Michigan Tornadoes, Continued
Did you ever pass from a parlor adorned with beautiful paintings, fragrant with deliciousodors, fanned by balmy breezes, and flooded with radiant light, into a dark, cold ice-house? If so,then you have some idea of the difference between the church which Bro. Weber left at Coldwaterand the religions condition ofLESLIE,
the next place where the Lord led him to labor. The spirituality at this place was so low that foryears the church had been back on their dues to pastors and on the benevolences of the church, andsome of the leading members would attend picnics where dancing was advertised as a part of theprogram of the day! It was considered one of the most hopeless fields on Albion . District.
Believing “that all things are possible to God” and to “him that the evangelist accepted theinvitation to work in this seemingly barren field, and at the close of the Coldwater revival beganwork here, with his usual assurance of victory. In a few days the ice . melted, the darkness fled,and there was a general breaking down before God, followed by the “lifting up” which Jesus haspromised to all those who humble themselves before Him. Nearly one hundred and fifty professedconversion, when, right in the midst of the revival, Mr. Weber’s health failed and he was obligedto give it up. There are times when God has a course of discipline which He wishes to give Hischildren in the school of sickness and of suffering; until that end is accomplished it is impossibleto exercise faith for physical healing. It seems as if Bro. Weber at this time reached this point inhis experience. When the lesson is learned, it will be as easy to believe for health and strength asfor any other blessing.
At Leslie, the pastor, Brother J. Webster, had done what he could to prepare the way forthe revival, and he writes that since then the “church has been improving right along.” Sicknesswas unable to hold the evangelist long from his God-given work, and June 22, 1888, found him,with all his wonted zeal and energy, beginning, under God, another great work at
Rev. E. L. Kellogg, pastor. This meeting was held in one of the tents of the Michigan State RevivalBand, which Coldwater District had leased for the season. The tent was quickly filled tooverflowing, and after a short but severe struggle, the powers of darkness gave way, and therevival tide continued to rise until, notwithstanding the heat, haying, and harvesting, the multitudescame for miles, and the meeting proved one of the greatest midsummer revivals ever known inMichigan. Two hundred professed conversion, most of whom united with the churches. “Many ofthe converts,” writes Pastor Kellogg, nearly one year after the revival, “are making a very finegrowth.”
At the beginning of the meeting very many were greatly enraged because of the plainsermon Mr. Weber preached on “the sins of the flesh.” Much house-to-house work was done by thepastor and the evangelist.
One of the boys converted in this meeting is being educated by Mr. Weber for the ministry.”Whole families” were among the saved. The roughs undertook to run the meeting and do as theypleased. When they refused, at the evangelist’s request, to leave the ground, he put them out.
All classes were among the converted: business men, farmers, mechanics, factoryemployees, with the engineer and one of the foremen. “A drayman who could not utter half a dozenwords without swearing got under such conviction that he could not sleep; so they sent for thepastor and he was saved. He had said he never would come to the meetings; but he came, ofcourse, and is now one of the most earnest workers in the church.” Such convictions andconversions attest the depth and genuineness of the work. May this grand midsummer victoryinspire others to plan for a similar work, until such revivals shall become the rule instead of theexception. While at Quincy Bro. Weber made his home with Bro. and Sister F. Barber. Thefollowing from them will be of interest as it gives a view of the inside life of the evangelist and ofsome of the secrets of his success as a soul-winner, —
“Bro. Weber came to our house June 22, 1888, and was with us six weeks. Words cannotexpress what those weeks were to us. We shall ever think of them as among the most happy anduseful of our lives. The advice and counsel he gave us we shall never forget. We have read thebiographies of many devoted men and those we thought lived near to God, but it has never beenour pleasure to form the acquaintance of one we believe lives as near God as Brother Weber. Hetrusts his Heavenly Father as a child would an earthly parent. He looks to God for everything, bothgreat and small, not doubting but God will give him everything it is good for him to have, praisingHim for everything, both good and bad.
“His time, when not calling with Brother Kellogg, was spent mostly in prayer and readinghis Bible; spending hours at a time in his own room, praying. He would be so burdened for souls attimes that he would scarcely eat or sleep. When at the table, eating and talking about the meetings,looking up to heaven, he would say, ‘Oh Father, in Jesus’ name, send the Holy Ghost to the people.’In other words, he would be praying while eating. When everything would look dark and wewould begin to doubt, his faith was as strong as ever, He would say, ‘It’s coming; I know it’scoming,’ and then praise God for what He was going to do for us. He never attended eveningservice without an hour of prayer before going for God’s blessing on the meeting. He would letnothing hinder him from his hour with God. We remember once, when friends from Coldwater,whom he was delighted to see, came only a few moments before his hour for prayed. He talkedwith them a few moments, then excused himself and went to his room.
“If one of us was sick he would pray for the Lord to heal immediately, and we believe thathis prayer was answered then. He was always patient, loving, and happy, yet always ready toreprove sin in every form in anyone. The children love him dearly, and always pray for him. Theother day Emma came to the house, crying as though her heart would break, because some childhad said bad things about Brother Weber. We do not believe that any one could know him as wellas we do without loving him. Those who know him best love him most. The people who wereconverted when he was here think there is not another man on earth like him. A great many sinners,some who were his enemies, say now that they cannot help but like him. We shall always thankGod that He sent him here.”
Oh, may the spirit Of prayer here mentioned come upon God’s workers until thousands likeMr. Weber shall, in Jesus’ name, be able “to move the arm that moves the world.”
From Quincy, Bro. Weber went with the tent to Nottawa, where God gave another blessedvictory. The time for the
COLDWATER DISTRICT CAMPMEETING
has now come, and arrangements having been made, he now begins again his labors in the tentedgrove. We are indebted to the Rev. Thomas Nicholson for the following sketch of this graciousmeeting, —
“Bro. Weber led in the services at the Peninsula Grove Campmeeting in 1888. This is theColdwater District Campground. It was the first year that an evangelist had been engaged.Formerly, the meetings had been conducted by the preachers of the District, under the direction ofthe presiding elder. The attendance this year, as shown by the gate receipts, was most double thatof the former year. The meeting was one of great power. Over sixty were savingly converted toGod, while many entered into a higher life. Preachers and people alike were greatly blessed. Manywent home to their respective charges to do better work for God than they had ever done before.
“One man was converted in the Union City meeting four months afterward, who testifiedthat he had become convicted at the campmeeting, and had no rest of soul until he found it in Godat the altar of the church. The genuineness of this man’s conversion was shown in the following: aweek after his conversion, he went some distance from home to visit friends. One of these was aman of influence in the community, not morally a very bad man, but without God. As soon as hemet him, our converted brother frankly said, ‘Well, Ed, I have got religion, and I wanted to tell youabout it. It makes me happy. I believe I have done the best act of my life.’ ‘Got religion!’ cried theother in astonishment, ‘You got religion!’ ‘Yes, replied he; ‘Weber has been over to Union City, andI have given my heart to God under his labors, and I wish you would get religion too.’ No replywas made, but the man walked off visibly affected.
“On the campground one man undertook to thrash Bro. Weber, and following him aroundthe tent, did nothing but belch forth his profanity: He went away and tried to get a warrant for his(Weber’s) arrest, but the justice showed him the foolishness of the action, and he desisted, onlyswearing that some time he would pound him. A few nights later, he yielded to the convictions ofthe Holy Spirit, gave his heart to God, and sought out Bro. Weber’s address. He then wrote to him,confessing his wickedness and imploring his forgiveness. Another old backslider, it is said,became so enraged at some of Bro. Weber’s home thrusts, that he packed his tent and left for home.His family refused to go with him, so he went alone. While at home he became sin-sick. In thenight he became so troubled that he thought he was at the point of death. He implored mercy, andpromised God that he would go back and make his confession and serve Him better in the future.He came to the ground, only to find that the evangelist had gone that noon, so he told his friendshow the Lord had followed him and he is today a living Christian. Many instances might be givento show the power of this work, and the peculiar freaks of sin, as developed under the labors ofthis servant of God.
Up to this time the evangelist’s labors have been confined to the West. Will the gospelpreached by him prove as mighty in the midst of the staid conservatism of New England as in thegrowing West? Read and see. Pastor W. A. Wood, with whom he had labored so successfully atStrongville, O., in ’85, had removed East, and was now pastor at
EAST ROCHESTER, N. H.,
at which place he had arranged for Bro. Weber to come and conduct a revival meeting. He went atthe close of the Coldwater Campmeeting. His work there can best be described in the words ofPastor Wood, —
“On the seventh of September, 1888, while serving as pastor at East Rochester: the Rev. J.H. Weber came to me again in his office as evangelist. The people with whom he was to come incontact were typical inhabitants of New England, conservative in the extreme, cool, alwayssuspicious of change and disposed to walk in the good old ways.
“We had just finished building a new church, and the first thing to be done was to raise themoney to pay for it. In this work Bro. Weber rendered most efficient service, as he always does.We dedicated the church free of debt. This done, we went in for victory along purely spirituallines. The same direct, pointed, pungent, searching, Holy Ghost preaching, that had swayed, like atempest, his great audiences in the West, pricked the heart of sinners here in the East, alarmed theconscience and led all classes to cry out, ‘What shall we do to be saved?’ God’s radical gospel inthe hands of this radical servant had the same effect upon the conservative East that it had had uponthe stirring West. Many were powerfully convicted of sin, converted to God and born into thekingdom. The most thoughtful persons in the community were clearly and consciously saved.
“There was one noticeable feature here which had not before come under my personalobservation, viz., he was instrumental in God’s hands, not only him securing the salvation ofsimmers, but also in inducing these same new converts to seek that holiness without which no manshall see the Lord. At the close of a powerful sermon which he preached on ‘entire sanctification,’the altar of the church was crowded with converts, who were seeking the fullness of the HolyGhost, as a sin-destroying, soul-sanctifying power in their hearts and lives.
“Many times I have I seen Bro. Weber rise to truly sublime heights of spiritual power. Iregard him as one of those Spirit-baptized souls whom God has thrust out, to ‘warn of the wrath tocome.’ He is emphatically a preacher of God’s law. He proclaims the law with tremendous energy.He believes that the religion of Jesus is tremendously true. With him it is a fundamental principlethat men have no claim upon God’s grace until they have submitted to His law. Possessing a heartfull of God’s love, he yet vehemently asserts God’s law. Delighting in announcing the whisperingsof Calvary, he does not neglect the thunderings of Sinai. Rejoicing to portray the exceeding heightsof glory, he fears not to declare the ‘blackness of darkness forever.’ While fervently depicting thebeatitudes of heaven, he shuns not to declare the terror of hell. While triumphantly proclaiming,’He that believeth shall be saved,’ he hesitates not to assert, ‘He that believeth not shall be damned.’May God grant him a long life in which to bring sinners to repentance, and ‘spread Scripturalholiness over these lands.'”
Having thus faithfully delivered the messages which God had given him, and garneredmany precious souls at East Rochester, he closed his services there, and amid tearful farewells,hastened to Haverhill, where he at once began another successful series of meetings with PastorFrench. These two meetings were a sort of parenthesis in his Michigan work, as he then returned tomeet other engagements which he there had made. Wherever God leads he is glad to follow, andwith this new seal upon his evangelistic work in the East, he is prepared to return, and withrenewed energy press the battle to the gates. His first engagement on returning to Michigan was,
The pastor, Rev. Thomas Nicholson, himself full of evangelistic fire, had planned for athorough work and was ready to co-operate with him. We are indebted to him for the followingmention of the meeting, —
“Rev. J. H. Weber began meetings at Union City on Tuesday Nov. 27, 1888. He had beenengaged at the Campmeeting the previous August, and his work and reputation had been welldiscussed before his arrival. The church had a membership of one hundred and sixty-six. Theywere true and loyal, but many were cold religiously. The great difficulty in this town had been toget the people to attend week-night services.
“There was a numerous infidel element in the town, and considerable religionsindifference. From the first night after Bro. Weber’s arrival the congregations began to grow andsoon the seating capacity of the church was tested. It will seat (when lecture room, etc., are thrownin) about seven hundred. It was comfortably filled night after night, and some nights the peoplecould not get standing room. Added to Mr. Weber’s searching sermons at night, there was asystematic visitation of the people in their homes during the day, made by him in company with thepastor.
“He remained four weeks. During this time one hundred and sixty professed conversion,and one hundred and seventeen united with the church. The meetings were continued after hisdeparture, and one hundred more gave their hearts to God. The effect of the revival on thecommunity was marked. The opera house did not pay expenses. Shortly afterward an attempt wasmade to revive the ‘skating rink craze,’ but it died within a month. It was stated on good authoritythat the saloons lost an average of fifteen dollars a day by the revival, and one saloon-keeper washeard recently to remark that his business hardly paid expenses any more. There was also a largeincrease in the church-going population, many attending who had formerly scarcely ever enteredthe house of God.
“Equally marked was the effect on the prayer and classmeetings, where the attendance wasmore than doubled. At the present writing it is stated on the authority of the pastor that every familyin the church, so far as he can ascertain, has family worship.
“The effect, moreover, on the church finances was good. The expenses of the meeting wereeasily raised, and the general interests of the church benefited. Many of the conversions weremarked. Of course there was the usual number of persons who proved to be stony ground andthorny ground hearers: some of them were not seen after the meetings closed, but the greater part ofthe work was genuine, and the converted were valuable additions to the church. The sermon fromthe text ‘Are these things so?’ was much enjoyed by the people and was productive of great good.Under the powerful directness of his preaching many of those who ‘had a name to live and weredead,’ were brought to life. The church at Union City continues in a revival flame.”
The editor of the Register, a local paper, presumed to bitterly attack Bro. Weber throughthe columns of his paper. This led to the following communication as to the revival by acorrespondent, who signs himself “A Baptist,” —
“Rev. Thomas Nicholson preached to a large audience at the M. E. Church last evening.
“Surely Revs. Weber and Nicholson are deserving of a great deal of praise for the goodthat has been done in this place since Bro. Weber first came here. Over two hundred souls havedeclared their acceptance of Jesus as their Saviour, many of them heads of families.
“There was a jubilee meeting held at the M. E. Church yesterday afternoon over the soulsthat have been saved, and the voices of the young converts could be heard praising God in everypart of the house.
“Rev. Nicholson took up the work where Rev. Weber left off, and by the aid of the HolySpirit is doing a grand work here; the meetings will continue another week.
“Rev. Weber left many warm-hearted friends when he went away, notwithstanding the falsestatements in the Register concerning him. It is quite evident that that editor and those prominentchurch members have been wounded nigh unto death by some of the evangelist’s shot.
“I am not a member of the M. E. Church, but I have heard Rev. Weber preach a great manytimes, even before he came to Union City, and I thank God that there is one minister who darestand . up and preach the plain, unvarnished truth, just as Jesus preached it of old; and Jesus says,’Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that amillstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.'”
Mr. Weber’s only answer was, “I have seen the Register and read it. You can say for me, asJesus says, ‘Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all mannerof evil against you, falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for so persecuted they theprophets which were before you.'”
Christ came not to send peace on earth, but a sword, .and the sword mission ceaseth notuntil sin and all her progeny of crimes and vices have been destroyed. God wants more men who,like Mr. Weber, will, when He commands, no longer keep back their swords for fear of sinfulmen, but who, with the Word of God, which is the Spirit’s sword, will pierce error, until”wounded she writhes in pain and dies and her worshippers.” Bro. Nicholson makes mention ofthe evangelist’s closing service in the following words, —
“Rev. J. H. Weber closed his labors here yesterday. It was a wonderful day. We raised themoney for the expenses of the meeting in a very few minutes in the morning, and had money over toput in the treasury, Afternoon, and at the close of the evening service, we had a reception ofprobationers. One hundred and seventeen were received, and there are more to follow. They weredrawn up in a line around the church, and the congregation passed along and shook hands witheach one. It was a day of old-fashioned Methodism; shouts and praises and hallelujahs. There havebeen one hundred and sixty-six to profess conversion, and fully two hundred people have beenblessed, counting reclaimed backsliders, those who are still seeking, etc. Brother Weber is a grandsuccess and he will long be remembered in this city. We will continue the meetings over nextSabbath, which is our quarterly meeting. Then we shall receive ten or twelve persons fromprobation and by letter, and more on probation.”
Praise God for revivals like this one, and many others mentioned in this book, whichcontinue to “go on” after the evangelist is gone.
Rev. G. C. Draper, pastor of the M. E. Church at Hillsdale, had, with the members of hisofficial board, invited Mr. Weber to hold a series of services in that city. He had promised tocome, and a soon as he could close at Union City he hastened away to new conflicts and, thankGod, to new victories at that place. Hillsdale is the county seat of Hillsdale county, and also thelocation of the Freewill Baptist College. There had been no general revival there for years, and asevere spiritual drought prevailed. The pastor, Rev. G. C. Draper, could not rest with this state ofthe church, and through his efforts Bro. Weber was secured to lead in a revival there. Bro. Draper,in his usual racy style, makes the following mention of Bro. Weber and the great revival whichattended his work at Hillsdale, —
“I first met Bro. Weber when I was pastor at Ovid. He came and preached one night. Onenight is not enough to know him. I did not like him, and thought I should never want him to aid mein a meeting. At this time he was laboring at St. John’s, where he had good success. I lost sight ofhim. The next I heard of him he had gone to Egypt. I did not care if he never came back. From OvidI was appointed to Hillsdale.
“I needed an evangelist. The presiding elder asked me how I would like J. H. Weber. Thatwas the first I knew he was back from the East. I said I did not want him. In due time ourcampmeeting at Coldwater came. I went. Brother Weber was there. When I came on the ground hewas preaching. I stood and listened. I liked his preaching, and I liked him. Before the campmeetingclosed, I said to him, ‘You are coming to help me at Hillsdale.’ He said, ‘I am not.’ I said, ‘Yes, youare.’ He said, good-naturedly, ‘Perhaps you know more about my business than I do.’ ‘Well, we’llsee. Remember, you are coming!’ After the campmeeting he went East. I wrote to him twice aboutcoming. His answers were full of interrogation points, but not decisive. I finally wrote, saying,’You are a Dutchman, not a Yankee, and you never can be; so you might as well stop playing theYankee by asking questions, and tell me when you will come.’
“He wrote, saying, ‘I will be with you December 27th.’ He came … the pastor and churchcooperated with him, and there was a great revival. Four hundred were at the altar; three hundredand fifty professed conversion. Where twenty-five attended prayermeeting now there are over fourhundred.
“We paid him $50 per week, which, it seems to me, is a small sum for one doing such awork; and when the meeting closed there was a balance in the treasury of $180, which issomething unusual, as Methodist churches, like Methodist preachers, seldom have anything in thebank.
“The difference between him and ordinary preachers is, that he dares speak against menwho sign saloon bonds, rent stores for whiskey, and do similar things, and they do not dare to.”
THE ADRIAN REVIVAL
Like Elijah on Mount Carmel, the faithful pastor of the Adrian M. E. Church, Rev. C. H.Morgan, had earnestly prayed and looked for a revival. To him and his city the rising cloud, as inmany other places, proved to be our evangelist, Brother Weber, and the blessing .which God sentthrough him to Adrian was far richer than that which came to Carmel and the plain of Esdraelon inthe days of the grand old prophet “of like passions” with us.
When the “cloud” first rose at Adrian some did not like its appearance; were frightened bythe lightnings that leaped from it, and terrified by its terrific peals of thunder. The gospel gales thatattended it were so strong that some feared that they would “do more hurt . than good.” Soon,however, the mercy drops began to fall on every side, and Adrian was in the midst of one of themost gracious showers of divine grace that she ever had been blessed with. Converting grace andsanctifying truth were presented to the people, and very many will praise God forever for Bro.Weber and the revival tornado of 1889.
The Northwestern Christian Advocate made the following mention of the beginning of therevival, —
“Evangelist J. H. Weber began at Adrian, Mich., February 7 Earnest preparation had beenmade by pastor C. H. Morgan and people. Now the work is taking on great breadth and power. Upto February 24, there were one hundred and sixty conversions, and the foundation seems but fairlylaid for that which is yet to be accomplished. Dr. Morgan writes, ‘Bro. Weber is one of the mosthelpful of all the special workers in the church today. He is exceedingly thorough in searching outand correcting sin, both within and without the church, but withal in such fervor, love andwillingness, that it results in a deep, wide and abiding spiritual uplift of the church and community.All southern Michigan is feeling the impress of his labors-first at Jackson, five years ago, and nowduring two years in many other places.'”
This report is supplemented by the following from Pastor Morgan, —
“The last report brought our revival work up to and including Sunday, February 24.Saturday, March 2, Bro. Weber experienced a serious attack of nervous prostration, and it becamenecessary for him to take a week of complete rest The work moved on without a break, there beingthree or four conversions each evening during the week of his absence. On Saturday, March 9; hereturned from Coldwater, where he had found a resting place in the delightful home of Brother H.Chandler, largely restored to his wonted strength. The Sabbath following was hallowed bywonderful displays of the divine glory.
“At the morning service, the mercy and goodness of God, the peace and melting power ofthe Holy Ghost, the breath of prayer and praise, made an atmosphere in which every soul seemedto thrill and pulsate with deeper life. The Sunday School was turned into a revival service, andthere were many seekers. The evening congregation, occupying all the available space of floor,gallery, altar, pulpit steps, vestibule and isles, was swayed and awed by the truth, ‘Thou artweighed in a balance, and art found wanting.’ Experienced workers say they never saw so manypeople under deep conviction at one time as during this day. There were between thirty and fortyconversions, making the total number, to that date, two hundred and fifty-eight.”
The writer had the pleasure of being present a few days in this meeting, which was aninspiration to him.
He was especially impressed, —
1. With Brother Weber’s faith and power in prayer.
2. With his plain, pointed, searching preaching.
3. With his tenderness toward the penitent.
4. His severity toward the hypocritical and persistently impenitent.
5. His power in personal appeal, very many being led to the altar by him personally.
6. His self-denying persistence in seeking out and pleading with the unsaved at the close ofthe service, sometimes remaining late and working hard after nearly all others were gone, andusually rewarded by seeing his subjects on their knees before they left. In this respect it might besaid of him, as of Jesus, “He saved others, himself he could not save.”
7. The clearness of his exposition of holiness.
8. The closeness of the tests he put when helping people to see whether they were in itsexperience.
9. His fearless rebuking’ of those, who, like Meroz, “came not up to the help of the Lordagainst the mighty.”
10. His giving all the glory to the “Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.”
The writer was present over Sabbath, March 16, and reported the meeting in TheRevivalist, as follows, —
At this writing, we are at Adrian, Mich., where one of the most remarkable revivals in thehistory of Michigan Methodism is in progress, conducted by evangelist J. H. Weber. The wholecity is stirred. Over three hundred and twenty have professed conversion. Many are seekingholiness. Conviction is deepening and the revival tide is continually rising. Every day is a climaxto what has gone before. Saturday evening was a meeting of great power. Rev. Weber preached hischaracteristic sermon on ‘Fools.’ He had great liberty. Many hurried to the altar and nineteenprofessed conversion. After sixteen had been converted the meeting was being dismissed and thevictorious praise of the people, when three more claimed the victory, and all united again in’praising the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.’
“Sunday morning he preached the sermon on Sanctification that has been so blessed inother places. It was a clear and Scriptural unfolding of this great Bible theme. At its closehundreds arose, signifying their desire for the experience. Then Mr. Weber turned the wholechurch into an altar, and the seekers kneeled to plead for the promised blessing. The number whoclaimed it is not yet known, but eternity will doubtless reveal a mighty work wrought in thatsolemn hour. The large church was literally packed in the evening, and numbers were unable togain admittance.
“‘Why are you standing here?’ said a lady to a company who were standing without duringthe preaching hour. ‘We want to get in to the after meeting,’ was the earnest answer. The evangelistspoke with awful impressiveness from the rich man and Lazarus. Multitudes were deeplyconvicted; many came to the altar, and sixteen professed conversion.
“There were a number of seekers at the ‘Woman’s meeting’ in the afternoon, and theclassmeeting, led by Bro. Chandler, of Coldwater, was honored by the Saviour’s presence. Overthree hundred and twenty have professed conversion, and the tide is rapidly rising. Anotherinstallment of sixty united with the church Sunday morning, and pastor C. H. Morgan and hisexcellent wife, abundant in labor, are rejoicing in the glorious victory, which, under God, isattending their ministrations. A number of Roman Catholics have been converted. Formalists arefrightened; mockers are trembling; devils are raging; angels are rejoicing, and God is beingglorified. All glory to His name!”
It sometimes seemed as if angels and devils were really present, contending for the souls ofmen. The church and the city were one great spiritual battlefield where unseen powers met indeadly fray. Sometimes a ripple of laughter would pass over the congregation at some quaintsaying of the evangelist, only to be followed by suppressed sobs, as a dying Saviour was heldbefore their gaze, or feelings of unspeakable awe, as the realities of Death, the Judgment, andEternity were presented.
One evening Mr. Weber, at the close of his appeal to the unconverted, asked all who woulddecide at once to give up sin and accept of Christ, to come at once to the altar and take his hand. Atonce, from different parts of the house, they began to come, and after taking his hand, kneeled at thealtar, which soon was nearly filled. Surely the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
If seekers did not get where they knew they were saved the first night, they were exhortedto keep seeking until they had the witness. Only those who could witness that they “were sure” theywere saved were reported as converted; but over each of such the congregation, led by Bro.Weber, with uplifted hands, would say, “Praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the HolyGhost.” No one could be present at these meetings without being convinced that in a marvelousway God is using Mr. Weber to tear down the strongholds of sin and to build up the kingdom ofHis Son.
Mrs. Sophia McGowan, of White Pigeon, accompanied by ladies of the church, visited inthe homes of the people during the entire meeting, and in this way very much good was done. Thework continued to sweep on for more than six weeks, until the closing service, which is thusdescribed by a correspondent of an Adrian daily, —
“Sunday, March 31, was a day long to be remembered by the friends of Rev. J. H. Weber,it being the closing day of the reverend gentleman’s services in the First M. E. Church of this city.The pulpit was beautifully decorated with flowers, and though the day was a stormy one, nearlyevery seat was occupied both morning and afternoon. The communion service in the morning wasvery interesting and impressive, as the altar was filled again and again with those who came forthe first time to commemorate the death and sufferings of Him who said, ‘As oft as ye eat this breadand drink this cup, do it in remembrance of me.’ Fifty united with the church at this service andtwenty in the evening, making a total of over two hundred since the meetings began.
“At the evening meeting the church was packed to its utmost capacity, and many wereunable to obtain standing room. After the usual song service, Mr. B. S. Barnes came forward, onan invitation of the pastor, Rev. C. H. Morgan, and read the following resolutions, which had beenunanimously adopted by the official board of the church, after which Dr. Segur rose and wished toheartily endorse every word that had been read, and moved that they be adopted by the wholecongregation, which was seconded by several of the brethren of the church, after which they wereadopted by the vast audience rising to their feet.
“At this service Rev. Mr. Weber preached a very able and impressive sermon, taking forhis text Rev. 6:17. At the close of the sermon a large number came to the altar and were converted.The total number of conversions to this date is four hundred and twenty-one, and the church willcontinue the revival efforts in regular and special meetings, praying and working for theconversion of many more.
“Following are the resolutions,
“As Bro. J. H. Weber has been laboring with this church for more than six weeks, and isnow about to go elsewhere and work in God’s vineyard, we, the official board of the First M. E.Church, deem it proper to bid him a hearty ‘Godspeed.’
“We rejoice that his labors among us have been abundantly blessed of our HeavenlyFather. We are devoutly thankful that our church has been quickened into new life. God calls forworkers. There are always plenty standing by to criticize, but only those who are able to plan andto execute, only those who go forward at God’s command, are needed at the front. Bro. Weberattacks sin uncompromisingly in all its forms. He has sternly preached to this people God’scommands and his condemnation of sin.
“He has lovingly told the gospel story and pointed the sinner to the cross. Four hundredhave been converted, and let us praise God for it. How such wonderful results put to shame thehalfhearted! With added responsibilities, let our church be foremost in building up God’s kingdom.Bro. Weber has not shunned to declare unto us the whole truth. He will now labor in other fields;therefore,
“‘Resolved, That we most heartily commend him to our brethren elsewhere, and pray God’sblessing on his labors. Bro. Weber, we bid you ‘Godspeed.'”
Thus in the midst of victory, such as Jesus gives to those who obey him, Brother Weberclosed for the present his work in Michigan. As he passes to other places the prayers of thousandsto whom his messages have been glad tidings of great joy will follow him, and doubtless manywho here have been saved from sin will be the first to greet him when he passes to the saint’sreward above.
When the business men opened their doors one morning they found under them the startlingScripture, —
“PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!”
An aged lady attended service in the beginning of the Adrian revival. She was abackslider, and was urged to seek salvation. Her answer was, “Not to night; I will some othertime.” Before the meeting was closed she was ushered unprepared into eternity. What a warning tothe procrastinator!
“The presence of mind,” writes a reporter, “displayed by Evangelist Weber last evening,towards the dose of his sermon on ‘Passion’s Slave,’ prevented what certainly would have been apanic in the Methodist Church. The house was crowded, and the blowing out of the safety valve onthe boiler used for heating the house, caused a general commotion, but Mr. Weber commanded thecrowd to keep their seats, and those who started out were ordered to ‘sit down,’ and the doorswere closed to prevent any rush out. Mr. Weber started up a familiar air, and the congregation alljoined in singing, and they then could not hear the noise made by the steam. When the excitementwas over he thanked God for keeping them from all harm, and then asked the audience what theywould do when they passed into eternity, if they we so afraid of a little steam.”
One of the converts at Haverhill, Mass., feels called to the ministry, and Mr. Weber ishelping him at school.
An anti-treating association of seventy members was formed in Adrian as a part of theresult of Mr. Weber’s work there.
Mr. Weber on one occasion gave $150 to pay the passage of a young man from Egypt, whocomes to this country to study for the Christian ministry, and is now at Delaware, O., in school.
Two of the young men converted at White Pigeon are going into the ministry.
A TRAVELING MAN CONVERTED
At White Pigeon, Mr. Weber had large posters put up with, “Are you saved?” “Are youprepared to die?” printed in large letters upon them. These were placed in the stores, when incame a traveling man, and “Are you prepared to die?” caught his eye at the first. He said, “I’ mthinking how to live instead of to die.” At this he began to show his samples, but could not keep hismind from that poster, and would talk about it, and before he left the store he was converted.
FIRST MAD, THEN SAVED
A son of one of the leading church members got under great conviction and refused to cometo church. He had a very tender affection for his mother, and she entreated him, when he angrilyanswered, “Mother, if you don’t stop talking to me about the meeting I will leave the house.” Theycontinued praying for him, when one night he sent word, saying, “Tell Bro. Weber to have a goodsermon tomorrow night as I am coming to be saved.” That night he came. Bro. Weber persuadedhim to yield, and he professed conversion.
MR. WEBER WATCHED
In order to ascertain for a certainty whether Mr. Weber practiced what he preached andprofessed in regard to private prayer, a minister at one of the campmeetings made up his mind thathe would test him. He therefore went quietly to his tent in a time when he was not expected; Mr.Weber was on his knees. Another time, still more cautiously, he approached the tent so silently thathe was unobserved, and slyly peering through a slit in the tent, again the evangelist was found uponhis knees with his Bible before him. Thomas-like, he still craved further evidence and the thirdtime he investigated as cautiously as ever, and the third time found Mr. Weber on bended kneeswith Bible before him, wrestling for victory. This same minister was with him for weeks in arevival meeting after this, and says he never went to his room but that they united in prayer beforeseparating.
SUDDEN CONVERSION OF A BUSINESS MAN
In one of the services at Coldwater, while the church was shaking hands, welcoming theconverts — among them was the man’s wife, — a business man got so powerfully moved on, that hejumped up and was converted, joined the church with his wife, and they both are good Christian.
WON BY KIND WORDS AND TEN CENTS
Mr. Weber relates the following incident, which also occurred at Coldwater: “The SundaySchool superintendent reproved a little boy in Sunday School, by making him stand on the rostrumduring the school. Time little boy cried, and after school I went to him and put my arms around himand spoke kind words, an gave him ten cents. He came, and was converted. I often win a wholefamily by kissing the baby, or giving the little ones a few pennies.”
FRIGHTENED BY A PRAYER
One evening, a man and some women misbehaved in meeting. The man was compelled toleave the church. This greatly enraged him. “One day,” says Mr. Weber, “I saw him and he wantedto whip me, so I fell on my knees and began to pray for him, and he sneaked away.”
The following incident, which occurred at the Coldwater campmeeting, illustrates thepower of the evangelist’s plain rebukes, and so his persistence in personal work with theunconverted. It is related by an eye-witness, — “Mr. Weber was earnestly urging a mother to goforward. Mr. A said to me, ‘If you don’t take him away, there will be trouble. I don’t believe it’sright to urge people like that.’ I said, ‘It will come out all right, I think.’ Mr. B said, ‘If he treated methat way, I’d strike him.’ he continued pleading with the mother, who was somewhat softened; buther daughter was with her, and when appealed to by Mr. Weber, answered very scornfully, andevidently was barring the way against the, mother’s going forward. He sharply rebuked thedaughter in blunt, plain language, which made both mother and daughter very angry, and thenabruptly left them. ‘Weber never can do anything with them,’ said the critics above mentioned. In alittle while, however, he came, and with a voice in manner, as tender as a mother’s over a dyingbabe, he earnestly pleaded with the mother and daughter to yield. Their feelings softened, theirwills bent, and each then and there yielded to Christ; two more trophies won by the wisdom of theevangelist, to increase the glory of his adorable King. ‘I give up,’ said one of the critics; ‘it beatsme.’ When he said that, he simply voiced the feelings of many who have watched his methods witheagle’s eyes, but not always as honest as he in confessing their mistake.”
MR. WEBER INTERVIEWED — HOW HE TREATS “REPORTS”
While Mr. Weber was at Adrian, a slanderous article which was written by an enemy ofhis revival work in Hillsdale, was printed and being circulated. A representative of the city presscalled upon him to see what answer he might wish to make. He was simply referred to a letterwritten by Rev. G. C. Draper, pastor of the M. E. Church at Hillsdale, which endorsed brotherWeber without reserve.
Changing the subject, the reporter asked, “By the way, Mr. Weber, is there any truth in thereport that you were once a minstrel man?”
“Why, no. Well, the fact is, I did do a little rehearsing once while a boy, but I never wentinto it. And, say, while I am talking, here is a letter I received from Coldwater, which asks me inall earnestness if I have been refused admittance into the M. E. Church in Adrian. Now you seehow stories travel. And is it any wonder that I pay no attention to the lies told about me?” “Thereare also many stories told about the large remuneration you receive.
“Yes, I get good money; and it’s nobody’s business how I use it. I sometimes tell people so,too. Here is a letter I received from a young boy at Delaware, Ohio. He is a young Syrian aboutfifteen, and is attending college at Delaware. I brought him from that country myself, and ameducating him. I have one boy down East, two out in Illinois, all poor boys, receiving theireducation through this money. Besides this, I am making a large collection of Oriental curiosities,which I intend making a feature of one of these colleges in the near future. This cannot be done fornothing, and you can readily see where my money goes.”
Mr. Weber here showed us an account be kept of personal money spent on other persons,footing up some $1700.
“You held no services Monday, I see. Do You usually rest on Monday?”
“Oh, bless you, no. I go ‘hunting.’ , “Go hunting! Why, what do you mean?”
“I have been in many of the workshops of the city, and I intend to visit them all, stores,factories, shops, residences,- everywhere, and make a personal appeal for the souls of men. Thatis what I mean by going a hunting. I do not shoot to kill, but to save.”
A LETTER FROM HELL
While at Adrian, Bro. Weber was the recipient of the following note, which is indicativeof the feeling which Satan has towards him and the work he is engaged in, —
“HELL, Feb. 22, 1889, OFFICE OF HIS SATANIC MAJESTY.
“MR. WEBER Dear Sir, — Your consignment of sinners received. Will place them in pitNo. 549.
“Your work is spoiling my business. You have converted a number of persons I hadmarked as my own … I am prepared to make it hot for you should you ever backslide.
“Yours, sulfurously, MEPHISTOPHELES.51 Bob Ingersoll St., Hell.”