Secrets of His Success
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” — Bible The word “luck” is not in the Bible, neither is it in the true Christian’s vocabulary. Success,however, is promised to the Gospel and to all who yield themselves completely to its truths.
What looks to men like failure is often in . God’s sight the highest success. Stephen’s dyingspeech looked to be a stupendous failure, but proved in its results the most successful revivalsermon ever preached by mortal man.
The success of the Christian worker is governed by certain fixed and changeless laws.
He succeeds, not by a persistent effort to win success, but by meeting the conditions uponwhich God has promised to give it.
Just as men live, not by being determined to do so, but by conforming to the laws thatgovern life.
The wonderful success which has attended Brother Weber’s work to many is anunexplained mystery. It evidently is not due to birth or college drill or human eloquence.
That victory should follow victory for years in succession, and that in some of the mostdesperately wicked places, and often in the presence of a church membership, a large proportionof which was unconverted, in a few days or weeks hundreds should profess conversion and showit by their lives, does seem marvelous; and it is no wonder that it is attracting the attention of thosewho would be “wise to win souls,” and that such seek to know the secrets of this God-givensuccess.
A glance at the factors which enter into it is all that can here be given, but it is hoped thatby this many may better know the man and catch the inspiration which seems to be the mainspringof his marvelous career.
The research has strengthened the writer, and it is hoped that its perusal may prove as”grapes of Eshcol” to all who read.
It is a source of rejoicing that we are not compelled to seek the records of the promoted tofind deeds of apostolic power and examples of genuine Methodistic zeal, but that in such men asthis Evangelist Pentecost and the early days of Methodism are being repeated in our midst.
Contact with Brother Weber and a close scrutiny under advantageous Circumstances intohis life and work convince me that the following elements have much to do with his wonderfulsuccess: His Positive Experience. He is converted, and knows it. It was a change as from adungeon to a palace.
He preaches the ” Witness of the Spirit “in a way that makes the faces of fathers andmothers in Israel Shine with rapture; and causes Mr. Half Hope and Mrs. Guess So, to tremble likeaspen heaves.
Mr. Formality and Mr. Hypocrisy often, over this, grow furious with rage. Rev. Mr. LostHis Experience, who once was a saved man but now is spirituality dead, cautions him not to be so”positive,” that “it is enough to let his life tell it,” and that he “always has his doubts about peoplewho are so positive in their professions of religion.” The Saviour who rescued Mr. Weber fromthe clutches of popery is just as able to deliver him from “false brethren” among Protestants, andso on he goes
“Telling to sinners round
What a dear Saviour he has found.”
He usually takes two nights in each revival meeting to tell his experience, and then saltsmany of his sermons with it. In one of his unique afternoon talks he put this point this way: “Godgives it to me; and if I kept it it would get stale. I give it to you, and he gives me new.”
He is a an of Prayer. — He prays not “for Jesus’ sake,” but “in Jesus’ name,” and at oncegets audience with God. He says that for one hour before appearing in public he would not leavehis place of private prayer, should his own mother call for him.
I listened to prayers that fell from his lips at Adrian, that in pathos, power, and unctuouseloquence were equal to ten thousand synods of ordinary “addresses to the Supreme Being.” Itseemed as though I had never heard any one pray before.
He writes of a campmeeting where many were present who came for “novelty or pleasure.”It seemed at first as if the “recreationists” were to win the day. The walls were like granite.” Hewent to his tent and “prayed by the hour.” In answer, “Soon a wave of salvation came, prostratingeverybody.” “Hundreds hay on their faces with tears at the awfulness of God, and many weresaved and sanctified.”
Thus prayer prevailed. Take courage, Brother Faint Prayer, and henceforth persist untilthou too shalt prevail.
His record of New Year’s was, “I spent the old year out and the new year in on my knees.”
When he left his home in Ohio for Jackson, Mich., he told his folks that if the ministerswould stand by him his bones would bleach in Jackson before he would leave with less than fivehundred conversions.
At Fort Dodge he asks for “warmer weather,” and it is given. For “fifty souls at the altarone evening,” and they come.
During the Coldwater revival the Evangelist was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. R. G.Chandler.
While there their family was exposed to the measles. Mrs. Chandler was attacked withcongestion of the lungs and was rapidly sinking. While in this condition, one morning, the familyphysician said, “You are now coming down with the measles, you are a very sick woman, and thiswill go hard with you.”
The children were greatly alarmed. Mr. Weber, with his great, sympathetic nature, in amoment took it all in, and said with an assurance born of his mighty faith in the promises of God, –
“Don’t you worry; mamma is not going to have the measles, for Brother Joe is going to prayfor her.”
This was at about nine o’clock in the morning. As in the days when Jesus was on earth,faith triumphed, disease was rebuked, and she herself witnesses, “At noon I was sitting up, andbefore the day closed I was well.”
Is Brother Weber alone in possession of this key of prevailing prayer? No, thank God,others have it, and all may have it who will abide in Christ, for unto such, and such only, it ispromised.
He Aims to Hit. — All of his sermons have a “Thou art the man” ring to them. His listeners,like those of Jesus, “perceive that he speaks of them.” He said in one of his sermons, “When Iclimbed up the old monument at Bunker Hill I remembered what the great general said, ‘When theenemy gets near enough for you to See the whites of their eyes, then shoot.’ I don’t preach for fun, Ialways shoot at something and always shoot to hit, and, as I said last night, if you don’t like it justget up and go out … I am not here to please people. I do not tickle your ears. I want to tickle yourheart, so that your heart will get right before God … I am not a-going to talk about the instability ofPeter, but I am talking about you, and you, and YOU.”
He is Full of Faith. — He will not for a moment entertain the idea of a ” failure ” or a”small victory,” or “moderate success.” The devil must be routed, and he believes from the firstthat this will be accomplished, and it is.
When he began work at Jackson, Mich., where eight hundred professed conversion, in thebeginning, though “the church was in a very low state of spirituality, and the signs of life werefew,” and to others all seemed dark, yet to him the “prospects were bright as the promises of God.”To the amazement of all, the very first night of the meeting, with the church like a spiritualice-house, he announced that there would be from five hundred to one thousand conversions.
Doubting Thomases and fearful Peters, and they were many, said, “It cannot be,” “But,” touse his own words, “there are no impossibilities with God. Many were the hindrances. New trialscame up daily. Some hills seemed too high to scale, but faith in God helped those hills to bevalleys; and those stones that seemed insurmountable were only stepping-stones to higher regionsof faith in God. The Beulah heights would glisten, and then the people would rejoice, but soon adark, dense cloud would envelop us, and so intermingled were the glories and the darknesses thatat times we were lost in the fog. But Jesus found us every time, as a shepherd findeth his sheep.Faith in the power of God conquered all obstacles. Hundreds went away, many nights, who couldnot get access. For weeks the altars and front seats were flooded with penitents, until over eighthundred were enrolled on the list that testified that they were saved.”
He is in Dead Earnest. — This trait of Mr. Weber so impressed a racy reporter, who cameto criticize him at Muskegon, that he wrote as follows:–
“There is not a lazy bone in his whole frame; and, while his manner of conducting ameeting is often amusing and even ludicrous to the ordinary mortal of this every-day world, thereis a strong evidence of sincerity and earnestness in his work … He will labor so hard with sinnersthat great beads of perspiration will roll down his face. His method can be best illustrated by hisown language: ‘Suppose,’ said he, ‘that my house was burning, and a neighbor should come slowlyup to me, and still more slowly drawl out, “Mr. W-e-b-e-r, y-o-u-r h-o-u-s-e is b-u-r-n-i-n-g!” Iwould be so indignant that I would say, “Let it burn.” But suppose a man, full of zeal andanxiousness, should come rushing up, and yell, “MR. WEBER, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!” Iwould rush the rescue.’ And he showed how he would rush, by jumping over the altar-railing.
“During his meeting he is all over the church. One time he is in the pulpit, and another,down on the altar, and again, among the audience, — speaking, pleading, hand-shaking with thepeople, begging them to stand up and be saved. He told how he himself, snatched from the slums ofCincinnati, had been made to stand upon his feet aright. ‘Oh, if you only knew from what vice anddegradation I have been rescued,’ says Brother Weber, ‘you would not wonder why my soul isred-hot with zeal for the young men of your city.'”
His burning zeal is a quenchless fire, that soon causes a mighty conflagration whereverGod calls him to labor. It scorches terribly Brother and Sister Lukewarm and Professor At Ease inZion, but it often wakes them up from the death sleep into which they are falling, and then they arethankful. Large numbers of the Iceberg family, including some high in ecclesiastical position, havebeen melted by it.
It is an earnestness born of the Holy Ghost. The kind of earnestness that in all ages has ledmen to defy fire and flood, human opposition and Satanic might, only that they might please Godand win souls. it is “the old religion revived with energy, and heated, as if the minister reallymeant what he said.”
He is Humble. — If he makes a mistake he confesses it. He can sit and talk wisely of the”mysteries of the Kingdom,” or roll on the floor in boyish glee with the four-year-old. If men revilehim, and they do by word and pen, he prays for them.
When at Quincy he mistook the character of a person, and the mistake of the head led to amistake in practice, which threatened to seriously embarrass the work. As soon as he wasconvinced of this, with tears of sorrow he made both private and public confession; the peoplewere touched by the act, and the work went on with power. God save us from the Peacockism thatwill not own and confess a wrong. He believes and practices the principle that “it is our businessto get down, and God’s to lift us up,” and God honors him in it. His statement that he would bewilling to “stand on his head,” or “climb a greased pole,” if thereby’ he could save a soul,expresses his willingness to humble . himself to any depth, only that God may use him to His glory.Cold critics sometimes censure him for these “inelegant” expressions, but they forget that both Pauland the prophets said things even more “inelegant;” and that Mr. Weber, in these terms, simplymeans what Moses did when he pleaded that his name might be blotted from the book of life if onlyrebellious Israel might be saved; and what Paul did when he said that he was willing to become”accursed ” for the salvation of others.
This Evangelist has proved, with other brilliant stars that now shine in the constellation ofsoul-savers, that before “honor is humility.” All who would arise to similar heights must first sinkto similar depths.
Deacon Pride and his wife, Miss Haughty and Mr. Vanity, will probably, with pleasure,allow contempt to curl their lips and knit their brows at such an Evangelist. But either here or atthe judgment they will be humbled in the dust. He puts the Ministry above everything else. — Manyenticing voices invite him to turn aside, but he heeds them not. With Ezekiel he feels: “I had ratherstand
A Prophet of my God, with all the thrills
Of trembling that must shake the heart of one
Who in earth’s garments, in the vesture frail
Of flesh and blood, is called to minister,
As Seraphs do, with fire-than bear the palm
Of any other triumph.”
He employs Plain Language. He calls Sin, Satan, and Hell by their Scripture names. Heuses plain English, — so plain that sensitive, silken-eared people often are “shocked” by it, andwhich falls harshly on the ears of some good people who have allowed themselves to adopt avocabulary composed of Latin and Greek derivatives.
The laws that govern expression are such that when a person becomes so in earnest as toforget himself, he almost unconsciously uses the language of childhood. I think this is true in nearlyall persons who have not, by the severest discipline, placed themselves where acquiredexpressions have become a “second nature.”
As Mr. Weber is always so in earnest in the pulpit that he is oblivious to self and all minormatters, he naturally adopts the plain language of his youth.
Thus all of his hearers, from the street Arab to the doctor of divinity, from the little child tothe hoary head, are able to clearly understand him. This is one of the most important secrets of hissuccess with the masses.
He speaks to them in their Own Language. — Many candidates for the ministry, while inschool, acquire a vocabulary that the masses do not use or understand. It becomes a “secondnature” to them, and because these expressions are clear to themselves, they do not stop to thinkthat they may be “an unknown tongue” to nine-tenths of their audience. So they go through lifeshooting over the heads of the people, and wondering why they don’t succeed, and “why they arenot appreciated.” They put the Gospel kernel into nuts that half of their hearers cannot crack, andthen wonder what is the matter.
The best remedy for this trouble s a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of common-sense.”Brother speaks much better when he is surprised and has no time for preparation,” was thecriticism of a parishioner of one .of the most refined of modern ministers. The cultured few mightnot have indorsed the criticism, but nine-tenths of the congregation doubtless would have echoed ahearty Amen.
Other things being equal, Rev. Peter Plain Speech will draw and hold people ten to oneagainst Dr. Big Words.
Many grand books and sermons are sealed secrets to many because of the violation of thislaw of commonsense.
Jesus used simple language, and it is wise to follow in His steps. Otherwise people feel,after listening to pulpit efforts, as a parishioner did at the close of a Sermon by his pastor, whowas a learned divine. Mystified, instead of edified, he was heard to pray, “O Lord, send us a manwho don’t know so much.”
Scholastics sometimes defend themselves, in this Unscriptural practice, by saying that they”cannot furnish brains for their hearers.”
Paul compared this class of speakers to “barbarians.” See i Cor. xiv. 8-15.
He perseveres until the desired End is reached. Although. some of his work has been inplaces that from a human standpoint seemed well-nigh hopeless, yet to him it was settled thatvictory was coming. And he “held on” until the clouds burst and the copious showers fell. Hismeetings usually last several weeks. To an Evangelist who plans his work to remain but a week ortwo in a place, he said: “That is just what the devil wants of you.”
“If there is victory, matters will be so and so,” said one in his presence.
“No s,” said he; “that we are sure of, for God has promised it.”
This indomitable determination to succeed has much to do with the end reached. He is athis best when the heavens are darkest. “How long do you expect to stay in Adrian?” asked a”knight of the pencil,” who was sent to interview him in the midst of strong opposition at Adrian.”Oh, six, seven, or eight weeks,” was the determined answer, and he stayed until decided victoryhad come.
Thousands of revival battles are lost, because Zion’s soldiers get discouraged, and retreaton just the verge of what might have been a sweeping victory.
He has Tact. — He plans to get the crowds out to hear him. He understands that one of thelawful ways of getting attention is to ring the door-bell of curiosity. — So by announcing novelthemes, such as “Fools,” “Sneaks,” etc., by thoroughly billing the town, and by a thousandappropriate surprises, he moves upon the curiosity of the unconcerned until they -come to hismeetings, and then they “cannot stay away.” Jesus and the apostles, through the miracles that theywrought, and the novelty of the new doctrine, got the ear of the public; but new circumstancesdemand new expedients, and if the Gospel-bearer is wise he will utilize them.
A correspondent of the Fort Wayne Evening News, referring to this feature of Mr. Weber’swork, wrote: “Peculiarity wakes up the sensibilities, and curiosity brings out the people; they hearthe truth, get interested, and look beyond the watchman through Christ to God, and get their sinspardoned, and become heirs with Jesus Christ.”
He preaches against the Sins of the People. — Card-playing, dancing, worldliness, publicwrong, and secret sins are all rebuked. His plain preaching does much to aid in drawing thecrowds, and then pierces them with conviction as with an arrow. A reporter of his wonderfulrevival at Berea says: “The prime mover was Rev. J. H. Weber, whose marvelous success as anevangelist has given him a national reputation. All admit his wonderful power. He is intenselyearnest. He delivers his blows direct from the shoulder. When plain language can make a point,plain language is used. He works upon the reason, imagination, sense of fear, and the emotions …His facial expressions and bodily action help to hold the attention. If a man has a weak point, Mr.Weber will find it.”
He warns vehemently of an Eternal Hell. — He believes in a literal hell, just as awful andeternal as the Scripture portrays it. This stirs up infidelity terribly, but many “flee from the wrath tocome.” It has been truthfully said of him, “He preaches a whole Gospel, dwells largely on thedoom of the damned, the trickery of the devil, and the deceitfulness of sin.” His portrayals of thecondition of the lost are at times awfully vivid and impressive. Rev. Post Mortem Probation isvery nervous under his preaching, for he sees all his sermonic essays utterly ruined. Though hisauditors, like the criticizing editor of the Sioux Falls Leader, may climb up on the pedestal of their”intelligence” and “culture,” and aver that “harping on hell” is grating to their refined sensibilities,and that the “good Christian thinking” people who attend those meetings have no particular beliefin a literal hell fire,” and that “this legend has been long since exploded,” and that the speakershould be “dignified,” and “talk of the love of Jesus, and not the damnation theory,” yet Mr. Weberkeeps right on like Jesus, Wesley, and Finney, in declaring the truth just as it really is. The hostilecriticism is so much free advertising, which simply helps to increase the surging crowds, who,deep down in their hearts, believe that the Evangelist is right.
He loves the People. — He understands what tragical peril awaits the sinner, and as afriend he faithfully warns him. Such expressions as “I love the people here so I hate to leave them,”are frequent in his journals. Though sometimes vilely misrepresented, he “loves his enemies,” andprays for them, as Jesus taught.
He is very Liberal. — He was in youth possessed of a benevolent nature, and during theyears the stream has become a river. He shows his love by what he does. He is educating severalyoung men for the ministry, and has so aided in securing collections for the Ohio WesleyanUniversity that one who speaks for it says, “If the university had a few more such friends as Mr.Weber, it would not be long before we would have everything we want.” He gives as the Spiritdirects wherever he goes; in one place twenty dollars, in another two hundred dollars, and inanother place he scatters money as he sees that it is needed. I understand he has given awaybetween ten and eleven thousand dollars in eight years. If those who criticize the sums received byhim would but consider the way that they are expended, their voices would at once be hushed. ThePeople soon learn to love him. — Love begets love. From boys and young men whom he hasrescued or aided he receives hundreds of letters, full of the most endearing language that exists.When laboring at Adrian, he received the following verses from Hillsdale, that breathe the spiritthat thousands feel for him:
“For thee we wish for all that’s best
And nearest to thy heart;
That no dread care may pierce thy breast
With sorrow’s cruel dart.
That sweetest peace may still be thine,
With faith and truth together;
That with thy bark it may be fine
And never stormy weather.
That flowers may round your path entwine
As fair as those we send you;
And every blessing, friend, be thine,
And all good gifts attend you.”
The demonstrations manifested when he departs for the next field of labor or returns to aimold one show that one of the Secrets of his great success is the fervent love which he wins fromthose among whom he works.
He is Punctual. Everything is done on time. This may seem a small thing, but many havefailed for life because they so esteemed it. At the instant the bell ceases to ring, “Praise God, fromwhom all blessings flow,” begins to chime. “From the time he begins a service to the end, he lowsno drag, no tedious sermon, nor over-long prayers, but all life, spare, briskness. Business is hisstyle.”
He is a Love Slave to the Bible and’ the Biographies of Successful Evangelism. — HisBible is marked from cover to cover, and each mark has a meaning. On his knees, with the Book ofbooks before him, he receives much of his theological training. The spirits of Knox, Wesley,Whitefield, Edwards, and Finney seem to hover around him, and the perusal of their lives has beenhis recreation and delight. I have seen him kiss and caress the Bible with an affection that seemedthus to overflow as naturally as the gushing of a fountain.
He honors and co-operates with the Pastors with whom he labors. — In all his journals Ifind no expressions but of respect and love towards the pastors with whom he works. Rev. I. R.Henderson, in a report to the W C. Advocate of the Findlay (O.) revival, in which five hundredand thirty were converted in four weeks, truthfully says, “The Evangelist has the good sense ofallying the pastor as prominently as he can to the revival and the converts.”
He secures the Pledged Co-operation of the Official Board of the Church.
He is a Foe to Formality. — Church forms, like Israel’s brazen serpent, have to be “brokenup,’ to keep the people from worshipping them. Although Mr. Weber “has a sweetness of spirit thatwins,” and “a passion for saving souls, that seems almost all-absorbing,” yet that very passionmakes him feel that the ice of formality in which they are freezing to death must be broken. So, asone has said, “his manner is largely dramatic, toppling over many of the old customary proprietiesof the pulpit. People in dead earnest seldom stop to think much of these proprieties or heed them inother situations of life, and why should they in the pulpit? This breaks up old rut-lines of thought,in which people are apt to plod unconcernedly along, and starts them on a new track, much to theirspiritual benefit.” In all ages formalists have been the most violent opposers of aggressive revivalwork, and he who would win must, like Mr. Weber, be wise to outwit them in Jesus’ name and byHis power.
He sets the Church to Work. — ” Go out, brother; go out, sister; don’t leave three or four ofus to do all the work,” he may be heard to exhort, if the workers hang back during the invitationservice. Leroy A. Belt, in a report of him in The Advocate, says that “he has the power to setothers to work and inspire them with the idea of doing something for Christ.” Success without thatpower is impossible. If a general cannot inspire his soldiers to fight, defeat is certain.
He not only sets others to Work, but himself leads in the battle. — An old associate of his,Rev. J. L. Glasscock, who had passed through a blessed revival with him, speaks advisedly whenhe says, “Brother Weber is a skillful general in managing a church. Every member is pressed intoservice or made to feel he has come very far short of doing his duty.” As a general leads histroops, so he leads, not drives, his workers. The following, from his journal, illustrates the waythat much of his time outside of meetings is improved. “While out today, visiting, we found a lot ofstrangers who were visiting. Got to talking to them about Jesus, and three of them broke down.Prayed with them, and one was converted. Praise God!” Again, “Brother Woodworth and I havebeen out seeing the business men and inviting them out to church. We even went into saloons andthe lowest dives. How nicely we were received by all! ” Some very ludicrous things sometimesoccurred during these calls, illustrating the Evangelist’s eccentricities. The following appreciativenotice of Brother Weber’s personal work is clipped from a secular paper: ” Rev. J. H. Weber ishaving crowded houses at the Methodist-Episcopal church. On Sunday night hundreds of peoplecould not get in. Mr. Weber’s success is largely in visiting people during the day and inviting themto come to church. This is a pointer for the ministers of our city. Get acquainted with the boys. Ahandshaking minister as well as politician seems to meet with success.” Thus from “house tohouse,” in the inquiry meeting, and at the altar, he says by word and example, ” Come,” and soonhe has a band of earnest co-laborers.
He utilizes the Power of Sacred Song.- Himself a composer and author of ” TimeEvangelist,” a Gospel songbook which is fast growing in favor, he understands well how to utilizethis power with the people.
He gets the People to Sing. — Some trace their conviction and others their conversion tothis source. He leads the singing himself, interjecting remarks to rivet special points, and in thisway gets quickly a mighty grip on his audiences. This service, like the others, is never allowed todrag, but keeps step to the tornado velocity of the entire meeting.
He persistently presses Personal Invitation. — At the close of the sermon, he oftendismisses the congregation and keeps only those who are saved and those who wish to be. He thusgets rid of a large counteracting influence. Then begins personal pleading, and all whose hearts arein the work assist. Thousands have thus been won. This is an important factor in his success. Hehas personally led thousands to the altar in this way.
He is Thorough. — Rev. A. J. Nast, reporting the Berea revival, wrote to the WesternAdvocate as follows: “Mr. Weber is an emphatic believer in the old-fashioned mourners’ bench.He insists on a thorough work and the doctrine that a sinner may know his sins forgiven, cautioningseekers against professing salvation when they are not fully satisfied.” Often at the altar he will sayto the seeker, “Do you know your sins forgiven? Are you sure that they are?” Unless they answer”Yes,” they are not reported converted, but encouraged not to think they are, but to seek until theyknow it. What a lesson for shilly-shally workers who are more anxious to count converts than tosave souls!
He practices New-Testament Fasting. — I find in his journal such statements as thefollowing . “Have been having a fast day here all day; I did not eat all day till this eve.” That day”his soul was filled,” and “many came to the altar.”
As near as I can learn, none become proficient in soul-saving who ignore the Saviour’steaching in this particular.
He is Fearless of the Threats of Man. — Often Romanists, saloonists, and hypocrites arefurious in their rage, and, as their brethren of old, Stir up “fellows of the baser sort” to threatendeeds of violence. This was true at Spencer, Ia., concerning which he wrote, “A lot of roughsfollowed me home this eve. Some were afraid they were going to tackle me. I would not be afraidof a whole town full of those sneaks. They know that God is with me. If God will be my friend, Iam safe anywhere! ” Truly has it been written of him, “He is bold and fearless in his attacks uponsin, it matters not when or where he finds it.”
Only the brave soldier wins the battle in any warfare.
He adapts himself to People and Surroundings. — He is a child with children, a young manwith the youth, and sympathetic with all whom he hopes thus to win. He reaches a child through atop or doll, a young man through his books or business, parents through their children, and thus hestudies to find avenues through which he can successfully reach people. In a good sense he seeks tobecome “all things to all men,” and thus wonderfully succeeds in winning many. All cannot beWebers, but all can incorporate in their lives the great principles that have given him success.
He takes Systematic Exercise. — To succeed largely as an evangelist, a strong body is anecessity. He has been well endowed by nature in this particular, and by proper relaxation andexercise he seeks to keep it at its best. One day in each week he usually takes for this purpose.
With Bishop Taylor he believes that the minister should rest from his labors one day inseven. Many workers, by ignoring this principle, purchase to themselves premature decrepitudeand failure, when they might with strength have been shouting paeans of victory.
A reporter of Lake Side campmeeting, where he was engaged to conduct the services,mentions his work in the following words:
“He has wonderful power. The secret of his success, which is great, may be found in a fewthings characteristic of the man through the blessing of’ God.
“a. He is neat in appearance.
“b. He is natural and humble.
“c. He has a good education and is a fluent taller, with an abundance of common sense.
“d. His tact is marvelous, always ready, never at Toss for a new surprise or measure.
“e. He sings well; is a good timist and often leads the thousands. He believes in his abilityto succeed.
“f. Has strong faith in God and the Gospel. Preaches the latter. Pays no attention to the newschools of theology; calls sin sin, and hell hell.
“g. Utilizes older and wiser heads, whom he often consults.
“h. Perpetrates surprises continually; keeps alive the curiosity; is at times tragical; is agood actor, but does not know it.”
Through the Prayer of Faith he often heals the Sick. — This works on the curiosity of allwho hear of it, to see a maim who can through God do such deeds, and the fact that such “signs “attend his ministration to many clothes his messages with superhuman power. At Akron, Ia., “Thebanker Bready came to the parsonage, and we prayed that God might cure him, as he had been sickfrom his birth, and immediately he was made well and shouted.” Again at Sioux City, “Had severalhealed by prayer.” At Fort Dodge, Ia., “Ed Thompson’s mother, who came to church, but fainted,and who has been very sick, and the doctors could not help her, was gloriously cured today. Weprayed for her, and laid on hands for healing.”
He shouts Victory before the Walls fall. — One of the leading workers at Quincy, BrotherF. Barber, says: “When everything looked dark, and we would begin to doubt, his faith was asstrong as ever. He would say, ‘It’s coming, I know it’s coming,’ and then praise God for what Hewas going to do for us.” He begins every service with the doxology.
His Past Victories give him and the People Confidence for Coming Ones. — This feature isapparent in the following notice of his meeting at Marion, O.: “He commenced at once to assail thestrongholds of Satan, and showed immense strength as a besieger, and proved himself master of thefield, for long before his bugle ceased calling the advancing host, when he had but half exhaustedhis store of ammunition of powerful argument, reason, and logic against the weakening foe, Satandeclared himself an unconditional prisoner, and the prisoners and deserters came by scores andhundreds to beg mercy and forgiveness.” Every victory, if rightly realized, is a stepping-stone toanother, and what was true at Marion has been many times repeated.
He is sometimes bitterly Persecuted. — ” The devil, as usual, is very mad,” is no infrequentstatement in his journal. “Crank,” “hypocrite,” and kindred epithets are often bestowed upon him,and many are the “threats” that he has encountered. He treats them all as a steamship treats thespray, and the spirit in which he does it shows the people that he has something which his enemieshave not, and so Providence hitches Persecution to the revival chariot, and compels him, like acaptured slave, to draw the Evangelist on to victory. Glory to God for such a King!
He is Eccentric. — Not an affected, sickening eccentricity that comes from aping others, butthat which comes from being filled with the Spirit and led by God. Finney said: “I never knew aperson who was filled with the Spirit that was not called eccentric.” ” Deviating from usualpractices,” is Webster’s definition of the word. All who would be and do like Jesus must be in thissense of the word eccentric. This leads Mr. Weber to do many things that make remarks, and thushelps him to get the attention of the people. The following incident mentioned elsewhere is anillustration. “A man was swearing in the barbershop, while I was in the chair, so when I wasthrough I knelt before him, and prayed and said, ‘ That’s the way I pray to my God.’ It moved himvery much.” Again, “I took an old man by the hand, and forced him to the altar last night; this evehe was so happy! ” His life, like Finney’s and Cartwright’s, is replete with such incidents. Toimitate him would be apish, but to possess the piety that will obey God at all hazards is to courtsuccess.
Brother Weber is entirely Consecrated. — He gives himself “without reserve to God.”
He does not rest in the Consecration, but claims the Baptism of the Holy host. — Thefollowing, from his diary, points to this blessed phase of his experience. “My soul was filled withthe glory of God. Praise His name!” Again, “God did baptize me today with the glory of God. Mysoul was full!” Again, when at Clarion, Ia., “Went over to the afternoon meeting, and got a baptismof the Holy Ghost. I prayed about one .hour.” If Jesus and the apostles and Wesley and Finney andsuch men must need this inducement to do their life work, how foolish for any to rush on without it
He not only receives the Baptism, but testifies to the gospel’s Keeping Power. — So that hecan write, “Jesus keeps me daily.” .
He believes in being “led by the Spirit.” He expects God to guide him in all things, throughthe teachings of His word and an entirely consecrated judgment, under the light of the Spirit. Hisappointments — where he shall go, how long stay, whom he shall aid, and all — are held beforeHim who has promised to “guide by his counsels,” and held there until the needed guidance isgiven. ” Jesus, map out where thou wouldst have me go,” is his humble prayer as he looks to Himwho cannot err for direction.
When the official invitation came urging him to work immediately at Jackson, he says: “Itook it in prayer to God, and the way seemed so plain that I said, ‘I will go.'” Much of his successis due to this guidance.
He continually craves and receives New Manifestations of God. — “Oh, for more of theHoly Ghost,” is the breathing of his soul. Faber’s prayer fittingly expresses his feeling.
“With gentle swiftness lead me on, Dear God, to see Thy face,And meanwhile in my narrow heart Oh, make Thyself more space!”
He preaches Full Salvation. — He presents it from an experimental and practical as well asdoctrinal standpoint. He says concerning his own experience at this supremely vital point, “I wassanctified at college the first year I was there. It came while I was praying with some coloredpeople.”
While his great mission seems to be to call sinners to repentance, yet he realizes therelation of the sanctifying baptism of the Holy Ghost to revival work.
He wisely seeks to avoid the error of pressing holiness Upon backsliders, and aims first tobring the members into a clear justified relation to God, where they will want perfect love. Thenhe puts the light of entire sanctification before them, and “presses them to expect it now and byfaith,” as the Scripture and church so plainly teach. One of his heart prayers is,
“Jesus, keep me pure and holy.”
The Michigan Advocate report of Crystal Springs campmeeting, where Brother Weber wasin charge and over two hundred and fifty were pardoned or sanctified, states that the “central ideaof Christianity and the central doctrine of Methodism, ‘ Holiness unto the Lord,’ was keptprominently before the church, and the result was we had a real Pentecost.” In a recent sermon onsanctification be says, “I never saw a young convert oppose holiness; it’s you backsliders who dothat.”
“Who, then, would oppose holiness? If you do, it’s holiness or hell.”
I had the pleasure of hearing the sermon above mentioned. It swept away prejudices andignorance like a Niagara and was attended by a wave of melting power.
This clement of success of the Evangelist, though among the last mentioned, is by no meansthe least. May God make him a Hamline, Palmer, Inskip, and Watson combined, to help ” reformthe continent and spread Scriptural holiness over these lands.”
He gives God All the Glory. — In relating the victories that God gives him, whether bytongue or pen, he frequently adds, “I give God all the glory for it.” Those who know him bestbelieve he does. At every conversion, at his request, the whole congregation with him lift theirhands towards heaven, and triumphantly and adoringly repeat, “Praise the Father, praise the Son,and praise the Holy Ghost.”
While this is being repeated, waves of power will frequently come, and others will beconvicted and converted, and them, and the waving of handkerchiefs and the shouts of the saints,new praise will arise to the trine God.
It has been truly said by Rev. I. Wilson that “Brother Weber’s secret of success and powerfor good cannot be understood, nor his work fairly judged, by attending one service; you must hearhim day after day, and go with him through a protracted service, to appreciate his work and theremarkable success that crowns his efforts.”
We trust that every reader will avoid the folly that some have fallen into of imitating thepersonal peculiarities of this prince among soul-gleaners, but will carefully, prayerfully, andpersistently seek conformity to all of the great principles mentioned which are at the foundation ofsoul-saving success. If this chapter emphasizes one thing more than another, it is that this successdoes depend chiefly upon birth, natural endowments, or school culture, but upon unswervingfidelity to the word of God, the Son of God, and the Spirit of God.
Scholastic attainments, like the possession of muscle and of money, may be of great value,but if they be substituted for the Spirit’s baptism, which Jesus taught was the crowningqualification for life’s great work, infinite harm is done.
It is sad fact that Christian colleges and men high in ecclesiastical position, in lectures andother instructions, by emphasizing other qualifications of true manhood and barely mentioning thisor perhaps passing it in silence, are stabbing Jesus in the house of His professed friends, and arefilling pulpits with men who are intellectual giants but spiritual weaklings, where God demandsthat there should be men who will preach the Word in demonstration of the Spirit and with power.
The success which God gives such men as Moody, Harrison, and Weber is a standingrebuke to all who are directly or indirectly, by unduly exalting scholasticism, depreciating the “giftof the Holy Ghost.”