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From the scene of the labors described in the last chapter, Mr. Redfield went to a place only a few miles distant. The preacher in charge was present the first Sunday morning. He said to Mr. Redfield, “We are expecting you to begin today. Now, do you object to a melodeon in the gallery? If you do, we won’t have it used.”
“Don’t let it sound a note,” replied Mr. Redfield.
“What about the choir?” asked the pastor.
“Bring it down to the front seats, and let the whole congregation sing, in Methodist style,” was the reply.
Again, he began at the foundation. Holiness, inward and outward, was urged upon the people. When the truth was beginning to take a deep hold upon the congregation, he was waited on by a committee one day, who announced their business as follows:
“Brother, are you willing to be faithfully dealt with, and, if possible, to remove all hindrances that are in the way of a revival?”
“Most certainly I am,” he replied.
“Well, we have heard some reports in regard to you which are greatly in the way of the cause of God.”
“What are they?” he inquired.
“We have heard that you are worth three hundred thousand dollars; that you own a most splendid mansion in New York; that it is furnished and decorated from top to bottom in the most costly manner; that your servants dress in livery; that you carry a costly gold watch, and that you come out here and pounce upon us for our paltry two and sixpenny gold rings; and we think this ought to be corrected.”
Said he, “I don’t hold myself responsible for all the lies told about me, nor feel that I am required to correct everything that is circulated about me. If I did, I would have my hands full, and no time to work for God.” Pulling out his plain silver watch, he continued, “That is all the watch I have. About the mansion: the report is true, except they have located it in the wrong place. As to the three hundred thousand dollars, I would not sell it for that sum. Indeed, I do not think I should be blamed for its possession, for it was willed to me by my elder brother, when he died. As to my describing it to please the fastidious, I shall not do it. This much I will say, it is fenced round with walls made of diamonds, amethysts, and other precious stones, and the walks are paved with gold. You may judge what the mansion must be.”
The committee bowed themselves out, and he heard no more of the matter.
The revival was deep and extensive. It was estimated that nearly five hundred were converted. Some of the converts became remarkable for their piety, their activity, and their success as workers for Jesus.
One young girl, about sixteen years of age, came to the altar one evening, and, turning to the congregation, said: “Farewell to you all; I am going to seek religion; and I will have it.” Dropping upon her knees, she prayed most determinedly for salvation. She soon arose, and clapping her hands, gave glory to God. Then, turning to a faithful old preacher, and calling him by name, she said: “O brother, this is good. Oh, how I wish Jane had it”; and running to her sister Jane, she brought her to the altar. “Now,” said she, “I want Mary “; and she went and brought her. “Now I must have Susan,” but Susan ran out of the house. She then went for another, but that one refused; and the young convert fell upon her knees for a moment, and then led this one to the altar also. This girl had not been converted more then ten minutes, before she began to work for others, and in less than an hour she had led eleven persons to the altar; a work far beyond that of many in the church in a lifetime.
God seemed to have, on this night, complete possession of the place. One sister arose and said, “Oh, what shall we do for some one to lead us on when Brother Redfield is gone?” And turning to the preacher ma charge said: “O brother, you must get the blessing of holiness, so you can lead us on.”
The preacher arose, and instead of being offended, said, “I will have it; and I desire you all to pray for me.” He did get it, and afterwards said to Mr. Redfield, “I had it once before, and I preached it; and I had just such revivals as this. But I saw how some in the conference treated Brother Purdy, who is with you, and I was afraid I should get into bad repute among my brethren, as he has, — so I lowered the standard, and lost the power out of my soul; and I have been thinking about locating. But now I shall take my old track, and risk the consequences.”
But, like many others, he afterwards failed to keep his promise. The next year the conference sent a minister to the place who was opposed to preaching and teaching holiness. This caused Mr. Redfield much pain, but he was comforted by hearing that one of the members had died in glorious triumph, having kept her experience until the end.
Having closed his labors in this place, Mr. Redfield next went to labor in Bath, Steuben county, N. Y. Here he again raised the standard of holiness. Soon the work broke out in power. Here again the devil undertook to hinder the work by subjecting a woman, who experienced the blessing of holiness, to severe temptation. In her earnestness she promised the Lord she would follow the Spirit wherever it might lead. One afternoon, the impression came to her to go to the church to the meeting, and she arose and started. When about halfway there, the impression came to return home. She did this; and then it came to return again to the church, and when there to kneel in the end of the seat, so that the people who passed would have to step over her, and thus illustrate to them what stumbling blocks they were; and she obeyed it. Then the impression came, “This church is very proud, leap through the aisles like a frog to humble them”; and she did so. Then the impression came to call an old lady who sat near her, a hypocrite; and this she did. Then, following the same leading, she went after her daughter, who was in the house, and the daughter fled to avoid her. By this time the confusion became so great that the service was brought to an end. She went home, and the impression came to test her faith by sitting between a very hot stove and a wall near by. While at this, her husband, who was a physician, came home, and was informed of all that had occurred. Very much frightened, he hastened to the parsonage to see Mr. Redfield and the pastor. He declared his wife to be raving crazy, and that the meetings must stop, both for her good and the credit of Methodism. But Mr. Redfield thought he saw that it was another effort to dishonor the work; that these temptations sooner or later came to every one who was fully determined to follow Jesus. He then said to the doctor, “Don’t you know that the determining symptoms are not insanity? This is only temptation. She will come out of it all right.”
“Well, what shall I do?” said the doctor.
“Be quiet, and pray for her. Let her entirely alone, and she, will come out of it, and tell you it is all of the devil.”
The doctor was finally persuaded to drop the matter, and not interfere with the meetings. The next morning she came out of it all right, and the glory and power of God wonderfully rested upon her. She afterwards said she saw clearly that the strange influences she experienced were all of the devil.
But the report went far and near that the woman went crazy. Those who circulated it were careful not to say she was all over it the next day. This was also charged to Mr. Redfield’s labors, and the people were cautioned not to employ him.
The work in Bath went on in great power, and soon a jeweler was saved, and his conscience refused to let him buy or sell or mend jewelry, and it was reported that he had gone crazy.
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