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The Wonders of Prayer by Various

Part 6 out of 7

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temporal wants and of speaking to them of Jesus, you will understand the
gladness of heart with which I returned home.

"In the country we had only one post daily; so when evening came on, and
it was nearly ten o'clock, I was not a little surprised at receiving a
letter. When I opened it, how my heart beat for joy when I read these
words from a comparative stranger: 'You will have many poor just now to
claim your pity and your help, may I beg you to dispense the enclosed
five pounds as you see fit? and I have ordered a box of soap to be sent
to you for the same purpose.' These boxes of soap are worth four pounds.
Thus did our gracious God send nine times as much as I gave for his
sake, before that day had closed."


"A poor man with an empty purse came one day to Michael Feneberg, the
godly pastor of Seeg, in Bavaria, and begged three crowns, that he might
finish his journey. It was all the money Feneberg had, but as he
besought him so earnestly in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus he
gave it. Immediately after, he found himself in great outward need, and
seeing no way of relief he prayed, saying, 'Lord, I lent Thee three
crowns; Thou hast not yet returned them, and Thou knowest how I need
them. Lord, I pray Thee, give them back.' The same day a messenger
brought a money-letter, which Gossner, his assistant, reached over to
Feneberg, saying, 'Here, father, is what you expended.' The letter
contained two hundred thalers, or about one hundred and fifty dollars,
which the poor traveler had begged from a rich man for the vicar; and
the childlike old man, in joyful amazement, cried out, 'Ah, dear Lord,
one dare ask nothing of Thee, for straightway Thou makest one feel so
much ashamed!'"


_The Christian_ tells of a minister in Ohio, who in 1860 was engaged to
statedly supply a congregation who were in arrears for a whole year's
salary to their former pastor, and were only able to promise their
'supply' five dollars a Sunday till the old debt should be paid. At the
close of the year, only about two-thirds of this amount had been paid.
So it was not strange that their 'supply' soon found himself in arrears
for many things. That year the cost of his periodicals alone had
amounted to sixteen dollars. This he could not pay, and as none of them
could be stopped without payment of arrearages; the debt must continue
to increase.

On New Year's day the minister was called to marry a couple, and gave
the fee, five dollars, to his wife saying, "I want you to get yourself a
dress with this." There was a kind of material much worn then, which she
had very much admired, a dress of which would cost four dollars. So she
went to the Mission periodical to find the address of the Mission
Secretary, thinking to send the extra dollar there. But as she glanced
over its pages and noticed the trials and straits of the missionaries,
and the embarrassment of the Board that year, her heart was touched and
she felt that they needed the money more than she did the dress, and
instead of the one she concluded to send the five dollars.

She went to her husband and read her letter to him. "O," said he, "I'm
afraid we are too poor to give so much." With a little feeling of
disappointment she said, "Well, give me the change and I will send what
I had intended at first." "No," said he, "you have given it, and I dare
not take it back."

And so with a prayer that God would accept and bless the gift she signed
her letter, "A Friend of Missions," thinking, as no one would know the
author, that was the last she would hear about it in this world.

The ladies of that congregation were accustomed to meet weekly at the
parsonage to sew for those in need. The next week a lady who was
visiting in the place came with her friends, and as she entered the
parlor she tossed a bundle into the lap of the minister's wife, saying,
"Mrs. ----, here is a present for you."

The present was a dress pattern of the same kind of material she had
intended to purchase. And as she thought to herself, "God has given me
this in place of what I have given," she was reminded of the words,
"Give, and it shall be given to you." But that was not the end.

A short time afterwards she received a letter from the Secretary of the
Board of Missions, enclosing a printed copy of her own letter, and
asking if she were the author of it; and added, "If so, a large-hearted
man in New York has authorized me to send you twenty-five dollars, with
a special request that you purchase a dress worth five dollars, and give
the rest to your husband and children." There was her five dollars back,
with four times as much more added to it.


The editor of _The Christian Woman_ tells the story of a poor woman who,
in her anxiety to give to the Lord, could find nothing but a poor brown

"They must be very poor who have _nothing_ to give," said Mrs. Jarvis,
as she deposited a pair of beautiful English blankets in a box that was
being filled by the ladies of the church to be sent to the poor.

"And now, ladies, as you are nearly through, I would like to tell you an
incident in my history; I was once very poor."

"You once very poor?" said a lady.

"Yes; I was once _very poor_. There came to our village a missionary to
deliver a lecture. I felt very desirous to go; but having no decent
apparel to wear, I was often deprived of going to church, although I was
a member.

"I waited until it was late, and then slipped in and took a seat behind
the door.

"I listened with streaming eyes to the missionary's account of the
destitution and darkness in heathen lands. Poor as I was, I felt it to
be a great privilege to live in a Christian land and to be able to read
my Bible.

"It was proposed by our pastor that the congregation should fill a box
and send it out with the missionary on his return.

"O," thought I, "how I would like to send something." "When I returned
home my poor children were still sleeping soundly, and my disconsolate
husband waiting my return, for he had been out of employment some time.
After he had gone to bed I went to looking over my clothes, but I could
find nothing that was suitable that I could possibly spare; then I began
looking over the children's things, but could find nothing that the poor
dears could be deprived of; so I went to bed with a heavy heart, and lay
a long time thinking of the destitution of the poor heathen, and how
much better off I was.

"I got to thinking over my little stock again. There was nothing I could
put into the box except two brown towels.

"Next day I got my towels, pieced out the best one, and when it was
almost dark, put on my bonnet, went to the church, slipped my towel into
the box, and came away thinking that the Lord knew I had done what I

"And now, ladies, let me tell you it was not long after that till my
husband got into a good situation; and prosperity has followed us ever
since. So I date back my prosperity to this incident of the brown

Her story was done, and, as her carriage was waiting at the door, she
took her departure, leaving us all mute with surprise that one so rich
and generous had been trained to give amid poverty.


A merchant of St. Petersburg, at his own cost, supported several native
missionaries in India, and gave liberally to the cause of Christ at
home. On being asked how he could afford to do it, he replied:

"Before my conversion, when I served the world and self, I did it on a
grand scale, and at the most lavish expense. And when God by his grace
called me out of darkness, I resolved that Christ and his cause should
have more than I had ever spent for the world. And as to giving _so
much_, it is God who enables me to do it; for, at my conversion, I
solemnly promised that I would give to his cause a fixed proportion of
all that my business brought in to me; and every year since I made that
promise, it has brought me in about double what it did the year before,
so that I easily can, as I do, double my gifts for his service."

And so good old John Bunyan tells us,

"A man there was, some called him mad,
The more he gave, the more he had."

And there are truth and instruction in the inscription on the Italian
tombstone, "What I gave away, I saved; what I spent, I used; what I
kept, I lost." "Giving to the Lord," says another, "is but transporting
our goods to a higher floor." And, says Dr. Barrow, "In defiance of all
the torture and malice and might of the world, the _liberal_ man will
ever be rich; for God's providence is his estate; God's wisdom and
power, his defense; God's love and favor, his reward; and God's word,
his security."

Richard Baxter says, "I never prospered more in my small estate than
when I gave most. My rule has been, _first_, to contrive to need,
myself, as little as may be, to lay out none on _need-nots,_ but to live
frugally on a little; _second_, to serve God in any place, upon that
competency which he allowed me: to myself, that what I had myself might
be as good a work for common good, as that which I gave to others; and
_third_, to do all the good I could with all the rest, preferring the:
most public and durable object, and the nearest. And the more I have
practiced this, the more I have had to do it with; and when I gave
almost all, more came in, I scarce knew how, at least unexpected. But
when by improvidence I have cast myself into necessities of using more
upon myself or upon things in themselves of less importance, I have
prospered much less than when I did otherwise. And when I had contented
myself to devote a stock I had gotten to charitable uses _after my
death_, instead of laying it out at present, in all probability, _that_
is like to be lost; whereas, when I took the present opportunity, and
trusted God for the time to come, I wanted nothing and lost nothing."

These are a few of many evidences, that where we give from right
motives, we are never the poorer, but the richer for doing it. "The
liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered
also, himself."


As a series of religious meetings was held in a Baptist church in ----,
and the hearts of God's people were greatly encouraged, the church was
consumed by fire. It was proposed to continue the meetings in the
Congregational church, but the workmen were coming the next morning to
demolish and rebuild it. It was then proposed to hire the workmen to
delay, that the people might assemble for three days more, but nothing
was done; when the Congregational pastor walking his study, and thinking
that some souls might be gathered in, went to the workmen, and handed
them $10 from his own pocket, which he could ill afford; the meetings
were continued, and a number of souls hopefully converted to God. The
day following, as he passed the house, the man to whom he paid the $10
called to him, and constrained him to receive back the whole amount,
saying it was of no value compared with the saving of a soul.


A farmer in one of the retired mountain towns of Massachusetts, began
business in 1818, with six hundred dollars in debt. He began with the
determination to pay the debt in six years, in equal installments, and
to give all his net income if any remained above those installments. The
income of the first year, however, was expended in purchasing stock and
other necessaries for his farm.

In the six next years he paid off the debt, and having abandoned the
intention of ever being any richer, he has ever since given his entire
income, after supporting his family and thoroughly educating his six

During all this period he has lived with the strictest economy, and
everything pertaining to his house, table, dress and equipage has been
in the most simple style; and though he has twice been a member of the
State Senate, he conscientiously retains this simplicity in his mode of
life. The farm is rocky and remote from the village, and his whole
property, real and personal, would not exceed in value three thousand
dollars. Yet sometimes he has been enabled to give from $200 to $300 a


Normand Smith, a saddler of Hartford, Conn., after practicing for years
an elevated system of benevolence, bequeathed in charity the sum of

An anonymous writer says of himself, that he commenced business and
prosecuted it in the usual way till he lost $900, which was all he was
worth, and found himself in debt $1,100.

Being led by his trials to take God's word as his guide in business as
well as in heart and religion, he determined to give his earnings
liberally unto the Lord.

The first year he gave $12. For eighteen years the amount increased by
about 25 per cent., and the last year he gave $850, and he says he did
it easier than during the first year he paid the $12. Besides, though
with nothing but his hands to depend on when he began this course, he
paid the whole debt of $1,100 with interest, though it took him nine
years to do it.


Jacob went out from his father's house "with his staff," a poor man. But
at Bethel he vowed to give to God the _tenth_ of all that God should
bestow on him. Commencing thus, God blessed him, and in twenty years he
returned with great riches.


A tradesman in New York had pledged to give to the Lord a certain
portion of his business receipts as fast as they were collected. He
called this _The Lord's insurance money_, for, said he, "so long as I
give so long will the Lord help me and bless me, and in some way he will
give me the means to give, so it is no money lost. Rather it is a
blessing to my heart to keep it open in gratitude, a blessing to dispose
of it to gladden other hearts, and the surest way to keep the Lord's
favor with me."

The results of his experience were blessed indeed, as he said, "I never
realized before how closely the Lord is connected with all my interests,
and how he helps me in all my business plans. Things happen constantly
which show me constantly that some one who knows more than I is
benefiting me--protecting me. Bad debts have been paid which I did not
expect. Errand boys, just getting into sly and bad habits, have been
discovered ere their thefts had proceeded far. As I needed competent
help in my business, it has come just as it was wanted. When customers
were failing, somehow their debts to me were paid, although they failed
to pay others. A severe fire came to my office and apparently seemed to
have swept all my valuables away. But it was stopped at just the right
moment, and not one thing valuable was lost. The insurance companies
paid me enough to replace every damage, and the office was renewed
better than before. The Lord sends me business enough to pay for my
debts, yet others are dull. _I cannot tell why it is, except that I
always pray for my business, and ask the Lord to bless it for the good
of others_, and that the means which come from it may be used for his
cause. When I stop giving, business stops coming. When I stop praying
specially for it, perplexities arise. As long as I pray for it, it all
moves easily, and I have no care or trouble. The Lord is my Banker, my
Helper, my Insurer, my Deliverer, my Patron, and my Blessed Savior of
temporal things as well as spiritual."


"'Cheerful giving,' writes an aged minister, 'is what enriches the giver
and brings down a blessing from above. A poor clergyman attended one of
Zion's festivals in a distant city. The railroad company supplied him
with a return ticket, and though many of his brethren would secure
treasures from the book-stores, but a solitary twenty-five cent scrip
was in his possession, and he would need that to pay for refreshment on
his way home. It was the last day of the feast. Mention, again and
again, was made of the widow's mite, or poor men's gifts, and, as the
boxes were passed, he felt sad that, in his deep poverty, he could not
cast in a single penny. As the assembly was dismissed, it was announced
that collectors would stand at the door to gather up the _fragments_
which ought to be in the Lord's treasury. With slow steps this good man
passed down and put that last money he possessed into the waiting box.

"In a few moments, a gentleman of the city invited him to his, table to
dine, with quite a number of the dignitaries of the church. During the
repast, the host was called from the table for a little time. At the
conclusion of a pleasant entertainment, the poor minister was taken one
side and an envelope put into his hands, with this remark: 'I was called
from the table by a man who has long owed me a small debt, which I
thought was lost a long time since, and I cannot think what it was paid
to-day for, except that I might give it to you.' The envelope contained
twenty-five dollars. When the books are opened, that rich steward will
see how his money was used, and thank God, who put it into his heart to
dispose of it thus."


"A physician who is not a professor of religion, in a neighboring city,
has for many years exhibited an unshaken faith in that declaration. He
told me that he has made many experiments on it, and the Lord has
fulfilled his words, 'That which he hath given will He pay him again,'
in every case. One of his 'experiments' came under my observation.

"It was a bleak and chilling day in the Winter of 1847-8. The doctor was
going his rounds and met a poor colored boy in the street. He was nearly
frozen to death. He accosted the doctor, and asked him most piteously
for a little money, stating, at the same time, that his master, an old
Quaker, had excluded him from the house, and compelled him to remain in
the barn; he could stand it no longer, and desired to go home--twenty
miles up the river. The doctor now had the materials for another test of
the promise. 'You shall not suffer if I can help you,' was his cheering
reply to the boy. He requested him to call at his office, and went to a
neighboring hotel and told the landlord to keep the boy until farther
orders. Late in the evening the boy again appeared at the office, and
stated that the landlord had said, 'We don't keep darkies over night.'
The doctor immediately started out in search of new quarters, and, after
some difficulty, found a colored woman who was willing to keep the boy
for a few days. In a short time the river, which had been closed with
ice, was open. The doctor paid the bills, gave the boy a dollar, and
bade him God speed. That is what he calls lending to the Lord. Now for
the payment. When he called at the house of the colored person to pay
the bill, he 'accidentally' met an old lady, who scrutinized him
closely, and at length said, 'A'n't you Doctor B----?' 'Yes,' was the
reply; 'but who are you?' 'No matter about my name; I owe you four
dollars, which you have long since forgotten, and which I did not intend
to pay you till I saw what you have done to that poor boy. The Lord
bless you for your kindness. Next week you shall have your money.' She
came according to her promise and offered the money, but the doctor was
unwilling to take it, as he had no charge on his books. She forced it on
him. He afterwards simply remarked, 'My meeting that woman was not a
mere _accident_; the Lord always fulfills his promise. I generally get
my capital back, with compound interest.'"


A shoe-maker being asked how he contrived to give so much, replied that
it was easily done by obeying St. Paul's precept in I Cor. 16: 2: "Upon
the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as
God hath prospered him." "I earn," said he, "one day with another, about
a dollar a day, and I can without inconvenience to myself or family lay
by five cents of this sum for charitable purposes; the amount is thirty
cents a week. My wife takes in sewing and washing, and earns something
like two dollars a week, and she lays by ten cents of that. My children
each of them earn a shilling or two, and are glad to contribute their
penny; so that altogether we _lay by us in store_ forty cents a week.
And if we have been unusually prospered, we contribute something more.
The weekly amount is deposited every Sunday morning in a box kept for
that purpose, and reserved for future use. Thus, by these small
earnings, we have learned that it is more blessed to give than to
receive. The yearly amount saved in this way is about _twenty-five
dollars_; and I distribute this among the various benevolent societies,
according to the best of my judgment."


Mr. Nathaniel R. Cobb, a merchant connected with the Baptist church in
Boston, in 1821, at the age of twenty-three, drew up and subscribed the
following covenant, to which he faithfully adhered till on his death-bed
he praised God that by acting according to it he had given in charity
more than $40,000.

"By the grace of God, I will never be worth more than $50,000.

"By the grace of God, I will give one fourth of the net profits of my
business to charitable and religious uses.

"If I am ever worth $20,000, I will give one-half of my net profits; and
if I am ever worth $30,000, I will give three-fourths; and the whole,
after $50,000. So help me God, or give to a more faithful steward, and
set me aside.

"N.R. COBB."


A clergyman, himself an exponent of God's bountiful dealings with men,
was called upon in test of his own principles of giving to the Lord.

Preaching, in the morning, a sermon on Foreign Missions, an unusually
large contribution was taken up. In the afternoon, he listened to
another sermon, by a brother, on Home Missions, and the subject became
so important that he was led closely to agitate the question how much he
should himself give to the cause. "I was, indeed, in a great strait
between charity and necessity. I felt desirous to contribute; but, there
I was, on a journey, and I had given so much in the morning that I
really feared I had no more money than would bear my expenses.

"The collection was taken; I gave my last dollar, and trusted in the
Lord to provide. I proceeded on my journey, stopping to see a friend for
whom I had collected forty dollars. I was now one hundred and forty
miles from home, and how my expenses were to be met, I could not
imagine. But, judge my surprise, when, on presenting the money to my
friend, he took a hundred dollars, and, adding it to the forty, placed
the whole of it in my hand, saying he would make me a present of it.

"Gratitude and joy swelled my bosom; my mind at once remembered my
sacrifice of the day before, and now I had realized the literal
fulfillment of the promise, 'Give, and it shall be given unto you; good
measure, pressed down and running over, shall men give into your


A missionary agent thus relates this incident in the life of a poor

"I preached a missionary sermon in the town of -----, and a physician
subscribed and paid five dollars. A gentleman standing by told me that
the five dollars was all he had, or was worth; that he had lost his
property and paid up his debts, and moved into town to commence
practicing, with no other resources than that five-dollar bill. He and
his wife were obliged to board out, as he was not able to keep house.

"I resolved, at once, that I would keep watch of that man, and see what
the Lord would do with him. About a year after this interview, I visited
the place again, and found the physician keeping house in good style.

"During the Summer, while the cholera raged in the country, by a series
of events, guided, as he believes, by the providence of God, most of the
practice was thrown into his hands, and he had taken more than $2,500."

* * * * *


* * * * *


* * * * *




A business man in New York had several large amounts due for payment. An
unprecedented series of calls from tradesmen wishing their bills paid
sooner than customary, drained his means, and he was satisfied from the
situation that his means would not be sufficient to pay them all. His
business receipts, at this juncture, fell to one-half what they had
usually been. A loan was due at the bank; a mortgage on his property, as
well as large notes. He could do no more than ask the Lord constantly in
prayer, to either send supplies of business, or open ways of relief.
Committing his cares all to the Lord, he endeavored to throw off his
burden and with diligence in trade do what was possible for protection.

He was greatly surprised when the bank loan fell due to learn that a
trifling payment would be acceptable, and the rest extended at his
convenience. This was remarkable, as the security had depreciated
somewhat, and the loan had been then extended longer than usual.

The holder of the mortgage did not call as usual for his interest. In
great surprise the tradesman dropped a note, saying he would meet his
demand, but if not all the mortgage was needed, its extension would
benefit the use of the capital in his business. To his surprise, he
received a reply that the mortgage would be extended one-half until the
next interest day, and the rest might be paid now if it could be spared.
_This was just the money which the tradesman could spare_, and was
intending to propose, but refrained from mentioning it.

A sudden opportunity in business arose which enabled him to see how to
use the rest of the money he had on hand, as capital, whereby he could
clear within three months the remainder of the mortgage before it became

Thus the Lord in answer to prayer, relieved his necessities, eased his
creditors, gave him knowledge and intelligence of profitable ways of
trade, and helped him freely according to his faith.

Thus business needs prayer, as well as the interests of the home, the
church and the soul. When the means derived in business is used to bless
the Lord's poor, "_The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble_."


A lady, who had led for many years a life of faith, caring for orphans
and invalids, was led one day in thought to wish that she might devote
all her money to the work of the Lord, and use it specially for one
branch of his service which few had ever entered. She possessed only a
thousand dollars; and not knowing whether the thought was her own and
therefore rash, or whether it came from the Lord, she asked the Lord in
prayer, that if the thought was from _Him_ "it might be continually
before me; if it were not, that I might cease to think of the matter."

"It was kept before me as a privilege, to help me realize a greater
personal nearness to God as my Father. It was a very important matter,
and fearing a mistake, I requested a sign. I asked God, if he wished me
to give the money, (which we held at His disposal,) that _He_ would send
me _one dollar,_ (no more, no less,) from some individual with whom I
had no acquaintance. About three weeks after my request, I attended a
prayer-meeting, where about a dozen ladies were gathered. After the
meeting, an elderly lady I had never seen before, put something in my
hand saying, '_You will not be offended, dear, will you?_' When I looked
at the money, I found that it _was just one dollar_, my token. I
exclaimed, mentally, dear Lord, do not let me ever doubt thee again. I
afterwards asked the lady why she gave me the dollar. She said, 'Before
I went to the prayer-meeting, I felt that I ought to take a dollar with
me, and when I saw you, I felt that you were the one I should give it

"Nearly five years have passed since then, when I gave all, and my purse
has never been empty. I have been constantly occupied in work of love,
and my Father has sweetly cared for me in every respect."

This lady in her faith work has had under her constant care as many as
twenty-two helpless invalids, of utter poverty, yet prayer has always
brought them needed supplies, and the Lord has kept them.


A most remarkable case of recovery from insanity is given by President
William M. Brooks, of Tabor College, Iowa.

"A young lady of my acquaintance, of a finished education, lost her
reason in the Winter of 1871-2, and in August, 1872, was placed in the
institution for the insane, at Mt. Pleasant, Ia. No encouragement was
given of her recovery, and a year later, when her father visited her, in
June, 1873, she appeared so badly, that he said it would be a relief to
know that she was dead. Soon after, Mrs. H., the wife of a Baptist
minister, who had long known and loved her, being shut up for days in a
dark room, because of inflamed eyes, felt drawn out in special prayer in
her behalf, and finally sent for the father and told him of her
exercises, and of the assurance gained that his daughter would be fully

"In a few days, came news of a sudden change for the better, and in a
little over two months she returned home well, and is now teaching with
all her powers in full vigor.

"The acting superintendent of the hospital, who is not a professed
Christian, and who knew nothing of the prayers referred to, said that
when the change occurred there was not a case among the five hundred
inmates of which he had less hope, and that it was the most remarkable
case of recovery which he had known during the eight years of his
connection with the hospital."


A lady clerk employed in an apparently successful business was offered
an opportunity in a new business, which, though much smaller and less
successful than the first, yet had rich promise in it for the future.
The salary promised was the same in either case. In doubt, she often
waited upon the Lord, and asked to be guided,--a whisper in her heart
kept saying, "Go," "Go." Constant praying kept it growing stronger and
stronger,--at last she decided to go, feeling it was the decision of the
Lord. She accepted the new position, was pleased, and often declared she
never desired to return. The old business in less than three years
decreased so that half of the employees were discharged; the rest had
their salaries reduced. The new business doubled in its extent, and her
salary was increased one-fifth.


A school teacher, without family or a special home, in New York City,
asked the Lord for direction in finding a home, and prayed often that
the way might be made so plain, she might acknowledge His hand, and
understand His direction.

Soon it transpired, in taking lunch at a restaurant kept by a man and
his wife, that they advised her to choose a certain family hotel. She
did so, and found in time more friends and acquaintances, and a
pleasanter home than she ever possessed before.

She also gained new scholars to her school. Sufficient to pay for her

Was she not fully answered? "_They that seek the Lord shall not want any
good thing_."


The Rev. J.B. Waterbury relates several incidents which prove the power
of Prayer.

"In the year 1832 he was compelled by pulmonary symptoms, to leave his
field of ministerial labor in one of the eastern cities, and travel
south, hoping that a milder climate might be favorable.

"He had not proceeded far, before the cholera, that fearful scourge,
made its appearance in the States, and obliged him to rejoin his family
in the city of Brooklyn.

"Whilst many were dying around him, _his health_ continued to improve;
so that with the disappearance of the epidemic he found himself
sufficiently restored to venture, if Providence should open the door, to
resume his ministerial work.

"But where should he go? The future, to human view, was shrouded in
uncertainty. In so important a matter, affecting his usefulness and
happiness, there was nothing left, but to give himself to prayer. His
faith in that promise, 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will
direct thy Paths,' led him to pray without ceasing, 'Lord, what wilt
thou have me to do.'"

On a certain day, when the burden lay heavily upon his heart, he retired
as usual, to implore light and guidance. He read on that occasion, the
chapter of Acts where, by divine direction, Cornelius the Centurion sent
messengers to Peter at Joppa, to come to him with the Gospel. The
apostle, meanwhile; is instructed by a vision to go to Cornelius.

The case was so applicable to the circumstances that the writer was led
to cry mightily to God for light to be shed also upon _his_ path.

While thus praying the door-bell rang, and the servant announced two men
who wished to see me.

This was somewhat startling. After introducing themselves, they remarked
that they had come on a very important errand, viz: to ask my services
for a vacant church in which they were officers.

"But how is this," I inquired, "How did you know of _me_?"

They did not until that very day. But inquiring at the Bible House in
Nassau street if any of the officers of that Society knew of a minister
who could be recommended to fill their pulpit, now vacant for some

Dr. B., the Secretary, answered, "Yes, I know a young minister in
Brooklyn, whom I can recommend, provided his health, which has been
delicate, is adequate."

So the messenger came inadvertently over to B----, and I was called from
my knees to receive their invitation. I promptly responded, "Yes, I will
go?" for what was I that I could withstand God. A successful and happy
ministry of fourteen years, attests the good results of that decision.


John Daniel Loest, a celebrated German tradesman of Berlin, Germany,
was, by the aid of the Lord, so prospered in his worldly circumstances,
that by steady industry, he raised himself to rank with the most
respectable tradesmen of Berlin, where he kept a well-frequented fringe
and trimming shop.

He was always benevolent, willing to help others, and both fervent in
spirit and constant in prayer, asking the help of the Lord in the
minutest details of his business.

Yet there once occurred in his experience a season of severest trial,
which demanded his utmost trust and unflinching confidence in God. He
seemed almost forsaken, and circumstances almost impossible to overcome.
But his deliverance so astonished him that he was lost in wonder at the
mysterious way in which the Lord helped his business and sent him all
that he needed.

By means of acquaintances of high social character, whom he fully
trusted as good Christians, never supposing there could be any degree of
hypocrisy, he became security for a Christian lady of good property to
the amount of _six hundred thalers_. The attorney assured him that there
was not a shadow of a risk in going security for her, as her property
would be more than ample to cover any claim.

Months elapsed, and the circumstance forgotten, when Mr. Loest was most
unpleasantly reminded by receiving an order from the Court to pay in on
the following Tuesday the _six hundred thalers_ for which he had become
security, under the penalty of execution.

He now discovered that he had been designedly mystified, and there was
no escape. The six hundred thalers must be paid before the next Tuesday.
He had just accepted a bill for _three hundred thalers_, to be paid for
on the ensuing Saturday. And in his first thoughts of his perplexity, he
hoped to get out of his dilemma by hurrying to a rich friend to obtain a
loan. On his way to his friend's home, he stumbled on another
acquaintance who had lent him _four hundred_ thalers on a mere note of
hand, and he saluted him with the news that he must try for repayment of
that sum on the following Friday, as he required it to pay for a parcel
of goods which would arrive that day.

"You shall have it," said Loest, as he hurried on to his friend. The
friend was at home, but before Loest could speak his errand, he is
addressed thus: "It is lucky you came, my friend, for I was just going
to send for you, to request you to make provision to pay me back the
_five hundred thalers you owe me_, for I must needs have it on Wednesday
to pay off a mortgage on my house, which has just been called up." "_You
shall have it_," replied Loest, calmly, yet his heart became heavier
every moment.

Suddenly it occurred to him that the widow of a friend just dead was
possessed of large means, and she might be inclined to help him. But
alas, disappointment thickened fast upon him. Loest owed the deceased
friend five hundred thalers for note, and three hundred thalers for
goods just delivered. As he entered the room of the widow, she handed
him an order from the court of trustees, under which he was bound to pay
up _the five hundred thalers on Thursday_, and, continued the lady,
before the poor man had time to utter a word, "I would earnestly entreat
you to pay the other three hundred thalers early on Saturday to me, for
there are accounts constantly pouring in on me, and the funeral
expenses," here her voice faltered. "It shall be cared for," said Loest,
and he withdrew, not having had opportunity to utter one word as to the
business that took him thither. He had failed at every turn; not one
thing was for him, all seemed against him. But though the waves surged,
and rose, and oppressed, yet they did not overwhelm his hope; the more
the discouragements, the greater became his faith that all things were
appointed for his good, and thought he could not guess, yet even the
trial would result by God's own working hand, to the honor and glory of
his great name.

Yet here was his situation. _Six hundred thalers to be paid on Tuesday,
five hundred on Wednesday, five hundred on Thursday, four hundred on
Friday, three hundred Saturday morning, and three hundred on Saturday
afternoon; in all, two thousand six hundred thalers_. It was already the
Saturday just previous, and his purse contained _only four thalers_.
There was only one prospect left, and he went to a rich money lender,
and in response to his request for relief in money difficulties, was met
with this reply of irony and sarcasm from one who loved to indulge his
enmity to the Christian faith. "_You in money difficulties, or any
difficulties, Mr. Loest! I cannot believe it; it is altogether
impossible! you are at all times and in all places boasting that you
have such a rich and loving Master! Why don't you apply to him now_."
And the unseen face could not conceal his pleasure at this opportunity
of testing a Christian.

Loest turned away; hard as the random taunt and remark of his opponent
was, yet it recalled him to a sense of his duty, and his forgetfulness
of the fact that he had not hitherto asked of God for special help in
this circumstance. With cheerful steps he hurried home, and in long and
imploring prayer, asked for help and forgiveness in this, his neglect of
trust in one so rich and generous. He was refreshed and comforted, and
the Sunday was one of peace and sweetness. He knew and felt assured,
"_That the Lord would provide_."

The eventful week opened, and on Monday he arose with a cheerful thought
in his heart; ere he had had full time to dress, he noticed with great
surprise, that both his sister and the assistant in the store, seemed,
notwithstanding the earliness of the hour, to have full as much as they
could do in serving customers and making up parcels, and he at once
hastened into the shop to give them assistance, and thus it continued
all day. _Never, in all his experience_, could Loest remember such a
ceaseless stream of customers as poured, on that memorable Monday, into
his rather out-of-the-way shop. Cooking dinner was out of the question;
neither masters nor maid had time for that; coffee and bread, taken by
each in turn, served instead of the accustomed meal, and still the
customers came and went; still three pairs of hands were in requisition
to satisfy their wants.

Nor was it for new purchasers alone, that money came in. More than one
long outstanding account, accompanied by excuses for delayed payment,
and assurances that it had not been possible to settle it sooner,
enlarged the contents of the till; and the honest-hearted debtor, on
whom this unwonted stream of money flowed in, was tempted every minute
to call out, "_It is the Lord_."

At length night came, when Loest and his literally worn out assistants,
after having poured out their hearts in thankful adoration in family
prayer, sat down to the first meal they had that day enjoyed in common.
When it was over, the brother and sister set themselves to count over
the money which had that day been taken. Each hundred thalers was set by
itself, and the result showed _six hundred and three thalers, fourteen
silver groschen_.

This was sufficient to pay the first debt due the next day, and leave
but ten shillings and eight pence over, a trifle less than they
commenced the day with. Loest was lost in wonder and grateful emotion at
this gracious testimony of how faithfully his Lord could minister to him
in his earthly necessities.

"How countless must be the host of his ministering servants, seen or
unseen, since He can employ some hundreds of them, and send them to buy
of Daniel Loest to-day, or pay him that bill which thou owest. What a
wondrous God is ours, who in the government of this great universe, does
not overlook my mean affairs, nor forget His gracious promise, 'Call
upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee.'"

Tuesday was a repetition of Monday's splendid business, and brought in
the five hundred thalers which he needed the next morning to pay off the
mortgage of his friend's house, due that day.

Wednesday's sales gave him five hundred more thalers, which he was
obliged to have ready to pay on Thursday morning into the court of

Thursday's sales brought him four hundred thalers, just the amount he
had given promise to pay the next day for goods delivered.

And Friday's sales gave him just three hundred thalers with which to
honor the widow's demand on Saturday, to pay funeral and contingent

During these days of wonderful business and deliverances, after each
indebtedness was discharged, there still was not left cash in hand a sum
exceeding three to five dollars.

On Saturday morning, after he had sent the three hundred thalers to the
widow, he had left precisely two thalers and twenty silver groschen (six
shillings eight pence sterling), the smallest balance he had yet had;
and what seemed most alarming, the rush to the shop seemed to be
entirely over; for while during the five days past, he had had scarcely
time to draw his breath from hurry and bustle, he was now left in
undisturbed possession of his place. Not a single customer appeared. The
wants of the vicinity seemed to have come to an end, for not a child
even entered to fetch a pennyworth of thread, or a few ells of tape.
This utter cessation of trade was as unusual and out of the accustomed
shop business, as the extra rush had been.

At five o'clock on Saturday, was due the debt of three hundred thalers
to his scoffing and tantalizing money lender. Three o'clock came, and
still there was but six shillings eight pence in the till. Where was his
money to come from? But Loest sat still, and "_possessed his soul in
patience_" for he knew the Lord would choose the best time, and he
desired to be found waiting and watching for the Lord's coming. The
trial was severe. It seemed hopeless, and if it should happen that, the
creditor came and went away unsatisfied, his commercial character would
be injured, his credit shaken, and his reputation severely suffer. That
last hour ran slowly on. At a _quarter to four_, almost the last few
moments of painful suspense, a little old woman came in, and asking for
Mr. Loest, said to him half in a whisper, "I live here close by, quite
alone, in a cellar, and I have had a few thalers paid me, and now I want
to beg of you to be so good as to keep them for me. I have not slept
over night since I had them; it is a great charge for a lone woman like

Loest was only too glad to accept the money, and offered interest, which
she declined. She hurried back, brought in her money, counted it out on
his table, and there _were just three hundred thalers_, six rouleaux of
fifty thalers each.

_She had scarcely left the house, with her receipt in her pocket, ere
the clerk of the creditor with his demand in his hand, rushed into
Loest's presence. He received his three hundred thalers, and both parted
speechless with amazement_.

Loest was lost in wonder at the marvelous way and exactness of time in
which the Lord delivered him, while the creditor was astonished thus to
find Loest's Mighty Friend had not failed him in his hour of need.

Thus in one short week, from a beginning of less than five thalers, God
had so exactly supplied his business needs that he had paid all his
obligations of two thousand six hundred thalers, saved him from failure,
saved his honor and good name, and now all was peace.

The history of Loest and other providences which helped him in his
business, are still further given more at length in a little book, "_The
Believing Tradesman_," from the records of the Religious Tract Society
of Berlin.

This sketch illustrates the necessity of looking to God daily for help,
and strength, and success, and deliverance in our business occupations
as well as the concerns of our soul, and must effectively prove that
those who use their business and the means from it to honor the good
works of the Lord on earth, will be blessed on earth with the favor of
the Lord. It teaches the sublime lesson that _money and prosperity are
gifts from the Lord_, and must be considered as such, acknowledged with
thankfulness, and used to please the Giver.

Whenever the Christian learns to love the gift more than the Giver, the
Lord takes it often away to remind him of his need of dependence upon
_Him_. But whenever the Christian loves the _Giver_ because of His
gifts, and spends his means again to please his Heavenly Father, he
becomes the Father's steward, and his lap is filled with bountiful
blessings, such as one finds by true experience, "_The Lord is my
Shepherd, I shall not want_."


Charles Spurgeon relates this incident connected with his ministry:
"When the college, of which I am President, had been commenced, for a
year or so all my means stayed; my purse was dried up, and I had no
other means of carrying it on. In this very house, one Sunday evening, I
had paid away all I had for the support of my young men for the
ministry. There is a dear friend now sitting behind me who knows the
truth of what I am saying. I said to him, '_There is nothing left,
whatever_.' He said, 'You _have a good banker, sir_.' 'Yes,' I said,
'and I should like to draw upon him now, for I have nothing.' 'Well,'
said he, 'how do you know, have you prayed about it?' 'Yes, I have.'
'Well, then leave it with Him; have you opened your letters?' 'No, I do
not open my letters on Sundays.' 'Well,' said he, 'open them for once.'
I did so, and in the first one I opened there was a banker's letter to
this effect: 'Dear Sir, we beg to inform you that a lady, totally
unknown to us, has left with us two hundred pounds for you to use in the
education of young men.' Such a sum has never come since, and it never
came before; and I have no more idea than the dead in their graves how
it came then, nor from whom it came, but to me it seemed that it came
directly from God."


The prayers of the martyr, Latimer, were very remarkable for their
faith. There were three principal matters for which he prayed:

1. That God would give him grace to stand to his doctrine until death.

2. That God would of His mercy restore His gospel to England once again,
repeating and insisting on these words "once again," as though he had
seen God before him, and spoken to Him face to face.

3. That God would preserve Elizabeth; with many tears, desiring God to
make her a comfort to this comfortless realm of England. All these
requests were most fully and graciously answered.


A Christian evangelist, whose work has been most singularly blessed,
related this incident, how once in the days of his folly and sin, while
as yet his course of life ran counter to the fondest wishes and prayers
of his mother's heart, he one day asked her the strange question,
whether she really believed that he ever would be converted to God. And
her answer, inexpressibly touching and instructive, as being the answer
of _assured faith_, which could see as yet no signs of the coming of
what it so anxiously sought, was,

"Yes, I believe that you will one day be as eminent as a Christian, and
an instrument for good, as you have been eminent in sin, and an
instrument for evil."

In later years the evangelist looked back with admiration to the faith
of his mother, and thanked the Lord for His gracious answer to her


A wonderful incident is told by Dr. S.I. Prime among his many facts
relating to prayer, as published in _The Observer_ and "_The Power of

"A young man held a good position in a large publishing house in this
city. He was about thirty years old, a married man, and happy in all the
relations of life. The missionary of the church knew him through years
of comfort and prosperity. Years passed away, and there came a dark
place in his life. Intemperance, of the most depraved kind, made his
career most dreadful. He disappeared, and was not heard from for some
time. He separated himself from his family, and from all good.

"He was met in Boston one day by an old friend, after long years, who
noticed a marked difference in his appearance. He approached him,
grasped him by the hand and said:

"'I am a changed man. I one day got up in the morning, after a night of
wakefulness, and thinking over what a wretch I had become, and how
wretched I had made my poor wife and children, I resolved to go to the
barn, and there all alone, to pray that God would take away utterly
forever my accursed thirst for rum, and to pray till I felt answered
that my prayer was heard. I went down on my knees, and on them I stayed
until I had asked God many times to take away all my appetite for rum
and tobacco, and everything else which was displeasing to Him, and make
me a new creature in Christ Jesus--a holy, devoted Christian man, for
the sake of Him who died for sinners. I told God that I could not be
denied; I could not get up from my knees till I was forgiven and the
curse was forever removed. I was in earnest in my prayer.

"'I was on my knees two hours, short hours, as they seemed to me; two
blessed hours, for I arose from my knees assured that all of the
dreadful past was forgiven, and my sins blotted out forever. Oh! I tell
you, God hears prayer. God has made me a happy man. I left all my
appetite in the old barn. In that old barn, I was born again. Not one
twinge of the old appetite has ever been felt since then.'"


A young man arose in the Fulton Street prayer-meeting one day, and
detailed his struggles and triumphs with his appetites. He was a perfect
drunkard, helpless, poor; his friends' best efforts to reclaim' him were
of no avail. The most solemn vows that he had ever taken, still were
unable to hold him up. At last he gave himself up for lost. There seemed
no hope for him, and in his despair he wandered away to the ocean shore.
He met a young man who showed him a good many favors, and to whom he
offered a drink from his flask of liquor.

"'No,' said he, 'I never drink intoxicating drink, and I ask the Lord
Jesus to help me never to touch it.'

"I looked at him with surprise, and inquired, 'Are you a Christian?'

"'Yes, I trust I am,' he answered.

"'_And does Jesus keep you from drinking intoxicating liquor?'_

"'_He does, and I never wish to touch it_.'

"That short answer set me to thinking. In it was revealed a new power. I
went home that night and said to myself, as I went, '_How do I know but
Christ would keep one from drinking if I would ask him_?'

"When I got to my room, I thought over my whole case, and then I knelt
down and told Jesus what a poor, miserable wretch I was; how I had
struggled against my appetite, and had always been overcome by it. I
told Him if he would take the appetite away I would give myself up to
Him to be his forever, and I would forever love and serve Him. I told
Him that I felt assured that He could help me, and that He would.

"Now I stand here, and I tell you all most solemnly, _that Jesus took me
at my word_. He did take away my appetite then and there, so that, from
that sacred moment of casting myself on his help, I have not tasted a
drop of liquor, nor _desired_ to taste it. _The old appetite is gone_.

"The last two weeks have been rich experience of Divine goodness and


Mr. Moody, on his return from England, while conducting a prayer-meeting
in Northfield, Mass., gave this illustration of the power of prayer to
subdue the most unlikely cases of sin and unbelief:

"There is not a heart so hard that God cannot touch it. While in
Edinburgh, a man was pointed out to me by a friend who said, 'Moody,
that man is chairman of the Edinburgh infidel club.' So I went and sat
down beside him, and said, 'Well, my friend, I am glad to see you at
this meeting. Are you not concerned about your welfare?' He said that he
did not believe in a hereafter. I said, 'Well, you just get down on your
knees and let me pray for you.'

"'_I don't believe in prayer_.'

"I tried unsuccessfully to get the man down on his knees, and finally
knelt down beside him and prayed for him. Well, he made a good deal of
sport over it, and I met him again many times in Edinburgh after that. A
year ago last month, while in the north of Scotland, I met the man
again. Placing my hand on his shoulder, I asked, '_Hasn't God answered
the prayer_?'

"He replied, 'There is no God. I am just the same as I always have been.
If you believe in a God, and in answer to prayer, do as I told you. Try
your hand on me.'

"'Well,' I said, 'God's time will come; there are a great many praying
for you; and I have faith to believe you are going to be blessed.'

"Six months ago I was in Liverpool; and there I got a letter from the
leading barrister of Edinburgh, telling me that my friend, the infidel,
had come to Christ, and that of his club of thirty men _seventeen_ had
followed his example.

"How it happened he could not say, but whereas he was once blind, now he
could see. God has answered the prayer. '_I didn't know how it was to be
answered_,' said Mr. Moody, '_but I believed it would be and it was
done. What we want to do is to come boldly to God_.'"


The Rev. Dr. Edwin F. Hatfield, of New York City, well known and eminent
among the clergymen of the Presbyterian church, is personally acquainted
with the following instance of a remarkable case in answer to prayer.
From the mother of the daughter he obtained this statement, which has
been published by Dr. Patton, of Chicago, in his volume, "On Prayer."

"My daughter was for fourteen months afflicted with hip disease. It was
brought on by a fall, and a consequent dislocation, when she was eight
years of age.

"Her right side was paralyzed, and she had an abscess. I placed her in a
hospital, under the care of good nurses, and the very best medical

"Everything possible was done for her, but all to no avail; she grew
worse instead of better, and the doctors directed me, as there was no
hope for her, to take her home to die.

"But I did not cease to hope. I did as the doctors directed, but
continued to pray the prayer of faith for her recovery for two weeks.
One morning, at the end of this period, we were conversing together
about the wonderful cures wrought by the Savior, when on earth, and
particularly that of the man at the pool of Bethesda.

"In the midst of our conversation, my daughter rose to obtain a drink of
water, when she exclaimed, '_Mother, I can walk.'_ 'Thanks be to God!'
said I, 'Come, and let me see you!'

"Her crutches, the only means by which she could move about, before,
were now useless. Upon examination, I found that the abscess had
entirely disappeared, and that the paralyzed limb was restored whole,
like the other.

"She was again dangerously ill, five months afterward. I prayed for her
recovery one night, before retiring, and the next morning she arose,
perfectly cured."

She is now twenty-one years of age, and during all this intervening time
has been free from any trouble of this kind. To-day she is as well as
any one, working and running about without the slightest trouble."


Rev. Charles G. Finney relates, in his "Spirit of Prayer," of an
acquaintance of his whose faith and importunity in prayer and the answer
were very remarkable:

"In a town in the northern part of the State of New York, where there
was a revival, there was a certain individual, who was a most violent
and outrageous opposer. He kept a tavern, and used to delight in
swearing at a desperate rate, whenever there were Christians within
hearing, on purpose to hurt their feelings. He was so bad, that one man
said he believed he should have to sell his place or give it away, and
move out of town, for he could not live near a man that swore so.

"This good man of faith and prayer that I have spoken of, was passing
through the town and heard the case, and was very much grieved and
distressed for the individual. He took him on his praying list. The case
weighed on his mind when he was asleep, and when he was awake. He kept
thinking about him, and praying for him, for days; and the first we knew
of it, this ungodly man came into a meeting, and got up and confessed
his sins, and poured out his soul. His barroom immediately became the
place where they held prayer-meetings."


The Rev. W.H. Boole, a city missionary in New York City, has been
witness in his ministries, of many cases of complete deliverance from
bad habits, and appetites, solely by believing prayer. Many are
contained in a little tract written by him, "The Wonder of Grace." He
gives a few of these incidents:

"One is an officer in a church in New York, who had used tobacco for
forty years, making during that time many efforts to abandon the
practice, but always failing because of the resultant inward growing.
But he was brought to an act of specific faith in Jesus, to save him
from the appetite, and now, after several years, he testifies, 'From
that hour all desire left me, and I have ever since hated, what I once
so fondly loved.'"

"Another is of a prominent church member in Brooklyn, N.Y., who had used
tobacco for thirty years, and could not endure to be without a cigar in
his mouth, and sometimes even rose and smoked in the night; after many
failures to overcome the habit, one night when alone, he cast himself on
his Savior for just this victory; and from that hour was delivered from
the desire as well as from the outward act, and now wonders that he ever
loved the filthy practice."

"A certain old lady, who lived near Westbrook, Conn., aged seventy, was
a confirmed opium eater, and used daily, an amount sufficient to kill
twenty persons. She was led to see that the habit was a _sin_; and as
such, she abandoned it, with specific application to Christ to save her
from it. She was heard, and lived for two years afterward, free from any
desire for that drug."

"A similar case was that of a carpenter, in Brooklyn, N.Y., who, from
taking morphine to allay the pain of a fractured leg, fell into its
habitual use, till he almost lived upon it for several years after his
recovery. He once swallowed, in the presence of several physicians, a
dose which it was calculated would destroy the lives of two hundred
ordinary men. Not long since, he was made to look at this as a sin, and
tried to break off the habit, abstaining, with an alarming reaction,
till five physicians declared that death would ensue, if he did not
resume it. This he did for a year; but then on a certain Sunday evening,
broke off again, casting himself by faith on Christ, from which moment
the desire left him, and has never returned, and he has experienced no
reaction or other ill effect, but has greatly improved in health."


Mrs. C.S. Whitney of Hartford, Conn., a lady well known for her
Christian work among the poor, thus gives in a letter to Dr. Patton, her
personal testimony of the efficacy of prayer:

"Three years ago, I was healed of a bodily disease. I had been troubled
from my birth with canker, and at times suffered greatly. I had
consulted some of the best physicians in the land, and had been treated
by the most skillful. My case was said to be incurable. When I learned
to trust Christ for everything, I applied to Him for healing. My husband
joined with me in this prayer for three weeks; but all the time I was
growing worse. I then prayed for entire submission. About the first of
October, 1872, my stomach, throat and mouth were so cankered, I could
scarcely eat anything. One day, I took up the little book entitled,
'Dorothea Trudel;' and while reading, I seemed to hear a voice saying
unto me, _'All things are possible unto him that believeth.' 'According
to thy faith be it unto thee.'_ I claimed the faith, and immediately
asked God to heal me, and in His own way. While yet on my knees, it
seemed very clear to me that I should go to Boston, and ask Doctor
Cullis to pray with me. I obeyed that leading, and made preparations to
go the day following. Just as I was ready to start for the depot, I
realized that I was cured. An entire change was wrought in my system,
and my soul was filled with joy and gratitude."


The following incident of the prayer of President Finney for rain, and
its immediate answer, is furnished by Professor Cowles, the intimate
friend of President Finney:

"Somewhat more than twenty years ago, the village of Oberlin and its
adjacent country along the lake shore, suffered severely through the hot
season from a total failure of rain, for nearly three months. Clouds
that seemed to promise rain were repelled from the heated dry atmosphere
over the land, and attracted by the more moist atmosphere over the lake,
to pour out their waters there. On one such occasion, the clouds had
gathered dark, low, and heavy over the lakes, and lay there with no
particular indication of rising. President Finney walked out with his
eye on these clouds. I give the sequel in his own words, as they fell
from his lips, less than three months since:

"'In this walk I met Ralph, who turned sharply upon me. 'Mr. Finney, I
should like to know what you mean in preaching that God is always wise
and always good, when you see him pouring out that great rain upon the
lake, where it can do no good, and leaving us to suffer so terribly for
the want of that wasted water?'

"'His words cut me to the heart; I turned, and ran home to my closet,
fell on my knees, and told the Lord what Ralph had been saying about
Him; and besought Him, for the honor of His great name, to confound this
caviler, and show forth the glory of His power and the greatness of His
love. I pleaded with Him that He had encouraged His people to pray for
rain, and that now the time seemed to have come for Him to show His
power in this thing, and His faithfulness as a hearer of prayer.

"'Before I rose from my knees, there was a sound of a rushing, mighty
wind. I looked out, and lo! the heavens were black; that cloud was
rolling up, and soon the rain fell in torrents, two full hours.'

"The writer, (Professor Cowles,) himself remembers how that cloud lay
over the lake; how it drove him, also, to his closet; and that soon and
signally the prayers of that hour came back to us in mighty rain."


At one time in the life of Luther, there was a critical moment in the
affairs of the Reformation. Bitter persecution prevailed with
extraordinary power, and threatened every one. They were the dark days
when faith could only cling. There were but few friends to the
reformers, and these were of little strength. Their enemies were every
where strong, proud, arrogant. But Luther relied on his God, and at this
moment, with his favorite hymn in his heart, "_A strong fortress is our
God,_" he went to the Lord in prayer, and prayed that omnipotence would
come to the help of their weakness. Long he wrestled alone with God in
his closet, till like Jacob he prevailed. Then he went into the room,
where his family had assembled, with joyous heart and shining face, and
raising both hands, and lifting his eyes heavenward, exclaimed, "_We
have overcome, we have overcome_."

This was astonishing, as there was not the slightest of news which had
yet been heard to give them hope of relief. But immediately after that,
the welcome tidings came that _the Emperor, Charles V., had issued his
Proclamation of "Religious Toleration in Germany_." In Luther's prayer
was fulfilled the remarkable promise of Proverbs, 21: I. "_The king's
heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it
whithersoever he will_."


"John Knox was famous for his earnest prayers. Queen Mary said that she
feared his prayers more than she did all the armies of Europe. One
night, in the days of his bitterest persecution, while he and his
friends were praying together, Knox spoke out, and declared _that
deliverance has come_. He could not tell how. _Immediately the_ news
came that _Queen Mary was dead_."


The most powerful tribute to the efficacy of prayer, was the answer to
Luther's prayer which the Lord sent. A messenger was sent to Luther that
Melancthon was dying. He found him presenting the usual premonitory
symptoms of death. Melancthon roused, looked in the face of Luther, and
said, "O Luther, is this you? Why don't you let me depart in peace."
"_We can't spare you yet, Philip_," was the reply, and turning around,
he threw himself upon his knees, and wrestled with God for his recovery
for upwards of an hour. He went from his knees to the bed, and took his
friend by the hand; again he said, "Dear Luther, why don't you let me
depart in peace?" "No, no, Philip; we can not spare you yet," was the
reply. He then ordered some soup, and when pressed to take it,
Melancthon declined, again saying, "Dear Luther, why will you not let me
go home and be at rest." "We can not spare you yet, Philip," was the
reply. He then added, "Philip, take this soup, or I will excommunicate
you." He took the soup, regained his wonted health, and labored for
years afterwards in the cause of the Reformation; and when Luther
returned home he said to his wife with joy, "God gave me my brother
Melancthon back in direct answer to prayer."

In this incident is given this extraordinary statement that while death
has really seized a man, who too wished to die, and did not want to live
longer on the earth, yet his life was given back to him again in answer
to the prayer of faith of another.


A victim of licentiousness and sensuousness, who often, amid his sinful
pleasures, had the memory of Christian parents before him, felt his was
indeed a life of shame. But the downward steps had destroyed his will,
his self-control, his manliness, his virtue. He had no power to resist,
all was wickedness, irresolution, constant yielding. In vain he hung
back, and tried to save himself from the cursed appetite; at last he
realized that in a few weeks' time he must go to the grave; strength
could not stand such a waste of life. "What a miserable life. What
wicked ways, what wicked thoughts; how I wish I was pure; O, that I
might get free; I do not love this sin any more, I don't want it, but I
can't stop it. O, I wish I could be a Christian, and wholly free."

Such were his constant thoughts. In mercy, the Lord who had been reading
his thoughts, sent him a great reverse in business, and in agony of
heart, he knew not where to turn but to the Lord, and pray for relief.
His prayer, too, asked to be emancipated from his wickedness, and his
strength and health restored. "_Lord, save me and I will_ be thine
forever. I am lost unless thou wilt come and save."

By gradual degrees, in the absorption of his thoughts over other
distresses, his mind was diverted from his usual ways and thoughts of
sinful living; gradually the habits of lust grew less and less strong,
and finally ceased altogether. But the body still remained under
excessive weakness. But faith that the Lord who had saved others, could
save him too, led him to pray, not only for the destruction of the
habit, but entire recovery from its evil effects. His perseverance was
persistent, and met with a _triumphant reward_. After a long; time, he
felt himself wholly healed. New strength, new life, came back to him.
"It seems as if my life had been put back again ten years, and I was
young again." "I never have any more wicked thoughts or imaginations,
while I was once full of them. Since I learned to seek the Lord and love
his Bible, I have never had such peace, or purity. I love the name and
tender mercies of my God." If in a few months, prayer saved that man's
life, and so wholly changed it from a foul blot to a thing of purity,
what can it not do again. _No sin can ever be conquered until in
humility either saint or sinner_ gets down upon his knees, and implores
the love and power of the Lord in _never ceasing prayer_, to wholly
emancipate him from the control of the evil habit. _The Lord will surely
hear it_. He can as truly deliver the body from the most persistent and
enchaining habit, as he can wholly convert the mind and heart. The
result is not always instantaneous; more often gradual, but _always
sure_ if the sufferer _always prays_.

It is simple enough for the sinning one to believe that the _Lord can_,
and seeking the Bible _for the Lord's own promise that he, will; to
cling to it and never surrender_.

The sin may be repeated when you can not resist it, and do not desire
for it, but take all pains to avoid; still pray though you often fail;
still try, still trust the Lord to loose your chains and remove your
desire, and deliverance is sure to come at last.


"Between two and three years ago, the writer was struck down by
paralysis, disabling entirely the limbs of the left side. In this
apparently helpless state, I employed a man to take care of me, and felt
that unless God should interpose, I must be a continuous burden on my
friends. My kind physician gave me no hope of _entire recovery_.

"In this state I made my prayer to God continually, that he would so far
restore my strength as to enable me to take care of myself.

"This prayer he was pleased to answer, for in eight weeks I dismissed my
attendant, finding myself able to take care of myself. I now walk more
than half a mile each day, and attend to all the associations of home
life. I record with thankfulness this restoration of my disabled frame
in answer to prayer."


The _New York Observer_ relates a remarkable instance of the return of
stolen property, which in its extraordinary way can be accounted for
only by the control of a Supreme Will, and all in answer to prayer.

"On February 16, 1877, United States and railroad bonds and mortgages to
the amount of $160,000, belonging to Edgar H. Richards, were stolen from
the banking house of James G. King's Sons, of this city. No clue
whatever to the robbers could be obtained. Several parties were arrested
on suspicion, but nothing could be proved, and the mystery remained

"Mr. Richards, being a member of one of our most prominent churches,
made it a subject of constant prayer, that the Lord would wholly prevent
the thieves from any use of the property and cause it to be returned to
him. When asked if he was ever incredulous, he said, 'No, I have never
lost my faith in recovering this property. I believe in prayer, and I
have made it from the first a subject of prayer, and it will be

"Meanwhile some curious influences must have been at work among the
thieves, for they acted in an extraordinary manner as follows:

"One day last week a stranger, well dressed, modest looking,
gentlemanly, walked into the office of Elliott F. Shepard, Esq., one of
Messrs. King's counsel, and tendered his services for the recovery of
the property, asserting he knew nothing about the robbery, nor the
thieves, but that he could get the treasure. He was told that a reward
would be paid for the capture of the thieves, but he earnestly protested
that it was entirely out of his power to obtain any clue to the person
or whereabouts of the thief; and no inquiries ever disclosed that this
was not a perfectly true statement. Indeed, it proved that he had been
selected as an agent to do this work, and that there were at least five
or six connecting intermediaries between him and the robbers, each
exercising that virtue which is called honor among thieves, and which on
this occasion proved a wall of adamant to every attempt to pierce it or
break it down.

"True to his word the stranger caused the delivery at Mr. Shepard's
office, at the appointed hour to a second, of an ordinary pasteboard
bandbox, wrapped in newspaper, by the hands of a little boy. He had come
in a pelting rain-storm, and part of the newspaper had become torn, and
disclosed the blue, unsuspected hat box. The boy knew nothing about it,
except that a gentleman had given him a dime in the street to bring the

"Mr. Richards being present, opened the bandbox, examined and checked
off the contents with one of Messrs. King's head clerks, and found every
single item of his missing securities, stocks, bonds, mortgages,
accounts, bank books, wills, everything. A most remarkable thing! The
parties could hardly believe their eyes."


Mr. D.L. Moody, the Evangelist, when a boy, was possessed of an unusual
amount of muscular strength and animal spirits, and a strong will that
knew little of impossibility or submission. When only six years old,
being wistful to do something to help his mother, he was set to drive
the cows of a neighboring farmer to and from their mountain pasture. On
one occasion, a heavy fence fell upon him from which he could not
extricate himself. After trying his utmost and crying as loud as he
could for help, but in vain, the thought struck him that God would help
him if he asked him. In his own simple language he prayed to his
mother's God for help, and made another effort, and succeeded in getting
free. This, his first answer to prayer, made a vivid impression on his
heart, which gave a decided turn to his opening life.


Mr. Moody's domestic life has always been a happy one, but in the early
days of his marriage, he was very poor, and his faith was often put to
the severest tests.

One day, on leaving home in his missionary work and labors of love, he
remarked to his wife, "I have no money, and the house is without
supplies. It looks dark; is it possible that the Lord has had enough of
me in this mission work, and is going to send me back again to sell
boots and shoes." But he prayed. In a day or two, a Stranger sent him
two checks of $50 each--one for himself, and one for his school.

On another occasion his wife informed him that they had no flour for the
day's use, and asked him to order some on his way. Having no money in
his possession, he was perplexed how to proceed to raise the required
amount; but meeting a person in whose spiritual welfare he was
concerned, he forgot all about such sublunary considerations as money
and flour, and went heart and soul into the Lord's work before him.

On his return home at night, he felt somewhat nervous about his
reception on account of his not having sent the flour, but to his joyful
surprise, he found that on his arrival the table was spread with a
bountiful repast.

It seems that a friend of his was powerfully impressed that morning, and
without seeing the family or knowing anything about their need, had
packed up a barrel of flour and sent it.

Others of his friends, who were interested in his work, and felt
confidence in his work, _unknown to him_, selected a new house, and
furnished it throughout with every facility for convenience and comfort,
and when all was completed invited him and his family to it, and made
him a present of the loan of his house, and all its contents.

Thus the _Great Helper_ remembered him and answered his daily prayer,
"Give us this day our daily bread."


At one of the prayer-meetings at the Brooklyn tabernacle, Mr. Moody
closed by narrating an instance of persevering prayer by a Christian
wife for an infidel husband. She resolved to pray for him at noon for
eighteen months, and at the expiration of that time, her knocking not
having been responded to, she exclaimed, "_Lord, I will pray for him,
every day, and at all hours, as long as life lasts_."

That day the Lord heard her knock, and gave her the desire of her heart,
in the conversion of her husband. When the Lord saw her faith would not
give up, he sent the answer immediately.


The life of faith and the necessity of uncompromising hold on the
promise's, expecting their fulfillment, is admirably explained in the
illustration of Noah's prayer. One day Mr. Moody was much discouraged,
and it was as dark a Sabbath as ever he had, and a friend suggested to
him to study the life of Noah.

"I got out my Bible, and the thought came over me, 'Here is a man who
labored and talked a hundred years, and didn't succeed; didn't get a
convert notwithstanding all his efforts, all his prayers, but he didn't
get discouraged.'

"But he took God at his word; he worked right on; he prayed right on;
and he waited God's time. And, my friends, from that time, I have never
been discouraged. Whenever I think of him, it lifts me up out of the
darkness into the light. Don't get discouraged."

The lesson of Noah's life is briefly this: He never converted a soul
outside of his own family. That was the work God gave him to do, and he
prayed and waited and worked, and never gave up, and he was saved and
all his family with him.

So every Christian must recognize that his field is not far off, but
right around him, in his house, among his friends, working, praying,
waiting, but never getting discouraged. The Lord will never fail those
who "_abide in Him_."


Samuel Hick was one of the men of "_mighty faith_" in the Lord, and as a
preacher among the Methodists of England. He was of great eminence for
his happy spirit, remarkable trust, powerful and practical preaching,
and unbounded liberality. Among the many incidents connected with his
life of faith, we quote a few to illustrate with what simplicity he
expected always an answer to his prayer, and was not satisfied until he
got it:

In the course of a Summer of excessive drought a few years back, when
the grain suffered greatly, and many of the cattle, especially in
Lincolnshire, died. Samuel Hick was much affected. He visited
Knaresborough, at which place he preached on the Lord's day.

Remaining in the town and neighborhood over the Sabbath, he appeared
extremely restless in the house in which he resided, during the whole of
Monday. He spoke but little--was full of thought, now praying, now
walking about the room, next sitting in a crouching posture--then
suddenly starting up and going to the door, turning his eyes toward
heaven, as if looking for some celestial phenomenon, when he would
return again, groan in spirit, and resume his seat. The family, being
impressed with his movements, asked him whether there was anything the
matter with him or whether he expected any person, as the occasion of
his going to the door so frequently.

"Bless you Bairns," was his reply, "do you not recollect that I was
praying for rain last night in the pulpit, and what will the infidel at
Knaresborough think if it do not come; if my Lord should fail me, and
not stand by me." But it must have time; it can not be here yet; it has
to come from the sea. Neither can it be seen at first. The prophet only
saw a bit of cloud like a man's hand. By and by it spread along the sky.
I am looking for an answer to my prayer, but it must have time.

He continued in the same unsettled state, occasionally going out, and
looking with intensity on the pure azure over his head; for _a more
unclouded sky was rarely ever seen_. Contrary to all external signs of
rain, and contrary to the expectations of all, except himself, the sky
became overcast toward evening, and the clouds dropped the fullness of a
shower upon the earth. His very soul seemed to drink in the falling
drops. The family grouped around him, like children around their father,
while he gave out his favorite hymn, "_I'll praise my Maker while I've
breath_;" "and after singing it with a countenance all a-glow, through
the sunshine of heaven upon his soul, he knelt down and prayed. All were
overpowered; it was a season of refreshing from the presence of the

His biographer says of him: "Samuel had no weather glass upon which to
look except the Bible, in which he was taught to believe, and expect
_that_ for which he prayed; nothing on which he could depend but God,
and _his faith_ was set in God for _rain_."


A remarkable incident, showing how God makes the winds to obey him in
obedience to the prayer of his righteous ones, and the expectations of
their faith, occurred also in Samuel Hick's life, which is really an
astonishing proof of God's supernatural power.

A church gathering was to take place at Micklefleld, and Samuel had
promised two loads of corn for their use. The day fixed drew near, but
there was no flour in the house, and the wind-mills, in consequence of a
long calm, stretched out their arms in vain to catch the rising breezes.
In the midst of this death-like quiet, Samuel carried his corn to the
mill nearest his own residence, and requested the miller to unfurl his
sails. The miller objected, stating that there was "no wind." Samuel, on
the other hand, continued to urge his request, saying, "_I will go and
pray while you spread the cloth._" More with a view of gratifying the
applicant than of any faith he had, the man stretched his canvas. _No
sooner had he done this than, to his utter astonishment, a fine breeze
sprung up, the fans whirled around, the corn was converted into meal,
and Samuel returned with his burden rejoicing,_ and had everything in
readiness for the festival.

In the mean time, a neighbor who had seen the fan in vigorous motion,
took also some corn to be ground; but the wind had dropped, and the
miller remarked to him, "You must send for Sammy Hick to pray for the
wind to blow again."


To many who with despondency protest that they have not faith enough,
get along so slow, are too weak, &c, the following sharp retort of Hick
will prove a bright lining to their dark cloud of failing, and lead them
to plod on in prayer.

"To a gentleman laboring under great nervous depression, whom he had
visited, and who was moving along the streets as though he was
apprehensive that every step would shake his system in pieces, he was
rendered singularly useful. They met, and Samuel, having a deeper
interest in the soul than the body, asked: 'Well, how are you getting on
your way to Heaven.'"

The poor invalid, in a dejected, half desponding tone, replied, "But
slowly I fear," intimating that he was creeping along only at a poor

"Why bless you Bairn," returned Samuel, "_there were snails in the

The reply was so earnest, so unexpected, and met the dispirited man so
immediately on his own ground, that the temptation broke away, and he
was out of his depression.

It was a resurrection to his feelings, inferring that if the snail
reached the ark and was saved, he too, "faint yet pursuing," might gain
admission into heaven.


At one time he attended a missionary meeting near Harrowgate. "We had a
blessed meeting," said Samuel, "I was very happy and gave all the money
I had in my pocket." After the meeting was concluded, he mounted his
horse to return home. No one had offered to pay his expenses--he had not
a farthing in his pocket. Advanced in life--a slow rider, and not a very
sprightly horse--in the night--alone--twenty miles from home. Think of
the lonesomeness; the time for the tempter to come and lead him to
distrust in his Lord. But he struggled; the trial was short and the
victory complete, for, said he, "Devil, I never stuck fast yet."

Just as he entered Harewood, a gentleman took his horse by the bridle,
asked him where he had been, talked with him long, and to whom Samuel's
talk was a wonderful consolation. Said Sammy:

"I have not wanted for any good thing, and could always pray with Job,
'The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the

The gentleman asked, "Can you read?"

"Yes," returned Samuel.

"Then," replied the gentleman, holding a piece of paper in his hand,
which was rendered visible by the glimmering light of the stars,

"There is a five pound note for you. You love God and his cause, and I
believe you will never want."

And Sammy said, "I cried for joy. This was a fair salvation from the
Lord. When I got home, I told my wife. She burst into tears, and we
praised the Lord together," and he added: "You see, we never give to the
Lord but He gives in return."


A poor but pious widow in Boston, in her eighty-seventh year, said to a
friend, "When I was left a widow with three little children, I was
brought into such extremity that they were crying for bread, and I had
nothing for them to eat. As I arose on a Sabbath morning, I knew not
what to do but to ask my heavenly Father to feed my little ones, and
commit myself and them to his care.

"I then went out to the well to get a pail of water, and saw on the
ground a six cent piece, which I took up; and learning that it did not
belong to any of those who lived in the same house with me, I thought I
might take it to feed my famishing children. Though it was a Sabbath
morning, I felt that it would be right to go to a baker who lived in the
neighborhood, tell him our circumstances, and buy bread with the money
Providence had thus cast in my way. The baker not only did this, but the
Lord opened his heart to add a bountiful supply; and from that hour to
the present, which is nearly fifty years, I have never doubted that _God
would take care of his children_."


When President Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Ill., February 11,
1861, on his way to Washington, he made the following farewell address
to his friends and neighbors: "My friends, no one not in my position can
appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all
I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century; here my
children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how
soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is perhaps
greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days
of Washington. He would never have succeeded except for the aid of
Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I
cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and on
the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you,
my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance,
without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain.
Again, I bid you all an affectionate farewell." That simple but earnest
request sent an electric thrill through every Christian heart, and
without doubt, in response to it, more prayer was offered for him
throughout his administration, than for any one who ever before occupied
the Presidential chair.

At a Sabbath-school convention in Massachusetts, a speaker stated that a
friend of his, during an interview with Mr. Lincoln, asked him if he
loved Jesus. The President buried his face in his handkerchief and wept.
He then said, "When I left home to take this chair of state, I requested
my countrymen to pray for me. I was not then a Christian. When my son
died--the severest trial of my life--I was not a Christian. But when I
went to Gettysburg, and looked upon the graves of our dead heroes who
had fallen in defense, of their country, I then and there consecrated
myself to Christ. _I do love Jesus."_ Rev. Mr. Adams, of Philadelphia,
stated in his Thanksgiving sermon that, having an appointment to meet
the President at 5 o'clock in the morning, he went a quarter of an hour
before the time. While waiting for the hour, he heard a voice in the
next room as if in grave conversation, and asked the servant, "Who is
talking in the next room?" "It is the President, sir." "Is anybody with
him?" "No, sir; he is reading the Bible." "Is that his habit so early in
the morning?" "Yes, sir. He spends every morning, from 4 o'clock to 5,
in reading the Scriptures and praying."

_It was the Lord who Guided the mind of Mr. Lincoln in his extraordinary
act of the Emancipation of the Slaves of America._ The Lord had prepared
it, and chose him as the means whereby to accomplish it.

_Were not his Prayers and efforts specially blessed by the Lord in
wisdom, for the guidance of our Nation_?


"The scenes of the riots in New York, at the time of our civil war, are
of national celebrity; but few, however, know that one of the most
atrocious acts of cruelty attempted to be perpetrated by the
malefactors, and which utterly failed of its purpose, _came solely in
answer to prayer_. On the first day of the mob, however, several
thousand men, _women and children_, armed with clubs and brickbats,
suddenly appeared at the door of the Colored Orphan Asylum, and effected
an entrance by breaking down the front door with an axe. The building
was soon fired in ten or fifteen places, and the work of destruction was
accomplished in twenty minutes.

"There were at the time two hundred and twenty-three children in the
building with their attendants and teachers. The matron having assembled
all the children after the first alarm, one of the teachers thus
addressed them: 'Children, do you believe that Almighty God can deliver
you from a mob?' The reply was promptly made in the affirmative. 'Then,'
said she, 'I wish you now to pray silently to God to protect you from
this mob. I believe that he is able and will do it. Pray earnestly to
him, and when I give the signal, go in order, without noise, to the
dining-room.' At this every head was instantly bowed in prayer, such
prayer as is not frequently offered, the silent, earnest supplication of
terrified and persecuted little children. When, at the sound of the
bell, their heads were raised, the teacher said the tears were
streaming, but not a sound, not even a sob, was to be heard. They then
quietly went down stairs and through the halls, and she remarked that
'to her dying day she should never forget the scene;' the few moments of
eloquent silence, the streaming noiseless tears, the funereal march
through the halls, the yells and the horrible sounds which were nearer
and nearer approaching. _Not one of these helpless innocents was injured
in the least_; but in spite of the threats and the blood-thirstiness of
the rioters, through whom they were obliged to pass, all were removed
unmolested to a place of safety."


"In one of our northern cities, a trial at law took place between a
Christian and an infidel. The latter had sued the former for a heavy
sum, falsely alleging his promise to pay it for some stocks which he
claimed to have sold him. The Christian admitted AN OFFER of the stock,
but protested that so far from promising the sum demanded, he had
steadily refused to make any trade whatever with the plaintiff. Each of
the parties to the suit had a friend who fully corroborated their
assertions. Thus the case went before the jury for decision.

"The charge of the judge was stern and significant. 'It was a grave and
most painful task which devolved upon him to instruct the jurors that
one of the parties before them must be guilty of deliberate and willful
perjury. Their statements were wholly irreconcilable with each other;
nay more, were diametrically opposite; and that either were innocently
mistaken in their assertions was impossible.

"'Your verdict, gentlemen,' he said in conclusion, 'must decide upon
which side this awful and heaven-daring iniquity belongs. The God of
truth help you to find the truth, that the innocent suffer not.'

"It was late in the day when the judge's charge was given, and the
finding of the jury was to be rendered in the morning. The plaintiff
went carelessly from the court arm in arm with the wicked associate whom
he had bribed to swear falsely on his behalf. The defendant and his
friend walked away together in painful silence. When the Christian
reached his home, he told his family of the judge's solemn charge and of
the grave responsibility which rested upon the jurors. 'They are to
decide which of us has perjured ourselves on this trial,' he said; 'and
how terrible a thing for me if they should be mistaken in their
judgment. There is so little of any thing tangible for their decision to
rest upon, that it seems to me as if a breath might blow it either way.
They cannot see our hearts, and I feel as if, only God could enable them
to discern the truth. Let us spend the evening in prayer that he may
give them a clear vision.'"

The twelve jurymen ate their supper in perplexed silence, and were shut
in their room for deliberation and consultation. "I never sat in such a
case before," said the foreman. "The plaintiff and defendant have sworn
point-blank against each other; and how we are to tell which speaks the
truth, I can not see. I should not like to make a mistake in the matter;
it would be a sad affair to convict an innocent man of perjury." Again
there was silence among them, as if each were weighing the case in his
own mind. "_For myself_ I feel as if the truth must be with the
defendant; I am constrained to think that he is an honest man. What say
you, gentlemen?" _Every hand was raised in affirmation of this opinion_.
They were fully persuaded of its truth, and _gave a unanimous verdict

Thus the Christian man was rightfully acquitted, and gave thanks to God,
with a new and stronger confidence in the power of prayer. "Call upon me
in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,"
saith the Lord.


The following incident is marvelous, as at the time of its occurrence
neither party had ever been known to each other:

In _New Haven, Conn._, lives a little invalid widow, almost helpless,
with no one upon whom to rely for support, and only indebted to friendly
acquaintances for a temporary home. With no money, no acquaintances, she
had nowhere else to turn to but to the Father of all good. She had
prayed often, and often had answers, but this time, though needing
money, still she received none. The answer was long delayed; she was
almost discouraged. "_Was God at last to fail and forget her? No, it
could not be. Let God be true even if I perish, I shall still cling to
Him. I can not give Him up."_

Just at that time a business man in New York, who had been absent on a
long journey for the Summer and had just returned, happened to pick up a
note among many hundred lying on his desk, and noticed that the writer
asked for some trifling favor, saying she was poor, had no means.

Her circumstances were unknown: he knew nothing but her name. He was
eager to _minister to the little ones of the Lord,_ and felt deeply
impressed in prayer that morning, in asking a blessing on his day's
labors, that he might be able to help the need of some of "his children"
who might then be in want. In his business hours the thought came over
him with the depth of emotion, "WHAT CAN I DO? LORD, THY SERVANT IS
READY." Just at that moment he picked up this note of the little
invalid, who asked the trivial favor, saying it would be such a comfort.
_(No money whatever was asked for in this note_.)

Suddenly the thought came to him, "_Perhaps this is my very opportunity.
This may be the Lord's little one in need_." But there was nothing in
the letter to indicate she was a Christian. She solicited no money or
pecuniary help.

Immediately there came to his mind, amid floods of tears, "_Inasmuch as
ye have done it unto the least of these, my children, ye have done it
unto me_." Instantly he understood it as a message from the Lord, and
the intimation of the Holy Spirit. He immediately sat down and wrote a
check for $25, and enclosed it to her, saying, "_I know not your need;
you have not asked me for help, but I send you something which may be
useful. I trust you are a Christian. I shall be happy to learn if it has
done good, and made you happy. Give me no thanks. The Lord's blessing is
enough for me_."

The letter was sent and forgotten, but a strange presentiment came over
the mind of the writer. "_I am afraid I did not direct that letter
right_." He sent a second postal card, asking if a letter had been
received at her home; if not, to go to her post office and inquire.

Now notice the wonderful singularity of incident. Here is a man sending
money, _never asked for, to an unknown person, about whom he knew
nothing; then misdirecting his letter_, and then remembering and
_sending another message to go and find where the first had gone to. But
notice the marvelous result_. The little invalid received the postal
card, but not the letter. She sent to the post office, and sure enough
there was the first letter with its misdirection. She was _just in time_
to save it from being sent to _another woman of the same name living in
another part of the same city_.

She opened her letter, and with tears of thankfulness perused this
wonderful reply, a marvelous witness to the power of an overruling
Spirit, who had directed everything.

"My heart is full, that God should so answer my simple prayer. I first
asked him for $10, then $15, _and then for_ $25. I asked him for $25
several times, and was astonished at my boldness, but the amount was so
fixed in my mind, _I could not ask for anything else_, and then I humbly
trusted it to Him, and from that time I thought, I will not name any
sum; let it be as He knows my need. And how He has honored my simple
faith and trust in these dark days. _Your letter contained exactly the
$25 I prayed for_. I have not had $1.50 to spend this Summer. I have
suffered for everything. But through it all I have felt such perfect
faith in the Lord, that his hand was leading me, even when I could not
see a step before me; and that He should move your heart to help me
seems so wonderful, so good. I am so glad I can thank you now, but ah,
so much "_over there_" where words will express so much more in the
beautiful atmosphere of heaven. Your letter and kind gift was mailed
_the very same day_ that I was praying in great distress and trial. I

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