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ACTS OF SPECIAL PROVIDENCE IN MIS
CHILDREN RESTORED TO HEALTH.
BY GEO. H. ISLAUB, AUSTRALIAN MISSIONARY.
We have had a remarkable evidence of God's power being manifested through his authorized servants in this dispensation. It is not the first by any means, since I have been on my mission, but this particular case has its peculiar features, so I will relate it.
There is a family here in Brisbane, Australia, by the name of Lind. They joined The Church some three or four years ago, but for the past two years they have not associated with the Saints, in fact the husband had requested that his name be taken from the books. The matter was brought to my attention, and I concluded to take up a labor with them, so I called on them one day. Brother Lind, (I will call him brother), was out, and his wife received me very coldly. I visited with her for sometime, and after some persuasion secured her consent to call on them some evening when he was at home. I did so, and had a long night with them, leaving somewhat encouraged. During our conversation Brother Lind boasted that since he had left the Church, he had prospered more than when he was in full fellowship with the Saints. I warned him against boasting, saying that God had his own way of humiliating his chilren.
A few days after this, his second youngest son took suddenly
ill. The doctor was called in, and did all he could for the child, but finally informed the parents that he could not hold out any hope for its recovery. The night previous, the mother dreamed she had sent for the elders, and, as a result, the child improved. The following morning, the child feebly asked for "Brother Islaub to come." Nothing had been said to him of the elders, and he had only seen me on two occasions. The dream and the child's request impressed the mother, and about noon she sent for me to come over. My companion and myself immediately answered the call. It was about one mile from our quarters. Upon our arrival we found a very sick child. The mother, almost overcome with grief, requested us to administer unto him provided we thought it would avail anything. I asked her if she had faith; she said she had. Then I told her that if she had faith that through the administrations of the elders he would be healed, it would be so. We officiated in the sacred ordinance, and three days following the child was up and dressed.
Then followed the sickness of the youngest son. He too was suddenly taken ill. He had not been blessed and named, so we delayed until the following day that the consent of the father might be obtained in having him blessed by the elders. We called the following day and performed this ordinance, and also administered to him. The next day we also called and found that the child had become much worse. For some reason, we were not asked to administer to it on this occasion, though we remained two hours, and even suggested that the ordinance be performed, for we felt the influence of evil prevailing around the child. However, we departed feeling that the mother had soon forgotten the testimony of God's power in the restoration of her other son.
Next day, about noon, we were summoned to the house with the request to hasten. Upon arrival we found the child in the throes of death. The doctor had been there, and had told the mother he had no hopes for his recovery. The poor mother was distracted, and well she might be, for death had surely laid his cruel hand upon her child. I became filled with an influence that I could not resist, and said: “I will not give up that child.” I told the mother to take the child in her arms, to summon all the courage and faith she could, and, if it was God's will, the child would
be restored. We proceeded to attend to the ordinance of administration. My companion applied the oil, but could hardly speak the words necessary in doing so. I was mouth in the administration. We had no more than placed our hands on the head of the child, and I had pronounced the words, in the name of Jesus Christ and by authority of the Holy Priesthood, we command the power of death that is upon this child to be stayed,” than I felt that I had been seized by an evil power. Great beads of perspiration stood out all over me, and I felt as though I would be overpowered. With a tremendous effort I resisted it, keeping my hands on the child's head and pronouncing the rebuke, and sealing God's blessings upon the almost lifeless child. I then staggered to a chair and called for a drink of water; after which, I went out into the air and soon revived, though all that day and night I felt tired and languid as a result of an experience I shall never forget. The experience of my companion was almost identical.
That night the parents sent word that the child was doing nicely, and that it was in sweet sleep, so we did not call on them till the following day. When we called the next day, we found the child with a pleasant smile to greet us. The cold death-look had left its face, and was replaced by the pink tint of health. The parents were very profuse in their thanks and praise to the elders for the restoration of their children. We reminded them that to God should be given all the glory, that they must give him thanks and praise as we were only humble instruments in his hands, and, as we gave him praise, so must they give him the honor. I am in hopes that this evidence of God's power being in the Church will awaken an interest in these people, and I have no doubt that it will.
These are the sweet periods of a missionary's life; to partake of the sweetness of the Divine Spirit, is worth more than the riches of worlds to a humble elder. Of course, during my experience in the Church I have seen many very remarkable demonstrations of God's power, and this experience is only an additional testimony that the gifts of the Spirit are in the Church; but it is pleasing to learn that our lives are so far approved of our Divine Parent, that he manifests himself through his servants.
I desire that this experience shall impress itself upon my children, that they may grow in that faith for which their father gave
up father, mother, brothers and sisters to embrace, and again left wife and children and the comforts and pleasures of a happy home to carry to a world fettered with the bonds of sin and wallowing in the mire of superstition and unbelief.
A writer in Success, who visited Sir Thomas Lipton on the Erin, gives the following on the early struggles of the baronet, when he did not own a floating palace or a cup challenger:
“I remember, as if it were yesterday,” said Sir Thomas, "how utterly hopeless my financial condition seemed to be when I was a boy of fifteen in New York. I had run away from home to see the world. My experiences were anything but pleasant, without work as I was, a stranger in a great city. I got used to living on a few cents a day, but when it came to such a pinch that I couldn't buy a five-cent stamp to carry a letter to the old folks in Glasgow, I very nearly gave up. I really think that decided me to go back. It accentuated my homesickness. I thought of the prodigal son. I borrowed five cents for that letter, and resolved to get back as soon as a chance offered. I can tell you I was glad when I once more set foot on the other side. I had refrained from telling my people how hard up I had been. This was largely a matter of pride with me, but another consideration was their feelings. I would do anything rather than distress them. So I stepped up, on my arrival, as jauntily as you ever saw a lad, and when a proposition was made to me by my father, soon after my home-coming, to set me up in a small grocery, I jumped at the chance."
“Was that the beginning of your fortune ?"
"Yes. I made money from the start. I put in practice what I had seen abroad-such as displaying goods attractively in windows, keeping the place as neat as a pin, and waiting personally on my customers. Every dollar that I earned I saved- not that I really loved money myself. That was not my inspiration,- it was my father and mother."
RELIGION ON SAMOA.
BY W. 0. LEE, SAMOAN MISSIONARY.
So far as outward appearances are concerned, the Samoans are a very devout and a strictly religious people. One cannot help realizing this on first acquaintance with them because of their familiarity with the scriptures, and their greeting to strangers, which is always mingled with thanks to the Lord for the preservation of their own and their visitor's lives. Every night, as darkness comes, each house in the village is lighted by a lamp, or a fire made with cocoanut shells, and the family devotional evercises begin, sometimes by reading an extract from the Bible, and always by singing a hymn followed by prayer. We believe that the London Missionary Society are entitled to the credit of introducing this pleasing custom which we found universal among the natives. There is but one objectionable feature in connection with it, and that is the publicity of each family's devotion, on account of the houses being open all around. Where so close together, the praying in one house is marred by the singing in the next. However, the Samoans have become so accustomed to this confusion that it does not seem to affect them. In fact, like most colored races, they dearly love this outward show of what may, or may not, be an inward grace.
One of the most remarkable things to a foreigner who has been taught to look upon the natives as ignorant, and classed with the heathens, is their perfect familiarity with the contents of the Bible. Most of the present generation learned their A B C's, or as the Samoans would say ole a ma le e ma le i, out of that good book. It was also their first, second, third and fourth reader, and, therefore, no wonder they are so familiar with the letter, if not the spirit, of the scriptures.