How Pentecost Came To Los Angeles


June 17, I went to Los Angeles to attend a meeting at the First Baptist Church. They were waiting on God for an outpouring of the Spirit there. Their pastor, Joseph Smale, had just returned from Wales. He had been in touch with the revival and Evan Roberts, and was on fire to have the same visitation and blessing come to his own church in Los Angeles. I found this meeting of an exact piece with my own vision, burden, and desire, and spent two hours in the church in prayer, before the evening service. Meetings were being held every day and night there and God was present.

One afternoon I started the meeting in Los Angeles while they were waiting for Smale to appear. I exhorted them not to wait for man, but to expect from God. They were depending on some great one, the same spirit of idolatry that has cursed the church and hindered God in all ages. Like the children of Israel the people must have “some other god before Him.” In State Church circles in Europe the pastor is often known as “the little God.” I started the service in the evening on the church steps, outside, while we were waiting for the janitor to arrive with the key. We had a season of prayer for the surrounding community. The evening meeting was a steady sweep of victory.

When God’s church becomes what it should be, in love and unity, the doors will never be closed or locked. Like the temple of old it will be always open. (We saw this later, at Azusa Mission.) God has not got 666 churches, all of different names. There is no division in a true “Pentecost,” neither in true worship. “God is spirit; and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” - John 4:24. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.” – I Cor. 12:13. Ancient Israel, when right with God, were one. How much more should the Church be. We have priests enough to serve continually. And plenty of seeking, needy people to fill the church at all times. How far have we fallen from the early pattern, and even from the type of the church, Israel, We are so short we scarcely recognize the real thing. Even the Roman Church, though formal, is ahead of us in this. The difficulty and shame is that we are hopelessly divided.

I went to Lamanda Park again, and after preaching, spent the night at the parsonage, praying and sleeping alternately. I wanted a fuller revelation of Jesus to my own soul. Like the full moon that draws clearer and nearer to our vision as we continue to steadfastly gaze at it, so Jesus appears more real to our souls as we continue to contemplate Him. We need a closer, personal, vital relationship, acquaintance, and communion with God. Only the man who lives in fellowship with divine reality can be used to call the people to God.

I went to Smale’s church again, and again found them listlessly waiting for the preacher to appear. Many did not seem to have any definite idea what they had come to meeting for. I began to pray aloud and the meeting started off with power. It was in full blast when Brother Smale arrived. God wanted the people to look to Him, and not to man. Those not having the glory of God first in view would naturally resent this. But it is God’s plan.

We now moved into a little cottage at 175½ N. Vernon Avenue, Pasadena, paying three dollars per month rent, for one room and a small kitchen, unfurnished, without gas or water. I found most Christians did not want to take on a burden of prayer. It was too hard on the flesh. I was carrying this burden now in ever increasing volume, night and day. The ministry was intense. It was “the fellowship of His sufferings,” a “travail” of soul, with “groanings that could not be uttered.” - Rom. 8:26, 27. Most believers find it easier to criticize than to pray.

One day I was much burdened in prayer. I went to Brother Manley’s tent and fell at the altar, there unburdening my soul. A worker ran in from a side tent and begged me to pray for him. I attended another meeting that night and there found a young brother, Edward Boehmer, who had been dug out in the Peniel meetings in the spring, with the same burden of prayer on him. We were wonderfully united in the Spirit from that time on. He was destined to become my prayer helper in the future. We prayed together at the little Peniel Mission until 2 A. M. God wonderfully met and assured us as we wrestled with Him for the outpouring of His Spirit upon the people. My life was by this time literally swallowed up in prayer. I was praying day and night.

I wrote more articles for the religious press, exhorting the saints to prayer, and went to Smale’s again in Los Angeles. Here I found the people waiting for the preacher again. I was greatly burdened for the situation and tried to show them they must expect from God. Some resented this, being bound by age old custom, but others responded to it. They were praying for a revival like they had in Wales. This was one of the outstanding features there. In Wales they expected from God. The meetings went on whether the preacher was present or absent. They came to meet God. He met them.

I had written a letter to Evan Roberts in Wales, asking them to pray for us in California. I now received a reply that they were doing so, which linked us up with the revival there. The letter read as Follows: “My dear brother in the faith: Many thanks for your kind letter. I am impressed of your sincerity and honesty of purpose. Congregate the people together who are willing to make a total surrender. Pray and wait. Believe God’s promises. Hold daily meetings. May God bless you, is my earnest prayer. Yours in Christ, Evan Roberts.” We were much encouraged to know that they were praying for us in Wales.

I preached at Lamanda Park again, and one night got so blessed while preaching about Elijah’s sacrifice that I leaped for joy. I was informed after the service that some of the people were very much shocked at my undignified action, and that they did not want me any more. And they were Methodists at that. God had blessed my ministry much in that place. The devil did not want me to preach any more there. Church fairs and suppers were all right, and in fact all the rage with them at this time. That was “dignified.” But I was encouraged when I remembered the fact that neither Wesley nor Fletcher were often allowed to speak the second time in the churches of their day. Many looked upon Fletcher as a monster, when in fact he was one of the most saintly men of his time. Few people really know God in any time.

I went frequently to Brother Smale’s church in Los Angeles, taking part in the meetings with much blessing. The Peniel boys went with me and helped to fan the flame. We were much tested at home along financial lines. Money was very tight. But God did not allow us to really suffer. I wrote some articles for the “Way of Faith,” the “Christian Harvester,” and for “God’s Revivalist” at this time. The following are extracts: “A wonderful work of the Spirit has broken out here in Los Angeles, California, preceded by a deep preparatory work of prayer and expectation. Conviction is rapidly spreading among the people, and they are rallying from all over the city to the meetings at Pastor Smale’s church. Already these meetings are beginning to ‘run themselves.’ Souls are being saved all over the house, while the meeting sweeps on unguided by human hands. The tide is rising rapidly, and we are anticipating wonderful things. Soul travail is becoming an important feature of the work, and we are being swept away beyond sectarian barriers. The fear of God is coming upon the people, a very spirit of burning. Sunday night the meeting ran on until the small hours of the next morning. Pastor Smale is prophesying of wonderful things to come. He prophesies the speedy return of the apostolic ‘gifts’ to the church. Los Angeles is a veritable Jerusalem. Just the place for a mighty work of God to begin. I have been expecting just such a display of divine power for some time. Have felt it might break out any hour. Also that it was liable to come where least expected, that God might get the glory. Pray for a ‘Pentecost.’ - F. Bartleman, June, 1905.”

One evening, July 3, I felt strongly impressed to go to the little Peniel Hall in Pasadena to pray. There I found Brother Boehmer ahead of me. He had also been led of God to the hall. We prayed for a spirit of revival for Pasadena until the burden became well nigh unbearable. I cried out like a woman in birth-pangs. The Spirit was interceding through us. Finally the burden left us. After a little time of quiet waiting a great calm settled down upon us. Then suddenly, without premonition, the Lord Jesus himself revealed himself to us. He seemed to stand directly between us, so close we could have reached out our hand and touched him. But we did not dare to move. I could not even look. In fact I seemed all spirit. His presence seemed more real, if possible, than if I could have seen and touched Him naturally. I forgot I had eyes or ears. My spirit recognized Him. A heaven of divine love filled and thrilled my soul. Burning fire went through me. In fact my whole being seemed to flow down before Him, like wax before the fire. I lost all consciousness of time or space, being conscious only of His wonderful presence. I worshipped at His feet. It seemed a veritable “mount of transfiguration.” I was lost in the pure Spirit.

For some time He remained with us. Then slowly He withdrew His presence. We would have been there yet had He not withdrawn. I could not doubt His reality after that experience. Brother Boehmer experienced largely the same thing. We had lost all consciousness of each others presence while He remained with us. We were almost afraid to speak or breathe when we came back to our surroundings. The Lord had said nothing to us, but only ravished our spirits by His presence. He had come to strengthen and assure us for His service. We knew now we were workers with Him, fellowshippers of his sufferings, in the ministry of “soul travail.” Real soul travail is just as definite in the spirit, as natural human birth-pangs. The simile is almost perfect in its sameness. No soul is ever born without this. All true revivals of salvation come this way.

The sun was up next morning before we left the hall. But the night had seemed but half an hour. The presence of God eliminates all sense of time. With Him all is eternity. It is “eternal life.” God knows no time. This element is lost in Heaven. This is the secret of time appearing to pass so swiftly in all nights of real prayer. Time is superseded. The element of eternity is there. For days that marvelous presence seemed to walk by my side. The Lord Jesus was so real. I could scarcely take up with human conversation again. It seemed so crude and empty. Human spirits seemed so harsh, earthly fellowship a torment. How far we are naturally from the gentle spirit of Christ!

I spent the following day in prayer, going to Smale’s church in the evening, where I had a ministry in intercession. Heavenly peace and joy filled my soul. Jesus was so real. Doubts and fears cannot abide in His presence.

Some one left a load of wood at our door one day, in our absence. We never knew who brought it. We had been praying for wood. I attended Brother Smale’s meetings in Los Angeles often and had a blessed ministry in intercession there. God wonderfully poured out his Spirit. Our rent was due again. But a brother wrote out a check for the amount, all unsolicited. We had been praying for it.

I wrote a number of articles to several Holiness papers, describing Gods operations among us, and exhorting the saints everywhere to faith and prayer for a revival. The Lord used these articles greatly to bring faith and conviction in many places. I was soon receiving quite a large correspondence, from many places. My concern was chiefly for the Holiness people, that they might not be passed by, and lose the blessing. I wrote in my diary at this time the following observations (a warning to the Pentecostal people): “The Holiness people are loaded down to the water’s edge with a spirit of prejudice and pharisaism. But dare we cut ourselves off so easily from other members of the ‘body?’ We may cut ourselves off from God by our spiritual pride, while He may cause the weakest to repent, and go through to victory. (Referring to the work in the First Baptist Church, at Brother Smale’s.) The work in our own hearts must go deeper than we have ever experienced, deep enough to destroy sectarian prejudice, party spirit, etc., on all sides. The work of revival seems to have started outside of the Holiness churches proper. God can perfect those whom He chooses. The Holiness people are too proud of their standing. (Too confident of their position, and condition also.) He may need to pass them by. They must also repent. God may humble them by working in other places.”

And history repeats itself. Let the Pentecostal people beware! The present world-wide revival was rocked in the cradle of little Wales, it was ‘brought up’ in India, following; becoming full grown in Los Angeles later. I received from God early in 1905 the following keynote to revival: “The depth of revival will be determined exactly by the depth of the spirit of repentance.” And this will obtain for all people, at all times.

The revival spirit at Brother Smale’s rapidly spread its interest over the whole city, among the spiritual people. Workers were coming in from all parts, from various affiliations, uniting their prayers with us for a general outpouring. The circle of interest widened rapidly. We were now praying for California, for the Nation, and also for a world-wide revival. The spirit of prophecy began to work among us for mighty things, on a large scale. Some one sent me 5000 pamphlets on “The Revival in Wales.” These I distributed among the churches. They had a wonderful quickening influence.

I visited Smale’s church again, and started the meeting. He had not yet arrived. The meetings were getting wonderful by this time for their spontaniety. Our little Gideon’s band was marching on to certain victory, led by the Captain of their salvation, Jesus. I was led to pray at this early date especially for faith, discernment of spirits, healing, and prophecy. I felt I needed more wisdom and love also. I seemed to receive a real “gift of faith” for the revival at this time, with a spirit of prophecy to the same end, and began to prophesy of mighty things to come.

When we began to pray in the spring of 1905, no one seemed to have much faith for anything out of the ordinary. Pessimism in regard to the then present conditions seemed to obtain generally among the saints. But this condition had changed. God himself had given us faith for better things. There had been nothing in sight to stimulate to this. It came from nothing. And cannot He do the same today?

I wrote an article at this time for the “Daily News” of Pasadena, describing what I saw in Brother Smale’s church. It was published and the manager himself came to see soon after. He was greatly convicted, came to the altar, and sought God earnestly. The article was copied in a number of Holiness papers throughout the country. It was entitled, “What I Saw in a Los Angeles Church.” The following are some extracts: “For some weeks special services have been held in the First Baptist Church, Los Angeles. Pastor Smale has returned from Wales, where he was in touch with Evan Roberts, and the revival. He registers his conviction that Los Angeles will soon be shaken by the mighty power of God.”

“The service of which I am writing began impromptu and spontaneous, some time before the pastor arrived. A handful of people had gathered early, which seemed to be sufficient for the Spirit’s operation. The meeting started. Their expectation was from God. God was there, the people were there, and by the time the pastor arrived the meeting was in full swing. Pastor Smale dropped into his place, but no one seemed to pay any especial attention to him. Their minds were on God. No one seemed to get in another’s way, although the congregation represented many religious bodies. All seemed perfect harmony. The Spirit was leading.

The pastor arose, read a portion of the Scripture, made a few well chosen remarks full of hope and inspiration for the occasion, and the meeting passed again from his hands. The people took it up and went on as before, Testimony, prayer and praise were intermingled throughout the service. The meeting seemed to run itself as far as human guidance was concerned. The pastor was one of them. If one is at all impressionable religiously they must feel in such an atmosphere that something wonderful and imminent is about to take place. Some mysterious, mighty upheaval in the spiritual world is evidently at our doors. The meeting gives one a feeling of ‘heaven on earth,’ with an assurance that the supernatural exists, and that in a very real sense.” - F. Bartleman, in “Daily News,” Pasadena.

I wrote another article, for the “Wesleyan Methodist,” at the same time, of which the following are extracts: “Mercy rejected means judgment, and on a corresponding scale. In all the history of God’s world there has always been first the offer of divine mercy, then judgment following. First comes Christ on the white horse of mercy. Then follows the red, black and pale horses, of war, famine, and death. The prophets ceased not day and night to faithfully warn Israel, but their tears and entreaties for the most part proved in vain. The awful destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, which resulted in the extermination of a million Jews, and the captivity of multitudes more, was preceded by the offer of divine mercy at the hands of the Son of God himself.”

“In 1859, a great revival wave visited our country, sweeping a half million souls into the fountain of salvation. Immediately the terrible carnage of 1861-1865, followed. And so as we anticipate the coming revival, which is already assuming rapidly world-wide proportions, we wonder will not judgment follow mercy, as at other times. And judgment in proportion to the mercy extended. The present warlike attitude and distress of the nations makes us wonder if the judgment to follow may not even plunge us into the tribulation, the Great one.” - F. Bartleman, July, 1905.

For ‘Gods Revivalist” I wrote: “Unbelief of every form has come in upon us like a flood. But lo, our God comes also! A standard is being raised against the enemy. The Lord is choosing out His workers. This is a time to realize the vision for service. ‘The Lord hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.’ - Ps. 50.” I used often to declare, during 1905, that I would rather live six months at that time than fifty years of ordinary time. It was a day of the beginning of great things. For the grain of corn that was willing to “fall into the ground and die,” there was promise of abundant harvest. But for spiritual “flappers,” the whole matter was naturally foolishness.

I wrote another letter to Evan Roberts, asking for continued prayer for California. Thus we were kept linked up in prayer with Wales for the revival. In those days real prayer was little understood. It was hard to find a quiet place where one would not be disturbed. Gethsemane experiences with Jesus were rare among the saints in those days. And it is fast getting to be the same condition among our Pentecostal missions. In the Azusa Mission days the first thought for a suitable mission was the prayer room. Now it seems too often to be the last consideration.

At Smale’s church one day I was groaning in prayer at the altar. The spirit of intercession was upon me. A brother rebuked me severely. He did not understand it. The flesh naturally shrinks from such ordeals. The “groans” are no more popular in most churches than is a woman in birth-pangs in the home. Soul-travail does not make pleasant company for selfish worldlings. But we cannot have souls born without it. Child bearing is anything but a popular exercise these days. And so with a real revival of new born souls in the churches. Modern society has little place for a child-bearing mother. They prefer society “flappers.” And so with the churches regarding soul-travail. There is little burden for souls. Men run from the groans of a woman in travail of birth. And so the church desires no “groans” today. She is too busy enjoying herself.

We were much pressed financially again, but the Lord delivered. We never made our wants known to any one but God, and never begged or borrowed, no matter how pressing the need might seem to be. We believed if the saints were living close enough to God he would speak to them. We trusted Him fully, and went without if He did not send help. I wrote my first tract at this time. It was entitled, “Love Never Faileth.” This was the beginning of a large faith tract ministry. I had to trust the Lord for the means. But He never failed me.

I was preaching at various meetings during those days, and had a message on me one day for Brother Manley’s meeting. I wanted a quotation of two lines from a volume of Clarke’s Commentaries. There were four volumes. Each contained 1000 pages. I only had a few minutes to find it. Prayerfully I chose one of the volumes, closed my eyes and let the book drop open of itself. It was not marked or pressed at that particular page, but wonderful to relate, the book opened exactly at the right place and my eyes fell directly on the quotation that I wanted. This would have been impossible in the natural. I had not at all known where in the book to find it. I only remembered having read it. This strengthened my faith greatly for the message. But I certainly would not, of course, advise this as a practice.

At Brother Smale’s church one evening the meeting ran away in the “flesh.” He called the people to prayer and the crowd thinned down to one-fourth. Then God came in power. There was too much “religion” there. I ordered a tract printed, “Come Angel Band,” and asked the Lord to give me 1000 for a certain price. The printer charged me exactly that amount, knowing nothing of course of my prayer. A sister handed me five dollars. She said the Lord had been talking to her for some time about giving me this. It was the exact amount I had been praying for. I prayed for another five dollars I needed, and a brother soon handed me the exact amount also, without a hint from me on the subject. I trembled to think how wonderfully the Lord was caring for us. My life was wholly at His service. But I dared not be presumptuous.

One evening I went to Brother Manley’s tent meeting, without a thought of taking part in the service. I sat in the rear. Soon the Spirit came mightily upon me. I rose and spoke and the power of God fell upon the congregation. The whole company fell on their faces. For three hours the whole tent was an altar service and prayer continued. A number were saved and everybody seemed to get help from God. It was a wonderful visitation of the Spirit. The people were not as rebellious in those days as they are now. They were more willing to have the program broken into, and there were not so many fanatical spirits to hinder. There was a real hunger for God. Almost every night found me taking part in some meeting. The Lord continued to pour out His Spirit.

About this time I had an awful attack of neuralgia of the stomach. I felt I would die. I fasted and prayed a whole day and night and the Lord delivered. It seemed the devil wanted to kill me. I wrote another tract, entitled “That They All May Be One.” This stirred the sectarian devil fiercely. But it was Jesus’ own prayer - John 17, “that the world may believe.”

A friend payed our expenses at the Holiness camp meeting in the Arroyo for a few days, so we tented there. It was mid-summer. We enjoyed the change and outing. I spent most of my time on my face in the woods, in prayer. In the moonlight evenings I poured out my soul unto God, and He met me there. There was much “empty wagon” rattle in the camp. Most were seeking selfish blessings. They rushed to meeting like a big sponge, to get more blessing. They needed stepping on. And so with the Pentecostal people today, largely.

Our cottage rent was due again and the devil fought hard. But God came to our help. Little Ruth was taken very sick at the camp. The weather was hot. We prayed all one night for her and the Lord touched her. I found my soul crying out for God far beyond the seeming aspirations of the most of the Holiness people. I wanted to go deeper, beneath the mere emotional realm, to something more substantial and lasting that would put a rock in my soul. I was tired of so much evanescent froth and foam, so much religious ranting and bombast. And the Lord did not long disappoint me.

The camp meeting committee now got me on the carpet because of the tracts I was distributing in the camp. They thought I was attacking the Holiness movement. But I was only exhorting them to a deeper place in God. They needed more humility and love. My tract against sectarianism, “That They All May Be One,” stirred the camp. Surely man-made movements need to be stirred. God has but one “movement,” “one body.” This was the message at Azusa Mission in the beginning.

I received a second letter from Evan Roberts, which read as follows: “Loughor, Wales, 7, 8, 1905. Dear brother: I am very thankful to you for your thoughtful kindness. I was exceedingly pleased to learn the good news of how you are beginning to experience wonderful things. Praying God to continue to bless you and with many thanks repeated for your good wishes. I am yours in the service. Evan Roberts.”

One evening at the Holiness camp the Lord told me he wanted me to preach. I went out in the woods and tried to pray for the meeting. But He said, I want you to preach. I told Him they would not let me. They had a dozen of their own itching for the opportunity. Besides they were half afraid of me. I did not belong to their particular branch of religion. But He said preach! I told Him if He would close every other mouth that night I would obey Him. Throwing the responsibility thus on Him I went to the meeting. It was time for the message. They looked at one another, but every tongue was tied. No one looked at me. The Spirit came upon me and I sprang to my feet. God flooded my soul with power. The message came straight from Him and went like an arrow to the mark. It shook the camp.

Little Ruth was now taken with convulsions and the devil tried to kill her. It was very hot and she was teething. This was the devil’s pay for me. We moved back to our cottage in Pasadena again. I mailed eighteen separate packages of my tracts to as many missions on the Pacific Coast. Then God gave me another tract, “The Heart of the Matter.” In this I sought to set forth the real object of our worship and faith, Jesus Christ, central preaching, without innuendos. Little Ruth grew worse until we had but small hope in the natural for her life. But God heard our cries and spared her. The enemy seemed determined to rob us of our last remaining child. Financially we were in hard straits also. Not a penny was coming in. But help came, just in the nick of time. God did not fail us. We were trusting Him.

One night the devil came very close to me. I awoke suddenly out of my sleep to find his presence almost as real as my own in the room. I cried to God for help and he fled. Wife felt his presence also, just before I awoke. We were going through a furnace of fire. But the “fourth” was with us. Human help seemed to fail us utterly. The enemy seemed determined to drive me from the work. I was spending whole nights and days in prayer. Evidently Satan’s kingdom was suffering. The neighbors hearing me groan in prayer thought I must be sick and inquired of my condition. But it was only soul burden.

The Lord had undertaken wonderfully for me on my last tract. The printer miscalculated and took the job for $6.50. It was worth $9.00. He stood by his bargain. Then he spoiled 1000 by a slight mis-print. These he gave me for almost nothing. I corrected the mistake with my pen.

At Peniel Mission, Los Angeles, a sister spoke to me after the meeting one day, and then passed on. I felt the Lord wanted her to give me some money. I was much in need. So I silently prayed. She stopped about ten feet from me, came back, and handed me one dollar. I was telling a brother of the incident a few minutes later when he told me to wait a minute for him. He went to his room in the mission, and returned at once with two dollars for me. God had heard my prayer.

I went to Smale’s church that night, and he resigned. The meetings had run daily in the First Baptist Church for fifteen weeks. It was now September. The officials of the church were tired of the innovation and wanted to return to the old order. He was told to either stop the revival, or get out. He wisely chose the latter. But what an awful position for a church to take, to throw God out. In this same way they later drove the Spirit of God out of the churches In Wales. They tired of His presence, desiring to return to the old, cold, ecclesiastical order. How blind men are! The most spiritual of Pastor Smale’s members naturally followed him, with a nucleus of other workers who had gathered to him from other sources, during the revival. They immediately contemplated organizing a New Testament church. I had a feeling perhaps the Lord was cutting Brother Smale loose for the evangelistic field, at least for a time, to spread the fire in other places. But he did not see it so. I had a conference with him with this object in view, and was able to arrange for him to speak at the Lake Avenue M. E. Church, for Pastor Brink, in Pasadena. This had been the storm center of the revival there.

I walked all day spreading the news of the meeting, not having money for carfare, and was so tired at night I could not sleep. We had not a penny, our rent was due, and yet I was literally pouring out my life in the service of God. We had barely the necessities for living. Surely some one must have been failing God. The Lord was wonderfully with me in the Spirit. Many were being blessed by my ministry. The leaders did not encourage me very much. But the humble, hungry souls heard of Jesus gladly. A revival almost always begins among the laity. The ecclesiastical leaders seldom welcome reformation. History repeats itself. The present leaders are too comfortably situated as a rule to desire innovation that might require sacrifice on their part. And God’s fire only falls on sacrifice. An empty altar receives no fire. Cold intellectualism, formal ecclesiasticism, and priestly domination are altogether outside the genius of the Gospel. Thank God there are exceptions among the leaders. But we are saved to serve. The true minister is a servant. Jesus came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Even the mighty evangelist, Chas, G. Finney, was so poor after fifteen years prodigious labors for the Lord that he was obliged to sell his traveling trunk to buy a cow, for the support of his family.

The night before Brother Smale’s services at Lake Avenue Church two of us spent the night until after midnight in prayer. Brother Smale preached twice on Sunday. He was wonderfully anointed of God for the occasion. We spent the time between the services in prayer. His message was on the revival in Wales. The people were greatly moved. Brother Smale soon organized a New Testament Church. I became a charter member, as I felt I ought to stay with them, though I did not care very much for the organization.

We got to the point where we had to have money for rent and food, or be turned out to starve. While sitting at my table writing, the Lord spoke and told me to go and see Brother Geo. Crary. The impression was so strong I dropped my pen and went at once. After a season of prayer with Brother Crary and his wife I started to go. I had not said a word about our needs. They handed me $2.50, with the remark that the Lord had sent me there for them to give me this. The devil had tried to run Brother Crary off three times before I got there. But God held him. A little later another brother gave me a dollar. The Lord showed him to do this. So I had three dollars for my rent, and fifty cents to buy food with. We could buy much more for fifty cents in those days than we can now.

One morning soon after this, while we were on our knees praying at home, and in much need of food, the grocery man drove up and left five dollars worth of groceries. He would not tell us who sent it. Some one had paid for it for us. Little Ruth ate a green peach and came near dying again. Prayer saved her. Brother Smale now rented Burbank Hall, and prepared to hold meetings there. I secured the Fourth St. Holiness Hall for him, until Burbank Hall was ready. The Lord gave me another tract, entitled “Pray! Pray! Pray!” I took it to the printer in faith and He sent me the money on time. It was a strong exhortation to prayer. Like the prophets of old we must pray for those who will not pray for themselves. We must confess the sins of the people for them.

At one time while Brother Boehmer and I prayed the Spirit was poured out in a wonderful way in several meetings we were praying for. We felt we had hold of God for them. Following reports proved our convictions. Prayer changes things. There is wonderful power in the proper kind of prayer. Instance Elijah on Mt. Carmel, a man of “like passions” with us. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much in its working.” – Jas. 5:16. Confession may also be necessary in this connection. “Confess therefore your faults one to another.”

I now had a cottage offered me in Los Angeles, for eight dollars per month. We had felt for some time the Lord wanted us back in Los Angeles. He sent us the first month’s rent, and Brother Penfield in Pasadena loaned me his mule team to move with. We located in the rear of the lot at 619 Towne Avenue. The landlady lived in the front house. It was September 27, 1905.

I was strongly impressed one whole night in prayer to go to San Diego, so I wrote Sister Tillie Haefner, in charge of Peniel Mission there. The money came in for my fare without solicitation. It was God’s will. I preached in Peniel Mission in San Diego, and held street meetings. The police hindered me much, standing in with the saloons, etc. But God gave strength and victory. I visited and prayed with a number of sick people there also, and took a little run over to old Tia Juana, Mexico.

The Burning Bush had spoiled the spirit of the saints greatly in San Diego. It had made them harsh and hard. There was little love, but much strife and contention. God made me a messenger of peace, as usual. I have always stood for the “one body” of Christ. Sister Haefner expressed herself as being much encouraged by my visit. She had had a very hard fight of it. I was taken very sick before I left there, and lay awake all one night with chills and fever. But I had a remarkable experience in this. I had the grippe. Although racked with pain, and burning up with fever, a tremendous spirit of prayer was upon me. I seemed like two separate persons. My brain seemed separate, and alive for God. I felt all spirit. In my body I was sick enough to die. My suffering but seemed to press my soul outside of my body. It was a peculiar experience. I am sure the devil was the loser by it. My spirit seemed completely lifted above my physical condition.

I spoke at the Friends Church Sunday morning on the revival in Wales, and then returned home to Los Angeles. I was so weak I was afraid I would have to be taken from the train on a stretcher. But I got home safely. I had just enough money to get home with. We were up against it financially again. A brother sent me two dollars in a letter, stating the Lord had shown him we were in need. We were praying hard. What a blessed thing to be living where God can speak to one, even though it may cost us something in obedience. Few seem to be living in this place today. Hence the tremendous suffering among God’s workers. I am convinced that many true workers are hated bitterly simply because those who feel their prayers, and to whom God is speaking to help them, will not obey the voice of the Lord. Selfishness is a damning sin. Those who give to God cannot possibly lose by it. In fact the only thing we really save is what we give to God. The rest is all lost eventually.

Almost every day in Los Angeles found me engaged in personal work, tract distribution, prayer, or preaching in some meeting. I was writing articles for the religious press continually. I fasted and prayed before going to a tent meeting in Pasadena. The Lord wonderfully anointed me in preaching and twenty souls came to the altar. By this time the spirit of intercession had so possessed me that I prayed almost day and night. I fasted much also, until my wife almost despaired of my life at times. The sorrows of my Lord had gripped me. I was in the Garden with Him. The “travail of His soul” had fallen in a measure on me. I was led to fear, like Him, that I might not live to realize the answer to my prayers and tears for the revival. But He assured me, sending more than one angel to strengthen me, I am satisfied. I felt I was realizing a little of what Paul meant about “filling up the cup of His sufferings” for a lost world. Some were even afraid that I was losing my mind. They could not understand my tremendous concern. Nor can very many understand these things today. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” They are “foolishness” unto him. Selfish spirits can never understand such sacrifice. But “he that would save his life shall lose it.” “Except a grain of corn fall into the ground and die, etc.” Our Lord was a “man of sorrows,” as well as of joy.

I frequently went to Pasadena having to trust God for car-fare to get home. On one occasion Brother Boehmer had an impression I was coming. He went to the little Peniel Mission and found me there. We spent several hours in prayer. Then he paid my car-fare home. We often spent whole nights together in prayer during those days. It seemed a great privilege to spend a whole night with the Lord. He drew so near. We never seemed to get weary on such occasions. Boehmer worked at gardening. I never asked him for a penny but he always gave me something. God finally not only got his money, but his life also, in His service. He was a wonderful man of prayer. God taught us what it means to “know no man after the flesh.” He lifted us into such a high relationship that our fellowship seemed only in the Spirit. Beyond that we died to one another.

I wrote Evan Roberts a third time to have them continue to pray for us in Wales. In those days after I had preached I generally called the saints to their knees and we would be for hours in prayer before we could get up. The Lord led me to write many leaders throughout the country to pray for revival. The spirit of prayer was growing continually. The New Testament Church seemed to be losing the spirit of prayer as they increased their organization. They now tried to shift this ministry on a few of us. I knew God was not pleased with that and became much burdened for them. They had taken on too many secondary interests. It began to look as though the Lord would have to find another body. My hopes had been high for this particular company of people. But the enemy seemed to be sidetracking them now, leading them to miss God’s best for them at least.

They were now even attempting to organize prayer, a thing impossible. Prayer is spontaneous. I felt it were better not to have organized than to lose the ministry of prayer and spirit of revival as a body. It was for this they had been called in the beginning. They had become ambitious for a church and organization. It seemed hard to them not to be “like the other nations (churches) ‘round about them.” And right here they surely began to fail. As church work increased the real issue was lost sight of. And the Pentecostal missions appear to be facing the same danger today. Human organization and human programme leave very little room for the free Spirit of God. It means much to be willing to be considered a failure, while we seek to build up a purely spiritual kingdom. God’s kingdom cometh not “by observation.”

It is very easy to choose second best. The prayer life is needed much more than even buildings or organizations. These are often a substitute for the other. Souls are born into the kingdom only through prayer.

I feared the New Testament Church might develop a party, sectarian spirit. A rich lady offered them the money to build a church edifice with. The devil was bidding high. But she soon withdrew her offer. I confess I was glad she did. They would soon have had no time for anything but building then. It would have been the end of their revival. We had been called out to evangelize Los Angeles, not to build up another sect or party spirit. We needed no more organization nor machinery than what was really necessary for the speedy evangelizing of the city. Surely we had enough separate rival church organizations already on our hands. Each working largely for its own interest, advancement, and glory.

We had nothing to eat in the house but a little dry bread on one occasion about this time, when I received a letter from Brother Boehmer with a dollar in it. He was in close touch with God. Possibly the saints would do better by the true ones if there were not so many frauds to shake their confidence. Every false shepherd and deceiver in the ranks makes it just that much harder for the true ones.

The New Testament Church seemed to be drifting toward intellectualism. I became much burdened for it. During one meeting I groaned aloud in prayer. It was killing after the meetings we had had. One of the elders rebuked me severely for this. “How are the mighty fallen,” kept ringing in my ears. A few of the most spiritual had the same burden with me.

Prayer again seemed to prevail in a measure. We had a great meeting in the church soon after. One hundred knelt at the altar at a single Sunday night service. I met with the Peniel boys in Pasadena for prayer and we had a breaking through time. We felt the Lord would soon work mightily. At Brother Brownley’s tent, at Seventh and Spring streets, Los Angeles, we had a deep spirit of prayer and powerful altar services. There was a feeling that God was about to do something extraordinary. The spirit of prayer came more and more heavily upon us. In Pasadena, before moving to Los Angeles, I would lie on my bed in the daytime and roll and groan under the burden. At night I could scarcely sleep for the spirit of prayer. I fasted much, not caring for food while burdened. At one time I was in soul travail for nearly twenty-four hours without intermission. It nearly used me up. Prayer literally consumed me. I would groan all night in my sleep.

Prayer was not formal in those days. It was God breathed. It came upon us, and overwhelmed us. We did not work it up. We were gripped with real soul travail by the Spirit that could no more be shaken off than could the birth-pangs of a woman in travail, without doing absolute violence to the Spirit of God. It was real intercession by the Holy Spirit.

For several days I had an impression another letter was coming from Evan Roberts. It soon came, and read as follows: “Loughor, Wales, Nov. 14, ‘05. My dear comrade: What can I say that will encourage you in this terrible fight. I find it is a most awful one. The kingdom of the evil one is being besieged on every side. Oh, the millions of prayers - not simply the form of prayer - but the soul finding its way right to the White Throne! People in Wales can pray during the last year. May the Lord bless you with a mighty downpouring. In Wales it seems as if the Holy One rests upon the congregation, awaiting the opening of the hearts of the followers of Christ. We had a mighty downpouring of the Holy Spirit last Saturday night. This was preceded by the correcting of the people’s views of true worship. 1. - To give unto God, not to receive. 2. - To please God, not to please ourselves. Therefore looking to God, and forgetting the enemy, and also the fear of men, we prayed, and the Spirit descended. I pray God to hear your prayer, to keep your faith strong, and to save California. I remain, your brother in the fight. Evan Roberts.”

This was the third letter I had received from Wales, from Evan Roberts, and I feel their prayers had much to do with our final victory in California.

Evan Roberts tells us of his own experience with God: “One Friday night last spring, while praying by my bedside before retiring, I was taken up to a great expanse, without time or space. It was communion with God. Before this I had had a far off God. I was frightened that night, but never since. So great was my shivering that I rocked the bed, and my brother, being awakened, took hold of me, thinking I was ill.” This experience took place every night after this with Evan Roberts, for three months, from 1 o’clock until 5. He wrote a message to the world about this time, as follows: “The revival in South Wales is not of men, but of God. He has come very close to us. There is no question of creed or of dogma in this movement. We are teaching no sectarian doctrine, only the wonder and beauty of Christ’s love. I have been asked concerning my methods. I have none. I never prepare what I shall speak, but leave that to Him. I am not the source of this revival, but only one agent among what is growing to be a multitude. I wish no personal following, but only the world for Christ. I believe that the world is upon the threshold of a great religious revival, and pray daily that I may be allowed to help bring this about. Wonderful things have happened in Wales in a few weeks, but these are only a beginning. The world will be swept by His Spirit as by a rushing, mighty wind. Many who are now silent Christians will lead the movement. They will see a great light, and will reflect this light to thousands now in darkness. Thousands will do more than we have accomplished, as God gives them power.” - Evan Roberts. What beautiful humility! This is the secret of all power.

An English eye-witness writes of the revival in Wales: “Such real travail of soul for the unsaved I have never before witnessed. I have seen young Evan Roberts convulsed with grief, and calling on his audience to pray. ‘Don’t sing,’ he would exclaim, ‘it’s too terrible to sing.’” (Conviction has often been lifted from the people by too much singing.)

Another writer declares it was not the eloquence of Evan Roberts that broke men down, but his tears. “He would break down, crying bitterly for God to bend them, in an agony of prayer, the tears coursing down his cheeks, with his whole frame writhing. Strong men would break down and cry like children. Women would shriek. A sound of weeping and wailing would fill the air. Evan Roberts in the intensity of his agony would fall in the pulpit, while many in the crowd often fainted.”

Of the later work in India we read: “The girls in India so wonderfully wrought upon and baptized with he Spirit (in Ramabai’s mission), began by terrifically beating themselves, under pungent conviction of their need. Great light was given them. When delivered they jumped up and down for joy, for hours without fatigue, in fact were stronger for it. They cried out with the burning that came into and upon them. Some fell as they saw a great light pass before them, while the fire of God burned the members of the body of sin, pride, anger, love of the world, selfishness, uncleanness, etc. They neither ate nor slept until the victory was won. Then the joy was so great that for two or three days after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit they did not care for food. About twenty girls went into a trance at one time and became unconscious of this world for hours; some for three or four days. During that time they sang, prayed, clapped their hands, rolled about, or sat still. When they became conscious they told of seeing a throne in Heaven, a white robed throng, and a glory so bright they could not bear it. Soon the whole place was aflame. School had to be suspended, they forgot to eat or sleep, and whole nights and days were absorbed in prayer. The Spirit was poured out upon one of the seeking girls in the night. Her companion sleeping next to her awoke, and seeing fire envelop her, ran across the dormitory and brought a pail of water to dash upon her. In less than an hour nearly all the girls in the compound were weeping, praying, and confessing their sins. Many of these girls were invested with a strange, beautiful and supernatural fire.”

The spontaneous composition of hymns was a curious feature of some of the meetings in other parts of India. At Kara Camp pictures appeared on the walls to a company of small girls in prayer, supernaturally depicting the life of Christ. The figures moved in the pictures and were in colors. Each view would last from two to ten minutes and then the light would gradually fade away, to reappear in a few moments with a new scene. These appeared for twelve hours, and were not only seen by the native children of the orphanage and eight missionaries, but by native Christians living near, and even heathen coming to see the wonderful sight. These pictures were all depicting faithfully the Bible narration and were entirely supernatural. They had a tremendous effect in breaking up the hard hearts of the heathen. In Wales colored lights were often seen, like balls of fire, during the revival there.

I kept going day and night to different missions, exhorting continually to prayer, and faith for the revival. Spent another whole night with Brother Boehmer in prayer. One night at the New Testament Church, during a deep spirit of prayer on the congregation, the Lord came suddenly so near that we could feel His presence as though he were closing in on us around the edges of the meeting. Two-thirds of the people sprang to their feet in alarm, and some ran hurriedly out of the house, even leaving their hats behind them, almost scared out of their senses. There was no demonstration in the natural out of the ordinary to cause this fright. It was a supernatural manifestation of His nearness. What would such do if they saw the Lord.

I started a little cottage prayer meeting where we could have more liberty to pray and wait on the Lord. The spirit of prayer was being hindered in the meetings. The more spiritual were hungry for this opportunity. But the leaders misunderstood me and opposed me. Then our landlady got the devil in her and wanted to throw us out of our home. She was not right with God. Our rent was paid up. But the enemy tried to use her. The fight was on. They began to oppose my ministry at the New Testament Church. A sister tried to persuade me to discontinue the prayer meetings I had started. I asked the Lord to show me His will in the matter. He came and filled our little cottage with a cloud of glory until I could scarcely bear His presence. That settled it for me. “We ought to obey God rather than men.” I suffered much criticism at this time. I think they were afraid I would start another church. But I had no such thought at that time. I only wanted to have freedom to pray. Many a mission and church has gone on the rocks opposing God.

I wrote more articles for the religious press, of which the following are extracts: “Slowly but surely the conviction is coming upon the saints of Southern California that God is going to pour out His Spirit here as in Wales. We are having faith for things such as we have never dreamed of, for the near future. We are assured of no less than a “Pentecost” for this whole country. But we can never have pentecostal results without pentecostal power. And this will mean pentecostal demonstration. Few care to meet God face to face. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” - Christian Harvester.

Again I wrote: “The current of revival is sweeping by our door. Will we cast ourselves on its mighty bosom and ride to glorious victory? A year of life at this time, with its wonderful possibilities for God, is worth a hundred years of ordinary life. ‘Pentecost’ is knocking at our doors. The revival for our country is no longer a question. Slowly but surely the tide has been rising until in the very near future we believe for a deluge of salvation that will sweep all before it. Wales will not long stand alone in this glorious triumph for our Christ. The spirit of reviving is coming upon us, driven by the breath of God, the Holy Ghost. The clouds are gathering rapidly, big with a mighty rain, whose precipitation lingers but a little.

“Heroes will arise from the dust of obscure and despised circumstances, whose names will be emblazoned on Heaven’s eternal page of fame. The Spirit is brooding over our land again as at creation’s dawn, and the fiat of God goes forth. ‘Let there be light.’ Brother, sister, if we all believed God can you realize what would happen? Many of us here are living for nothing else. A volume of believing prayer is ascending to the throne night and day. Los Angeles, Southern California, and the whole continent shall surely find itself ere long in the throes of a mighty revival, by the Spirit and power of God.” - F. Bartleman, in “Way of Faith,” Nov. 16, 1905.

December 14, I was 34 years old. I felt I had done so little in my time for God. I longed to be used for Him more definitely. There was not a penny in the house, and we had no milk for little Ruth. But God got help through to us after a fierce battle in prayer. The answer is often hindered today, even as in Daniels time. The devil influences the saints to hold back. I went to a tent meeting and preached and the fire fell in the camp. Souls were saved. We had been for some time led to pray for a Pentecost. It seemed almost beginning. Of course we did not realize what a real “Pentecost” was. But the Spirit did, and led us to ask aright.

I had been praying for a fountain pen. A brother found one and gave it to me. He already had one. I wrote thirty letters of exhortation to prayer and faith for a revival, to as many missions, on the coast and in foreign fields. But I had no postage. While I was writing a sister came in and handed me four dollars. I had asked for a witness if the letters were from Him. I was given several more articles for the religious press. After spending another whole night in prayer with Brother Boehmer, I was given a message of exhortation which I delivered in a number of churches and missions.

I felt the New Testament Church was failing God, and was looking to see where the Spirit might come forth. They tried to take the edge off my message in many places. My aim was too straight for them. But I determined the devil should not escape me. The curse everywhere was spiritual pride. Hiding their nakedness from God. But away with everything that will not bear the test of God’s Word. And away with party spirit. Souls must be reached and saved. To hinder God’s message is like catching lightning bolts in one’s hand.

The Lord gave me several new tracts to write at this time. But I saw more clearly than ever that my main work was to go below, out of sight, in prayer. I prayed often that the spirit of intercession might not leave me. Mother Wheaton arrived from the east again. God sent her to help me in prayer. I had a blessed weeping burden for a number of days during which my heart became very tender. I had such a burden one night I could not sleep. I called Mother Wheaton, who was stopping with our landlady in the front, and she helped me pray through. The battle was too hard for me. Many were trying to draw me away from the prayer ministry God had given me. But, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” kept ringing in my ears. The “fellowship of His sufferings” in prayer is the sweetest ministry of all.

The Lord had shown me some days before Mother Wheaton arrived that he was sending her. I was not in touch with her. She told me later she was about to start for Florida for the winter when the Lord told her to go to Los Angeles. She did not understand what for until she found me so burdened in prayer. I lived in the spirit of prayer for many months, momentarily, without a break. It became my native element.

The Lord told Brother Boehmer to stand for the whole of our house rent, so that my mind could be completely free for intercession. This was wonderful. And he was earning only two dollars per day. But he obeyed God. How often I have wished that He could speak to some one today on that line. It would mean so much for the work of the Lord.

I went often at this time to pray for a sick woman In Pasadena, at her urgent request. She had considerable means, and often helped us in a small degree financially. The Lord used this means to supply our temporal needs largely, for a time. I used to ask Him to impress her to give me a certain amount, whatever I needed, and on several occasions I received exactly the amount I prayed for. Sometimes it was a battle. She had a powerful will, and loved her money. Besides, she was very deaf . I could not talk with her. I never asked her for a cent, however. She had been a powerful Holiness evangelist, but had gotten out of the order of the Lord. When she died all her money went to ungodly relatives, and the Lord got no more of it. I used to write when I wanted to communicate with her, because of her deafness. Her spirit nearly wore me out. It was so heavy.

One afternoon, after a service in the New Testament Church, seven of us seemed providentially led to join hands and agree in prayer to ask the Lord to pour out His Spirit speedily, with “signs following.” Where we got the idea from at that time I do not know. He must Himself have suggested it to us. We did not have “tongues” in mind. I think none of us ever heard of such a thing. This was in February, 1906.

While at a prayer meeting, on my knees, the Lord told me to get up and go to Brother Brownley’s tent, at Seventh and Spring streets. He gave me a message for them. I went, greatly burdened, and after speaking we had a real breaking up time, weeping before the Lord.

I then wrote a moving tract on “Soul Travail.” The Lord was dealing with me much also about the blood. I spent another all night of prayer with Brother Boehmer, and the Lord gave me a blessed ministry at Pasadena, in different meetings. At one meeting I lay for two hours helpless under a burden for souls.

My nerves were getting very worn from constant conflict in prayer with the powers of darkness. Wife was sick all night, and I sat up until morning praying for her. She was about to be confined again. She was delivered of our first baby boy at 1:45 P. M., Sunday, March 4. We named the little one John. Conditions were very critical with the mother before he was born. It was a dry birth. But God had mercy. He also supplied our needs in a precious way at this time.

I mailed fifty packages of my revival tracts to as many Holiness evangelists, in different states, to stir them up to faith and prayer for a revival. Soon after this I mailed eighty more packages, to as many more pastors and evangelists. Some wrote thanking me for the inspiration they had been to them. I spent another all night in prayer, and then went to the Seventh Street tent meeting again. A man jumped up, just as I was about to speak, declaring he had a message he must deliver. He rattled like an empty wagon for a half hour, saying nothing. Then I got up. But up he jumped again, and went at it. Evidently the devil had him there to hinder my message. Finally he got wild, serving his master too well. The Lord enabled me to bring order again, and I delivered my message. The meeting ended in victory. The devil has no conscience, and the flesh has no sense. Many have never learned submission, courtesy, nor anything else, even in the way of common manners. A spirit of self-importance is one of the most disgusting things in the world.

The oil (the Holy Ghost) ceases to flow, as in Elijah’s time, when there are no more empty vessels to be filled. People do not sense their need of God. But wherever there is a hungry heart God will fill it. “The rich (full) He hath sent empty away.” I had a tremendous burden one night and could not rest at home. I went out, not knowing where to go. The Spirit led me to the Seventh Street tent. There I delivered a message, partly on my knees, and the saints flocked to the altar for prayer.

We remained there for two hours, while the Spirit wrought mightily. It was a wonderful visitation. I was given more tracts to write, ordering 34,000, of different kinds, at one time. I had a real tract ministry, with faith for the means to pay for them.

The battle was getting more and more earnest. March 26, I went to a cottage meeting on Bonnie Brae street. Both white and colored saints were meeting there for prayer. I had attended a cottage meeting shortly before this, at another place, where I first met Brother Seymour. He had just come from Texas. He was a colored man, very plain, spiritual, and humble. He attended the meetings at Bonnie Brae street. He was blind in one eye.

I needed twenty-five dollars to pay for tracts and was impressed to pray that a certain party might send it to me. She knew nothing of my need. That very afternoon just one letter came in the mail. It was from this very party, with a check for just twenty-five dollars. Before I had prayed He had started the money.

I went with Mother Wheaton to the Bonnie Brae Street meeting again, March 28, and attended an all night of prayer at the New Testament Church. We had been praying for a larger house to live in. We had only two small rooms, and I had no quiet place to pray or write. I had done all this in the past with my family around me. One day I met Brother Fred Shepard on the street. He asked if I knew of a preacher who would like to rent a nice cottage, at half price, with the first month’s rent free. It would be only ten dollars per month. I immediately took it myself. We had been praying for just this thing, but he had not known it. So we moved April 13 to 714 East Thirty-first street. It seemed like a palace after living in two-room shacks and sheds. God was wonderfully providing for us.

The latter part of March the Lord had given me another tract, entitled “The Last Call.” This was used mightily to awaken the people. The following are some extracts: “And now, once more, at the very end of the age, God calls. The Last Call, the Midnight Cry, is now upon us, sounding clearly in our ears. God will give this one more chance, the last. A final call, a world-wide Revival. Then Judgment upon the whole world. Some tremendous event is about to transpire, etc.”

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