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  --  AFRICA.   Table of Contents

Smith, Amanda
An autobiograpy



My first work in England, after my return from Africa, was at Gordon Hall, Mrs. Stephen Menzies', Liverpool, where I spoke at a large conference and sang, and the Lord blessed me greatly. My next work was at Fleshfield, at Mr. Radcliff's. I began on Watch Night and spent a week. I was not well, but somehow the Lord helped me to speak to a large congregation in the little chapel. From there I went to Southport and assisted in some meetings held by Rev. D. F. Sanford, of Boston, U. S. A.

All this time I was miserable, but I would earnestly pray and ask the Lord to strengthen me, and He would always do it, but I see now the wise thing would have been for me to have rested entirely, for that was my real need, and the strength I used in praying I should have spent in resting, I believe this would have been pleasing to God. What a dull scholar I have been in His school and yet He has been so patient with me.

Then I held several meetings in Liverpool; then on to Doncaster, was entertained at the home of Miss Morris, Chequer House. I shall never forget her kindness to Bob and me. Here I had some rest, but held a number of meetings, some in the hall of the Y. M. C. A., and Mother's Meetings, and several drawing room meetings at Mrs. Richard Norris'; and various other meetings. From Doncaster we went to London on our way to Folkston. My dear friend, Mrs. D. Bordman, of London, had kindly invited me to stop on my way. She had also kindly arranged a little quiet reception. A number of friends were invited, among those that were present was Mrs. Hannah Whitehall Smith, Mrs. Mark Guy Pierce, and

others. This was a surprise to me, but it was a blessed meeting and meant more to me than I have language to express.

From London I went on to Folkston, where I had been sent for, to hold a special service at the Railway Mission. Here Bob and I had nice lodgings provided; and it was here where little Bob was converted, one morning just after breakfast as we kneeled together to have our morning worship. Praise the Lord!

I shall never forget the blessing the Lord gave us at Mr. Tokes' church. He is a grand man of God, a staunch churchman, but what is called Low Church; broad, but orthodox, so that he invited a woman to take services in his church, and God wonderfully blessed his work and people. One dear woman told me that she had sought the blessing of heart purity for several years, but she said somehow the Lord helped me to make the way so simple that she saw it, believed, and entered into rest. Her face beamed with delight. To Him alone be glory forever.

Then on Sunday night the Congregationalist minister invited the Railway meeting over to his fine church, which was just across the street, the crowd being so great we couldn't seat them in the hall. He threw open his pulpit; though it was a new thing under the sun for a woman to stand in the pulpit of a Congregational Church; and I must confess I did feel a little shaky myself to be up there alone; but I cried mightily to the Lord for help, and, if ever He did help me, He did that Sunday night, and blessed His own Word to the hearts of the people, and several entered in and found soul rest. Praise the Lord!

Then I spoke at several other meetings, including one of the Salvation Army, who were doing a grand work at Folkston. They had given me an urgent invitation to speak for them. I had but one night that I could possibly give, so I went in the name of the Lord and did what I could.

From Folkston I went to London, spent a few days with Mrs. Col. Finch White, at Louishem Hill. Here I held several meetings, including a drawing room meeting at Mrs. Finch White's. Drawing room meetings in England are not a rare thing as they are in America, I think, as I have never held any here, but did so often in England, and often with great profit, I trust.

Thursday, April 3, I leave London for Southport, and stop at Mrs. Stavely's Berachia Home. Monday, April 10, I take Bob to Miss Hobb's school, where he is now, and has been ever since.


How good the Lord was to open this door of mercy to this dear boy; thus the promise is true, "If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it." On the 16th I go to a Conference at Manchester, Mr. Crossley's, Star Hall. This was a blessed meeting, conducted by Rev. D.F. Sanford, to which I was invited and entertained at Mr. Crossley's home with Mr. and Mrs. Sanford, and though I did but little, the Lord blessed me. And when I was leaving, Mr. C. handed me a check for, I think, ten pounds--am not quite sure as to the amount--but at all the places they paid me well.

Besides the meetings at Star Hall, I took a meeting at a large mission hall carried on by the Society of Friends. Here the Lord gave His blessing on the Word.

April the 23rd, I leave Manchester for Southport, attend to some little matters for Bob, then, on Friday, April 25, I leave Southport for London, stop at Mrs. Isabella Walker's, where I had had a very warm invitation to spend some time at her home. This lady was anxious I should go to some of the meetings held at the headquarters of the Salvation Army, Congress Hall.

This I was not able to do, but spent two very pleasant weeks with Mrs. Walker, at Clapham. How the grace of God was magnified in this lady's home life, a lady of rank and culture and position, but so fully consecrated to God. She was Mrs. Booth's warmest friend, and was with her through her last severe illness. It was here I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Col. Clibborn, of the Salvation Army, whose work is in Paris. May the Lord bless them.

May the 1st, I was invited by Mr. Reader Harris and Rev. D.F. Sanford to be at their anniversary meeting at Speak Hall, Clapham. This is a great meeting, held every year, and has been a great blessing to scores of souls from all parts of England.

May 7th, through the invitation of Mr. Clifford, Honorable Treasurer of the Great Church Army, I speak at the anniversary meeting at Piccadilly. The crowd was very great, but the Lord gave His blessing; then I addressed several meetings at Miss Mason's House of Rest, Cambridge Gardens, London, West.

Saturday, May 10, at Woodgreen, Mr. Morgan, the editor of "The Christian," invited me to take some services at his hall on Sabbath and several week nights. Here again the Lord was pleased to give tokens of His favor, and a number professed to have found peace in believing.


On the 24th, I leave London for Scotland, stop at Carlisle, with Mrs. Walker's sister, Mrs. Johnston. What a lovely home this is. I was so tired and would so like to have rested, but I had not been in long before a number of dear friends gathered and I had to have a meeting. I felt I really could not, at first, but I asked the Lord to help me, and He did, praise His name. On Monday, the 26th, I leave Carlisle for Alloa, Scotland. Miss Patten, of Morris Hill House, through my dear friend, Mrs. Lisle, had kindly invited me to Alloa to have a little rest, God bless her, I shall never forget her kindness in every way to me. Before I ever saw her she wrote and sent me five pounds, which came just at a time when I needed it. God's word of promise did not fail. (Phil., 4:19).

After a little rest, I held several meetings at different places in Scotland, at Alloa and then at Crief. Here Miss Patten took me to the great Hydropathic institution, at her own expense, where I could well have spent a month, but because of an engagement for some meetings at Edinburgh, I could only spend one week. How kind the people were, and the baths and treatment that I received during the short stay did me the greatest good. I shall ever praise God for Miss Patten, and for the kindness shown me at this beautiful institution. I was asked to give a little missionary talk one morning in the chapel, which seemed to be very much appreciated.

From Crief I went to Edinburgh, after holding meetings a week, arranged by Mr. Govern, who had also arranged a series of meetings at Peble's, on the River Clide, and at a number of other places. Then, leaving there, I went to Blaine O'Chile, Dunblain. I went on Friday to stay until Monday. This lady, Mrs. Chapman, was a very dear friend of Mrs. Lisle, who had spent a number of years in Africa on the Congo and at Old Calibar, where I first met her, and worked with her a little while there. It was through her that I got to know Mrs. Chapman; since then she has gone to her reward. May God bless her memory.

Mrs. Chapman is a lady of large means, and I think I never saw one whose means and all was so fully consecrated to God. How many young men she had educated for foreign work, both white and colored, and has also been the help of many others. Her record is in heaven.

She invited me to come and see her before I left Scotland. I was getting ready to go home and I felt I needed the money, still

I wanted to go and see this lady, so I told the Lord if He would have me go, not to let me be anxious about the means, but to open the way for me. I had a good quiet Saturday, and it was very stormy and rainy on Sunday, so that Mrs. S. said we would not go to church in the morning. In the afternoon she asked me if I would take a service and speak to the servants in the large kitchen. This I did, and spoke with great freedom from the 15th of John. We had a very interesting meeting. At the close Mrs. S. said, I think the meeting has been very profitable. She was very pleased, and as we went to the next room she said, "I want to hand you a little donation," so she handed me six pounds. I said, how the Lord has answered prayer!

On Monday morning as I was leaving she said, "I think I had better give you another pound." I thanked her and praised the Lord.

From here I went on to Grenock, spent a night and spoke to a large congregation in a hall. On the 15th I left for Belfast, spent a few days at Neury; held several meetings there. On the 18th I leave Neury for Fox Rock, Dublin; stopped with my friend, Mrs. Margaret Davis, whom God raised up to help me so while in Africa; God bless her forever.

During my stay at this very pleasant Irish home I held several meetings at the Friends' Meeting House, Monkstown, then at different places in Dublin at the Wesleyan Chapel, etc., etc.

Then, July 30th I leave Dublin for Leeds, Eng. Thank God He has given me the strength and the intimation that I may start for home. Praise His name. How I have ever gone through with the work I have, I cannot tell, for I was not able to think of getting my things together till last Monday, the 28th. In the morning when I woke the thought came how I should get my things together, and when I had thought it all over I had found that the dreadful weakness did not overcome me as it had done before. I said, praise the Lord, I can go home.

I got up and wrote to Mr. Stavely, at Liverpool, to get me a ticket; this he could not do, as everything was engaged. So I had to wait till the 26th of August, when I left by the steamer Gallier for New York, and arrived Friday, September 5, 1890.

On the way over from England there were a number of ministers aboard and four or five Catholic priests. All had services on the Sabbath. The Catholics in the lower cabin, and the Protestants in the upper saloon.


In the afternoon there was a meeting among the steerage passengers. I went and listened to a young man talking in very broken English; but, oh! so earnest. He was a foreigner, and was speaking from the fourteenth chapter of John.

There was a number of Plymouth brethren among them, and they seemed to have the right of way, so that the poor young man was alone; for, as a general thing, they have but little sympathy or fellowship for anyone that does not say as they say and teach the truth as they do. All that I have ever met seemed to think and endeavor to impress it upon you that they only, know the Scriptures, and all teaching outside of themselves--true Plymouth brethren--is not safe, and ought not to be relied on. So they all started off from this poor foreigner except a few. When he stopped the Lord said to me as he said to Phillip, "Go up, join yourself to him." So I said, "I want to sing." I struck in:

"I praise the Lord that one like me,
For mercy may to Jesus flee.
He says that whosoever will
May seek and find salvation still."

And then the chorus:

"My Saviour's promise faileth never;
He counts me in the 'whosoever.'"

I sang out with all my ransomed powers, and the people came from all parts of the ship. There was a great crowd. The speaker seemed a little astonished, but said, "Hallelujah. Amen."

When I got through with my song I began to speak. O, how the Lord helped me. Then the people wanted me to speak in the saloon on Sunday evening. I felt God wanted me to do so, and the door was open; I see it now. I am careful, and never like to overdo anything--never like to do anything that looks like I want to push myself, so the devil took that advantage, and when I thought, I would do it, he said:

"Now, you had better let well enough alone, there has been enough for to-day, and to-morrow there will be nothing; why not do it to-morrow?"

"Yes," I said, "perhaps that is the best." But, no; it was not. I ought to have done it when the Lord bade me.

On Monday the saloon was full and they sang and played

cards and other games. No shadow of a chance for anyone to speak unless he just broke right in with everything.

"Well," I said, "I will speak on Tuesday," but no, no chance.

Then I said, "I will the last night," for they said we would not likely get in until Friday.

"O," I said, "I will get ready and do it on Thursday;" but I felt I should have spoken Wednesday night anyhow.

A number of the passengers, ladies and friends, wanted that I should speak, but I said, "On Thursday night I will, without fail, speak and sing."

But, O, what a mistake! We got in on Thursday afternoon, four o'clock, instead of Friday. How ashamed and sorry I was I had not spoken on Wednesday night, as the Lord had showed me.

This is not the only time my courage has failed me under somewhat similar circumstances. Once, on my way from Calcutta, India, to British Burmah, there were a number of English passengers, and though they were respectable and all right as far as I know, they were not of the best type of English ladies and gentlemen. They were of an 'airish' quality, and that class of English or Americans, especially when traveling, are not the class that good taste would be apt to admire or fall in love with; and to do your duty in spite of these surroundings takes a good deal of pluck, especially for a colored woman.

There was a man, his wife and baby, and his brother, from San Francisco, California. The baby was the crossest baby I really ever saw. It cried night and day for simple amusement, it seemed, if for nothing else. Everybody was worn out with it.

These Californians seemed to avoid all Godliness. They laughed and jeered at everything that was said about religion; but they were anxious for me to talk on Sunday morning when they found out I was an evangelist; and I did pray God to make my duty plain to me; and I think He did very clearly show me that I was to speak on Sunday.

They kept up a laugh and joke about it all Saturday, and Sunday morning at the breakfast table, and all the steerage passengers had it, and they seemed as though they were looking forward to a menagerie. When I saw this, I began to question, and the Devil helped me.

"You know you are not to cast your pearls before swine," he said.


One might have thought he was careful of God's pearls. So I did not do it. I didn't feel that I did right, but still I didn't do it.

I believe God would have blest souls on that steamer if I had only done my duty. Then the Californians, after all, seemed disappointed, and were more taunting and sneering than they were before. O, how I saw my mistake. I wept before the Lord, and again sought His forgiving mercy. The mistakes of my life have been many.

O, the patience and loving kindness of the Lord, so infinite in power and might, to bear with such cowards. How true the words of this song:--

"Were it not that love and mercy in my Lord abide,
When my conscience is o'ertaken, where would I hide?
How could I live without Thee, Saviour and friend,
Thou art my only refuge, saved to the end."

Upon our arival at New York I was kindly invited to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gibson at their pleasant residence, 384 Union street, Brooklyn. Mrs. Gibson was sick in bed, but Mr. Gibson met me at the landing and took me to his home, where I was for two weeks. Then I took a room, the only one I could get; it was ten dollars a month; but this gave me a little chance to look around; then my friend, Mrs. Mary R. Denman, of Newark, N.J., kindly gave me a room in one of her small houses, where my home has been ever since up till last October, when I came to Chicago. Since then I have decided to make this my future home, but entirely subject to God's direction and leading.

And now I close the last chapter of this little book, which has been such a task to one so unskilled in work of this kind. There has been no attempt to show a dash of rhetoric or intellectual ability, but just the simple story of God's dealings with a worm. If, after all, no one should be brought nearer to God, and to a deeper consecration, I shall be sadly disappointed; for my whole object and wish is that God will make it a blessing to all who may read it; and with this desire and prayer I send it forth to the world. And especially do I pray that many of my own people will be led to a more full consecration, and that the Spirit of the

Lord may come upon some of the younger women who have talent, and who have had better opportunities than I have ever had, and so must do better work for the Master; so that when I have fallen in the battle, and can do no more, they may take up the standard and bear it on, with the inscription deeply engraven on heart and life, "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."


  --  AFRICA.   Table of Contents