay any attention to in the troubles and
trials consequent upon that existence.
Surely such a statement is an impeachment of both the wisdom and
goodness of God.
It were far more sensible for those who deny the fitness and necessity
of prayer to take the ground of the atheist and say plainly "We do not
pray, for there is no God to pray to," for to deny prayer, is practical
So in the very constitution of man's being there is the highest
reasonableness in prayer. And, if the position of man in his relation to
the earth he inhabits is recognized and understood, there is no
unreasonableness in a God-fearing man looking to God for help and
deliverance under any and all circumstances, in all the vicissitudes of
life. The earth was _made_ for man. One has said "there is nothing great
in the world but man; and there is nothing great in man but his soul."
With this in view, how absurd to talk about "fixed laws" and
"unchangeable order," in a way to keep man in his trouble from God. It
is all the twaddle of the conceit of man setting himself up to judge and
limit his maker. "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal?
saith the Holy One." The Creator is greater than his creation; the law
giver is supreme over all law. He created the earth that it might be
inhabited by man, and He governs the earth in subordination to the
interests, the eternal and spiritual welfare of the race of immortal
beings that are here being prepared for glory and immortality.
Laws, indeed, are fixed in their operation and results as subserving the
highest good in the training and the disciplining of the race, giving
them hope in their labor and sure expectation of fruit from their toil.
But as set in operation for _man's good_, so, in an exigency that may
make necessary their suspension, to secure his deliverance from peril
and bring man back to the recognition of the personal God, as above,
law, is it unreasonable to believe that God has power thus to suspend or
overrule his own arrangements? A wise father will govern his children by
rules as securing their best good. But he will retain in his power the
suspending of those rules when special occasions arise, when the object
for which they exist can be better secured by their suspension. Shall
not the living God have the same right?
So much as to the reflections suggested by the dogmas of natural
religion. They sustain in reason our faith in prayer. The basis,
however, of our faith rests upon the unchanging and unchangeable
revelation of God, and not upon man's philosophy. Jesus taught his
disciples to pray, saying, "Our Father which art in Heaven." As
Christians, this is our authority for prayer. In the words, "OUR
FATHER," our Blessed Lord has given us the substance of all that can be
said, as to _the privilege of prayer, what to pray for_, and _how to
pray_. There can be no loftier exercise of soul ever given to created
intelligence than to come into conscious contact with the living God,
and be able to say "_My_ Father."
And surely, as my Father, with a loving father's heart, it must be his
desire that I should tell him _all_ my needs, _all_ my sorrows, _all_ my
desires. And, so his word commands, "Be careful for nothing, but _in
everything_, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your
requests be made known unto God." (Phil, iv., 6.) Under this verse there
is positively no exception of any request that may not be made known
unto God. So there is true faith and right Christian philosophy in the
remark, "if a _pin_ was needful to my happiness and I could not find one
I would pray to God for it."
The mistake of Christians is in _not_ praying over _little_ things. "The
hairs of your head are all numbered." Consult God about everything.
Expect His counsel, His guidance, His care, His provision, His
deliverance, His blessing, in everything. Does not the expression, "Our
_daily_ bread," mean just this? Can there be any true life of faith that
does not include this? Whatever will serve to help God's children to a
better understanding of the blessed privileges of prayer, and prove to
them the reality of God's answering prayer in the cares, trials and
troubles of _daily life_, will approve itself to all thoughtful minds as
a blessing to them and an honor to God. It is the purpose of this volume
to do this. We are more helped by testimony to _facts_ than by theories
and doctrines. When we have illustrations before our eyes of God's care
for his children, and His response to their faith, even in the minutest
things, we understand the meaning of His promises and the reality of His
The writer had many thoughts in this line suggested to him by an
incident, with which he was connected, in the life of George Muller. It
was my happiness to cross the Atlantic in the company of this dear
brother on the steamship Sardinian, from Quebec to Liverpool, in June,
I met Mr. Muller in the express office the morning of sailing, about
half an hour before the tender was to take the passengers to the ship.
He asked of the agent if a deck chair had arrived for him from New York.
He was answered, No, and told that it could not possibly come in time
for the steamer. I had with me a chair I had just purchased and told Mr.
Muller of the place near by, where I had obtained it, and suggested that
as but a few moments remained he had better buy one at once. His reply
was, "No, my brother, Our Heavenly Father will send the chair from New
York. It is one used by Mrs. Muller, as we came over, and left in New
York when we landed. I wrote ten days ago to a brother who promised to
see it forwarded here last week. He has not been prompt as I would have
desired, but I am sure Our Heavenly Father will send the chair. Mrs.
Muller is very sick upon the sea, and has particularly desired to have
this same chair, and not finding it here yesterday when we arrived, as
we expected, we have made special prayer that Our Heavenly Father would
be pleased to provide it for us, and we will trust Him to do so." As
this dear man of God went peacefully on board the tender, running the
risk of Mrs. Muller making the voyage without a chair, when for a couple
of dollars she could have been provided for, I confess I feared Mr.
Muller was carrying his faith principles too far and not acting wisely.
I was kept at the express office ten minutes after Mr. Muller left. Just
as I started to hurry to the wharf a team drove up the street, and on
top of a load just arrived from New York, _was Mr. Muller's chair_! It
was sent at once to the tender and placed in _my hands_ to take to Mr.
Muller (the Lord having a lesson for me) just as the boat was leaving
the dock. I found Mr. and Mrs. Muller in a retired spot on one side of
the tender and handed him the chair. He took it with the happy, pleased
expression of a child who has just received a kindness deeply
appreciated, and reverently removing his hat and folding his hands over
it, he thanked his Heavenly Father for sending the chair. "In
_everything_ by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known
unto God." "Casting _all_ your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
So the word of God teaches us as His children (_inviting_ us to pray,
_commanding_ us to pray, and _teaching us_ how to pray), that there is a
divine reality in prayer. Experience abundantly corroborates the
Every truly converted man knows from this experience that God answers
prayer. He has verified the promise. "Call unto me, and I will answer
thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
(Jer. xxxiii., 8.) His life is a life of prayer, and grows more and more
to be a life of almost unconscious dependence upon God, as he becomes
fixed in the habit of prayer. This, and it is the purpose of God, is the
result secured by prayer. With this in view, it will not be so much what
we expect to get by praying, as a consciousness of coming into closer
relations to God, the giver of all, in our prayers, that will give us
Often God's children are driven to the throne of grace by some desperate
need of help and definite supply of an absolute want, and, as they cry
to God and plead their case with tears before him, he so manifests his
presence to them and so fills them with a consciousness of his love and
power, that the burden is gone and _without the want being supplied_
that drove them to God, they rejoice in _God himself_ and care not for
the deprivation. This was Paul's experience when he went thus to God
about the thorn, and came away without the specific relief he had prayed
for, but with such a blessing as a result of his drawing near to God,
that he little cared whether the thorn remained or not--or, rather,
rejoiced that it was not removed; that it might be used to keep him near
to God, whose love so filled his soul.
A widow once told the writer of the turning point in her Christian life,
when God's love was so shed abroad in her heart that she had been
enabled to go on through all her trials rejoicingly conscious of God's
presence, and casting all her burdens upon Him. She was driven to seek
God by great need. Her husband's death left her destitute, with little
children to provide for, and few friends from whom to look for
continuous aid. Winter drew on, and, one day, her little boy came in
shivering with cold and asked if he could not have a fur cap, as his
straw hat was very cold and none of the boys at school wore straw hats.
She was without a cent in the world. She gave a hopeful answer to the
boy and sent him out to play, and then went to her bedroom and knelt and
wept in utter desolation of heart before God, praying most earnestly
that God would give her a token that He _was_ her God and was caring for
her by sending her a cap for her boy. While she prayed the peace of God
filled her soul. She was made to feel the presence of her Saviour in
such a way that all doubts as to his love for her and his fulfillment of
all his promises to care for her vanished away, and she went out of her
room, rejoicing in the Lord and singing his praise. She had no burden
about the cap, and was quite content for God to send it or not as it
pleased Him; and, in the afternoon, when a neighbor called, occupied
with the Lord and his wonderful love, the thought of the cap had gone
from her mind. When the neighbor rose to depart, she said, "You know my
little boy died last fall. Just before he died I bought him a fur cap:
he only wore it two or three times. After his death I put away all his
things and thought I could never part with any of them. But, this
morning, as I went to the drawer to look them over, I felt that I should
give you this cap for your little boy. Will you take it of me?" As she
took the cap and told her neighbor of the morning trial, prayer and
blessing, two souls were filled with the sense of the reality of prayer
and the love of God for his children. "My little boy," said the widow,
"wore that cap for three winters. And often, when sorely tried by my
circumstances, has God lifted the burden from my heart, by my just
looking at it, and remembering the blessing that came with it."
Experiences like this God gives to all his children, not for the purpose
of leading them to look to Him for supplying their physical necessities,
as an end, but to make Himself known to them, and to secure their
confidence and love, for "this is life eternal, that they might know
Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (Jno.
The use of prayer is to bring us into communion with God, for the growth
of the spiritual life, that is ours by faith in Christ Jesus. To leave
it upon any lower plane than this, is to rob it of its highest functions
and to paralyze it of lasting power for good in any direction. The
promises of God are conditioned upon our being in this state of heart
toward God. "If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (Jno. xv., 7.) Abiding in
Christ, our will will be His will, as to desiring that which will most
advance the divine life and promote confidence in God, and all our
desires for material blessings will be subordinated to this motive.
Right here must come in a line of truth that will lead us from the
spirit of dictation in our prayers to God in all matters pertaining to
our worldly concerns. We cannot tell what is for our highest spiritual
good. The saving of our property or the taking it away. The recovery
from sickness or the continuance of it; the restoration of the health of
our loved one, or his departing to be with Christ; the removing the
thorn or the permitting it to remain. "_In everything_" it is indeed our
blessed privilege to let _our requests_ be make known unto God, but,
praise his name, he has not passed over to us the awful responsibility
of the assurance that _in everything_ the requests we make known will be
granted. He has reserved the decision, where we should rejoice to leave
it, to his infinite wisdom and his infinite love.
There is a danger to be carefully guarded against in the reading of this
book and in the consideration of the precious truth. The incidents it
relates bring before the mind, of the unlimited resources and the
unquenchable love of God, that are made available to believing prayer.
That danger has been suggested by what has been said, that the highest
use of prayer is to bring the soul nearer to God, and _not the making of
it a mere matter of convenience to escape physical ills or supply
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" and continues flesh until the
end. "Have no confidence in the flesh" is always a much needed
exhortation. Now, unquestionably, the desires of the natural heart may
and do deceive us, and often lead as to believe that our fervent earnest
prayer for temporal blessing is led of the Spirit, when the mind of the
Spirit is, that we will be made more humble, more Christ-like and more
useful by being denied than by being granted. Again, we are in danger of
disobeying the plain commands of _God's word_ in allowing prayer ever to
take the place of anything _in our power_ to do, and _that we are
commanded to do as a means to secure needed good_. He who has said "pray
always," has also said, "Be ambitious to be quiet and to do your own
business, and to work with your hands, even as we charged you; that ye
may walk honestly toward them that are without, and may have need of
nothing." (1 Thess., iv., 11, 12; R.V.)
How often the _flesh_ has led men to read (Phil, iv., 19): "My God shall
supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,"
in a spirit entirely opposed to this exhortation. They have ceased to
labor with their hands, and, without warrant in the providences of God
and the judgment of brethren, have turned from doing their own business,
expecting the Lord to pay their debts and provide for their necessities.
The quotations of Scripture made by our Lord to Satan, "Thou shalt not
tempt the Lord, thy God," is surely applicable in all such cases. The
spirit of a "sound mind" (see 2 Tim. i., 7) will surely recognize this.
So in _all_ things, that which God has given me intelligence and power
to do, in avoiding evil or securing good, I am under direct command from
him to do, always depending upon His blessing to secure the needed
result. A _true faith_ in God will be made manifest by careful obedience
to known commands. An _intelligent_ faith can never allow dependence
upon means used to take the place of dependence upon the living God, who
alone makes them efficacious.
It must result in _presumptions_ faith, if obedience is neglected, and
the results only promised to obedience are expected. That God _can_ give
blessing, without the use of the ordinary means, on man's part, there is
no question. That he _has_ done so is a matter of record. Yet we should
remember that there were but _two_ miraculous draughts of fishes, and
_only twice_ did our Lord make bread without the use of seed-time,
harvest, grinding and baking. The _rule_ of Christ in his earthly
ministry was, most certainly, to receive the supply of his physical
wants from His Heavenly Father, in the use of means to secure the
results offered in the ordinary operation of the laws of God. He went
into the corn-field at autumn and visited the olive tree for sustenance
as did other men. And the question for his disciples is not what God
_can_ do, and not what he _has_ done (that he may be known as God over
all creation, blessed for evermore) in the suspension of natural laws,
but what has he revealed to us as his will during the time of the
present dispensation of the church on this earth, as to his children
using means for the avoidance of evil and securing of good, or depending
entirely upon miraculous interference in answer to the prayer of faith
for all need without reference to use of means.
Does the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," mean that we are to
do nothing to secure our bread, lest we show no faith in God, and simply
wait in idleness for God to repeat the miracle of sending it by a
raven? or, does it mean that with thankful hearts to God for the ability
he has given us to work, that we go forth diligently fulfilling our task
in the use of all appropriate means to secure that which his loving
bounty has made possible for us in the fruitful seasons of the earth,
and return with devout recognition that He is the Creator, Upholder and
Giver of all, bringing our sheaves with us. When seed-time and harvest
fail and death is on the land, when corn fails in Egypt and there is no
bread, when _we have obeyed him_ and sought to toil with our hands and
no man has given unto us, then we will expect his interposition and will
have faith that he who has fed us by use of means, will supply us
without means, and that He alone is the living God.
It is noticeable that the prophet Elisha, whose prayers God heard in the
multiplication of the twenty loaves during the dearth at Gilgal, was
made Elijah's successor when following his twelve yoke of oxen at the
plough in the field, diligently using means to obtain bread, and
undoubtedly communing with God all the while and recognizing the
evidences of his love and power in every upturned daisy as he ploughed
the sod, and in every seed that he dropped into the fertile earth, and
thought it grand to be a fellow worker with God in the husbandry of the
earth and not one to be fed in idleness, neglecting the toil appointed
to man, and losing the blessing that is promised in the word of God, in
the discipline and the knowledge of God in the operations of His laws,
that comes in a greater or less degree to all of earth's honest toilers.
It is the opinion of many of God's children that as the present
dispensation draws to its close, there will be among the spiritually
minded and consecrated ones of the church, a reproduction of the gifts
of Pentecost for a last testimony to the world before Christ comes in
glory. There is much Scripture that might be quoted to sustain this
opinion. God grant in His grace and mercy that it may be so. But neither
the church or the world have any _claim_ upon God for it. The church has
abused grace and the world has despised mercy. All the promises as to
miracles wrought for a testimony as to the truth of Christ's
resurrection, have been fulfilled. If Christ were to come to-day, the
world would be without excuse in having rejected him, and could not
plead that signs and wonders had been abundantly wrought in His name in
the establishing of His church upon the earth.
The question of our Lord in Luke xviii., 8, "When the son of man cometh
shall he find faith on the earth?" suggests to many minds that there may
not be vouchsafed during the time immediately preceding his
manifestations, any marked interference by God in the way of miracles or
signs among his children, but that their faith in Him as the unseen God,
and their trust in the truth and verify of His word, will be brought
forth to the praise and glory of God and their joy, by their being left
to the _word alone_ and the operations of the Holy Ghost by and through
the word for their comfort and stability in the faith.
Coupled with this thought let it ever be borne in mind by the believer
that the testimony of God's word as to miracles, signs and wonders
wrought by _Satanic agency_ in the church, during the last day, is clear
and unmistakable, and warnings abound as to our danger from them.
"The Spirit saith expressly that in later times some shall fall away
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of
devils." 1 Tim. iv., 1.
"But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come." "Evil
men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being
deceived." 2 Tim. iii., 1 and 13.
"Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no
great thing if his ministers be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness. 2 Cor. xi., 14.
"And then shall that wicked be revealed. Even him whose coming is after
the working of Satan, _with all power, and signs_, and _lying wonders_;
and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish,
because they received not the love of the truth that they might be
saved." 2 Thess. ii., 8 to 10.
By these passages it is plain that a sign or a wonder does not establish
a doctrine or endorse a man as certainly being _from God_. The doctrine
and the man must be judged by the written word of God.
If there is ought in the doctrine that denies that Jesus is the Son of
God, that derogates in the slightest degree from the merit of His
atonement on the cross for our sins, or that takes the eye off from Him
as the risen and coming Lord, the alone object of our faith and hope, or
that dishonors in any way God's holy word, taking from or adding to it,
_then_ the more signs and wonders and manifestations of mysterious power
that there may be connected with it, then the more certainly we may know
that it is of Satan and not of God.
And if, in the man who exhibits signs and wonders, there is a spirit
contrary to the spirit of Christ, in his seeking honor from man, and
using his power to establish a claim to such honor, "speaking of himself
as some great one," and not walking in humility as a sinner saved from
hell and kept day by day by the power of God through faith in Christ,
And if the purpose of his signs be to establish revelations he is
receiving in any form apart from the written word, then, though his
signs be as marvelous as those of the magicians in Egypt, or Simon
Magnus in Samaria, he is, like them, a minister of Satan and not a
minister of Jesus Christ.
The age abounds in doctrines and men of this kind. The life of faith
lays the soul open to assaults of the Devil by their agency.
"Beloved try the spirits whether they be of God."
Let us not waver in our faith in God's overruling providence, and in the
reality of His interposition in answer to prayer for the deliverance and
help of his people under any and all circumstances. "In _everything_, by
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let our requests be made
known unto God," but let our first request be that we be kept in a sound
mind obedient to the word, and let _all of_ our requests close with the
utterance, from a sincere heart, of the words, "Thy will be done." If
this be the attitude of our hearts our prayers shall be abundantly and
graciously answered, and God shall guide us from the wiles of the Evil
One for the sake of His dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord, through whose
precious blood we have all grace and all blessing. Amen.
LAKE VIEW, July 24th, 1885.
* * * * *
A MAN CAN RECEIVE NOTHING EXCEPT IT BE GIVEN HIM FROM HEAVEN. JOHN 3:
* * * * *
_"Know, that the Lord, thy God he is God, the faithful God, which
keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his
commandments, to a thousand generations."_
_"My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of
_"I will not suffer my faithfulness to fail."_
_"I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I
will also do it."_
_"He is faithful that promised."_
_"I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of
_"Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David."_
_"God is not a man, that he should lie; hath he said and shall he not do
it? hath he spoken and shall he not make it good?"_
_"Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven; thy faithfulness is
unto all generations, thy word is true from the beginning."_
_"Thy faithfulness is unto all generations."_
_"The word of our God shall stand forever."_
_"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not
return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it
shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it."_
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO PRAYER
A WONDERFUL ANSWER TO PRAYER AND PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE HOLY
A trustful Christian, whose heart had been deeply touched with thoughts
of religion, was one day thinking and pondering and wishing that he
might be more truly convinced of the actual existence of the Holy
Spirit. "If," thought he, "there is a Holy Spirit, a Superior Mind and
Will, I reverently and sincerely wish that I may be convinced of it
beyond all doubt; that I may indeed know God is a living reality and
daily guide and mighty among the plans and ways of men." Though having
all the needed mental, historic and heart belief and trust in God--still
there was desired that special satisfaction which can only come by
With reverent feeling one morning, he asked the Lord humbly, in Prayer,
"_What can thy servant, do for thee this day? Teach him, that he may
gladly minister to any one in thy name_." In the course of the day there
came to him the thought of the revival services then proceeding in
Brooklyn, and feeling a cordial sympathy, he sat down and wrote a letter
to _Mr. Moody_, with these words: "_I know not how you are supported, or
anything of your needs; but I feel like helping you in your good work.
Enclosed find check for $25; take it and use it if you need it for
yourself; if not, then do some good with it_." The circumstance was
almost forgotten, when the day after there came this wonderful reply
from Mr. Moody:
"_Your letter came to hand in the_ SAME MAIL, _at the_ SAME
INSTANT _of_ TIME, _with a letter from a brother in distress_
WANTING THE SAME AMOUNT. _And now you have made him happy, and
my heart glad, and the Lord will bless you for it."_
Had there been a direct revelation from heaven, it could not have been
more astounding than this, to the heart of that Christian. His own
prayer was answered, as to his search for the evidences of the Holy
Spirit, but oh, how wonderfully!
None but a Superior, Higher, Overruling Spirit, could have known the
thoughts and desires of each heart. Nothing but an Omnipotent hand of
Power and Wisdom could have brought these two letters together at that
identical instant of time. None but an All-knowing Father could have
fixed the amount of money which the one was to give and the other was to
This was a wonderful conjuncture of time, desire and amount, and could
never have happened by any chance operation of Nature or the natural
heart and will. Strangest of all, neither of the parties had ever met,
known or corresponded with each other before. Neither did Mr. Moody know
of the desire of the one, nor the necessity of the other, until in the
act of opening the two letters side by side. In the one envelope was the
prayer; in the other the answer.
That check, those letters, with all signatures and endorsements and
those persons are this day living and can testify to the authenticity of
THE PRAYER OF FAITH.
The family of Mr. James R. Jordan has resided in Lake View, Chicago,
since the spring of 1871. They are members of Lincoln Park
Congregational Church. The father, Mr. James R. Jordan, died in October,
1882, aged eighty-four years. Through a long series of financial trials,
sorrows, afflictions by death and pressing cares, this family learned to
depend on God for their daily prosperity; and the cures wrought in them,
according to God's Word, are only a small portion of the remarkable
answers to prayer with which their history is filled.
It is an instructive fact for Christian meditation, that when the
exercise of intelligent faith was necessary to their cures, the faith
was there _ready for exercise._ They had not to begin, as, alas! so many
do, at the very foundation, and find out first, what faith is, and next,
how to exercise it. They had learned long before what faith is and what
faith is not; that _faith is trustful obedience to the Word of God;_
that it _is not_ a determination to have one's own way, nor to expect
the immediate gratification of a desire, simply because the desire has
been made known to God. They knew that faith obediently accepts God's
commands and promises, expects to comply with the conditions of those
commands and promises, and, so complying, expects to receive the results
of such obedience at such times and in such ways as God appoints; all of
which truths they found, and all of which may be found in the Holy
Thus living in the hopes of the Gospel, realizing as much that their
"home is in heaven" as that their "rest is not here," they have, through
the years, performed the daily duties of their pilgrimage.
The writer has known them for thirteen years, and gratefully testifies
that their faith has strengthened her's, and that their cheerful hope in
the Lord has been a strong consolation to many who were in trouble.
After the sudden death of the youngest son of the family, in 1880, the
care of the family devolved entirely upon the two daughters, Mrs. H.J.
Furlong and Miss Addie S. Jordan.
In April, 1876, Mrs. Jordan fell and badly fractured her hip. She was
then seventy-seven years old. On account of her age she could not well
be etherized, nor endure the repeated necessary resetting of the bones,
and consequently they grew together irregularly. Her hip-joint was
stiff, so that she was never able to walk without the support of a cane
or crutch. For eight years she could not leave her own little yard, nor
climb into a carriage, nor walk without support.
Through this misfortune her afflictions grew worse. In January, 1884,
she fell and broke one bone and dislocated another in the left wrist.
Notwithstanding all that medical help could do, the shock brought on a
severe sickness, and when, after eight weeks, she left her bed to move
around feebly, she had almost lost her sight and hearing, her hand was
useless, and her mind greatly impaired.
On her birthday, June 10, 1884, when she was eighty-five years old, she
greatly mourned that she had outlived her usefulness; that she could no
longer feed herself, nor read her Bible, nor remember the desirable
subjects for her prayers, and she hoped that she should not linger here
long in such a helpless and useless condition.
During the latter part of this time the two daughters were sick, Mrs.
Furlong with paralysis and Miss Jordan with consumption.
In the latter part of 1882 Miss Jordan, then in feeble health, was
needed at home to attend the father's last sickness, and Mrs. Furlong
was left to conduct their business alone. 'The extraordinary exertion
brought on paralysis. It began in her right arm, which became so
insensible that the strongest ammonia produced no sensation or apparent
effect. Gradually her whole right side lost power, her foot dragged, and
though she did manage to move about, she was comparatively helpless.
Physicians spoke not hopefully; and protracted rest was recommended as a
_possible_ relief. She planned to take electric treatment, though not
very hopeful about the result. She failed once to meet her physician,
and while planning the second time to take the treatment, and
considering Christ's miracles of healing, and the Bible's promises to
the sick, and having a feeling that possibly she might be doing wrong in
not relying entirely on the Lord, who had hitherto so much helped them,
she delayed a little, and failed again to meet the appointment. It was a
Saturday evening in January, 1883.
She went home and sat down that evening alone, in the dining-room,
depressed. The enfeebled family--the aged crippled mother, the sick
sister and her own young son--had retired. As she thought the subject
through, she became convinced that it was not good to spend time and
money in the way proposed. Instantly the words THE SAVIOUR filled her
soul with indescribable hope, and as she thought of His miracles, and
how _the same Jesus_, on earth, healed paralyzed ones, the hope grew
that He would heal her.
With the well hand she stretched out her paralyzed hand on the table and
said: "Dear Lord, will you heal me?" Like an electric shock the life
began to move in her arm, and the continued sensation was as though
something that, previously, had not moved was set in motion. The feeling
passed up to the head, and down the body to the foot. _She was healed!
and she was grateful!_ She did not speak of her experience to the
family, but retired. She rose early the next morning, and awoke her
son,--a prayerful, dutiful young man,--and said to him, "I'm going to
church, to-day." He replied, "Then I'll get up and go with you,"
expecting that she must ride.
Her soul was solemnly full that day of the felt presence of the Holy
Spirit, and she did not like to talk. Her son watched her movements,
She went to the church, took a class again in Sunday School, and; in
going back and forth to church that day and evening, walked about sixty
blocks without weariness.
We are not permitted, here, to draw aside the curtain, to dwell upon the
surprises and the grateful joy of that ever-to-be-remembered, sacred
A few days after this healing, she, with a consciousness that she was
running a risk, lifted a heavy weight, and a numbness returned. She
confessed the sin to the Lord, and asked Him that, when she had been
sufficiently chastened, He would take the trouble away. Gradually,
within two days, it disappeared, and has never returned.
At the time when Mrs. Furlong was healed, in answer to prayer, Miss.
Jordan's case was considered hopeless. Her lungs had been diseased since
1876. In November, 1879, her physician had decided that tubercles had
formed in the left lung, and that the right lung was much congested and
In 1882 she had many hemorrhages, and gradually grew worse, so that she
could not use her left arm or shoulder without producing hemorrhage.
Mrs. Furlong, soon after her own healing, received a comforting
assurance from the Lord that her sister would be healed; but Miss
Jordan, herself, had not that assurance. At this time she took little or
no medicines, the physicians and the family having no confidence in
their curative effect; but, on the 1st of January, 1884, she had so many
chills and hemorrhages, that they sent for the family physician to aid
in checking, if possible, the severe attack.
During this apparently rapid descent deathward, Mrs. Furlong continued
to repeat to the family and to the physicians that the Lord would heal
Miss Jordan was one day so low that she could just be aroused to take
her medicine. As Mrs. Furlong went to give it, Miss Jordan said to her,
"Do you want to throw that medicine away?" Mrs. Furlong said "Yes," and
threw it away. Six hours of united waiting upon the Lord followed. They
were hours of pain. From nine in the morning till three in the afternoon
she suffered indescribable pain. A few minutes after three, the pain
left her, and with a bright look she said, "I believe I'm better." She
wanted to rise and dress, but Mrs. Furlong advised her to rest through
the night. She said she had not, in five years, been so free from
weariness and pain.
The aged mother was sick in bed with that broken wrist, and Mrs. Furlong
feared that her sister's improved condition would shock and perplex her.
Miss Jordan lay on the lounge the most of the time for two days. One of
her expressions was, "It's perfect bliss to lie here free from pain."
Her breathing became perfectly natural, and very soon the great hollow
place in the upper part of the chest, over the left lung, filled out.
Shortly before her healing she only weighed eighty pounds; but a few
months after her weight had increased to one hundred and twenty pounds.
She progressed in health rapidly, and on the second Sunday after the
healing came she attended church. The feeble mother was most sensitively
anxious lest her daughter should pursue some unwarrantable course which
should lead to relapse.
Miss Jordan's health steadily improved, but it was several months before
a cough entirely left her. You may be sure that doubters made the most
of that cough! _But it left her!_ At one time she brought on a slight
relapse by giving lessons in crayon drawing. She came to the conclusion
that the Lord had other work for her to do: and at this writing,
September, 1885, having prayerfully and watchfully followed the leadings
of the Lord, is a missionary among the freedmen of the South, and is
strong in health and in faith, "giving glory to God."
One of the aged mother's perplexities was that the Lord should want her
to live on in such a helpless and useless condition, while her
daughters, who might be so useful, must die; but oh, how successful she
had by precept and example taught those daughters that "He hath done all
things well!" How patiently she suffered whatever she thought was the
Lord's will! How sweet was her constant thanksgiving! Said a pious
Christian neighbor, whose poor health restricted her attendance at
church, "When I'm hungry for a blessing I go down to see old lady
After eight painful weeks, she so far recovered from the sickness
consequent on the broken and dislocated wrist as to move around feebly,
but sight and hearing were almost gone. Her leg was stiff, her hand
stiff, her wrist deformed, and her mind greatly impaired.
Miss Jordan became very hopeful, and received strong assurance, in
answer to prayer, that her mother might be healed. Mrs. Furlong received
no assurance whatever in her mother's case. There was a great deal of
talking and praying about it, in the family, and finally Mrs. Jordan
humbly claimed the Lord's help, beseeching Him that since He had
recorded that He would make the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the
deaf to hear, if it was His will He would heal her. This was the night
of June 16th, 1884.
In the morning Miss Jordan was so hopeful that she rose early, and
attentively listened to the movements in her mother's room. She called
the little family's attention to them, saying, "Just listen to her;" and
as, holding on by the banister, the aged mother came with her accustomed
slow movements down to the dining room, Miss Jordan said, to them, "Now,
According to the long habit of eight years, she began to reach out for
her cane, unconscious that she had been walking around her room with new
freedom. Miss Jordan went toward her and said, "Mother, do you want your
cane?" and, wondering, the old lady walked freely into the dining room.
They gathered around her, and said, "Are you not healed, mother?" and
she began to think _she was_, and sat down in her chair by the table.
Could she move her hand? The doubled-up thumb, and straight, stiff
finger, were _perfectly free_ and as _limber as ever_, and the stiff
wrist joint _moved with perfect freedom!_ She _heard as well as
anybody!_ Could she see? She went up-stairs to her Bible, whose blurred,
dim pages she had thought closed to her forever, and _she could read as
well as ever_, and without glasses! She could thread the finest needle.
Could she kneel and thank the Lord? She had not knelt for eight years.
Yes, she could kneel as well as when she served the Lord in her youth!
Christian reader, stop here and think what a joyful family that was that
June morning. That aged saint, of a little more than 85 years, was in
good health again! And her two daughters had been snatched from the jaws
of death! What a triumph of blessed memories to leave in legacy to that
young, hopeful, Christian son, who, in childhood, had himself repeatedly
proved that the Lord hears and answers prayer!
Mrs. Jordan has never used cane or crutch since that morning. She has
frequently walked five blocks, to go to her church; and, a few weeks
after her healing, she one day walked the distance of about fifteen
blocks. She has walked for hours in Lincoln Park, among the plants and
flowers, and she goes up and down stairs, and wherever she likes, as
well as anyone.
She has the use of her faculties, and an altogether comfortable use of
her sight, though that is not so acute as at first. Her earliest joy was
that she was permitted to see that the Lord had some purpose in sparing
her so long.
Dear Christian reader, shall the wonderful manifestation of that
"purpose" strengthen your faith? It helps me.
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" "No good thing will He withhold
from them that walk uprightly." "If ye then, being evil, know how to
give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him." "If we live
by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
In the hopes of the Gospel,
Miss E. Dryer.
150 Madison St., Chicago.
ALMOST A BANKRUPT.
A prominent Christian had just entered a merchant's counting-room, when
the head man of the place said to him, "Let us kneel and ask God to help
me through, for without his help, I shall be a bankrupt before the
setting of the sun." So they knelt and prayed. That man went through the
pressure, and did not become a bankrupt.
"HE COULD NOT FLEE FROM THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT."
A clergyman of distinction gives this instance of the worthlessness of
all attempts to flee from the Power of the Spirit.
"I looked out of my window one morning, while it was yet dark, and saw a
lady standing at my gate, leaning against a post, and evidently weeping
bitterly. I knew her. She was a member of the church, and was an
earnest, consistent Christian. She was married to one of the most bitter
Universalists I ever knew. I stepped down the steps to her, and asked,
'What is the matter?' She replied, 'Oh, my poor husband! I had so hoped
and prayed that he might be converted in this revival! and now he has
rode away, and says that _he will not come back till this religious
flurry is over_. What shall I do to bear up under this?'
"I said, 'It is near the time for prayer. We will go and lay his case
before the Lord, and make _special request_ that God will bring him back
again under the power of the Spirit. The Lord can bring him home, and I
believe He will do it. We must pray for him.'
"She dried her tears in a moment, and seemed to seize hold of this
'strong hope,' as we walked to the place of prayer. We found the room
crowded. It fell to my lot to lead the meeting.
"At the opening, I stated the case of this Universalist husband, who had
undertaken to run away from the influence of the Spirit, by fleeing into
the country. I said that we must all pray _that the Holy Spirit may
follow him, overtake him, and bring him back again_, show him his sins,
and lead him to Jesus.
"The meeting took up the case with great earnestness, and I could not
but feel that prayer would in some way be answered.
"_But can you imagine our surprise when, at our evening prayer meeting,
this same Universalist came in_?
"After standing a few minutes, till the opportunity offered, he said:
"'I went away on horseback this morning, and told my wife I was going
into the country to stay till this flurry was over. I rode right over
the hills, back from the river, into the country, till I had got
eighteen miles away. _There, on the top of a hill, I was stopped as Paul
was, and just as suddenly_, and made to feel what a horrible sinner I
am. I am one of the worst sinners that ever lived. _I have lost my
Universalism_, and I know I must be born again, or I can never see the
kingdom of Heaven. Oh, pray for me that I may be converted; nothing else
will do for me.'
"He took his seat amid the tears and sobs of the whole assembly. The
hour was full of prayer for that man's conversion.
"This strong and intelligent man, once one of the bitterest
Universalists I ever knew, is now an elder in a Presbyterian church, and
one of the most joyous, happy, energetic men of God you will meet in
many a day. He believes he was 'converted on the spot in that prayer
LIFE BROUGHT BACK AGAIN IN THE MIDST OF DEATH.
The following instance, when _death itself was made to give back the
life it claimed_, is personally known to us to be true: A mother, in
this city, sent a request for prayer to the Fulton street
prayer-meeting, asking the Lord for the recovery of her daughter, who
was sinking rapidly, and who she felt was almost dying.
Her husband, an eminent physician, and others, also, the most skilled
physicians of the city, gave up the case as hopeless. The mother felt
that now none but God could or would help; that in the Fulton street
prayer-meeting were sympathizing friends, and to it sent her request.
She came to the meeting herself, to join in their prayers and testify
her faith. The moments of the meeting passed on. One request after
another was read, but hers was not touched. She was sadly disappointed.
Her child was so weak and almost dying, it could not live the day
through, perhaps. The time was within a few minutes, less than three, of
the close of the meeting. She, at last, with faltering steps and
palpitating heart, pressed her way to the desk and asked if her request
was there. Upon search, it was found that it had been overlooked. _Too
late_, said the leader, to _read it to-day_. See, the clock is at its
last moment; but it shall be read first thing at 12 o'clock, to-morrow,
and special prayer shall be offered immediately.
With what heavy heart the mother went away, back to the chamber of the
dying one, none can ever know. All night the waiting ones watched, with
their ceaseless attentions and silent prayers.
_A few minutes before_ 12 _o'clock the body sank, the eyes closed,
pallor came over the features, the spirit seemed gone_, and _all was
still; not a breath, not a motion--death had come_.
The mother had taken her watch, hung it on the pillow of the bed, and
with streaming eyes, yet ceaseless prayer, they watched the slow finger
move to 12 o'clock. At precisely twelve, all joined in prayer, lifting
their hearts to God. _At fifteen minutes past twelve, the daughter
opened her eyes_, saying, "Mother, _I feel better_," then sank into
sleep, _breathing steadily_; after three hours awoke to consciousness
and sat up in bed, and before night was able to walk the floor of her
chamber. Prayer brought that life back, even when death had taken it.
_At the very moment when that precious prayer was offered in the
meeting, the Lord came and touched the dying one, and gave it new life._
The mother's faith and prayer was honored, and the Lord remembered his
promise, "_If ye believe, ye shall see the glory of God."_ The same Lord
who raised Lazarus and bade him come forth, also came and bade this
precious life come back again to earth.
SAVED FROM THE HANDS OF A DESPERADO.
The following circumstance is communicated to us by a United States
"After the close of the Mexican war, and in the year 1849, a train was
sent out from San Antonio to establish military posts on the upper Rio
Grande, particularly at El Paso. I was surgeon of the quartermaster's
department, numbering about four hundred men. While the train was making
up, the cholera prevailed in camp, for about six weeks, at first with
terrible severity. On the 1st of June it had so far subsided that we
took up the line of march. After about four days out from San Antonio,
the health of the men became very good, and continued so through the
whole route, with the exception of occasional cases of prostration from
heat, and slight fevers, the Summer being unusually hot. One evening in
July, after coming into camp, I received a call to see a man who had
been taken sick on the march. I found him lying under his wagon. The
wagon was loaded with bacon, in bulk about two tons. The heat with the
pressure had caused it to drip freely. I asked him to come from under
the wagon, that I might examine his case and prescribe, for him. This he
refused to do; but demanded that I should crawl under the wagon to him,
which I, of course, would not consent to do. No persuasion could induce
him to change his position in the least. Becoming satisfied that he was
not much, if at all sick, I left him. His profanity, threats and
imprecations were fearful. Perhaps it would be well to give a short
sketch of his life for the three years previous, as I learned it from
men who knew him, and had been with him for considerable portion of that
period. He went to Mexico, at the beginning of the war, a soldier in the
regular army. When his term of service expired, he was discharged, and
sought employment in the quartermaster's department, as a teamster. He
had the reputation of being a thief, a robber and an assassin. In a few
months he was ignominiously discharged from the service, and, at the
close of the war, he came to Texas, and sought and obtained employment
as teamster in the train then organizing for El Paso. But, to return to
my narrative. On the morning after the occurrence at the wagon, a
teamster came to me and said, in a hasty and abrupt manner, 'Doctor, Mc
will kill you to-day or to-night. He is full of rage, and muttering
terrible threats. He was out very early this morning and emptied his
six-shooter, and came in and reloaded it and put it in first-rate
order.' I said, 'Mc, what's up now?' He replied, 'I will kill that
d----d old doctor to-day or to-night;' and he will do it. I have known
him make threats before, and have never known him fail to execute them.
But I must go; he must not know that I have seen you.' Knowing the man,
I realized the danger, and felt that I was powerless, either to resist
or avoid it. I retired within my tent and closed it up. I prostrated
myself before Him who is able to save. I prayed for deliverance from the
hands of the cruel and blood-thirsty man, and that I might not be left
in the power of him who was my enemy without cause. I submitted my cause
into the hands of Him who doeth all things well, and prayed for entire
submission to his will. My anxiety subsided; my fear was removed, and I
commenced the duties of the day with usual cheerfulness.
"Soon after this, the camp broke and we were on the march. I fell back
with the officers of the rear guard, and the excitement of the morning
was soon forgotten. About 10 o'clock, a courier came back in haste, for
me to see a man who had been thrown from his mule and crushed under the
wheels of his wagon. He did not know who the man was--he was about half
or three-quarters of a mile ahead. The thought then occurred to me, I
shall probably have to pass Mc's team. I will ride square up with the
courier, and keep him between myself and the train. When we came to the
spot I inquired who the man was, for he was so mutilated I could not
recognize him. _It was Mc. God was there_. Awe and terror took hold upon
me. I was dumb with amazement.
"Mc had dismounted and walked some fifty rods by the side of his team.
Attempting to remount, his mule whirled and pitched, and he was thrown
upon his back, and his team with fourteen others instantly stampeded.
Both the fore and hind wheels on the near side of his wagon, passed
directly over his face, and crushed every bone in his head. It was a
fearful sight; not a feature of the human face could be discerned.
"The stampeded teams were flying wildly over the prairie, in spite of
every effort of the teamsters to control them.
"I directed the head of the corpse to be inserted in some new, thick
sacks, in such a way as to prevent the oozing of blood, and that it be
wrapped in his blanket and taken to the next camp for burial. When the
stampeded teams came in, it was found that no other person was injured,
nor any damage done.
"The philosopher may tell us of the reign of law; of the coincidence of
circumstances; of the action of natural causes; but, to the Christian,
the fact still remains--prayer was answered. God heareth his people when
they cry unto Him."
THE PRAYER OF A MISSIONARY IN MEXICO ANSWERED.--SAVED FROM BANDITTI.
"In the Spring of 1872, I was, with my wife and child, in the city of
Cadereita, Mexico, where we had been laboring as missionaries, but felt
it was our duty to return to the States for a little season, and had
been asking God to open up the way for us. At length, about the middle
of March, the opportunity appeared to be given, the means being
provided; but the country was in a state of revolution (a no uncommon
thing there), and, consequently, there were no stages running out of the
country, so we had to take conveyance in Mexican carts. Therefore, we
engaged two men, with their carts; one in which we might ride and carry
a mattress, which should serve as a bed at night, and the other, to
carry the baggage and provisions for ourselves and the horses, as our
way was mostly through an uncultivated country.
"We knew that General Cortinas, with his troops, was somewhere between
us and Texas, as the State we were in was one of those in rebellion. The
blood-thirsty character of General Cortinas is well known on the
frontier, there being no less than seventeen indictments against him for
murder in the State of Texas. He is regarded as having a special hatred
against Americans, and the Mexicans, themselves, stand in terror of him.
"Our friends and brethren in Cadereita tried hard to deter us from
going, as most likely we would fall into the hands of General Cortinas;
in which event, they said, the very utmost we could expect would be to
escape with our lives, being left destitute of everything, in a
wilderness road; but, as God had seemed to open up the way, providing
the means, we determined to go forward, trusting that He also would
protect us in the way. Therefore, having completed our arrangements, we
started for Matamoras, some three hundred miles distant, on the 19th of
March, the wives of the two men accompanying their husbands, making our
party six adults and one child; the brethren in Cadereita promising to
pray daily for our safety. The third morning, after commending
ourselves, as usual, into the care of our covenant-keeping God, we
started on our journey. Some two hours later, we espied the troops of
General Cortinas, about two miles distant, marching toward us. We again
all looked to God for protection, and prayed that, as he shut the mouths
of the lions, that they should not hurt his servant Daniel, so He would
now restrain the evil passions of men, that they might not hurt nor
injure us--then we went on till we met the advance guard, who commanded
us to halt and wait till the General came up. After nearly half an hour,
General Cortinas, with his escort, rode up to where we were waiting for
him. After the ordinary salutation, he asked: (_?de adonde vienen y
adonde van?_) 'From whence have you come, and where are you going?'--to
which we replied properly; then he asked: 'What is the news from Nueva
Leon?' (the State we left)--to which we replied as faithfully as we
could. Then I asked him, 'Is the road safe between us and Matamoras?' He
replied: 'Perfectly; you can go on without any fear, and as safely as
you would in your own country.' Then, bidding us 'good morning,' he rode
on, not even inquiring about or examining any of our baggage.
"When we arrived in Brownsville, Texas, and told of how gentlemanly
General Cortinas had treated us, all pronounced it wonderful, and said,
'We could not have believed General Cortinas capable of such kindness to
Americans so in his power. It was truly a miracle.' We believed that it
was God who restrained the naturally vicious passions of the man, in
direct answer to prayer."
AN INFIDEL'S LIFE SPARED A FEW DAYS.
"During the Summer of 1862, I became acquainted with a Mr. A----, who
professed infidelity, and who was, I think, as near an atheist as any I
ever met. I held several conversations with him on the subject of
religion, but could not seem to make any impression on his mind, and,
when a point was pressed strongly, he would become angry.
"In the Fall, he was taken ill, and seemed to go into a rapid decline.
I, with others, sought kindly and prayerfully to turn his mind to his
need of a Saviour, but only met with rebuffs. As I saw that his end was
drawing near, one day I pressed the importance of preparing to meet God,
when he became angry and said I need not trouble myself any more about
his soul, as there was no God, the Bible was a fable, and when we die
that is the last of us, and was unwilling that I should pray with him. I
left him, feeling very sad.
"Some four weeks after, on New Year's morning, I awoke with the
impression that I should go and see Mr. A----, and I could not get rid
of that impression; so, about nine o'clock, I went to see him, and, as I
approached the house, I saw the two doctors, who had been holding a
consultation, leaving. When I rang the bell, his sister-in-law opened
the door for me, and exclaimed, 'Oh! I am so glad you have come; John is
dying. The doctors say he cannot possibly live above two hours, and
probably not one.' When I went up to his room, he sat bolstered up in a
chair, and appeared to have fallen into a doze. I sat down, about five
feet from him, and when, in about two minutes, he opened his eyes and
saw me, he started up, with agony pictured on his face and in the tones
of his voice, exclaimed, 'O! Mr. P----, I am not prepared to die; there
is a God; the Bible is true! O, pray for me! pray God to spare me a few
days, till I shall know I am saved.'
"These words were uttered with the intensest emotion, while his whole
physical frame quivered through the intense agony of his soul. I replied
in effect, that Jesus was a great Saviour, able and willing to save all
who would come unto Him, even at the eleventh hour, as He did the thief
on the cross.
"When I was about to pray with him, he again entreated me to pray
especially that God would spare him a few days, till he might have the
evidences of his salvation. In prayer, I seemed to have great assurance
of his salvation, and asked God to give us the evidence of his
salvation, by granting him a few days more in this world. Several others
joined in praying God to spare him a few days, till he should give
evidence of being saved.
"I called again in the evening; he seemed even stronger than in the
morning, and his mind was seeking the truth. The next day, as I
entered, his face expressed the fact that peace and joy had
taken the place of fear and anxiety. He was spared some five
days, giving very clear evidence that he had passed from death to life.
His case was a great mystery to the doctors. They could not understand
how he lived so long; but his friends, who had been praying for him, all
believed it was in direct answer to prayer."
REMARKABLE PRESERVATION FROM BRAIN DIFFICULTIES.
"A few weeks ago, a man who had once been a member of my church, but had
fallen from his steadfastness through strong drink, fell from a ladder,
striking his head on the corner of a stone, which made a dent in the
skull of over two and one-half inches in length, and three-fourths of an
inch in width, and half an inch in depth. This happened on Friday
afternoon. At our prayer-meeting, in the evening, most earnest prayers
were offered in his behalf; the brethren prayed that God would restore
him his senses and spare him a few days, that he might repent of his
back-sliding and be saved.
"The surgeons raised the skull, and his senses were restored; his mind
seemed clear. This continued over a week, when it was evident that there
was still some pressure on the brain. The surgeons removed the skull,
and found three pieces driven down into the brain. They expressed, from
the first, no hope of his recovery; but wondered much at the clearness
of his mind, which continued for over two weeks. We believed that it was
in answer to the prayers of the church that he might have time and
opportunity to repent and prepare to meet God, which we trust he did."
LITTLE GEORGE'S PRAYER.
A clergyman writes us these incidents:
"I knew a poor family whose son George, four or five years old, was
accustomed to pray. They lived five or six miles from neighbors, and, at
times, were quite destitute. One day, as little George observed his
mother weeping over their destitution, he said, "Why, mother, don't cry
any; we shall not starve; God will send us something to eat, I know He
will. I've just been praying, and asked Him to." The little fellow just
as much believed God would send them food, as if he had asked a reliable
neighbor and obtained his promise to supply their wants. In a day or two
after this, some friends living at a distance and knowing they were
poor, took them the welcome surprise of a wagon-load of substantial
material for food and other comforts. The little boy grew up to be a
Christian minister, and, about a year ago, on inquiry, his uncle told me
he had been at the head of an institution of learning in the
A PRAYER FOR A HORSE.
"My horse died, and, after traveling through the snow-drifts to my
appointments, till I was lame, half sick, and unfit for service--as I
had not means to purchase a horse, I thought of quitting the work and
going to teaching, and laid the matter before God, in prayer; soon after
which, some person at a distance, who heard that I had lost my horse,
without my saying a word about it, raised the means by which I procured
A PRAYER FOR A WIFE.
"When I believed it would be well for me to seek a companion for life, I
asked of God direction in making a wise choice, and that, in a matter of
so much importance to me and others, I might meet with success or
_hindrance_, as my heavenly Father knew best. He led me to a choice and
marriage, which I have not since regretted."
CHURCH TROUBLES QUELLED.
"I might mention a dozen instances in which church troubles were
gathering, and trials between members appeared certain, when all my
tactics failed, and the wisdom of brethren was of no avail; my last
resort was to ask God to send help and deliver from the threatened
evil--and in ways that no one could foresee, complete deliverance came."
A MINISTER'S SUPPLIES FALL SHORT.
"When very much in need of funds to procure supplies for a coming
Winter, all expedients failed; then I asked God for assistance, when,
unexpectedly, a friend in California sent me a little package of gold
dust, which I sold, at once, for $130. This came when it was needed, and
it did us good."
A PRAYER FOR A SERVANT.
"Some time after, we failed to find anything like suitable help in the
house, which we greatly needed. Before starting out one morning, in
secret I prayed to God to direct me as I went on my uncertain business,
and prayed as I called at different places, and soon found a colored
girl sixteen years old wanting a place, who came and proved to be the
best help we ever had, before or since. For seven years and a half she
lived in the family, taught two of our children to read; was glad, from
choice, to move with us to different places, till she left to be
married, fell sick and passed away. A dozen other times when driven in
straits, _in answer to prayer_ God has enabled us to procure necessary
help, which was difficult to obtain.
"In 1874, while on my way to see my mother in Pennsylvania--who had just
been paralyzed, and died the next week--I was suddenly paralyzed in my
left arm, by which, I have since been helpless and useless. After coming
here to live, being in want of a man to lift me in and out of bed, dress
me, etc., for which we inquired of people, and prayed to God to send us
the needed help. We had not means to hire and pay any person to do such
work, even if he could be found. Soon the right one came, in the person
of a young German, who was tramping through the country in search of
employment and food; was ready and glad to do any work for a living. For
pay that satisfied him and us, he staid in the family over a year,
working out doors and in; could be trusted to do business with money,
and return every cent correctly. After being with us over a year, when
we needed him no longer, he obtained a situation in a good family, where
he is now living. In many instances, I have prayed to be healed of
special sickness, always using what remedies I thought best, yet asking
the divine blessing on their use."
"For over three years, I was troubled with frequent raising of blood
from my right lung, which physicians failed to cure. Of this I prayed to
be relieved; after which, the soreness healed, and for several years it
has ceased to trouble me."
A man who had led a very wicked life, was converted and hopefully saved.
Previous to this time, a debt of $18.75 had not given him the slightest
thought. After receiving a new heart, he distinctly heard God's command,
"Pay what thou owest;" so called on his creditor, and urged him to send
to his house and get a bureau, table and looking-glass, which he desired
him to sell and pay himself the sum due him; but, not wishing to deprive
his debtor of such necessary articles, refused, saying he would wait
till he could pay. The 18th of November was set, and, as the day
approached, the prospect was no brighter; and when the night of the 17th
came around, he spent it in prayer that God would deliver him, and rose
from his knees at daybreak, with the full assurance that "He knoweth how
On passing down a street the next morning, on his way to business, a man
who kept a large store was standing in the door-way, and called to him
to stop a minute. Wondering what could be the nature of the call, he
retraced his steps, to hear this astonishing news: "_For three days I
have been impressed with the idea that I must give you_ $18.75, _and for
three days have been trying to ascertain why I must give you this
amount, for I do not owe any man a penny_. I cannot get rid of the
thought, and if you value my peace of mind, I beg you take the money!"
Seeing, instantly, the hand of God in it, he told the story to the
astonished storekeeper, then left to pay his debt with the money so
strangely given. His creditor, surprised to see him so promptly on time,
questioned him as to the manner of obtaining it, thinking, perhaps, he
had made a great sacrifice to do so. On being told just how it was given
him, said, "_I won't take it; keep it. If God is as near to people as
that, I don't want it; it seems as if it had come directly from his
Almighty hand_." The result was the conversion of both the storekeeper
and creditor, to whom the incident came as the undoubted evidence of
God's presence among them.
GOD SENT THE BAG OF FLOUR.
In about the year 1830, in Central New York, there was a time of great
scarcity of provisions. Grain was very high, and difficult to be
obtained at any price; and, of course, families of limited means were
very much straitened. In one family, the wife and mother of six
children, a Godly woman, worked at her trade (tailoress) to the extent
of her ability, and prayed earnestly that God would deliver them from
pressing want. Husband and children all knew of their need, and of the
fervent prayers of the wife and mother for their supply; but no one knew
by what means the supply was to come. Every day, as their scanty means
were being consumed, the prospect grew darker. On the farm was a large
quantity of pine timber. Four miles from there, in the next town, lived
a man who needed some shingles; and, casting about him to see where he
should obtain a supply, thought he would go and purchase a pine tree,
and himself and man go into the woods and work it up into shingles. As
he was about starting, the thought occurred to him, "Perhaps they may be
in want of wheat flour--a bag cannot come amiss in this time of
scarcity." So, putting two bushels in a bag, he proceeded to the next
town, entered the house, and made known his errand, saying, "I have
brought along two bushels of flour towards paying for the tree, thinking
you might be in want of it in this time of scarcity, and I knew you live
six or seven miles from the mill, and have no horse." "That is in answer
to prayer," said the noble woman; and the husband believed it, though
not a praying man. When, at night, the oldest son came in, the mother
said to him, "God has answered our prayers, and sent a bag of flour." It
is believed that, while this was not miraculous, it was as directly the
interposition of God, as feeding Elijah by the ravens; and it was in
direct answer to prayer for that special blessing."
INCIDENTS FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF A CITY MISSIONARY.--A PRAYER FOR SUPPER
An educated, accomplished lady, reduced to the very lowest round of
poverty's ladder, whom we shall call Mrs. X----, bears unfailing
testimony to God's hearing and answering the prayer of faith. The
daughter came up-stairs one day to announce the utter emptiness of the
larder. There was not even a piece of dry bread, nor a drawing of tea;
not a potato, nor a bean; and "Charles, poor fellow, will come home from
his work at six, tired and so hungry; what _shall_ we do, mother?"
"The Lord will send us something, before he comes," said Mrs. X----. So,
for three hours more the daughter waited. "Mother, it is five o'clock,
and the Lord has not sent us anything." "He will, my dear, before
half-past six;" and the widow went in an adjoining room, to ask that her
daughter might not feel it vain to call upon God. In fifteen minutes,
the door-bell rang violently, and a gentleman, valise in hand, said,
"Mrs. X----, I left the room which I hired of you one year ago, in a
great hurry, you will remember; and I owed you five dollars. I have not
been in the city since, and am rushing out of it again--jumped off the
car just to give you this money. Good-bye."
RELIEF FROM A CREDITOR'S DEMANDS.
"At another time, being sorely pressed by a heartless creditor, and
almost beside herself, she concluded to walk out and get free from the
insupportable burden, by change of air and scene for two or three hours.
Passing the house of a friend, just returned from Europe, she called for
a few moments, and was presented with a small and peculiar plant,
brought from Wales. All the way home she was asking the Lord to release
her from this relentless creditor, and all the way home a man, without
her knowledge, was following her. Arrived at her own stoop, he suddenly
confronted her, bowed, apologized for the liberty, but said he had not
had a sight of that dear old plant since he left home; and if she would
sell it to him, he would gladly give her ten dollars for it. As that was
half the sum for which she was persecuted, and would probably relieve
her from annoyance until she could raise the balance, she accepted the
TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS NEEDED AND GIVEN AT THE LAST MOMENT.
"At the time of her husband's death, there were _two hundred dollars_
due an institute, for board and tuition of their two little boys. His
death was the flood-gate opened, which let in a successive torrent of
perplexities, losses, dilemmas, delays, law-suits, etc. She had not been
able to pay that bill; the principal was importunate, persevering,
bitter, and, at last, abusive. She cried to the Lord for a week, day and
night, almost without ceasing. Then, a gentleman whom she had taken to
her own house and carefully nursed through a dangerous illness, three
years before, called to say good-bye. He was on his way to a Bremen
steamer, and all other adieus were said, all his baggage on board,
except the valise in his hand. Might her boy ride down to the wharf and
see him off? Of course she was glad to consent. When her son returned he
brought back a letter, which opened, she found to contain _two hundred
dollars_ and the words, 'Not that money can ever express my gratitude,
but the enclosed may be useful for gas-bills or some other little
HOW THE LORD REPAID A GENEROUS GIFT.
"Some gentlemen, urged to contribute to a most worthy cause, said, 'Go
first to Mr. Z.--whatever he gives, we will.' Mr. Z., upon application,
concluded to make his neighbors do something worth while, and, as he was
expecting a thousand dollars in a very few days, subscribed the whole of
that. Upon the arrival of the vessel which was to pay his subscription,
he found the difference in exchange between certain countries, had
swelled his thousand dollars to _twenty-two hundred_."
THE ASTONISHED GIVER.
"A gentleman, not marching in the ranks of 'cheerful givers,' was urged
to bestow five dollars toward the 'Fresh Air Fund.' 'He could not;
business wretched; poor enough himself,' and all the well known line of
excuses. The friend assured him, if the Lord did not more than make it
up to him, before the end of the week, he himself would return the
money. To those terms he agreed, quite sure he should call on Saturday
and get back the $5. But, the very next morning, he ran to the office of
his friend to say that an old debt, given up long ago, and for which he
would have taken one hundred dollars any moment, was paid him about an
hour after the friend left his store. So astonished was he, that he even
doubted the check, which was for _five thousand dollars,_ and sent it to
the bank to test its genuineness before he would give a receipt for it!"
In a dismal basement, A. found a very interesting American family. The
father, in the last stage of consumption; a little girl of ten years, an
invalid from infancy. The mother and two daughters, both under fifteen,
were out all day at work, trying to keep even such a wretched shelter,
and a little coarse food, as daily supplies. The three together could
not make over four dollars a week. The only person to wait on the two
sick ones during the day, was a little boy four years of age, who, when
the missionary entered, was reclining upon the bed. But he started up,
put more coal on the fire, and brought a drink of water, first to his
sister, then his father; without any bidding, and with the consideration
of a grown person.
On A.'s next visit, a few days after, he found the mother at home,
grief-stricken. Her eldest daughter had been taken ill the day previous.
He gave her all the money he had, prayed with them, and sent at once a
kind, assiduous physician. In a few weeks the daughter died, but not
without a good hope in Christ; and was buried at the expense of the few
kind friends whom A. had sent to see the family. The dying daughter
exhorted her dying father to seek his soul's eternal welfare, and not
boast, as heretofore, of his life-long morality. Her conversations led
him to see his danger out of Christ, and, in a little while after his
daughter's departure, he followed. The mother had not before had a sure
Christian hope; but, amidst such influences, her heart was soon opened
to admit the truth. Not long after her bereavement she began having a
"cottage prayer-meeting" in her room, and united with an evangelical
church. She immediately became anxious for the conversion of her two
boys, who were away, and urged the missionary to write them. He did so,
frequently, and his heaven-directed appeals led one of the boys very
soon to Christ. Soon after, he died; the brother returned home with
consumption. He took great pleasure in the little prayer-meetings, and
in three months cheerfully and exultantly exchanged this world of
suffering for the one where father, brother and sister awaited him. Worn
out with anxiety, care, hard work and poor health, the mother followed;
leaving the invalid girl and youngest boy; who are watched over, not
only by their Friend in heaven, but friends on earth. The eldest
surviving daughter is an esteemed and consistent member of a church of
"THE LORD WOKE ME UP IN TIME TO SAVE MY CLOTHES."
In the very top of a four-story building, used only for various
manufacturing purposes, lived an old man and daughter. They lived
literally _by faith in Christ_, from _day_ to _day_; one hour at a time.
At his voice, followed Him, whether into darkness or light. Neither took
a step but as they held his hand. A lady calling one day, said, "Oh!
Jennie, I thought of your large wash hanging on the roof, last night,
when the drenching rain came; and I was so sorry to think you would have
your hard work all over again!" "_Oh! no ma'am. The Lord woke me up out
of a sound sleep, just as the first few drops fell_! I hastened up and
brought them all down nice and dry, and had only got to the foot of the
stairs with the last armful, when it poured down. Now that was the Lord,
ma'am, for there was not a single noise of any kind to waken me, and I
was sound asleep!"
THE LORD TAKES AWAY THE CUSTOM OF A LIQUOR SALOON.
At one time, the landlord rented the ground floor to a liquor seller.
The loafers going in and out, especially on Sunday, were a great grief
to Jennie and her saintly old father. They concluded to take it to the
Lord together, and, said the old man, "He will be sure to attend to it;
I have been young, and now am old, and I have never known Him fail
me--He _never_ does." _In three weeks after, the dram-seller closed his
place for want of patronage_.
HELP IN TIME OF NEED.
A poor, humble Christian woman had a claim on some property in a
neighboring State. It was in law, and she was summoned to attend court
at a certain time. Having scarcely money enough for her daily bread, she
was obliged to borrow the means to take her there, and pay some cheap
board while awaiting the conclusion of the trial. She was positively
assured by the lawyers, that she would receive several hundred dollars.
She was detained five weeks, instead of one, as she expected, and then
the suit was postponed till Fall. She was in agony of mind; in a strange
place--owing for board and washing, and no money to take her to her
home. Having spent a whole night pacing the floor and calling on the
Lord to redeem his promises, she felt the fresh air would do her good,
and sadly took her way down a side street. She had gone but three blocks
when she found a diamond ring. Being accustomed to the ownership of
diamonds in her younger days, she knew very nearly its value; took it
home, watched the principal papers, and the same evening saw a reward of
seventy-five dollars offered for it. We can imagine that joy lent wings
to her feet, and thanksgiving filled her whole heart. The sum was
sufficient to pay her bills, bring her back and return a portion of the
CAST OUT INTO THE STREET, YET NOT FORSAKEN.
A piteous wail was heard on the street one day, and a poor Scotchman
crossed over to see the trouble. A widow and three children sat on their
few articles of household furniture. Put in the street, when they could
no longer find five dollars for the rent of the kennel in which, for six
months, they had not lived, but existed. He had just received five
dollars for a piece of work, and was hurrying home with it to his sick
wife, crippled mother and two children. He thought of the piece of
meat--a long untasted luxury--he meant to buy; of the tea his mother so
much craved, and hesitated. Could he give these up? But the streaming
eyes of the children, and the mute despair on the face of the mother,
took down the scale. He ran several blocks and found an empty basement;
hired it for four dollars; enlisted the sympathy and help of a colored
boy to carry the furniture; put up the stove, bought a bundle of wood,
pail of coal, and some provisions with the other dollar; held a little
prayer-meeting on the spot, and left with the benedictions of the
distressed ones filling his ears. The recital of his adventure
obliterated for the time all sense of their own desires, and they
thanked God together that their loss had been the widow's gain. The next
morning, while taking their frugal meal, a tea dealer, for whom this man
had frequently put up shelves, came to say he was short-handed, and if
the Scotchman was not very busy, he would give him a regular position in
his establishment, at a better salary than he could hope to earn.
Meanwhile, hearing his wife was sick, he had brought her a couple pounds
prime tea, and it occurred to him that venison steaks were a little out
of the ordinary run of meat, and, as he had a quantity at home, he
brought a couple. Thus the Lord answered the prayer of the poor, and
repaid the generous giver who sacrificed his money for the Lord.
A PERSECUTOR PUNISHED BY THE LORD.
A most devout, hard-working and poorly paid man, was the object of
constant persecution by a cross-grained, ugly, infidel neighbor. For
three years the thing went on, till the Christian thought he must remove
from the place. He could not do it without breaking up his humble home,
for which he had worked night and day. He and his wife were in deep
distress; told their plans to the Lord; asked Him to direct them to
another home, and then went to a newspaper office to advertise their
little place for sale. The editor was out, and they preferred to see
him--would return home and call again to-morrow. The next morning the
infidel was found dead in his bed, from a stroke of apoplexy.
HOW GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER FOR $90.
"Suffice it, then, I was in debt. I was owing the large sum (large for a
poor home missionary) of $90.00. Expecting soon to be called upon for
the payment of it, and not seeing any way to meet it, _I went to the
Lord with it_. Early in life I had made this resolution: that no man
whom I was _owing_ should ever ask me for money, and I not pay him; but
now, I could see no way out; and if, as I expected, it should be
demanded, I was not in a condition to meet it. Such was my condition
when, on a certain day, the demand came. I took the letter from the
office at noon. What now was to be done? Again I took the case to the
Lord, and asked Him to help me pay it, so that my word need not fail, or
_his cause suffer reproach._ I first determined to pay a part; but, as
no letter could be sent out that day, I awaited the results of the day
following. From the northern mail, which first arrived, I took a letter
containing an unexpected draft of $50 to my wife, from parties whom we
did not know, and had never seen, nor they us. Within twenty minutes
more I was presented with a _surprise_ of $40, from a people where I had
preached for the six months past. Here was my $90, and, before the mail
went out, I had my letter written and in the mail. Both were as
unexpected as if they had come from heaven direct."
FROM WEALTH, TO POVERTY.
A lady of superior culture and refinement, fell from opulence to extreme
poverty, within four years. No less ready when at the bottom of
fortune's ladder, than at the top, to do good as she had opportunity,
she paid another poor woman's way to a neighboring State, where
employment awaited her, and did it literally with her _last_ dollar-and
a-half! Supposing herself the possessor of a ten cent note, over and
above the twelve shillings, she went with her somewhat feeble protege
over Jersey city ferry, and saw her safely in the cars. Starting back,
she was dismayed to find no ten cents in her pocket-book, and, all too
late, remembered having paid it for a quart of milk that morning; the
sole breakfast of herself and daughter. Night was approaching--what to
do she did not know. She had a plain, worn, old gold ring on her finger;
she took it off, offered it to the ferry-master, who would not take it,
though she told him she found her money gone and would redeem it next
day. She went back in the ladies' room and told it to the Lord,
beseeching his assistance. Just then, a girl passing, jostled against
her and knocked down her parasol. She picked it up, happened to turn it
upside down, and out rolled a _five-cent nickel!_ The Lord, then, hears
prayer for even _five cents_ to provide for the comfort and need of
those whom He loves.
A PRAYER FOR FIFTY DOLLARS.
A clergyman writes _The Christian_ as follows:
"The Winter of 1872 I spent in missionary work, carrying the glad
tidings of the kingdom of God into new fields in the 'regions beyond.'
With my devoted wife, I labored ardently for the salvation of men 'from
the wrath to come.' We were full of comfort to be thus engaged, though
without pledge from man for support, or promised salary for preaching.
"In spite of our rigid economy, I had contracted some debts for the
necessaries of life. I have since learned to go without what the Lord
does not provide means to pay for at once. I needed the money to pay the
debts, and felt impressed to pray for fifty dollars. I said to my wife:
'_I am going to pray for fifty dollars_.' 'Well,' said she, 'I will join
you;' and we bowed before God and told Him our needs, and unitedly asked
Him for fifty dollars; so that we might not bring ourselves or the truth
we preached, into reproach, by being unable to pay debts. We were agreed
in asking, and thus claiming the promise: 'If two of you shall agree as
touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my
Father which is in heaven.' (Matt, xviii. 19). We had the assurance that
money would come; but from whence we did not know, nor care, for we knew
the 'silver and gold' are the Lord's, as well as the 'cattle upon a
thousand hills,' and he could easily cause some one to give or send us
"We felt full of peace; for we knew it was for God's glory to answer
that prayer. No one outside of the family knew we were praying for
money. We did not go around among our friends and tell them we were
praying for fifty dollars, in hopes that they would take it upon
themselves to answer the prayer. We told none but the God whom we serve.
"Some little time passed, and no money came, but we did not lose our
faith or assurance. One morning, at family prayer, I was led out to pray
that we might see the Lord's working in our behalf that day, and I rose
from my knees with perfect confidence that our hearts would be made to
rejoice in God that day. When I came in to my dinner I asked my wife if
any one had brought our mail from the post-office. She said, 'Yes, there
are some papers on your table.' 'What!' said I, with surprise, 'no
letters?' I saw a peculiar expression on her countenance, and I asked no
more questions, but sat down to the dinner table and turned over my
plate, and there saw a letter she had put beneath it; and as soon as I
saw the hand-writing I felt, there is money in this, though, of all
sources, this was from the one least expected. I opened the letter, and
there was a draft for _fifty dollars, 'a gift to aid in preaching the
Gospel.'_ If I ever recognized the hand of God in anything, I did in
this; and if there was ever a time of devout thanksgiving to God, and a
humbling of self before Him in my house, it was that day. Since then, it
has been easier to trust in Him than before. He has said, 'I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee.' He has also said, through his apostles,
'Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.'"
CONCURRENT TESTIMONY OF THE VALUE OF PRAYER.
A request was published by the _Illustrated Christian Weekly,_ asking
that all who could report positive facts as direct results of prayer,
and thus, tend to show that _"God does answer prayer,"_ should
communicate them. Very many were communicated, regarding all trials and
troubles of the heart, and daily temporal or spiritual life. No one can
question they are authentic to the highest degree; they should silence
the skeptic, and convince the worldly of the presence of the mysterious
power and wonderful Spirit of God, which tempers the hearts and lives of
men and controls them as He wills.
A WORLDLY MAN SURRENDERS.
A clergyman says, "I was very anxious for the building of a mission
chapel to accommodate a flourishing mission-school that had been
organized under my pastorate. Knowing that a certain physician of the
city was possessed of abundant means and had a praying Christian mother,
though he had long since given up going to church, I resolved to call
upon him. Before starting from my study I knelt down and asked God to
prosper me in my appeal. Upon going out of my parsonage the physician
was in the act of passing in his carriage. I hailed him, explained to
him my desire, and the result was not only a contribution of money as
large as the largest, but a gift of a lot for the chapel worth several
A SERVANT'S PRAYER FOR A GOOD HOME.
"I was brought up religiously as a servant in a family in Connecticut,
and from twelve years of age until twenty-three, knew no other home. The
old couple died, and I lived with their children, but they were so
different that I became very unhappy and hardly knew what to do or which
way to turn. I had no relatives and knew nothing of any world save the
little one in which I had all my life moved, and I was terribly afraid
to try any other. I could only offer my constant prayer for help, and it
was answered so much beyond my highest hope, and so kind were God's
dealings with me that I was taken, almost without an effort of my own,
into a warm, loving heart, and such a happy home, and all so easily and
smoothly that to me it seems like a miracle; and never can I forget
while I live, nor cease to believe that truly 'He is the hearer and
answerer of prayer.'"
"BEFORE THEY CALL I WILL ANSWER."--A PASTOR PRAYS FOR DECISION AS TO
"The writer was once in great trouble to know what was duty. Urged by
ministers and laymen in high standing to undertake a work not exactly in
the line of the ministry, he hesitated. God's displeasure was feared,
lest in doing what was desired 'sin might lie at his door.' To refuse
the wish of good and wise men might be resisting God's call. In this
trial of conscience he sought in fasting and special prayer the guidance
of his Heavenly Father. While so doing the above promise came very
distinctly to his mind. He brought it to God as his own promise, and
pleaded, if it could be graciously done, that He would literally fulfill
it to the suppliant. In the very act of thus pleading, he heard a rap on
the door. Opening it, there stood his mother-in-law. She said, 'Two
gentlemen are in the parlor waiting for you.' I went down, and the
interview revealed the exact fulfillment both of the promise and the
prophecy. The Lord answered my prayer two days before I called on Him.
One of the two came from New York to my home in a Western city to
inquire about _the very thing which was troubling me. He was to me an
entire stranger_, never having heard of him until I saw him. Having
consulted his friend, the Rev. M.W. Jacobus, D.D., they together came to
call on me about the matter at the very moment I was pleading with God
that He would mercifully, 'while yet speaking, hear me.' Now could
Tyndall and his followers desire a more literal, a more exact
fulfillment of this prophecy and promise as proof of its inspiration,
and of prayer as God's ordinance than that prayer for such fulfillment
of these words actually before the prayer was made, and while the
petitioner was 'yet speaking?'"
It will be noticed that the best judgment of good men advise one course,
but trust in God for superior wisdom brought the case to answer in a
totally different manner, by means of an unknown person, a total
stranger, who neither knew him nor his desire. The circumstance should
convince the world.
A FAMILY PRAY FOR A GOOD SERVANT.
"About three years since my family comfort was very much disturbed by
failure to obtain a good housemaid. And, having been accustomed to wait
upon God for right direction in my _temporal_ as well as spiritual
affairs, in simple faith I asked Him to direct me on reaching New York
City to where I would find a girl of good character that would
appreciate a Christian home. My steps were led to a boarding-house on
Greenwich street, and on inquiring for a German or Swede girl I was told
they had a nice Swede just landed. I talked to her through an
interpreter and was satisfied from what she said, as well as from her
countenance, that she was the one I was searching for. She came to my
home and proved, in two years' service, almost faultless. In
conversation one day, a short time after she came to our home, she said
she had had several places offered her that morning before I came, but
she did not like them; but as soon as she saw me, felt that she could go
with me--she was a Christian, member of the Lutheran church and wanted a
Christian home. Her desire was granted and my prayer was answered."
A RECOVERY FROM A DEATH-BED.
"Some forty years ago, in a rural parish in New England, a young man lay
apparently on his death-bed with a putrid fever. His aunt, in whose
family he was staying, was a woman who had long lived in habitual
intercourse with the unseen world through prayer. One afternoon, when it
seemed to those around him that the sick one must die, she went away
alone to speak with God. With intense earnestness she pleaded for the
young man's life. And, being deeply interested in the portion of our
country then beginning to be settled, she asked also that he might
become a home missionary at the West. There were various circumstances
which made this latter request, as well as the other, seem very unlikely
to be fulfilled. And yet it was. The young man recovered, pursued a
collegiate and theological course, and still lives and labors as a most
devoted and useful Christian pioneer. More than once he has been a
member of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and his name
is familiar to many."
A POOR STUDENT PRAYS FOR MONEY.
"I was a poor student in a Manual Labor Institute at the West. The month
of February was our regular Winter vacation. We were privileged to keep
our rooms and have board at one dollar a week. But I had absolutely no
money. I was six hundred miles from my friends, and they were unable to
furnish me with funds. I had no books for the new term, though these
were a necessity if I went on with my class, and there was no work about
the Institution, nor that I know of in the neighborhood at that season.
My case seemed an exceedingly bad one; and I had no idea from where any
help could come. So I went to my room in the third story, locked my door
and carried my case to the Lord. It was a long, earnest, tearful cry for
help from Him who alone seemed able to give it. My prayer was answered.
When I had been there I do not know how long, I heard footsteps in the
empty hall, and in a moment a knock at my door. I wiped my eyes, and put
myself into presentable shape as soon as I could, and opened the door. A
lad stood there who said: 'A man wants to see you at the front door.'
Down the stairs I went, wondering who could want me and what he could
want me for. In the front yard was a man on a restless horse, who at
once said: 'We want you to teach our school for a month. The boys have
driven out the female teacher. We want you to take them in hand, and
we'll give you fifteen dollars and your board.' I said, 'All right, I'll
be down there to-morrow morning.' And then I went back to my room to
thank God for hearing my prayer."
"I CAN'T STOP TO PRAY."
"A deacon living in a Berkshire town was requested to give his prayers
in behalf of a poor man with a large family who had broken his leg. 'I
can't stop now to pray,' said the deacon (who was picking and barreling
his early apples for the city market), 'but you can go down into the
cellar and get some corned beef, salt pork, potatoes, and butter--that's
the best I can do.'"
REMARKABLE HEALING OF A CHILD.
A clergyman writes that during the ministration of his labors at Battle
Greek, Mich., there were several remarkable manifestations of divine
power--especially in the case of a little girl, the daughter of a Mr.
Smith, a child of about six years.
"In September last, she was taken very sick with spinal fever. She
became much reduced, extremely nervous and helpless, excepting to move
her hands. Physicians gave up the case as a hopeless one, deciding that
should she live, her condition would be that of helplessness, a burden
to herself and to her parents.
"But our gracious God had better things in store for that afflicted
family. It was on a Sabbath afternoon, at the very hour when the crowded
congregation in our house of worship were in prayer for the influences
of the divine Spirit, that a holy, solemn influence came into the
dwelling of Brother Smith, as if an angel had come to touch the child
with healing power. The mother could not leave the bedside of her
suffering child to attend the meeting, and she says that a sudden change
came over her feelings, and it appeared to her that an angel had come
into the house, and had shed a holy influence in every part of it. It
was at that moment that the hitherto helpless child drew herself up in a
sitting posture, and next rose upon her feet. She rapidly recovered to
her usual habits of taking food and sleeping, and now takes the exercise
of the most robust children of her age."
GOD PAID THE RENT.--ANSWER TO PRAYER.
A poor Christian family were in distress. The husband, during a long and
painful sickness, had borne his trials for months with cheerful
Christian resignation; "but, on this day," said a City Missionary, "I
found them, for the first time, in tears. The cause I soon learned was
the want of means to pay the rent of their little home, which would come
due on the following Monday, and must be paid then, or they would have
to leave and go they knew not where. The amount needed, _fifteen
dollars_, and the amount in hand but _fifty cents;_ the future all dark,
and no hope of recovery from sickness, and no hope of being able to meet
their expenses--it might be of a long sickness and want--what could I do
for them? If theirs had been the only case of like wants that day, I no
doubt could have gone to a few friends and have collected the amount.
But that would not do them the good I felt they needed. But I felt sure
of a better way to get it, and lead them to trust in the Lord, and
glorify God and not man.
"On the wall, at the foot of the sick man's bed, I had hung, but a short
time previous, one of those precious silent comforters, a scroll of
Scripture texts, printed in large type, and a different prayer for every
day in the month. On the page before us for _that day_, after calling
their attention to it, I read the following words: '_And all things
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive_.' Matt.
21:22. 'Again I say unto you, _that if two of you shall agree on earth
as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them_.
Matt. 18:9; remarking, 'Are not those precious promises? Your fears,
dear brother and sister, are that you will not be able to pay the rent
on Monday, and may be turned out into the street, unless you get the
means to pay the rent; are they not?' 'That is so,' said they. 'There
are two ways: one, to try to get some one to lend you the amount until
you can pay, if the landlord will not wait; another, to go and beg for
it.' I have learned a better way, and wish I could lead you to do the
same. Do as David did. Have you ever gone to the Lord as directed above,
and found in Him, as David did, a very present help in time of trouble?
Would not your faith and confidence in God's word and in his kind,
overruling providence be more strengthened, if, in going to Him now and
making known your present troubles and wants, He should in a way,
without your making known your wants to any other person, on Monday
enable you to pay all?' The answer was, 'We should.'
"After prayer and encouragement to do so, I left them, with the promise
to call the following Tuesday. Doing so, I was met at the door by the
wife with a countenance full of joy. '_Oh, brother, we could not wait
until you came, to tell you the wonderful answer to our prayer_. On
Monday, _the very day_ that we had to pay the rent, one gentleman came
and handed my husband _five dollars_, and early in the morning Mrs.
F---- called and handed me _ten dollars_, making in all _just fifteen
dollars_, the amount we needed; was it not wonderful? Oh, how good the
Lord is!' The same week another called and gave them an order for fifty
dollars more, so that they were able to pay up all their debts, and the
sudden joy soon led to a speedy restoration to health, and the husband
is now one of the most active Christian workers and teachers in a
mission school, and the wife and daughter are also trying to do all they
can to lead others to trust in Jesus."