FIRST MINISTRY TRIP TO USA IN 1914
Report published in Latter Rain Evangel, p. 6-8 July 1914
Among the Stone Church visitors during the month of June was a Mr. Smith Wigglesworth of Bradford, Yorkshire, England. Brother Wigglesworth is visiting Conventions and Camp meetings in the United States and Canada. He spent a few days in the home of THE EVANGEL and told us many interesting things about the Lord’s work in England. He lays no claim to learning. God took him out of one of the humbler walks of life, anointed him with a heart of love and compassion for the sick and the suffering and put His Spirit upon him. He told us of some interesting cases of healing that occurred under his ministry, which we give to our readers:
The Stone Church, Chicago
One day he and his wife received a letter from a young man asking for prayer. He had been healed about three years before of a bad foot, and they had lost all trace of him since, until this urgent cry came from a home where in the natural, death was soon to enter. When the letter came Mrs. Wigglesworth said to her husband, “If you go, God will give you this case.” He telegraphed he would go, and started, riding from Grantham, nine miles away to Willsford, on his bicycle. When he reached the village he inquired where the young man, Matthew Snell, lived. He had heart failure and had to lie perfectly still in one place. The doctor said if he moved from that place he would die, and left him, never expecting to see him alive again. When Mr. Wigglesworth reached the house, the mother of the young man stood in the doorway and said, “Oh you have come too late.” “Is he alive at all?” was asked. “Yes, he is just alive. ”
He went into the parlor where he was lying. The young man, Matthew, said in a low voice, “I cannot rise, I am too weak, and the doctor says if I turn around I shall die.” Mr. Wigglesworth said this to him, “Matthew, the Lord is the strength of thy heart and thy portion altogether. Will you believe that the Lord will raise you up for His glory?” The young man answered, “Lord, if You will raise me up for Your glory I will give You my life.” Hands were laid on him in the name of the Lord Jesus and instantly new life came into him. “Shall I arise?” he asked, but the ministering servant felt he should lie perfectly quiet and so advised. The night was spent in prayer and the next morning Brother Wigglesworth attended the ten o’clock meeting in the Primitive Methodist Chapel. He was asked to speak and talked of faith in God, and from that moment the unbelief seemed to clear away from the village people. They came to him at the close of the service and said, “We believe Matthew will be raised up.” He had asked the family to air Matthew’s clothing for him to put on, but they didn’t do it because they did not believe he would be restored. For six weeks he had been in a serious condition, becoming weaker all the time. Mr. Wigglesworth insisted on their airing Matthew’s clothing and they did it, not because they believed for healing, but to satisfy him.
About 2:30 he went into the room where the young man lay and said, “Now I would like this to be for the glory of God. It shall never be said that Wigglesworth raised you up.” The young man answered, “For Thy glory, Lord; my life shall be for Thee.” Then the servant of the Lord said, “Matthew, I believe the moment I lay hands on you the glory of God will fill this place so I shall not be able to stand.” As he did this the glory of the Lord fell upon them until he fell on his face to the floor; it increased until everything in the room shook, the bed and Matthew who was on the bed, and with a strong voice the young man cried out, “For Thy glory, Lord !” “For Thy glory!” This continued for at least fifteen minutes, when it was apparent to them God would give him strength not only to rise but to dress in the glorious power which seemed like the description given of the temple being filled with the glory of God, and the young man was walking up and down, shouting and praising God and clapping his hands. He went to the door and called to his father that the Lord had raised him up. His father was a backslider and fell down before God and cried for mercy. His sister, who had been brought out of an asylum and was threatened with another attack of insanity, in the manifestation of that glory was delivered from that time. That weak body immediately became strong, eating regular food immediately. The doctor came and examined his heart and declared it was all right. Matthew declared it should be for the Lord’s glory and at once began preaching in the power of the Holy Ghost. His own statement is that when he gives the story of his healing many are saved.
On Monday, after Matthew was healed, Mr. Wigglesworth started up the road with a brother, when the Lord said to him, “That woman with the apron on up the road is not saved.” He mentioned to the brother the impression he had and when he neared the woman he said, “The Lord convinced me coming up the road that you do not know Him and want to be saved.” Instantly she screamed out that for three weeks she had been under conviction and wanted salvation. They went into a cottage across the way and God instantly saved her. Going from there to Grantham to take the train he stopped to see the mother of a young woman who had been converted in their mission in Bradford. When he reached her house she said, “Don’t stop here. Go with that man on his bicycle,” pointing to a man some distance off. Before they reached the house they heard a voice crying out, “Oh, dear me!” “Oh, dear me !” When they got inside they found a man suffering terrible agony and distress. At first Brother Wigglesworth thought he was sent there that the man might be healed, but instead of that he asked, “Are you saved?” The sick man cried out, “I would give the world! I would die comfortable if I were.” Brother Wigglesworth pointed him to the Way, rebuked the unbelief, and instantly he realized he had passed from death into life and the shout of joy took the place of the cry of distress. His wife, seeing the joy that came to her husband, fell down at his bedside and cried for salvation. He was not led to pray for the sick man’s healing and in three hours he went sweeping through the gates.
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A friend of his lay dying. They had been kindred spirits from their boyhood days, perfect love existed between them. When Mr. Wigglesworth reached home one evening he found his wife had gone to see his friend who was sick and he immediately started down to see him also. As he neared the house he knew something serious had happened, and as he passed up the stairway he found the wife of the sick man lying on the stairs, broken-hearted. Death had already taken place. As he entered the room where the man lay, the deep love he had always cherished overcame him and he lost control of himself and began crying out to God. His wife who was present remonstrated with him, but as his heart went out to God he was lost to all around and felt he was being drawn up by the Spirit into the heavenlies. The deep cry of his heart was: “Father, Father, in Jesus’ Name bring him back.” He opened his eyes to find out there were no altered conditions, but with a living faith he cried out, “He lives! He lives! Look! Look !” The dead man opened his eyes and revived, and he is living today.
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The following story was the first case of Divine healing under his ministry: The wife of a dear friend who was to him as a father in the Gospel was sick unto death. There were several doctors in attendance and they told the husband she would not live through the day. They had several small children, and knowing there was no human help, Mr. Wigglesworth asked his friend if he would not let the Lord heal her. He said no, he could not believe. There was a man in the neighborhood who was a very earnest man in prayer, and Mr. Wigglesworth went to him and said, “I want you to go with me to visit a sick woman who is dying, and I want you to pray just as God leads you to pray.”
When they got to the house Mr. Wigglesworth said, “Now Mr. Clark, we have come to pray with your wife,” and turning to the man he brought with him, asked him to pray first. He knelt down and prayed that God would sustain Brother Clark in his bereavement and that the motherless children should be cared for. Brother Clark also prayed to the effect that he might be sustained in his loss, but neither of these prayers were indicted by the Spirit of God. As soon as they were finished Brother Wigglesworth went up to the bedside of the dying woman, in the name of Jesus rebuked death, anointed her with oil, and instantly saw Jesus standing at the bottom of the bed. He smilingly sanctioned the act of faith and vanished. The dying woman immediately rose up and was well from that time. That was fifteen years ago and she is living today.
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A young woman came into his mission one night and was so impressed with what she heard that at the close she said to Mrs. Wigglesworth: “There is a young woman at Allerton who has been living there for six years and never been outside the door. Will you go up there?” Mrs. Wigglesworth referred her to her husband and he said he would go. As he started down the road, which was filled with people traveling to and fro, the Holy Ghost fell upon him so that he stood in the street and shouted for joy, and the tears rained down his face and saturated his waistcoat. To his astonishment, nobody in the street seemed to recognize his condition; it seemed as though the Lord covered him. He dared not speak to anybody lest the presence of the Lord should leave him. The young woman who went with him was full of talk, but he said nothing. As soon as he entered the house the glory of God came more fully upon him and as he lay hands on the afflicted one the glory of God filled the house. He was so filled he rushed out of the house and the young woman after him exclaiming, “How did you get this glory? Tell me! Tell me!” He told her to go back into the house and seek the Lord.
A week after that he was in an office in Bradford and as soon as he entered the office a man said, “Wigglesworth, sit down. I want to tell you something.” He sat down to listen, and the office-man said, “Last Sunday night at the chapel the preacher was in the midst of preaching when suddenly the door swung open, and in came a young woman who had been confined to her home for six years. She stood up and said that as she came out of the house the heavens were covered with the most glorious light and presence of God, and she read over the heavens. ‘The Lord is coming soon.’” Mr. Wigglesworth wept and praised God, but said nothing. He realized that God wanted him to know the young lady had been healed but that he was not to talk about it.
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CAZADERO CAMP MEETING
July 8th – August 9th 1914
Published in Triumphs of Faith p. 170-171 August 1914
Dear Brother Boddy, from Sunderland, England, was obliged to leave us after a very short stay as the distressing War News caused him to feel that for the sake of his family he must return at once to England. We much enjoyed his short stay however, and were glad to hear of much blessed service for the Master on his way to us.
Cazadero railway station
Our brother Mr. Wigglesworth, whom we had met in England in 1909, was making a tour of this country and Canada, and he felt a clear leading to come to our Camp Meeting. Many hearts are praising God that He sent him, and made him a very great blessing to all the Camp; God used him as a channel of blessing to many who sought and received healing, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
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Report published in Confidence, p. 176 Sept 1914
A letter from our Brother Smith Wigglesworth tells us of great blessings at the various places he has visited. The power and unction of the Holy Spirit rests upon him greatly as he preaches the Word of God. The Lord is with him and confirms the Word with the signs following in a remarkable manner. Many receive he baptism of the Holy Spirit and many are healed.
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Report published in Confidence, p. 228-229 December 1914
My most precious Bro. Boddy,
Your request to me, to send some reports for your valuable paper from time to time, has never slipped my memory. I now have a dear English brother accompanying me on this trip. He, owing to reading a copy of “Confidence,” was led to visit Bro. Mead in Los Angeles. He had just come from Mexico, and was in need of spiritual help. I was staying at Bro. Mead’s at the time, and, being fresh from England, we soon became closely associated. This led to his baptism, and now he is most anxious to please God in any way, and is now writing this letter from me to you for your paper “Confidence.”
I must have seen not less than 1,300 people healed and great numbers baptised into the Holy Spirit since I came into this country. My ministry, as in England, grows very rapidly, and the great cry is, “ Do not leave us! I have heard this cry at every place; only California’s cry has been louder than that in other places I have visited.
Samuel and Mrs Mead, former missionaries to Angola.
I am now going to describe one or two things which may be helpful and useful for your paper, for they prove that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is given in accordance with Mark xvi., 17-18 :
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick arid they shall recover.”
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost was also clearly revealed to our minds, the gifts being in evidence, according to the 12th, 13th and 14th chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
At all points, at all places, including Oakland and Los Angeles, the buildings were thickly packed with people eager to hear the Word of God, and one feels now, as never before, that as the spirit rests upon us, they press to hear the Word of God, as is mentioned in Luke v., 1. God help me!
It was common to see, at the end of the meetings, crowds waiting for the ministry of the health in Christ, and, as in the days of the Acts of the Apostles, as one laid hands on the needy, marvelous changes were instantly wrought.
For instance, at Victoria Halt there came a woman pressed down with cancer of the breast. She was anointed with oil, according to God’s Word. I laid hands on the cancer, cast out the demon, arid the cancer which had up to then been bleeding, dried up. She received a deep impression through the Spirit that the work was done, and closely watched the healing process together with a lady friend. The cancer began to move from its seat, and in five days dropped out entirely into the protecting bandage. They were much interested and full of joy, and, looking into the cavity from whence the tumour had come, they saw to their amazement and surprise that not one drop of blood had been shed at the separation of the cancer. The cavity wits sufficiently large to receive a small cup and they noticed that the sides were of a beautiful reddish hue. During the next two days, and whilst they were watching closely they saw the cavity fill up with flesh and a skin formed over it, so that at last there was only a slight scar. At two meetings this lady, filled with enthusiasm, held in her hand a glass vessel containing the cancer, and declared how great things God had done unto her.
This is not the only cure I could describe on the cancer line. I will give you others in a further letter.
Here is a point well worth the notice of the readers of your valuable paper. At Oakland a fine-looking young man, a slave to alcohol and nicotine, came along with his wife to see if I could heal him. They stated his case, and I said “Yes, I can heal you in Jesus’ Name.” I told him to put out his tongue, and I cursed the demon power of alcohol and also cast out the demon power of nicotine. The man knew that he was free. He afterwards became an earnest seeker and within 24 hours was baptised with the Holy Spirit, thus clearly confirming Mark xvi., 17 :-“In My Name they shall cast out devils.”
A preacher, suffering many days from the kick of a horse, walking with great pain and in much distress, made a special call at the hotel in which I was staying, and being led by the Spirit, according to God’s Word, I laid hands on the bruised ankle. A fire broke out with burning and healing power, and from that moment he could walk easily and without pain.
A boy came to a meeting on crutches, suffering from a broken ankle. Prayer was made and hands laid upon him, and I got him to walk across the platform. He declared that he had no pain, that it had all gone, and carried off his crutches under his arm.
At the Los Angeles meetings all descriptions of sickness, lameness, deafness, tumours, cancers, and brokenness of spirit, etc., were healed.
Truly one could say the vision which Jesus gave was fulfilled: - ”Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.
I notice that in your paper you say that I hoped to be home by Christmas. Beyond measure I have been pressed out for duties of preaching and for Conventions, so that I cannot be home by that time. If, however, the seas are free and danger removed, I would strike for home after visiting Rochester January Convention, in order to have my own Convention at Easter in Bradford. Thus I hope to wire you so as to allow time for making it known.
I will send a fuller report the next time I write. God bless you and all the saints in England, especially your dear wife.
Yours in His Name and service,
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Report published in Confidence, p. 75-76 April 1915
Bro. Wigglesworth’s Experiences.
According to promise I am now sending you my second letter for “Confidence,” trusting that God will use these remarks to the furtherance of His kingdom, and for the strengthening of those faith of those in Pentecost.
There was much pressure brought upon me by Mr. Moody, of Winnipeg, to leave California for their Convention, and on my way I stopped at Portland and had a wonderful time of ministry amongst the sick. Mr. Trotter, the head of the work, wrote me a letter after my departure to say that it had been the best day they ever remembered in baptising and healing the people, and I think about not less than 50 received instantaneous healings during that day. This was a nice break on the way, and was a great blessing to one to know that the presence of God was resting upon one so remarkably. Winnipeg was also a large open door for the ministry of our faith. The people gathered from far distances, and from the commencement to the finish of the Convention, which lasted for ten days, there was marked blessing. I will now give you a few things which took place:-
Smith's own picture leaving New York, from 'Confidence' magazine
Leaving New York
In one of the meetings a girl came up and said she had not been able to smell for five years, and I said to her, “You will smell to-day,” and in the next meeting she came to testify of being healed, and I called her on the platform, and she made a clear statement of receiving instant healing and smelling. Then at the close of that meeting one came up who had not smelt for twelve years and another for twenty years. I said to them, “You will smell to-night.” This sounds like presumption, and certainly is extravagance of language, and on the natural lines could not be understood, but God’s Word has creative power, and only in faith of the Word being creative power can we ever expect to see His mighty works made manifest (Rom. iv., 16). “Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace.”
This is the plan which God has put into operation. If I will open the door of my heart and believe His Word, then it gives Him the power to work His Sovereign grace, and His Word becomes creative in the measure that I give Him the chance to operate by His divine power, and on the authority that His Word quickeneth even that which is dead, in that sense I am to believe that anything is possible. So in the name of Jesus I anointed, laid hands, and commanded the bound to be loosed, and instantly these two women were made to smell the oil. The one that had been bound for twenty years was quite an inspiration by her testimony, as she imparted faith to others by saying she had more pleasure in smelling things on the table than in eating. I cannot stop to give you all the cases, but at this place there were many wonderful deliverances.
One case more. A young woman, through many operations, had parts of her hearing senses removed from the head, and asked if that would make any difference to her being made to hear, and knowing that her faith in the Word of God could recreate the defective parts, I at once ministered according to God’s Word, believing that instant power would be given. To show that there is a necessity of the one who receives to believe as well as the one who ministers to bring about God’s divine plan, she left the platform as she came on apparently no different, but being in the midst of people who were constantly being definitely healed, she appeared again the second time on the platform. She said this time “I am going to believe I shall be healed,” and I said, “You, will be healed before you leave the platform,” and that night a miracle was performed. From that day she also was a great inspiration to those gathered.
A young man came to me to be delivered from nicotine poisoning through cigarettes which was wrecking his nerves, and he had tried all means to be free. By faith I cast out this evil power in the Name of Jesus. Oh, if we knew the power of the Name, what it means, and how God intends to honour the simple faith in the Name.
During my ministry in Canada and the States, including New Mexico, I had one great desire to present Jesus before the people as the great purpose in the heart of God for the relief of all mankind for spirit, soul and body. After ministering he went away. Three days after, I asked if that young man was in the meeting and there was no response - silence over the place. Then a young woman rose and said that this young man was her husband, and that the desire had all gone for cigarettes or tobacco. Glory to God.
Mr. Moody and one of his deacons kindly took me from door to door to minister to the sick, and one woman, quite helpless and infirm, to the amazement of all in the house was made free, and began to walk up and down and praise the Lord, to the inspiration of all present. Another young man who had chronic rheumatism in his back, after being delivered he and his wife became quite penitent under the power of the presence of the Holy Ghost.
I cannot pass St. Paul (Minn.) without giving you a description of the working power of the Spirit of God that fell upon us day after day in the assembly there. One night as the Holy Ghost fell in the healing meeting there, the joy that fell upon David fell upon them - they all danced and magnified God - a night long to be remembered, glory to Jesus.
After this I called at Chicago, and great blessing rested upon me, and the healing power was mighty upon the people. Also at Philadelphia at one meeting there were over fifty people healed of all kinds of diseases, and the lame leaped. Calling to see the leader at his office in one of the main streets after this, he declared to me that he had not been able to steep all Sunday night through the joy of the experience of the previous meeting being so marvellous.
Chicago, City of Towers
In my next letter I may mention Newark, Ossining, New York City, and other places.
Yours in Jesus,
70 Victor Road, Bradford.