by Alice Belle Garrigus
CHAPTER 18. "THE TREE GOD PLANTED"
God was blessing His Word in Bethesda, and it was not long before the hall was far too small. The door-keeper would hold up his finger to know if we could make room for one more. I had to shake my head, I hardly had standing room. Sometimes we were told there were as many outside waiting to get in as there were inside.
It became a burden to me to think people wanted to hear the Word and could not, so I asked the Lord, if He wished us to enlarge the building to send me some money that I might understand His will. Not long after, I went to the office and was given a registered letter. I was so eager to see the contents I opened it at the window. There was a cheque for $500, coming from people I had never seen. All I could say was: "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus."
It seems about the time I prayed, God awoke a sister in the night, and told her to sent Sr. Garrigus, Newfoundland, $500. She was president of a missionary society and so brought the matter before the Board. They voted to send the amount, and so it came just in time for us to enlarge the building before the great war.
It took courage for that little band, who purposed to follow the Lord fully, to step down into the chilly waters of Mundy Pond, at that first baptismal service truly they were a spectacle to men and angels. Three worlds were stirred, the opposition was fierce.
A sister was much opposed by her family who looked upon it as suicide, and said they would have to get a box for her if she went in. This did not keep her from going, and the morning after she was up and had the washing nearly finished when the family ap- peared. She is still alive.
At another baptismal service a sister went in whose husband had said if she did, he would shoot her, and the man who baptised her. She said: "Jesus died for me, why shouldn't I be willing to die for Him"? The day before the baptism, the Lord smote her husband and he had to be brought home and put to bed. The sister followed her Lord into the water while her husband lay helpless in bed. The next day God allowed him to get up and go to work. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
Since that time many have seen that water baptism by immersion was a real command, not to be set asidežand have obeyed, though the cross has been heavy. Some have gone in with physical ailments and been healed.
"Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams."
At one baptismal service, someone said to another, "that old woman, (meaning me), is in her glee when she can get anyone into the water!" It is true I am always glad to see others walking in the Word.
Peter speaking under the power of the Holy Ghost in answer to the question, "men and brethren shall we do?" said to them: "Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The gift of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:4, is still the heritage of believers; and, in obedience to the command to "Tarry Until" a number of God's people began to wait on the Lord for their personal baptism. Their faith was tested, but the time came when the Latter Rain began to fall in Bethesda with signs following. As in Jerusalem, the multitudes came together saying: "What meaneth this?"
At one time the street was black with excited people who were about to rush in on us, when a poor backslider stepped out into the crown, saying: "What is the matter with you people, don't you know your Bibles? They are just getting a shower of the latter rain."
This was true, for our dear Bro. Rogers, now with the Lord, was receiving the Comforter, and his shouts of praise could be heard a long distance. From that day, his song was: "I'm glad, I'm glad." Even after years of suffering, when asked what we should sing, though speech was difficult, he made us understand he wanted us to sing "I'm glad."