HEALING THE SICK.
T IS very wonderful to me how slow we are to come into possession of the truth. God has plainly stated in His word the things He wants His children to know. He tells us plainly what He did when here for the sick and suffering, and He gives us to understand that He will do the same for all who trust Him. I implicitly believe Him, and now for years I have been testing His promises on this line.
For about fifty-seven years He has kept me well. I have not been ill in that time. I seldom even have a cold. I believe that from day to day I have the divine life in my body.
How else can this fact be accounted for? On November 17th, 1913, I met with an accident to my foot; a heavy weight fell on that member of my body while I was sitting upon the floor. My foot was bent nearly double. I began almost at once to suffer severe and acute pain and my foot swelled and pained me exceedingly.
Within a short time I was hardly able to walk. I went at once to my room, undressed myself and retired. I found that I could hardly touch my heel to the bed-clothing, so great was my suffering. I believed then, and I believe now, that the ligaments in the foot were broken.
I decided to rise from my bed, so great was my distress, and sit up. My family attempted to dissuade me from such a course. I reflected in this manner, "I have believed God and I have taught others to take Him for healing, now is my chance to demonstrate my own doctrine."
I accordingly laid over on my back in my bed, straightened out my damaged foot and said to God,
"Now, Lord, You see my condition. I believe I'm the real thing. Come to my help; heal me for Jesus' sake!" I meant every word I said.
And God met me with His gracious answer. In a few moments my nerves were held as in a vise of steel; the fever in my foot began to abate and the pain soon entirely ceased.
I soon dropped off to sleep and in the morning I was entirely well.
This was a great comfort and instruction to me and has made me still stronger in recommending the divine physician to others.
About twelve years ago I had a very remarkable answer to prayer in the case of a lady who was a member of my congregation, but not a member of my church. She was a communicant of the First Baptist Church in this city.
She knew my belief in the power of Jesus to heal the sick and, having a distressing complaint, she called on me to pray for her healing. I prayed for her every month for about a year, but nothing came of it--no answer was given.
Her sufferings and distress appeared to increase. But one day I was in my study in prayer; I was walking the floor of the study and I was reciting and meditating on the Scripture found in Acts, 10:38: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; Who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him."
As I continued my prayer to God, based on this Scripture, I exclaimed, "Certainly, Lord, I have no doubt of it. I know you did all You say You did when You were here on the earth, but why don't You work the same now? Why don't You heal the sister for whom I have been praying a year?"
I made this prayer in the heat of my spirit and I was vexed, if not angry, that I could get no answer.
The answer came back immediately, "Go to her now; I'll heal her." I went as rapidly as a fast horse could carry me, found the lady at home, to whom I at once
declared that she. was to be healed then, and that all she needed to do was to kneel down and believe God.
She complied with my request while I made a prayer not more than one minute long. She was immediately made whole and has never suffered with that disease since.
With the light that I have on the subject at present I believe that many of the failures which the Lord's people experience in these matters are due to the fact of our ignorance in the matter of prayer and faith. If you will turn to Matt., 8:32, you will find that the devils who had come out of the men in the tombs prayed to Jesus and He granted their prayer.
But you find in the verse preceding that there is a singular word used in description of the sort of prayer the devils made. The Holy Spirit says that "They besought Jesus that they might enter the herd of swine." And He. granted their prayer.
And in the thirty-fourth verse of the same chapter you will find that the Godless people, though their prayer was entirely selfish, were granted their petition, because they, too, besought Him.
When we pray in that manner we
shall have answers.
I. Origin of sickness--Job, 1; also Acts, 10:38.
II. Healing promised--Ex., 15:26; Psalms, 103:3; Jer., 33:6; Matt., 8:17, and Matt., 15:21; Mark, 9:14; Luke, 10:19; John; 10:10; Acts, 5:16; James, 5:13 to 15.
(1) Can God heal?
(2) Will He heal? He never refused in Jesus' day. You cannot recite the Lord's prayer unless you believe that He heals, for He says in that prayer, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and we all know there is no sickness in heaven. There are no angels coughing with consumption, nor have they their limbs twisted out of shape with rheumatism, nor are they burning with fever or shaking with ague.
(3) Why does He not heal? Our Lord said it was because of our unbelief. See also Mark, 11:24.
(4) But we must forsake sin.
(5) We must also act our faith. Faith is shown by our actions. If you are lame and take Christ for your healing, you must throw away your crutch. You will step out on air, but you will strike a rock if you have real faith.
When we pray in that manner we shall have answers.
CASTING OUT DEVILS.
N NOVEMBER 6th, 1913, I was asked, together with my workers, to cast the devils out of a notorious woman called "Fainting Bertha." For fifteen years she had been a terror to four states.
After going the rounds of the insane asylums and prisons, she landed again in the jail at Omaha. It was a question with the authorities what to do with her.
I took the ground that this girl was possessed of devils and that these devils could be cast out by Jesus' power. I believe the Scripture on that subject, Matt., 8:28; Matt., 9:32; Matt., 15:22; Mark, 9:17; Mark, 16:9; Luke, 11:14.
These devils were cast out by Jesus. Matt., 4:24; Luke, 4:41. The disciples were given power over the devils. Matt., 10:1; Mark, 6:7. And I saw if I was a real believer I was commanded to do the same work. See Mark, 16:17.
"And these signs shall follow them that believe. In My name shall they cast out devils."
I said, "Lord, I am ready to do what You told me to do." Consequently when I was asked to cast these devils out of Bertha I said, "By Jesus' power I will. Lord, you can count on me."
On the above date we took her from the prison to the church. Three consecrated, Godly people met me and we went to our knees. God gave us access to a throne of grace. The possessed one led the prayers with strong crying and tears.
Again on November 17th we had a great tussle with the powers of darkness.
At each service we commanded the devil to come out of her in the name of Jesus. When we looked in her
eyes, steadily and for at least a minute, and spoke the words Jesus told us to, she fell as one dead. She was never the same afterwards.
She soon went to work assisting in the sale of books relating to the House of Hope, and now for a number of days she has been selling her own small book, entitled "Clothed in Scarlet."
She has done exceedingly well in every way; Jesus has delivered and saved her. She has made her own way.
We find her a good singer. A celebrated teacher of music says she can sing in high C, and that is what no pupil he has can do.
She is living with her mother and sister in this city; she is hopeful and happy. I don't say she won't fall; but she need not fall. If she does fall we will pick her up again.
I am no quitter; I'll stick and I know God will. I am going, by God's help, to do more of this work. We must come to the real work; we must help desperate cases.
I insert here highly commendatory
letters of my efforts to save this desperate girl. She has now been
in my guiding care more than four months.
Omaha, Feb. 4.--To the Editor of the World-Herald: Rev. Savidge is a remarkable man. I feel almost justified to compare him with St. Paul, who preached so that every drop of the blood of his audience from scalp to heel tingled.
Those who criticise (sic) Rev. Savidge ought to try and do half as much good as he has done before they criticise him. I have paid particular attention to Mr. Savidge since 1902. In the spring of that year I came from Chicago and happened to pass his house, and noticed a sign on it which read, "Have faith in God." And I have come to the conclusion that the words "Faith in God" are the main artery in his life. That faith gives him strength and makes him powerful.
Those who have so much to say against him for helping Fainting Bertha should have taken her before
he did. She was a bad woman for years and she has. traveled all over Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, and other states, and everybody knew her and feared her. Why didn't they take her up like Savidge did and put her on the right track?
Many don't seem to like Rev. Savidge's method of doing good and helping an outcast like Fainting Bertha. Why didn't they use some other method and put her on the right road as Rev. Savidge did? My dear friends, these are questions which both you and I are up against and the best thing we can do is keep our mouths shut until we are able to cast out devils in the name of Jesus Christ, like the apostles did, and like I believe Rev. Savidge has done in Fainting Bertha's case.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of mercy and wherever we find anybody in trouble we should help him out.
Many say such criminals as Fainting Bertha cannot be reformed. I reply, if you have such an idea as that you are strictly ignorant of Christianity. Who was the man on the right-hand cross when Jesus was expiring? A thief--a dying thief! Where did he go? To heaven! For Christ said to him, "This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise."
In that most conspicuous moment of the world's history Christ demonstrated to all ages that the worst criminals can be saved. Jerry McAuley, the converted River Thief, got saved and was preaching the Gospel every night of the week and preaching it all the year round, and bringing more drunkards, thieves and criminals to the heart of a pardoning God than all other ministers combined in Brooklyn and New York. That was a remarkable man.
Why can't Fainting Bertha get saved and reformed as well? If the grace of God could do so much for McAuley, it can save any outcast. The grace of God can save Fainting Bertha and keep her forever and forever. If not, then what is the use of Paul's address when he says, "Let him that stole steal no more."
I will tell you something. I do not care whether you
will like it or not. That at last in heaven there will be a vast multitude converted. There will be thieves, pickpockets, gamblers, debauchers, murderers and outcasts, all saved by the grace of God and entering heaven.
Fainting Bertha was one of those who dropped into dishonesty and crime by force of circumstances and by her destitution; under the same pressure you and I might have perished.
Those who criticise her and her salvation are those standing on the shore laughing at the shipwrecked who are struggling in the breakers when they ought to be getting out the rockets and lifeboat and the ropes from the wrecking establishment. Let me ask you, "How much have you ever done to get this class ashore?"
J. O. NYSTROM, M. D.
Grand Island, Feb. 6.--To the Editor of The Bee: In my travels some two weeks ago I came across a booklet, "Clothed In Scarlet." Caught in the blizzard here, have read it through. Have known Rev. Savidge for many years as a worthy, devoted Christian, who is following in the steps of Christ as near as he can. Would that we had more ministers like him. I could not help but think as I read the cutting criticism by Jean Barker. And where she says one chance in ten thousand of saving this Bertha. How narrow she was in her views regarding this case! Something like a great M. P. in my home state, Denver, Colo., I think, who some twelve years ago wrote up an article stating the hopeless insane should be given a mild dose of poison. Under my own observation during the last five years I have known of hopeless cases of the worst type to be cured entirely by faith in God and prayer. And the way Bertha has started out selling her own life gives me cause to have great faith in her reform, as that and that only takes more faith and courage than Jean Barker or many of us possess.
In reading on page 31 about the big good people that stand up for Rev. Savidge and what he is trying to do for Bertha, it is sad to see among the list not one woman.
All are Omaha's best business men. Thank God, a few of Rev. Savidge's Christian workers among the women are trying to help Bertha. God bless them. If all these women that condemn Bertha and say nothing to save her would look into their own lives and pray for Bertha, knowing and understanding she is God's child fully as much as they are, the millenium (sic) would be at hand; our homes everywhere would be purer and better.
But as long as women will kick down their own sex and send bouquets to the worst kind of reprobate because he is a man, take him right in their homes and kick their own sex down, all the suffragists on God's green earth, all the women's clubs and societies will not do one speck of good toward making the world better or, men better. When women are loyal and true to their own sex it will not be necessary for them to parade the street to get votes. When the women are loyal and true to women and helpful we will have such a good class of men on earth we will not want to vote. God hasten that day as it's a long way off now.
Laramie City, Wyo.
I. Broken and cast out by Jesus.--Matt., 4:24; Mark, 3:23; Luke, 4:41.
II. Power over by disciples.--Matt., 10:1; Mark, 6:7; Mark, 9:38; Mark, 16:17; Luke, 10:17; Acts, 5:16; Acts, 8:7; Mark, 9:18; Acts, 10:38.
III. Handkerchiefs.--Acts, 19:11 and 12.
IV. We, the Christians of today, are given power over devils.--Mark, 16:17.
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