Smith Wigglesworth

Smith WigglesworthGrowing Up In Poverty

   My father was very poor and worked long hours for little pay in order to support my mother and his three boys and one girl. I can remember one cold, frosty day when my father had been given the job of digging a ditch seven yards long and a yard deep and filling it up again for the sum of three shillings and sixpence. My mother said that if he would only wait a bit, it might thaw and his task would be easier, but he needed that money for food for there was none in the house. So he set to work with a pickaxe. The frost was deep but underneath the hard ground was some soft, wet clay.

   As he dug up some of this, a robin suddenly appeared, picked up a worm, ate it, and flew to a branch of a nearby tree. And from there sent out a song of joyous praise. Up to now, father had been very despondent, but he was so entranced by the robins' lovely song of thanksgiving that he took fresh courage and began to dig with renewed vigor saying to himself, "If that robin can sing like that for a worm, surely I can't work like a father for my good wife and my four fine children."

   When I was six years of age, I got work in the field pulling and cleaning turnips and I can remember I saw my tiny hands pulling turnips from morning until night. At seven years of age, my elder brother and I went to work in a woolen mill. My father obtained employment in the same mill as a weaver. Things were easier in our house from that time on and food became more plentiful. My father was a great lover of birds and at one time he had sixteen songbirds in our home. Like my father, I had a great love for birds and at every opportunity I would be out looking for their nests. I always knew where there was some eighty or ninety of them.

   One time, I found a nest full of fledglings and thinking they were abandoned. I adopted them, taking them home and making a place for them in my bedroom. Somehow the parent birds discovered them and would fly in through the open window and feed their young ones. One time, I had both a thrush and a lark feeding their young ones in my room. My brothers and I would catch some songbirds by means of birdlime, bring them home and later sell them in the market. My mother was very industrious with her needle and made all our clothes chiefly from old garments that had been given to her. I usually wore an overcoat with sleeves three or four inches too long, which was very comfortable in cold weather.

   I cannot forget those long winter nights and mornings. Having to get out of bed at 5:00 o'clock to snatch a quick meal and then walk two miles to be at work by six. We had to work twelve hours each day and I often said to my father, it's a long time from six until six in the mill. I can remember the tears in his eyes as he said, "Well, six o'clock will always come." Sometimes it seemed like a month coming. I can never recollect a time when I did not long for God. Even though neither my father nor mother chased God, I was always seeking Him. I would often kneel down in the field and ask Him to help me. I would ask Him especially to enable me to find where the birds’ nests were, and after I had prayed, I seem to have an instinct to know exactly where to look.

   One time, I walked to work in a great thunderstorm. It seemed that for half an hour I was enveloped with fire as the thunders rolled and the lightning flashed. Young as I was, my heart was crying to God for his preservation and he wrapped me in his gracious presence though all the way I was surrounded with lightning and I was drenched to the skin. I knew no fear; I only sensed that I was being shielded by the power of God. My grandmother was an old-time Wesleyan Methodist and would take me to the meetings she attended. When I was 8 years of age, there was a revival meeting held in her church. I can remember one Sunday morning at seven o'clock when all those simple folks were dancing around a big stove in the center of the church, clapping their hands and singing, "Oh, the Lamb. The bleeding Lamb. The Lamb of Calvary. The Lamb that was slain, that liveth again to intercede for me."

   As I clap my hands and sang with them, a clear knowledge of the new birth came into my soul. I looked to the Lamb of Calvary. I believed that he loved me and had died for me. Life came in eternal life and I knew that I had received a new life, which had come from God. I was born-again. I saw that God wants us so badly that he has made the condition as simple as he possibly could. Only believe. That experience was real and I have never doubted my salvation since that day, but I had no words. The longer I live, the more I fought. But the less language I had to express my thoughts. In this respect, I resembled my mother. She would begin to tell a story but what she said was so unintelligible that father would have to interrupt saying, "Nay mother! You'll have to begin again." She just could not express herself. I was the same. But I delighted in going to meetings, especially those in which everyone was giving a testimony. I would arise to give mine but would have no language to convey what I felt in the depths of my soul.

   Invariably, I would burst out crying. One memorable day, three old men whom I knew very intimately came across to where I was weeping. Unable to speak, they laid their hands on me. The spirit of the Lord came upon me and I was instantly set free from my bondage. I not only believed but I could also speak. From the time of my conversion, I became a soul winner and the first person I won for Christ was my own dear mother. When I was nine years of age, I was tall. And so I got full-time work in the mill. Schooling was not compulsory in those days and so I was robbed of an education. Father wanted all of us to go to the Episcopal Church. He had no desire to go himself, but he liked the person because they met at the same pub and drank beer together. My brother and I were in the choir in this church. And although I could not read I soon learn the tunes of the hymns and chants.

   When most of the boys in the choir were twelve years of age, they had to be confirmed by the bishop. I was not twelve, but between nine and ten when the bishop laid his hands on me. I can remember that as he imposed his hands, I had a similar experience to the one I had forty years later when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. My whole body was filled with the consciousness of God's presence that remained with me for days. After the confirmation service, all the other boys were swearing and quarreling and I wondered what had made the difference between them and me.

   When I was thirteen, we moved to Bradford. There I went to the Wesleyan Methodist Church and began to enter into a deep spiritual life. I was very keen for God. This church was having some special missionary meetings and they chose seven boys to speak. I was one of the seven chosen and I had three weeks in which to get ready for a fifteen-minute talk. For three weeks, I lived in prayer. I remember that as I began there were such loud voices and shouting’s. I do not recollect what I said, but I know I was possessed with a mighty zeal. I had a burning desire to get people to know my Savior. At that time, I was always getting in touch with boys and talking to them about salvation. I had many rebuffs and rebukes. I wanted to share the great joy ahead but so many did not seem too eager to listen to me and that was a great mystery to me. I suppose I was not very tactful. I always carried a testament with me, even though I was not able to read much.

   When I was sixteen years of age, the Salvation Army opened up at work in Bradford. I delighted to be with these earnest Salvation Army people. It was laid very deeply upon me to fast and pray for the salvation of souls in those days and every week we saw scores of sinners yielding their heart to Christ. In the mill where I worked, there was a Godly man belonging to the Plymouth Brethren. He was a steam fitter. I was given to him as a helper and he taught me how to do plumbing work. He talked to me about water baptism and its meaning. I can remember that he said to me, "If you will obey the Lord in this, you do not know what He may have for you." I gladly obeyed the word of the Lord to be buried with Him in baptism and unto death and come forth from that symbolic watery grave to a newness of life in God. I was about seventeen at that time. It was this good man who taught me about the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Again and again when I had a sense that I had failed God, I would be troubled with the thought that the Lord would come and I would not be ready to meet Him.

   From time to time it was a relief to me to go to work and find this Godly man there. Then I knew the Lord had not come in the night and left me behind. I continued with the Salvation Army because it seemed to me they had more power in their ministry than anybody else at that time. We used to have all nights of prayer. Many would be laid out under the power of the spirit, sometimes for as long as twenty four hours at a time. We called that the baptism in the spirit in those days, those early Salvationist’s have great power and it was manifested in their testimony and in their lives. We would join together and claim in faith fifty or a hundred souls every week and know that we would get them. Alas! Today many are not laying themselves out for soul winning, but for fleshly manifestations. I look to the Lord and he surely helped me in everything.

   When I was eighteen years of age, I went to a plumber to ask for employment. I cleaned up my shoes with an extra shine put on a clean collar and applied at the home of this man. He said, "No, I do not need anyone." I said, "Thank you, Sir. I am sorry." The man let me walk down to his gate and then called me back saying, "There's something about you that is different. I just can't let you go." He sent me to do a job fitting a row of homes with water piping, which I finished in a week. The master was so amazed that he said, "It cannot possibly be done." But he went and found the work perfect. He said he could not keep me employed at that speed.

   When I was twenty years of age, I moved to Liverpool and the power of God was mightily upon me. I had a great desire to help the young people. Every week I used to gather around me scores of boys and girls, barefooted, ragged and hungry. I earned good money, but I spent all of it on food for those children. They would congregate in the sheds in their docks and what meetings we had, hundreds of them were saved. A friend of mine and I devoted ourselves to visiting the hospitals and also the ships. God gave me a great heart for the poor. I used to work hard and spend all I had on the poor and have nothing for myself. I fasted all day every Sunday and prayed. And I never remember seeing less than fifty souls saved by the power of God in the meetings with the children, in the hospital's, on the ships and in the Salvation Army. These were the days of great soul awakening.

   At the Salvation Army meetings, the officer in charge would constantly ask me to speak. I cannot tell why he should ask me for my speech was always broken. I was weeping before the people. I could not hold back the tears. I would have given a world to be able to speak in a more eloquent way, like Jeremiah, I was a man with a fountain of tears. But as I wept before the people, this often would lead to an altar call. I thank God for those days because the Lord kept me in a broken, contrite spirit. The memory of those Liverpool days is very precious to me.

   When I was about twenty three years of age, I was led to go back to Bradford and I was strongly led to open up a business for myself as a plumber and give my spare time to helping the Salvation Army. It was there I met the best girl in the world. When my wife was talking about one who preached divine healing to others and yet used other means himself, she was referring to me. From childhood, I have suffered from hemorrhoids or piles and so I deem it necessary to use salt every day. I have looked upon them as harmless, natural means. I knew that if I did not have hemorrhoids of this kind, I would have bleeding every day and infection might result. But if you will stand with me in faith, I am willing to trust God in this matter and give up the salt.

   Since I have taken them every day for years, my system is so used to them that there will be no natural function from now until Wednesday. Will you stand with me in faith on that day? I shall have great pain and much bleeding through not having used the salt. After that Sunday, Wigglesworth did not take his daily dose of salt. On Wednesday, the crisis came. At a certain hour, he went into his bathroom. He anointed himself with oil according to James 5. We have often heard him testify in public for he was a man of no unwholesome modesty when it came to speaking about perfectly natural things God undertook. My bowels functioned that day like a baby's. God had perfectly healed me. From that day forward, my bowels have functioned perfectly without the use of any means whatsoever. I have proved the God who is enough. As I walked along, I would be always looking for someone to whom I could talk about the Lord.

   One time, I went with a brother on a bicycle tour. Every day for ten days, we had on average three good cases of salvation. My experience in business life led me to a great many people whom I would not have contacted had I been a professional preacher. My whole business life was spent in communion with God. I sought to be his witness everywhere I went. A man came to reside in Bradford and asked, "Businessman, can you introduce me to a good plumber? The business man replied, "Yes I can if you can stand his religion. If you have him as plumber, you have to have his religion as well. He never goes out on a job but what he is preaching all the while he is doing his plumbing work." Well this man said, "I'll risk it." He told me afterwards that he was pleased that he had me as a plumber because of my talks to him about the Lord. I was very successful in my plumbing work, but I was very poor in collecting the debts on my books, but every Saturday I had to pay my men.

   One day, I was in need of money. I have always believed it was God's plan for me to be in need because in the needy our God opened the door to me and that strengthened my faith. At that particular time, I went to the Lord and prayed. "Lord, I have not time to go out and seek money. Please tell me where I can get some." He said, "Go to Bishop. I had heard that he was a very bad pay and that everyone had to take him to the courts in order to get their money." But because the Lord had told me to go, I knew he could deal with him. So I went in faith. As I went into the lodge gate, I met Mrs. Bishop coming out with another lady. I had been somewhat in hopes that I might see her and that she would pay me. So I said to myself, "There's only one hope and that is to see Bishop." But I hesitated for a moment because I knew that he paid nobody. Should I go? Well, I knew God had spoken to me and so I went to the back door. The servant answered and I asked, "Is Mr. Bishop in?" "No, and he will not be home for three weeks." "I cannot understand that" I said. "Why do not you understand? You seem disturbed," "Yes. I am very disturbed. I have to have money to pay my men tomorrow and as I have been praying the Lord directed me to come here. It is quite disturbing to know that. Mr. Bishop is away and will not be back for three weeks."

   The servant asked, "How much is it that he owes you?" I said to her, "Just about 20 pounds." She said, "Come in." She went upstairs, brought the money down and settled the account. I said to her, "Do you do this kind of thing often?" She answered, "No." Well, I knew the Lord had told me to go to that house at 9 o'clock the night previous. She told me that at that very time, the mistress have given her wages and that she felt impressed to pay this account out of her wages. I said, "What makes you do it?" She answered, "I dare not let you go away without it. That is all I can say." God showed me how he could make a human impossibility possible. Incidents like that helped in the creation of a living faith in my heart.

   One morning, the children were all gathered around the breakfast table and my wife said, "Harold and Ernest are very sick this morning. Before we have breakfast, we will pray for them." Immediately, the power of God fell upon my wife and me and as we laid our hands on these children, they were both instantly healed. As we saw the miraculous healing brought before our eyes, we were both filled with intense joy. The Lord was always so good in proving himself our family physician. That day, I went out to work at a house where a great many servants were employed. And I took an apprentice boy to work with me. I could see that the lady of the house was very restless. She came into the room where I was working, looked at me and then walked out. Soon she came back and said, "Can't you send your apprentice to your shop for something?" I replied, "I was just going to send him to the shop because I am short of one piece of pipe."

   As soon as the boy was out of the door she said, "Tell me. Oh, please tell me, what is the cause of your face showing such a wonderful expression of joy?" I replied, "Well, this morning two of my children came to the breakfast table very sick. My wife and I prayed for them and God instantly healed them. I was filled with joy as I saw what he had wrought and that joy is with me now." She said, "Please, tell me how to get this joy. My house is full of trouble. My husband left me this morning after a big disturbance. Please, tell me how I can get this peace and rest and joy that you have." I said to her, "The Lord has saved my wife and me and we know what it is to have the power of God in our home and for him to meet all our needs and to fill us with his peace and joy." She said, "Oh, please can you help me?" I said, "I can't help you now." She seemed afraid of the servants coming in. So she locked the door and kept her hand on the key as if she was afraid she might be disturbed any moment. And while she had her hand on the key, the Lord saved her. She was filled with the joy of the assurance to all her sins were washed away. She said, "Oh, how can I keep this?" I asked, "Do you have in single Bible quote for me.  Some day when the ladies come to visit you and she answered, "I have one next Thursday." I said to her, "Tell all the ladies how the Lord has saved you and ask if you can pray with them."

   That was the ministry that the lord gave me all through the years that I was in the plumbing business. I had the joy of leading so many men and women and so many servant girls to Christ as I worked at my trade and witnessed for my Christ. The Lord had a purpose in keeping me tied up financially. In some respects, I had a flourishing business, but I was always short of ready money. I can remember one day I went to prayer as usual and ask the Lord where shall I go for money this weekend? He said to me, go and see the architect and ask him for a certificate. I was working on a job under a certain architect. And so in obedience to the word of the Lord, I went to see him. As soon as I got to the office he said, "What do you want?" I explained I needed a certificate. "On what job?" He asked. The job you gave me to fix the furnaces. "Why?" he said. "You have only just got to work." I replied, "That makes no difference. The work is done. The work was on a row of new houses." He said, "You couldn't have finished the work. I only gave it to you a week ago." I said, "When you gave it to me, you did so because you knew I would do it quickly." He asked, "How could you do it?" "I brought all my men from other work and got down to business." He doubted my word. He picked up his hat and said, "I will go and see."

   We went together and when he saw the work he was well satisfied. He said, "This is wonderful. It is just what we wanted." And so he wrote out a certificate for the money. It was one thing to get the certificate and another thing to get the money. I started to the office of the mill master to whom the property belonged. And as I went, I noticed on a shop window a scripture text, "Trust in the Lord at all times." I went forward believing that since I had my trust in the Lord, everything would be all right. When I got to the office of the mill, I handed the cashier the certificate. It was Saturday morning and he shouted louder than I could shout. "You'll get no money here! You'll get no money here! You'll get no money here! We never pay out money except on certain days in the month and I tell you you'll get no money here!" He shouted so loudly that I thought there was something wrong with his mind. Behind him, a door opened. The master appeared at the door and demanded, "Whatever is wrong?" I said, "I do not know sir. I have given this man a certificate for payment and I do not know why he is shouting." So I gathered that the Lord made the clarion shout so as to bring the master down from another building. The mill master needed the certificate and said to the cashier, "Pay this man his money and if I hear of anything like this again, I'll fire you." I came out of the office with the money and went down the street praising the Lord.

   When I came to the shop where I had seen that scripture text, I went in and said, "How much do you want for the text?" I was told a shilling, so I bought it and it was a great blessing to me to remind me continually to trust in the Lord at all times. Being in business for myself, I was able to devote much of my time to the sick and needy. I used to go to leads every week to a place where divine healing was taught, but I was very critical in my spirit and would judge people so harshly. I did not know why so many people who taught divine healing wore glasses. I questioned, "Why do you wear glasses if you believe in divine healing?" This stumbled me somewhat. Later, I had to wear glasses to read my Bible and I was often criticized for this. However, I was very full of compassion towards the sick and needy folk and being able to pay the expenses of the needy ones. I used to collect a number of them and take them to leads every Tuesday to the service.

   One day I had nine with me. The leaders of the Leads Healing Home looked through the window and said, "Here is Wigglesworth coming again and bringing a lot more. If he only knew he could get these people healed at Bradford just as easily as to get them healed in Leads." These leaders knew that I had a compassion for the sick and needy and one day they said to me, "We want to go to the Keswick Convention and we have been thinking whom we should leave to do the work. We can only think of you." I said, "I couldn't conduct a healing service." They said, "We have no one else. We trust you to take care of the work while we are away." A flash came into my mind. Well, any number of people can talk. All I have to do is to take charge.

   The following week when I got there, the place was full of people. Of course, the first thing I did was to look for someone who would do the speaking. But all whom I asked said, "No, you have been chosen and you must do it." And so I had to begin. I do not remember what I said, but I do know that when I had finished speaking fifteen people came forward for healing. One of these was a man from Scotland who hobbled on a pair of crutches. I prayed for him and he was instantly healed. There was no one as surprised as I was. He was jumping all over the place without his crutches. This encouraged the others to believe God for their healing and all the people were healed. I am sure it was not my faith, but it was God in his compassion coming to help me in that hour of need. After this the Lord opened the door of faith for me more and more. I announced that I would have a divine healing meeting in Bradford on a certain evening. I can remember that there were twelve people who came that night and all of those twelve were miraculously healed. One had a tongue badly bitten in the center through her fault. This one was perfectly healed. Another was a woman with an ulcer on her ankle joint and a large sore that was constantly discharging. She was healed and there was only a scar the next day. The others were healed the same way.

   One day, a man asked me does divine healing embrace seasickness. I answered. "Yes. It is a spirit of fear that causes your seasickness. And I command that spirit to go out of you in Jesus name." He was never seasick again though he had to travel much. One day, a man came to the house. He was a very devoted brother. I said to him, "Mr. Clark, you seem down cast today. What's up?" He answered, "I left my wife dying. Two doctors have been with her right through the night and they say she cannot live long." I said to him, "Why do not you believe God for your wife?" He answered, "Brother Wigglesworth, I cannot believe for her." He went out of the house broken hearted. I went to see a fellow named who was opening a small mission in Bradford? I thought he was the right man to go with me to assist me. When I said, "Will you go with me?" He answered, "No. Indeed I won't. Please do not ask me again, but I believe if you will go, God will heal."

   I realize now that the Lord put those words in his mouth to encourage me. Well, I knew a man named Nichols who if he got the opportunity to pray, would pray all around the world three times and then come back. So I went to him and said, "Will you come with me to pray for Sister Clark?" He answered, "Yes. I will be very glad." We had a mile and a half to walk to the Taos. I told him when he began to pray not to stop until he was finished. When we got the house, we saw that Mrs. Clark was nearly gone. I said to the one I had brought with me, "You see the dangerous condition of Sister Clark. Now do not waste time but begin to pray. Seeing he had an opportunity, he began. I had never suffered so much as I did when he was praying and I cried to the Lord, "Stop him, and please Lord Stop this man's praying." "Why?" "Because he prayed for the dear husband who was going to be bereaved and for the children who were going to be marvelous. He piled it on so thick that I had to cry out. Stop him Lord. I cannot stand this." And thank God, he stopped.

   Though I knew that neither Clark nor Nichols believed in divine healing. I had concealed a small bottle in my hip pocket that would hold about half a pint of oil. I put a long cork in it so that I could open the bottle easily. I took the bottle out of my pocket and held it behind me and said, "Now you pray Mr. Clark. Brother Clark being encouraged by Brother Nichols prayer, pray also that he might be sustained in his great bereavement." I could not stand it at all and I cried, "Lord, stopped him." I was so earnest and so broken that they could hear me outside the house. Thank God, he stopped. As soon as he stopped, I pulled the cork out of the bottle and went over to the dying woman who was laid out on the bed. I was a novice at this time and did not know any better. So I poured all the contents of that bottle of oil over Mrs. Clark's body in the name of Jesus. I was standing beside her at the top of the bed and looking towards the foot when suddenly the Lord Jesus appeared. I had my eyes open gazing at Him there. He was at the foot of the bed. He gave me one of those gentle smiles. I see Him just now as I tell this story to you. I have never lost that vision. The vision was that of the beautiful soft smile.

   After a few moments, he vanished but something happened that day that changed my whole life. Mrs. Clark was raised up and filled with life and lived to bring up a number of children. She outlived her husband many years. Everybody has to have testing’s. If you believe in divine healing you will surely be tested on the faith line. God cannot bring anyone into blessing and into full cooperation with him except through testing and trials. My wife and I saw that we could not go just have some favor with God. If we believed in divine healing, we would have to be wholeheartedly in it. So we pledged ourselves to God and then to each other. This consecration to trust God seemed to bring a new order in our lives. We looked into each other's faces and said, "From henceforth, no medicine, no doctors, no drugs of any kind shall come into our house." It is very easy when we have health and strength to make pledges and our vows, but it is being faithful when the time of testing comes that counts. Little did we know that shortly we were going to have such a test? We were both very zealous for the Lord and spent a good deal of time in open-air meetings.

   One Sunday, a violent pain gripped me and brought me down to earth. Two men supported me and brought me home. The same thing had happened before, but the pain had not been so severe in previous times. We prayed all night. The next morning I said to my wife, "It seems to me that this is my home call. We have been praying all night and nothing has happened. I am worse. It does not seem as though anything can be done. You know our arrangement is that when we know we have received a home call, only then to save each other the embarrassment of having an inquest in the condemnation of outsiders would we call a physician." "To protect yourself, you should now call a physician. I leave it with you to do what you think should be done." Poor thing. She was in a sad plight with all the little children around her and there seemed no hope whatever.

   She broke down and left me and went to see a physician not for him to help me for she did not think he could help me, but believing that the end had come. When the doctor came, he examined me, shook his head and said, "There is no hope, whatsoever. He has had appendicitis for the past six months and the organs are in such bad shape that he is beyond hope." He turned to my wife and said, "I have a few calls to make Mrs. Wigglesworth. I will come and see you again later. The only hope is for him to have an immediate operation, but I am somewhat afraid your husband is too weak for that." When he got out of the room, an elderly lady and a young man came in. She was a great woman to pray and she believed that everything that was not health was of the devil. While she prayed, the young man laid his hands on me and cried out, "Come out devil in the name of Jesus!" To my surprise, I felt as well as it had ever been in my life. I was absolutely free from pain.

   As soon as they had prayed for me, they went downstairs and I got up believing that no one had a right to remain in bed when healed. When I got down stairs my wife cried, "Oh!" I said, "I am healed." She said, "I hope it is true." I enquired, "Any work in?" "Yes. There is a woman who is in a great hurry to get some plumbing done. If we could not take care of it, she would have to go somewhere else." She gave me the address and I went out to do this work. While I was working, the doctor returned. He put his silk hat on the table, went upstairs, and got as far as the landing when my wife shouted, "Doctor! Doctor! Doctor!" He asked, "Are you calling me?" "Oh doctor, he's out. He has gone out to work." The doctor answered, "They will bring him back a corpse as short as you live." Well, that corpse has been going up and down the world preaching the gospel these many years since that time. I have laid hands on people with appendicitis in almost every part of the world and never knew of a case not instantly healed, even when doctors were on the premises. My wife and I always believed in scriptural Holiness, but I was conscious of much carnality in myself.

   A really holy man once came to preach for us and he spoke of what it meant to be entirely sanctified. He called it a very definite work of grace subsequent to the new birth. As I waited on the Lord for ten days in prayer and handing my body over to Him as a living sacrifice according to Romans 12. God surely did something for me. From that time forward, I began to have real liberty in preaching. We counted that as the baptism in the Spirit and so that our mission on Boland Street, we stood for both healing and Holiness. We never believed it was right for us to do all the preaching, and so we gave two or three of our young men and women a chance every week. These young workers developed, and the result was it made many of them to become wonderful preachers. We thought that we had got all that was coming to us on spiritual lines, but one day we heard that people were being baptized in the Spirit and were speaking in other tongues and that the gifts of the Spirit were being manifested. I confess that I was much moved by this news.

   One day, I saw a man coming to the house and noticed that he had very great difficulty in getting up the steps to our front door. But he managed to pull himself up some way or other by the railing and when he had taken a sit he said, "If my people knew that I was coming to your house, they never would have let me come. You have a worse name than any man I ever heard of." I said, "If that is your opinion of me, you had better clear out of my house. For I do not want anyone here that does not believe in me. "Oh" He said, "I believe in you. Please do not put me out. If you knew my terrible condition, you would not send me away. Put your hand on my leg, will you?" I did and found it was like a board not like a lake. I said, "It feels strange. What's the trouble?" "It is cancer in the leg from top to bottom. Oh, you will not send me away will you?" I replied, "I will not send you away. I will go and see what God says about this."

   As I waited before the Lord, these words came to me, "Go. Tell that man to fast seven days and seven nights and his flesh shall become like a little child's." I told him what the Lord had given me for him and he said, "I believe all that God has said to you, and I will go home and do all that God has told me to do." Four days later, I was looking through the window and here was this same man, but instead of having to take hold of the railing and pull himself up like a sick man. He jumped up those steps and came running around the house like a boy crying out "I am perfectly healed." I asked, "What are you going to do now?" He answered, I am going back to fast further for three days and three nights, but I thought I would let you know what God is already done." The next time he came to our house, he saw my daughter Allison and heard her say that she was going to Angola in Africa. "I would like to have a share in this." He told her as he pulled out a handful of gold coins saying, "That's my gift towards your going to Africa." Then he turned to me and remarked, "Have you heard the latest? They are receiving the Holy Spirit at Sunderland and speaking in other tongues. I have decided to go up to Sunderland to see this thing for myself. Would you like to come with me?" I declared that I would be delighted to go. He said, "All right, you come along with me and all expenses will be paid out of my purse." He was so happy at having been healed and he surely was glorifying God for the miracle that had been received in my life.

   I wrote ahead to two people at Sunderland who had been saved in the work in Bradford and who had gone to live in that town. The report had come to them that what was happening was a very dangerous error and that speaking in other tongues was from an evil power. In order to save me from this terrible error, they arranged for a very wonderful woman to be on hand to warn me. And so the first things I heard were false reports. When they had said all they had to say, I suggested, "Let us pray." The Lord gave me real liberty in prayer and after I had prayed they said, "Do not take any notice of what we have said. Obey your own leadings."

   It was a Saturday night when I went to the meeting which was held in the Vestry of the Parish Church at Monkwearmouth, Sunderland. What I could not understand was this; I had just come from Bradford where the Spirit of God was working mightily. Many had been prostrated, slain by the power of God the night before I left for Sunderland. It seemed to me that that was not the power in this meeting that we had in our own assembly in Bradford. I was disappointed, but I was very hungry for God and He knew my hunger even though nobody seemed to understand me. I can remember a man giving his testimony that after waiting on the Lord for three weeks, the Lord had baptized him in the Holy Spirit and caused him to speak in other tongues. I cried out, "Let's hear these tongues. That's what I came for. Let's hear it." They answered, "When you were baptized you will speak in tongues."

   According to my own opinion, I had been baptized in the Spirit thinking back to my ten days of waiting on God and the blessing I had received as a result, I had called that the baptism in the Spirit. So I said to them, "I remember when I was baptized, my tongue was loosed, my testimony was different." But they answered, "No that is not it." But I was seeking with all my heart after God. On a Sunday morning, I went to a Salvation Army prayer meeting at 7 o'clock. Three times in that prayer meeting, I was smitten to the floor by the mighty power of God. Somewhat ashamed of my position, lest I should be misunderstood. I tried to control myself by getting up again and kneeling and praying. At the close of the service, the captain said to me, "Where are you from brother?" I answered, "I am from Bradford. I came to Sunderland to receive these tongues that people are getting here." "Oh" he said, "That's the devil they are getting up there." But anyhow, he invited me to preach for him that afternoon and we had a very wonderful time. But they were all persuading me not to go near the Pentecostal people and not to seek the speaking in other tongues.

   Pastor Boddy, who was Vicar of the Episcopal Church where those first Pentecostal meetings were held, gave out a notice that there would be a waiting meeting all night on Tuesday. It was a very precious time and the presence of the Lord was very wonderful, but I did not hear anyone speak in tongues. At 2.30 in the morning brother Boddy said, "We had better close the meeting." I was disappointed for I would have liked to stay there all night. I found I had changed my clothes and left the key to my hotel room in the clothes I had taken off. So a missionary brother from India said to me, "You'll have to come and sleep with me." But I did not go to bed. We spent the night in prayer and received great blessing. For four days, I wanted nothing but God. But after that, I felt I should leave for my home and I went to the Episcopal vicarage to say goodbye. I said to Mrs. Boddy, the Vicar's wife "I am going away but I have not received the tongues yet." She answered, "It is not tongues you need but the baptism." I have received the baptism sister, I protested but I would like to have you lay hands on me before I leave. She laid her hands on me and then had to go out of the room. The fire fell. It was a wonderful time as I was there with God alone. He bathed me in power. I was conscious of the cleansing of the precious blood and I cried out, "Clean! Clean! Clean!

   I was filled with the joy of the consciousness of the cleansing. I was given a vision in which I saw the Lord Jesus Christ. I beheld the empty cross and have seen Him exalted at the right hand of God the Father. I could speak no longer in English, but I began to praise Him in other tongues as the spirit of God gave me utterance. I knew then although I might have received anointing previously, that now at last I had received the real baptism in the Holy Spirit as they received on the day of Pentecost.

   At the time, I received the baptism in the Spirit, a meeting was going on in the large Vestry of the All Saints Church, and I went straight to it. The vicar of the church, Pastor Boddy had charge and he was speaking, "I knew that as yet he had not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit," and I interrupted him by saying. "Oh, please let me speak Mr. Boddy. I have just received the baptism in the Holy Ghost." The place was full of people. I can't remember what I said, but I know I made all those people extremely dissatisfied and discontented with their position. They said, "We have been rebuking this man because he was so intensely hungry, but he has come in for a few days and has received the baptism and some of us have been waiting here for months and have not yet received." A great hunger came upon them all. From that day, God began to pour out his Spirit until in a very short while fifty had received the Baptism. The first thing I did was to send a telegraph to my home saying, "I have received the baptism in the Holy Ghost and have spoken in tongues."

   On the train to my hometown, the devil began questioning. "Are you going to take this to Bradford?" As regards my feelings at the moment, I had nothing to take but to just do not live by feelings, but by faith. So I shouted out on the railroad coach to everybody's amazement, "Yes. I am taking it." A great joy filled me as I made this declaration. But somehow I knew that from that moment, it would be a great fight all the time. When I arrived home, one of my sons said to me, "Father. Have you been speaking in tongues?" I replied, "Yes, George." "Then let's hear you" he said. But I could say nothing. For although I had received the baptism in the Holy Ghost, I had not received the distinct gift of tongues. That did not come until nine months later.

   My son did not understand that the speaking with tongues which accompanies the receiving of the baptism and the Spirit is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12. The former is given as evidence that the Spirit has come in Pentecostal fullness, but there may not be any further utterance in tongues unless there is a special anointing of the Spirit. The gift of tongues however, is such that the receiver may use it for prayer or praise at any time. My wife said to me, "So you've been speaking with tongues, have you? I replied. "Yes." Well, she said, it wants you to understand that I am as much baptized as you are and I do not speak in tongues." I saw that the contest was beginning right at home. "I have been preaching for twenty years" she continued. "And you have sat beside me on the platform but on Sunday, you will preach yourself and I will see what there is in it."

   She kept her word. On Sunday, she took a seat at the back of the building. We had always sat together on the platform until that day. So the contest had begun in the church. There were three steps up to the platform and as I went up those three steps, the Lord gave me the scripture in Isaiah 61:1-3. The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. I was no preacher, but hearing the voice of my Lord speaking those words to me. I began. I cannot now remember what I said, but my wife was really disturbed. The bench on which she sat would seat nine people and she moved about on it until she had sat on every part of it. Then she said in a voice that all around her could hear, "That's not my Smith, Lord. That's not my Smith." I was giving out the last hymn when the secretary of the mission stood up and said, "I want what our leader has received." The strange thing was that when he was about to sit down he missed his seat and went right down on the floor. Then my eldest son arouses and said he wanted what his father had and he too took his seat right down on the floor. In a short while, there were eleven people seated on the floor of the mission. The strangest thing was that they were all laughing in the spirit and laughing at one another.

   The Lord had really turned again the Captivity of Zion and the mouth of his children was being filled with laughter according to the word of the Lord in Psalm 126. I too, that was the beginning of a great outpouring of the spirit where hundreds received the baptism in the Holy Ghost and every one of them spoke in tongues as the spirit of God gave utterance. God knew that I should have to go all over the world and proclaim this glorious truth. That all could receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost in exactly the same way as they received on the day of Pentecost with the speaking in other tongues as the spirit of God gives utterance. The first call that I received after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit was from a man who had a factory in Lancashire and who employed more than one thousand people. He wrote to say that he had heard that I had received the Holy Spirit as at the beginning, and he would like to meet a man who had had this experience. His letter said, "If you will come, I will close down the factory each afternoon and give you five meetings between 1 p.m. and 11 p.m." I wrote back, "I am like a great big babbler that feels like bursting if it doesn't have a vent. So I am coming to you for the meetings."

   Up to the time I had no preaching abilities, but then I felt that I had a prophetic utterance which was flowing like a river by the power of the Holy Spirit. So I went to Lancashire and that manufacturer closed down his factory and from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. common with short intervals. I was preaching. Surely Christ fulfilled his promise. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of Living Water. Quite a large number in that factory were gloriously saved. Soon after this, my dear wife received the baptism in the spirit and then we went forth together in response to the many calls that came from different parts of the country. Wherever we went, the Lord baptized people with the Holy Spirit. We went together to a small place in Shropshire where we held a meeting in a Primitive Methodist Chapel. As my wife preached the fire fell, and people were baptized in the Holy Spirit all over that Chapel. There was a good deal of opposition and plenty of persecution. It was a small Country Village and everyone roundabout seems to be greatly moved. They all knew about that Revival in the church.

   The next morning after that, fire had fallen. I went walking around the village and entered a grocery shop. A deep conviction fell on three people who were in that shop, and before I left that grocery store all three were saved. After I came out, I went up the road a little and saw two women in a field who were carrying buckets. I shouted out to them, "Are you saved?" Here again, tremendous conviction sees them. They dropped their pails and began to pray and right in that field the Lord saved those two women. Wherever I went, conviction seems to be upon people. I went into a stone quarry where a whole lot of men were employed and I preach to them as they were addressing the big stones. And again, conviction fell and many were saved. As I was returning from this quarry, I passed a large hotel. Just as I was nearing it, two men drove by in a two-wheeled vehicle and I never have seen men with such evil faces. They looked the very picture of the devil. I did not know who they were, but as they came near and they cursed me and tried to slash their whip at me. It seemed like a whiff from the pit. They shouted so loudly that the landlord and landlady at the hotel and five people came out of that hotel and lashed out at me like mad dogs, cursing and swearing though I had not spoken a word to them. But I did not fear, I am the salt of the earth, I cried out instantly, "In the name of Jesus, in the power of the blood of Jesus. I drive you back into your den." They rushed back into the hotel and I went in and preached Jesus to them. There were many people here and baptized at that time and the glory of the Lord constantly fell.

   Twenty years later, I visited that same village and the people recounted the story of that wonderful visitation from God. Many people from different parts of the country would come to our mission and on almost every occasion they would express the wish that I would visit their place and do something for them. I had many telegrams to go to a place near Grantham to a young man who was very dangerously ill. After I arrived at Grantham, I had nine miles to go by bicycle. When I came to that farmhouse that afternoon, the woman at the door asked, "Are you Wigglesworth?" I replied, "Yes." She said, "I am sorry to say that you are too late. My son is beyond anything being done for him now." I answered, "God has never sent me anywhere too late." I asked if I could see the young man. He lay in his bed with his face toward the wall and whispered that if he was turned over he would die, for his heart was so weak. Well, I said, "I'll pray for the Lord to strengthen you." In most of my work in those early days, I used to pray much and fast. I knew that this case was beyond all human hopes and so I lay awake most of the night praying. I got up very early the next morning and went out to an adjoining field to pray for I was very much burdened about this case. There in that field, God gave me a revelation that this had to be something new in my life.

   I went into the house and asked them to put their son's clothes to air because the Lord would raise him up. In that part of England, the climate is very damp. So I knew it would be necessary for them to put his clothes before a fire before he could wear them, but they did not believe and so did not do anything about his clothes. That was Sunday morning, and I knew that there was a service at the Primitive Methodist Chapel. I went to the service and was invited to take charge. Through the word of the Lord, faith was planted in the hearts of all those people and then something happened. They all knew that young man by name and they all said, "Matthew will be raised up." That led me to see that faith could be created in others just as it had been created in me and if went back to that house and said, "Have you put his clothes to wear?" I think they were a little ashamed that they had done nothing. So they got out his clothes and put them before the fire. Then I went into the room and told the young man the vision I had, and said that something would happen different from anything that I had experienced before. I said, "When I place my hands on you, the glory of the Lord will fill the place till I shall not be able to stand. I shall be helpless on the floor."

   I went out and got his clothes and said to one of the household, "All I want you to do is put his stockings on him." Why I had asked them to put his stockings on is a mystery. His legs were like those of a skeleton and I saw his helplessness and knew that a miracle would have to be performed. After this member of the household had put the stockings on the young man I said, "Now you can leave the room." They shut the door. I think it is a very important thing to have the door shut when you have a case like this to deal with, for then you know that you are just leaning on God. I prayed for the vision to be made good and instantly the moment I touched the young man, the power of God filled the room and was so powerful that I fell to the floor. My nose and my mouth were touching the floor and I lay there in the glory for a quarter of an hour. All the while, Matthew in the bed was shouting, "Lord. This is for thy Glory. This is for thy Glory!" The bed simply shook as did everything in the room. By the power of God, Matthew's strength, his life and his heart, which was considered the weakest thing about him, were all renewed.

   I was still on the floor and the glory when he arose from his bed and began to dress. After he was dressed, he began to walk up and down the room shouting, "I am raised up for thy Glory. I am raised up for thy Glory!" Opening the door he shouted that "God has healed me! I am healed" The same glory filled the kitchen. The father and mother fell down and the daughter who had been brought from the asylum and whose mind was still affected was made perfectly whole that day. That whole village was moved and a Revival began that day. I went into that village unnoticed and unknown, but when I left, all the village turned out and shouted, "Please come back! Please come back and stay with us longer next time."

   I made the nine miles back to Grantham and paid a visit to one of our converts who had moved to this city. The moment I got to the door she said, "My brother is going to take you to a man who has cancer on the bladder." I went with her brother to the house of a sick man and before I reached the house, I could hear a voice crying out, "Oh dear! Oh dear! It was so loud. I could hear it at least fifty yards before I got to the home. When I got into his room, he was still shouting. "Oh dear!" Instantly, God revealed to me that neither this man nor his wife was saved. So I said to the man, "This great affliction is as much mental trouble as cancer. Are you saved?" "Oh" he cried. "If I was saved, I could die comfortably. If I was saved, I would not mind this cancer or anything."

   I pointed out the way of salvation and God saved the man and his wife. That man had such a revelation of salvation that joy overflowed and I could hear him shouting, "Hallelujah!" for fifty yards after I left that home. The transformation was beyond all description. He had no more trouble with that cancer. I hurried to the station and just caught my train back to Bradford. I soon saw that my business would have to give place to the ministry that God was giving me. I had supported my family with my plumbing business, but I was called out of town so often and people could not wait, they had to seek help from other sources. Each time I returned to Bradford I had less business. There came a period of very severe frost. I went around to my various customers and help them to cover up their water pipes so they could get water during the frosty weather, but I knew that when the thaw came, I should be wanted at many places to repair broken pipes. I was invited to a convention at Preston in Lancashire. During those convention days, defrost broken telegrams began coming in asking me to return immediately to Bradford to do repair work.

   At that time, the leader of the convention said to me, you've helped us much and have been a very great blessing. And we were very much like you not to stop until the end of the convention. But if you feel you want to go home, we will relieve you. I went home, but I found out that most of my customers who had broken pipes have been compelled to seek other plumbers. There was only one woman, a widow who had not been able to get a plumber. If went to her house and found that it was flooded with water and that one of the ceilings was down. I was so sorry for her that I repaired her pipes and her roof. She was grateful for she had waited many days for help. When she said, "Tell me how much I owe you now" I answered, "I won't receive any pay from you. I will make this an offering to the Lord as my last plumbing job." A friend once remarked, all the people who say they live by faith seemed to have their heels worn out and the clothes are old and green. I believed that God would abundantly provide if I served Him faithfully. I promised Him at that time that I would obey Him implicitly, but I lay down the condition that my shoe heels must never be a disgrace and I must never have to wear trousers with the knees out.

   I said to the Lord, if either of these things takes place, I'll go back to plumbing. He has never failed to supply all my needs. He increased my vision and faith and gave me calls all over England. I was a pioneer with the Pentecostal message to a great many assemblies throughout Great Britain. Soon calls began to pour in from other countries also. I had a lot of money on my books that I was not able to collect without court action, but I preferred losing it rather than to go to law. All the debts that I owed at that time were met by a young friend whose heart the Lord opened to make me a gift of some 50 Pounds. My wife and I continued our ministry at Boland Street Bradford. Even though I had to be frequently absent because I was ministering elsewhere. I believed in house-to-house visitation and prayed in every house I entered. Everywhere I went, souls were saved and people were healed. I was not ashamed of the Gospel so I purchased the largest flagpole that could be obtained and placed it outside the mission. I had a flag waving on that pole, three yards long and 1 and 1/2 yards wide. One side of the flag was red and the other side was blue with white letters. On one side, I had the scripture "I am the Lord that healeth thee." on the other side "Christ died for our sins." That flag had great effect on the people who saw it when passing by.

   God moved me on to a place of increasing faith, causing me to see that the word of God was written to show us how to act on the principles of faith. I saw that Christ had said, when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind and thou shalt be blessed for they cannot recompense thee for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." So I engaged two people to go out and find all the needy, the sick and the afflicted and I gave them tickets inviting them to a banquet and entertainment at the Boland Street Mission. After the two people had gone round the neighborhood, they gathered together a great company of needy people. That site was beyond all description. There were the blind and the deaf and the withered. All around the mission, there were wheelchairs and people on crutches and the blind were being led. This was the best day in my life up to that point. I wept and wept and wept. One reason I wept was because of the great need. I was weeping also for joy of the opportunity and with the expectation of seeing things that I had never seen before. And so it was.

   The first thing we did was to supply everybody with a first-class meal and there was plenty to spare of the very best we could provide. After they were filled, we gave them entertainment not in a worldly sense but the whole program was surely very entertaining. The first man on the program was one who had been wheeled up and down in a chair for a very long time who told how he had been healed by the power of God. The next one on the program was a woman who had been healed of an issue of blood. She told how she was healed by prayer and by the anointing of oil the day before she was to go on the operating table. Then we had a man who had been going about dragging his foot and his arm because he had had a paralytic stroke. He told how he was healed after the doctors had given him up. For an hour and a half who kept those poor helpless people deeply moved and weeping by the stories they heard of how Jesus could heal the sick. I said to them, "Now we have been entertaining you today, but we are going to have another meeting next Saturday and you people who are to dare bound who have come in wheelchairs and some of you folks who have come like the woman in the gospel who had spent her money on doctors and was no better. Are you going entertain us on Saturday night by the stories of the freedom that you have received today by the name of Jesus Christ?"

   So we prayed for those people and God mightily met us. We surely had a great time the following Saturday night as one after another told about how God had healed them of their different infirmities. I shall never forget that day. I cried out, "Who wants to be healed?" Of course, everyone wanted to be. I remember one particular case; I had gone to fetch a woman in her wheelchair. The wheel was broken, but I managed to fix it up. I helped her from her home, but that wheelchair gave way in the road. I said to her, "Well, you will never need it again anyhow." I fixed it again and ultimately we arrived at the mission. God so marvelously healed her that she walked home, and I am a witness to the fact that she went up all the steps into her house and into her bedroom praising the Lord as she went.

   There was one young man who had been having epileptic fits for eighteen years who was instantly healed. He had never gone out without having someone to accompany him. His mother brought him to that meeting and God so wonderfully healed him that within two weeks, he was working in a factory and bringing home wages. Another case was that of a young man who was all doubled up like the woman in the Bible. The Lord Jesus called it the spirit of infirmity, indicating that she was bound by an evil spirit. That day, that young man was loosed and set free just as the woman was loosed in the synagogue. Christ in His healing ministry said, “He was working the works of God and He said that if we believed we also could do the works of God.” He had cast out the spirit of infirmity. So I cast out the spirit of infirmity in the name of Jesus Christ and immediately the young man was made straight and everyone was blessing the Lord for the miracle they saw.

   Another remarkable case was that of a boy who from his head to his feet was encased in thin iron. The building was very crowded but the father lifted up the boy in the iron case and passed him over to the man who was sitting in the seat in front of him. He was then passed on to the next seat and others passed him on until ultimately, he was placed before me on the platform. I anointed him with oil, and laid hands on him in the name of the Lord Jesus and immediately he cried out, "Papa! Papa! Papa! It's going all over me! It's going all over me! It's going all over me!" And he was loosened that day and made absolutely free. Can you wonder about how great his faith was, and how many hearts were blessed as they saw these miracles?

Smith's Hearing His Voice Testimony

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