G. C. Bevington, Remarkable Incidents And Modern Miracles Through Prayer And Faith
To the dear children, Greeting:
This book would be incomplete if there were no children’s chapter; so here it is: I will just
have a good time with my little friends, as the dear children have always been my friends, and
have been such a comfort to me when I needed comfort. I feel that Jesus would be pleased to have me tell of several incidents in which He has blessed the children. Many of the incidents I am telling have been told in children’s meetings and Sunday schools. I have told them also by home firesides, as many of the long winter evenings, when I was not otherwise employed, have been spent amusing the children.
I feel impressed to tell of little Katie and Edward. I knew them when I was in the mission work in Cincinnati.
I found a wretched home, where both the father and mother drank hard. They drank up all
the money they could get, and lived in filth. They had a little girl, Katie, then seven years old. We got clothes for her and got her in Sunday school and in the day school. We looked after themclosely. As little Katie had never been in school, we started her in the kindergarten. She would learn the little songs, and the blessings that were taught at their little tables at their lunch time in the kindergarten. It was a very sweet crowd to look upon. We would slip in many a time just to see them in their little red chairs. So little Katie would take the little things that they were taught to make home with her. She would repeat the songs, and especially the blessings at the table. She would say their little blessings at the table at home. This was amusing to the parents. Her father has told what a time Katie would have in getting him and her mother and the older sister and a brother all quiet while she would ask the blessings. Oftentimes they would be drunk, and she would have an awful time in getting them to fold their hands. They thought it quite cute in her, and so would allow her to ask the blessing. But by and by it got hold of them, and soon both were found down at the altar, crying for mercy. Well, God had a great time in getting them saved from their awful habits of so long standing, but He finally got them both saved. I soon got them a job out at Ivorydale at the Proctor and Gamble Soap Factory, where the famous Ivory Soap is made. Soon two years slipped by.
One time as I was visiting the poor, I found a family that had not a thing in the house to eat
and there were four little children. I started up to Muth’s Bakery where I could get bread (baked the day before) two loaves for a nickel. I had just twenty cents, and was going to get a soup bone and some potatoes and two loaves of bread. Well, as I was walking up toward the bakery, a voice said, “Go out to Katie’s.” I well remembered Katie, but just then was going after something for those four hungry children. It would take the twenty cents to go out to Ivorydale and back, so of course I thought that I couldn’t go, and kept on going toward Muth’s Bakery. But that voice kept on ringing in my ears, “Go out to Katie’s.” Well, I stopped and went through my pockets to see if I could find any more money; but I had not a cent more, and kept going on after the eatables. Then the voice said, “Will you, or will you not, go out to Katie’s?” I stopped, seemingly paralyzed, and was trembling (something I seldom did) and said, “Lord, I will go.”
I looked up and here came an Ivorydale car. I got on and went out. I stepped upon the porch and knocked on the door. I then heard a sob, and a faint voice said, “Come in.” When I stepped in, there sat Katie back in the corner caring for the baby. She said, “Oh, Mamma, here is Brother Bevington.” Well, I saw that Katie had been crying, as her eyes were all red. I stepped up to her, laid my hand on her head, and said, “What is the trouble with my Katie?” She had grown so much in those two years. At that the mother came in, gave me a hearty hand shake, and said, “Brother Bevington, I am so glad you minded God and came out. I have been praying these twenty-four hours for God to send you out. Sit down there, and I will tell you why Katie has been crying somuch. You see that house?” (pointing to it). “Yes.” “And that path going from ours to that fence?” “Yes.” “Well, those people are quite well off; have lots of money. They have a boy, Edward, about Katie’s age, a nice boy. He has plenty of money to spend, so h e bought a croquet set, and it was in the orchard under the trees in the shade. When out of school, Katie takes the baby over there and she and Edward play croquet. Well, night before last, as they were playing, Edward’s mamma
called him to go to the grocery, so Katie waited for him. Soon he returned and they resumed play, but soon his mother called again, and said, ‘I am sorry but I forgot something. I guess you will have to go again.’ So off he went (as every boy should when mamma calls) but was gone longer than usual, so Katie came over to assist me in getting supper. Well, soon Edward came back, gathered up the set, and counted the balls and found one missing. He counted them over again. Yes, one was gone.”
Now listen, children, as to how Satan will be right on hand to get children into trouble. He
said to Edward, “Now Katie stole the ball, as she was the only one that was out there.” “Yes,” said Edward to himself, “she surely did, and I am going to tell her, too.” So he ran into the house, and said, “I ain’t going to have Katie Brown come over here any more! ” “Why, Edward, what is wrong with Katie?” “Why, she stole one of my balls.” “Now you know better than that,” said his mother. “No, I know she did.” So he ran over to Brown’s, and said, “I ain’t going to have Katie come over any more.” “Why?” “Well, she stole one of my balls.” “Oh, no!” “Yes, she did, no one else was there, and one is gone.” Well, Katie was in the dining room caring for the baby and she came to the door and said, “Why, I never did.” “Yes you did,” said Edward, and he went out and nailed up that hole in the fence. Well, that was a hard blow on dear Katie. Although her parents had been drunkards, now that they had not drank any for over two years, she was being looked upon as a nice girl. Now, to have this said to her was just about all she could stand, so she cried and sobbed all night. So the mother told the father. Well, he said, “We know she never did.” Then Katie did not
want to go to school; but they coaxed her to go. At recess none of the children would play with her nor allow her to play with them, as Edward was the leader in the school as he would buy things for the other children, so they all looked up to him. He had told them that Katie had stolen his ball, that she was a thief, and that they must not play with her. Well, poor Katie just sobbed and cried when she came home at noon. She told how the children had treated her, and said, “Oh, Mamma, don’t make me go to school!” Then her mother said, “Oh, Katie, I think you ought to go to school. Mamma doesn’t want you to miss a day. I will go to praying for God to send our Brother Bevington out, and he will help us get the matter straight.” Well, Katie went; but they treated her worse. They all called her a thief and, as they came home at night, all of them went on the opposite side of the street. The worst thing was that they said that her father was nothing but an old drunkard anyway and wasn’t fit to live with decent folks. She just could not stand that, and hurried home crying as if her heart would break, and said, “Oh, Mamma, please don’t make me go to school tomorrow. Oh, Mamma, I just can’t endure it. Let me stay at home.”
When the father came, he said, “Well, let her stay at home, and we will pray for God to
send out Brother Bevington.” And so they prayed. The mother prayed all night. Now, children, I want you to see how God will answer prayer. After this all-night prayer, you see God was asking me to go out to Katie’s; something that seemed foolish to me, as I had started for eatables for that poor family. But God had to answer that mother’s prayer; so He went to work on me that morning.
All the time that her mother related all this to me, Katie sat in the corner, sobbing. So I
went over and laid my hand on her head. She wiped the tears away, and got a damp cloth and wiped her face. I said, “Now Katie, I am sure you never took that ball.” “No, I never took it; but we can’t prove it, and it will kill me unless we move away from here.” I tell you she was crying as if her heart would break. I said, “Katie, you belong to Jesus, don’t you?” Between sobs, she said, “Yes.” “Yes,” said her mother, “Katie is a real Christian girl. All in the school say she is and she has learned to read out here. She reads the Bible and prays every night and morning. Yes, I am sure Katie is a little Christian, and she loves Jesus. She has gotten over twenty-five scholars in the Sunday school. She is a faithful little soldier for Jesus.”
I said, “Katie, don’t you remember the time that Jesus healed you down town?” “Yes, I do.”
“Well, don’t you believe that He will answer prayer today?” “Yes, I know He does, but how could He show Ed. where that ball is?” “Well,” I said, “let’s get down on our knees, and let Jesus talk and work for us. ” I called on the mother to pray and she prayed, “Yes, dear Jesus, I know that you can do things. I know that you healed Katie, and have done other things. I know you have and can do these things.” Well, she kept praying that way for some time. Finally I said, “Sister Brown, you are not hitting the mark at all.” Children, I want you to remember that we must pray definitely. To know and to say that Jesus has done such and such things isn’t enough. We have to go farther than that. So I called on Katie. She was still sobbing, and she had quite a time getting out a few words; but she did better than the mother; she got to the place where she said, “I believe you will show Ed. where it is.” Well, that was getting pretty close to the mark, but not close enough yet. You see, children, if I wanted to drive a nail into a board, it would not affect the driving of the nail any unless I hit it. I might just glaze it, but that would not do. I might hit close up to it, all around it; but if I didn’t hit the nail square on the head, I would never get it in. So it is in our praying. We have to hit the matter square by saying, “I know Thou art doing it right now.” You see that is real faith, and will bring the answer.
Now children, I want to tell you something. I want to show you how Satan will work. It
was about 3:00 p. m., when I went to praying, they were having recess at the school, and Edward was there at school. Now the suggestion would naturally arise, How could we expect Ed. to be finding that ball when he was at school, some five blocks away from where the ball was missed? So when I began praying, Satan said, “It is foolish for you to say that God is showing Ed. that ball now. for he is at school five blocks from here.” You see here comes the test. I knew I would have to claim that Jesus was showing him right then where the ball was; so I kept praying up to the point, and the Holy Spirit kept leading me on, and in two or three minutes I had reached the point. I said, “Yes, dear Jesus, Thou are showing him right now.” “Hold on,” said Satan, “He can’t be doing that.” Then I shouted it out as loud as I could, “He is doing it right now.” I said that three times, and at the third time the glory fell, and Katie jumped up, threw her arms around me, a-laughing and crying, “Oh, Brother Bevington, I do believe it; oh, I do believe it! Oh, I am so happy.” I rose up and looked in her face, and all the tears, all the furrows, were gone; all was bright, and she looked so beautiful as she smiled cheerfully.
While I was on my knees, I heard a “rattle-te-bang” and off went that board, and here came
Edward in with the ball; his hands covered with blood and his face scratched. He knelt down in front of Katie. He said afterward that that was the first time that he was ever on his knees. But he just wept there like a good fellow, and asked her to forgive him, as he had found the ball. Well, wehad a great time rejoicing over it, and I said, “Now, Edward, we want you to tell us how you found the ball and why you are not at school.”
Now listen, children, here is something I want you to remember, God knew that morning
that I would go out there, and that I would claim Edward’s finding the ball about 3:00 p. m., while that was the time Edward was usually in school, which would have been impossible. So that morning Jesus made Edward unusually studious. He studied hard and all his lessons seemed to come so easily that by recess in the afternoon he had all the lessons. He went to the teacher and said, “I have all my lessons, would you like to hear them?” “Why, yes, I will.” So she heard him, and said, “Well, you have them all; so now if you want to you may go home.” So he started down the street, running, so glad to get out of school. Now I would like to draw you a diagram of where the schoolhouse was from his home, but guess I will have to abandon that thought. Well, the schoolhouse was on a street running east and west. His house was on a street running north and south. His was the third house from the corner of the street that the school house was on, only the schoolhouse was five blocks west of this street he lived on. Now Edward’s father had six acres there, and on it was a large orchard. His lot ran back to the street west of the one he lived on, and part of it extended out to the street that the schoolhouse was on or the one Ed. had been coming down on from school. When the father was at home more, they used a path running from their house, across back to the street west of theirs and up to the corner of the street the schoolhouse was on. So Ed. would go through a gate at the corner and go across to his house, thus save going down to the east street a-turning south to his house.
Well, his father got into politics, and neglected this lot of berries until they had grown up
all over and covered this path so that Edward had not gone through there for several years. Now I wonder how many, from this explanation, could draw a diagram of how to get from Ed’s house to the schoolhouse by the streets. I told this once in a schoolhouse where I was holding a meeting, and a boy ten years old gave me a correct diagram of it the next day, on paper. So make it out and send it to me, and I will be thankful, and if I have any money I will buy you a present of some kind. Then it will enable me to get acquainted. I want your age and address, both boys and girls. Direct either to Ashland, Kentucky, or Kingswood, Kentucky, and I will get it if I am this side of Heaven.
Now I will tell how he found this ball. He was running down this street east and west, and
when he got about halfway down from the corner of his father’s lot west of him, he said that a voice said to him, “Go back, and go through the orchard.” Well, he stopped and looked around, and there was not a person in sight. “Why, what could that mean?” he thought. So he started on down for the lower corner where he would turn south for his home, and this same voice said, ‘Go back, and go through the orchard.” “Why,” he said, “what can this mean? I can’t go through the orchard now, with all those briars in there, covering the path,” and still kept going on. In a minute he was stopped still; he could not move, and the same voice said, “Will you, or will you not, go through the orchard?” So he turned back and went up to the corner, got down, looked down that path, and said, “Why, I can’t go through there, what does this mean? Am I going crazy?” He starts back down the street for home, and again was stopped still; he could not move a foot, and had to go back and get down on his hands and knees and crawl through those briars, scolding almost all the way, and when he was about two-thirds of the way through, his hand struck something that moved. He brushed the leaves away, and there was the ball.
Now I want you to see how God answered prayer, and see how He had to work miracles in
order to do so. What a time He had with me in the first place to get me to come out there, and how He made Edward study and how He helped him in his lessons, as that was the first time he had ever done that. Then see what a time He had in getting him to go back and through those briars, scratching his hands and face. But you see God had to answer this mother’s prayer by sending me out; and then answer my prayer by making that boy do the ridiculous. So now, remember this, God will answer prayer. I want you to realize that we have to shut our eyes to what we might see, and just blindly trust God. Had I failed to mind God, that opportunity would have been lost, and poor Katie would have been branded a thief, and probably her life would have been wrecked. I had to come to the place where I counted it done, even though Edward was in school. You see God had it all planned out.
Children, God wants to perform miracles, but we often have to do what seems ridiculous in
order that He may. Well after this all took place, the mother said, “You stay until after supper.” I was glad to do that, as it would give me a chance to visit with them a little, and also find out how that ball got up there in the orchard. That interested me much. So I felt that the best way was to go out with the children and have a game of croquet, praying that God would reveal just how the ball got out there. While we were playing here came a pup about half grown, grabbed a ball, and ran up that path in the briars. I said, “Oh, Edward, that is the way that ball got up there.” So you see, all things are possible to them that believe and obey God. Amen and Amen! You see, children, I mightmhave consulted my watch and said, “Well Edward is in school now so we will postpone this until later. Then you see God’s plan would have been frustrated, and we never would have found out; so you can readily see how God can and will work through us if we are fully His and fully yielded up to Him.
Well, I like to preach to children as they are such good listeners, so I will tell you of a dear
little boy. 1 was holding a meeting not far from Lexington, Kentucky, while I was in the mission work in Cincinnati, and this boy, then nine years old, got blessedly saved. He would testify and pray in public, and he was a sweet little singer. His name was Harry, if I remember rightly. This was in the spring. In the fall he sent me money to come back and hold another meeting, as he said he wanted to get sanctified. He gathered walnuts that fall and hulled them, and had his hands all stained when I got there. He sold the walnuts, and sent the money to me. Well, I went.
He was present with his singing and prayers until the fourth night when I missed him. I
came home and found him in the dining room. He had the table covered with papers that he had been figuring on. I said, “Harry, I know you must get your lessons; but I missed you.” I went on upstairs (we roomed together) and that dear boy did not come up to bed. He figured all night on that sum. His teacher said, “Harry, I can show you where the trouble is, but I would like for you to discover it, as that will be a great help to you.”
So next night again he was not at the church. I came back from the meeting and there he sat, eyes all red, studying and figuring. I said, “Harry, I don’t like to have you miss the meetings. I need you.” I went upstairs, and soon the father came up and said, “Brother Bevington, what are we going to do with Harry? He has an example there that he will injure himself on.” I said, “Let’s go down.” We said, “Harry, you belong to Jesus don’t you?” He looked up with those watery eyes and said, “Yes, I do.” “Will you pray?” “Yes.” “And don’t you believe that Jesus answers prayers?” “Yes, I know He does.” “Well, can’t you believe that He will show you where the mistake is?” Well, that puzzled him. He knew that God had healed his little sister in the spring, and other evidences stood out before him; but to think that God would come down and show him how to do that example was too much for him. I said, “Let’s pray.” I called on the father. Well, he was about like Katie’s mamma. He prayed all around the nail, but never hit it. So I stopped him and called on Harry. Well, Harry came closer, but was not hitting it at all; so I had to stop him. I took it up, and in ten minutes was hitting the nail square on the head and driving it through. I brought my hand down emphatically, saying, “Thou art showing him where the mistake has been, right now.” I said it three times, and as I said it the third time, he jumped up and said, “Brother Bevington, I’ve got it.” He sat down, and worked it out on a piece of paper the size of my hand. Before he had used up three ten-cent tabs. Yes, the Spirit in answer to prayer showed him. So, children, Jesus will help you if you will trust Him.
While I was in mission work in Cincinnati, there was a kindergarten, then under the charge
of Rev. Gilson. A man who had a veneering plant just below us passed there quite often, and saw the little jewels there, and took quite a liking to them. Soon he began inquiring as to what we were doing with them. Well, I invited him in once to see them in their room. He had a little tot of three years, a dear sweet little one, with curly hair, and she was often with her papa.
One time I was walking up Sixth Street, and saw some small red, white, and blue, splint
baskets. I stopped and looked at them, and said, “Oh, how nice those would be for our kindergarten children.” I went in and asked the price of them by the dozen. He told me. Then I went and saw Mr. Gamble, the soap man, and told him about them. I wanted them to draw in those children, as I knew every child would want one. So he gave me the money to get five dozen, with the understanding that they were not to be sold nor given only to those attending the kindergarten. So I took them down, and gave one to each child.
Soon this man with his little curly-headed girl came along, just as the tots were going along with their tiny pretty baskets. “Oh, papa,” said the little girl, “I want one of those pretty baskets.” So he saw me in a day or two, and told me what the child wanted. He said, “I presume you have seen my little girl.” “Yes,” I said, “I have noticed her frequently; a very bright sweet little child. “Well, now she says she just will have to have one.” I said, “Mr. Gamble gave us the money to buy them with the understanding that they were only for the kindergarten tots.” “Well, I will give you a dollar for one,” he said. “Oh, Mister, I daren’t sell them,” I answered, and then said no more, but earnestly prayed that God would bring the child in with us. We had learned that they were Catholics, and a very fine family.
So, children, I just kept praying, and the next morning, here she came with her big sister for
one of those pretty baskets, and they both coaxed very hard. It seemed that the little tot got about everything she asked for. The man told his wife about them, and the tot went to mamma, coaxing her to let her come to the kindergarten, so she could get a basket. I prayed that the Lord would not let him see where I got them, as they were wealthy people, and scarcely ever went up this street where I got them. So the papa was willing that the tot should go, but mamma said, “Oh, no, not by any means shall my child go to such a filthy place as that none but the offscouring go there.” “Well,” he said, “I never saw much dirt there. It always looks clean and nice.” “Well, I have heard about the place, I have heard that it is a disgrace to Cincinnati, as all the bums and drunkards and bad women go there.” Well, the man thought he would investigate for himself; so that night in he walked, and sat down about midway in the hall. Well, of course, I went down, and gave him a hearty handshake. He remained all through the meeting, and heard some brilliant testimonies, something they didn’t have in his church. I saw that he was quite well pleased with it all, so invited him back. He went home, and next morning said, “Wife, I would like for you to go down to that mission. It is not as we have heard. They are plainly but well dressed, and they are surely a happy people.” “What, me go down there? Never!” This older daughter of fourteen summers had noticed the children going in and out of the mission, so one day she stopped and inquired as to what they were doing. She was informed by one of the teachers, and was invited in. She remained all through the session, went home, told her mamma where she had been, and said, “It is a fine place. Oh, how they work with the little tots, and they are nice and clean.” Well, the mother was not favorably impressed with the idea of their daughter being mixed up with that crowd, for as it was vacation, she was a frequent caller there and learned their songs and would play them for them. She would bring her lunch and eat with the little tots.
I saw that God was answering prayer, and that we were destined to have that little child,
and even then saw the whole family in there by faith. Well, the daughter gets the mother to come down, as the little child just coaxed and cried for one of those baskets. So the mother came down to investigate, which resulted in her readily giving her consent to let the child come. She was a bright child, well brought up, and her sweet refined ways were a great blessing to those who were not so well brought up. She learned those songs and the blessings asked at the table. We would compose a blessing each month for them. She would learn these and, like the other little girls, she just would have the blessing asked at the table. Well, it amused the parents, and the older brother and sister as she would go around, and say, “Now, papa, you must fold your hands.” She would go all around and each one would have to fold hands, and then the blessing was asked. Often the brother would unfold his hands, and down she would get f rom the high chair, “Now you fold u hans, taus I’se doin’ ter ast de blessing.” This was kept up, and we were praying for God to use these songs and the blessings.
In less than a year that daughter was down at the altar and prayed through; she just went
wild over the new-found joy. Her brother was there, too. He just wept all the time she was
rejoicing; then she led him up to the altar. Well, we were so late the father came; and, as he
entered, the daughter ran to meet him, threw her arms round him, saying, “Oh, Papa! Oh, I have something I never heard.” She was such a sweet child anyway that she just looked like an angel, so innocent and pure. Then he was melted up, as he saw his only son there. So, children, we want you to see how God can work through a little child. He has said in His Word: “A little child shall lead them.” Lots of us big folks can’t do that, but it is given for the child.
So the father went back, leaving the son at the altar and the daughter there. He wanted to
satisfy the mother that the children were safe. Well, the mother was thunderstruck; she raged quite a bit. But in two hours the son and daughter went home. The son was about sixteen, and just fell on his mamma’s lap, threw his arms around her, and wept for joy. Well, there was something about the two that their mother had never seen nor felt; and the next thing was that the mother was weeping, and both the son and the daughter were on her lap, hugging her and showering her with kisses. It just broke her all up. So the next night the whole family came, and all were at the altar. They did not get through, but the following week they did, and then they went to their church and all gave in their testimony at prayer meeting, much against the custom. They were finally given their letters. They all got sanctified, and it all came about because of that little basket in the hands of that little child.
You see Moses had a rod in his hands, a piece of wood, and see what he did with that rod:
He covered all Egypt with swarms of flies and vermin, turned the waters into blood, walled up the Red Sea so that the people could walk through, and so on. So God in this case used the little basket in the hands of a child. Remember, children, that you can do much for Jesus.
I went once into a home in Cincinnati for dinner, and noticed the mother was anxiously
running to the window. I said, “Sister, is there something you want?” “Yes,” she said, I am looking for Bessie to come. I want her to run to the grocery. She is late today from school.” I said, “Let me do the errand for you.” “Well, I want a loaf of bread.” “All right; where do you get it?” “Round the corner, first grocery.” So I took the nickel, got the bread and started back. The clerk said, “Wait, here is a penny.” So I took the penny, laid the bread and penny down on the sister’s plate. Soon she lifted up her bread and saw the penny. She said, “Brother Bevington do you know how that penny got there?” I said, “I dropped it there.” “What for?” “Why, the clerk gave it to me.”
Well, children, I wish I could draw a picture of that mother’s face, as I told her this. I saw
that there was something going on down in her heart and soul, it showed on her face. I said nothing, but wondered what made all those rapid changes in her countenance. So Bessie came. We had our dinner, and after Bessie had gone to school, the sister said, “Brother Bevington, I am in great sorrow.” I said, “I see that something crossed your path from the time you found out where that penny came from. What is it?” “Well,” she said, “Bessie gets two loaves of bread daily, and she never has given me any change, as you have. I will go down now and see the grocer.”
Soon she returned crying as if her heart would break, and said, “Oh, Brother Bevington,
what am I to do? Bessie has been keeping these pennies now for three months, since they cut bread down to four cents. Oh, what does it mean?” She just sat down and cried. I did up the dishes for her, and tried to make excuses for Bessie; told her maybe Bessie was saving them up to surprise her with a present later on. “Oh, I wish it were so, but oh, Brother Bevington, my heart is about broken. I am fearful, I am fearful!” How she did cry! Well, she said nothing till her husband came home from his work and then she revealed the case to him. She said, “What shall we do?” I had left before that.
Well, I was gone about two months; then came back to the city. I was anxious to know
about that penny affair, so went up, and the mother told me that they waited until after supper, and then asked Bessie. Well, Bessie just broke down and cried. She got up from the table, went to her mamma, and threw her arms around her, and wept, saying, “Oh, I am so sorry.” When she got through crying, she told them how it came about.
Now children, remember Satan is watching all the time to trip you up, to get you to do
something wrong; so you must be careful. Bessie said that when she started out with the first loaf after the cut in the price, the grocer called her back and gave her the penny. She intended to give the penny to her mamma. But as she was going out of the door, a schoolmate met her, and said, “Oh, Bessie, did you get a penny?” “Yes.” “Well, now, you know you lost your slate pencil and your mamma will think you very careless in so doing; so if I were you, I would get a pencil, and then your mamma won’t know you lost yours. Tomorrow you can give her the penny.” Well, that looked all right to Bessie, so they went to the store, got the pencil, but Bessie felt quite badly about it, and before she reached home, said, “I don’t feel just right about this. I will go back and get my penny, returning the pencil, and tell mamma all about it.” But another voice said, “Oh, no, just go on; you can begin tomorrow as the cut was just made today. One day won’t matter.” So this naughty voice prevailed. She went in, fully determined to give her mother the next penny that evening; but as Satan had gotten her to do wrong once, he was right there to see that she kept it up, as it would not do to let her go now that he had gotten her started. So that evening she got another penny. When she started home, the good voice said, “Now give mamma this penny.” But the bad voice was there, and said, “You know they are having taffy on the stick now at the candy store for a penny,
and you have always been such a good girl and papa don’t give you pennies, and you haven’t had any candy now for three weeks; so you go over and get one. Tomorrow you can begin giving mamma the penny, and she will never know but what the cut has just begun.”
So Bessie stopped, looked in at the window, and thought, “Oh, that taffy on the stick is so
nice. Oh, I just want one so bad.” But she bit her lip. That good voice said, “No, you give mamma that penny.” And she said, “I will,” and started for home. But that bad voice stopped her, and Satan made her mouth oh, so hungry for that candy! She turned around, and said, “I will begin tomorrow,” and again yielded to Satan’s bad voice. That night at her prayer she had quite a time in stammering it out, but Satan was there and made her bold; so she got through after a struggle. Well, next day, it was not much trouble for Satan to get her to get some more candy; and each day he had some new thing for her until she could say her, “Now I lay me”, without any trouble. You see children, Satan was hardening her conscience, and silencing that alarm bell in her bosom, so that she could steal her mamma’s pennies, and say her prayers without much trouble.
But listen, God saw that her mother must know of what was going on, so He sent me around there to have the thing exposed. He managed to keep Bessie late from school, so I could go after the bread. Children remember that the Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Bessie thought she had all this covered up, and was planning what to do with her pennies, two a day.
Well, Bessie came to the altar, confessed it all out and got forgiveness from God, and her
parents never whipped her for it; they let God punish her, and He let it all come out. So she never did anything like that afterward. You see, children, Satan was making great headway with Bessie; he would first have her steal pennies, then nickels, then dimes, and so on; until, if she went on, she would even kill a man for his money, or sell her virtue to get it. So avoid bad beginnings. Satan has many a snare to trap the dear children, and when he can once get them started to speak or act wrongly, then he has many ways of leading them to worse deeds. Oh, how that mother did weep and pray that God would take care of Bessie, keep her pure and honest. God had to answer that precious mother’s prayer by sending me around. God used me in uncovering Bessie’s sin. So children, mind your parents.
Well, the next time I saw Bessie, ten months later, she came running, jumped into my arms,
and just hugged and kissed me. She said, “Oh, Brother Bevington, God sent you around here to get me out of that tangle. That would have made a very bad girl out of me. You came just in time to save me.” She was glad that I had uncovered Satan’s well covered plan to ruin her. Bessie grew up to be a fine mother and is watching her precious jewels that God has given her to be a blessing in this dark world.
When I was in Cleveland, Ohio, in the mission work, one day I was going down a very
filthy street, among the very poorest of people. I heard a sweet melodious voice, and stopped to listen. I was charmed by that marvelous voice coming from that quarter. Everyone on that street was very wicked; so I dreaded to inquire as to that voice and prayed: “Oh, God, send someone out so I can find that voice.” It seemed to be back, well out of reach. Well, as I was standing there, a door opened, and a poor, dirty woman said, “Come in.” I said, “I don’t wish to come in, but I would like to know where that sweet voice is that I heard a moment again.” “She said, I reckon it was Old Pete.” “No,” I said, “it was a young voice.” “Well that’s what everybody calls her, ‘Old Pete’.” “Where is she?” “Oh, back there in the dirt.” “Could I see her?” “I reckon.” “Well how can I get to her?” “Over that fence,” she said, and then disappeared. So I climbed the high fence, and back there in the dirt sat this girl, jibbering to herself. I said, “Good morning, Sis.” She looked up, and said, “Say, Mister, give me a chaw terbacker.” “I don’t use it,” I said. “Well, gimme a nickel, and I will get old Sal to buy me some.” I said, “What is your name, Old Pete? Where do you live?” “There with old Sal,” she said, pointing to a shack. “Is she your mother?” “Nop.” “Where is your mother?” “Ain’t got any.” “Where is your father?” “Ain’t got any; never had any father nor mother — just old Sal.” “Could I see her?” “I reckon. Hay! old Sal, com’ere, man wants you.” So here came a poor, dirty, ragged woman; I couldn’t tell whether she was a black or white woman. She said, “Come in.” “No, I don’t want to come in,” I said. Then asked, “Is this your child” “No, not mine. I am just raising her.” Oh, I thought, what raising! I said, “How long have you had her?” “Two years.” “How old is she?” “Don’t know.” “Well, would you like to give her to me?” “Well, yes, but she is no count girl; can’t walk nor stand on her feet.” I said to the girl, “Are you the one that w as singing Annie Laurie a while ago?” “Yep.” “Well, sing it again.” “I will if you will give me a nickel ter get terbacker with.” “No, I won’t give you a nickel, but sing again for me.” So she did, and of all the beautiful, clear, sweet voices I ever heard, I thought hers with the sweetest.
I said to the woman, “If you will give me her clothes, I will take her.” “Laws’ sake, she
ain’t got any only what’s on her back! ” I picked that child up and oh, what odor came from her poor filthy body! I said, “When did you have a bath?” “A what?” I said, “A bath.” “What’s that?” Poor child, eleven years old and never had a bath and lived in filth. I carried her across the creek to a home that had been at one time about like the one this child was found in. The woman took her in. I got clothing for her, and she was cleaned up. I went back the next day and hardly knew her. She had beautiful eyes as that was about all I could see of her the day before.
Well, I began to teach her our songs. I would carry her up to the mission, and out to the
street meetings, and it was wonderful how she would learn those songs and sing them. We would keep her well dressed, and how she would enjoy nice clothes! She was a marvelous child, Well, to cut it short, I kept her two years. All this time she was learning songs and singing them on the streets; drawing great crowds by her sweet childlike voice. One day, or rather one evening, a man stopped to listen to her. He waited till the service was over, then came up and said, “Is that your child?” I said, “No.” “Well, she has the sweetest voice I ever heard. Are you giving her music lessons?” I said, “No, I would like to, but am in the mission work here and haven’t had the money to do it.” So he went with me to where I carried the child, then up to my mission. I saw that he was interested in the child.
Next morning he came in, and said, “I am a traveling man; make big money, and if I will
give you the money, will you give her music lessons, the best you can get?” I said, “I surely will.” He gave me forty dollars wand said that he would be back in two months. I secured the very best musical talent that I could find, and had to take the child to the home twice a week. She would practice on the mission organ. I made her a high chair with a back to it, so that she could sit and play. The man came back in two months and was delighted in the progress the child was making. He brought her a fine high chair, much better than the one I had made, and left me fifty dollars for some clothing and her music lessons. We got her three nice suits complete and shoes. She had tiny feet about the size of an eight-months’ old baby’s, and could not stand up. She never had, but she was now developing rapidly into a beautiful girl, and such a sweet cheerful singer. The traveling man came back in two more months and was well pleased with her progress. He went out, and soon came back with a fine four-wheeled carriage with levers so that she could guide it, and it had a very nice cover. He paid eighty-eight dollars cash for it. Well, she could go anywhere with it. And oh, she nearly went wild when this friend put her in it, and said, “Now this is yours, yes, yours!” “Oh, is it really mine! Mine to keep always?” “Yes, yours.” She asked me to take her out and to put her in his arms, which I did, and she just hugged him and showered kisses upon him.
Well, as usual I would give out tracts. So one day the girl said, “Papa (I had taught her to
call me papa) can’t I give out those tracts from my buggy?” “Why certainly,” I said, “would you like to?” “Oh, yes; I can go on the streets and give them out.” So she did, and God would bless her in doing it. Now I had been trying to tell her what salvation was, what Jesus died for, and how she ought to give Jesus her heart; but it seemed that she was so carried away with the great change that had taken place in her life that I just could not get her to see that she ought to be regenerated. I would pray, “Oh, God, what am I going to do? How can I impress her?” I would talk to her, read the Scripture to her, and tell her that if she should die, she would go to an awful hell. Well, that all seemed idle to her, like a dream. I could not get her interested. She seemed to think that the transformation that had already taken place was sufficient.
So, now children, see how God answered prayer. As she would be giving out tracts, she
would find time to study them. I had been teaching her to read all these weeks and months, and she could spell out any word. She had the tract entitled “Anna’s and Nannie’s First Prayer.” Well, she would be working on that in her leisure moments while on the street, and would get me to read it to her. So that one and other tracts brought her face to face with the question of salvation. She saw where she was and what she must be. So one night as I gave the altar call, she was in her buggy, and she said, “Papa, I want Jesus, too.” So she wheeled up to the altar, and there in her buggy, about 10:00 p. m., gave her heart to Jesus and was blessedly saved there. Oh, how she would sing after that! She would clap her hands so much while singing.
Her main helper would come back every two months and get her clothes and pay for her
music lessons, so we kept her at music four years. She was then about seventeen, as nearly as we could find out her age. She was then an accomplished musician.
The man came and said, “Mr. Bevington, if you will give me that girl, I will take her to
Indianapolis, Indiana, where they make limbs, they would nearly make such as she perfectly whole.” I said, “Would you want her for all time as your daughter?” The question brought tears to my eyes, and he saw it. “Well,” he said, “you love her. I will put her there, and then give her back to you, a perfect, walking lady.” Well, I very much disliked the thought of giving her up, but knew it was the best for her. I was then in Louisville in the mission work, having left Cleveland some time. So he took her to Indianapolis, and kept her there over two years. He brought her to me at Cincinnati, a lovely young lady well developed. She could walk as well as I could. She had artificial limbs, but could use them, and she had been studying all this time. Then I took her to Mr. Gamble. He sent her to school two years and then she went to the Fiji Islands, as a missionary
under the M. E. Board. She was there several years and established a great faith home and school, and then went from there to Heaven. So see dear children, what God can and will do if we will trust Him.
I might have said, “Oh that poor, miserable, dirty, ignorant, uncouth girl can never do
anything for Jesus,” but see how God opened the way for her to be an accomplished, pure,
brilliant, young lady and then sent her away over to those poor dear heathen, where hundreds werenbrought to Jesus. Oh, praise the Lord for her life and that God could use such as I in bringing her out.
Dear children, if God could take such as she was when I found her and bring her out to
where He did, just think what He might do with you children if you would let Him. Dear children, you must realize that God can help you and will help you; but He wants you to trust Him, to give your heart to Him, as He says, “Give me thine heart.” You must be born again, regenerated, made a new creature in Christ Jesus. So see to it that you do not put it off too long. Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, … for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
I want to meet every boy and girl who reads these pages, in Heaven. I am going there, and
surely do thank God that He gave me a praying mother. I well remember when I was about seven, that after prayer my mother said, “This boy (laying her hand on my head) is going to preach the Gospel.” While as a young man I never entered into deep sin, I was so reckless — loved the world, dancing, theaters, and so on — and most anyone seeing me those days would have said, “Well, that fellow’s mother missed it when she said he was going to be a preacher.” I forgot my mother’s benediction until after I had been preaching some time, and then a cousin reminded me of it. God had that prayer of mother’s to answer, and praise His dear name, He did; and He will make
preachers out of you boys and girls, if you will let Him.
When I was in the mission work in Cleveland, I met a crippled girl about fourteen years of
age. She was small, and had never walked. She had a brother who had his back broken when he was twelve, he was then sixteen. He could sit up. They were very poor I got them clothes, wheeled them to and from the mission in a wheelbarrow. They were bright, ambitious children, could read and write. The girl said, after I had given a missionary talk, “Oh! I wish I could make some money for those dear children over there.” She had never heard of them before and she was greatly worked up about them. I got to thinking. I went home and made a few lighters out of papers, and took them down to a factory to see if I could sell them. I told the foreman about those two children and how they needed help. While I was talking the manger came, overheard what I said. and asked the foreman, “Would these be cheaper than matches?” He said, “Yes.” Well, now much could we afford to give for them?” The foreman said, “Not over thirty cents a hundred.”
Well that seemed small, but I went back, got a lot of paper, and took it to these children,
and showed them how to make the lighters. They soon became experts at it, and would make a hundred a day. This brought them thirty cents, a big pile of money to them; and as poor as the parents were, they said they could give half to the heathen. So they did. I would take the lighters to the factory and get the cash for them. This man had a cousin in another part of the city, who also used gas stoves. So he got him to take several thousand. Those children got so they could make 200 a day, that was 400 that both made. Well, now, at thirty cents per hundred, how much would that be a day?
Those children bought their clothes, and went to night school. I would wheel them there
and their father would come after them. And they got saved and could sing. The girl took lessons and learned to play, just from the money earned by making those paper lighters. So children where there is a will there is a way. Why they kept up giving half to the foreign field and two years after I left there, they both were engaged in the office of this factory. Both of them had learned stenography, and they lived good Christian lives.
Four years after, while I was at the Cincinnati Camp, there came to me a young man and a
young lady, on crutches. They were fine looking people, and they smiled and said, “I guess you don’t know us.” Well, I didn’t. So they told me. And, oh, how proud I was of them. They have been faithful to their God, and He has prospered them. They were living in their own home, and paying for it out of their wages they made in this factory. And the father and mother still kept them in paper lighters.
Now one more short story. I was holding a meeting down below Rising Sun, Indiana, and
was in a home where there was a little tot. She couldn’t talk plain, but could say her, “Now I lay me,” every night and morning. So one night she failed to say it. So Mamma said, “Gracie, aren’t you going to say your prayer?” “Nope.” “Well, why?” “‘Tause I’se baksid.” I never had heard
anything like that from such a little tot, and I was so amused that I had to go outdoors. Mamma shook her head at me, as she went where the tot was. She said, “Well, Gracie, how did you come to backslide?” ” ‘Tause I dot mad at Jim; said a bad word.” “Well,” Mamma said, “you must get back to Jesus again.” So the dear little thing just prayed and cried. Then she rose and said, ” ‘Tis all right, I’se all right.” I tell you that was a good lesson to me. You couldn’t get her to say saved, sanctified up-to-date, while she was doing wrong. If all children were that honest, it would be a rebuke to many an older person.
Well, now dear children, we have had quite a time. I have enjoyed this chat with you all.
So in closing this chapter, I want to invite you all to Jesus, whom I have been well acquainted with now these thirty-three years, since I was sanctified, and in whom I have all confidence. I feel sure that if you will give Him your hearts, He will care for you as He has for me. I want to meet every one who reads this chapter, up in Heaven where Jesus and the angels are, where we can forever be with the Lord. God bless you, one and all, and the papas and mammas of all.
With love and best wishes, I close.
Your friend and well wisher,