Republic, Wauseon and Marseilles had the honor of being among the first fields to whichthe Holy Spirit directed Bro. Weber, in his work as an evangelist. The saying of a prophet beingwithout honor in his own country, evidently has no application to him, as many of his grandestvictories have been in his own state. At Republic many evangelists had preceded him, without much apparent success, and thedisheartened church was electrified, as by a shock from a battery, when, the “second night of themeeting sinners were crying for mercy.” The pastor, C. E. Ruddick, “a man of faith, of theevangelistic type, gave his full sympathy to the work and it swept on for four weeks. The power ofGod was wonderfully displayed and great crowds attended, and people of all ages were reached,until one hundred and twenty professed conversion, and many came out in a higher life. “I startedout,” records the evangelist, “on the faith plan,” and God, true to His promise, supplied his needs.Referring to the meeting, It secular paper said at nothing like it had occurred there for years andyears; that it reminded of the days of smiting with the “flaming sword and thunder-bolts of fire;” atthe evangelist was a ” host in himself, bringing many bathed in tears of contrition to the penitentialaltar.” ” He came to us,” it was written, ” like a comet, and like the comet was brilliant andattractive.”
It was here that a mother asked prayers for her boy in Kansas, and the next letter from himbrought the tidings, “I am converted.”
It was here that the man lived, of whom Mr. Weber writes, “He had been a drunkard foryears, and was a terror to the whole town. Under deep conviction, he was out in the woods gettingwood, and so powerfully did the Spirit work that he came to the parsonage in despair, saying, ‘Iwant to be prayed for.’ We got down on our knees, and in a few moments he was converted andshouting happy. His whole theme after that was ‘ Praise the Lord.’
Here, too, it was that he visited a blacksmith, who had not been to church for years, to seehim about his so. The pastor had cautioned him not to speak to him about religion, as he was verysensitive and it would frighten him. “But,” says Mr. Weber, “the second word I said was, ‘Are yousaved?’ The pastor left abruptly, but before he got across the street the man was on his knees, in theshop, crying for mercy. He went over to his house and the wife also was crying, and both joinedthe church, happily saved.
One of the business men, a professed infidel, had opposed the meetings. his wife came tomake fun at first, but the Spirit took hold of her heart. I called to see her, and had prayers. She saidshe ‘wanted to be saved, but could not come to the altar.’ After she became willing, her husbandsaid she must not go. I gave her books and a little testament to read, and she was converted. Thehusband became very much alarmed. He tried to buy her, by offering anything if she would give upthis subject of religion. He came also to meeting, was gloriously converted, and himself, wife andlittle boy all united with the church.” Thus God honored the efforts of his servant, in this, his firstfield as an evangelist.
From Republic, Bro. Weber went to Bellevue, O., where there was a large church, “packedto overflowing night after night, and hundreds unable to gain admission.” The pastor, a man ofpower and faith, worked with might, and the third night sinners came to the altar. When Mr. Webergave his experience here, the Catholics, which are many, were greatly enraged. Over one hundredpersons professed conversion Among many incidents occurring at that revival is the followingwhich is an excellent lesson for all. A little boy about twelve years old, noted for his quick temperand quickness to resent an injury, was converted While coming home from school, another boytried to provoke him by calling him all kinds of names, but failed to accomplish his purpose. Thelittle persecutor was lame, and often would have to call on other boys to aid him home. This timethey all refused him, when up stepped the noble little convert and kindly offered him his help. Thewicked little fellow wept and asked his forgiveness.
November 30, he began at Wauseon O. As usual the church soon became too small. At thesecond meeting there was ii seek. This church had no altar. When the pastor on the first night of themeeting asked for money to build one, Mr. Weber said, if they did not give the money, he would,and it was quickly raised. The work here was chiefly among the young people, members of theSunday School. In a Saturday afternoon service one hundred and twenty-five cried for mercy andseventy professed conversion. The names of over one hundred and fifty were take at this revivaland most of them professed conversion. Many were the servants of Satan, who threw stones at thistornado, but it was to their own shame. Howbeit the son of one of them was converted.
During the early part of the meetings, some young folks had a social at a private house,after church, “at which they held a mock revival, one imitating Weber and the other Charles, hishelper in song. Mourners were brought forward and a general mock revival prevailed, until thepastor appeared and put an end to it. The participators in this were converted, and at last accountwere doing well.
The following incident occurring here illustrates forcibly the fact that honest seekers, whoare not afraid to use the means of salvation, will not long be left in the dark. “A number of youngmen from the high school came to the evangelist one night and said, ” Mr. Weber, we are honestand want to know the truth.” He asked, “Are you willing to let the people know that you want toknow the truth?” “Yes.” They came to the altar, and ere long were rejoicing in the consciousness ofsalvation. “Seek and ye shall find.”
The next place which this tornado struck was Defiance, O., December 20 The pastor, Rev.S. L. Roberts, had engaged brother Weber at Conference, but kept it from the people until about thetime he wished the meetings to begin. Some objected to beginning meetings then, as the holidayswere at hand, and they were preparing for a Christmas tree. Brother Weber told them that his timewas precious, and at the first service, with the air thick with doubt, he announced that he had cometo stay until there were from two hundred to three hundred conversions. The people derided it;many criticized; and some got mad because the truth was preached so plain. Soon the first gales ofthe tornado had passed, and there was a cloud-burst of revival rain which poured steadily, untilabout three hundred had professed conversion. The church woke up, and a spirit of labor cameupon them, so that even children, from ten to fourteen years of age, would go out in thecongregation and plead with sinners to be saved. The other churches remained aloof from themeetings, and the result was that nearly all of the converts united with the people who had laboredfor their salvation, about two hundred and fifty being received on probation and by letter.
One evening, just before time to preach, the fire-bells began to ring; the people werealarmed and a panic was threatened. Mr. Weber mounted the chancel-rail and warned the peopleof the fire eternal with such earnestness that soon they had forgotten the flames of earth thatthreatened, and there was a wonderful meeting that night. Some days the air seemed charged withalmost resistless convicting power, as the Holy Spirit, in answer to prayer, fell upon the people. Inone single day eighty-two in the Sunday School and other services professed conversion. ‘ Inever,” wrote Mr. Weber, “saw such a day; men, women, and children bowing before the sameGod, and being saved.” the last day of the meeting, a man about seventy years old, who had notattended a single service, but for whom prayers had been offered, was so arrested by the Spirit thathe sent for the pastor to come and see him. He was preparing to go when who should come but theman himself, his face radiant with smiles, sing, “I am saved, I am saved!”
A minister’s daughter, who was a teacher in the public schools, when spoken to by Mr.Weber about her soul, repelled him with a look of hatred, that seemed to say, “You cannot get me.”The last night he succeeded in getting her to promise that she would pray every night for twoweeks that God would show her her heart, and give her a new one. She was shortly afterconverted. A farewell service was held Monday morning, January 15, and was attended byhundreds who came to bid the evangelist good-bye. Brother Weber in his journal says, “One notknowing we were leaving, would have thought there was a funeral, as almost everybody cried. Inever before met at one time so many that loved us.” Such scenes in his life were to becomefrequent. He who leads souls to Christ forms friendships deeper, tenderer, and more lasting thanany other.
Taking advantage of every event, and turning it to the glory of God and the salvation ofsouls, Mr. Weber has been quick to see the value of watch-night services, and appropriate them inhis work.
1883, full of hope, and early crowned with victory, broke upon him in one of thesewatch-night services, at Defiance, O., in the midst of his meeting there. Renewing the solemn vowsof the past, and with humble dependence upon him for future victory, he began what proved to beone of the most eventful years of his life. During this year he was the cyclone center of blessedspiritual reformations in many places, laboring at Defiance, Marseilles, Findlay, McComb,Marion, Bridgeman, Clyde and Marysville; also at Bayshore, Lakeside, and Franklin, Penn.,camp-meetings, then at Jackson, Mich., Williamsburg, O., and Fort Wayne, Ind. At each of theseplaces overflowing houses and success continued to attend him.
January 15th, beginning at Marseilles, O., he asked for one hundred and twenty five souls.The second night “twenty-one came forward” and fifteen professed conversion, and the workswept on, until one hundred and forty professed conversion in ten days. As victory followedvictory, no wonder that Bro. Weber wrote, “Oh, how blessed to see souls coming to Jesus! I wouldrather see souls converted than have all the riches of this world!” While here, he went out toMcKendree chapel, talked a little while, “and seventeen came forward and eight were saved.Glory to God.” The people, to get seats, would sometimes come four hours before time.
That salvation is a mightier moral lever than reformation alone, is evidenced by the factthat the temperance people had tried in vain to dislodge a saloon at this place, which the “revivaldrove out if town.” A very rich moralist came out to the meetings, and was struck with conviction.Mr. Weber visited him at his home and prayed that he might “sell out his interest in the devil, andtake an interest in heaven.” At this he “got mad,” but soon became reconciled and was converted.To God be the glory!
An old man of about seventy years came to the meeting, so feeble that he could not kneel.Mr. Weber led him to the altar and he was converted. It was here that, when the meeting began,many of the members would look at Mr. Weber, “and stare, and then look away, as they were notused to seeing a man red hot al over.” The pastor and people went to work after Bro. Weber left,and the revival fire spread in every direction, until over one hundred were converted. A pastorreceived the Spirit’s baptism and went home, began meetings, and at once was blessed with agracious revival.
FINDLAY, O., FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY CONVERSIONS
This work began February 1st. The second night the evangelist preached from ‘ Prepare tomeet thy God.” He was so weak that he nearly fainted several times; but the Holy Ghost attendedthe Word with power, and thirty-five came forward and nine professed conversion. The followingfrom a report of this meeting by Rev. J. R. Henderson was published in the Western ChristianAdvocate. —
“The pastor and official board of Findlay secured the services of Rev. J. H. Weber to holda series of meetings. He commenced just before the great floods. After two nights’ work, he wascompelled to suspend for nine days, on account of the gas being cut off. February 11 was really thebeginning of his meetings. He closed Tuesday morning, March 13. The results are five hundred andthirty conversions in a little more than four weeks. A more genuine revival I have not seen intwenty-five years. It commenced with the class with which our revivals should commence, namely,the Sunday School, and after the Sunday School was largely converted, it reached out, and up, andtook hold of hundreds of adults of all ages.
“It was the general opinion of all interested in the meeting that if Bro. Weber could haveremained three weeks longer the converts would have reached one thousand or more; but he wasso pressed by other engagements that he felt that duty called him to other expectant fields.
“Bro. Weber insisted from beginning to end on Holy Ghost conversions. I never saw alarger proportion of clear conversions. I never heard so many shouts around a Methodist altar. Thewhole town was never so moved before. The auditorium was crowded with as audience of onethousand for a month. If the church had been twice its capacity it would have been filled for thelast three weeks. All of the other evangelical churches have been largely benefited by the revival.Nearly one-half of the converts have united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the otherhalf have united with the other churches. The good work still goes on under the leadership ofpastor Yingler, assisted by Mr. Starkey of the United Brethren Church. The pastor has beengrowing in the estimation and affection of his church ever since he commenced his pastorate, lastfall. His coolness, and firm, earnest co-operation with the evangelist, contributed largely to thegreat results. The evangelist has the good sense of allying the pastor as prominently as he can to therevival and the converts. Singing was made to contribute all its power to the revival. The firstfifteen or twenty minutes of each evening’s service was devoted exclusively to singing; It filled thewhole house, and thrilled all hearts. The singing was followed by prayer. This was followed by anearnest appeal to sinners, averaging in length from twenty to thirty minutes. The evangelist makesevery word tell directly on sinners’ hearts and consciences. After this he gives the invitation to thealtar. He leaves the pastor in charge, and spends from thirty to forty-five minutes in thecongregation, persuading sinners to surrender to Christ at once. By his own personal efforts, he hasled hundreds to the altar. He has a sweetness of spirit that wins; has wonderful faith and courage;has a passion for saving souls that seems all-absorbing. His dash and bodily demonstrations andeccentricities are, at first, matters of general criticism, but after awhile the people, sinners as wellas saints, come to believe most profoundly that God is with him, and their criticisms give way toco-operation. Up to this time, this was the evangelist’s greatest battle and greatest victory. Thedevil combined all his forces inside of the church and out to crush the work. Men were maddenedas of old at the exposure of their sins, and in many ways gave expression to their spite.”
Weaker men than Weber would have been discouraged and have given u; but oppositionbut whets his determination, and by “SPENDING HOURS DAILY IN appointing a day of prayerand fasting, and using all the means at his disposal, the victory was won. The following, from hisown pen, gives some idea of the contest, The devil is very mad, and many of the church membersare on their dignity. If you ask them if they are saved, they get real mad. I mean to stick to the tenthif they tear my head off. Some said they would strike me. All right, dear Jesus, I am ready to bearanything for you. Glory to God, we can glory in tribulation. The devil knew we were going to havea good time, and that is the reason he gets so mad. Prayed most all day for power, and God sent it,glory to His name. I never saw a church in such an awful condition. ‘If God be for us, who can beagainst us?’ was my fortress text.”
A little later he wrote, “The ice is broken; the officiary say they will stand by and work.”
After this the work swept on with mighty momentum, as high as ninety-two) professingconversion in a single day. Once, during the meeting, Bro. Weber wrote,
The devil is trying to get out Ties about me. I am innocent. How gratifying to look into the’face of Jesus and say, ‘Thou knowest my life.'” And again, when the “interest was rapidlyincreasing and fifty at the altar,” ” Our God does the work; not me. O God, keep me humble.Success often kills people.”
It was here that an infidel, about seventy years old, was converted. Mr. Weber saw him, aman over six feet tall, in the congregation, visibly affected. He went to him and he began totremble. Then he was asked to come; but he said, “No.” Mr. Weber said, “You must,” andcommanded him in the name of Jesus to come. He came and was converted.
The people new loved the evangelist even more ardently than at first they had hated him.They, above compensation for labor, made him a present of a calligraph, valued at $75.00, and toCharlie Blakeslie, an assistant in song who was with him at this time, a valuable watch.
A number of young men who were converted felt they were called to the ministry. Oh, for ahost of men who will thus defy the world, the flesh and the devil, and claim the kingdom whichalready to our Lord belongs!
“From victory on to victory,
His armies He shall lead,
Till every foe is vanquished,
And Christ is Lord indeed.”
McComb, Ohio, a town said to be “half a mile from hell,” where many were so tincturedwith Campbellitism that they did not know they were saved, was the next place the tornado’s flightscattered the host of sin. “The pastor, J. N. Smith, full of the Holy Ghost, worked with all his mightto help on the work. Remaining here less than two weeks, eighty-five professed conversion, twentythe last night of the meeting, and five at the eight o’clock farewell meeting the morning he wentaway.” The following warning incident occurred at this place. A young lady attended the meetingsand was deeply wrought upon, but would not yield. Mr. Weber personally pleaded with her thelast night, but she refused. She was taken sick that very night, on her way home, and died thatweek, unsaved.
Pressing invitations now poured in upon him from many places. He had fully committed hisway to the Lord, and like Paul went where the Spirit led him. God said, Marion, and thither theevangelist hastened. The officiary having invited him, were in a state of expectancy, and looked forgreat things. Rev. L. R. Belt, a “man of good intellectual power,” was pastor. As usual, the truthwas pressed, the Spirit worked, and all of the tornado attendants were manifest. It was declared tobe the most wonderful meeting ever held in those parts. As high as fifty were converted at a singleservice. Here Brother Weber wrote, “I never was much more burdened for souls than this day, Ifelt like dying sometimes. It was so great that I had to leave the house and take a walk.” Here hereceived letters from other places assuring him that “the converts are doing well all over.” Thegospel gales continued to increase, until over three hundred had professed conversion. He laboredhere about four weeks, and when he felt that he must close, many, even of the unconverted, urgedhim to remain, as so many more seemed on “the point of yielding.” It was here that a secular papersputtered, “Bro. Weber for breakfast, Bro. Weber for dinner, Bro. Weber for supper, day after day,for four weeks, has been a rather tiresome dish.” It doubtless was to those who would not obey thetruth, but to multitudes who obeyed the Gospel messages he brought, his name was next to that ofthe Saviour, to whom he had led them.
The pastor, reporting this meeting to the Advocate, referring to the evangelist, said, —
“He is a success. He has a level head, kind heart, social nature, a vigorous body and mind,all of which he works to the utmost ability for the promotion of his work. He has the gift ofknowing people by name, on sight, and in a few weeks will know more of the personality of apeople than many men will in as many years. He preaches a whole gospel, dwells largely on thedoom of the damned, the trickery of the devil, and the deceitfulness of sin. He finds no houses largeenough to hold his audiences, and he grows in favor with the people the longer he stays. Marionwas loth to give him up.”
One of the business men prided himself on his morality, and that he was as good as thechurch members, for when a poor widow needed aid it was he that would send the necessaries oflife, which many professors neglected; but God smote him on his sick bed, and there he laid withthe streaming light of God’s truth on his soul; and, when Bro. Weber arrived, the pastor and hevisited him, and he was converted, joined the church, and since has gone to heaven.
An infidel came to the meetings, was struck by revival lightning, came penitently to thealtar, cried for mercy and was saved.
As the evangelist was preaching on the Judgment, the people became terrified, and somecame very near rushing to the altar before the sermon was done. When the invitation was given, itseemed a race as to who should get there first. The altar and the four front seats were crowdedwith earnest seekers; the presence of God filled the place, and forty professed conversion.
During this meeting Brother Weber was exposed to the mumps. He writes, “I was gettingthe mumps. In the midst of the meeting I asked the people to pray that, if it was God’s will, Hewould cure me immediately.” They did, and he recovered at once.
Among the many marked answers to prayer occurring here was that of a young lady convertwho had a lover in the West. She asked the prayers of God’s people for him, and when the nextletter came he was saved.
Closing with victory in Jesus’ name at Marion, he next labored a few days at Ridgeway,where, though feeling an unexplained indifference” and “tempted sorely,” God gave him precioussouls as seals to his ministry, and seventeen were at the altar on the last night of the meeting.
The last saloon was closed before he left the place, and among others e following incidentsoccurred, which should encourage workers to labor with the most indifferent. Mr. Weberapproached a young man and asked him if he was saved. “No.” “Do you want to be?” “I do not careto be.” “Do you want to go to hell?” ” I don’t care.” Mr. Weber then kneeled and prayed that theHoly Spirit would show him his need of a Saviour. The young man asked his prayers, and beforehe left was converted. Clyde, Ohio, was “noted for its wickedness.” Among the young men”shocking licentiousness” prevailed and among the old Spiritualism and Universalism had beenrampant and, as elsewhere, were the parents of many vices, making is the ” most difficult” town towhich the evangelist had ever been called. “The fourth night sinners came to the altar, and everynight after that they were saved, until there were one hundred and fifty converted, and many cameout into a higher life.” Rev . G . W . B H, ‘ a sanctified man, filled with the fulness of God,” waspastor. He declared this to be “one of the most powerful spiritual awakenings that ever visitedClyde.”
The following incident occurred, illustrating faith and its reward, and is from Bro. Weber’spen, “We had a desperate fight with the devil. I got up, by being led by the Holy Ghost, and said acertain woman would come. Many declared the same thing, and we had to hold on till a late hourbefore she yielded; but God did hear. Glory to God.”
Here Mr. Weber’s ” sister Emma came from her home, near Cincinnati, and was gloriouslyconverted.” Mrs. F., the wife of a spiritualist lecturer’, was saved, and joined the church.
A young lady was saved on Thursday evening, and commenced at once to pray for theyoung man to whom she was engaged, and Saturday night of the same week her prayer wasanswered and he was converted.
Here Mr. Weber had a jubilee of two thousand saved in his work since New Year’s. Heinvited the people to come in the afternoon and join in a jubilee street parade. The ministers ledthe van, and seven hundred fell in line, and they “went through the streets praising God and singingsongs of Zion.” “Oh, what consternation,” wrote Bro. Weber, “it produced the people Saloonkeepers trembled, business men feared; but God was in it. We went back to the church, and thewhole altar was flooded with penitents, and many saved.”
A principle is here involved that will bear the careful ought of all who would be wise towin souls. Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, Wesley and Whitefield engaged in frequent open-airservices, and it is a suicidal policy that surrenders them to the “world, the flesh and the devil.” Themeeting was attended by one of the most fashionable ladies in town. At first she made sport. Onenight he gave her a card, on which was printed, ‘ Where will I spend my eternity?” She went hometo her husband, all unconverted man, and said, sportily, ” I have a ticket straight to heaven.” Let mesee,” said the husband. He answered, ” Wife, it is too solemn a thing to make sport of; you have astraight ticket to hell.” That night, “a straight ticket to hell” would “ring in her ears, until shebecame so fearful she could not rest.” She tried to find Christ at home, but failed. She was proud;and when her pride was renounced and she came to the altar, she was saved, joined the church,and became a devoted Christian.
MARYSVILLE, OHIO — A MIDSUMMER REVIVAL — OVER FOUR HUNDRED PROFESSCONVERSION
Many have become so accustomed to seeing the devil have his own way, so far assalvation is concerned, that a midsummer revival surprises them like a lightning-bolt from a clearsky. And yet God worked in such a wonderful way that Bro. Weber was able to write, ” I have notbeen to a place where the work seemed so easy as here.” There seemed to be less of theopposition than usually had been known. Perhaps the devil was off on a summer vacation.Marysville is a town of about three thousand people, with three churches, Congregational,Presbyterian and Methodist. The Congregational pastor worked faithfully in the meetings, andmany of the Presbyterian people united to hp the work along. The Methodist pastor was Rev. A.Harmont, full of zeal and earnestness to see a genuine work of God. Often the church would befull, and hundreds congregated outside to listen. The people flocked in from neighboring towns,and many of them were converted. At times ” the heat was so oppressive that the penitents had tobe fanned to keep them from suffocating.” Sometimes it ‘ seemed as if heaven was on earth.”Fifty-four were saved in one day, and forty in another. The following is from the pastor’s report ofthis wonderful work to the Western Christian Advocate, —
“Our meeting, under the direction of Rev. J. H. Weber, which commenced June 10, closedtoday, July 9. It has been full of blessing to the churches of this place. Many in the churches, but notsaved, have become converted and wonderfully interested. The interest has exceeded all we mostfondly hope. For five weeks, by day and by night, our house has been full, and the meeting has beenthe subject of thought and conversation through the city and community.
“God has wonderfully owned the labor of Bro. Weber, whose faith in God triumphs overall obstacles. During the meeting four hundred and two gave their names as converted. The altarhas been crowded from night to night.”
Was not that a summer vacation worth having?
June 27th was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer. Hundreds came, fasted, and wereblessed. Twenty-two professed conversion on that day. In this meeting a young man, who said hehad been a “drunkard from his birth,” was gloriously saved. A business man, tinder oppressiveconviction, started for Bro. Weber’s room seven times, but “failed because of fear.” On the night ofthe ” fourth” he came to church, and as there were a number of business men present, Bro. Weberaddressed his remarks to them, and three of them came to the altar. They had been there abouttwenty minutes when the “fearful” seeker forgot his timidity in the glad consciousness of salvation,and forgetful of everything else, he threw his hat toward the ceiling, and in tones that made the airring, at the top of his voice shouted, “H-Y-P-I-E!”
A young man on his sick bed was visited, converted and went home to heaven. At oneservice, a space was reserved for the militia, who came in full uniform. When the altar invitationwas given, one was ‘ so anxious to be saved that he would not take time to go around, but jumpedover the seat.”
On July 5th a jubilee service was held. “Meeting began at 10.30. Met at 3 o’clock andformed a procession of several hundred, and marched through town, singing. Stopped in front of asaloon and prayed. Went to a grove and about one thousand persons came. Two were forward.”
At the last night of the meeting a young man, under conviction, was sitting on the fence,with others, talking about the meeting. He finally said, “Let’s go to church.” Jumping down from thefence, he caught his pantaloons on a nail and tore a great rent in them. At this he burst forth with anawful volley of oaths, but went home, changed his clothes, and came back to church, too late,however, to get in. While he stood by the window, the power of God came upon him, and his needof a present Saviour became so intense that he climbed through the window, saying, “For God’ssake, let me get in to be saved,” and was converted.
What human eloquence, reasoning and might, were powerless to accomplish, Mr. Weber,through the power of the Holy Ghost, was enabled, as elsewhere, to do at this place, demonstratingthat a man, full of the Holy Ghost and led in everything by the Spirit, can have revival victory asgreat in July as in January. May midsummer revivals multiply, until earth is retaken for her lawfulKing.
Bro. Weber at Campmeetings. The time has now come when Mr. Weber is to have his firstexperience in conducting services at campmeetings, where,
“In the temple that ever was made by bands,
Curtains of azure, crystal wall
And dome of the sunshine over all,”
great multitudes were to gather.
After the Marysville meeting, he paid a short visit to his father’s home, which to him was aseason of great rejoicing, the source of which is seen from the following entry in his journal of July11th: ” Praise the Lord! This is a day of days at our home. My ma has decided to be a Christian;was saved with her head in my lap.”
From home he paid a short visit to Defiance and Clyde, “confirming the converts,” andpassed from thence to the Bayshore, O., campground, which he reached on the 2lst. Here he hadbeen engaged to aid in the services, and here, as usual, the blessing of God was upon his labors.”A straight gospel was preached, and many hardened sinners fell beneath the strokes of the HolyGhost. Many were saved and sanctified.”
The trustees of the Lakeside, O., campground, Aug. 8-20, 1883, where he next led the hostsof God to revival victory, had early secured the services of evangelist Thomas Harrison, butfinding that he could stay but a short time, Mr. Weber was secured in his stead for the entiremeeting. “Oh, for a TORNADO AT LAKESIDE,” ‘lad been the burden of the evangelist’s prayer.He came expecting it, and, glory to God, he was not disappointed. Here he was greeted by the”largest audiences he had ever had,” and was enabled to claim “power from on high” to sway themas the wind sways the forest leaves.
At the first meeting many manifested a desire to be saved. Pastors, people and theevangelist united their labors, and many were converted, and many others were wholly sanctified.Interest grew more and more intense, culminating in a sweeping cyclone at the closing Sundayservice, when “the people surged from all parts of the auditorium to be saved, d the interest was sogreat that many stayed after the lights were put out, and were converted.” “INSTANT IN SEASON,OUT OF SEASON.”
Passing from Lakeside to his next appointment, an incident of interest occurred whichwould inspire others to look for God’s leadings, even in disappointments. At Ashtabula, O., he metwith an accident that caused him to lose the train which he felt that he should have taken. Thiscompelled him to stay over in a little town by the name of Andover. He writes, The thought wouldcome, ‘The Lord could have held that train, but He has a work for you to do here.’ So I said, ‘ Whatis it, Lord?’ I started out, hoping to see some one whom I might help, as the Spirit said, ‘I have awork for you,’ but the people seemed to treat me so indifferently. Went and bought some taffy.Found some boys playing ball and gave them some, hoping that my work was talking to them, butthey likewise seemed indifferent. I then went to the hotel, when a man came up and stretched outhis hand, and said, ‘How are you, Mr. Weber? I am from Marysville, O. I was in your meetingsthere.’ After supper, I said to him, ‘Would you like to go out for a little walk?’ He consented. Afterwalking some distance, I said, ‘Are you a Christian ?’ He said, ‘No; but I would like to be.’ Then itdawned on me why God had me miss the train. As we walked, I unfolded to him God’s Word. Wewalked a mile or so, then we came to the hotel, and sat on the porch. I urged him to make asurrender to God there and then, so I said, ‘Let us go out to some place and pray.’ He did not seeminclined, so I said, ‘God will save you right here, if you will confess your sins, and accept Him asyour Saviour.’ So he prayed in his chair, and so did I; then I got up and got a drink, and came back,and said, ‘Well, did you ask Him to forgive you?’ ‘Well, then, according to His word and notaccording to your feelings, what does He do ?’ ‘ Why, He forgives! ‘ ‘Are you lost or saved?’ ‘Why,Weber, I am saved! His eyes sparkled and his face lit up with heavenly smiles, and he left thatevening a happy man. I met his wife, a short time after, who thanked me for Saving her husband.”
The next morning he reached Franklin, Pa, where with the Ohio Campmeeting HolinessAssociation, he had been invited to aid in a campmeeting. This meeting “was carried on almostexclusively for holiness.” But as genuine holiness always sets people to work on sinners, the worknaturally took hold of them, and they, too, were saved. While here, the following fell from Bro.Weber’s pen: “Had one of the most peculiar experiences in a meeting that I ever had. At the closeof my talk, I got down and wept over sinners, and so did many of the people. Many came to thealtar and were saved. Glory be to Jesus.” Truly “they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Here theevangelist would lay in his tent and “pray by the hour,” and a “wave of salvation came, prostratingeverybody.”
This meeting closed August 27, and the time between that and September 30, when thegreat revival began at Jackson, Mich., he improved by visiting a number of the churches, where hehad hitherto labored, being received as an angel of mercy, and everywhere praying the Father, “inJesus’ name,” to bless the people.