How Pentecost Came To Los Angeles


August 8, 1906, I rented a church building at the corner of Eighth and Maple streets, for a Pentecostal Mission. I was led to this church in February. It was then occupied by the “Pillar of Fire” people, of which Mrs. Alma White of Denver was leader. I had been impressed to pray for a building for services, after I found the New Testament Church not going ahead. But I had not known even of the existence of this building until the Lord brought me in contact with it one day, all unexpectedly. I was passing by, and saw it for the first time. I noticed it was out of regular use. It had been a German church. Through curiosity I opened the door, which was unlocked, and entered. I found the “Pillar of Fire” had it. Kneeling at the altar for a season of prayer, the Lord spoke to me, I received a wonderful witness of the Spirit. In a moment I was walking the aisles, claiming it for “Pentecost.” Over the door was a large motto painted, “Gott ist die Liebe” (God is Love). This was two months before the “Azusa” work began.

I looked no further for a building, knowing that God had spoken, but waited His time. One night, six months later, in August, I was passing that way, going home from meeting, when I saw a sign, “For Rent,” on the church. It had just been vacated. The Lord spoke to me: “There is your church.” The “Pillar of Fire” had gone up in smoke, not able to raise the rent. They had been the most bitter opposers of the “Azusa” work. The Lord had vacated the building for us. The next day I was led to tell our landlord, Brother Fred Shepard, of the situation. I did not ask him to help me. But the Lord had sent me to him. He asked how much the rent was, went into another room, and returned quickly with a check for fifty dollars, the first month’s rent. I secured the place at once.

I had another attack of stomach trouble at this time. I could scarcely eat for days, and suffered terribly. But God finally delivered. The devil tried to kill me.

I visited the M. E. camp meeting at Huntington Park to give out some revival tracts and they chased me off the grounds. One preacher threatened to knock me down. He was very zealous. I had made no trouble, only they were afraid of heresy.

The truth must be told. “Azusa” began to fail the Lord also, early in her history. God showed me one day that they were going to organize, though not a word had been said in my hearing about it. The Spirit revealed it to me. He had me get up and warn them against making a “party” spirit of the Pentecostal work. The “baptized” saints were to remain “one body,” even as they had been called, and to be free as His Spirit was free, not “entangled again in a yoke of (ecclesiastical) bondage.” The New Testament Church saints had already arrested their further progress in this way. God wanted a revival company, a channel through whom He could evangelize the world, blessing all people and believers. He could naturally not accomplish this with sectarian party. That spirit has been the curse and death of every revival body sooner or later. History repeats itself in this matter.

Sure enough the very next day after I dropped this warning in the meeting I found a sign outside “Azusa” reading “Apostolic Faith Mission.” The Lord said: “That is what I told you.” They had done it. Surely a “party spirit” cannot be “Pentecostal.” There can be no divisions in a true Pentecost. To formulate a separate body is but to advertise our failure, as a people of God. It proves to the world that we cannot get along together, rather than causing them to believe in our salvation. “That they may all be one; that the world may believe.” - John 17:21. And from that time the trouble and division began. It was no longer a free Spirit for all as it had been. The work had become one more rival party and body, along with the other churches and sects of the city. No wonder the opposition steadily increased from the churches. We had been called to bless and serve the whole “body of Christ,” everywhere. Christ is one, and His “body” can be but “one.” To divide it is but to destroy it, as with the natural body. “In one Spirit were we all baptized into one body,” - I Cor. 12:13. The church is an organism not a human organization.

They later tried to pull the work on the whole coast into this organization, but miserably failed. The work had spread as far as Portland and Seattle, under Sister Crawford. God’s people must be free from hierarchism. They are “blood-bought,” and not their own. An earlier work in Texas, later tried to gather in the Pentecostal missions on the Pacific Coast, and Los Angeles, but also failed. Why should they claim authority over us? We had prayed down our own revival. The revival in California was unique and separate as to origin. It came from Heaven, even Brother Seymour not receiving the “baptism” until many others had entered in here. He did not arrive in Los Angeles until the “eleventh hour.” The great battle from the beginning, both in Los Angeles and elsewhere, has been the conflict between the “flesh” and the Spirit, between Ishmael and Isaac.

Sunday, August 12, we opened up at Eighth and Maple streets. The Spirit was mightily manifest from the very first meeting. He was given complete control. The atmosphere was terrible for sinners and backsliders. One had to get right in order to remain at Eighth and Maple. “Fearfulness” truly “surprised the hypocrites.” For some days we could do little but lay before the Lord in prayer. Sister Hopkinson was a great help to me in the beginning,

The atmosphere was almost too sacred and holy to attempt to minister in. Like the priests in the Tabernacle of old we could not minister for the glory. We had terrible battles with fleshly professors and deceivers also. But God gave victory. The Spirit was much grieved by contentious spirits. The atmosphere at Eighth and Maple was for a time even deeper than at “Azusa.” God came so wonderfully near us the very atmosphere of Heaven seemed to surround us. Such a divine “weight of glory” was upon us we could only lie on our faces. For a long time we could hardly remain seated even. All would be on their faces on the floor, sometimes during the whole service, I was seldom able to keep from lying full length on the floor on my face. There was a little raise of about a foot, for a platform, when we moved into the church, On this I generally lay, while God ran the meetings.

They were His meetings. Every night the power of God was powerfully with us. It was glorious. The Lord seemed almost visible. He was so real. We had the greatest trouble with strange preachers, who wanted to preach. Of all the people they seemed to have the least sense. They did not know enough to keep still before Him. They liked to hear themselves. But many a preacher died in these meetings. The city was full of them, just as today. They rattled like a last year’s bean pod. We had a regular “dry bone” yard. We always recognized “Azusa” as having been the mother mission, and there was never any friction or jealousy between us. We visited back and forth. Brother Seymour often met with us.

I wrote in the “Christian Harvester” at that time, as follows: “The meetings at Eighth and Maple are marvelous. We had the greatest time yesterday that I have ever seen. All day long the power of God swept the place. The church was crowded. Terrible conviction seized the people. The Spirit ran the meeting from start to finish. There was no programme, and hardly a chance for even necessary announcements. No attempt was made to preach. A few messages were given by the Spirit. Everybody was free to obey God. The altar was full of seeking souls all day. There was hardly a cessation of the altar service. Souls were coming out and getting through, while the meeting swept on. Men and women lay around the altar, stretched out under the power all day. A Free Methodist preacher’s wife came through to a mighty “baptism,” speaking something like Chinese. All who received the “baptism” spoke in “tongues.” There were at least six Holiness preachers, some of them gray headed, honored and trusted for fruitful service for years, seeking the “baptism” most earnestly. They simply throw up their hands in the face of this revelation from God and stop to “tarry” for their “Pentecost.” The president of the Holiness Church of Southern California (Brother Roberts, a precious man), was one of the first at the altar, seeking earnestly.” - F. Bartleman, Los Angeles, Sept. 10, 1906.

Again I wrote, in the same paper: “The Spirit allows little human interference in the meetings, generally passing mistakes by unnoticed, or moving them out of the way Himself. Things that ordinarily we would feel must be corrected, are often passed over, and a worse calamity averted thereby. To draw attention to them brings the spirit of fear on the saints, and they stop seeking. The Spirit is hindered from working. He moves them out of the way. There are even greater issues at stake at present. We try to keep from magnifying Satan’s power. We are preaching a big Christ instead. And God is using babes. The enemy is moving hell to break up our fellowship through doctrinal differences. But we must preserve the unity of the Spirit by all means. Some things can be adjusted later. They are much less important. God will never give this work into the hands of men. If it ever gets under man’s control it is done. Many would join themselves to us if they did not need to ‘lose their heads,’ get small.”

On the afternoon of August 16, at Eighth and Maple, the Spirit manifested Himself through me in “tongues.” There were seven of us present at the time. It was a week day. After a time of testimony and praise, with everything quiet, I was softly walking the floor, praising God in my spirit. All at once I seemed to hear in my soul (not with my natural ears), a rich voice speaking in a language I did not know. I have later heard something similar to it in India. It seemed to ravish and fully satisfy the pent up praises in my being. In a few moments I found myself, seemingly without volition on my part, enunciating the same sounds with my own vocal organs. It was an exact continuation of the same expression that I had heard in my soul a few moments before. It seemed a perfect language. I was almost like an outside listener. I was fully yielded to God, and simply carried by His will, as on a divine stream. I could have hindered the expression but would not have done so for worlds. A Heaven of conscious bliss accompanied it. It is impossible to describe the experience accurately. It must be experienced to be appreciated. There was no effort made to speak on my part, and not the least possible struggle. The experience was most sacred, the Holy Spirit playing on my vocal cords, as on an Aeolian harp. The whole utterance was a complete surprise to me. I had never really been solicitous to speak in “tongues.” Because I could not understand it with my natural mind I had rather feared it.

I had no desire at the time to even know what I was saying. It seemed a soul expression purely, outside the realm of the natural mind or understanding. I was truly “sealed in the forehead,” ceasing from the works of my own natural mind fully. I wrote my experience for publication later, in the following words: The Spirit had gradually prepared me for this culmination. In my experience, both in prayer for myself, and others. I had thus drawn nigh to God, my spirit greatly subdued. A place of utter abandonment of will had been reached, in absolute consciousness of helplessness, purified from natural self-activity. This process had been cumulative. The presence of the Spirit within had been as sensitive to me as the water in the glass indicator of a steam boiler.

My mind, the last fortress of man to yield, was taken possession of by the Spirit. The waters, that had been gradually accumulating, went over my head. I was possessed of Him fully. The utterance in “tongues” was without human mixture, “as the Spirit gave utterance.” - (Act 2:4). Oh, the thrill of being fully yielded to Him! My mind had always been very active. Its natural workings had caused me most of my trouble in my Christian experience. “Casting down reasonings” (marginal reading, 2 Cor. 10:5). Nothing hinders faith and the operation of the Spirit so much as the self-assertiveness of the human spirit, the wisdom, strength and self-sufficiency of the human mind. This must all be crucified, and here is where the fight comes in. We must become utterly undone, insufficient and helpless in our own consciousness, thoroughly humbled, before we can receive this possession of the Holy Spirit. We want the Holy Ghost, but the fact is He is wanting possession of us,

In the experience of “speaking in tongues” I had reached the climax in abandonment. This opened the channel for a new ministry of the Spirit in service. From that time the Spirit began to flow through me in a new way. Messages would come, with anointings, in a way I had never known before, with a spontaneous inspiration and illumination that was truly wonderful. This was attended with convincing power. The Pentecostal baptism spells complete abandonment, possession by the Holy Ghost, of the whole man, with a spirit of instant obedience. I had known much of the power of God for service for many years before this, but I now realized a sensitiveness to the Spirit, a yieldedness, that made it possible for God to possess and work in new ways and channels, with far more powerful, direct results. I also received a new revelation of His sovereignty, both in purpose and action, such as I had never known before. I found I had often charged God with seeming lack of interest, or tardiness of action, when I should have yielded to Him, in faith, that He might be able to work through me His sovereign mighty will. I went into the dust of humility at this revelation of my own stupidity, and His sovereign care and desire. I saw that the little bit of desire I possessed for His service was only the little bit that He had been able to get to me of His great desire and interest and purpose. His word declares it. All there was of good in me, in thought or action, had come from Him. Like Hudson Taylor I now felt that He was asking me simply to go with Him to help in that which He alone had purposed and desired. I felt very small at this revelation, and my past misunderstanding. He had existed, and been working out His eternal purpose, long before I had ever been thought of, and would be long after I would be gone.

There was no strain or contortions. No struggle in an effort to get the “baptism.” With me it was simply a matter of yielding. In fact it was the opposite of struggle. There was no swelling of the throat, no “operation” to be performed on my vocal organs. I had not the slightest difficulty in speaking in ‘tongues.” And yet I can understand how some may have such difficulties. They are not fully yielded to God. With me the battle had been long drawn out. I had already worn myself out, fully yielded. God deals with no two individuals alike. I was not really seeking the “baptism” when I got it. And in fact I never sought it as a definite experience. I wanted to be yielded fully to God. But beyond that I had no real definite expectation or desire. I wanted more of Him, that was all.

There was no shouting crowd around me, to confuse or excite me. No one was suggesting “tongues” to me at the time, either by argument or imitation. Thank God He is able to do His work without such help, and far better without it. I do not believe in dragging the child forth, spiritually speaking, with instruments. I do believe in sane, earnest prayer help in the Spirit. Too many souls are dragged from the womb of conviction by force, and have to be incubated ever after. As with nature, so in grace. It is best to dispense as far as possible with the doctors and old mid-wives. The child is almost killed at times through their unnatural violence. A pack of jackals over their prey could hardly act more fiercely than we have witnessed in some cases. In natural child birth it is generally best to let the mother alone as far as possible. We should stand by and encourage, but not force the deliverance. Natural births are better.

I had been shut up largely to a ministry of intercession and prophecy before this, until I should reach this condition of utter abandonment to the Spirit. I was now to go forth again in the service. When my day of “Pentecost” was fully come the channel was cleared. The living waters burst forth. The door of my service sprang open at the touch of the hand of a sovereign God. The Spirit began to operate within me in a new and mightier way. It was a distinct, fresh climax and development, an epochal experience for me. And for this we had been shut up as a company. The preparation was world-wide, among the saints of God. The results have already made history, in fact this has proven an epoch in the history of the church just as distinct and definite as the Spirit’s action in the time of Luther and Wesley, and with far greater portend. And it is not yet all history. We are too close to it yet to understand or appreciate it fully. But we have made another step back on the way to the restoration of the church as in the beginning. We are completing the circle. Jesus will return for a perfect church, “without spot or wrinkle.” He is coming for “one body,” not a dozen. He is the Head, and as such He is no monstrosity, with a hundred bodies. “That they all may be one, that the world may believe.” This after all is the greatest “sign” to the world. “Though we speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, etc.” - I Cor. 13. I felt after the experience of speaking in “tongues” that languages would come easy to me. And so it has proven. And also I have learned to sing, in the Spirit. I never was a singer, and do not know music.

I never sought “tongues.” My natural mind resisted the idea. This phenomena necessarily violates human reason. It means abandonment of this faculty for the time. And this is generally the last point to yield. The human mind is held in abeyance fully in this exercise. And this is “foolishness,” and a stone of stumbling, to the natural mind or reason. It is supernatural. We need not expect anyone who has not reached this depth of abandonment in their human spirit, this death to their own reason, to either accept or understand it. The natural reason must be yielded in the matter. There is a gulf to cross, between reason and revelation. But this principle in experience is just that which leads to the “Pentecostal” baptism, as in Acts 2:4. It is the underlying principle of the “baptism.” And this is why the simple people get in first, though perhaps not always so well balanced or capable otherwise. They are like the little boys going swimming, to use a homely illustration. They get in first because they have the least clothes to divest themselves of. We must all come “naked” into this experience. All of self gone.

The early church lived in this, as its normal atmosphere. Hence its abandonment to the working of the Spirit, its supernatural “gifts,” and its power. Our wise-acres cannot reach this. Oh, to become a fool, to know nothing in ourselves, that we might receive the mind of Christ fully, have the Holy Ghost teach and lead us only, and at all times. We do not mean to say we must talk in “tongues” continually. The “baptism” is not all “tongues.” We can live in this place of illumination and abandonment and still speak in our own language. The Bible was not written in “tongues.” But we may surely live in the Spirit at all times, though possibly few, if any, always do. Oh, the depth of abandonment, all self gone! Conscious of knowing nothing, of having nothing, except as the Spirit shall teach and impart to us. This is the true place of power, of God’s power, in the ministry of service. There is nothing left but God, the pure Spirit. Every hope or sense of capability in the natural is gone. We live by His breath, as it were. The “wind” on the day of “Pentecost” was the breath of God. - Acts 2:2. But what more can we say? It must be experienced to be understood. It cannot be explained. We have certainly had a measure of the Spirit before without this. To this fact all history testifies. The church has been abnormal since its fall. But we cannot have the “Pentecostal” baptism without it, as the early church had it. The Apostles received it suddenly, and in full. Only simple faith and abandonment can receive it. Human reason can find all kinds of flaws and apparent foolishness in it.

I spoke in “tongues” possibly for about fifteen minutes on this first occasion. Then the immediate inspiration passed away, for the time. I have spoken at times since, also. But I never try to reproduce it. The act must be sovereign with God. It would be foolishness and sacrilege to try to imitate it. The experience left behind it the consciousness of a state of utter abandonment to the Lord, a place of perfect rest from my own works and activity of mind. It left with me a consciousness of utter God-control, and of His presence naturally in corresponding measure. It was a most sacred experience. Many have trifled most foolishly with this principle and possession. They have failed to continue in the Spirit and have stumbled many. This has wrought great harm. But the experience still remains as a fact, both in history and present day realization. The greater part of most Christians’ knowledge of God is and has always been, since the loss of the Spirit by the early church, an intellectual knowledge. Their knowledge of the word and principles of God is an intellectual one, through natural reasoning and understanding largely. They have little revelation, illumination or inspiration direct from the Spirit of God.

We will quote from well known authors some interesting extracts on the subject of “speaking in tongues.” Dr. Philip Schaff, in his “History of the Christian Church,” Vol. I, page 116, says: “The speaking with tongues is an involuntary psalm - like prayer or song, uttered from a spiritual trance, and in a peculiar language inspired by the Holy Ghost. The soul is almost entirely passive, an instrument on which the Holy Ghost plays His heavenly melodies.”

Conybeare and Howson, commentators, write: “This gift (speaking in tongues) was the result of a sudden influx of the supernatural to the believer. Under its influence the exercise of the understanding was suspended, while the spirit was wrapped in a state of ecstacy by the immediate communication of the Spirit of God. In this ecstatic trance the believer was constrained by irresistible power to pour forth his feelings of thanksgiving and rapture in words not his own. He was usually even ignorant of their meaning.” Space forbids our quoting from other standard commentators on this subject. Many have written very illuminatingly on the same subject, and to the same general end as those we have quoted. We will quote from just one more writer.

Stalker, in his “Life of Paul,” page 102, has the following to say: “It (the speaking in tongues) seems to have been a kind of tranced utterance, in which the speaker poured out an impassioned rhapsody, by which his religious faith received both expression and exaltation. Some were not able to tell others the meaning of what they were saying, while others had this additional power; and there were those who, though not speaking in tongues themselves, were able to interpret what the inspired speakers were saying. In all cases there seems to have been a kind of immediate inspiration, so that what they did was not the effect of calculation or preparation, but of a strong present impulse. These phenomena are so remarkable that, if narrated in a history, they would put a severe strain on Christian faith. They show with what mighty force at its first entrance into the world, Christianity took possession of the spirits it touched. The very gifts of the Spirit were perverted into instruments of sin; for those possessed of the more showy gifts, such as miracles and tongues, were too fond of displaying them, and turned them into grounds of boasting.” There is always more or less danger attached to privileges. Children frequently cut themselves with sharp knives. But we are certainly in more danger from remaining in stagnation, where we are, than in going ahead trustingly for God.

Describing some of my personal experiences previous to my “baptism,” I wrote the following in “Christian Harvester:” “My own heart was searched until I cried out under the added light, ‘God deliver me from my religious self-consciousness!’ Seldom have I suffered in humility, shame and reproach, as at this vision of my very best in the sight of God. My religious comeliness was indeed turned into corruption. I felt that I could not bear to hear, or even to think of it again. I felt I would be glad to forget even my own name and identity. I even destroyed with extreme satisfaction records of my past achievements for God, upon which my eyes had loved to linger. I now abhorred them, as a temptation from the devil to self-exaltation. Letters of commendation for religious services rendered, literary works of seeming excellence to me, and sermons which to me had seemed wonderful in knowledge and construction, now actually nauseated me, because of the element of self-pride detected in them. I found I had come to rest on these more or less for expected divine favor and reward. ‘Nothing but the blood of Jesus,’ had at least partially been lost sight of. I was depending on other things besides to recommend me to God. And in this lay great danger. I now destroyed these treasured documents, false evidences, as I would a viper, lest they tempt me from the efficacy of His merits alone. It meant a deep heart searching. I knew of but few Holiness leaders who were really being dealt with on this line so deeply.

“Past services now became a very blank to me, and with the greatest relief on my part. I began again for God, as though I had never accomplished anything. I felt that I stood before Him empty handed. The fire of testing seemed to sweep away all of my religious doings. God did not want me to rest in these. For the future I was to forget all that I might ever do for God, as quickly as it was accomplished, so that it might not prove a further snare to me, and go on as though I had never done a thing for God. This was my safety.” Without a doubt the least satisfaction to self in one’s religious service is the greatest hindrance to the blessing and favor of God. It must be shunned as we would a serpent.

We continued to have wonderful meetings at Eighth and Maple. The Lord showed me he wanted this work to go deeper yet than anything we had at that time attained to. He was not even satisfied fully with the “Azusa” work, deep as it had gone. There was still too much of the self-life, the religious self, among us. This naturally meant war, hard and bitter, from the enemy. Ours was to be a sort of “clearing station,” where fleshly exercises, false manifestations, and the religious self in general should be dealt with. We were after real experience, permanent and established, with God-like character, and no relapses.

The Holiness people were especially most tenacious of their attainments and position. In fact many of them were filled with hard-hearted pharisaism. Only God could hope to get light to them on their condition and need. They had largely lost their “first love,” with little left but the shell of their profession. There seemed even more hope for the church people. They were not so hard, censorious, critical and bigoted, on the whole. Our “shibboleth” may become a “brazen serpent,” which we set up on a pole to worship. As such it will cease to heal us, and become a “piece of brass” (margin, 2 Kings 18:4), to be smashed.

I was greatly tested financially again. One day I had to walk twenty-five blocks to town, not having even carfare. A brother almost as poor as myself gave me a nickel to ride home. At the same time we were having glorious meetings. Many were prostrated under the power. The devil sent two strong characters one night to sidetrack the work. A spiritualist woman put herself at the head, like a drum major, to lead the singing. I prayed her out of the church. The other, a fanatical preacher with a voice that almost rattled the windows, I had to rebuke openly. He took over the whole meeting. Conceit fairly stuck out of him. The Spirit was terribly grieved. God could not work. I had suffered too much for the work to turn the whole thing over to the devil so easily. Besides I was responsible for souls, and for the rent. So I had to tell him to leave.

We had a fierce battle with such spirits. They would have ruined everything. The devil has no conscience, and the “flesh” has no sense. The very first time I opened the church for meetings I found one of the worst fanatics and religious crooks sitting on the steps waiting for me. He wanted to run the place. He was a preacher. I chased him from the place, like Nehemiah did the son of Joiada, (Neh. 13:28.) I had never dreamed there was so much of the devil, in so many people. The town seemed full of them. It tempted the saints to fight and hindered the Spirit. These crooks and cranks were the first at the meeting. We had a great clearing-up time. Especially in the case of old professors. There was much professional, religious quackery. Judgment had to “begin at the house of God.” Luther was greatly troubled with willful, religious fanatics in his day. He wrote from the Wartburg, where he was then concealed, to Melancthon at Wittenberg, a test-stone for these fanatics, as follows: “Ask these prophets whether they have felt those spiritual torments, those creations of God, that death and hell which accompany a real separation.” When he returned to Wittenberg and they tried their sorcery on him he met them with these crude words: “I slap your spirit on the snout.” They acted like devils at that challenge. But it broke their spell.

We were obliged to deal firmly with extreme cases, but in the main the Spirit passed over and moved out of the way irregularities, without further advertising them. Many have declared we cannot throw our meetings open today. Then we must shut God out also. What we need is more of God, to control the meetings. He must be left free to come forth at all costs. The saints themselves are too largely in confusion and rebellion. Through prayer and self-abasement God will undertake for the meetings. This was the secret in the beginning. We held together in prayer, love, and unity, and no power could break this. But self must be burned out. Meetings must be controlled by way of the throne. A spiritual atmosphere must be created, through humility and prayer, that Satan cannot live in. And this we realized in the beginning. It was the very opposite of religious zeal, and carnal, religious ambition. We knew nothing about present day “pep” and “make it snappy” methods. That whole system is a bastard product, as far as “Pentecost” is concerned. It takes time to be holy. The world rushes on. It gets us nowhere with God.

One reason for the depth of the work at “Azusa” was the fact that the workers were not novices. They were largely called and prepared for years, from the Holiness ranks, and from the mission field, etc. They had been burnt out, tried and proven. They were largely seasoned veterans. They had walked with God and learned deeply of His Spirit. These were pioneers, “shock troops,” the Gideon’s three hundred, to spread the fire around the world. Just as the disciples had been prepared by Jesus. We have now taken on a “mixed multitude.” And the seeds of apostacy have had time to work. “First love” has been also largely lost. The dog has “returned to his vomit” in many cases, to Babylonic doctrines and practices. An enfeebled mother can hardly be expected to bring forth healthy children.

The Spirit dealt so deeply, and the people were so hungry in the beginning, that the carnal, human spirit injected into the meetings seldom failed to hinder largely the working of the Spirit. It was as though a stranger had broken into a private, select company. The presence was painfully noticeable. Men were after God. He was in His holy temple, earth (the human.) must keep silence before Him. It only caused grief and pain. Our so-called tarrying and prayer rooms today are but a shadow of the former ones, too often a place to blow off steam in human enthusiasm, or become mentally intoxicated, supposedly from the Holy Ghost. Many of them are a kind of lethal chamber, with very little of the pure Spirit of God. This should not be. We had a tremendous lot of fanaticism in the Holiness movement also. In the early days the “tarrying room” was the first thought and provision for a “Pentecostal Mission.” It was held sacred, a kind of “holy ground.” There was mutual consideration also. There men sought to become quiet from the activities of their own too active mind and spirit, to escape from the world for the time, and get alone with God. There was no noisy, wild, exciting spirit there. That at least could be done elsewhere. The claims and confusion of an exacting world were shut out. It was a sort of “city of refuge” from this sort of thing, a “haven of rest,” where God could be heard, and talk to their souls. Men would spend hours in silence there, searching their own hearts in privacy, and securing the mind of the Lord for future action. This sort of thing seems well nigh impossible today amid present surroundings. We die out to self by coming into His presence. And this requires great quietness of spirit. We need a “holy of holies.” What Jew of old would have dared to act in Gods temple as we do today in the missions? It would have meant death to him. We are full of foolishness and fanatical self-assertion. Even the formal Romanists have more reverence on the whole than we.

Sunday, August 26, Pastor Pendleton and about forty of his members came into Eighth and Maple, to worship with us. They had received the “baptism” and spoken in “tongues” in their church. The Holiness Church had thrown them out of their own building for this, to them, unpardonable crime. This congregation had built a church with their own money. The property was worth ten thousand dollars. But they gladly left it to follow Jesus. It had been deeded to the Association. This would seem to be a great mistake in such cases. The property should belong to the local assembly. I had been impressed to say to Brother Pendleton some weeks before this, when meeting him at “Azusa,” that I believed we would yet worship together. This was even before I had gotten Eighth and Maple. I had no meeting of my own at that time. But the impression proved to have been from the Lord. At that time he was not thinking of ever needing another place to worship. He had not yet received the “baptism.” When I heard the church was going to try him for heresy I invited them to come in with us if they were thrown out. Two days later they were expelled, and accepted my invitation. They came in in a body. I had been praying for just such help as I was by this time very much worn in body.

Tradition is a tremendous curse in its power for thralldom. The Holiness church doubtless verily believed that Brother Pendleton and his flock had gone radically astray. They had no better pastor nor members in their connection. Brother Pendleton declared after this experience that he would never build another doctrinal roof over his head. He was determined to go on for God. Multitudes are shut up in ecclesiastical systems, within sectarian boundaries, while God’s great, free pasture lies out before them, only limited by the encircling Word of God. “There shall be one Rock, and one Shepherd.” - (See Ps. 23.) Traditional theology, partial truth and revelation, soon becomes law. The conscience is utterly bound, like Chinese foot-binding, shut up against further progress.

I first met Brother Daniel Awrey here at Eighth and Maple. He came to the meetings and we had a laughing blessing together. I was with him later in India and China. He finally died in Africa. We were tremendously burdened for souls in those days, and had many all nights of prayer at the church. It seemed an easy thing to remain in prayer all night. It generally became daylight almost before we could realize it. We did not get sleepy. We had entered into the life of eternity, where there is no time. The presence of the Lord was wonderfully real. Sometimes the night seemed not more than half an hour, we were so quickened and exhilirated by the Spirit.

Sunday, September 9, was a wonderful day. Several were stretched out under the power for hours. The altar was full all day, with scarcely any cessation to the services. Several received the “baptism.” In those days we preached but little. The people were taken up with God. Brother Pendleton and myself could generally be found lying full length on the low platform on our faces, in prayer, during the services. It was almost impossible to stay off our faces in those days. The presence of the Lord was so real. And this condition lasted for a long time. We had but little to do with guiding the meetings. Everyone was looking to God alone. We felt almost like apologizing when we had to claim any attention from the people, for announcements. It was a continuous sweep of victory. God had their attention. The audience would be at times convulsed with penitence. God dealt deeply with sin in those days. It could not remain in the camp.

At times, my prayers were wonderfully answered for finances. I needed ten dollars for our house rent, and five dollars to pay for tracts. The owner cancelled the month’s house rent, without a word from me. Then a sister handed me a sealed envelope. I opened it and found just five dollars in it. I had not said a word about my needs.

The New Testament Church had a split about this time. I was glad I had nothing to do with that. Brother Smale had forced the “baptized” saints to the wall. He had rejected their testimony finally. Brother Elmer Fisher then started another mission at 327½ South Spring street, known as the Upper Room” mission. Most of the white saints from “Azusa” went with him, with the “baptized” ones from the New Testament Church. This later became for a time the strongest mission in town. Both “Azusa” and the New Testament Church had by this time largely failed God. I soon after turned Eighth and Maple over to Brother Pendleton, as I was too worn to continue longer in constant service in the meetings. I had been for a long time under constant strain in prayer and meetings, and needed a rest and change very badly.

In the beginning of the “Pentecostal” work I became very much exercised in the Spirit that Jesus should not he slighted, “lost in the temple,” by the exaltation of the Holy Ghost, and of the “gifts” of the Spirit. There seemed great danger of losing sight of the fact that Jesus was “all, and in all.” I endeavored to keep Him as the central theme and figure before the people. Jesus should be the center of our preaching. All comes through and in Him. The Holy Ghost is given to “show the things of Christ.” The work of Calvary, the atonement, must be the center for our consideration. The Holy Ghost never draws our attention from Christ to Himself, but rather reveals Christ in a fuller way. We are in the same danger today. There is nothing deeper nor higher than to know Christ. Everything is given of God to that end. The “one Spirit” is given to that end. Christ is our salvation, and our all. That we might know “the lengths and breadths, and heights and depths of the love of Christ, having a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Christ).” - Eph. 1:17. It was “to know Him (Christ),” for which Paul strove. I was led to suddenly present Jesus one night to the congregation at Eighth and Maple. They had been forgetting Him in their exaltation of the Holy Ghost and the “gifts.” Now I introduced Christ for their consideration. They were taken completely by surprise and convicted in a moment. God made me do it. Then they saw their mistake and danger. I was preaching Christ one night at this time, setting Him before them in His proper place, when the Spirit so witnessed of His pleasure that I was overpowered by His presence, falling helpless to the floor under a mighty revelation of Jesus to my soul. I fell like John on the Isle of Patmos, at His feet.

I wrote a tract at this time, of which the following are extracts: “We may not even hold a doctrine, or seek an experience, except in Christ. Many are willing to seek “power” from every battery they can lay their hands on, in order to perform miracles, draw the attention and adoration of the people to themselves, thus robbing Christ of His glory, and making a fair showing in the flesh. The greatest religious need of our day would seem to be that of true followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Religious enthusiasm easily goes to seed. The human spirit so predominates, the show-off, religious spirit. But we must stick to our text, Christ. He alone can save. The attention of the people must be first of all, and always, held to Him. A true “Pentecost” will produce a mighty conviction for sin, a turning to God. False manifestations produce only excitement and wonder. Sin and self-life will not materially suffer from these. We must get what our conviction calls for. Believe in your own heart’s hunger, and go ahead with God. Don’t allow the devil to rob you of a real “Pentecost.” Any work that exalts the Holy Ghost or the “gifts” above Jesus will finally land up in fanaticism. What ever causes us to exalt and love Jesus is well and safe. The reverse will ruin all. The Holy Ghost is a great light, but focused on Jesus always, for His revealing.

A. S. Worrell, translator of the New Testament, was an earnest friend of “Pentecost,” and a seeker after the “baptism.” He wrote the following in the “Way of Faith:” “The blood of Jesus is exalted in these meetings as I have rarely known elsewhere. There is a mighty power manifest in witnessing for Jesus, with a wonderful love for souls. There is also a bestowal of ‘gifts of the Spirit.’ The places of meeting are at Azusa street, at the New Testament Church, where Joseph Smale is pastor; some of his people were among the first to speak with ‘tongues,’ but most have withdrawn because they felt restraint in his church; and at Eighth and Maple streets, where Pastors Bartleman and Pendleton are the principal leaders.”

In September, 1906, the following letters appeared in the “Way of Faith,” from the pen of Dr. W. C, Dumble, of Toronto, Canada, who was visiting Los Angeles at this time. But, first, a note from Editor Pike himself.

He wrote: “For some months we have been receiving letters from our dear Brother Bartleman concerning the great work of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles. There has been some criticism of the reports we have published, and we were just on the point of writing to others on the ground, when our dear brother, Dr. W. C. Dumble, favored us with the following most interesting description of what he has seen and felt there.” The following from Dr. Dumble: “Possibly some of your readers may be interested in the impressions of a stranger in Los Angeles. A similar gracious work of the Spirit to that in Wales is in progress here. But while that is mostly in the churches, this is outside. The churches will not have it, or up to the present have stood aloof in a critical and condemnatory spirit. Like the work in Wales, this is a laymen’s revival conducted by the Holy Spirit, and carried on in halls, and old tumble-down buildings, such as can be gotten for the work.

“This is a remarkable movement, that may be said to be peculiar by the appearance of the ‘gift of tongues.’ There are three different missions where one may hear these strange tongues. I had the rare joy of spending last evening at Pastor Bartleman’s meeting, or more correctly at a meeting where he and Pastor Pendleton are the nominal leaders, but where the Holy Spirit is actually in control. Jesus is proclaimed the Head, and the Holy Ghost His executive. Hence there is no preaching, no choir, no organ, no collection, except what is voluntarily placed on the table, or put in the box on the wall. And God was mightily present last night. Some one begins to sing: three or four hymns may be sung, interspersed with hallelujahs and amens. Then some overburdened soul rises, and shouts, ‘Glory to Jesus!’ and amid sobs and tears tells of a great struggle, and a great deliverance. Then three or four are on the floor with shining faces. One begins to praise God, and then breaks out with uplifted hands into a ‘tongue.’ Pastor Pendleton now tells how he felt the need, and sought the ‘baptism,’ and God baptized him with such an experience of the divine presence and love and boldness as he had never had before. The officials of his church therefore desired him to withdraw, and a number of his people went with him and joined forces with Pastor Bartleman. Then a sweet faced old German Lutheran lady told how she wondered when she heard the people praising God in ‘tongues,’ and began to pray to be baptized with the Spirit. After she had gone to bed her mouth went off in a ‘tongue,’ and she praised the Lord through the night to the amazement of her children.

“Next an exhortation in ‘tongues’ comes from Pastor Bartleman’s lips in great sweetness, and one after another make their way to the altar quickly, until the rail is filled with seekers. Whatever criticism may be offered to this work it is very evident that it is divinely endorsed, and the Lord is ‘adding to them daily such as are being saved.’ It is believed that this revival is but in its infancy, and the assurance has been given that a great outpouring is imminent, and that we are in the evening of this dispensation. The burden of the ‘tongues’ is, ‘Jesus is coming soon,’ ” - W. C. Dumble, Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 6, 1906.

Dr. Dumble wrote again, for the same paper: “At Pastor Bartleman’s church meetings are held every night, all day Sundays, and all night every Friday. There is no order of services, they are expected to run in the divine order. The blessed Holy Ghost is the executive in charge. The leaders, or pastors, will be seen most of the time on their faces on the floor, or kneeling in the place where the pulpit commonly is, but there is neither pulpit, nor organ, nor choir. A young lady, for the first time in one of these meetings, came under the power of the Spirit, and lay for half an hour with beaming face lost to all about her, beholding visions unutterable. Soon she began to say, ‘Glory! Glory to Jesus!’ and spoke fluently in a strange tongue. On Sabbath last the meeting continued from early morning to midnight. There was no preaching, but prayer, testimony, praise, and exhortation.” – W. C. Dumble. Much more of interest was contained in these published letters, but space forbids.

It is a fact that in the beginning platforms and pulpits were as far as possible removed out of the way. We had no conscious need of them. Priest class and ecclesiastical abuse were entirely swept away. We were all “brethren.” All were free to obey God. He might speak through whom He would. He had poured out His Spirit “on all flesh,” even on His servants and hand maidens. – Act. 2. We honored men for their God-given ‘gifts’ and offices only. As the movement began to apostatize platforms were built higher, coat tails were worn longer, choirs were organized, and string bands came into existence to “jazz” the people. The kings came back once more, to their thrones, restored to sovereignty. We were no longer “brethren.” Then the divisions multiplied, etc. While Brother Seymour kept his head inside the old empty box in “Azusa” all was well. They later built for him a throne also. Now we have, not one hierarchy, but many. (“Azusa Mission” is deserted, and Brother Seymour is in Heaven at this writing.) Kipling’s immortal poem might well be recollected here: “The tumult and the shouting dies; the captains and the kings depart: Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, an humble and a contrite heart.” God will not have us worship men or places.

I wrote for another religious paper the following, in 1906: “Cursed with unbelief we are struggling upward, only with the utmost difficulty, for the restoration of that glorious light and power, once so bountifully bestowed on the church, but long since lost. Our eyes have been so long blinded by the darkness of unbelief into which we were plunged by the church’s fall, that we fight the light, for our eyes are weak. So far had we fallen as a church that when Luther sought to restore the truth of ‘justification by faith’ it was fought and resisted by the church of his day as the utmost heresy, and men paid for it with their lives. And it was much the same in Wesley’s time. But here we are with the restoration of the very experience of ‘Pentecost,’ with the ‘latter rain,’ a restoration of the power, in greater glory, to finish up the work begun. We shall again be lifted to the church’s former level, to complete her work, begin where they left off when failure overtook them, and speedily fulfilling the last great commission, open the way for the coming of the Christ.

“We are to drop out the centuries of the church’s failure, the long, dismal ‘dark ages,’ and telescoping time be now fully restored to pristine power, victory and glory. We seek to pull ourselves, by the grace of God, out of corrupt, backslidden, spurious Christianity. The synagogues of a proud, hypocritical church are arrayed against us, to give us the lie. The ‘hirelings’ thirst for our blood. The scribes and pharisees, chief priests, and rulers of the synagogues, are all against us and the Christ.

“Los Angeles seems to be the place, and this the time, in the mind of God, for the restoration of the church to her former place, favor and power. The fullness of time seems to have come for the church’s complete restoration. God has spoken to His servants in all parts of the world, and has sent many of them to Los Angeles, representing every nation under Heaven once more, as of old, come up for ‘Pentecost,’ to go out again into all the world with the glad message of salvation. The base of operations has been shifted, from old Jerusalem, for the latter ‘Pentecost,’ to Los Angeles. And there is a tremendous, God given hunger for this experience everywhere. Wales was but intended as the cradle for this world-wide restoration of the power of God. India but the Nazareth where He was ‘brought up.’ ” – F. Bartleman, Oct., 1906, in “Apostolic Light.”

Again I wrote in the same paper: “If ever men shall seek to control, corner or own this work of God, either for their own glory or for that of an organization, we shall find the Spirit refusing to work. The glory will depart. Let this be one work where God shall be given His proper place, and we shall see such a work as men have never yet dreamed of. It would be a fearful thing if God were obliged to withdraw His blessed Spirit from us, or withhold it at such a time as this, because we tried to corner it. All our business is to get God to the people. Let us yield ourselves for this, and this alone. Some of the ‘canker worms’ of past experience have been party spirit, sectional difference, prejudices, etc., which are all carnal contrary and destructive to the law of love, to the ‘one body’ of Christ. ‘For in one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.’ - I Cor. 12:13. Self-satisfaction will always cause defeat. Oh, brother! cease traveling ‘round and ‘round your old habit-beaten path, on which all grass has ceased to grow, and strike out into pastures green, beside the living waters.” - F. Bartleman, Dec., 1906.

In the “Way of Faith” I wrote the following: “We are coming back from the ‘dark ages’ of the church’s backsliding and downfall. We are living in the most momentous moments of the history of time. The Spirit is brushing aside all our plans, our schemes, our strivings, and our theories, and is Himself acting again. Many who have feathered well their nests are fighting hard. They cannot sacrifice to rise to these conditions.

“The precious ore of truth, the church’s emancipation from the thralldom of man’s rule, has been brought about in a necessarily crude form at first, as rough ore. It has been surrounded, as in nature, by all kinds of worthless, hurtful elements. Extravagant, violent characters have sought to identify themselves with the work. A monster truth is struggling in the bowels of the earth, entombed by the landslide of retrograding evil in the church’s history. But it is bursting forth, soon to shake itself free from the objectionable matter yet clinging to it, unavoidably for the time. Christ is at last proclaimed the Head. The Holy Spirit is the life. The members are in principle all ‘one body.’ ” - F. Bartleman, Dec., 1906.

Again, some extracts from an article in the “Way of Faith: “We detect in the present hour manifestations in our midst the rising of a new order of things out of the chaos and failure of the past. The atmosphere is filled with inspiring expectation of the ideal. But unbelief retards our progress. Our preconceived ideas betray us in the face of opportunity. They lead to loss and ruin. But the world is awakening today, startled from her guilty slumber of ease and death. Letters are pouring in from every side, from all parts of the world, inquiring feverishly, ‘what meaneth this?’ Ah, we have the pulse of humanity, especially of the church of today. There is a mighty expectation. And these hungry, expectant children are crying for bread. Cold, intellectual speculation has had nothing but denials for them. The realm of the Spirit cannot be reached alone by the intellect. The miraculous has again startled us into a realization of the fact that God still lives, and moves among us.

“Old forms are breaking up, passing away. Their death knell is being sounded. New forms, a new order and life, are appearing. There is naturally a mighty struggle. Satan moves the hosts of hell to hinder. But we shall conquer. The precious ore must be refined after it has been mined. The ‘precious’ must ‘be taken from the vile. Rough pioneers have cleared the way for our advance, through the thick underbrush. Heroic, positive spirits are necessary for this work. But purer forms will follow.

“Men have been speaking adown the ages, but the voice of God the Spirit is calling us today. Since the early church lost her power and place with God we have been struggling back. Up through ‘its’ and ‘isms,’ theories, creeds and doctrines (and schisms), issues and movements, blessings and experiences and professions, we have come. The stream could rise no higher than its source. We need no more theology or theory. Let the devil have them. Let us get to God. Many are cramped up in present experiences. They are actually afraid to seek more of God for fear the devil will get them. Away with such foolish bondage! Follow your heart! Believe in your own heart’s hunger, and go ahead for God. We are sticking to the bottom. We need the fire of God. Straight-jacket methods and religious rules have well nigh crushed out our spiritual life altogether. We had better grieve all men rather than God.” – F. Bartleman, Jan., 1907.

Before the “Azusa” outpouring everything had settled down in concrete form, bound by man. Nothing could move for God. Dynamite, the power of the Holy Ghost, was necessary to free this mass. And this God furnished. The whole mass was set free once more. Our “year of Jubilee” had come. The last one had been realized in the great revival of ’59, fifty years before.

The house we were living in was sold and we were obliged to move. I went to see some rooms and they looked so nice and large I took them at once. It was God’s place for us, at 1319 San Pedro street. But I had a strange experience in this connection. I hardly knew them when we moved in. They looked so much smaller. It had been a divine “optical illusion,” by the Spirit. But He made us satisfied. We had been so nicely situated before it was a great change. The owner lived in one side of the house and was very wicked. We had a single, partnership aisle between, with a “slot” gas meter for both parties. We had much trouble as to whose turn it was to drop in the quarter. But the Lord kept us sweet. The owner drank and caroused much. We suspicioned her of being immoral also. She was a widow, with a family. She had male callers. It required much grace to remain there. But it was God’s choice for us at the time.

Our church landlord, a Jew, now raised the rent on us. He evidently thought we were too prosperous. I was so worn by this time, from prayer and constant meetings, that I turned the pastorate over to Brother Pendleton fully. He had been a pastor before. I then began to stay at home more to rest and recuperate. I had written much, attended meetings constantly, besides going through the terrific siege of prayer both before and after the outpouring, so that my nerves were completely exhausted. I could hardly contemplate the writing of an ordinary postcard without mental agony at this time. I now decided to give myself to prayer, the study of the Word, and evangelistic work, as the Lord should lead. I had been tied to the Eighth and Maple meetings night and day. I can sympathize with Evan Roberts’ nervous breakdown, after the revival in Wales. Eighth and Maple meetings ran for years after this, as a free mission. We never gave it a name. God marvelously used it. Dr. Yoakum held meetings there for a long time, in connection with Pastor Pendleton. Hundreds of souls were saved and blessed there. Brother Pendleton finally died, the lot was sold, and the building torn down. Only Heaven will reveal the good done and the souls and bodies blessed at Eighth and Maple. I want to repeat again there was never any jealousy or rivalry between Eighth and Maple Mission and “Azusa.” God saved us from that spirit. It would have robbed us of His blessing. Brother Seymour always declared I had a company of angels traveling with me.

I spent whole nights in prayer, which did not seem a hardship but a privilege. The Lord was so near. I also wrote a number of new tracts, though very weak in body. My spirit could not rest from constant service. The message was upon me. Traditional teaching was so deep rooted in the people the Spirit strove constantly to free them, through this tract ministry.

“We should bring all human opinions and maxims to the Scriptures, as to a touchstone, by which to try them.” - Luther. Luther himself suffered Gethsemanes of agony in breaking away from the Roman traditions. It is like death to break away from that which has become a very part of our religious being. Tradition becomes as binding upon us as the Word of God itself, and has become accepted as the same. And yet how much tradition has been proven all wrong scripturally.

I went to Santa Barbara for a change, preaching at the “Faith Mission,” and at the Holiness Church there. I then spent a Sunday with Brother Harry Morse, in the Peniel Mission at San Pedro. Had a blessed time preaching. My time was mostly divided between meetings at Eighth and Maple, “Azusa” mission, Pasadena and Hermon. I frequently visited the “Upper Room” mission, 327½ South Spring street, also. We came into severe testings in January. I had no money and we were almost out of food. Then the devil attacked me with a terrible stomach neuralgia. I cried to the Lord in desperation, as I was suffering horribly. He touched and relieved me at once of the pain, and I was also able to go to meeting and give Him glory.

The missions were drifting into the hands of man again and much “flesh” at times was manifest. I tried to keep true to the “heavenly vision.” At times the manifestations would become of such a character there seemed little Spirit in them. They would evaporate into thin air. At other times the meetings were very powerful. But the temptation seemed to be always, as today, toward empty manifestation. This does not require any particular cross, or death to the self-life. Hence it is always popular. But there is only one safe, honest course to pursue with the “old man.” Bury him under six feet of earth, with his face downward. The harder he scratches the deeper he will go.

I went to San Pedro again, and preached at Peniel Mission on Acts 2 :4. While I was “yet preaching” the Spirit fell. We went immediately to prayer and had a wonderful time. At Hermon I preached a number of times.

God had given me a wonderful tract ministry. In two years’ time I had published, by faith purely, without a dollar to begin with, fifty-eight separate tracts. About fifty of these I had written myself. I circulated two hundred and fifty thousand, at a cost of at least five hundred dollars. No money was solicited, and thousands were mailed free to all parts of the world also. I ended the ministry without a dollar. No money had been made out of it.

One evening at this time I went to the little Alley Mission in Pasadena. I had a heavy burden of prayer during the meeting. There was a young wife, an ex-Volunteer officer, there, who had been backslidden for several years. God laid her heavily upon my heart and I felt she must be saved that night. The meeting was about to close, but she still sat unmoved. It was after eleven o’clock. I spoke to her and warned her it might be her last chance. Still she sat indifferent. Then I began to plead with her. The people resented this as I pressed her for a decision. They thought I was going too far. But an agony of prayer was upon me for her soul. I had to resist the opposition of the most of the other workers, as well as the enemy. For a full hour I battled thus, almost alone. At times I was driven back by the unequal conflict, and even tempted to think I must have been mistaken as to the mind of God. Finally I fell to the floor under a real travail of soul for her. It was the crisis. My life seemed almost pressed out of me. I felt a little bit of what Jesus must have felt in Gethsemane for us. This kind of prayer costs. Then all at once the burden left me. It fell on her. Conviction seized her. She fell to the floor as though shot and began to cry in an agony of soul. And so for nearly three hours she struggled and wept her way through, with a broken heart, to Calvary and to restoration. It was about 3 A. M. when she arose, with the very shine of an angel on her face, in perfect victory. It had paid to hold on to God and obey my convictions, be obedient to the Spirit. She confessed she had been very near the “dead line” that night, in her resistance to God. This sister later received a ministry of intercession, and was used of God in a marvelous way in soul travail in the meetings.

One night while preaching at Hermon a preacher jumped to his feet and cut my message off. He said he had to go home and wanted to testify. After speaking for some time he sat down. He had destroyed my message and the Spirit was greatly grieved. I did not resist him but committed the whole matter to God. The meeting was ruined. I did not attempt to speak further. He remained for at least half an hour after he was through speaking. This same man had opposed me in other meetings before. The devil had put him on my track to hinder my ministry. But this time he had gone too far. God smote him. Two days later he wrote me for forgiveness, promising not to oppose me any more. He also returned to Hermon and asked forgiveness publicly in the meeting.

I went to Pasadena again and spoke at the little Alley Mission. My message was one of warning. The sinners had been terribly trifling with God. While I was speaking the spirit of prayer fell upon two sisters (Mamie Craybill, and Jessie Hewett, the sister lately so wonderfully reclaimed). I closed the meeting and called the workers to prayer, but no one stayed but these two sisters. They could not leave. The others deserted us in the battle. I could not leave the sisters alone. They were under heavy burden of prayer on their knees. The Lord held them. Then a spirit of prayer seized me also. The sinners crowded in upon us as we prayed and wept there before the Lord. Our burden was for them, the gang of toughs became almost demoniacal in their resistance, it was an “hour of darkness.” The mission itself was located down a dark alley, in the middle of the block. We had no street lights there, and no police protection. The Spirit warned me three times that my life was in danger. By this time the hoodlums seemed thirsting for my blood. They were led by a German, a very wicked atheist.

They now accused me of hypnotizing the two sisters. We were in the lion’s den, with no possible, natural way out. This gang had heard the Gospel, sat in the meetings, and resisted the Spirit, until they were capable of most any act of cruelty. I had to be willing to face martyrdom, if need be, at their hands. This was the real test I was up against. I thought of the wife and children at home, in Los Angeles. But God took all fear away from me in that moment. It was a wonderful experience. Finally one more bold than the rest seized me by the shoulder and commanded me to get up and quit praying. I offered no resistance but threw my hands up and called on God. The martyr spirit was upon me. The fire of God seemed to encircle and possess me. I felt no fear. The next moment, to my surprise my assailant lurched forward on his knees and began to beg me to pray for Him. He had gone too far. God had struck him. Seriousness seized the rest of the mob for a moment. But they soon recovered.

Two of them seized one of the sisters. She threw up her arms and shouted victory. The power of God fell upon her. Fear fell upon the gang again and they left her. The other sister by this time was on her feet praising God. They stood the test like soldiers. I believe they would have died willingly for the Lord that night. It was midnight and we could do no more good there. We were in a nest of demons. I turned the lights out and had the sisters pass out ahead that I might know they were safe. They passed the mob safely. But the gang was outside waiting for me. The German atheist stood with a short club in his hand, ready for me. I shook hands with the first two toughs I met, evaded the leader, and passed through their midst without a scratch, by the mercy of God. They could not touch me. No doubt they expected me to show Fear. But God kept me in peace, without a tremor. They could not even follow us. We soon reached the lighted street and were safe. It had been a rough experience, but the Angel of the Lord had protected us. And we had not failed Him. The sisters were real heroines. Wife told me when I reached home that she had been awakened from sleep (just at the time we were in the most danger), and prayed for my safety, though knowing nothing of the trouble. She felt I was in danger.

The gang had mocked our tears and prayers for them that night. But they had not mocked us, but Christ. I had never seen such daring before, and had a feeling they might have to pay for it. The very devil almost seemed to possess them. Some had Christian parents, too, and knew better. Only a little while after this several of these same young men met a sudden, unnatural and horrible death. One had his head cut off by a train, while on a motorcycle. Another was burned to a cinder at the top of a telephone pole, by a live wire. He was a lineman. A third was burned to death with gasoline. He was passing a repair shop with his motorcycle, near this same mission, in the alley, when a man threw a burning rag with gasoline out of the shop. It had caught fire accidentally. It caught the young man full in the face and killed him.

Blog editor: This chapter is not proof-read and may contain small spelling errors.

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