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CHAPTER 4

Taking only a small bundle with him, and without saying farewell, he started out to seek the place designated by the sign. He intended to take a straight line to the place, regardless of roads. His joy was now unspeakable. When he opened the door to start, a young man stood before it, who asked, “Where are you going?” He could only say, “I am going west.” Said the stranger, “Wait a minute and you can ride with me. The invitation was accepted, but with the determination to ride with him only as long as his course was toward that sign. All day they rode in a westerly direction. Just at sundown, as they reached the bottom of a hill, the driver turned to a road leading south, and the sign disappeared. Young Redfield said not a word, but thought, “The mystery is solved. I have been following a phantom.” He asked the young man to stop and let him get out, as he desired to take the road to the right. That led to the west. The stranger answered: “You had better go to the top of the hill, and stop there at the house of an old minister until morning, as it will be a long way before you will find a stopping place on that road.” He accepted the suggestion and went on. When they reached the house the young man knocked at the door and they were bidden to come in. The minister and his family were standing around the table and had been about to say grace over their evening repast, after the manner of that day. As the old man looked upon young Redfield the tears filled his eyes, and it was some moments before he could control his emotions. At last he said, “This young man must stop with me. God showed me in a dream sometime ago that you were coming to help me on my circuit. I never saw you before except in my dream, and when you came I instantly recognized you.” On taking a seat Mr. Redfield opened his hymn-book to the verse,

“Master, I own thy lawful claim,

Thine, wholly thine, I long to be;

Thou seest at last I willing am,

Where’er thou goest to follow thee.

Myself in all things to deny,

Thine, wholly thine to live and die.”

He says, “I now felt myself fully committed to do God’s will, although I kept and pondered these things in my heart. The heavenly sweetness and calmness which took possession of my soul, I have no words to describe.”

The old preacher took him on to a part of his circuit where Universalism was a great obstacle in the way of the work. He commenced his work here in the same way in which he had previously labored, by visiting from house to house. He met with opposition and threats of personal violence, but the more he labored the more he felt the value of souls, and the importance of his mission. When threatened, he would reply, “My message is from God to you, and I shall not, I dare not, disobey him. It is at your peril if you do not heed it,” and with tears running down his face he would insist upon a definite answer to his appeals. Sometimes amid threats he would kneel and pray, presenting the case of each person present to God. On rising he would take them by the hand, when they would allow it, and tell them, “I am here in the name of the great God. I have done my duty faithfully. Farewell, I will meet you again in the judgment.”

He would leave them in various moods. Sometimes penitent and sometime in a rage. “Yet,” he says, “I do not remember a single instance where they did not send for me within twenty-four hours, to come and pray for them.”

One afternoon, two Methodist ministers called and asked him to visit a Mr. B_____, a Universalist, by whose influence the revival was much hindered. They had both been to see him, but could not convince him of his error. One of them said, “I have used the arguments of Fisk and Fletcher, and yet nothing shakes his confidence in Universalism.” Young Redfield said, “I will ask the Lord about it.”

“That night he was instructed in a dream to visit the Universalist, and also as to how to approach him, and by what method he should endeavor to draw his attention to the great importance of attending immediately to the matter of his personal salvation. The next morning early, he proceeded to the man’s house, and, on entering, said to him: “I have a message from the great God to you, and that is, you must repent and seek salvation or you will be damned.”

Said he, “I don’t believe in your damnation doctrine.”

Without attempting to reply the young man asked, “Will you obey God and shun damnation?”

Again Mr. B_____ tried to avoid answering, but young Redfield said, “My message is from God; will you obey it?”

At this the man became very angry and ordered him out of his house, threatening him with a beating if he did not go.

Mr. Redfield replied: “You strike me at the peril of God’s displeasure; for the God who has sent me on this errand of mercy will certainly stand by me and defend me. So touch me if you dare. I am on God’s business.”

The Universalist’s wife now exclaimed, “Oh! will you pray for me?” with tears. He instantly knelt, and both the man and his wife knelt with him. God so far broke his opposition that his influence for evil from this time was checked.

The work of God soon broke out with power, and swept over all that section.

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