|CHAPTER XII. -- MY LAST CALL--HOW I OBEYED IT, AND WHAT WAS THE RESULT.|
It was the third Sunday in November, 1890. Sister Scott, my band sister, and myself went to the Fleet street A. M. E. Church, Brooklyn. It was Communion Sunday. Before I left home I said to Sister Scott: "I wish I had not promised to go to Brooklyn." She said "Why?"
"Oh, I feel so dull and stupid."
We went early, and went into the Sabbath School. At the close of the Sabbath School the children sang a very pretty piece. I do not remember what it was, but the spirit of the Lord touched my heart and I was blessed. My bad feelings had gone for a few moments, and I thought, "I guess the Lord wanted to bless me here." But when we went upstairs I began to feel the same burden and pressure as I had before. And I said, "Oh, Lord, help me, and teach me what this means." And just at that point the Tempter came with this supposition: "Now, if you are wholly sanctified, why is it that you have these dull feelings?"
I began to examine my work, my life, every day, and I could see nothing. Then I said, "Lord, help me to understand what Thou meanest. I want to hear Thee speak."
Brother Gould, then pastor of the Fleet Street Church, took his text. I was sitting with my eyes closed in silent prayer to God, and after he had been preaching about ten minutes, as I opened my eyes, just over his head I seemed to see a beautiful star, and as I looked at it, it seemed to form into the shape of a large white tulip; and I said, "Lord, is that what you want me to see? If so, what else?" And then I leaned back and closed my eyes. Just then I saw a large letter "G," and I said: "Lord, do you want me to read in Genesis, or in Galatians? Lord, what does this mean?"
Just then I saw the letter "O." I said, "Why, that means go." And I said "What else?" And a voice distinctly said to me "Go preach."
The voice was so audible that it frightened me for a moment, and I said, "Oh, Lord, is that what you wanted me to come here for? Why did you not tell me when I was at home, or when I was on my knees praying?" But His paths are known in the mighty deep, and His ways are past finding out. On Monday morning, about four o'clock, I think, I was awakened by the presentation of a beautiful, white cross--white as the driven snow--similar to that described in the last chapter. It was as cold as marble. It was laid just on my forehead and on my breast. It seemed very heavy; to press me down. The weight and the coldness of it were what woke me; and as I woke I said: "Lord, I know what that is. It is a cross."
I arose and got on my knees, and while I was praying these words came to me: "If any man will come after Me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." And I said, "Lord, help me and I will."
I did not know that I was so unwilling. But the Lord had showed me when I was at Oakington Camp Meeting in July, 1870. There was a gentleman there who lived at Espa, Pa. He made me a good offer, to give-me a home in his family, as servant, as long as I lived, my little girl and myself. He said that his family was small; only himself and wife, and one son, a beautiful young man, who was with him at the meeting, and who also, with his father, urged me to go. He said his house was quite new, newly fitted up with all the modern improvements, and that he had a very nice colored man and family on the place, who was his farmer, and who was a good Christian man, and a local preacher, and that they held in his own house a holiness meeting once every week, so that I would not be lonesome; and as he had been asking the Lord about a person, he felt, and thought, I was the very person that would suit them, and he wanted me to break up housekeeping and come to live with them right away. I kept a small room in New York for myself and little girl.
He was a grand, good man, and talked so very nice, and it did seem at first glance that it was right I should do so, and I almost decided to go. But before I did decide, I spread it before the Lord, and asked the assistance and direction of His Holy Spirit,
I worked out by the day and had a great deal to do, till the families I worked for went away out of the country, and the work got slack, and I had but one day out of the week, and that was at Sister Clark's, on Dominick street. So when my work was stopped, my revenue was stopped. I was reduced down to thirteen cents; and I did not know what to do. The enemy said to me, "You will keep on talking about trusting the Lord, and you will have to beg before you are done with it."
"It is none of your business," I said, "if I do. I belong to the Lord, and if He wants me to beg I'll do it."
And he left me a little while. But after a time he returned, and said, "You had better go to service and come home at night."
And I thought, "I could do that. My little girl goes to school, and when she was out she could come to where I was and stay till night, and then go home with me."
While I was thinking about it, my friend, Sister Scott, sent for me to go somewhere to work, but she had made a mistake in the number where I was to go, and I did not find it. I saw afterwards it was all the Lord's doings. I walked up and down for an hour. I went to the place with the number she gave me, but no such person lived there. On my way back I met a girl looking for a chambermaid in the family where she lived. She wanted me to go and see the lady at once; but I said, "No, if I do go now the lady will want me to decide when I can come."
"Oh, yes," said she, "for she wants some one right away."
"Well, I must ask the Lord first."
I went home and got down on my knees, and I said: "Oh, Lord, I am willing to go to service if Thou sayest so. But, Lord, Thou knowest I so love the Sabbath day, and if I go to service it will be taken from me."
Then these words were given me: "My grace is sufficient for you. If you trust Me you shall never be confounded."
"Now, Lord," I said, "for the evidence that I am not to go to service, send some one for me to go to work by the day."
And a little while afterward a little boy came and said that his mother had sent him to see if I could come next day and wash;
The grocer's name was Mr. Otten. His store was on the corner of Mannetta Lane and Sixth avenue. I always dealt with him. I never got anything on trust. When I had the money I would get what I needed, and pay for it. When I didn't have the money I would do without it. So I took the thirteen cents and went to Mr. Otten's store, and said to him, "Mr. Otten, I will tell you what I want; I want a loaf of bread, I want a quart of potatoes, I want there slices of salt pork, and I want a bundle of wood, and this is every cent of money I have between me and death." I showed him my money before I got the things. He looked at me.
"Well," he said, "thirteen cents is not money enough to pay for what you want."
"I know it, but that is what I want, and that is all the money I have."
And then he looked at me, and went and got the things and gave me back three cents.
Oh! how I praised the Lord. I hastened home. I made a nice little stew for dinner for Mazie and me. I was expecting this to last me a week. I didn't intend to eat much myself; I thought I could do without, but my child must have enough; and I had a faculty of piecing out a little to make it go a good ways.
Well, the next day I went to where I was to do the washing. It was not far from where I lived. I knocked, and the lady opened the door. She was a very rough, coarse woman. I said, "Good morning, Madame."
"Good morning. Are you the woman that's come to wash?"
"How much do you charge a day?"
"Well, Madame, I don't know, I believe the general price is one dollar and twenty-five cents."
"Well," she said, "I'm not going to pay any such price as that."
"Well," I said. "Madame, a dollar, then, I suppose."
"No, I won't pay a dollar. It is a three weeks' washing, but I can get it done cheaper than that."
"Well," I said, "Madame, seventy-five cents, if it is a three weeks' washing it ought to be worth seventy-five cents."
"Well," she said, "I'm not going to pay that. I can get it done for fifty cents."
So she turned and went away, and I said, "Good morning, Madame."
And just as I was crossing out of Fourth street into Sixth avenue, how Satan assailed me. I trembled from head to foot. He said, "Now you have been asking the Lord for a day's work, and the Lord has given you this work and you have refused it."
Then I thought, I will go back and tell her I will do it for fifty cents. And then something seemed to whisper, "Go on." So I went on a little further, and Satan attacked me again, and he accused me of not being obedient, and not walking in the way the Lord had opened up for me, and I thought, "I will go back and beg the woman and tell her I will do it."
I stopped still, and as I went to turn round a voice said to me, "No, no." And I said, "Oh, Lord, do help me. I don't want to be disobedient. I want to do Thy will only;" and I cried in the street!
Just as I was going in the rear of my own house, I met a lady coming out, and she said, "I have just been in the court looking for somebody to come and do a day's ironing. Can you come?"
"Yes; where is it?"
"Right up here in McDugal street."
She kept a boarding-house. She said, "I want you to come right away. We are very busy, and we are cleaning house, and I must have my ironing done at once."
So I laid down my things and went. It was about half a block from where I lived. I worked hard all day. Oh, what a day it was. It was in one of these boarding-houses that are on the scrimpiest order. There was a little fire in one end of the range, and it was not allowed to get hot enough to cook anything, scarcely on top. You would open a hole and set an iron in to get it hot, and perhaps you could iron a towel; then some one of the boarders would want some breakfast, and you would shut it up to try and get it hot enough to cook something, and that was the way it went.
I saw very soon after I got in there why it was she could not keep any help. However, I did the best I could; sometimes ironing a towel, sometimes washing a window, and then ironing a sheet or pillow case, then scrubbing a little, and managing in all sorts of ways. I endured it for two days; and she paid me my money--two dollars.
After that I never had any more trouble about days' work. I had all the work I could do, and more, at one dollar and twenty-five cents to two dollars a day, until October, 1870, when I left my home at God's command, and began my evangelistic work. I did not know then that it meant all that it has been. I thought it was only to go to Salem, as the Lord had showed me. Shortly after this I was off to Salem. Got as far as Philadelphia, where I purposed leaving my little girl with her grandfather, while I went on to Salem. But strange to say, notwithstanding all the light, and clear, definite leading of the Lord, my heart seemed to fail me. I said to myself, "After all, to go on to Salem, a stranger, where I don't know a minister, or anybody. No, I will do some work here in Philadelphia."
So I got some tracts, went away down in the lower part of town, on St. Mary's street, and Sixth, and Lombard, and all in that region. I went into saloons and gave tracts; gave tracts to people on the corners; spoke a word here and there; some laughed and sneered; some took a tract. Then I went to the meetings, and sang and prayed and exhorted. I went about among the sick, and did all I could. And I said, "After all, the Lord may not want me to go to Salem."
After spending a week in Philadelphia I thought I would go home. Friday came, and I thought to myself, "Well, I will go home Saturday." But, Oh! there came such an awful horror and darkness over me. On Friday night, after I had come home from an excellent meeting, I could not sleep, all night. Oh! how I was troubled. I did not know what to do, for I had spent all my money; father did not have much means, and when Mazie and I were at home I generally provided, not only for ourselves, but for all the family; so that my means went almost before I knew it; I had not much, anyhow. But it seemed to me I would die. So I told the Lord if He would spare me till morning, though I had not any money, I would go and see my sister, and if she could lend me a dollar so as to get on to Salem, I would go.
Saturday morning came. I borrowed a dollar, came home, and spent twenty-five cents of it for breakfast; then with what it cost me to ride down to get on the boat, in all about fifteen cents, I had left about sixty cents. My ticket on the boat was fifty cents; I had had some little hymns struck off; we colored people were very fond of ballads for singing.
A little while after I got on the boat, who should come in but Brother Holland, who used to be my pastor eight years before, in Lancaster, Pa. All this had come to pass in the years after I had known him; so that he did not know anything at all about it. He was very glad to see me, and asked me where I was going. I told him the Lord had sent me to Salem. Then I began to tell him my story. How the Lord had led me. How He had called me to His work. Dear old man, he listened to me patiently, and when I had got through he said:
"Well, Sister, Smith, you know I don't believe in women preaching. But still, honey, I have got nothing to say about you. You go on. The Lord bless you."
I was dumbfounded; for I thought he was in the greatest sympathy with woman's work, though I had never heard him express himself with regard to it. But I was glad of the latter part of what he said.
It was quite a cool day, and the boat got in about two o'clock in the afternoon. There were no street cars then, as there are now. There was a big omnibus. They didn't let colored people ride inside an omnibus in those days. So I took my carpet bag and had to sit outside on the top of the omnibus.
They didn't let colored people off till all the white people were off, even if they had to go past where they wanted to stop; so I had to ride round on the omnibus at least three-quarters of an hour before I was taken to where I wanted to go.
The woman's name, where I had been told to go, was Mrs. Curtis. She was a widow, and owned her own house and grounds; she had quite a nice, comfortable little house. But she was a queer genius. Old Father Lewis, who had once been pastor of the A. M. E. Church at Salem, and at this time was pastor of the church at Jersey City Heights, N.J., had recommended me to Sister Curtis, because she was alone and had plenty of room, and he thought it would be so nice for me. It was more than a half mile from the locality in which the colored church was situated,
Well, she said she could keep me all night, but she didn't like to leave any one in the house on Monday, because she generally went away to wash; and she generally had the cold pieces given her from the hotel where she went to wash dishes, and that was all she could give me to eat.
She knew how we colored people are about eating; we do like to eat; so I think she told me that thinking she would frighten me; but I agreed to everything. Then I asked her if she could tell me where Brother Cooper, who was then pastor, lived. She said, "Yes, it is about a mile and a half."
I asked her if she would show me which way to go. She did so, but did not give me anything to eat. I was very hungry, but I did not ask her for anything. So I started off about three o'clock, or a little after, and went to see Brother Cooper.
I was tired, and walked slowly, and it was about half-past four when I got up to the little village above. I inquired my way, and was told that Sister Johnson lived right close by Brother Cooper's, and if I would go to her house she could tell me, for it was just through her yard to Brother Cooper's house. So I went. I knocked at the door. The sister was in; several nice looking little children were playing around, and an elegant pot of cabbage was boiling over the fire. My! how nice it did smell; and I did wish and pray that the Lord would put it into her heart to ask me to have something to eat. I hinted all I knew how, but she did not take the hint. I knew by the sound of it that it was done and ought to come off!
I told her my story; told her about Brother Lewis; she was very glad to hear from him. I asked her if I could stay all night, because I felt so tired that I thought I could not walk back to Sister Curtis'. She said at once she could not possibly have me
I told her no matter for that; I could sleep on the floor just as well. No, she did not have room. She could not possibly do it.
Well, I stayed till it was pretty dark, It was after six o'clock. The more I talked the more she gave me to see that she was not going to ask me to have any cabbage, or to stay all night.
So I said to her, "Will you tell me where Brother Cooper, the minister, lives?"
"Oh, yes," she said, "I will send one of the children with you."
When I got to Brother Cooper's I knocked, and Brother Cooper came to the door; he was an awful timid man; so he stood at the door, holding it half open and leaning out a little ways, and asked me who I was. I told him that I was Amanda Smith; that the Lord sent me to Salem. Then I went on, standing at the door, telling him how the Lord had led me, and all about it. His wife, who was a little more thoughtful than he, heard me, and she called out to him, and said, "Cooper, why don't you ask the sister to come in." So then he said, "Come in, Sister."
I was awful glad, so I went in. Sister Cooper was getting supper. The table was set, and I thought, "Maybe, I will get something to eat now."
So I went on and finished my story, and they seemed to be greatly interested; and when the supper was quite ready, she said, "Will you have some supper, Sister Smith?" I thanked her, and told her I would.
While I was eating my supper who should come in but good Brother Holland, that had been on the boat. He said to Brother and Sister Cooper, "I am glad you have Sister Smith here. You needn't be afraid of her, she is all right; I have known her for years. I have not seen her since I was pastor at Lancaster."
Then they brightened up a little bit, and seemed to be a little more natural. My heart was glad. It was quarterly meeting, and Brother Holland was to preach in the morning and Brother Cooper in the afternoon. So Brother Holland said, as he was Presiding Elder, I might speak at night and tell my story
"All right," I said.
After a little talk, Brother Holland left. Sister Cooper said she would be very glad to have me stay all night, but they had no room. They had not been long there, and had only fitted up one room for their own use. They thought they would make out with that for the winter. So then I was obliged to walk a mile and a half back to Sister Curtis'. I did hate to do it, but the Lord helped me.
So I stayed that night at Sister Curtis', and she gave me a little breakfast on Sunday morning, but it was mighty skimpey! But I found out that a good deal of praying fills you up pretty well when you cannot get anything else! On Sunday morning we went to Love Feast, and had a good time. Prior to this I had been asking the Lord to give me a message to give when I went to Salem. I said, "Lord, I don't want to go to Salem without a message. And now you are sending me to Salem, give me the message. What shall I say?"
Two or three times I had gone before the Lord with this prayer, and His word was, "It shall be made known to you when you come to the place what you shall say." And I said, "All right, Lord." So I didn't trouble Him any more till this Sunday morning. The Lord helped Brother Holland preach. When he got through preaching and the collection was taken, Brother Cooper made the announcement that I was there; he said, "There is a lady here, Mrs. Amanda Smith" (he had never seen me before or heard of me, and he was a rather jovial kind of a man, and in making this announcement he said, in a half sarcastic and half joking way), "Mrs. Smith is from New York; she says the Lord sent her;" with a kind of toss of the head, which indicated that he did not much believe it. Oh, my heart fell down, and I said, "Oh! Lord, help. Give me the message."
The Lord saw that I had as much as I could stand up under, and He said, "Say, 'Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?'" (Acts 9:2). That was the message; the first message the Lord gave me. I trembled from head to foot.
A good sister took me home with her to dinner. The people all seemed very kind. I felt quite at home when I got with them. We came back in the afternoon and had a wonderful meeting.
At night after Brother Holland had preached a short sermon, he called me up to exhort. As I sat in the pulpit beside him, he saw I was frightened. He leaned over and said, "Now, my child, you needn't be afraid. Lean on the Lord. He will help you."
And He did help me. There was a large congregation. The gallery was full, and every part of the house was packed. I stood up trembling. The cold chills ran over me. My heart seemed to stand still. Oh, it was a night. But the Lord gave me great liberty in speaking. After I had talked a little while the cold chills stopped, my heart began to beat naturally and all fear was gone, and I seemed to lose sight of everybody and everything but my responsibility to God and my duty to the people. The Holy Ghost fell on the people and we had a wonderful time. Souls were convicted and some converted that night. But the meeting did not go on from that.
Thursday night was the regular prayer meeting night. Brother Cooper said I was there, and would preach Thursday night. He was going to give me a chance to preach, and he wanted all the people to come out.
There was no snow, but Oh! it was cold. The ground was frozen. The moon shone brightly, and the wind blew a perfect gale. One good thing, I did not have to go back to Sister Curtis'. Another good sister asked me to her house to stay. She made me very comfortable, but said I would have to be alone most of the day, as she was going to some of the neighbors to help with the butchering, as they do in the country. I was very glad of that, for it gave me a chance to pray. So I fasted and prayed and read my Bible nearly all day. Oh, I had a good time. And then I thought I would visit a neighbor near by, another friend. So I did; and this was a good old mother in Israel. I told her a little of my experience, and then I told her the message the Lord had given me to speak about, and how it would lead to the subject of sanctification.
"My child," she at once said, "don't you say a word about sanctification here. Honey, if you do, they will persecute you to death. My poor husband used to preach that doctrine, and for years he knew about this blessing. But, Oh! honey, they persecuted him to death. You must not say a word about it."
Well, there I was again! So I went home, and the next day I prayed to God all day. I asked Him to give me some other message. If this message was going to do so much damage, I did not want it. But no, the Lord held me to it. Not a ray of light on anything else but that. I didn't know what to do, but I made up my mind it was all I ever would do, so I would obey God and take
Thursday was a beautiful, bright day; but Oh! cold, bitterly cold. So I got down and prayed and said, "Lord, Thou hast sent me to Salem, and hast given me the message. Now for an evidence that Thou hast indeed sent me, grant to cause the wind to cease blowing at this fearful rate. Thou knowest Lord, that I want people to hear Thy message that Thou hast given me. They will not mind the cold, but the wind is so terrible. Now cause the wind to cease to blow, and make the people come out."
The wind blew all day; all the afternoon. I started to go across the field, about a half mile from where I was, to talk and pray with a friend. On my way back, about five o'clock, as I was crossing a ditch which ran through the field, bordered on either side by a row of hedge trees, and a little plank across it for a kind of a foot bridge, the wind wrapped me round and took me down into the ditch. I could not hold on, could not control myself. I expected to be thrown up against the trees, and I cried out to Him all alone, "Oh! Lord, Thou that didst command the wind to cease on the Sea of Galilee, cause this wind to cease and let me get home."
Just then there came a great calm, and I got up out of that ditch and ran along to the house. By the time we went to church it was as calm as a summer evening; it was cold, but not a bit windy--a beautiful, moonlight night.
The church was packed and crowded. I began my talk from the chapter given, with great trembling. I had gone on but a little ways when I felt the spirit of the Lord come upon me mightily. Oh! how He helped me. My soul was free, The Lord convicted sinners and backsliders and believers for holiness, and when I asked for persons to come to the altar, it was filled in a little while from the gallery and all parts of the house.
A revival broke out, and spread for twenty miles around. Oh! what a time it was. It went from the colored people to the white people. Sometimes we would go into the church at seven o'clock in the evening. I could not preach. The whole lower floor would be covered with seekers--old men, young men, old women, young women, boys and girls. Oh! glory to God! How He put His seal
One night I was so weary they said they would get on without me, and I could have a rest. A Mr. Huff had asked me to go to his house. Two of his sons had been converted. He had been a member of the church, but had got cold and backslidden. His wife was pretty much in the same condition. They had three younger children, ten and thirteen years of age. So I went to their house to have a rest. Before we went to bed that night we had family prayer. They had got out of the way of that, Mrs Huff told me. She had got stirred up, so was anxious about her husband. I read the Bible and explained the word the best I could; then I sang; then I got down to pray. There was a young man by the name of Williams, Mr. Huff's nephew, about twenty-one years of age, with them at the house. We knelt down to pray. I told Sister Huff she ought to pray in her family. Poor thing, she had prayed so little for a long time, it was rather hard; but she did. After she prayed, I sang a verse, then prayed. Archie Huff, the son, had been converted two or three days before, wonderfully. I asked him to pray. So he prayed, as a young convert, simply and earnestly, though he was very hoarse; but the Lord helped him. When he got through praying I sang another hymn; and by that time old Mr. Huff had tumbled over on the floor and was praying out loud for the Lord to save him; so I began to pray; and while I was praying, the young nephew, Williams, fell out and shook the house. And there we were. And while these two brethren were praying, and Archie and I were praying, and the old woman was praying, (as it was out in the country we didn't whisper at all; we talked right out), these younger children, a little girl ten years old and the boys, twins, about thirteen years old, got converted. The little girl was sitting up at the opposite
The whole five of them were converted that night. Oh, what a time. And so we were into it till about twelve or one o'clock. Then I slipped off and lay down a little while.
The news got out through the neighborhood, so they sent for me to come to another house next day, about a mile and a half away. Old man Huff hitched up his team, and he and his nephew and Archie and I went over to the neighbor's. This man was a very moral kind of a man. He had been seeking the Lord, but he had got a little discouraged, so they thought if I would go and talk to him it would help him. I thought "I will have a quiet time over here."
I got there about four o'clock in the afternoon. We talked and had a pleasant time, and had supper; and I thought we would have prayers after a while. Well, about eight o'clock one or two persons came in, neighbors; that made five or six of us.
"Dear me," I thought to myself, "I have not strength to talk any longer, so I will just give out a hymn, and we will sing and have prayers."
So I did, and we got down to pray. I asked somebody to pray. While we were praying, three or four more came in. When we got through that prayer some one else struck in, and two or three more came in; so we had twelve or thirteen persons, packed in like sardines in a box. And pretty soon this man that had been seeking, cried out for salvation. Oh, how he prayed! It was not long till he began to believe; and what always follows earnest faith is victory. When he shouted victory it struck terror to the others that were not converted, and that night there were five or six converted in that house. Oh! what a victory!
Next day we visited round through the neighborhood. How the shouts of praise and hallelujah to God seemed to be everywhere we went. So I went back to church, for I did not get any rest there, and we went on two or three weeks longer. From there I went to Millville, N. J., with similar results. I remember one
There had been some little misunderstanding between two or three of the members, so there was not a very good feeling existing all around; and while we had good meetings, we would come right up to a point and stick. So after I had gone on three or four nights, I proposed to have a day of fasting and prayer, which they all quite readily agreed to. I said: "Now, I don't want anybody to promise to fast that cannot; some people cannot stand it; but just you who think you can fast one day, and pray to God for the outpouring of His Spirit--I want you to stand up."
Among those who stood up was an old Brother Cooper; they called him "Father Cooper." He had enjoyed the blessings of sanctification for about forty years. Oh, what a grand man he was! When that old man prayed, something gave way. There were several old brethren that I did not expect would fast at all. So Father Cooper got up and I said: "Brother Cooper, you cannot stand it. I don't mean you."
"Oh," he said, "Honey, I don't mean to let the children outrun me."
Another old man got up and said: "No, indeed, the children can't get ahead of me; I'm going with them." So one or two of the sisters and I visited from house to house. We prayed and talked and sang. I was led to visit two white families. They were poor people. The Devil tried to scare me; told me they were Roman Catholics, and would put me out. I had quite a little struggle, but finally I got victory and went. I do not know hether they were Roman Catholics or not; but the Lord helped me to speak to them and pray. One woman was so glad; she had sick child. I talked to her and comforted her.
That night when we came together the Lord helped me to speak to them, and He sent His Spirit. When I asked them to come forward to the altar, those that were seeking purity, and those that were seeking pardon, I asked Father Cooper to lead in prayer. I shall never forget that prayer. I seem to see it all, and hear it yet.
There were two that had been leading sisters in the church, that did not speak to each other, and were neighbors, were standing in pews close to each other. They did not come forward to the altar when the others came, but I saw the Spirit of the Lord
It was a marvelous time. I have never seen anything like it before or since. There was one man that had been seeking the Lord for eight years. Everybody thought he was converted. He lived with his mother, who was a widow. Everybody, white and colored, liked and respected him. He was a good man, always went to church, and so the people said he was converted; but he did not know it. So when they told me this a day or two before the day of fasting and prayer, I had this man, with some others, specially on my mind. After this great victory, we worked till about eleven or twelve o'clock. I said, "Well, we will take up these who are seeking. We will just have them rise now."
We colored people did not use to get up off our knees quick like white folks; when we went down on our knees to get something, we generally got it before we got up. But we are a very imitative people, so I find we have begun to imitate white people, even in that. The Lord help us.
This poor young man got up and put his overcoat on, and he was sitting down and looking so sad, as though he was nearly heart-broken. I had talked and prayed and tried to help him all I could; and there never was a soul prayed more earnestly and sincerely than he did. But there he stuck. I stood and looked at him for a moment. O, how they sang. At last I went up to him and said: "Look here, Charlie D., why don't you let go and shout?"
"Oh!" he wept, "Lord save me!"
"Well," I said, "The Lord does save you; but you won't believe Him." And I said, "Let go and shout!"
And the Spirit of the Lord seemed to fall upon him, just like you would sprinkle hot coals on any one. He sprang to his feet, and the light went all over him like fire, and it seemed as though he would tear himself to pieces for a minute. "Oh," he said, "I have found it, I have found it, I have found it!"
This sent a thrill through the whole church, and again there was a shout; such a shout you never heard nor saw. It was about one o'clock before we got out that night. I shall never forget that meeting at Millville. Praise the Lord! He does all things well. Amen. Amen.