G. C. Bevington, Remarkable Incidents And Modern Miracles Through Prayer And Faith
Divine Healing, What It Is Not.
1. It is not healing by remedies.
2. It is not imaginary healing.
3. It is not the exercise of the will power.
4. It is not the power of magnetism.
5. It is not mind cure, or metaphysics.
6. It is not spiritualism
7. It is not faith cure, or prayer cure; faith and prayer being simply the avenues leading up to healing.
8. It is not immunity from death, but strength for life.
9. It is not presumption and insubordination to God’s will.
Divine Healing, What It Is.
1. It is the direct, supernatural power of God upon the body.
2. It is in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, and founded on them.
3. It is founded on Christ’s sacrifice and work of redemption.
4. It is through the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.
5. It is through the personal indwelling of Jesus Christ in the body.
6. It is through and by the Holy Spirit.
7. It is through the personal faith of the sufferer, or his faith united with the faith of others.
8. It is submission to the Divine will, requiring our repentance of any disobedience, and consecration to God.
9. It is for the service and glory of God.
10. It is a fact of Church History from the Apostolic Age to our age, and is confirmed by innumerable testimonies in our own day.
11. It is a sign of our Lord’s approaching advent.
12. It is a testimony to the Word of God, and the truth of Christianity in this day of unbelief.
It is not our business to save people, but it is our business to lead them to Christ. And so it is not our business to heal people, but it may be and should be our business to lead them to Jesus who has promised to heal them. Divine healing is not the most important teaching in the Bible, but it is a truth, and God has shown me and we cannot avoid it without detriment to our spiritual development. Divine healing is not doctrine or theory, but a living fact, thoroughly established in the Word of God. Divine healing, in its deepest, truest sense, is a life of utter abandonment to God, and an incessant dependence upon Him, a dependence on the power beyond ourselves in the most trying places. Here is our source of strength if we keep our eyes on God at all times. Amen! May God help you to see Him as He really is, and what He will be to those who meet conditions I will now give you some evidences and facts. While holding a meeting near Hopewell, Kentucky, I was called to Bro. Jim Felty’s to pray for his wife’s healing. She lay as a dead person, had been in bed, I think, two or three weeks, not expected to live. We asked Jim if he could go down with us for victory for her healing, all in the name of our blessed, compassionate Christ. He said that he could, so we got down and prayed; we were there some three hours when her brother, Less Bradford, came in, so he got down with us. We lay perhaps two hours longer waiting on God. Finally we were led to go out. I said, ” ‘Tis done!” Brother Less said, “I know it,” and he got up, and we went outdoors. In less than five minutes Mrs. Felty was out of that bed, reeling like a drunken woman. We all felt the power of God. She assisted in getting supper, and went to prayer meeting that night, setting the congregation on fire by her testimony. Sometimes it takes much waiting on God; other times not so much.
Another woman (I have forgotten her name) back of Grayson, Kentucky, had been confined to her bed several weeks. She was almost an invalid, and could not walk, only as assisted by her husband and son. I was invited to pray for her, and next morning, at church, I was told that she was out of bed, walking without assistance. That night she came horseback some two miles to the meeting, getting off her saddle alone, which set the crowd to rejoicing. The woman was perfectly healed.
There was another case, several miles from Grayson. I was called to pray for a certain woman who had been a great sufferer, and had become weak-minded through her suffering. I prayed for her, pleading the promises, believing that God was able to heal her without assistance in the face of every darkness; but I left feeling somewhat bothered over the conditions there, as I did not have the liberty that I thought I should have, but stood my ground for her healing. Next night we had a cottage prayer meeting. Quite a large crowd was there, and Satan was there also. He said she wasn’t healed or she would be there.
Several had shaken hands with me, and especially one sister had given me a very hearty handshake. I noticed it, but did not think much about it. As soon as all were in, I slipped over to a brother, and said: “I sent that sister here that we prayed for yesterday.” He burst out into a hearty laugh, saying, “Sister, Brother Bevington doesn’t know you.” Then she hurried to me with a handshake similar to that she had given me. I never would have known her — such a radical change, so instantaneous. That is the way God has been working, praise His dear name!
If Brother Black were living, he would gladly tell of how God answered prayer in his remarkable healing, while we were holding a meeting at Honeywell, this side of Grayson. He came through on his way to Cincinnati to be operated on for a complication of diseases of several years’ standing. He thought he would stop off where I was, over Sunday, as we were having quite a good meeting. When he told me where he was going, and what for, I said, “It might be that you could get a shorter cut than Cincinnati, one by way of the Throne.” When we went to prayer, I had no trouble in reaching the Throne in his behalf, and that afternoon God wonderfully healed him. He was a living witness in all that community to the healing power of God.
Bro. Tom K., back of Anglin, is another case. He was so crippled with rheumatism that he had to use two canes or a crutch and a cane. He also came to this meeting at Honeywell. It took three of us to get him up stairs to my room; but he came down alone, and that without the use of a cane. He went home to work getting railroad ties, down on one knee and then on the other, but it did not bother him. He was an unmistakable witness to the mighty power of God to heal.
I think there were seven or eight cases of healing in that county, all of which were of persons about given up by the doctors. To Jesus be all the glory! He is no respecter of places or diseases. All He asks of us is obedience and faith. Hallelujah!
I will now endeavor to chronicle one more marvel of God, just about bringing me from death to life. I was painting a house for Rev. John Fleming, and stayed there three weeks. ‘Twas in the fall of the year, and quite cool, so I slept on feathers and between blankets during those three weeks. I want to record this as a warning against thoughtlessness on the part of people entertaining evangelists, as to putting them in unhealthful beds. Being quite accustomed to the feathers, and being past sixty, I found it somewhat hard to make the change. Well, I went from this feather bed out near the Michigan line to hold a meeting. I got there on Friday night, and preached in the M. E. Church to a good crowd. One girl came to the altar.
I got up next morning feeling very bad physically, so sore, and I ached all over. I went out into the kitchen, and said, “Sister, about how long has it been since anyone slept in that bed you gave me last night?” “Well,” she said, “let me see. Grandpa died in that bed sixteen years ago, and no one has slept in it since.” I said, “Has it been aired, or the sheets been changed? I am afraid I have caught a tremendous cold.” I returned to the room and wrote in capital letters my whole name on the sheet. I then called her, and showed it to her. She seemed surprised and somewhat mortified, so she put on a dry sheet, but the mattress was no better.
I preached that night with some difficulty, and then slept what I could sitting in a chair. Sunday morning I could not speak above a whisper and, oh, I was so sore. No preaching that day. Sunday night I remained in the chair, and a dear faithful boy nine years old kept the fire up, as I could not move without severe pains. Monday morning I was still worse. John, as that is all I can remember of his name, said, “I am going to send the doctor up as I go to work this morning.” His wife said, “I don’t believe Brother Bevington believes in having a doctor.” “I don’t care what he believes. I am not going to have an old crank die on my hands, and have seventy-five dollars to pay by not having a doctor.” I then could hear nearly all ordinary conversation, but this severe cold had deafened me so that I couldn’t hear, so this sister wrote everything down for me. Well, I began praying as best I could that no doctor would come; but I was so sore and having such severe pains that I could make but little headway in praying, though I did my best that no doctor would come as I was pretty sure I would not take any of his medicine.
John returned from work, but no doctor had been there. I was still worse, not being able to move a limb. The boy kept a good fire for me, the weather being quite cold. The wife, I believe, was saved, but not sanctified. John belonged to the meeting house, and that was about all, as I saw it then, and as I found out later. John was too tired to make a trip after the doctor, so my prayer was answered up to that time. Though I was suffering with a high fever, yet my feet and limbs were cold. Tuesday morning about 5:00 the doctor came, but he came in the back way through the back door. As he stepped to the door of my room, he threw up his right hand and halloed. He then turned to the sister, and I could see that he was giving her quite a tongue lashing, I suppose censuring her for not sending for him Saturday. He said? “That man won’t live forty-eight hours.” He never came
to me, but remained standing there ten minutes, eyeing me very closely. Then he stepped to the kitchen table and left five kinds of medicine. One was the strongest that he ever gave, and must be taken every ten minutes for about five hours; the others were to be taken every forty minutes until used up. And he said: “If he isn’t better in four hours, he is a gone man, as he has typhoid in its worst stage; and at his age everything is against him.”
As soon as the doctor was gone, in she came with a glass of water and the ten minutes concoction. I said, “What is that?” “Why,” she said, “that is what the doctor left to help you.” Then she handed me what the doctor had said. I read it all. “Well,” I said, “I can’t take that medicine, just throw it outdoors and I will not take it.” I could see that she looked much disappointed. She informed me as to her husband, and told me why he was so against holiness preachers. She said, “There was a holiness preacher here four years ago, who preached holiness as straight as you do; but when he left he took a man’s wife with him, leaving three children under ten years. So John has no use for holiness preachers, though he consented to allow you to come here after much praying and coaxing; and now if you should die it would cost him seventy-five dollars for not having a doctor, and for harboring a law violator. So, Brother Bevington, for my sake, please take this medicine.”
Well, I tell you to resist man or the doctor was a small thing, but to resist such a plea as that was about the hardest thing I had met for a long time. But I reasoned with her, and said, “I don’t believe I am going to die, or I would have gone before this.” But the fact that I was getting worse all the time was poor encouragement to think that I was going to get well. I was then alive only because of my will power, as she thought; but I persuaded her to take that truck out, live or die.
Nine o’clock came. That was my time limit, and the doctor had ordered her to phone him by 9: 00. But she had no good news for him, so she did not send him word. At 9:30 he phoned. “Well, doctor, he is worse, I guess, if such a thing is possible; and he refuses to take any medicine.” Well, that infuriated the doctor, so he went to the officers, and the best he could do was to get the black Maria next day. It was being repaired, so he phoned out that if I did not take the medicine at once as prescribed, they would be out tomorrow and take me to the pesthouse. So she informed me as to the conclusion. I knew that if I could scarcely keep warm there in that warm room with pillows and blankets and a large fire, I never would survive a mud road on a twelve-mile jump to the pesthouse. I tried to rally to pray, but it seemed I could not get still. I said to the boy, “Now, you get that chair; and if your mamma can spare another comfort, put it on the chair.” When all was ready, I said, “Now, honey, you will have to go slow; take your time.” The boy was so kind and tender with me, but I fainted before getting a limb on the chair. However, I soon rallied and persuaded him to renew the attempt. He hesitated, until his mamma came in, and together they got one limb up; but while getting the other up I fainted again, and this time it was nearly an hour before I came to. The mother, coming in, pronounced me dead. After rallying, I had some trouble to get them to renew the effort. I said, “I feel I must have that limb up there for two reasons: First, to arrange so as to lay my Bible on my limb; and second, then it will be warmer for me.” So they went to work at it with a board under my limb, and finally got it up. It was then about 4:00 p. m., Wednesday. “Now,” I said, “lay my small Bible carefully on my limbs,” which they did. “Now draw my right hand down on it,” which, when they did, I fainted; but rallied in forty-five minutes and had them try again and by 6:00 p. m my hand was on the Bible. At 7:00, I said, “Now raise my ha nd carefully, just the tips of my fingers.” They did so, but I fainted again, and it was after 8:00 p. m., before I rallied.
Well, I let them rest until morning, the boy sleeping in a chair beside me, keeping a fine coal fire all the time. Then I could see but little, but I thought I was able to plead the promises. I was saying, “Thou art my Healer.” Right here, if anyone does not believe in a personal devil, I want to say there is one sure, for I saw a dark form and heard a voice saying, “Yes, you have a fine Healer. I would like to have such a fine Healer as you have here. Here you are and can’t move an arm or a limb. You have pneumonia in its worst stage, and are getting worse all the time — can’t even move your head.” Well that last word “head” impressed me. I had not even tried to move my head, but I yelled out, “You are a liar,” and undertook to move my head, but fainted, and for one hour I lay as dead. When I rallied, I could see better out of my right eye, though the left one was useless.
I was reminded that this was the last day, as they did not say what time they would be there to take me to the pesthouse. I prayed that it would not be until after dinner. Well, Satan had me in pretty close quarters. I could not move my head, but I coaxed the boy to work my fingers; and I noticed as he raised them an inch it hurt scarcely any, so I felt that I was getting the victory. I could then see real well out of my right eye. At 10:00 a. m they phoned that they would be there at 2:00 to take me to the pesthouse. Well, while I could not move a muscle and was in such pain, yet I could plead the promises better. So I just stuck to it until 12:00, and by the use of a goose quill, I took some soup. At 1:00 while pleading the promises, and without a pain, I said, “Now raise my hand.” The boy did so — one inch, two inches, three inches. I shouted, “Hold on,” and began praising God. The sister came in, and I said, “I am getting the victory.” I said, “Let go my hand.” He let go, and it dropped, but there was no pain. “Raise it again.” He did so– one, two, three, four, five, six inches. I shouted, “Oh, glory, raise it up,” and up it went twelve inches high. “Now lay it back on the Bible.” Then I felt the power of the blessed Lord coming through my body, and my left eye open, and I could see as well as ever. I raised my right arm, but fainted; and the woman came in and again pronounced me dead. She seemed to be determined to have me dead, but in thirty minutes I revived and began pleading the promises with greater energy than at any previous time. Satan again came to me, with the same words as before. I said, “I can move my neck.” I offered up a prayer, repeated 1 John 5:14, 15, moved my head; and it did not hurt. I raised my left arm for the first time, and felt no pain. I raised my right arm again, shouting, “I am healed.” I kicked the comforts off my limbs, and was out of the chair leaping and yelling like a Camanche Indian, but was weak.
In this exultation, I was soon exhausted and would no doubt have fallen to the floor but the sister caught me and got me seated. She then looked out of the window, and said, “There they are.” Well, that would give me at least thirty minutes to rally, so I plead the promises for strength. It did not come as rapidly as I wished, but I kept repeating 1 John 5: 14, 15. Here they came through the kitchen; and if I ever saw a demon, the first man was one — so unsympathetic, so crabbed, so hard looking. He stopped in the kitchen door; and the sister was talking to him. As I had gotten my hearing back, I could hear what she told him. She said, “He claims to be healed. He was just up and out of that chair, but overexerted himself as he is weak, having eaten nothing for six days.” I seemed unable to speak, but could see the fiendish look on his face. Just behind him was another man, oh, such a nice looking man — so pleasant and so sympathetic. I just longed to get to him, but could not move. I could see the main officer shake his head, and hear him say, “I take no stock in that nonsense,” referring to the other man who preached holiness, who broke up his brother’s home, and drove his brother to the insane asylum (I presume the fact that he had those three children on his hands hurt him worse than all else). I soon rallied, and said, “Men, I am a healed man. I am healed, but I lack strength.” He had said that he would not go without me, as he would have to come back after me, which would incur the expense on him for the second trip. I said, “Here, Mister, I have a watch that will sell anywhere for twenty-five dollars. I will let you have that, and if I am not at your office tomorrow at 10:00 a. m., and you have to come after me, the watch will pay for the second trip.” At that, this pleasant looking man stepped in, and I offered my hand as I wanted to get to him so bad. He said to the officer, “You try him; take his watch. I believe he will be there.” So he persuaded him to go without me. I noticed them out at the gate talking. This nice man said, “You don’t want that man’s watch. I really believe he is all right. Now let me take his watch back to him, as I believe he has had a hard struggle and needs some sympathy and love and encouragement.” Well, if ever a man spoke the truth, that man did at that time, as it seemed that if I could have had some sympathy shown me, I would have given most anything. “Now if you have to come back, I will pay the extra twelve dollars,” he said. So in he came with the watch.
Well, I felt all melted up, and got hold of his hand and even kissed it and squeezed it the best I could, just to see the confidence he placed in me. I never will forget how that act helped me, as everybody had been against me, even the sister; though she wanted to help me and be kind, yet as she had never seen anyone healed, and John was opposing me, she was so fearful of trouble that she was miserable all the time. So this act was a great stimulant to me. Well I rested all day, and slept good that night. That was Friday night, and Saturday I started out; but being weak, I was very sensitive to the cold. I had to put on two overcoats, which loaded me down. The boy went with me. We stopped sixteen times to rest in going the three miles, but got to the man’s office just sixteen minutes before ten. As we came near the office, we saw we had nine steps to go up, and I stopped and said to the boy, “Oh, how can I ever make those nine steps?” I will never forget how the boy looked up so appealingly, and said, “As k Jesus.” Well I did. This nice man was sitting at the window and, seeing me, he came down; and just as we got to the steps two men were passing, and he said, “Gentlemen, please help us get this man up these steps.” Now note how God was there and saw me through. They had a doctor there to examine me, and he said, “There is nothing the matter with this man, only he is very weak.” So they let me off. The kind gentleman said, “When I got home yesterday, I told my wife about you; and she was very much interested, and said, ‘I believe that man will be there on time, and you take the horse and buggy down to the office with you, and bring him up here for dinner!”‘ As soon as we got into the buggy, I said, “Are you a saved man? ” He began crying and said, “Oh, no, I wish I were. My wife is a backslider, too. We are both backsliders. We have tried and tried and tried, but haven’t been able to get back to the Lord. We have been going to every altar for years. We have heard of your meeting out there, and had planned to come out.”
As we came near the gate, out she came running to the buggy, and gave me her hand, and helped me down; and she just carried me right into the house. “Oh, I knew that God would answer your prevailing prayers, and heal you. I am so glad. I am a miserable backslider, and I felt that God would heal you, and then you could prevail for husband and me to get back to God. And I have a sister living half a mile from here. I went to see her yesterday, and she just broke down and, weeping, said, ‘Bring him over here.’ ”
Well, while I was very hungry and weak, and the dinner was on the table, and steaming, I said, “Do you want to get back to God badly enough to fall down here and stay until you meet the conditions?” She said, “Yes,” and down she went, and the husband also, and I with them. We plead the promises, and at 4:15 he arose with shouts of victory. He grabbed me and carried me all over the house, yelling at a tremendous rate; and at that she got the victory, and jumped up and danced about. We had a blessed time. We had dinner — the first meal I had eaten in six days — and got the dishes washed up at 6:00 p. m., then we got into the buggy and went over to her sister’s. As the wife jumped out of the buggy, she shouted, “Hallelujah,” and kept it up until the sister came running and crying. She threw her arms around her, pleading for us to come in and pray for her. We all dropped down on our faces in the kitchen, as it was nice and warm, and went to praying. At 8:00 p. m. the husband of the unsaved sister came in, al l black from his coal digging. The wife jumped up, and threw her arms around him, saying, “I am trying to get back to God; help me, help me!” He began to cry, and got down with us all; and they did some good digging, meeting conditions. He got through first, about 10:30; then he dropped at the wife’s side and pleaded as few have ever pleaded. At 5:20 a. m. she got through. This was on Sunday morning. I was much stronger, and walked the floor and praised God until breakfast was ready. Oh, how precious the Savior was then! He had not only healed me but reclaimed four inside of fifteen hours. We just magnified Jesus. I sat down to the table, but could not eat; had to get up and walk, bathed in tears of joy. Jesus was so real, so precious, that I just feasted on His presence. We all fell on our faces in great adoration, until each one had poured out his heart in praise. That was a most wonderful prayer and praise service, closing, or rather stopping, to be continued at 11:30. Then the hostess said, “Now, Brother, you must eat something, as you did not eat with us this morning. So I did eat; but there was a continual bubbling up, a spirit of praise going up from my heart. It seemed that was the first that I began to realize what God had done for me. So as strength returned, so did the volume of praise.
Well, now came some very remarkable workings of God. I remained there over Sabbath, preached that night, or rather had a meeting; for everything ran into a praise service, so there was not much preaching done. We retired at twelve o’clock Sunday night. All of those four who were saved were seeking sanctification all day Sunday.
When I got up Monday morning at seven o’clock, I found all four in the kitchen; they had been wrestling all night, and the girl that had got saved in our first meeting on Saturday night was with them seeking sanctification. I remained all day Monday, wrestled all night Monday night, and by nine o’clock Tuesday morning the five had swept through to complete victory. I remained there until after dinner, and felt strongly impressed to go back to John’s; and on my informing these people, they all remonstrated, and said, “Brother Bevington, we want you here for a month yet.” While we were at the dinner table, the M. E. preacher, having heard what had transpired, stepped in and joined them in pleading for me to remain, offering his church for as long as the Lord would lead me to occupy it. Well that was somewhat perplexing, as these five who had been reclaimed and sanctified had relatives there who were backsliders, and the plea seemed to be based on good reasonings. But I went out to the barn, and weighed the matter carefully and prayerfully; but “Go back to John’s” was all I could get. The M. E. preacher said, “Let him go; when he gets through out there, we will have him come back here with us. In the meantime we will circulate what God has done, and will be in better shape for God to work.”
So on Wednesday morning this nice man took me back to John’s, and we gave out tracts and advertised the meeting on the way out. We got out to John’s just as he was coming in from work; and of course he had to admit the power of God in my healing, and said, “You are not expecting to hold any more meetings here are you?” I said, “Yes, we want a meeting tonight.” He said, “Are you able to preach tonight?” Now, here came an opportunity to use a little strategy. He had told his wife several times that he would never go to hear another holiness preacher, but said that evening to his wife, “You may go, but I will not; ” and she told me what he had said. I said: “John, I am somewhat weak, and I don’t contemplate any failure in my attempt to get there; but you know there are a lot of sightseers around, and sport-seeking boys, and I have three-quarters of a mile to walk over a rough road. Now, John, I want to ask a favor of you. I want you to go along and take my arm; thus you will make it possible for me to have much more strength than I otherwise would have.” I said, “You will not have to go in,” though that was my object in having him to go with me. So he, being a kind-hearted man, could not very well refuse. Well, I prayed all the way down to know how to get him into the church. Then at the door, I said, “Now, John, we have gotten along fine, and I feel quite strong enough for the service; but I might fall on the platform, which would have a tendency to break up the meeting, and you being a cool, level-headed fellow, could catch me and prevent a commotion.” He scratched his head, and finally had to submit. I had him wade through all the obstacles of holiness preachers and mourners’ benches to the meeting, and now set him right down on the front seat at the side of the platform.
The next night I got him to do the same thing; and the next night, Friday night, I didn’t have to ask him; and before I was half through preaching, he was at the altar. He prayed about as good as any man I ever heard. Saturday night he and others were at the altar, and stayed until four o’clock Sunday morning, some of them getting through. John’s wife was among them, seeking sanctification. We remained there all day Sunday, and until about six o’clock Monday, making about thirty-six hours of praying, praising, preaching and shouting. Someone told me that the souls who actually had prayed through averaged just one an hour during the whole time. So you see it was a pretty fair meeting.
And now comes another way that God has of leading His people. Sunday and Monday I felt that I must go, but said nothing, and preached, or rather tried to preach, on Monday night. But the meeting was all prayer and praise, and all the time I felt that voice saying, “Go, go, go.” Well, I supposed of course the “go” meant to go to my next meeting. Next morning I told John and those who were there. John said, “Brother Bevington, your work has just begun here. We are all planning for the greatest meeting that has ever been in this community.” Well, I retreated to my usual place for solving problems (the haymow). But from the first there was that “go” and after three hours I had to give in.
The next morning, John hitched up to the jolt wagon to take me, as we supposed, to the depot some twelve miles away. I bade the wife and dear, faithful Frank good-bye; but the wife said, “I can’t think that your work is done here,” and she would not bid me good-bye. I had about one-third of my anticipated railroad fare, but off we went. We had gone about three miles when John looked back, and said, “I declare I believe that is Jim.” I said, “Who is Jim?” Now I have left out some things that will need to be entered here. When John’s wife first wrote to me to come out and hold a meeting, she stated that there were fourteen sanctified people here, the father and mother of each of seven families. So on the first Saturday night, the last night I preached until after I was healed, I thought that, inasmuch as there were fourteen sanctified people there, it would be safe to venture on a testimony meeting; so I turned the services over to their class leader. I could hear some then, but not sufficient to get their testimonies clearly. I could not understand the proceedings and as my wonder increased, I finally said to little Frank, “Who are these people who are testifying?” “Why, they are all members here, the superintendent, the class leader, and the officers of the church — all sanctified.” By the time the seventh one got up, I was in doubt as to their having a right to testify, and noticed the woman laying a quid on the bench as she got up. I suppose the quid would have bothered or hindered the display that she had planned. I endured until the ninth one, and could not stand it any longer, and said, “Mister” (yes, I said, Mister; I did not feel clear in addressing him as Brother) “You sit down.” He said, “I don’t have to sit down for you.” I rose to my feet, pointed my right index finger, and said, “You sit down there,” and I tell you he dropped like a shot calf, but grabbed his hat and started for the door, and all but eleven followed him — about eighty went out. The girl that had gotten sanctified in that home back of the village, and ten more remained. Well, I did my best at preaching and dismissed. As we were going out, John’s wife said, “Now you keep behind me as that crowd is all out here, and I don’t know just what for.” As we stepped off the porch, here rushed up the man I had called down, and of all the tongue lashings a man ever got I got it there; but I said, “Come on;” so we started out. He and others followed for some distance, calling me about all the names in the catalogue of vengeance.
Now we will return to where John, in the wagon, said, “I believe that is Jim.” When I asked who Jim was, he said, “The man you called down. He is my cousin. I see that he is bareheaded, and yelling for me to stop. But, Brother Bevington, you need not fear as we have this loaded whipstock here, and I will protect you, even if he is my cousin.”
Well, here he was coming horseback, yelling like a cowboy, “Stop! Stop! Wait!” and so on. So John stopped, and here he came, looking more like an Indian than a white man. He rushed up to the wagon, threw the rein over the wagon brake, plunged into the wagon, threw his arms around me, and said, “Oh, Brother Bevington, pray for me. I have been in hell ever since that Saturday night.” I said, “Do you really want God?” “Oh, yes! ” I said, “Bad enough to get down here in this wagon on this public road, and plead your way to the Cross?” “Yes, Yes.” So I said, “Drive up along the fence, John.” He did so, and we got down, he on one side of the wagon and I on the other. In about an hour he burst out, “O God, O God, have mercy, have mercy! O God, save me from this awful hell that I am rushing into!” And he said, “Oh, Brother Bevington, come over here! Oh, come over here! Take my hand, I am slipping into hell right now, Oh, come over here!” I said, “No, I won’t come over. You repent! ” “O Brother, I am going to hell!” “Well, if you had your just deserts, you would have been there long ago. Repent! Repent!” Well, we were there by the fence from about 9:00 a. m. until 4:30 p. m. Three times some of his relatives came along, but they could not get him out of that wagon. One of his cousins, a wealthy farmer, came along with a flock of sheep, and said to John, “Who is that in the wagon?” “Why, that is Jim.” “What in the world is he doing in there?” Jim yelled out, “I am getting God.” The cousin made all sorts of threats against me and all of us; but Jim stayed in his place until he actually prayed through. Then he jumped up,
yelling like a coon dog, grabbed me, landed us both on the ground, carried me all around there for nearly an hour, then jumped on his horse, and started back. “Well,” I said, “I can’t make any train now, so I guess we will go back to your house.” That is just what he was expecting.
Now many will say, “Why, Brother Bevington, I thought you were going to the depot. How would God lead you to the depot, and not get you there?” Now comes an important lesson for all. We must remember that we are only human beings, and God does not always reveal His plans ahead, but leads us as He sees best. Had God undertaken to explain to me that He would have to get Jim out there in that wagon on a public road, subject to all the embarrassing scenes that it would be necessary for him to go through, in order to knock his churchanity out of him, his long membership, his testimonies that he had been giving for the last ten years, his antipathy against the holiness preacher who broke up that peaceful family, his good standing in the M. E. Church, and all arising therefrom — had God undertaken to explain all this to me, He would have landed me in the brush. But just see His wisdom. He told me to “go” and allowed me to interpret the “go ” as I saw fit, as that would make no difference to Him. You see He took a short cut to make the many points necessary to getting Jim saved. God knew that I was nowhere nearly done in that vicinity; but He knew that it was necessary to get that leader completely transformed, broken all to pieces, so that He could use him.
Now as Jim was on horseback, he could make better time than we. So as we drove into John’s barn yard, here came Jim and his wife rushing in. She jumped off the horse, and cried and sobbed, saying, “Oh, Brother Bevington, forgive me. I have been in hell ever since that Saturday night.” We went to the house, and all went into the dining room and fell on our faces.
Now came one of the most remarkable seven weeks of my life, right there in that man’s house. I never took off my clothes, and never preached a sermon; but just lay day and night on my face, praying, weeping, groaning, pleading, imploring, beseeching, besieging the Throne in behalf of the M. E. membership consisting of 300.
Some would get through, and strike out for their friends, and they would come in wagon loads, bring their provisions and feed and often their cows, and stay until the whole load got saved and sanctified. Then they would strike out after someone else. That was kept up seven weeks, day and night; no one eating but one meal in twenty-four hours, and yet someone was out in the kitchen cooking all the time. I got such a burden that I would not get up, but just lay there; and they would come in at times and feed me like they would a baby. Well, they claimed there were over 400 down there, and most of them prayed through. Of all the times I ever saw this beat anything: Some were praying, others crying, others testifying, others preaching, others shouting, others making restitution; but I just lay on my face, bathed in tears, and when it was all over I looked as though I had gone through a hard six weeks.
I think the most remarkable case was that of Jim’s wife, as she had been of a boisterous nature or make-up. Before this meeting she would run and shout and yell when giving her testimony. She was the first to get through, and she lay under the power of God some sixty hours, and then was, oh, so different, none of the bold hilarious conduct; but she was so meek. She just walked the floor, bathed in tears, wringing her hands, and not a word fell from her lips, just like a little country girl of eleven summers; and I tell you she lived salvation after that. She and her
husband and many, yes many, more lay there until they were sanctified. Of course, news soon reached the village that I had come back there; and here the people came, the preacher as well and he got sanctified, as did his wife and many of his members. So you see it pays to mind God and trust Him.
I love to rewrite these experiences, and do hope that they will prove the blessing to many that they have been to me. Real, steady, unselfish prayer will move things; and we need to mean what we say. A little girl said to her papa, who was saying that Jesus didn’t mean all He said in the Bible, “Papa, if Jesus didn’t mean what He said, why didn’t He say what He meant?” I shouted “Amen, that’s reason.” I have seen ministers get down and pray for Jesus to heal some of their members and seemingly they prayed in earnest; but if their prayers had been answered, they would have been more surprised than those folks were when Peter stood knocking at the door for entrance. I remember one who prayed thus, and then I heard him deny that Jesus heals.
I was holding a meeting years ago, near Lexington, Kentucky, and God instantly healed a sister there of a disease of eight years’ standing. Their preacher stood up in the pulpit and denied that Jesus had anything to do with her healing, though she had not stood on her feet for five years, but walked to the church the evening of the day she was healed. (O Consistency, thou art a jewel! )
I was holding a meeting once in Ohio, not far from an insane asylum; and as I so often did, I went to the woods. Supposing that I was out of hearing, I got somewhat noisy, prayed pretty loud and brandished my hands and arms, making gesticulations that looked sort of queer to a passerby. It seems that one of the inmates had escaped out of the asylum, and a reward had been offered for his capture. Well, two men were going through the woods and, hearing me, they took notice, and at once pronounced me that lunatic. As the reward was sure, they said, “Now we dare not tackle him, so let’s run to the village, get the officers, and capture the fellow.” So they hurried away, and reported their discovery, and officers were dispatched with three conveyances, with ropes, cuffs, chains, wires, and a grand display of safety equipments, and out they came. Well, it seems I had gotten through with my gymnastic performances, and had gone to the house; and as this was a somewhat secluded place, the lady of the house was some what confused as she saw seven men in all, and three conveyances drive up to the woods and unload all their equipment, so she called upstairs and said, “Brother Bevington, did you notice those men going into our woods?” I said, “No.” Then she called me down to see the crowd out there. Well I didn’t know what it all meant and went back to my room. Soon one of the officers knocked at the door, and said: “Do you know of a lunatic who has recently escaped from the asylum, and was seen in your woods this afternoon?” The woman made a few inquiries as to appearance, dress, and actions; and as the officers were describing him, she burst out laughing, as she had seen me praying, and she said, “Yes, he is in my house now;” and she stepped to the door and called me down. As the officer had been out twice to hear me preach, he at once recognized me; and they all had a big laugh, except the two who were planning for the reward. So our praying means something. Taylor was once praying and wrestling and pleading for Africa, and finally God said, “Taylor, you pack up your grip and get for Africa.” You see he got into this by praying. Well, I came near getting into the asylum, but they let me off.
Now, I would like to say right here that if any of those parties who attended those seven weeks’ meetings just described should get this volume, they will at once recognize the meetings, and I wish they would write me, giving the names of as many as possible, as all their names are gone from me, and ‘twould be a comfort to me to write to them. I remember Jim’s and John’s given names, but not their surnames. Write me at Kingswood, Kentucky, and mail will be forwarded to me wherever I am, if this side of heaven. I expect to meet a lot of those people up there.
I went to the Cincinnati Camp one year, and while there was invited to come down the river to hold a meeting. I don’t remember much about the meeting; but a sister there was unable to attend the services, being confined to her bed. I went to pray for her, and soon saw that there was something hindering, but couldn’t tell just what. I wanted to know if ’twas the same as is recorded in Daniel 10, so I went to the barn and from there to the woods. She had been healed once before through our prayers. In about forty-eight hours God showed me that she had never testified to the other healing, so I went in and reminded her of negligence. After a pause, she said, “Brother Bevington, who told you that I had never testified to it? Whoever did, told you a lie.” I said, “Sister, you never testified to it here in this M. E. Church where you were well known.” “Well, no, I never did here, but did once at an open air meeting at the Cincinnati Camp.” “Yes,” I said, ” ’twas no trouble there where you were not known, no sacrifice there, no danger of any one’s pointing the finger at you there.” I said, “Sister, you were too big a coward to stand here and tell what God had done for you, and Jesus said, ‘Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed’.” She said, “I would like to know who told you that.” I said, “God told me out in the woods.” “Yes, ’tis true, and, Brother Bevington, will you ask God to forgive me?” I said, “If you can convince God that you will stand here amongst these scoffers and tell it, I presume He will heal you; but you will have to convince Him, which may mean much. You might easily convince me, but you are not dealing with Bevington on this case; you are dealing with God, the all-seeing Jehovah. God has no use for cowards.”
So I left her and went to the woods. I remained there about six hours, then slipped out the back way from the woods, did not go near the house, but went about four miles to hold another meeting, while she was getting worse all the time. I conducted a fourteen days’ meeting, in which several found the Lord, and two were healed. She heard where I was and sent for me. I went, and she said, “I am in heaps of trouble. I have told the Lord I would tell it here in this neighborhood, in this church.” I said, “I think He knows you are lying, as you did before,” and grabbed my hat and made for the woods. I remained there about four days, as I was very desirous that she should get where God could trust her with such a boon as healing would be to her, as she had means and talents that God could use if He could get hold of her. Well, she was dumbfounded at my actions, and about concluded that there was something radically wrong in my upper story. But I was up on the hill under a large oak, pleading with God to wake her up, and get her where He wanted her; and God was doing His part. On the fifth afternoon, He said, “Go to her at once.” And I went.
Such a sight as met my eyes! she had been crying for forty-eight hours. As I knocked at the door I heard her between sobs, say, “Come in.” As I entered the room, she threw up her hands, saying, “Oh, I am so glad you came! And God has answered prayer. Forgive, oh, forgive me for feeling so hard against you, and saying so many bad things about you. Oh, I am so sorry, as I never knew I was so mean.” Well, that was what I had spent those hours in the woods for, as that proud heart had to be subdued. You see she had never had anything more than a meeting house religion. I was fully convinced that she had never received the Holy Ghost; for, that a person could lose regeneration and retain sanctification always was a pretty hard thing for me to believe. So I felt that she was an entire backslider, but did not consider it wise then to so inform her.
She had just said, “Brother Bevington, I have lost my sanctification for, had I been sanctified, I would never have felt toward you as I did.” Now in such a case is where wisdom is needed, as I am quite sure that if I had said, “Now, sister, you are a backslider,” she would never have accepted it. So I went to the woods and pleaded with God to tell her, as He seems better capacitated for those emergencies than we. I spent five hours in the barn after coming down from the hill, and cried, “O God, don’t let her be deceived.” That five hours of struggling in the barn caused the Xray to be turned, and she said: “Brother Bevington, I am sure you will be very much surprised at what I am going to relate, but I feel that I must tell you. I am an entire backslider; so don’t pray any more for me to be sanctified, but pray that I may be reclaimed.” So it is to be seen that perhaps nine times out of ten, we make an awful failure of work for which God is so much more qualified than we. In three hours she was blessedly reclaimed, and was so happy, and said, “Why, Brother, I wonder if I didn’t get sanctified when I got reclaimed here; I feel so very happy.” I said: “Did you ever see anyone that was sanctified at the same time he was regenerated?” “Well, but I am so very happy.” I said, “You ought to be happy. A woman that is mean enough to slam the door in the face of as good a friend as Jesus is, and treat Him as you have treated Him, and have Him tenderly forgive you for that treatment, and throw His loving arms around you, and restore your former joy, ought to be a very happy person indeed.” She said, “I guess you are about right; and now can we pray for my healing?” “The Book says, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness’. Have you His own righteousness now, being only a regenerated woman?” “Well, I reckon not, but what must I do?” I said, “Don’t you want to be sanctified?” “Why certainly I do.” “Well, why not pray for sanctification?” “I thought that after I was healed, I could pray through better and g et sanctified.” “Well, you settle that squarely from the Word.” I grabbed my hat and started out. It had now been nearly seven days since I had anything to eat. I went into the kitchen, and told the daughter I was hungry. She got up a nice dinner, and I ate heartily.
They had a little girl about seven, who saw me in the kitchen. She went into the mother’s room telling her what I had said about a little girl in Cincinnati. The mother said, “Tell him to come in here,” as she didn’t know what had become of me. She said, “I have no more terrible feeling about you, and do you believe that Jesus will heal me?” I said, “He may after you get the Holy Ghost.” Well, she drew a long deep sigh, but finally said, “Well, I want the Holy Ghost all right.” So I went to prayer. ‘Twas then about 4:00 p. m. I remained there four nights and three days, holding onto God for her to die out. Neither of us ate a mouthful during this examination. God answered, as she seemed to be about the deadest living person I had seen for some ti me. Her husband was an unsaved man, but a firm believer in entire holiness, and he encouraged me all the time. He was also a staunch advocate of Divine healing, as he told me several times that if we could get her where God could have His way, He would heal her. So on this fourth morning she bounded out of bed. No one but the daughter was up, and the mother was shouting: “Sanctified and healed”! and, “Oh, I have the real thing this time! ” I saw her twice after that and saw that she was an entirely different woman.
Well, the husband wanted me to stay one more day, so I went to the barn as I was somewhat fatigued; and there I plead for him. I came down at 3:30 p. m., and he was in one of the stalls in the cow barn, praying like a good fellow. Well, that was what I had been pulling for during those several weeks of queer actions, but they all counted; and that night about 10:30 he got through. We have heard him, on the platform at the Cincinnati Camp, give unmistakable evidence of having just what he had been advocating for some time. So listen! Is there anything too hard for God? Can’t we afford to be misunderstood, talked about, lied about, misrepresented, and often ostracized, if in so doing God can bring the people to themselves? It isn’t necessary for us to understand all the “whys” and “wherefores,” but it is our business to mind God.
While I was not perfectly satisfied as to the all-round state of this woman, but just minded Him, as time went on certain revelations were given removing all doubt up to the present; and as He had so revealed up to that time, why, of course, I could trust Him for further guidance and developments, and He brought out all these facts just as fast as ’twas necessary. So God seldom tells us His whole plan, relative to certain persons whom He has specially delegated us to work with. He wants us to go through but one step at a time. God had this woman’s entire sanctification and her healing, and the salvation and sanctification of her husband all in view, mapped and marked out. Now, He had to have someone who would allow Him to bring forth some very unreasonable things (from the human standpoint) in order to accomplish His designs. Well, He saw that Bevington could be trusted with that important work, so He assigned it to me, taking in round numbers about seven weeks to do it; and most of that time I spent in seclusion, in the woods or the haymow. That is when God accomplishes His greatest feats, when He can get us in seclusion.