By Anton Reuss.
Published in Confidence, April-June 1920.
My very dear Mr. and Mrs. Boddy,
It is some little time since I last had the pleasure of writing you. I first wrote Bro. Smith Wigglesworth at your address, for I had forgotten his. Thank you for sending on my letter.
Before I begin to let you know how the Lord blessed our brother here in Bern and Thun, let me thank you for having always encouraged Bro. Smith Wigglesworth to come to us as he told me, for the enemy tried all ways and means to prevent him coming to us. Some one who ought to have known better told Bro. Smith Wigglesworth that “If you go to Switzerland now you will not get enough to eat!” We did our best to feed him up with our best, so that he exclaimed “You are determined that before I leave I shall have to go out of the door sideways in order to be able to get out at all!” Another well-meaning friend said “If you go to Switzerland now you will suffer from cold!” Well, we have not had a cold day since be has been here, and if we had we could have found ways and means to have heated the rooms and halls, etc. The enemy tried and failed to keep our brother in England.
I met Bro. Smith Wigglesworth at Neuchâtel Station on Saturday, the 31st January, and we had a slow but comfortable journey to Bern, where he stayed with me and my wife at the house of a sister, who is one of the mainsprings of our work, Sister Wüthrich.
At Bern. I had taken the hall in the Casino, Bern, for our first Sunday meetings, as I rather expected a crowd of friends, but Ihe crowd did not turn up until Sunday, February 8th, when afternoon and evening the hall was crowded.. The meetings, as you know, began in Bern on the 1st and continued until the 10th February. As fast as our brother became known (and the healings too, for we had many healings) the people began to come in crowds. Every morning from 10 till 12 o’clock we had prayer meetings—entrance only by card, as we wanted to keep the curious and opposers to the speaking in tongues out—and we had many blessed meetings. It was not an uncommon sight to see several people laying full length stretched out on the floor perfectly unconscious to anything and everything around them as our brother continued his preaching, for the Holy Ghost had begun to fall upon them, and they were there, the slain, so to speak, of the Lord. Several definitely received, but there were so many seekers that we had to have special waiting meetings every afternoon, where our friends were packed in like herrings in their anxiety to receive blessing.
Healings continued the whole ten days, and often from 10 o’clock till 11:30 p.m. at night our brother was anointing and dealing with the sick, who had to come up in rotation, having first stated in German the nature of the ailments, which I interpreted to him in English. We had two excellent interpreters, a Bro. Steiner from St. Gallen, and a Sister Kummer from Zürich, whom I think you met in Labilliere’s time. Scores, I can faithfully say, were healed, the unsaved saved, and Christians stirred, sanctified, and several baptized. We had ministers and preachers come both from German and French Switzerland. So many calls came to our brother to come and visit the sick in Bern, which, of course, was impossible, that at last, as these dear people implored me to bring him to them to see a son, a father, etc., I said “Pay my taxi, and I will bring him.” This was the beginning of events, for afrer that, for two whole afternoons, Bro. Smith Wigglesworth and I hurried all over Bern in a taxi visiting the sick, whom he could not possibly have visited o!herwise.
It may interest you to know that dear Mme. Gaullieur, who received her baptism in Sunderland on the same day as I, August 22nd, 1908, but who had only once since spoken in tongues, again spoke and conlinues to speak. Her maid also received the Baptism and spoke in tongues. To God be the glory!
The meetings lasted ten days in Bern, and on the last evening, Tuesday, we had a missionary meeting, the proceeds to go to the P.M.U., London, and the Congo Mission, in which Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s daughter is interested. Well, the Lord gave our brother the word, and the friends in Bern had been so blessed and interested that they raised the fine sum of frs. 2,100, which amount was subsequently raised to frs. 2,500, more than £100.
If you ask me what the people thought of Bro. Smith Wigglesworth and his methods, I will only
say that my friends who are in a position to judge say that Bern has never seen anything like it. It was completely stirred, and the enquiries were so many, also the requests that Bro. Smith Wigglesworth shouid again come to Bern, that I feel sure the biggest hall in Bern will not be too big for him, should the Lord graciously send him to us again in the near future.
A Yorkshireman. But what of Bro. Smith Wigglesworth? Well, we are all agreed that he is one who has been very specially blessed of God. Before he came I told my people that I rather believed Bro. Smith Wigglesworth to be an apostle who had apostolic power, and we can say that what we experienced was in a very marked measure apostolic, in spite of the times in which we are living of indifference and unbelief. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s language, which had a delightful Yorkshire touch when he is in the natural, is not always good English, but when he is under the power of the Spirit his tongues are glorious! the interpretation of the same majestic!! and the English perfect!!! We have never seen anything to equal it in Pentecostal circles in Switzerland.
Many of our brethren in Switzerland and Germany are greatly taken up with visions and prophecies, but Bro. Smith Wigglesworth brought us the Word of God, which the Holy Ghost especially emphasised by these powerful utterances in tongues and interpretation. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth is very humble, and the naive way in which he told us that he could not read before he was 23 years old, and that his wife taught him, moved many, and led us to magnify the Lord, who chose fishermen and other working people to be His representatives when He left the earth. When he is in the natural, which is not often, one sees the humble origin, the imperfect education, the man of the people; but when in the Spirit one is conscious of the presence of Someone else who is altogether lovely. Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s great strength is his humility and his love for
Jesus, and longing that He alone should have all the glory.
We began at Thun on Wednesday the 11th, and continued for six days, the meetings being larger every night. We had morning meetings of waiting upon God in my chalet, of which I enclose you a postcard. I need not say how it would delight us to see you and dear Mrs. Boddy out here for your holiday. It would do her a lot of good. Well, the meetings increased so through the many healings, that I was forced to take the largest place in the town in the Hotel Fresenliof. It holds, they tell me, 800 people. Well, we had quite 600 on Sunday afternoon, and again on Monday evening, our last night. Scores and scores were healed, I can faithfully say, and, what is astounding to us and our opposers, so many unsaved were healed.
A preacher came to Sister Wüthrich and said, “Can you help me to understand why in Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s meetings so many unsaved were healed? I myself brought a very dear young child of God to his meetings in the hope of her being healed. Many unsaved were healed, but not she. How do you explain it?” She quietly replied, “The unbelief of God’s people.”
We had about 30 visitors from Lausanne, French Switzerland, and from all over Switzerland people wrote and came to the meetings. If they had only continued longer in Thun I verily believe we should have had a revival, and this is the feeling of many to whom I have spoken in Thun.
Naturally the enemy was not going to take it lying down, so he set his satellites to work, who
accused me of making money out of these healings. It is true that in many cases my wife and I were offered money by the grateful sufferers who had been healed, but we always naturally refused. Some would receive no refusal, and these left us 28 francs all told for the poor, which we shall gratefully distribute. But on the Saturday morning when Bro. Smith Wigglesworth left I wanted to accompany him to Liyem, when we were to meet my brother-in-law, R. Ruff, of Zürich. I had to go before the Police Inspector in Thun to give an account of my doings in respect of taking money from the healed. I went with another brother-in-law, J. Nievergelt, an engineer in Schaffhausen, and after I had denied the charges my brother-in-law gave the inspector to understand in his own vernacular that this was a put-up job. The inspector was very nice as soon as he saw there was no truth in the charge.
Bro. Smith Wigglesworth left here to preach in Zürich, where I went to support him, and also in St. Gallen. He returns via Basel on the 2nd inst., but he tells me he is invited to Chèxbres (Vaud), French Switzerland, for the 16th March, for a week’s convention. He returns from Bradford for this week. If he were to return again I believe the Lord would use him to move Switzerland, for, as I say, we have not seen anything like this in Switzerland since the Latter Rain began to fall in 1906 and 1907.
I feel I have written you a long enough letter to enable you to judge by the details that our Bro. Smith Wigglesworth’s visit to us here has been signally blessed of God. I verily believe that many pastors and preachers, far more highly educated than our brother, have been forced to ask themselves how it is that this dear brother has so much more power and acceptance with the people than they have, for signs and wonders do so naturally follow his ministry.
His coming brought us a little bit of old England and of Sunderland, as I heard Bro. Smith Wigglesworth preach at Sunderland, which has always had a very warm place in my heart, and should the Lord open the way for me to come to England this year, I will certainly take the opportunity of coming to see you and dear Mrs. Boddy, for I never forget it was at Sunderland God began first to really bless me at a time in my life when I needed His blessing. Good-bye, dear Mr. and Mrs. Boddy. By the time you receive this Bro. Smith Wigglesworth will be with you and able to relate more of his experiences to you.
With Christian love.
Yours affectionately in Him.
Anton B. Reuss.
Goldiwil, ob. Thun, Switzerland.
28th February, 1920.
Labels: 1920, Confidence, Others' testimonies