|CHAPTER XIV. -- KENNEBUNK CAMP MEETING--HOW I GOT THERE, AND WAS ENTERTAINED--A GAZING STOCK--HAMILTON CAMP MEETING--A TRIP TO VERMONT--THE LOST TRUNK, AND HOW IT WAS FOUND.|
I had met Brother Luce at Round Lake Camp Meeting. He was a strong holiness preacher. Among others who had asked me to go to different camp meetings, he had asked me. I was a young beginner yet, and knew the Lord was leading. But I generally prayed over matters a good deal before deciding. There was a Mrs. Brown, who used to live at Harlem, N. Y. She was a good woman, and I used to work for her. I liked her very much. They had a tent at Round Lake, also. So one day she asked me to bring her a pitcher of water.
I often did little things for the ladies, brushed and settled up their tents, or got them a pitcher or bucket of water. I never felt that it hurt my dignity.
After I had brought her a pitcher of water, Mrs. Brown said to me, "We have a camp meeting at Wesley Grove at such a time, and we are short of workers, and I believe, Amanda, the Lord would bless you if you would go to our camp meeting; and all the money you needed would be at your disposal."
"Thank you," I said, "there are several who have asked me about going to different camp meetings. But you know I have to pray about it. So if you give me the address I will know how to go when I get home and get still before the Lord, so as to know just where He wants me to go, for when one says 'Come here,' and another 'There,' I cannot tell which way or place the Lord wants me to go. But when I get home and get still I can know His voice."
So off I went at that. The day before the camp meeting closed I met Brother Luce again.
"Now, Sister Smith," said he, "I have a church at St. Johnsville, and our people have a large society tent, and you could stay in it, and I would like to have you come to our camp meeting. I will give you my address, and when I get home I will write you and give you all the directions how to come, so you will have no trouble."
"All right, sir; thank you," I said.
The meeting closed, and I never had heard such wonderful preaching on the line of holiness. I was filled and thrilled. So I went home and began to pray and ask the Lord where He would have me go. For out of all the places I had been asked to visit, I wanted to know just where He would have me go. And a deep conviction settled down upon me that I was to go to Kennebunk. I liked Brother Luce and Brother Munger, and their families were all so kind to me while at Round Lake. Then Brother Luce would send me word just how to come. But to my surprise, when the letter came Brother Luce said, "Sister Smith, I am not well, and our people have decided not to take our big tent; so you had better not come, as you are a stranger, and have no place to stop."
"Well," I thought, "all right. I will go to Wesley Grove, where Mrs. Brown wants me to go. Then I know her, and like to work for her. So it will be better than going to Kennebunk."
Then the conviction to go to Kennebunk seemed to deepen, and I did not understand it. I must go to Kennebunk. I went to the Lord and told Him. I said, "Lord, I would be willing to go to Kennebunk, but Thou knowest Brother Luce has written and told me not to come. And Thou knowest it is not nice to go where you are told not to come. And if I do, it will look like impertinence after he has written and told me not to come. So I will go to Wesley Grove. Mrs. Brown says they need help there. Then I have worked for Mrs. Brown, and I am better acquainted with her, and that would be better for me."
This time Satan helped me a little bit. He said, "Yes, the reason you want to go to Wesley Grove is because Mrs. Brown offered you money, and that is all you are going there for--money."
Oh! how horrible it seemed as I thought of it. And I knew it was not so. And I said, "Now, Mr. Satan, that's a lie, and I will not go to Wesley Grove at all. I am going straight to Kennebunk, where they told me not to come. And I will show you it's not money I'm after."
I didn't know how much it would take for me to go to Kennebunk. I had been only to Philadelphia. So on Friday night I went to old John Street Church. Brother Roberts was class leader there. When they held their fiftieth anniversary they had made me, with a number of others, a life member, so I often used to go to this class.
That night there was a Mr. Palmer there. He was a very nice man, and a very consistent Christian. When the meeting was over, this gentleman went to put me on the Sixth avenue cars. He said, as we walked along, talking, "Sister Smith, for years I have been seeking the blessing of heart purity, and your testimony to-night helped me. But why is it I do not seem to get out into the full light? The Lord has blessed me," he added, "and I have some means. I am a broker on Wall street. But I have consecrated all to the Lord. And any time you need any help, you must just let me know."
"Well, sir," I said, "I never tell anybody but the Lord about my needs. He knows all, and I always tell Him to put it into the hearts of the people to help me when I need it, and then I leave it."
Now, somehow, I felt that the Lord wanted that brother to give me some money, for I did not have quite enough to go to Kennebunk. So I said good night, and got on the car and on I went. But I prayed all the way, and after I got home, that the Lord would trouble that man's heart, for I felt that he was disobeying the Spirit, and that was one reason why he could not come out into the light of full salvation. You must not keep back the full price of loyal obedience to God, and yet expect Him to bless you. And yet how often do we find persons doing this very thing. Then they wonder why they do not get on. The Lord help someone who reads this to see the truth.
I felt somehow all the time that that man was the one that was to help me out. So next morning I got down and prayed again. And then I got up and began to get my things ready. I was doing some ironing. All at once I heard someone come running upstairs very quickly. When he got to the foot of the stairs he called out, "Sister Smith!"
"Yes," I said. Who should it be but this very brother.
"I had an errand uptown this morning," said he, "and I thought I would run in and see you."
Now he had never been to my house before in his life. So I
But he did sit down a few minutes, and then he said, "I wanted to give you a little money."
"Amen," said I. "You might as well have done it last night. That's what the Lord told you to do."
"Well, yes," he said.
It was just enough, with what I had, to get me a round trip ticket to Kennebunk Camp Meeting. Praise the Lord!
Then we got down on our knees and prayed. I said, "Now, brother, you might just as well settle this thing. The Lord is willing to bless you. Why don't you let him? Why not be obedient now? The Lord can do it now if you will just trust Him."
So while kneeling it came to me to sing a verse or two of that old hymn of Charles Wesley's:
"Come, O, Thou traveler unknown,
Whom still I hold but cannot see.
My company before is gone,
And I am left alone with Thee," etc.
After singing I said to him, "Now, Brother Palmer, pray and let go."
So he did. My! how he prayed! The Lord broke him all down. He got blessed while he was praying. I prayed a little and then I sang the next verse:
"In vain Thou strugglest to get free,
I never will unloose my hold;
Thou art the man that died for me,
The secret of Thy love unfold.
Thy mercies never shall remove,
Thy nature and Thy name is Love."
Then the blessed Spirit fell upon him, and he launched out into light and liberty. Oh! how he praised the Lord. What a morning that was in that little attic room on Amity street. "And still there's more to follow."
In a few days after this I was off to Kennebunk. I left New York by the Fall River Line at five o'clock P. M. When I got on the boat, to my surprise whom should I meet but Sister Clark.
"Why," she said, "Sister Smith, where are you going?"
"I am going to Kennebunk Camp Meeting. Where are you going?" "Well, praise the Lord," she said, "there is where I am going."
We had a very pleasant evening together on the boat. We talked and prayed and sang. There were a number of very nice ladies, who seemed to enjoy Sister Clark's talk and prayers. We should have got into Boston, at the old Providence depot, at eight A. M., so as to take the train there for Kennebunk. But on account of a fog the boat did not get in on time, so we were ten minutes late for the train. Then we had to wait till twelve o'clock, noon, before there was another train. Well, I was going to get my ticket and go on the boat from Boston. It was cheaper that way. But Sister Clark said:
"Now don't do that, Sister Smith. You will lose two days of the camp meeting if you do that. Go right on now with me."
Well, I thought I would like to do it, yet I didn't have money enough. But she said, "I think you had better do it. I think you had better go right on with me."
So after talking awhile I decided to buy my ticket and go with her. That left me only fifty cents. After I got my ticket and sat down, oh! how Satan attacked me. He said, "Now you have been getting on, and the Lord has been leading you all the way. But now you have got out of the Lord's hands. You have got into Mrs. Clark's hands. She is leading you now."
Oh! I felt dreadful. I wished I had not seen Mrs. Clark. I wished I had not come on the boat. Oh! to think the Lord had blessed me so much, and now I had got right out of His hands, and was in the hands of a woman. I do not suppose Sister Clark ever knew how bad I felt. I could have cried.
After I walked about a little while, I said to Mrs. Clark, "I have Miss Sarah Clapp's address."
She lived on Winter street, Boston. I had met her at the camp meeting at Round Lake, and she had given me this address, and told me if I ever came to Boston I must call and see her. So I said, "I think I will go and see Miss Clapp."
"Very well," she said, "I will stay here and mind the things. Be sure you get back in time."
"Yes," I said.
So I went out and took the car and went to Miss Clapp's. How glad she was to see me. She had got the blessing at the
Well, I was in a fidget, because I wanted to see what it was. So she sent a little girl with me to put me on the right car that would take me right to the depot. Oh! how I did want to look at what she had given me. But she had made me promise not to look at it, so I did not. When I did look at it, lo and behold, it was a five dollar bill! So another triumph for Jesus.
We arrived at Kennebunk at nine o'clock P. M. Sister Clark had friends that were looking for her, so they met her at the depot. Of course when we got to the grounds the meeting was over, and all the people were in their tents. I had the company of Sister Clark and her friend as far as the stand, or auditorium. Then Sister Clark said, "Sister Smith, what are you going to do?"
"I don't know."
The lady was with her said, "I wish I had room for you, Mrs. Smith, I would take you in. But really I have only room for Sister Clark."
"If I could find the lodging tent," I said, "I might inquire whether I could get a place for the night."
But she said she did not know really where to direct me. So the man set my trunk down, and I sat down on the end of a long bench beside it. There was one or two lights burning.
"Now then," the Devil said, "if you had gone on the boat as you first thought, and had not followed Sister Clark, you would have got here in the day time, and it would have been much better. Then, besides, you might have done some good work for God on the boat. It is all well enough for Mrs. Clark. She had friends looking out for her. But no one here knows you." "That is so," I said, "and I am so sorry I did not go on the boat."
One might have thought he was wonderfully interested for the poor sinners on the boat. What a pity I had not gone and talked to those people as he said. Oh! how subtle his suggestions. How he likes to tantalize you about what you might have done, especially after the opportunity is past. He does it to get your eye
So in my mind I began to fix about which way I should lay my head. There was a great pile of leaves and some straw under the stand, to be kept dry in case it should rain. So my imagined bed was made. Then I thought, "I wonder if there are any pigs about here, and if they would disturb me."
Then I began to feel a little afraid, and I said, "Lord, help me, and do, please send some one to me."
I had scarcely uttered the words when I saw a door open away at the upper part of the grounds; a man came out and walked to where I was sitting. A moment later, and out came a sister. She said, "Brother M., where are you going?"
"Oh!" he said, "I think I see someone here! so I am looking about."
By that time he was quite up to me. "Why, is this Amanda Smith?"
"Yes," I said.
"Sister A.," he called, "here is Sister Amanda Smith. Praise the Lord. Oh! now I see why the Lord sent me out here. I had no especial business, but it seemed I must come down here and look about. Praise the Lord."
We had a praising time of it. They took me, bag and baggage, to the tent. It was a large society tent, and there were several families together. They had a large upstairs, and they said they could accommodate me for the night anyhow. I was so thankful. I had an elegant bed, and was so comfortable. In the morning when they had all gone downstairs I got on my knees and said, "Now, Lord, this seems like the very place where Thou wantest me to stay. But they have said they could accommodate me only to-night. Now if Thou dost want me to stay here, make them ask me when I go downstairs, to stay. Amen."
In the morning I arose and went downstairs. We had family prayers. What a time we had. It was not strange to have a baptism of the Spirit fall upon us in those days while at family prayers and praising the Lord.
When the breakfast was over I said, "Now can you tell me where the office is where I can go to inquire about getting a tent and some straw to fill my tick and pillow?"
"Oh! you are not going away, are you?"
"Well, you know you were only to accommodate me till morning, as I was out of doors last night."
"Well, were you comfortable where you slept last night?"
"Very well. You just stay where you are."
Oh! didn't I praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men. No wonder Job said, "And these are only parts of His ways." Hallelujah!
Here I must speak of Sister Clark's help when I was greatly tempted because the people gazed at me and followed me about from place to place and just stared at me.
Under this trial I learned the meaning of the thirty-second and thirty-third verses of the tenth chapter of Hebrews.
It was one Sunday. There had been a great crowd all day, and everywhere I would go a crowd would follow me. If I went into a tent they would surround it and stay till I came out, then they would follow me. Sometimes I would slip into a tent away from them. Then I would see them peep in, and if they saw me they would say, "Oh! here is the colored woman. Look!" Then the rush! So after dinner I managed to get away. I went into a friend's tent and said, "Let me lie down here out of sight a little while."
"Yes," she said, "the people do not seem to have any manners. I never saw anything like it."
So I got down on the floor under the foot of the bed, and I could see them as they would pass by, and hear them say, "Where is she, the colored woman?"
"I don't know, but I think she is in here," someone would say. But I kept still. About five o'clock the people began to leave the ground. So about six I stepped out and went down to the spring. I met Sister Clark. She said, "Sister Smith, have you had your supper?"
"No," I said, "there is something the matter with me."
"What is it?"
"The people have followed me about all day, and have stared at me. Somehow I feel so bad and uncomfortable."
"Well," she said, laughing, "don't you know the Bible says, 'You are to be a gazing stock?"
"No," I said, "is it in the Bible?"
"All right, I can settle it then."
She went to the dining hall to supper, and I went down in the woods by myself, and there I had it out. I told the Lord how mean I felt because the people had looked at me. I prayed, "Help me to throw off that mean feeling, and give me grace to be a gazing stock." And after I had prayed, I remained kneeling and thinking it all over. All at once a thought came to me: "The other day when you were carrying the clothes home you saw a crowd standing and looking in at a window on Broadway, New York, at a picture."
"And you went up with the crowd and looked at it too."
"You heard the remarks of the people, and the approvals and disapprovals."
"Yes," I said.
"Did that picture say anything?"
"Did it injure its beauty?"
"No, Lord; I see it."
I got up and went on double quick to the tent. I praised the Lord. I laughed, and cried, and shouted. It was so simple, and yet so real. The next morning at the eight o'clock meeting I got up and shouted, "I have got the victory! Everybody come and look at me! Praise the Lord!"
I was free as a bird.
"What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Jesus,
What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Lord!"
At this same camp meeting the Lord cured a good old brother, Jacob C., of prejudice. He was a well-to-do man, and had lived in Maine all his life. He said he had never seen many colored persons, and never cared to have anything to do with them when he could help it. If he had any business to do with them, he would always do it as quickly as possible and get away. So now, when he saw me about in the meetings he was much disturbed.
So he did, I should say. One morning under a powerful sermon by Rev. B. F. Pomeroy, of the Troy Conference, he was led to make a full surrender of himself. When Brother Pomeroy invited them forward, this man went. He had got the victory while praying in the woods, over his prejudice against me an hour or two before. But the tobacco stuck. He had it in his mouth, and when he knelt there the Spirit said to him, "Can you give up that tobacco?" And I saw him when he dug a hole in the straw and leaves and took his tobacco out of his mouth, put it down, covered it over and got on it with his knees! It was not long before the Lord poured in his heart the blessing of full salvation. My! how he shouted!
It was a wonderful meeting that afternoon. The first thing he saw when he got up and stood on his feet, he said, was the colored woman standing on a bench with both hands up, singing "All I want is a little more faith in Jesus." And he said every bit of prejudice was gone, and the love of God was in his heart, and he thought I was just beautiful!
I saw him the next year, and he was still saved. And he sat down by me in the dining hall at the table and gave me two dollars; and he said the past year had been the best year of his life. Oh, how happy he was! God bless him. Amen.
I think it was June 21, 1871. I remember the great railroad accident at Revier. I got into Boston from Martha's Vineyard. I was anxious to catch the five P. M. train. It left Boston, and stopped at Hamilton, about seven o'clock. Then the next train did not leave till seven thirty, and that would not arrive at the camp
"Oh, my!" I said, "I wanted to go on that train." The porter said, "You are too late now."
"When will the next one go out to the camp meeting?"
"Seven thirty," he said, "and will arrive about nine o'clock."
"Oh," I said, "I'm so sorry. I wrote I would be on that train."
There were a number of persons who had come to say good-bye to loved ones, parents, and children, and friends; and as the train moved off, handkerchiefs were waved and kisses were thrown, and the last good-bye said, and the train passed out of the station, and I felt as though I would cry, I was so disappointed. But that disappointment saved my life. We left Boston on the next train, a lively company of camp meeting folks. A number were just going for the Sabbath. I met a number of friends who knew me, and we had some singing on the train, and I was feeling glad and happy, after all my disappointment. We went at full speed, and all at once the train suddenly stopped. We sang on and waited for it to start. We didn't know what the trouble was. A half hour passed; still we did not move on. Some of the men went out, and we thought when they came back we would know what the trouble was. Another half hour passed, and they did not come back. Then some of the women said, "Let's go out and see." So several of us got out and walked down the track and met several coming, who said there was a great accident at Revier. Our train had stopped about a mile away, this side of where the accident occurred.
I, with several others, walked to the scene, and as we drew near the fire was roaring, and the shouts for help and the groans of the dying and wounded were something beyond description. Revier was only a small way station; there was no drug store, and no houses to get any help from. They took off the doors of the few houses that stood round, and the shutters, and everything they could get hold of. Some were scalded; some were burned; others with broken limbs; and we were helpless; we had nothing. I could only weep and pray. I thought of the goodness of the Lord in not letting the man get my trunk in time, and then the words of this Psalm came to my mind with much force. 'A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right
They succeeded somehow in getting the track clear, and our train passed on. We arrived at the camp-ground between twelve and one o'clock at night. Sunday was a sad day, though many who were on the ground knew nothing of the accident, yet it seemed to cast a shadow. But the Lord was with us and helped. How well I remember some of the dear friends. My home was with Mrs. James Musso, in their pretty cottage. The lovely meetings we had! I remember Mrs. McGee, of Boston, and old Father Waite, of Ipswich. One day, going into the dining tent, he introduced me to the people as the "Fifteenth Amendment." That was the first I had heard of that bill. I also remember Father Snow, of Boston, Sarah and Laura Clapp, and dear Beenie Hamilton, and the wonderful tent meeting. She asked me to go with her to a little quiet meeting in a cottage. It was not to be a large meeting; only a few hungry ones who wanted help specially. The meeting was to be held only an hour; but we never closed it from half past two till six o'clock, and we could hardly close then; and if ever I saw God take hold of a meeting and control it, it was that afternoon. More than a score of souls were swept into the fountain of cleansing. Some people were convicted for pardon and for purity on the spot, and yielded to God, and God saved. Truly it was realized, "Knock and it shall be opened; seek and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given you, for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it is opened." The most of the time I stood on my feet and exhorted, and sang, and talked, and prayed. When I got out and went to start home, I could scarcely walk. I was thoroughly exhausted. I had a cup of tea, and lay down a while, and was ready for another pitched battle. Glory to God!
Those were wonderful days. One does not see it in that fashion now. Oh, how we need the mighty Holy Ghost power that they had at Pentecost!
It was while they all were praying,
It was while they all were praying,
It was while they all were praying
And believing it would come,
Came the power, the power,
Came the power that Jesus promised should come down."
One day, just before the camp meeting closed, Rev. Dr. Cushman, who was then Principal of the Ladies' Seminary at Auburndale, Mass., came to me and said: "Sister Smith, have you ever been to Lindenville, Vt.?" I said, "No."
"Well," said he, "that is my home, not far from there. Our camp meeting begins such a day (naming the day), and I believe the Lord would have you go to that meeting. I think you would do us good. I have to leave to-night," he continued, "or in the morning, but I will give you the directions how to come." So I told the Lord if He wanted me to go to Lindenville, and would give me the money, I would take that as an indication of His will. So the money came all right.
On Tuesday morning, I think it was, I was off. I didn't stop to eat my breakfast; I thought I would wait till I got there. I left Hamilton about six A. M. for Boston, so as to get as early a train as I could. I had no idea where Vermont was, much less Lindenville. I was as green: pea! I had never traveled any distance, and coming from New York to Boston, and then to Martha's Vineyard, was the biggest thing I had ever done. I expected to get to Lindenville about ten o'clock A. M. When I got to the station at Boston, I went to the ticket office and asked for a ticket to Lindenville, Vt. The man said, "You won't have time to get a ticket; the train is just moving out." I turned and said to the man, "Put on my trunk, quick!"
He pitched it on, and I got on. I think it was the eight-fifteen train in the morning. When the conductor came I told him I didn't have time to get a ticket, so paid him what he asked. I said to him, "I didn't get my trunk checked; will you please look in the baggage car and tell me if you see such a trunk?" describing the trunk as best I could. In a little while he came through, and said, "Madame, there is so much baggage piled up that I cannot tell, exactly, but from the description you give I think it is there: it will be all right." So I was contented. Ten o'clock came, and I was not at Lindenville. Eleven o'clock--twelve o'clock--not yet. Then I began to get hungry. I saw no place where I could get even an apple. Then I wondered if I had not made a mistake after all. So the Devil thought this was his chance, and he assailed me fiercely:
"You don't know if you are on the right train."
"No," I said, "I do not."
"You ought not to have come without getting a ticket."
"No," I said, "I suppose not." Then I thought, "Well, I asked the Lord about it," and then he said, "You prayed, but you didn't pray enough."
"Perhaps I didn't," I thought.
Then a gentleman got in, and he looked very pleasant, and I thought I would ask him if I was on the right train to Lindenville, Vt. So I went to him and said, "You will excuse me, sir, but I want to ask you if this is the train that goes to Lindenville, Vt.?"
He said very sharply, "I don't know." Then everybody seemed to look at me. All the people seemed so strange. It seemed to me I had never seen that kind of people before. And they seemed as though they had not seen many of my kind before! My! how they stared at me! After a while a lady got on, and I thought I would ask her. And I said, "Madame, will you tell me if this train goes to Lindenville, Vt.?"
She pulled herself up, and said, "I don't know." Then I thought I would ask the conductor, but he sailed through in such a rush that I couldn't ask him. Then the Devil said, "You think the Lord wanted you to go to Lindenville, Vt.; but if the Lord wanted you to go, somebody would know if you are on the right train, and be able to tell you." And I thought, "Yes, that is so: it does seem so." And imagine my surprise when I never got to Lindenville, Vt., till six o'clock in the evening. But about four o'clock in the afternoon we stopped at a station, and Rev. Mr. Luce and his wife and children got on, and they spied me, and Brother Luce came up, and said, "Why, Amanda Smith, where are you going?"
"To Lindenville, Vt., sir."
"Well," said he, "we go as far as St. Johnsville. Then we are going up to Lindenville on Sunday to the camp meeting."
I was so glad. Then he asked me if I had had anything to eat. I told him no, and they gave me some lunch, and that helped me.
When we got to Lindenville, Dr. Cushan was there and met me at the station, and hunted for my trunk high and low; but he could not find it; there was no such trunk there. And I had to stay just with the clothes that I had on, and had traveled in, up till the next Saturday.
Well, we went to the camp meeting at Lindenville. We had a good time. The Lord blessed me very greatly. It was very primitive, but the people were very hearty and kind.
I remember Rev. Mr. McCann was Presiding Elder, and had charge of the meeting. I shall never forget the lecture he gave me the morning I left. He was very much afraid that I would be spoiled; and I remember as I sat before him, he charged me with vehemence; when he told incidents where colored people had been made a good deal of, and how they came down, and how they were spoiled, and how it affected them, and hurt their influence. I smiled, and he went on with his charge. People pitied me for his great solicitude, and I felt that his labor was in vain. There I sat in the congregation, and it was his farewell remarks, as the camp meeting had closed that morning. I didn't know whether to stay for another camp meeting, or whether to go. Some laughed, and others seemed to feel sorry, I didn't know what to do: but I prayed mightily. But the Lord kept me, and none of these things have come upon me. How I praise Him!
On Saturday we went to Boston. Dr. Cushan went to the store and got me some things to help me through Sunday. I was entertained at the home of Dr. Hopkins, of Auburndale. I spoke several times on Sunday. Sunday night we had a very precious meeting at the Methodist Church; so that I went home cheered in heart, though I had no trunk. I went to my room, and just as I was getting ready for bed I thought to myself, "I must make a very special prayer for my trunk." So I knelt to pray, and the words of John 15:7 came forcibly to my mind: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." And I said, "Now, Lord, here is Thy word, and as far as I know, I believe that I am abiding in Thee, and that Thy word is abiding in me. And now, Lord, I'm going to ask you about my trunk. Grant me this petition, that I will either get my trunk, or hear from it to-morrow."
Then these words came to me: "If thou canst believe all things are possible with them that believe." And I said, "Lord, I believe I will get my trunk to-morrow."
Just then Satan said, clearly, "That trunk has been gone a week, and you have hunted for it high and low, and Dr. Cushan, and Dr. Hopkins, and other friends, have looked for it; you have sent telegrams, and you have not heard a word of it; and
And then I began to get a little frightened. I said, "Oh, Lord, Thou knowest I do not mean to be presumptuous. But somehow or other I believe I will get my trunk to-morrow;" and every time I said "I believe" to God, it seemed to me my faith was strengthened, and there was a sweet assurance and peace came over my spirit that did not come when the least shadow of doubt would try to enter my heart. But the Tempter harassed me. Oh, how he harassed me! I rose from my knees, and went over to the little stand in the corner, and I said, "Lord, give me some word to help me." Then I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on these words: "A crooked and perverse generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall be no sign given them," and I shut the book, and said, "Lord, I don't want any sign. I believe I will get my trunk to-morrow." Then Satan seemed to leave me, and I went to bed in peace. I believed God all night.
The first thing in the morning the thought of my trunk came into my mind, and I said, "Lord, I believe I will get my trunk to-day."
I didn't tell anybody. I just kept it before the Lord. I went down to breakfast. Dr. Hopkins was such a kind gentleman. He read the Bible for family prayer, then he knelt down to pray, and asked the Lord so earnestly about my trunk. I did not say anything to him about what I had believed upstairs. At breakfast he said, "Sister Smith, we will go to town this morning, and have another search for your trunk." This was Tuesday morning. They had hunted everywhere Monday, and had no tidings.
When breakfast was over, he and I started for Boston. He said to me, "Now, Sister Smith, you can go to Miss Clapp's, and I will go to the baggage room and inquire if they have heard anything about your trunk."
So I went on to Miss Clapp's, 19 Winter street. She was busy in the outer room, and told me to be seated in the parlor. I did so. After awhile she called out and said, "Sister Smith, have you heard anything about your trunk?"
"No," I said.
Then she in a very pleasant manner said, "Well, somehow I believe you will get it. I had a valise lost once, and it was gone three months, but I got it all right."
I thought to myself, "Three months, indeed; I cannot wait three months; I want my trunk now." Still I did not tell her how I had believed in God. As I sat in the chair I threw my head back and began to sing this little hymn, that had been blessed so wonderfully of God to so many souls:
"All I want, all I want, all I want,
Is a little more faith in Jesus."
I sang two verses; and as I was repeating the chorus of the last verse a knock came at the door, and as Miss Clapp was not in the room, I got up and went to the door: and when I opened it, there stood a great big Irishman, about six feet high, with my trunk. And as he wheeled it in, he said, "Here is a trunk for Amanda Smith," and I shouted, "Praise the Lord," and he looked as though he was frightened. He wheeled the trunk in and stepped back, and I said, "You needn't be afraid; I'm only believing in God. That is all. Glory!" And he cut down stairs and I have never seen him since!
Oh! how Satan tried to wrest my faith. But God stood by me as He stood by Joshua; so that when the Tempter comes in like a flood the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. "Fear not. Be strong and of good courage. Said I not unto thee if thou wouldst believe thou shouldst see the glory of God?" Amen. Amen.