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The Mysterious Leadings Of Providence.





The following incidents are contributed to the book by a prominent
clergyman:

"A period, ever memorable in the life of the writer, occurred in the
Autumn of 1832, while attending a protracted meeting of more than
ordinary interest and power, held under the auspices of the Baptist
church in the city of Schenectady, under the then pastoral charge of
Rev. Abraham D. Gillette, this being his first settlement. It was in one
of the meetings that the Holy Spirit impressed my mind of its sinfulness
and the need of a Savior, not only to cleanse my soul of sin and sinful
stains, but to save me. These impressions caused me to humble myself at
the feet of sovereign mercy; and in the midst of my pleadings, God
answered my prayer, and opened to me new views, views of the heavenly
kingdom, which so electrified my soul, that with a full heart I could
say, 'Blessed be the Lord who has shown me marvelous works in this
lonely place beneath the star-lit sky.'

"This great change was, and is, to me the most wonderful interposition
of God in my behalf in answer to prayer. This answer to prayer the
promised result of faith in Him."

"Again, in the year 1836, the writer in the year mentioned was employed
by a transportation company, in the city of Troy, in the character of an
employee having direction of a portion of the business of the company
which brought me into close relation with the many boatmen connected
with the company. Association with the boatmen was painful to my
religious nature, compelled, as I was, to hear all manner of offensive
talk. The latter led me to indulge a wish that I might free myself from
such company, in order to form associations with persons of my own
religious turn of mind. But God willed otherwise, as will be learned
from the recital of God's dealings with me on an occasion of a journey
alone in a carriage from Troy to Schenectady. It was on the occasion
alluded to that most of the time was occupied in prayer, and the burden
of my prayer was 'that God would open up a way for me wherein I could
find more congenial company, where in fact my religious feelings would
not meet with the trials incident to my present associations.' But He
who knew my needs better, came to my relief in words seemingly distinct
enough to be heard. This was the answer: 'I have placed you just where I
want you.' Instantly my prayer for a change of location or separation
from my business and its connections ceased, and since, instead of
looking for easy positions, wherein the principles of the faith which is
in me may be undisturbed, I deem it suited to my growth in grace and
increase in devotion to my Master's cause, to covet the association of
men whose only tendency is to evil continually. I have found by
experience in the latter direction, that although many tongues are loose
in the habit of profanity, I am roused more and more by grace to impart
words of counsel. I know that efforts at consistency in Christian
conduct and converse will stop the mouth of profaners of the name of our
Redeemer, God."

Another instance of the presence of God with his children is clearly
manifest in the following sketch of a meeting of two brethren, of whom
the writer was one, held in the conference room of the First Baptist
church in Troy, N.Y., of which church he was a member. The meeting
alluded to occurred in the early spring of 1840 or '41. We were
accustomed to meet almost every day for the purpose of arranging the
Sunday school library, but would occupy a portion of the time, usually
at noon, in prayer for such persons or objects as were presented to the
mind. On the particular occasion we propose to mention, it was mutually
agreed that we pray for one of the brethren, whose gifts were of a high
order, and his usefulness hindered by a lack of spirituality. We
mutually bowed in prayer for this brother, and while thus engaged the
door of the room was opened, and a person entered and knelt between us,
but who he was, or the purpose of his visit we knew not until we had
ended our prayer, at which time the person spoke and requested us to
continue praying for him.

At the conclusion of the service, the question was mooted how he came
there. His reply was in substance as follows: "When standing on a stoop
on the corner of Fourth and Congress streets, cogitating which way I
should go, I was impressed by a voice within which directed my course to
the Conference Room. I debated with the impression, taking the position
that it being noon no meeting was then in progress. Still the impression
remained, and could not be removed. Noticing this, I gave way to the
voice and here I am." Neither of the three thus brought together could
doubt for a moment that our prayer for this brother was answered. His
joy was great in view of being thus called from his delinquency to share
in the fullness of his Savior's love.

"Another instance in the experience of the writer very clearly shows the
power and worth of prayer. About the year 1840, in the Autumn thereof,
he experienced a lack of vital, spiritual energy. This had been of
months' continuance, but to his joy, culminated after retiring to rest.
After this manner, before sleep overcame him, he was impressed to
present his case before the mercy-seat. To do so he arose from his bed,
retired to a quiet part of his home and bowed in prayer, seeking to
occupy the entire night if need be in prayer for the bestowal of the
Holy Spirit, and the consequent revival influences of other days. This
season of prayer was of short continuance; but not by reason of
disrelish for the exercise, but because my prayer was answered and a
complete breaking away of the previous hindrances to my spiritual
enjoyment. Since the event alluded to, now more than thirty-six years, I
have not been afflicted by doubts, and counsel brethren and sisters not
to allow themselves to be made unhappy by this evil to our spiritual
progress."





Next: Life Spared For Two Weeks.

Previous: An Old Man's Prayer.



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