Rachel Wild Peterson.

The long-lost Rachel Wild; : or, Seeking diamonds in the rough online

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forgotten, for a moment, that I was even saved. I began to won-
der how to get out of talking. One would hardly expect me to


feel as I did, after being in public work as long as I had. If there
had been any way out, beside coming out and saying no, I never
would have talked on the street-corners of Denver. But there was
nothing left for me to do but to face the music, for I could not
refuse before that great audience. I was praying: "Oh, God,
help me. Lord, what will I say?" I had been in close quarters
before, but never where I could not get my breath, and where
my heart was so hard to swallow. When they were singing the
last verse my heart was like lead. While my mind was struggling,
one thought came to me like a flash of lightning. I had thought
of every other way of starting, but this way, and I said : "Lord,
none of the ministers talked in that way, they talked on the bible."
But I had been praying the Lord to send me thoughts, and when
they came' I held to them like a drowning man to something to
save him. No one can tell the feeling of one who follows up three
or four ministers in a short talk, with no education, before as
great an audience as there was that afternoon. There was nothing
left for me to do but to rely entirely upon the Holy Spirit. As
they sang the chorus I was holding to those thoughts, and when
I stepped out upon the platform of the wagon it seemed I was
wrapped in thought; the power of God fell upon me like a mantle,
and fear took wings and flew away. The first thought that came
to me was Saint Jacob's Oil. I fairly held my breath and repeated
these words, wondering what I would do with Saint Jacob's Oil.
And when I asked the question, it was answered like this: "Did
not women help sell the oil? And why cannot you help in a cause
like this, so grand and glorious?" Then I told them how woman
was in everything, even in selling this oil ; how they built a large
platform, and several women, beautifully dressed, stood on the
street-corners, introducing that which would help the body. If
a woman was respected in that work, why should I not demand the
respect of the citizens of Denver in introducing something that
would not only help the body, but would help the mind, spirit and
heart of mankind? The Lord had promised to fill our hearts
with the oil of gladness. There was a fountain opened in the house
of David for all sin and uncleanliness. These were the outlines
of my first sermon on the street, but, thank God, not the last. I
never can thank the Lord enough for the way he led Brother P
in getting me started on the street, for I had said to so many:
"I will never talk on the street. God does not lead me to do
anything like that. I can do good enough without going on the
street corner." Oh, how wonderfully the Lord does lead ! even
sometimes when we are not willing to be led. Two or three
times this same fear came over me. I would go and tell Brother


Calkins I could not lead the wagon, that if I did I would fail
sure; and then he would go with me. Several times I 'did not
let him say a word. After I got started, I could not stop talking,
and I got ashamed to ask him when fears came over me. I knew
the fear was from the devil, and I got so I coul-d resist it, and
pay no attention to it, and at last it left me entirely. We would
have street meetings from early in April till the weather was
too cold to go out on the wagon. After the third summer's work,
the i8th of September I got a letter to stop. The hundreds of
souls that were saved through the street meetings will never be
known till the day of judgment. Perhaps a word in regard to
the work done might be of interest.

One afternoon I was waiting for a car to go to the depot to
fill one of my appointments in the mountains, when a lady in black
stepped up to me, shook my hand, and said : "Isn't this Mrs.
Peterson? You are the lady who led the Gospel Wagon, are you
not?" As I said "Yes," the tears were running down her cheek.
While holding my hand she told me how her husband was saved
before he died, through the Gospel Wagon, how he would stop, on
his way from his work with his lunch bucket and listen. This
was late in the fall, before I stopped working on the street. She
said for a week every evening he would be late coming home, so
one evening he told her of the wagon. It was all he talked about.
It was the last of November he died. He took a severe cold, which
developed into pneumonia. "It was the words God gave you to
say that converted his soul." He had been dead five months then.
I bade her good-bye and took the car, and have never seen her
since. Another time I was coming down the steps of the wagon
(there were three steps on the back end). A well-dressed gentle-
man stepped up to me as I stepped onto the sidewalk and said :
"Pardon me, madam, I must tell you," putting out his hand, "those
words of yours this evening have gone there," pointing to his heart,
"as none ever went before." I knew the Holy Spirit had done
the work. I asked him into the mission, but he was to take the
train in half an hour. "I will never forget those words," he re-
marked, in leaving. I did not know what they were, but God knew.
At another time a gentleman followed us into the mission, and
just inside the door he stepped up to me and said: "Do you
think the Lord could save a wicked showman? My train is ready
to leave the city now, but I'll not forget what was said on the
street corner this evening." It is wonderful how the Holy Spirit
burned the everlasting truth into the hearts and souls of men and
women who were walking by the wagon at the time of the meeting.
One Saturday evening a gentleman was walking with his wife,


carrying a two-year-old child, making his way through the vast crowd
that had gathered on the street. The next evening he came into the
meeting, but said nothing. Monday evening he went forward to
the altar and was converted, and then told how he came to go.
"Saturday evening I was passing the wagon and" (pointing to me)
"that lady over there said, " repeating the words of mine that
had touched him like an arrow of conviction. Bless his holy name,
his word is quick and powerful ! He said he came up Sunday
evening to the meeting to see if he could not get rid of the words
he had heard the evening before. He said he got no "relief," and
that was why he was there that night. The "relief" came and the
burden of sin was rolled away. I could not tell you the number that
came to the Lord from hearing the word of God from the street
corner. In the first year's work there were several fallen women
converted. I took one to my home. She stayed with me several
months, and was converted, being one of the best workers on
the wagon. She did her part in the Haymarket Haven work, and
was working there at the time of her death, dying happy in the
Lord over two years after her conversion. What those dear women
want is the influence of a home to bring them out for God. It is
a struggle for them to get away from their old ways after they are
converted. They get so deep into sin that the very flesh is steeped
in the habits that fasten upon them. When I took her to my home
the man they call their "solid fellow" was enraged because I took
her from him, and was going to kill us both. To think men can
live like that ! If the women who read this book could see half
what I have seen, I know they would say with me: "There are
more fallen men than women." This man was determined to see
her. She was afraid to see him. I told her she might as well
see him and be done with it ; that he might meet us on the street
some time and give us more trouble than it would be to see him
here at home, and let him know what was what. She wanted to
leave the door open between her and I for fear he might kill her.
I told her to shut the door, and I would keep my ears open, and if
he got to talking very loud I would come in. It was not long
before his voice began to raise above the ordinary voice. I opened
the door and stepped in. He was pale with anger. With a revolver
in his hand he was making threats. I stepped in~ front of him,
saying: "Mister, do you know where you are? Do you know
you are in a home such as your mother raised you in not in a
sporting house? Do you know you are talking to a woman as
good as your mother? This woman you are calling names is as
pure as your own mother, for she has left the old life and has
plunged into the fountain and been made clean, and now I will



hear no more such language from you. Call forth all the man-
hood you have and imagine yourself in your mother's home, put
that revolver in your pocket and sit down there and talk to her
as a gentleman should, or else leave the house this moment." He
promised he would do nothing rash. He had been drinking, and
didn't think where he was. I went into the adjoining room and
left the door a little ajar. She gave him to understand that she
had left the old life forever. The devil would tempt her at times,
till she seemed to be almost beside herself. I had noticed every
morning for a week when she came down stairs she had that restless,
uneasy spirit, so one morning I said : "Sister W , do you want
me to tell you something? And if I do, promise me you will not
be angry." She said "yes," and promised not to get angry at
anything I said. "And you won't feel hurt?" "No matter," she
said, "Go ahead and tell me." I replied: "Sister W , do you
know the devil has been coming down stairs with you every morn-
ing for a week? I know he wants you to do something for him. I
do- not know what it is, but he is after you." She opened her
eyes in surprise and said: "How do you know it is the devil?"
I told her I could feel his presence. "I tell you, Sister Peterson,"
she answered, "it is all I can do to keep from going down town
and never coming back. God knows I do not want to. I want to
do right, and I did not know whether to tell you or not, for I
did not know what you would think of me, but I just can't help
these feelings." "Let us pray every morning when you come down
>tairs," I said to her, "and through the day, if he comes to you
with those feelings, for he will not stay long if we get on our
knees over it." It was not long till she got the victory. Every-
where I went I took her with me. If I went to see the sick I
had her pray. I looked after her as a doctor would his patient, till
the old devil found two were too much for him, and gave her up.
It did me so much good, while she was helping me about the
work, to hear her sing this song, after this experience:

"There is a spot to me more dear

Than native vale or mountain,
A spot for which affection's tear

Springs grateful from its fountain.

" 'Tis n<ot where kindred souls abound,

Though that is almost heaven,
But ivherc I first my Savior found,

And felt my sins forgiven.


"Then quick as thought I felt him mine

My Savior stood before me,
I saw his brightness round me shine

And shouted 'Glory, glory!'

"And when from earth I rise to soar

Up to my home in heaven,
Down will I cast my eyes once more
Where I was first forgiven."

This same summer I had. another wonderful experience. I went
to see Sister Swan, and she told me a lady lived next door who
had been down all winter with rheumatism. She had two children,
with no one to support them but herself. A week after I had been
there the thought came to me to go and see the lady who lived
next door to Sister Swan. I said: "Lord, what do you want
me to go to see her for? I do not know .her." But I could not
get rid of the feeling. I rapped at the door and a voice said : "Come
in." She was helpless. The first thing she told me was that the
landlord wanted the room, and said if she did not get, he
would put her out onto the street. I asked her if she were a
Christian. "I was once, but not now." "Let us pray," I said, and
knelt down by her side. The Lord forgave her sins, and she said :
"Oh, I see such a bright light!" and we felt the power all over
us. Her body was healed. She got upon her feet and went into
Sister Swan's next door, and she has been able to walk ever since,
supporting herself and her two children.

One Sunday afternoon, after the healing of Sister Treadwell,
I stopped to see a lady who had inflammatory rheumatism. She
could not move any part of her body but her head. She could
not .sit up. I had been sent for to see if the Lord would heal
her. I had hardly reached her bedside when the Spirit told me to
get a high chair. I looked around the room, and saw nothing
but rocking chairs, and I asked Sister S if I might have a high
chair. She answered: "Here is a chair." I told her I wanted a
high chair. There may have been nothing significant Jn the chair,
but I always obey the leading of the Spirit. She went into the
kitchen and got a high chair. The Spirit said to me : "Set the chair
close to the head of the bed." I obeyed, and then the Spirit said to
me: "Tell her to do whatever comes to her to do." So I said:
"Sister, whatever comes in thought or word or feeling act upon
it." The power of the Spirit came, as did the feeling to throw
the covers back and spring over the foot of the bed. The first
thing I knew she had thrown the covers back and was sitting up


in the bed. She said the power came all over her, and as she was
going to go over the foot of the bed Sister S said to her: "O,
sister, your knee!" At this she stopped. In a second, yes, in a
twinkle, the power of God was gone from her and she was left
helpless, and for several weeks lay suffering with that knee, while
the rest of her body was well. Two other sisters came into
the room, and before the door was shut they could feel the power.
Those three sisters were witnesses to this power of God that filled
the room. The Lord would do nothing more for her because of
her disobedience. I went back the next evening, thinking perhaps
the Lord would do something for her, but the feeling of fear
that came over me as I went into the house, made me realize the
power of darkness.

I 'only stayed a few moments, going back the next afternoon.
I could feel no change in the spirit. As I sat by her bed the kitchen
door stopd partly open, and some dreadful influence seemed to come
from the kitchen. I thought of evil spirits. I asked her who was
in the kitchen. She said her brother-in-law. "He is not a believer,"
I said to her. "No, he does not believe in anything." He told
her she was excited, and that was the reason she came so near
getting up. But excitement doesn't usually cure people. What
an awful thing to be in a house filled with spirits of unbelief! I
have seen the results of disobedience so much in my experience
that I fear God more from disobedience than from all else. So
many disobey him and do not seem to know the serious results.
Eph. 4 130 : "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are
sealed unto the day of redemption." It took me a long time to
learn what an easy thing it was to grieve the Spirit away from us.
It is as easy to grieve the Spirit as to frighten a little bird away.
Sometimes when I pray the Spirit returns, and other times it does
not. It was this way with this dear sister. When she hearkened
to the words of Sister S and did not follow where the Spirit led,
the Spirit left her. I Thess. 5:19: "Quench not the Spirit." Do
we know what a serious thing it is to quench the Spirit? The
Lord tells us in Rev. 3:22, three times he tells us to hear in this
chapter: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches." You see the Spirit speaks or we could
not hear. The voice of the Spirit has no sound but impression,
and yet we are to hear it, else we could not be led. The Lord
tells us to be led by the Spirit. Rom. 8:14: "For as many as are
led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." If we permit
anyone or any earthly thing to hinder that leading, or resist it, we
grieve the Spirit. You will see in the 5th verse of the same chapter
that "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;


but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." That
is why the carnal mind cannot please God. It itself is enmity
against God. It is necessary that we have our minds upon spir-
itual things and not -upon what we see and hear. We must hearken
to the word of God, for it is the Spirit that uses the word, and
not us. The Spirit comes into us and uses us as instruments, but
it is the Spirit of the word that does the work. If we could
only learn that we are merely instruments !

It was not long before I was asked to call on Sister B .
She was a strong believer in healing, was very sick, and wanted to
see me. Her home was on Sherman avenue, on Capitol Hill, in
the aristrocratic part of the 'city. Nevertheless she was a beautiful
Christian. You see God works among the wealthy as well as the
poorer class. It was like a benediction to be in this sister's pres-
ence. She told me of the sweet peace she had in her heart. As
I listened to her my ear was also listening to what the Holy Spirit
would tell me to do. As you know, there are different kinds of
gifts of healing. In this kind of application there has to be more
than the gift or power of healing. Matt. 17:21 : "Howbeit this kind
goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting." The Holy Spirit told
me to tell Sister B to kneel down by the chair, even showing me
the chair to kneel down by, and for Sister P to kneel by the
side of Sister B , with the writer upon the other side. Then the
power of God came down. The power was so great when it
descended upon us that Sister P exclaimed: "Oh, my!" I did
not pray; I just obeyed, the power came so clear and the leading
of the Spirit so plain. Did you ever read in the bible of tjwo
being healed just alike? The words were a little different, or what
was told them to do was different. At other times they were told
to do something, and when they obeyed they were healed. They
had faith. If they had not faith they would not have been healed.
Whenever the Holy Ghost tells me to do anything, or instructs me
to tell others, and they obey, the work has been done without fail.
As the power came the Spirit said to me: "Tell her the healing
is for her." I told her, but some way she could not receive it to
herself. She would have it that the power was for Sister P ,
and again I told her it came for her. I tell you, my dear reader,
you must always be on the lookout. The devil is ever near to tempt
us. He came and made this woman believe the power was not for
her. If she had been depending upon the Holy Spirit to lead her
she would have been given strength to have resisted. The Spirit
can do many wonderful things, and if you are not wise unto this
truth you, surely will be deceived. In Matt. 24 :24 : "For there shall
arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shew great signs and


wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the
very elect." This is where Spiritualists who do not believe in
Christ get their hold upon people. We cannot depend upon won-
derful works. This is not the fruit that we are to know God's
children by. It is the fruits of the Spirit, the nine fruits, faith,
joy, etc.

It was 3 130 p.m., and the power lingered for more than an
hour. We could plainly feel it leave the room. Sister B could
not believe she was not healed. Not long afterwards she went
home to meet her God. This was the first time the Lord led me
just this way. It was somewhat similar the time Sister V 's
little boy was healed, when her mother called it magnetism. Did
you- ever take hold of anyone's hand who had hold of an electric
battery? You know what a sensation goes through you. One dif-
ference between the power of God and electric power is the former
has such a heavenly influence with it. The magnetic healer or
the electric battery may bring relief, but not that sweet heavenly
influence that comes with the power of God, though the sensation
may be the same. This is why I am such a strong believer in
the gift of healing. They have given this gift from God a new
name, not a bible name. They call it magnetism when God says in
I Cor. 12 :p, in speaking of spiritual and other gifts, to one is given
"the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another faith by the
same Spirit." Why do we not call the power of magnetism the
gift of healing? God says we must not add to or take from his
word. Rev. 22:18: "If any man shall add unto these things, God
shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." We
may get enough from God's word, but fail to recognize him in every-
thing. God has already given us a name for everything. When
God called a man a man, it suits me, and I do not believe in chang-
ing it to an "ox," or something else. We have no bible right or
reason to change the words "gifts" or "healing," no more than we
have to change a man's name. I would no more think of changing
these words than I would think of changing the words "gift of
faith," or call "faith" "healing," or "healing" "faith," or the "gift
of wisdom and knowledge," spoken of in I Cor. 12:8, or the word
"knowledge" to "wisdom." We have just as much right to change
these as to find a new term for "healing," or the "gift of healing/'
and calling it "magnetism," or "christian science." In all the gifts of
God to man, where is there a gift called "science?" There are so
many different names for things that God has given names. They
call "healing" "magnetism," when healing is a gift. Many condemn
this gift, when they have as much right to condemn faith.
Many churches are barren of these gifts. Why? Because


they have no faith in them. If we have no faith in these
gifts we have no faith in God, for he said they were gifts. Now
let us call magnetism the gift of healing. There is no more science
about it than about faith, because all these gifts are by the same
Spirit, and are gifts given to man. They are of God. So many say
they are of the devil. Of course this is not true, for nowhere in
the word of God do we find where the devil ever gave a gift to man.
You can find where these gifts are used by the devil for wicked pur-
poses, and by wicked men. Above everything, let us not attempt to
add to or take from this great book, for does not Rev. 22:19 say:
"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of
life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are
written in this book." It will never do for us to trifle with the
word of God. Let us learn to be serious and prayerful, and depend
on the Holy Spirit to teach us as we study the word, and not
give the devil all these gifts that God gave to man, nor permit the
church to go on unfruitful in every gift. Eph. 4 17 : "But unto every
one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of
Christ." So whatever gift we have, God gives grace, which is*
strength to use that gift; and howt can we tell what gift we have
except we let the Holy Spirit lead us? So many have asked
me if men and women who are not Christians have those gifts.
What are these two talents the Lord speaks of but gifts? He tells
us some have five, and some ten, and some one. When did he give
those gifts? Does he say he gives them at our conversion? Not
if I read the word of God aright. In the same chapter and 8th
verse: "Wherefore he saith, when he ascended upon high, he led
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." That is the time he
gave those gifts. For what? Twelfth verse: "For the perfecting
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of
the body of Christ." What is more edifying and helpful to both
body and spirit than to have this gift of healing? Not to make
money or a name with, nor to lose sight of Christ and his power
to forgive sin, through his precious blood and suffering on the
cross. So many who have these gifts are "tossed to and fro, carried
about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men," which is
spoken of in the same chapter, i4th and isth verses.

I know a good woman, who believes in Christ and the for-
giveness of sin through repentance and faith, but some way she
got into this cunning craftiness spoken of in the I4th verse of
this chapter, and practices slate writings. I would not mind the

Online LibraryRachel Wild PetersonThe long-lost Rachel Wild; : or, Seeking diamonds in the rough → online text (page 22 of 50)