June 15: Daniel Whittle: “He Could Not Flee from the Holy Spirit”

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

We continue reading about answers to prayer as recorded by Daniel Whittle in his book, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers.

A clergyman of distinction gives this instance of the worthlessness of all attempts to flee from the Power of the Spirit.

“I looked out of my window one morning, while it was yet dark, and saw a lady standing at my gate, leaning against a post, and evidently weeping bitterly. I knew her. She was a member of the church, and was an earnest, consistent Christian. She was married to one of the most bitter Universalists [a person who believed everyone was going to heaven regardless of faith] I ever knew. I stepped down the steps to her, and asked, ‘What is the matter?’ She replied, ‘Oh, my poor husband! I had so hoped and prayed that he might be converted in this revival! and now he has rode away, and says that he will not come back till this religious flurry is over. What shall I do to bear up under this?’

“I said, ‘It is near the time for prayer. We will go and lay his case before the Lord, and make special request that God will bring him back again under the power of the Spirit. The Lord can bring him home, and I believe He will do it. We must pray for him.’

“She dried her tears in a moment, and seemed to seize hold of this ‘strong hope,’ as we walked to the place of prayer. We found the room crowded. It fell to my lot to lead the meeting.

“At the opening, I stated the case of this Universalist husband, who had undertaken to run away from the influence of the Spirit, by fleeing into the country. I said that we must all pray that the Holy Spirit may follow him, overtake him, and bring him back again, show him his sins, and lead him to Jesus.

“The meeting took up the case with great earnestness, and I could not but feel that prayer would in some way be answered.

“But can you imagine our surprise when, at our evening prayer meeting, this same Universalist came in?

“After standing a few minutes, till the opportunity offered, he said:

“I went away on horseback this morning, and told my wife I was going into the country to stay til this flurry was over. I rode right over the hills, back from the river, into the country, till I had got eighteen miles away. There, on the top of a hill, I was stopped as Paul was, and just as suddenly, and made to feel what a horrible sinner I am. I am one of the worst sinners that ever lived. I have lost my Universalism, and I know that I must be born again, or I can never see the kingdom of Heaven. Oh, pray for me that I may be converted; nothing else will do for me.’

“He took his seat amid the tears and sobs of the whole assembly. The hour was full of prayer for that man’s conversion.

“This strong and intelligent man, once one of the bitterest Universalits I ever knew, is now an elder in a Presbyterian church, and one of the most joyous, happy, energetic men of God you will meet in many a day. He believes he was ‘converted on the spot in that prayer meeting.'”

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