|CHAPTER XXXII. -- CAPE PALMAS--HOW I GOT THERE--BROTHER WARE--BROTHER -- SHARPER'S EXPERIENCE--A GREAT REVIVAL.|
I had been trying to get to Cape Palmas for three years before I reached there. Dear Mr. Harmon, then pastor of Mt. Scott Methodist Church, had so kindly written for me to come, and had arranged for me, and I had got my things packed. But no steamer called at Monrovia that would stop at Cape Palmas; so I had waited two or three months.
Then a rumor came that small-pox was raging at Cape Palmas; another delay for me. There were no railways, or cable cars running yet; neither were there livery stables, where one could hire a team. These are things that are yet to be; until then, we must wait, and of course pray a little. However, it turned out all right in my case.
Brother Harmon died, and after his death Reverend Ware had charge. He was so different in spirit and government from Brother Harmon. He had treated me most kindly at Monrovia, with some little exceptions, which I did not mind so much, for when it came to temperance and holiness, there are ministers and laymen in this country, who, notwithstanding their light and privilege, stand just where he, and others, stand on these points.
Then he was very bitterly opposed to a woman preaching, or taking any part in a public way. He had a very high appreciation of that especial text of Paul's: "Let your women keep silence in the churches, and if they would know anything, let them ask their husbands at home;" and, as I had no husband at home to ask, I thought according to my orders in John, I had my authority from the words of the Master:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you might go and bring forth fruit, that your fruit
Brother Pitman was pastor at Monrovia in 1882. He was a prince of Israel. A great loss the church in Liberia has sustained, and one, I fear, that will not be easily replaced in Africa. Never shall I forget his fatherly kindness to me. Peace be to his memory.
So it was fortunate for me that I lived at Monrovia when he had charge. He received me as a Christian brother, and stood by me in all the work of the church, in the revival meetings, prayer meetings, and week night preaching services. The church prospered under his administration. The Lord was with us, and we had a blessed time.
Brother Pitman had lived in America several years--I don't know just how many--but he lived in the family of Dr. Gracy, who was the noble editor of the Northern Christian Advocate; so he was quite American in his ideas, but nothing of the pompous sort. He was simply a true, and a clear-headed, logical preacher. How glad we were when he preached. Somebody always got fed on the finest of the wheat.
He had sought, and clearly obtained, the blessing of sanctification. He enjoyed the fulness and lived the life, and when he preached, it was in demonstration of the spirit and power.
I remember one Wednesday night; it was prayer meeting night. It was true I had been feeling weak and poorly all day, but somehow I felt especially led to go to meeting that night. The distance from Sister Payne's (my home) was not very long; about two blocks. I walked very slowly, but after I got in my back was weak, and pained me dreadfully, so that I said, "I wish I hadn't come." But I felt somehow that the Lord had sent me, so I prayed, and asked Him to strengthen me for the word He would have me give, if I spoke at all.
Brother Pitman was leading the meeting that night; there was nothing out of the ordinary way of things, but a good meeting. By and by the Spirit prompted my heart with these words: "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
I was impressed that God meant something by it, yet I did not know just how I was going to be led in speaking; so just before the meeting closed I arose and said:
"Brother Pitman, I feel the Lord wants me to speak a word."
"Certainly, Sister Smith; speak on."