G. C. Bevington, Remarkable Incidents And Modern Miracles Through Prayer And Faith
We love to think of John Wesley, and I would like to insert a lot of his sayings and doings by the hand of God. The resources of all heaven are at God’s command. He has but to speak, and the elements are subservient to His will. How true, “All things are possible to him that believeth!” If our faith in God is unlimited, why “whatsoever we ask for, we receive.” Amen. Those wonderful instances recorded in Wesleys works were not confined to his day; hence we have the same privileges Wesley had.
I was spending a few months in northern Indiana with my then only living brother, R_____. Since then he has gone to his reward, leaving me the only one on probation out of a family of thirteen children. He had a boy staying with him that had been brought up a Catholic. We were going to Michigan City, several miles away in a wagon, and neither of us had any wraps nor umbrella, and it began to sprinkle and soon was raining. I said to Harry, “I don’t want to get wet, as this wind off the lake here would be most too chilly for my health if I get wet. Now, see if it continues to rain, as I will offer up a prayer.” And in less than five minutes it stopped. “Well,” he said, “that is wonderful, I never saw anything like that. My folks all go to church, but I never saw anything like that done there nor anywhere else.” So God gave me an opportunity to enable Him to display His power there in the presence of that ignorant boy.
I had something growing on the lid of my eye, it had been there about seven years. At times it would draw up as small as a large kernel of wheat, then it would seem to lengthen out about an inch. It had not bothered me much, so I had not bothered Jesus much about it. But soon after this miracle of the rain, I was several miles from Jerry’s, holding a meeting, and the last Sunday that growth spread out larger than ever. It bothered me in reading the Word, and was quite sore. I put up with it until I got back to Jerry’s on Monday, and it was so large that Harry couldn’t help but see it, and he was amazed when he saw my eye was swollen and inflamed. He said, “Uncle Guy, why don’t you ask Jesus to take that off. He stopped the rain for you; wouldn’t He take that off?” “I think He will,” I said. So when I went to bed, I knelt down and offered up a prayer of faith that the thing would be gone by morning. I went to sleep, and got up in the morning before Harry did. I went down to wash, and had not thought of it since praying for it the night before, and it had been hurting me when I would wash. Soon after I got up, down came Harry to see about that thing on my eye. I had not thought of it until he came bounding out on the porch, saying “Oh Uncle Guy, how is that thing?” “Well,” I said, “look and see.” Lo, there was no trace of it, not even a scar! He called for my brother to get up and see what Jesus had done for Uncle Guy. The boy said, “I don’t see why my folks don’t do that way. I had a sore knee and had to remain out of school four months, and they paid out a whole lot of money.”
I also had a sore on my body that had been forming about six years. It had never bothered me much, so I didn’t bother with it; but this summer while at Jerry’s, it was getting quite sore, and was about the size of a twenty-five cent piece, and had rims of different colors around it. It got so bad that I could not rub near it, and it was very painful to the touch, so that I could not sleep on that side. I got tired of that as it was growing larger and more sensitive. Well I went up to my room, called the boy up, and showed him the sore. He thought it was awful and pronounced it a cancer. I told a doctor about it and he said it was a cancer without a doubt. Well, I laid my hand on that sore and prayed the prayer of faith, asking for its removal, and in six minutes the soreness was all gone. I could rub it, pinch it, and there was no pain. The colors were still there, but the next morning they were all gone. So this boy had three good lessons, given him just through faith. He wrote home to his people and asked them if he couldn’t join Uncle Guy’s church, telling them what he had seen in answer to prayer. It resulted in the conversion of the whole family. Oh, glory, how blessed to have such a God!
After this I was called on to pray for a sister that had been sorely afflicted for eight or nine years. I prayed and she went to sleep. So I retired to my room. Next morning she said she had slept better than for eight years, till about four a. m. when she was suddenly taken with the malady, and suffered terribly, till they called me up, and after I laid my hand on her and prayed she was soon asleep again. We got our breakfast and she was still asleep. Her husband had but little use for a holiness preacher, as he had the meeting house for his support, which seemed to fill the basket, so he believed in letting good enough alone. I took my Bible and went to the woods. I heard the dinner bell and came in. I found her still suffering. I resumed prayer and she was made free again. After our dinner I returned to the woods. The bell rang again at three-thirty. She was again suffering, so now I dropped down on my face, and lay there till they called for supper. I said that I didn’t want any, but I got a good hold upon God and was enlarging my vision of His power. I just lay there pleading the promises and believing God though she was still suffering. Her husband came in and said, “I want you to take this medicine; I just can’t bear to see you suffer this way, under this crank’s supervision.” I said nothing but prayed that she would refuse, which she did. She said, “I am going to take God, as He has wonderfully delivered me three times since Brother Bevington has been here, and I believe He will heal me entirely.” “Well I would like to see some signs,” was his response.
I just lay on the floor, praying with all my might. At nine p. m. I rose and laid my hand on her forehead, raised my right hand, and with the Bible laid on it, said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, depart, depart!” I opened my eyes and could see that she was still suffering. I held on, demanding the instant departure, still holding the Bible up, and pleading the promises. When I looked at the clock it was 4:15 a. m., and she was still suffering, but not quite so bad. We still kept holding the Bible changing it from one hand to the other. Her husband got up from his bed, and saw that she had had a hard night. He was accustomed to waiting on her, hence had gotten so that he could tell by her looks how she was. He grabbed the medicine, shoved me out of the way, and demanded her to open her mouth and take the medicine. She opened her eyes and with a smile shook her head. But I could see that he was boiling, and determined that she should not suffer any longer, as they had the needed remedy. He turned to me and s aid, “You leave this room; take your traps and leave this house!”
I went outdoors still pleading and believing, and she still refusing to take the medicine. I was out under a tree and was actually getting hold of God when the husband came out and gave me a pretty hard kick, saying, “I told you to leave this place; now I mean it, and will not tell you again.” I continued praying there, getting hold of God and did not want to move or utter a word. I felt sure victory was coming. I was so still, though the waters were raging about me; and there was such a sweet, calm, quiet assurance that she was going to be healed, that I just lay as still as I could, fearing any move upon my part would break the connection. I didn’t want to breathe, in fact, held my breath at times. Then her husband came out. I turned over, and said, “Let me remain here one hour.” He said, “I told you to leave.” “Give me one hour and you will see the power of God.” “Nonsense, that has been the cry for twenty hours”, and he went to the barn to get the large horsewhip.
I got up and went into the house, having the assurance of victory. As I entered, the woman raised her right hand and smiled all over her face. “We have the victory Brother Bevington,” she said. I shouted “Amen,” and went out of the door. I had not gotten off the porch till I heard her feet strike the floor, and she ran out to the barn yelling at the top of her voice. Her husband was coming in all infuriated, with his whip, to give me a good thrashing. But he was melted as she dropped on her knees, praising God, and praying for him. Then he called me. So I went out and we had an old-fashioned prayer and praise service there in the weeds and grass.
Yes, we had a scene there that three worlds were witness to, till he prayed through and actually got salvation. Oh, what blessed times we had! Then she went to their church and set the whole congregation to weeping and laughing, and some a-shouting. The preacher did not get to preach any at that service. So it pays to hold on to God as He works quite different than we do. Well, Hallelujah. Amen!
This is the twelfth day of April, 1923. I am at South Ashland, Ky., all under the blood, glory to Jesus. Jesus hath redeemed me, hath cleansed me, hath healed me, and hath taken my sickness with Him on the Cross. Glory! He doesn’t want us to suffer as He hath delivered us. Hallelujah! Oh, let us praise Him, hold Him up so the world can see Him through us as the world can see Jesus only as they see Him in and through us.
Well, another time after the Cincinnati Camp I was impressed to go down the river to see how the people were getting on at Rising Sun. I went to the depot to wait four hours or more, and while waiting there, a voice seemed to say, “Go out to Mrs._____ ” She lived about three miles out. Well it seemed so plain that I had to give it some attention, and soon said, “Well, I can walk out there and back for this train.” So I took my suit case and grip down to a drug store, and asked permission to leave them there. I then started up the walk, but soon the voice said, “Go back and get the grip.” Well, that seemed so foolish that I just took it to be Satan, and said, “Oh, no, you don’t come that on me; don’t get me to pack that grip out there and back in two hours,” and went on.
But that voice still kept calling me to go back and get my grip. It got so plain that I had to stop and give it consideration. But as had been the case so often, my wonderful reasoning faculties had been at their best and were about to carry the day as far as I could see, but that voice could not be silenced, and I had to turn around and go back and get the grip, much to my disgust. Well, I went out to where they last lived to my knowledge but found that they had moved. The party living there could not tell me much about where they lived, so I said, “Now, see, such foolishness as packing this grip these six miles, and back to town! ” I started, and at a pretty good speed. But that first voice said, “Go out to Mrs. M____’s.” I said, “I can’t go out there if I don’t know where she lives,” and was making good strides back for town to catch that out-going train. But, “Go back, go back, go back! ” kept ringing in my ears, till I was stopped as though a man had grabbed me, and the voice said, “Will you, or will you not go back?” Well, I was dumbfounded; what could it all mean? But I turned back, and went to the next house; and the people there told me where they lived.
I went there and found the woman sitting under a tree, and as soon as she saw me, she exclaimed, “Oh, I knew you would come, I knew you would come!” “How did you know?” I asked. “Oh, I heard from headquarters,” she said, pointing upward. “I have been suffering a long time from a running sore on my limb, and have been trying to do my work here, but oh, how I have suffered day and night trying to do the work here for my husband and my two boys on this farm! But I heard that you were at the camp, so I just began praying that the Lord would send you out here, and yesterday I saw you coming. So I have rested quite easy on the matter. However I looked for you earlier than this.” She had not known, of course, what a time I had had in minding God. I saw at once what it all meant, and threw off my coat, and went into the kitchen to wrestle with the pots and kettles.
That night I prayed for her, and she went to sleep while I was praying. Her husband nudged me, and said, “She is asleep. It is the first time I have known her to sleep without drugs for a long time.” The next morning I went to get breakfast, and prepared to do a large washing. At seven I found that she had been suffering severely since three o’clock, though she never woke up till that time. She said, “Oh, Brother Bevington, I am in such misery; please pray for me!” So I started to pray, and in ten minutes she was asleep again. I washed until dinner time, and got dinner for the three men. I then went in to see what she wanted for dinner and found her suffering again. Well, this kept up for over a week, I could get victory for her every time I would pray, but the pains would insist on coming back again.
I got tired of that sort of doings, and went after the case roughshod. I prayed until I struck fire, and she was completely delivered. The second morning, she said, “Brother Bevington, I have two daughters that I haven’t seen for several years, and now won’t you stay here for three weeks and do the work and let me go and see them? Well, that surprised me, but after praying over it, I saw that it was for me to remain. This Scripture came to me. “In honor preferring one another.” So she packed up and went, and had a good three weeks’ visit, and came back a different woman, having never felt the soreness of the limb. To Jesus be all the glory!
The multiplication of man’s machinery means the diminishing of God’s power, for in just the proportion to man’s mechanism just in that proportion will God’s power decrease. In many places so much of man’s ingenuity has been introduced into the workshop of God’s house that there isn’t enough power to run it, or at least God won’t hitch His power onto the bunglesome, weighty, clumsy machinery of man’s methods and wisdom. So as prayer taps the reservoir of power, all that is needed is the right kind of prayer.
“It may not be my way,
It may not be thy way;
But yet in His own way
The Lord will provide.”
This Gospel of healing is one of good tidings. It is for all classes. While all hell is turned against this Bible doctrine of healing, it thus behooves us to be wide-awake, to be at our best, if we expect to get our prayers through.
We were holding a meeting at R_____, and a young lady of beautiful character attended all the services that she could, but was hindered by a misfortune in the form of epilepsy. I was informed why she could not come regularly, so went to her home, and prayed the prayer of faith, and she never missed another service while I was there. I have heard her testify several times to her healing at the Cincinnati Camp. So I magnify Jesus as it was He who did it. A brother at this place came to me saying that he had been a sufferer for years from neuralgia, and asked, “If Jesus could heal those two, why can’t He heal me?” I said, “He will, if you will allow Him to.” “Well, I sure will do that.” So I anointed him, and in twenty minutes he said the pain was gone, and he has told me since that it never came back. Oh, glory to Jesus! Will we ever learn to trust Him? Stop, ask that question over again, meditate thereon.
A sister in Ohio where we were holding a meeting was sadly afflicted: She had to be in bed half the time for eight years, and had quite a family of children to look after. I went to her home, anointed her, though it seemed quite dark and much of an uphill pull. I had many misgivings, took me some time to get where I would not allow my eyes to rest on the condition nor the atmosphere. I had to get up and abruptly leave her without any excuse being given. I went to the barn, and lay there several hours. I was then impressed to go back and anoint her again, which I did; and in about forty minutes she raised her hand, and quietly said, “‘Tis done; I am a healed woman.” Then she got up, dressed herself, and got a fine dinner. That settled all her trouble. So let’s shout Amen, and see the devil run, as he can’t stand these heaven-sent Amens.
Once while at Ironton I went to hold a meeting in the country. As I often had done before, I went to canvassing the homes, giving out tracts, and telling the children about the extra Sunday school we were to have Sunday. I prayed, too, where I was permitted to. I went in one house where there were several children, the eldest about ten, and the house looked as though it needed a mother there. I was telling the children about the meeting at the schoolhouse, and also about the Sunday school.
Soon the mother came downstairs with her head all bandaged up, and gave evidence that she was and had been suffering. She offered as an apology for the looks of the kitchen that she had been suffering with acute neuralgia for several days, and had been unable to do anything. She said, “I heard you say something about a Sunday school and children’s meeting. I have several children here that need such training, and I just said that I must get up and go down and see what he is talking about.” I said, “So you have neuralgia. Are you a saved woman?” “Yes Sir.” “Well, don’t you believe that Jesus can heal you?” “I know He can if I have the faith for it.” I said, “Let’s all get down and get hold of Jesus.”
Well, we got still and in forty minutes I saw rags a-flying. She had torn every rag off, and said, “There is not a pain in my body.” Then she jumped up and began walking the floor a-praising God, while tears of joy and gratitude just rolled down her cheeks. She hugged all the children, and I had a good time seeing her appreciate what Jesus had done. She said, “Now Brother you go into the other room, and I will clean up, and get you some dinner.” Well, as it was only 10:30, I said, “I will go out an hour, and give out more tracts, and then I will come back.” So as I returned at 11:45, she had the house nicely cleaned up, oh, how differrent she looked than when she came down those stairs! We had a fine dinner.
I taught the three girls a new song, and let me say right here that the youngest of those three girls is out preaching holiness now. She went one or two years to God’s Bible School, Celia Bradshaw is her name, and she is a dear precious girl. They had a Sunday school up at the school, and from twelve to sixteen attended; there were hardly ever the same ones two Sundays in succession. But as I went around and had several children meet, I taught them new songs, so that by the next Sunday there were 156 children at the schoolhouse. The superintendent did not know what to do with them all, as he had no teachers, so we divided them in two classes. I took all under twelve, and he took the rest. Now, I mention this to show what a little personal work will do.
Well, before I left there this mother got sanctified, as also did her mother, and her mother was delivered of a serious goiter, from which she was suffering. And though both of them have gone through fires innumerable, yet they have been, and are still, true to Jesus and sanctification. All glory be to Jesus! Now, I believe that all of this came as a result of that mother’s healing. So blessings don’t stop at healing, but go on and spread out. That is why I still believe in and preach healing.
While holding a meeting in Ohio, I was told why a certain sister did not come to the meetings. She had been in bed several months, and her daughter did the work. They were farmers. I am not much in favor of going to pray for the sick; that is, to pray for their healing, only when asked, yet I felt impressed to go to see her. So I went one afternoon, and saw the condition. I felt that there was a case on hand surely, as she had never seen anyone healed, or heard of anyone’s being healed. It was so comforting to her to take her four kinds of medicine. But I knew that Jesus sent me there, and that my God was charitable; so I did not give up the case, but I prayed there in the room without kneeling. Then felt that I must go to the barn and fight the thing to a finish. I knew it would take some time to get her where God could talk to her, and there was our meeting that night. There was no one to take my place, as the meeting had arrived at a point where I considered it unwise to be absent. So being somewhat con fused I went in, and asked her for a private room. I was shown one, and there I fell on my face. In about twenty minutes I felt that I must go to the woods. Well, what would I do about my meeting? But it was, “Go to the woods”; so as I had learned not to question God’s ability, I said, “All right,” and got up, though a little confused, as I had gotten nothing definite as to the night’s meeting. I started downstairs however, with a determination to mind God, whether I was able to see or not. I went out into the hall and out onto the porch, leaving all with God. Glory enveloped me, and I just had to stop and weep as I looked up to praise God, for this was an evidence of approval of my obedience.
I looked down the road, and there came a dear brother whom I had not seen or heard of for over a year, and he was walking as fast as he could. He was a Holy Ghost evangelist, and I just shouted “Glory;” threw up my hat, and said. “Well, dear Brother, where in the world are you going?” He just burst out laughing, and said, “Now it is all clear to me why God has been talking so strange to me for the last twelve hours. I had planned to be elsewhere at this time, but about ten hours ago God began to try to tell me something that I could scarcely grasp, as it was breaking into my plans. Now I am sure that God wants me to preach in your place.”
Well, I just wept there, threw my arms around him, and we both wept for joy to see how God so minutely carried out His plans, though so foreign to us. He said, “I closed my meeting twenty-one miles from here day before yesterday, and intended opening another meeting tonight; but yesterday God began talking to me about going elsewhere and made me walk all night. I did not know where I was going, yet felt real sure that I was in Divine order. So here I am. I had been led to a certain text for tonight, though I could not see where it was to be delivered, as I was in an entirely new country. I told God that I would preach from that text. I did want to know.” Well, you see God could not very well tell him as he know nothing about this place, nor that I was there. But he minded God, hence filled my place, and enabled me to take up the other case, as that seemed to be a case demanding speed.
He said, “I stopped at a friend’s yesterday at 3:30 p. m. I got something to eat, went to the barn, and this text was crowding on me, and it was not at all appropriate for an opening service, nor for the place I had in mind.” He went to the barn, and cried out to God. “Where art Thou aiming to send me?” All the answer he could get was, “What is that to thee? follow thou me.” So he went out and started down the road, like Abraham, not knowing whither he was going. You see that was none of his business. He said, “Here I am, and now, Brother Bevington are you willing for me to preach tonight?” Well, I had a hearty laugh. Then I told him of the struggle that I had been going through for the last ten hours. So you see how God will work, if we will give Him a chance. So Jesus had quite a time in getting me to let go of the meeting, as well as in getting the brother to come and take it. Oh, what trouble we would save our blessed Lord if we would just relinquish our hold, and let God; yes, let God! Here God opened the way that we both could meet on the plane of obedience, fully realizing that the puzzling features would all be obliterated, if we would get out of the way.
Now, this woman’s husband was a close observer of all the rules of their church there, but had no use for holiness preachers, so I found out why she had not sent for me, and why we had to go there much against my rule, so to the woods I went. I said to the evangelist, “Now, brother, be sure and mind God; don’t leave here till you have unmistakable orders to do so, as I may be in the woods a week, or may leave there in the morning.” I had no opportunity of notifying anyone of the change, nor the reasons for it, as God seemed very anxious that I should get to the woods, and leave the whole thing in His hands. That seems so hard for us to do, as we seem to have such wonderful executive and judicial properties in us that God has a terrible time in getting a chance to display any of His power.
I got under a tree, and wrestled all night, and I never saw the brother until camp meeting at Cincinnati. He started out and walked thirteen miles to the station, as no one there was interested enough in holiness to invite him home with them. I was somewhat used to that, as many times I lived in the woods for days, no one inviting me home with them. But when I knew that God sent me there, why I would go to the woods, or to the haymow, and live on acorns or sassafras bark, until God could get someone saved. So at five o’clock that next morning I saw her sitting up in bed a-clapping her hands, so I jumped up and ran all the way to the house, as I wanted to get there before she got through. As I neared the barn, I saw the daughter in the door, calling, “Papa, come here quick; oh, hurry up!” So he had started in just ahead of me. I passed him, ran around to the front door, and found the wife out of bed, jumping and clapping her hands and shouting, “God has healed me! God has healed me!” She saw her husband and ran to him, and said, “O dear husband, Jesus healed me! Now won’t you love this holiness preacher for staying with us until I was healed?” She said, “I saw Jesus come into the room at the foot of the bed just as the clock struck five, and He said, ‘I have come to heal you.’ And O husband, such a wonderful sight! Oh, I never saw such a face, oh, so sweet, so loving, so tender, so sympathetic. Oh, husband, I wish you could have seen Him as I saw Him, and before leaving He touched my body; I felt it go through me like electricity.” And as the tears of joy fell in great drops, she continued to say, “I am healed, I am healed!” She did not know where I was, and supposed I had been to the meeting and was then upstairs in bed. I have seen her twice at the Cincinnati camp, and she had a good testimony. She never took another drop of medicine, for at least about nine years, as since then I have lost track of her.
So all we need is to mind God. I was well aware that God sent me there to conduct that meeting, but could not understand why He wanted to interfere (as we are too apt to say) with His own plans, by sending me to the woods, and sending another to take my place. So the essential thing is to get where we will know the voice of God, and then obey Him, whether it conflicts with the arranged program or not. But you can see that though He broke into the original plans, the work was not stopped or hindered, and resulted in a good revival, where some twenty actually prayed through, and several were healed. On the night of the day that this woman was healed, she came to the meeting and fell at the altar for sanctification, and her husband fell at the same despised holiness mourners’ bench for salvation, as his meeting house religion didn’t seem to harmonize with what he had seen and realized. He had held every office and position in said church but that of pastor and janitor. It took him four days, as we knelt right behind him and held him foursquare to the Bible, so he could not back out without crawling over us. He said several times in his testimony: “I would have backed out several times had it not been that Bevington was close at my heels. I could not get up without making a display there.” He said, “I do thank God that Bevington had the grit to stick to my back, shaking me over hell until I made a complete surrender, and hence got something that enables me to know that I am saved.” Later he got sanctified. And their proud society daughter, a vain girl, had to succumb to the prayers of us three, as we turned all the forces of heaven on her, and she finally yielded. So all this came just because I was willing to be a laughing stock for the whole family, which resulted in her healing. I tell you it sets my soul on fire as I write about these wonderful manifestations of God’s power.
I held a meeting in Ohio, and several got saved; so two years later someone sent me money to come back. As the meeting progressed, I kept missing one sister who had been such a power after she got saved in that first meeting. I kept wondering why I did not see her. “They must have moved away,” I thought. I could not, or at least did not, ask anyone about her, as it seemed I would not think of it only when I was absent from those that would know until several days had passed. Then I was praying and this woman came to my mind. So I got right up, and went out into the kitchen. “Sister, what has become of Sister D_____? Why doesn’t she come to church? Has she backslidden?” “Why Brother Bevington, haven’t you heard about her?” I said, “I guess not; why?” “She scalded her foot; is laid up in bed, and has been there for nine months. They got a doctor. Three or four of us went and reminded her of what you had preached on Divine healing, but she clung to the doctor. We wanted her to write to you, but she held onto the doctor. She went to the hospital, and is there now. They have spent $700.00, and they are talking of taking her limb off above her knee. She has suffered terribly.” Now note all this, as I want to show you the difference in doctoring down here (going down to Egypt) and in doctoring with my doctor. Here was a woman who knew that God healed; as her niece was instantly healed the first time I was in the neighborhood; and this woman rejoiced so much over that healing. But you probably say as she said, “Oh, well this is different, a different case, a different cause, and so on.” How Satan loves to hoodwink God’s children by getting their eyes on the conditions, instead of on Jesus. Do you reckon that Jesus’ power is confined to conditions, or surroundings? Is Jesus confined to certain conditions? I want to record right here for the glory of God, that for the last thirty-two years I have not seen a peculiar case, I am not looking for them; I will not allow myself to look at the peculiarity of the surroundings. I just see Jesus and Him alone. He says, “I am the God that healeth thee.”
I want to show you the difference between trusting God, and refusing to trust Him, as this woman was a great sufferer for sixteen months, and then had the limb taken off above her knee, costing them nearly a thousand dollars. Now here is the other side. When I was keeping house about two squares from where I am now typing here in Ashland, I was having some boiled potatoes for dinner. I had a large quantity of water on them so as to prevent scorching the kettle. I was pouring the boiling water off, and by not having sufficient rags, I suppose, the lid slipped off, and over a quart of that boiling water went into my shoe. I was practicing economy; hence had on a pair of shoes that were intended to be good ventilators. Of course it was painful. I set the kettle down, laid my hand on the steaming shoe, and said, “Now, dear Jesus, I was thoughtless no doubt, but did not intend to be.”
At once Satan reminded me of that sister in the country, who had spent nearly a thousand dollars. I said, “Now I have no money and wouldn’t go down to Egypt if I did have. I can’t afford to be laid up sixteen months and then lose my limb, (and mind you all this time that foot was just paining terribly) and the pains had shot up to the knee. Of course Satan was there to give vent to his sympathy for me in that sad event. He was trying to get me to hurry up. He said, “Get off that shoe quick; it will burn down to the bone, as the shoe and sock are retaining the heat.” I tell you the tears were falling as a result of the pain, but I was waiting on God. I was nearer Him than to Egypt.
Of course there was logic in Satan’s suggestions; but I ignored them as I felt like giving Jesus a chance at the foot. So when I had gotten still, and fully given the case over to Jesus, committed all to Him, I laid my hand again on the steaming shoe. Sickening pains shot up to my knee, but I said, “Now Jesus, as I take off this shoe, please do not allow any of the skin to come off, if it is better not to. So I took off the shoe. Satan said, “You have been so slow that it has burned clear to the bone; that is why those pains are flashing up to your knee.” I came to the sock and laid my hand on it, and said, “Now Jesus, Thou art my Healer, have been for years. This is quite serious, and Satan is on hand to remind me that the sister had only a pint of water go into her shoe, and her shoe was not full of holes either;” but I said, “Lord, as I pull off this sock, please allow the skin to remain at present.”
I was to have a street meeting that night, and had three-fourths of a mile to walk over cobblestones. I closed my eyes, as I began pulling off the sock. It came off with much pain, and before opening my eyes, I said, “O God, Thou art my Healer! Please stop this awful pain.” I was still holding my hand on the foot, and with my eyes still closed, I said, “Yes, Lord; yes, Lord; yes, Lord.” And as the last “Lord” fell from my lips, the pain stopped. I still had my eyes closed, and just sat there weeping for joy. I raised my right hand and went to praising God for being my Healer. Then I opened my eyes, and not a particle of skin was off. The foot looked very red and disfigured, but there was no pain. Satan said, “You better send word to Brother Stapleton to be sure to be there, as you can’t walk that distance tonight. You won’t dare to put your shoes on this week, give it a chance so that you will be ready for Sunday school next Sunday.” (This was Tuesday.) He said, “It will be very unwise for you to attempt t o put a shoe on and go there and stand on that damp ground. You will catch cold, have a long, serious, painful time.”
All this was quite logical, of course. I am just as confident that if I had listened to that plea and recognized it as coming from God, as about nineteen out of every twenty do, that I would have been as bad as the sister. Satan tried to get me to wrap the foot up, put some soft cloths around it! But I refused all his suggestions, put on a dry sock, and put on my shoe. After dinner I went to the street meeting, and stood on the damp ground. We had a blessed time; hands went up for prayer, and that night was the starting point for two precious souls to find Jesus. Oh, how God did bless my soul, as I testified to what Jesus had done! I went to prayer meeting in our church the next night, testified to my healing there, and oh, the hearty Amens that rolled up! Rev. John Fleming, the pastor, just threw his arms around me, and wept for joy. I could feel that he heartily approved of all I had said. Sister Walker had a spell, and a number of others were greatly blessed. All said that it was a glorious meeting. So you see that was the end of the scalded foot. I saved $1,000 and sixteen months of suffering, and also my limb. So can you see any difference in the two processes or choices of doctors? Which would you prefer? Well, I still hold to the old family doctor, Jesus. Hallelujah to Jesus!
Now that old skin all came off, and it was terribly shriveled up flesh; but it all came out clean and new, and I never missed a service and never experienced any pain or inconvenience. The old skin would not come off until there had been new grown on under it. I never pulled any of the old off, just let that be for my doctor to do. So many times there would be loose skin, and Satan would say, “Now pull that off; it will irritate the foot and prevent the new from coming on smooth.” But I would not do any such thing, as I convinced Jesus back there in the kitchen, with the potatoes lying on the floor and pains shooting up to my knee, that I would turn the case entirely over to Him; hence dared not to interfere, or even suggest. Amen and amen! I dared not look at the symptoms.
I am reminded of something that I feel should be recorded right here, relative to symptoms. When I first took healing I was taught that in order to exercise faith and get direct results, I must deny the symptoms. Well, of course, I tried that, but I would get confused. One time I had a severe toothache, “Well, just deny it.” I did, but the fact was against such proceedings, as I knew very well that I had the toothache. Well, I dropped on my face, and said, “Now, Lord, these people here tell me to deny that I have the toothache. What am I to do? There must be some better way out of this than that.” I lay there over an hour waiting on God. The answer came, and this is it: “You need not deny the symptoms, but you can deny their right on your body.” Then I saw at once where I had been wrongly instructed. So I jumped up, and said, “Yes, they are there, but according to the Word, they don’t belong to me; this toothache does not belong to me. I will not have it. I belong to Jesus. This body, this head, with every tooth, belongs to God; ’tis His property, as He says, “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” So I took that stand, and in twenty minutes the toothache was gone. I have followed that plan up ever since, and always come off conqueror. Hallelujah!
I will give you one instance directly on this line. Although I was healed at Hamilton of rheumatism, yet that does not imply that it would be impossible to ever have another attack of it. I had been holding meetings in the woods, under a large tree down below Portsmouth, O. There was much rain, yet the people would come, and several nights someone would hold an umbrella over me while I preached. And there was someone at the altar every night. They would put in dry straw each night, yet by the time of the altar service, it would be damp. We would be on our knees on the damp ground for hours, till our clothing would be wet. Each night my limbs up to and above my knees would be damp. I might have exercised more zeal than knowledge; but let that be as it may, I got the rheumatism quite bad. That was several years after the healing at Hamilton. Well, Satan was on hand as usual, and of course brought in his logic, relative to my indifference to God’s laws by getting my limbs so wet. I had quite a time with the pain all night, and slept but little. Satan came nearly swamping me on the grounds that I certainly could not expect Jesus to heal me after I had deliberately violated all laws, knowingly.
In the morning I was suffering quite a bit, and had a time in getting out of bed. I ate nothing until about 4:00 p. m. I prayed and wrestled as best I could, and finally came to the place where I saw that if I preached that night there would have to be something done, and that right away, too. So I began to plead the promises, but made slow progress at that, and soon said, “Yes, not only the symptoms but the real thing is here. I can’t deny that. “But just then I caught an inspiration, and said, “Mr. Devil, this rheumatism doesn’t belong to me, Sir. I will not have it!” Well, I heard his chuckle, plainly, and he said, “Ha, Ha, you can’t help yourself.” I said, “You are a liar, Sir, I can be helped.” I got hold of two chairs and got up. Again Satan gave me the laugh, saying, “You look like walking across this room.” I said, “I will do it;” and started with the two chairs. I made slow progress; was just an hour and forty minutes going from one corner to the other but, thank God, I made it. I said, “Now, dear Lord, I believe that you inspired me to make that assertion; you will help me just now to put this foot in the corner, and then victory is assured.” And for the first time I felt strong enough to raise my foot without the aid of my hands, and planted it in the corner, so that the toe of my shoe struck the corner. The moment it did the pain was all gone and added strength was given. Oh, how the glory did fall as I praised God, while the tears flowed freely! You see I had to contend earnestly for every inch across that room; but I did so though it took an hour and fifty minutes. That was about the best hundred minutes I ever put in since I was sanctified. I never had even a symptom of the rheumatism since. So I repeat, It pays to go through with Jesus and trust Him. Where there is no opposition, there is no advance made.
Now I feel impressed to give one instance of prayer answered, and the results of holding onto God. I was holding a meeting in Ohio, in the country. That seemed to have been our field of operation, among those that did not have big meetings very often. The presiding elder came and preached on Sunday, and also preached for us on Monday night. He gave a good message against the saloon, showing that the majority of fallen girls and wayward boys came through the saloons. It was a heavy blow on the saloons, but of course could not be too heavy.
When he had finished this remarkable message, he said, “Well, Brother Bevington did I hit them too hard?” “Oh,” I said, “I suppose not.” Well, that answer and the way I said it rather shocked him; he thought that I was going to pat him on the back. He gave me a surprised and somewhat curious look, which made it necessary for me to explain myself. So I said, “No; I guess not,” and then I said, “You and your people put that man in there and gave him license and authority to sell the hellish stuff. You, Sir, and your fellowmen told the government to put that man in there and let him sell the stuff to make lawless men and women, and you demanded of the government that they should protect him in his nefarious business.” Well, he disagreed with me. But I held that if the professors, even of the M. E. Church, would vote prohibition, that would throw out the saloons. I said, “The saloon keeper was put in there by you people. He pays his rights, at your approval.” He didn’t like that very well, but did not allow it to interfere with his mission. He and I were going to the same place for lodging that night, about a mile from the schoolhouse where he, as I supposed, had given the fatal blow to the saloons.
The next morning he said, “I understand Brother Bevington that you put quite an unusual amount of time in prayer, often go to the woods, and spend hours in prayer out there. I was told that you generally remain there until God answers. I heartily approve of that and wish I had the time to put in at that kind of work. Now, my object over here is that I may get you interested in a puzzling case. It has baffled all efforts in trailing the matter out. There is a beautiful family over where I came from yesterday, a most precious family. They are highly cultured, all very refined, studious, careful, prayerful, and quite well off. They are the most humble people I ever met. They have an only child, a daughter of estimable character, and loved by all. She is now seventeen, and a year ago she gave birth to a baby girl, and she still is unmarried. This has been a terrible blow on the family, nearly crushing their lives out, and none of them have been to the church since, or for sixteen months. They will not be persuaded to come, as the calamity seems to be more than they can face. This girl is still there caring for the baby, and the great trouble is, no one can see her, and but few the mother. They keep secluded. He is trying to sell, as they want to get away from the scene that has brought them down to the lowest plane, as they see it. And the people are doing all
they can to prevent his selling. Now that I have given you the facts in the case,” he said, “and as you have been accustomed to ferret out such cases through prayer, by the way of the throne, I came over here purposely to get you on the trail, and trail it out.” I want you to remember that he used the word “trail”. He said, “Get onto the trail Brother Bevington, and the pastor and his board and I will stand by you; will be right at your back. You just stick to the trail, and don’t give it up until you have uncovered the matter.” The whole thing is founded on that word trail. So as a trail-finder and sticker I will proceed.
Now I will take you back about a year, to where I was holding a meeting near Chillicothe, Ohio. The man with whom I was staying had several fox hounds which he valued highly. One was my favorite. He was very intelligent. Well, one night I heard a terrible yelping, and heard blow after blow laid on the dog, until I just could not stand it any longer. I got up, went to the window, and called out, “Who is pounding that dog that way?” When the answer came, I recognized it as from the brother with whom I was stopping. I said, “Why, brother, what in the world are you pounding that poor dog like that for?” “Well, Brother Bevington, he is my main fox dog, and I get money from others in training their dogs by this one. I was to get $5.00 tonight; but this dog got off on a rabbit’s track, and nothing was done.” “Well,” I said, “does he knew the difference?” “Why, most assuredly he does, and that is why I am whipping him so.” “Well, will it do him any good?” “Yes, Sir; it will be a long time before he will take up an other rabbit’s trail.” Please remember, too, that the elder told me to be sure and stick to the trail. That dog got a terrible whipping for getting off on another trail. So you see, if I failed to stick to it, I might get what the dog got. Now keep these things in view, as they are to play an important part in the coming events.
Now we will go back to the elder’s trail. When I closed my meeting over there, I went to the woods, as that is my college. When I got comfortably quartered in a hollow log, I said, “Now, Lord, dost Thou want me to take up this trail? Thou knowest the father of that baby, and all about it; is the case demanding a ferreting out? What wilt Thou have me do about it?” Well, I lay there several hours, before I could get much light, yet dared not crawl out of my apartment house. “Wouldst Thou be getting any glory out of it? ” I repeated several times. The trouble was I had several places awaiting my appearance for a meeting, though no definite dates were set, as I always avoided setting times for a meeting to begin or close. That was always left entirely for the Father to attend to. Many have said, “Well, Brother, where are you going when you get through here?” The only answer I could give was, I don’t know.
So it took me several hours to dispose of these prospective places, as some of them would be liberal in their offerings, and my pocket-book had been laid on so much that it had gotten pretty well flattened out, all of which would be used of Satan to keep me from getting at the point of issue. So it took me nearly nineteen hours to find out whether God wanted me to take up this trail. After these hours on my face, I was clearly impressed to take up the trail. Well, it was somewhat difficult to get on the trail, to get started right, and to know that I was right. It took me fifty-four hours to get still and small enough so that God could handle me, and get me on the trail.
So many of us are so important, so big, so great, so clumsy, so awkward, that it takes God quite a while to get us on the wheel, so He can trim us up some, as He has some pretty small places for us to get through. He has to grind off a lot of this importance, as He can’t handle that very well in developing the cases, whatever they may be. I finally got to the place where He could actually pick me up, and set me over there on the trail, much to my dissatisfaction, as I could not discover a track, nor even scent the presence of one; but having received so many thrashings for setting up my ideas, I just got down and soon had the scent, and was making good headway.
Now let’s go back to what the preacher and the official board said, “Be sure and stick to the trail.” So I will draw on my imagination somehow, as I have always reserved that right in demonstrating things, and in this case it will help you in getting the case clearly set up in your minds. The four told me to stick to the trail, and I had a right to assume that they meant it. They were on hand to do all they could in getting me to the climax. So now here comes the imaginative help, as they said, “We will be at your back,” so as I am on the trail, I want you to see them following me up in the rear: and as the trail goes through some pretty dark places, somewhat difficult to trace out, they call out occasionally, “Ha, Bevington, are you still on the trail?” I answer back. “Yes, still on the trail, and making headway, though slow.” “Well, stick to it as we are at your back; we want that thing ferreted out.”
Well, I will not enter into all the details that I faced during the nine days; but I stuck to it day and night without anything to eat, and had only two drinks of water during that time. I would get so close at times that I dared not leave the trail to get a drink, while occasionally there would ring out the words “Ha, Brother Bevington, are you still on the trail? ” Of course, I would assure them that I was. Now on the ninth morning, as 1 lay there at 3:30, I saw a large church. Now remember I was on the trail of the father of that babe. Yes, there was a large church with a deep porch in front, and steps going up on said porch from each end, one for the ladies and the other for the gentlemen. There was a door at each side of the church on the end and a space in between these two doors, perhaps two feet wide and three feet long and a marble slab in this space, with the name of the church in large letters, and the time it was built. Now, all of this I saw with my eyes closed, some fourteen miles from the pla ce; and there is where the trail led me.
I was then hungry, for the first time during the nine days and nights; so I got up and found that I was very weak, and quite exhausted. I had to rub myself some time in a sitting posture before I could stand on my feet or get the use of my faculties, but I succeeded in getting down to the house where I had been staying. They did not know where I had been, and I said, “Sister, is there such a church?” giving her in full the description I had seen on my face. “Why, yes, that is our charge here, a nice large church, and a strong congregation. Why, have you been over there?” “Well, — Yes, I saw it.” Well, she said, “I was wondering where you were (my grip was there). Yes we often go over there as it is only about fourteen miles, and good roads. There are some fine people over there, but — ” and then she stopped, bit her lips, and changed the conversation. Well, I knew what was on her mind. She asked, “When were you over there?” I said “I just came from there.” “Well, that puzzled her, as it was only about 6: 00 a. m. So I told her what the elder and the official board said and that I had trailed the thing to that church. Well I saw at once that that was a blow, and that if she had had a spark of confidence in me, it was all knocked out then and there, as what I had told her was the height of folly.
Now I want to go back to that hollow log, where I saw, in addition to the church, a path from the back of the church going down a slope to a fence where was a grove, in the midst of same grove a large spring. I saw all this behind that log and told her of it. “Yes,” she said, “that is all there.” I had never been nearer than fourteen miles of the church. Then I told her of that wonderful sermon the elder preached against the saloon, and how it ought to be exposed as all degeneracy was started in the saloon. She looked at me sternly, and said, “Well, Brother Bevington, do you really believe that all this disgrace was wrought through that church?” No one had ever been able to glean any information, relative to where or by whom it was done. “Yes ma’am, it was through a box social, as the Lord has shown me.” “Oh, I can’t believe it.” “Well, I can’t help that.” “Well, what is to be done about it? They will never give consent to such a report as that, going out against that grand old church. You will have to let it drop; say no more about it, and you had better get out of here before it gets noised around.” I said, “No, I can’t let it drop, as the four cautioned me to stick to the trail.” “Well,” she said, “the pastor from that church is down here five miles visiting a member who recently moved from near this church. Do you think it best to see him before you go away? If so I will have the boy go after him in our buggy.” “Yes, I wish you would.” So off he went.
Soon here comes the pastor, and he got there about 3:00 p. m. He threw up his hands in horror at the report, shook his head defiantly, and said, “I will not accept that at all.” “Well, Sir, you have to accept it, whether you want to or not.” He rose and said, “Mr. (He did not address me as Brother, but said sarcastically, Mr.) you have seen this church or have gotten all this from someone, and now you want to bring this awful calamity within its pure, unstained portals. Sir, you shall not do any such thing, and more than that, Sir, I want you to get out of here; and if you haven’t money, I will take you to the train and loan you money until you see fit to pay it, and if you never do, it will be all right.” I said, “Do you remember what you and the other three said, that you all would stand by me, and that I should stick to the trail? Do you remember that?” So off he went, drove forty-four miles for the elder — “going to have that crank put where he won’t be bringing such disgraces in the churches!” Why, t hey had me branded as a genuine church splitter.
So next day, here they all come — pastor, elder, official board — all denouncing me, except the elder; he didn’t seem to have much to say, and I felt that he was thinking it possible, though maybe hardly probable. They gave me twenty-four hours to get out of that country. Well, I had gotten accustomed to threats — threats of rotten eggs, clubs, tar and feathers and rail, dungeons, insane asylums, pits, and jails, and even the whipping post. So I was not badly frightened, and made no move towards packing up and getting, as they had ordered. They said, “Aren’t you going to get ready to leave?” I said, “I will not be too hasty about this; I will have to wait on the Lord to get orders.” The pastor rose, and said, “Here are your orders.” I said, “I will have to wait on the Lord, and when He says ‘Go,’ I will go, and not before.” The three said. “It will never do to have such reports go out relative to this grand old landmark.” Well, for the first time, the elder spoke up and said, “Well, Brother Bevington, i t may be possible that this is all true; and suppose that we admit that it is true, would it not be better to drop it, and we will pay your way to your next place.”
“Well,” I said, “you told me to stick to the trail, and if I should do as you say, then the question would arise with me at least, What did you do? Did you stick to the trail? It would necessitate my telling a lie, by saying that I lost the trail. I said, “It was done there in that grove, at one of your box socials.” I said to the elder, “Do you remember that sermon you preached against the saloons?” “Yes.” “Well, there you said that every crime that was started in the saloon ought to be published, and the saloon keepers made to face it. Expose the saloon keepers as the cause. Now,” I said, “when a girl loses her virtue in and through a church, is the crime or disgrace lessened any, just because it was done through the church?” Well, he had to admit that the crime stood as horrible in one case as another, but said, “It must not be exposed here.” I said, “If a girl is ruined in and through a saloon, then go for the saloon keeper hot and heavy, but if the same act is committed by and through the church, th en it must be crushed.” I said, “O Consistency, thou art a jewel!” and continued. “I cannot keep still on this matter. ‘Tis now reported that I lay up in the woods nine days on this matter.” “Well,” they said, “you can’t prove it, as she will not allow anyone to see her.”
Well, I just left them, and went to the woods and got into my former commodious quarters, and said, “Now, Lord, Thou hast permitted me to go this far and now here I am to get permission to see that girl and get the whole truth from her.” That was quite a large proposition, as she would not allow anyone to see her. Well, it took me just seventy-two hours to keep the buzzards off, and get still, by getting them entirely out of the way. The troublesome buzzards were not confined only to the prophetic days, but seem to have quite a numerous following these days, swooping down upon us, and devouring the offerings of revelations. After fighting seventy-two hours, and keeping all hell off, I got still, and saw myself approaching a house from the back, going down a hill, crossing a creek, going up a bank to a garden fence. Then I climbed over the fence, went through the garden, through a gate and then up on the back porch. I knocked at the door. When the door opened, there was the mother of the babe, and she invited me in.
Now this was all seen as I lay on my face, up in the woods. So I got up, and ran right into the path that led me through all this that I have here described. I then came to the brow of the hill, saw the house, and the path to the creek, and thence to the garden. I just stopped, got behind a tree, and there poured out my heart in gratitude to my blessed Leader. I praised Him that He had granted me the privilege of outwitting all men’s efforts. I then counted it all done, and went just as stated, and the mother of the babe opened the door, invited me in, and gave me a chair there in the kitchen. Well, seeing that I was a stranger, she was quite embarrassed, and called her mother. The mother came in, and was surprised to see me there with her daughter, but she gave me a hearty shake of the hand. They both broke out in tears and wept, perhaps, thirty minutes. Nothing but the deep sobs could be heard; not a word was uttered. I wept too, as I could read between the sobs what it all meant to their precious hearts.
While we were there wrapped in silence, getting down to where the real life was, the father came in. He took in the whole situation at once, and threw his arms around his daughter, and there was another pathetic scene. Soon he released his hold and clasped my hand. His tears were flowing, and his frame was trembling, until my whole body was under its influence. We wept as if our hearts would break. I felt that I was never under such a holy, pure influence as pervaded that kitchen! It seemed that the great weight which had been crushing them was being applied to me. And I don’t remember of ever having such intense heart throbs of sorrow as then. We all cried and cried, and it seemed that we could not quit. I wanted to go to the barn, but seemed to be held by an unseen power. Oh, reader, the blessed Holy Ghost was there, in the midst of that shame. Oh, it was so beautiful! I felt that underneath were His everlasting arms, so real were those arms ‘neath all four of us that I just burst out between the sobs, ” Oh, dear beloved, God is here; His arms are beneath us!” At that the father released his hold of my hand, reeled back and fell into his dear wife’s arms, and they both fell on a sofa, and gave vent to heart burst, which I will never forget.
Oh, reader I can scarcely type these lines, as tears flow freely, as I go over that scene. But I had to break the long silence. I still cried, “Dear beloved, His arms are beneath us now, yes, now. Oh, we are emerging from the awful darkness that has hung like a death pall these seventeen months.” I began to praise God; and the mother of the girl rose and clasped my hand, weeping for joy, as she waved her right hand above her gray hairs. Oh, I never saw gray hairs that looked so beautiful, as she stood before me, face radiant with the glow of heaven. She said, “I know that thou art a man of God. You are the only one that has been in this home for seventeen months.” The father said, “All sit down,” so we did. The mother of the babe rose, oh, so beautiful, not in outward appearance as she was not possessed with what the world calls a beautiful face; but I was getting glimpses of her inner being, and there so meek, and lovely, she told the whole thing from beginning to end. At the time of this box social, the father was very busy in the wheat field, and could not go, neither could the mother; but seven of the nice girls came and importuned strongly for them to let the girl go. They said, “We all will go together, and remain together, come home together. We have change to treat ourselves.” So the father and mother consented, and the girls went. But as soft drinks, and cakes with a ring in them, were gambled off, excitement rose pretty high, and girls were put up at twenty cents, a vote for the prettiest girl, and so on, until they all got coupled off and parted. This girl with the rest.
Well after they had been eating and so on, her company suggested that they take a stroll down to the spring and get a drink. She did not like that very well, but finally consented, as he said that they would return in a few minutes. As they came to the spring the young man said, “Now there hasn’t been any school here for some time, and the water may not be just right. As I am passing here daily I like to get a drink, but the doctor told me that I should use a preventive; so he gave me a powder to purify the water; so we will use it now.” He gave her the first drink, and she said that was the last she knew, until the next morning when she woke up, in her own bed. She thought it very kind in him to be prepared against impure water. All the time she was telling this, she was in tears, and had her head bowed. Finally she looked up, and said, “I wonder how this all came about! I never could allow myself to see even my dearest friend. Oh,” she said, as she placed her hands over her ears, “is this a dream; what h ave I done?” She seemed bewildered, but continued, “I have told you all, all that I have ever lisped, even to my dear parents who stood so nobly by me in my fall.” And at that she fell into her mother’s arms.
Oh, reader, such a scene; I wish I were able to picture it! She said, “Oh, this is a mystery! ” The father rose and clasped her in his arms, and said, “Daughter, this is no mystery; God has answered your mother’s and my prayers by sending this man of God here to get at this.” Then they asked me how it was that I had come. So I told them all that had been told me, and how I had been in the woods nine days, and then again about seventy-three or seventy-four hours, and how I had seen the path, and followed it to the kitchen. Well, now, how long do you think all this took? It took over eleven hours before we were through in that kitchen. And then it was nearly twelve, midnight. So I was shown a good bed, and I tell you I appreciated it, too, as I had spent about 303 hours without any bed or anything to eat. And the next morning enjoyed some good country ham for breakfast. They all marveled at the greatness and accuracy of God.
So ever since then, more than ever, I have fought box socials, have suffered many a time by the stand I took, but have lived through all, and am as bold against them now as ever. I remember one time I had to walk sixty-two miles and carry a heavy grip, just because of the stand I took against box socials. I will say to our holiness preachers: Take your stand emphatically against them. Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice against it; thunder it wherever you go. Let us rise up as one, pierce the serpent to its very center, until we have driven it from our midst. Well, the family soon sold out, and went to northern Michigan to the pine lumber belt. I saw the girl once at the Cincinnati Camp, and she still had a good experience.
I was once holding a meeting in Kentucky. I was invited to a home for the night, and about two o’clock I heard a terrible racket downstairs. I arose, went to the head of the stairs to ascertain what was going on. “Why, Brother Bevington, Lucy is dying with terrible cramps.” Though I was a stranger to all of them, as that was my first night there, yet I went down, and found Grandma rushing in and out to the smoke house. Every one in the house was up doing all that they could to save the child’s life. There she was writhing in pain. Three were trying to hold her, while two were trying to keep the hot cloth, and the contents of Grandma’s smoke house on her. The mother stopped long enough to wring her hands in agony, saying, “Brother Bevington, what can we do more than is being done? Husband is out in the woods after the horses to go for the doctor.” “Well,” I said, “sister, if you all let her go and take all of those remedies off her, it may be that Jesus will heal her.” “Oh, Brother Bevington, she could not live five minutes without these applications!” So as they were doing their best, Grandma stopped, and said, “Mister, did you ever see anyone healed?” I said, “Plenty of them.” “Well,” she said, “I have heard of such likes, but never saw one. No one never round here has done that way.” And she looked so earnestly at me, as though she had done her best, and the child was suffering unbearable pains. “Well,” I said, “if you will strip her of those remedies and let go of her, you all will see the power of God.”
They all feared to venture on my suggestion, and wanted me to help hold her down, which I declined to do. The mother said, “Why, Brother Bevington, if we take our hands off her, she will plunge out of bed and kill herself, and we will be charged with murder.” “Well,” I said, “just do as you see fit.” I left the room, but Grandma followed me upstairs, and said, “Don’t leave us. Oh,” she said, “I would love to see Jesus heal her. And are you sure He will if we let her go?” Well, I saw that they were so blind to the power of Jesus that I ventured further than I generally do, and said, “Yes, Grandma, He will, but can’t get at her now as there isn’t room for Him in that room.” So Grandma went into the room, and led me in, and said, “This man says that Jesus will heal her if we all get out of the way and take all rags and poultices off.” At that the mother let go of the child, and wrung her hands, and said, “Oh, I can’t assume all this responsibility. Oh, it is too much for me.” And all this while there were four trying to hold the child down. I raised my hand, and the girl dropped down with eyes closed. The mother said, “She is dead.” I said, “She is not dead but she is quiet.” I said, “Now remove all those remedies.” Grandma went at it, and had a pile on the floor as large as a half bushel. I then asked all doubters to leave the room. None left. I said, “Do you all believe that Jesus will heal this child?” One spoke up, and said, “Well, we none of us can say we do, but we will not be in your way in the least. We all would love to see Jesus manifest His healing power on this suffering child.” So I took the oil, anointed her, prayed the prayer of faith, and in twenty minutes she was asleep.
I went back to bed and when the doctor reached there, he found her asleep, and said there was nothing the matter with her. He did not leave any medicines as he had been in the habit of doing. When the father came in, he rushed up to her, laid his hand on her, and said, “She is dead, Doctor.” The doctor laughed. He had never seen anyone healed. It was new to him. The father had quite a time to believe that the child was healed. If it had been more gradual, he probably would have more readily received it. The doctor went home, and then they all went to bed but the father. He had not struggled as the others had, so he remained up to call them all in a few minutes, as he would have it that she could not be healed.
I went upstairs, walked the floor, bathed in tears of joy and in praise for what Jesus had done. I was called down to breakfast. I had pleaded that the child would get up of its own accord and go out to breakfast and eat a hearty meal; so when I entered the kitchen, there sat the child as well as ever. She jumped up and threw her arms around me, and just hugged me good and laughed and cried. I told her that she ought to hug Jesus as He was the one that healed her. “Well,” she said, “I know He is, but you are the only one that has ever been around here with the faith that you have, for healing.”
After breakfast, Grandma said, “Brother Bevington, come here.” She took me out to the smoke house, such a sight — rafters loaded down with all sorts of remedies! Poor Grandma toiled days and weeks in the fall getting that great display of roots, herbs, leaves, barks — all for the keeping up of worn-out or disabled bodies. She said, “Good-bye”, and she looked up, and said, “Now Jesus, if you can heal Lucy, you can and will heal all the rest of us.” She said, “Brother Bevington, I want you to get them all down, for I will make a bonfire of them.” I said, “Grandma, are you sure you can trust Jesus, as I won’t be around here long?” She said, “Yes, Sir, I have seen what I have never seen before and I will believe and trust Jesus.” I said, “Then you really want me to get them down?” “Yes, Sir.” “Well, hadn’t we better see your son, the father of Lucy?” “Well, you can see him if you want to, but I assure you that he will not object.” So I went out to the barn, and said, “Your mother wants me to haul down that d rug store in the smoke house and make a bonfire of them. What do you think about it?” So he went up to the house to see if Lucy was still up, and he found her out in the swing, just laughing, and she said, “Oh, Papa, I never felt as I now feel. I know that Jesus healed me.” So we went back to the barn, and he told me to do as Grandma said, so we had the pleasure of stripping those rafters and boxes and hooks of that great store; and Lucy, with a radiant face, lighted the fire. We all had a blessed time at the bonfire. I have seen them several times, but they say Grandma never gathered up any more remedies. Lucy was sound and well and went to school, which she had never been able to do. O Hallelujah, to our great Physician! Amen!
I was holding a meeting once, back of Willard, Kentucky, the former home of the famous Fleming boys. Their mother is still living there. I was invited home by the Ison family, strangers to me. We were in a jolt wagon, and the wife carried a large lamp so as to see the best road, as the roads were bad. The wife jumps out of the wagon with the baby. The lamp was handed her, chimney hot, and the baby got its little hand against chimney, and burned it badly. We put the mules out and went in. The little thing was screaming terribly, and the mother was walking the floor in great agony. The girls were trying to do something, but all to no avail. I said, “Sister (though I did not know how they would take it) did you people ever take cases like this to Jesus?” The mother was crying like her heart would break, as the child was screaming, but she said, “Do you believe that Jesus can heal the baby?” I said “Yes”. Well she just handed me the baby, and sat down as calm as though nothing was wrong. I laid my hand on the burned hand, and in six minutes the child was asleep. To Jesus be all the glory.
I well remember how near I came to getting tripped up by Satan’s schemes, as when I first thought of mentioning healing to the mother, it was suggested that I had better go a little slow as these were strangers to me, they would not take kindly to my suggestions. I did hesitate for a moment, but soon rallied from that position. As none of them were converted at that time, ’twas suggested that if I wanted to get hold of them, I had better go slow, as they did not take any stock in holiness and all that stuff. Satan took the pains to tell me that they were not saved. But I ran the chances, and in a few moments found out that they were both saved and were hungering for sanctification. So you see Satan uses stratagem. The baby slept well all night. Next morning, all the skin was peeled off the back of its hand; but the baby never cried any more. Praise God for such victories! The parents both got sanctified before I left, also two of their daughters got saved.
Now we all know that cause and effect are inseparable. Where there is an effect, we know that the cause is round somewhere. And one of the main causes for not allowing Jesus to heal us is the lack of entire sanctification, for when we fully die out, then we are so dead to this world and all its environments that we can trust God to do most anything.
For instance I held a meeting in Ohio, trudged along, had a slow hard fight, and so far as I could see just one family was brought in; but the heads were regenerated and sanctified. I went from there some twenty-two miles for another meeting, somewhat discouraged as to the results of the meeting just closed, as several had said it was about as near a failure as had ever been there.
Well, I went in as best I could at number two. The second night several fell at the altar. Well, right from the start it looked as though a great revival was just ahead of us. But after the first Sunday we began looking for seekers for the Holy Ghost. I preached the second work strong and incessant, but no one came. The seekers for regeneration were plenty. Well, I began weeping over the state, pleading with them, but there was not a seeker for the second work. The meeting closed in what seemed to the people a blaze of glory. Some fifty people had claimed to have prayed through. Well, we considered this meeting to be more of a failure than the other. In spite of all my preaching on the essentiality of sanctification and my fasting for them, not one sought it.
Well, I went away from there feeling pretty bad, and Saturday night put forth an extra effort, gave one of my best Bible readings on the second work of grace, but no one made any move. I said, “Brethren, regeneration is a most blessed and glorious work, but it does not complete God’s ideal of a child of His.” I said, “If you fail to go on into the second work, you will never stand.” The closing sermon was a strong Bible reading on the second work. No one came. Well, this meeting was quite far-reaching in its sphere. Many came for miles, so it was considered a great meeting. Several asked the reason of the failure of the meeting over on the creek. Well, I said nothing, but felt that this was the greater failure of the two.
I packed up my tent, went forty-five miles from there, and kept going on, and have been going on ever since, Hallelujah!
But now back to the failure. I went to the Cincinnati Camp about nine months after this first meeting, and a Brother said, “Brother Bevington, I have a call to hold a meeting back on Noose Creek. I was told that you held a meeting there and it was a failure. How about it?” “Well,” I said, “I do not call it a failure by any means,
as the heads of a family got saved and sanctified.” “Was that all?” “Yes, as far as I could see.” “And we heard you held a rousing meeting over at the bend.” “Well,” I said, “that is what they called it,” and I said no more.
He took his tent and turned the failure down. He went over on the bend where the rousing meeting was, pitched his tent and cut loose, expecting a rousing meeting, preaches eight days and not a soul at the altar. Well, he was somewhat discouraged, but sticks to it until Sunday night, but no one came. But Sunday, his last day, the man and wife from over at the pronounced failure, that were sanctified, asked him to bring his tent over to their neighborhood. The evangelist, not knowing that this was the place where I had the terrible failure, gladly accepted the call, glad to get most anywhere away from that place. The brother came after him Monday with a team. He begins his meeting Tuesday night, cuts loose on the second work, which they would not stand for over on the bend. So he feels impressed to open the altar, and eight fell at the altar for sanctification. This brother and wife had been holding cottage meetings during the lapse of time, and eleven had been regenerated, and three of them sanctified. So w e need power, and faith is power, and it is hard to exercise faith with the “old man” in us.
Healing helps us in various ways. I was holding a meeting in Indiana, and there were two sisters, unmarried, lovely girls, good singers, good leaders and workers, beautiful characters; hence they had a good influence over those whom they met. The first service was Sunday morning. They were there and at their post. I saw that they were going to be a great help. Sunday night they did not come, and Monday night they did not come. So I went over to see about it. “Well,” they said, “Brother Bevington, we are here with mother, and we make our living on milk and butter, and the cows do not get up here in time for us to get to the meeting, and we actually haven’t the time to hunt them up as they have a large range to run in.” I said, “What time would it be necessary for the cows to be here in order that you could get to church?” “Oh they would have to be here much earlier than they come, so we just can’t come.” I said, “Now that isn’t what I asked you. Please answer my question.” “Well, Brother Bevington, I know, but they never come.” “There it is again. Now please answer my question. What time would they have to be here?” “Oh, well, there is no use talking about that as they never come.” “There it is again. Now please answer my question.” “Oh, well, they would have to be here by 5:00 p. m.” “All right, that is what I wanted to know. Now have they a bell?” “Yes, a large one.” “Well, you listen for that bell at 4:45 p. m.”
I went to my room, got down on my face and said, “Now, you know Lord we need these girls there, as they will save my voice, and add much to the good results of the meeting. So now please have that bell in hearing distance at 4:45.” I kept digging and holding on as it was about two o’clock when I went on my face. At 4:30 one of the girls said, laughingly, “Well, our time is nearly up.” The other said, “Oh, do you think those cows will be here at 4:45, or be in hearing?” Well he told us to listen, and there won’t be any harm in listening and I am going out and open the gate.” So after she had opened the gate she looked toward the woods, and, lo, to her surprise the bell was heard and she called to the sister. Out she came, and said, “Well, well, they are coming sure.” I looked at the clock. It was just 4:45 exactly.
They both came to church early and told this experience, and it was a great boon to the meeting. Those cows came up at 4:45 every night during the meeting, and did more effective preaching than Bevington did, as it was noised all over and many came to see that fellow who could bring those cows up there at that unreasonable hour. I never had tried that before, and never have since; but if God should tell me as He did then, I should do so.
Now, I have more marvels of God’s dealings — some I have never told from the pulpit; that is, these major-ones, though I have told them privately or to groups, and I suppose that those who have heard this one would consider the book incomplete without this — my straw stack experience. This one will complete the major experiences.
I was holding a meeting in Indiana. The weather was very cold, about thirty below zero, and there was plenty of snow. People came for miles in the old-fashioned sleds, with two horses, and bells could be heard for miles. Some came as far as thirty-five miles, as good sleighing rendered it easy on the horses that were not worked much at that time of the year. Many came to see the sights, and many of those who came from a distance got sanctified. Well, several had gotten down and been actually saved, four of those who came from a distance got sanctified.
Well, as the meeting progressed, these four said several times that I must come over into their neighborhood, to which I paid no attention as my hands were full there. But they kept urging me until finally I said, “Well, where do you live? How far from here?” “About twenty-five miles. We have a church over there, M. E., and you must come over.” So as the time came to close this meeting, I said, “Well, have you the permission of your pastor for me to hold a meeting in said church?” “Oh, that is all right as the church is on father’s place. He built it.” “Well,” I said, “it belongs to the M. E. Conference, and you would have to get permission.” So I went up to my room and got on my face. I lay there for twenty-six hours, and then felt led to go over.
Next morning here came three of their leaders after me, but no call from their pastor. I sent them back, and he came over next day, and said, “I understand that some of our people have been attending your meeting over here and that they want you to come over there with us. I understand that you preach holiness.” “Yes, as hot as I can.” He said, “We are all John Wesley Methodists.” “Well,” I said, “I haven’t been running into them of late. I don’t find many John Wesley Methodists.” He said, “Do you preach holiness to sinners?” I said, “I preach just as God gives me the message. Some places it is on holiness as a second work of grace, and then at others holiness is seldom mentioned.”
“Well, we would be very glad to have you come over, as it would please some of our people; but we consider it very unwise to preach holiness to sinners. We would suggest that you preach regeneration to the sinners, as that is what they need; and then if you wanted to we could have some afternoon for holiness.” I said, “Is this merely a suggestion or is it to take the form of a command or desire?” He said, “I think it is the only way we could permit you to come over.” “Well”, I said, “I can’t come over on those terms at all.” “How would it do to have one night in the week for holiness?” I said, “I could not agree at that, as it might be all holiness as a second work.” And I said, “I could not come over unless I was to have complete charge and control, preach as long as God said so and just as He prescribed. I could not have any restrictions what. ever. I might be led to call on you to pray and I might not.”
“Well,” he said, “isn’t that bordering on fanaticism?” “You can term it whatever you wish. That is where I would have to stand should I come over.” So he went back, and said: “Brethren, we can’t have that fellow over here. Why, he is a genuine crank; he isn’t going to let me have anything to do with the meeting, not even to pray, and may not allow me to be on my own platform. Oh, no, we can’t have him here.”
Well these four said, “If we can’t have him in the church, we will fix up a tobacco stripping house, seat it, and put stoves in it. It will hold about as many as the church. We feel that man ought to come here, as souls prayed through every night over there; and you have been here three years and not a soul has been regenerated.”
Well the pastor saw that this would never do, so he gave in and sent for me. I went over, and opened fire on his 300 members. The pastor had said that I ought not to preach holiness to sinners. I said that this doctrine of freedom from sin seems to please the sinner pretty well. He said that they had 350 members and all were saved, of course. Well, I thought that the four who had been over and gotten salvation and were then sanctified, were a pretty safe sample of the whole 350.
After the third sermon, the pastor said that the Ladies’ Aid were planning for quite an extensive program for Christmas and that they could not locate a place for the work only at the church. He also said that they were quite sorry, as they would dearly love to have the meeting go on; but to please the Ladies’ Aid we would have to close it. Well, though I had papers signed by him, that permitted me to remain in the church, yet I could not. Being permitted to preach the fourth night, I announced the action of the pastor, and the “aids.” A man jumped up said, “We will go over to the schoolhouse.” We, however, put it to a vote as to whether we should go into the schoolhouse; and it was said that every hand went up except that of the pastor and his wife. Even his son and daughter raised their hands. So we went over there the next night.
The next day this pastor hired five boys to cut up the seats, so as to stop the meeting. He gave them two dollars apiece, and they went at it in good shape. The board came in and said, “The boys are cutting up the seats badly,” so we were requested to stop the meeting there; but the people had gotten another place. That night when I went to my lodging place, I found my grips out by the gate, and the house darkened. I took that for a pretty good hint and picked up my grips and started out, like Abraham, not knowing where to go. I could have gone, I suppose, to any of those four families, but did not know where they lived, and God did not want me to go there, as He had a better place for me. By my staying where I did He got more glory than if I had found any of these. Well, I kept trudging on in the snow, and it was very cold — so cold that men were cutting solid ice twenty-two inches thick out of a pond. I soon got tired, set the grips down, and said, “Lord, where am I going?” “What’s that to thee? Follow thou me” was all I got in answer. I said, “Right”, picked up the grips and started on. The first thing I knew I was in a sort of lane. Great furrows had been cut out in the road as, in the fall, they had drawn corn out there and made deep ruts that were filled up with snow; hence I could not see them and got many falls, cutting my flesh, so that my face was bleeding in several places; also my hands were cold. I said again, “O God, where am I going?” and again came the answer, “What’s that to thee?” So on I trudged, and soon saw a great hill seemingly in the road. As I was watching as best I could to avoid those ruts, I forgot the hill and soon ran into it; but it proved to be a straw stack. A voice said, “This is the place.” I said, “All right,” threw off my coat, and went to pulling straw, at which I got nicely warmed up. I pulled straw until I was back in the stack some twelve feet, about three feet from the ground so as to be warm. Then I packed the straw all out, took in my grips, put on my coat, used one of the grips for a pillow, dropped down on my back, and said, “Well, praise God, I don’t reckon Jesus ever had much better than this, and probably most of the time not nearly so good.” At that the straw stack was lighted up so that I saw the most beautiful sight I ever saw. It looked just like crystallized straw, nearly as large as my little finger, lying in all positions, crossing each other and forming a beautiful net work. Well, I was frightened, as I feared that I had gotten a match lighted while pulling straw; my fears was soon banished, for I threw up my hands and there were the cold, damp straws.
Oh, beloved, I will never be able, this side of Heaven, to draw a worthy picture of that scene and also of the dazzlings going on down in the soul! I have often thought that was a foretaste of what Heaven is going to be. We are taught down here to view things according to laws. The appearance of those straws did not allow the working of natural laws, as each was apart from the others, and they did not appear to touch one another. I have thought many times that is the trouble with us: We must see things down here as under the lights of natural laws, while God often breaks through the natural order of things completely setting the natural aside; hence we fail to get the real import of His designs. That experience in that cold straw stack has been a great help to me many and many a time, enabling me to accept things that before I would have rejected on philosophical grounds. While God works through natural laws very much, yet 1 have found that He has special lessons for us which go far beyond the natural laws . I have learned that ruts are dangerous channels to travel in; and God wants us so pliable that He can twist us up, or throw us here or yonder, and that we will recognize His hand though in other garbs or along other lines than those in which similar incidents have appeared. There is no doubt but that God would give us wonderful revelations if He could get us in condition to receive them; I am well assured that the deeper lessons which God wants us to have are all in line of the apparently ridiculous. They are not on the public highway. The casual traveler never sees them, for they are not on his route. ‘Tis on the unreasonable, out-of-the-ordinary route that these lessons are to be learned — generally routes similar to my getting into this straw stack.
I learned invaluable lessons from that. As I told this to dear Rev. John Fleming one time, he burst out crying, and said, “Brother Bevington, I would have given a hundred dollars to see that straw stack when it was so luminously lit up.” Had I appealed to reason as I came up against that stack, I would have taken the ground that to go in there when the thermometer was registering below twenty would be altogether out of reason. Everything would have stood against such proceeding. I would have produced about this sort of an argument: God has set forth His laws and demands of us obedience, relative to taking care of our bodies. So I can’t accept this as the place where God wants me, as He has called me to preach, and He said that the laborer is worthy of his hire. And I am His child; and, Mr. Devil, I am not going to allow you to run me into such a place as this, on such extravagant lines, to bring on a tremendous cold and, probably, pneumonia which would more than likely cause a premature death. So I could quite logically have reasoned this all out; though had I done so, I would have lost one of the grandest lessons of my life. So we need to get where we will be willing to break all laws in order to get some of the private lessons the Lord has for us. Just those few words of acquiescence to His will, when I said, “Well, I suppose Jesus never had a better bed than this,” gave me one of the grandest visions I have ever beheld. Yes, those few words spoke volumes which have enabled me to store up great quantities of knowledge of His will relative to me.
Well, now I will proceed with the marvels of God. He will open up great and unheard of things, if we will just allow Him to get us where these great and unheard of things are in operation, or where He can consistently operate them without knocking others of His lambs flat. So while this great manifestation of glory lasted only a short time, yet there were raptures of exceeding great joy which came in waves one after another so that I lay there wrapped in great splendor until, when I struck a match and looked at my watch, I was surprised to see that it was 4:30 a. m. Well, I turned over and went to sleep; and when I woke up and struck a match, I found that it was 5:30 p. m. I crawled out, shook off the chaff, took my handkerchief for a towel after washing well in the snow, and started back to the house that had been offered us to continue the meeting in. I found twenty-five people there, with saws and horses. They had been drawing logs and sawing them into blocks twenty-two inches long for seats. Both rooms were nearly seated. I said to the man of the house, “I suppose these two rooms are about all you have.” “Well,” he said, “these will hold more than the schoolhouse.” “Is there a room upstairs?” “Why, what do you want to go up there for? ‘Tis a sort of unfinished attic.” “Why, I want a place to pray,” I answered. I spied a door on the ceiling, and said, “Can’t I get up there?” He said, “Why, I suppose so; but there isn’t any floor, and it will be cold.” “Let me get up there”. So he got a ladder, and up I went. I got close to the large chimney, across the joist, and burst into great sobs. I just lay there and wept, and could hear a noise downstairs, supposing that they were finishing up seating. I struck a match and found it was 9:30 p. m.
I then got up and went downstairs and found over a hundred people waiting for me. I had no message, but only a great burden that souls might be brought under such conviction as would enable them to see their real condition and fly to the Son of God for refuse. As there was some unoccupied space where I landed from the attic, I dropped down on my face. In about thirty minutes the preacher’s son came, and said, Aren’t you going to preach, as there are over a hundred people here waiting.” I exhorted him and the rest to prayer. He said, “There is no one here that can do any good at prayer, as you have spoiled all of us; the only prayer that any of us ought to pray is the prayer of repentance.” Well, I thought that he was about right. I got up, and said, “Brethren, this great battle must be fought out on our faces. I have no message to preach. You have had too much preaching. I have only a burden of prayer that each of you may be brought face to face with your real condition as God sees you, and fly for your lives to the Son of God who has made provision for your complete deliverance from sin.”
At that I crawled out of the window near me, made a bee line for my hospitable quarters, and got on my face to plead, weep, moan, groan, and wrestle. When I struck a match, I found that it was 5:30 a. m. I soon went to sleep, and woke up at 4:30 p. m. Then I crawled out, took another wash in the snow (it was still twenty below zero) and I went to the house, where I found seventy-five people. More than twenty were down praying as if they meant business; some on their faces sobbing, others kneeling and praying, others with heads up, pleading and weeping, and others walking where they could find room. But all that crowd pleading for mercy, mind you, were those saved people over at the church; and among the crowd were the son and daughter of the pastor. I raised the window and crawled in, as there was no room to get in at the door, and climbed up the ladder into the attic. I got on my face across those sleepers, close to the chimney as a rousing fire below was keeping the chimney warm.
By and by up came the man of the house and said, ” ‘Tis after eight, and they all want you to come down and preach.” I said, “Tell them all to go to praying.” “Well, I am afraid they will get tired of this way, and all leave, and not return, and all this work here will be lost.” See, here was more logic to contend with, but I remained there. I heard them praying and singing. At 10:00 p. m., I went down and found about forty in real soul agony, especially the pastor’s son and daughter, both of whom had been testifying to being saved for several years. I could see that God was working; hence, how foolish it would be for me to take the work out of His hands. So I just raised the window and slipped out and up to my private quarters, to plead with God for them. I got on my face and struggled, agonized, wrestled, wept, and held on believingly, really expecting God to work wonders. I struck a match and found it was 6:00 a. m.; then turned over and went to sleep, and woke up at 5:20 p. m. I went out, had another good wash in the snow, shook myself, and started for the meeting.
I found about two hundred people there, most of them in great misery. One man and wife met me outside, and began to tell me about the trouble they were having with their bad neighbor. I said, “Go inside, get down on your faces and plead for mercy, throw open your hearts to God, get honest before Him, and let Him examine you.” They did so. Another came to me, saying “What shall I do?” I said, “Get right with God”. “Why, I am a good member here in the church.” I said, “Get right with God. Repent. Get yourself properly fixed up, then matters can more easily be adjusted.”
Two sisters were the next to unload the terrible meanness of their neighbors, saying, “We want you to pray for them, as they are a terror to the whole neighborhood.” I said, “You two are the ones who need praying for. Never mind those neighbors; get right yourselves. Go through with God.” “Why, Mr. Bevington, we are members in good standing in this church here.” “Well, you are all the worse for that.” “We want to get our children saved; my son and daughter-in-law and daughter and son-in-law.” I said, “Go on in, get down on your faces and deal with God directly, not with Bevington.” “Well, there is no room inside.” “Make room, go into the kitchen.” “Why, that is crammed full.” I said “Go in, go in.” So I left those self-righteous complainers, and went to my window, crawled in, and slipped upstairs, with but few seeing me.
Soon the man of the house came and said that about three hundred people were there. It was then about 9:30 p. m. I went down and found the man of the house, his son and daughter and wife were down with many others, pleading. The son came, crying, and said, “Oh, won’t you preach? I am so miserable, I need help. Oh, please help. Tell me what to do. And my sister there is also weeping as if her heart were broken.” I found no room only at the ladder, but stood there, and took the text, “Prepare to meet thy God;” and I am satisfied that never before nor since have I delivered such a message as was given there in forty minutes. Everyone was writhing in great agony; some walking and screaming. Only about sixty could kneel, but they were doing good work; and oh, how God did send out the lightning bolts in great torrents! Feeling that I had done all God wanted me to do there, I hoisted the window and made for my commodious apartment. I got on my face, and could do nothing but cry and groan and plead. I struck a match, to find that it was 4:00 a. m.; then I went to sleep, and slept like a baby until 6:30. After taking another cool bath, I started back to the house, and found about sixty there.
I stopped at the ladder, and soon the pastor came in. Of all the tongue lashing that a man ever got, he poured on me. He called me about all the names in the catalogue; but as I was somewhat accustomed to those vocal expressions, they did not disturb my equilibrium, and I was speechless through it all. He finally wound up by ordering every one of his members out of there, with the command never to return. Well, all went out but his son and the man and family of the house and another man and family — I think there were about sixteen left. Well, I felt like preaching, and so I did, on the judgment and wrath of God. The son and man and wife and the other man prayed through by 4:00 a. m. We had a blessed time, and that son did some wonderful preaching. The pastor, the night before, had taken his daughter by the dress collar and dragged her out, threatening to punish her severely if she ever returned. The son was a little bit too big for that kind of treatment, so he had to go off without the son. Well, I slipped out, went to my hotel, wept until noon, then went to sleep, wakened up at 8:00 p. m., and went out for another good dry bath in my large toilet room. I went down and found that only twenty-two were there, but all were down pleading for mercy, except those that had gotten through, and they were seeking sanctification. The pastor’s daughter was there. I felt led to remain there all night with them, so I remained until 3:00 a. m., and then went upstairs. Soon the woman of the house came up, and said, “What shall I do? I think I will throw all those blocks out, and clean the whole thing out, as I am convinced now that I am all right. The pastor says I am, as I have been a member here for years. You are just making fools out of all of us, my husband and son and daughter.” I said, “Woman, get down those steps as quickly as you can, and go to screaming for mercy. You may be in hell in twenty minutes.” Down she went, and I followed; and I tell you she changed her tune, and in forty minutes she struck fire, and did some fine preaching there until after daylight. I slipped off back to my headquarters.
Now this brings me up to the ninth morning. I had not had a mouthful to eat, and had lain on straw and sleepers. I might mention that among the many names given to me by the pastor on that notable night was that of a hypnotist. Well, that word was not used where I went to school so I was somewhat interested to ascertain what I had filled as hypnotist, filled in the annals of incidents, so I wrote the word down as I stood there by the ladder, intending to investigate a hypnotist’s standing and profession. Well, upon consulting the best of authority, I failed to find his whereabouts, so I let that part of the tirade drop from the anathemas that plunged from that pastor’s storehouse.
Well, when I returned, the man of the house met me outside, and said, “Brother Bevington, where are you stopping?” I said, “None of your business.” “Now, see here, it is my business, and I am going to make it so. I went today to Reynolds’ where I supposed you were stopping, and they said that you were not there. I went to all the places that there would be any likelihood of your being, and none of them knew where you are stopping. Now, Sir, tell me.” I said, “None of your business; go on in there and pray through and get the Holy Ghost.” “No, Sir, I’m not going in until you tell me.” So I just pointed in the direction of the straw stack. “Wife, this man has been sleeping, or staying, in that straw stack,” and he capered around there about all he dared to as a seeker of the Holy Ghost. “Well,” he said, “where have you been getting your meals?” I just pointed to the skies. Then he yelled, “This man hasn’t had a mouthful to eat these two weeks.” Of course he overrated by three days. He said, “Come in and get something to eat,” but I declined as it was about 9:00 p. m. I went in and about a hundred were there. I see that I have made a mistake. This was the eighth morning instead of the ninth. Well, that morning, at three o’clock, the daughter got through, and she said, “Now, Brother Bevington I disobeyed my father for the first time in my life. I just had to come here, as I feared I would lose my soul.” She said, “Now you pray that I may
be willing and able to endure the punishment,” as she knew something of the temper of her father. I said, “All right, I will go up into the attic and plead your case. You be loyal to what you have received.” So up I went.
She and her brother had about a mile to walk. He was seeking sanctification, but as he had a whole lot to undo, it was a somewhat tedious matter. We plead that the experiences of the two would so melt up the father that he would be compelled to surrender, and at 5:30 a. m., I felt the burden all gone. Light broke in, and I raised up off the sleepers, praising God for the daughter’s victory.
So I went to the straw stack, this being the ninth morning; and it was that night that I was located by the man of the house, and I was listening to his quizzing as to where I slept, when here came the pastor, bareheaded, with the daughter and son in a cutter, and the sleigh bells ringing. He was being sifted, as the son and daughter went into the room where he was sleeping (he supposed she was upstairs in bed). She called him, and said, “Father, I had to disobey you last night. I just had to go up there or go to hell, and now, Father, I am ready and prepared for my punishment.” The son was standing at her side, with head bowed, pleading for the salvation of his father, and that this should be the means to that end. “Well, go on to bed. Let me alone,” he said. “No, Father, I want my punishment. 1 disobeyed you. I am ready.” At that he gave a yell, bounded out of bed, fell on his knees, and went to crying for mercy. The son and daughter dropped on their faces; and in ten minutes the mother climbed out, and said, “Oh, children, pray for me, too, as I need just what I believe you both have.” So they wrestled all day until about three o’clock when the mother prayed through. The father did not get through.
He asked us back to the church that night, but as both rooms were full (as many had heard of the pastor’s actions and came back) we held the meeting there that night, and I preached from “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature,” and so on. God gave me a blessed message. The mother prayed through at 4:00 a. m., for sanctification; but the father did not get through, and as soon as it was daylight, he hitched up and went to every one of those men and women whom he called out of there, and asked forgiveness. It took him three days to make the circuit, but he did it. He said that at the first house he went to, he asked forgiveness and invited the people out to the meetings, and started out; but a voice said, “And is that all?” Well, he looked around; and as he saw not a person near, and not being used to the voice of God, was puzzled. By the time he reached the gate, he heard the same voice with the same words. He said that he had to go back and fall on his knees before them and ask forgiveness. H e gladly knelt and asked forgiveness of all of the three hundred.
Well, we went up to the church and spent three weeks there; and as my straw stack experience had capacitated me for a good meal, I had it at the parsonage, but after that ate only one meal a day, during the three weeks.
If I felt clear to tell you, it would no doubt be refreshing for me to relate many of the incidents which occurred during those three weeks; but will cut the account short by saying that I preached only two sermons, and they were on the last day of the meeting. I lay on my face on the platform day and night. The pastor’s wife, son, and daughter prayed through and got sanctified. There were several incidents in his seeking that were of interest, as it took five days and nights to
kill him out. He just rolled on the floor, perspired freely, made restitutions, and put up in a five days’ struggle; but he got through and was a good witness for several years. I saw him at the Cincinnati Camp three successive years, and on the platform he delivered good messages of full salvation. Yes, if all that was said and done were recorded it would make an interesting volume for all to read. They said that over three hundred people fell at the altar, and that someone was getting through most all the time, day and night. Wonderful was the preaching of many who prayed through. Restitutions were made in many instances.
Now I see I have left out a whole lot of this five weeks campaign, but I guess this will suffice. But I want you to remember that all this time that I was in the stack it was twenty below zero, and that while trudging up there the first night, I cut my face and hands severely by falling on the frozen ruts; but that neither from them nor from sleeping in the stack I ever caught cold, nor was incapacitated in the least from struggling for souls, and all the sleep I got in the five weeks was in the daytime.
I was holding a meeting up the river from Cincinnati, and was making a sled for Brother Ben Otten then on his place. I did a lot of boring with brace and bit in hard seasoned oak; and as I threw my weight on the brace in boring, a sudden, severe pain took me just above the heart and rendered me helpless for about an hour. I got some strength and went to the house still suffering and soon went back to boring. But after dinner I could scarcely breathe, for the sharp, severe pains. I prayed over it some, but kept on working until I had finished the sled. That night I slept but little. I was busy puttering round, as on a farm there is always so much to do; but after dinner I could not straighten up, and told the folks what I had done, and my present condition.
They were a little alarmed, as they saw that the trouble was quite close to my heart. Well, I started to go out behind a shock of fodder, but failed to get there. About an hour afterwards, as it was getting so much worse, I said, “Well, I must do something.” I went back to the shock, and said, “Now, Mr. Devil, this has gone just about far enough.” I fell on my face and began to plead the promises in earnest, and held up the Bible, claiming 1 John 5:14. I held onto that for awhile, but the pain kept increasing. I got so that I could not breathe without intense suffering. I finally got desperate, and said, “Lord, I am not going to leave this spot until I am delivered.” So I began to reckon it done, and counted it done. I saw that my faith was getting clearer, hence stronger, and began to praise God, and saw that I was getting deliverance. I raised my hand again saying, “Oh, Hallelujah, it is done, it is done, it is done!” and as I said the last word the third time, it was done. I jumped up, running and shouting, and Brother Ben and his wife stood and wept for joy because Jesus had so delivered me. Oh, praise the Lord! Let all the people praise him!
I was holding a meeting in Ohio. I preached four nights in a prominent church, and on the fifth night I ate no super, and went somewhat early. But I found the door locked, so sat down on the steps and went to reading the precious Word. I got interested, and did not notice the time until a man stepped up, and said, “Is the door locked?” I said, “Yes.” He looked at me rather serious for about five minutes, and said, “Did you not know that they locked you out?” I said, “No, have they?” “Yes, they have.” “Do you live near here?” “Yes, you were at my house last Friday, but I was not at home. You prayed for my wife, and she has been well ever since.” I said, “Are you a saved man?” “No, Sir,” and off he went.
I said, “Lord, locked out, eh? Well, how about that message Thou didst give me this morning? Where am I going to deliver it?” So Satan whispers, “You can deliver that tomorrow night, as they will let you back into the church.” Now, note the danger here, as this sounded right good and reasonable, and would have been accepted by many. It was then after 9:00 p. m.; but I had felt so deeply impressed with a certain subject that I could not very well let go, so I said, “Lord, it seems that I must deliver that message, somewhere.” But there being no one in sight to preach to, I saw no prospects whatever. But that message kept revolving and enlarging, gathering material at each revolution, in spite of the absence of visible prospects. As I sat there, I saw a large oak tree that threw its branches out over the road. While I was admiring its beauty, a voice said, “This is the place.” Well, I looked around, but there was no one in sight. However, I strolled up to the tree, got down on my face, and soon heard something. Thinking that it was hogs eating acorns, I stayed on my face, seemed to be held to the spot, could not move. And that message was still developing, but I could not preach to hogs eating acorns. I soon began weeping and struggling as I saw the terrible condition of the people, and prayed, cried, and wrestled until I heard moaning and groaning and crying and praying. I looked up, and there were seventy-two people under that tree, about one-third of them praying, and they were praying on the very message that had been burning on my heart. They all had the message; I never had to deliver it. Well, I just remained on my face, praying that God would burn the message in on them all. The pastor’s daughter was among them, and was desperately in earnest, weeping and praying. Well, at 1:30 a. m., I got up and closed up on my message — the part they had not reached as yet. After the firing had ceased and the smoke cleared away, there were found to be thirteen who had been badly wounded in the skirmish, so much so th at they seemed unable to get up and away. At 4:15 a. m., though none had gotten through, there lay about fifty people — men and women, boys and girls. At 5:30 the pastor’s daughter got gloriously through. She just ran all over the space occupied by the people, shouting and laughing and crying. By 6:20 over a hundred people were under that tree, and I was still on my face, weeping and groaning. Many were knocked over by the power of God, and someone said that over sixty were praying at once.
While this daughter was preaching, the pastor, being over at another point, missed this good feast. I was told that his wife came down, and remember how I dreaded her appearance; but I just pleaded for protection as I lay on my face. But she had no spirit of interference, but just began helping the rest, as also did the daughter. The benediction was pronounced at 4:30 p. m., the pastor himself announcing that there would be meeting at the church that night, though he had ordered the church locked against me. So it always pays to mind God.