I reached home safely, spoke at the little mission in Hereford one more time, and then we started by way of London, for the Continent. I bought a new typewriter in London, showed the family around the city a little, and then we took the boat at night across the Channel, from Harwich to Hook of Holland. Left Hereford July 3. We landed in Amsterdam at Bro. Polman’s in the morning in time for breakfast. In answer to prayer the Customs officers did not open our trunks, as we were going through to Germany. Had a good time at Amsterdam over Sunday. I preached morning and evening with much help from God, through interpreter. We went on to Weener, Ostfriesland, Monday. I had my new typewriter in a new grip. There was a duty on typewriters, but I prayed and the Customs officer opened the old grip and not finding anything freed my whole baggage. We arrived in Germany just in time for a Pentecostal Conference in Bunde, to which I was invited. It was a one day conference. I preached morning and evening, - through interpreter.
So we were at last in Germany. The family were comfortably located and the friends were very kind to them. I preached at a Baptist Church at Weener one Sunday morning, in the absence of the Pastor. Had a visit with a State Church Pastor at Holtland. He gave me $5.00. Had a conference with a company of State Church Pastors also. They wanted me to tell them about the Pentecostal work. The Lord spoke to their hearts. I spoke one night to a company of poor saints at Weener. They were mostly servant girls.
I preached at the Baptist Church again and visited some Pastors in the country. Preached at Bunde, and spoke at a prayer meeting. The presence of God was wonderful among these poor saints. I received $20.00 from America about this time. Preached at the Baptist Church a third time, and at Bunde twice more. I then took a little trip to Emden with Pastor Voget, to attend a Blue Dross (Temperance) meeting. It was a very old and interesting city. I preached again at Bunde, and then went to Bremen for a Pentecostal Conference. Here I preached four times in all and was greatly helped by the Lord. The presence of God was truly wonderful. Received an offering of 75 Marks ($18.00).
I next attended the Pentecostal Mulheim Conference, in August. Nearly three thousand were in the habit of attending this great Conference, from all parts of Europe. It was a great gathering. I did not speak there. It only lasted four days, and the speakers had been already engaged. They were not accustomed to letting the Lord choose His speakers on the spot in Germany as a rule. I profited much by this conference and its associations. Met many saints here from different parts.
I returned home to Weener and then started for a second trip to Sweden. There was to be a big Conference at Orebro which I very much desired to attend. I was afraid to start without at least announcing my desire to come, so I wrote Pastor Ongman there that I would like to attend. I had never met him, and as he was not Pentecostal, and the Conference not strictly Pentecostal, although many of its contributors had received the baptism, I felt it best to get into communication with him before starting. When I got back to Weener I found that Pastor Voget had gone on to Lubeck with a letter in his pocket for me, from Pastor Ongman. I had no way of telling what its contents might be. Wife had given it to him to hand me at Lubeck, as I expected to sail from there, and had first arranged to go direct from Mulheim by way of Berlin. But I changed my plans when I found Berlin was not the place for me at that time, so had returned to Weener, before starting for Sweden. Pastor Voget had been called on business to Lubeck.
I met Pastor Voget at Lubeck, and he handed me my letter. But I feared to open it, lest it might contain a negative reply. By this time I felt sure God wanted me in Sweden, whether or no. I did not know at that time that we were to move to Sweden, but God began to talk to me about it very soon after. I really feared to open the letter lest I might be tempted to fail God, so put it in my pocket unopened and took the boat for Sweden. I opened it after sailing, and to my great joy found a hearty welcome to Orebro Conference. So God was leading.
I landed in Copenhagen after a quiet voyage and took the train for Gothenberg, Sweden. Here I met Bro. Andrew Johnson, whom I had known in the early Azusa Mission days in California. The Lord had by this time begun to show me His plan for us to move to Sweden for the winter. I spoke five times at Gothenberg, at Pastor Rhonstrom’s church, and also at Bro. Malmcrone’s Mission. Was much blessed in the messages. From here Bro. Johnson and myself traveled on together, he acting as my interpreter. We first went to Skara. Here I preached one night in the Baptist Church. There were some of its members who had received the baptism with the Holy Ghost. We next went to Skofde, where the Pentecostal fire first fell in Sweden.
Here I preached twice in the same evening, first at the Salvation Army Hall, and afterwards in the Pentecostal Hall. We then went to Kinne Kulle for over Sunday. I preached at the Station in the morning and at “Haggarden” afternoon and evening. We had a blessed time. Monday we went to Karlstad. Here I thought perhaps I would find a place for the family. Bro. Johnson had already engaged rooms there for his family for the winter.
At Karlstad I preached every night for five nights, and twice on Sunday, at the Baptist Church. The Pastor had received the baptism. But we had a hard fight. The people opposed the message. The Lord soon showed me He did not want us to move there. The devil tried to get me to run around looking for a house, but I could not do it. The Lord kept saying to me, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” I applied myself more earnestly to prayer, and finally prayed through on the matter. I had been very much burdened with the affair. The burden left me and I felt God would undertake.
I committed the matter to Him for His will to be done. I wanted Him to find the right place for us, and I believed that He would. Bro. Johnson got desperate. He was sure I ought to look for a place. Of course he naturally wanted me to live in the same town with him, and have my family near his family. Finally he could wait no longer, so he went to the nearest newspaper office and put in an Ad for rooms for us. But before he had time to get an answer God showed me we must leave town, and we did so. Johnson afterwards found the Lord did not want him in Karlstad either. He finally moved from Gothenberg to Orebro, where we later located.
We went from Karlstad direct to Orebro, where the Conference was to be held. Before we reached the Conference we met a Sister on the street. She took us to a home where she thought we could stay during the Conference. But the people were out of the city. She then took us to another home, owned by a saint. Here we found a vacant room for rent. We also discovered in a few moments that the Sister who owned the house had two rooms and a kitchen for rent, from Oct. 1, on the same floor in the same house. This was exactly what I was looking for. I felt at once that this was the place God wanted us.
In a day or two we got in touch with the owner, who lived in the country, but we found the rooms had been spoken for. Still I felt God wanted me to have them. I committed the matter to the Lord and did not look further. In fact I had no liberty to look further in the matter. I felt if the Lord wanted the rooms for us He would get them. The party who had spoken for them had not yet rented them definitely. They were expecting her to the Conference. I felt to make these rooms a test case as to whether God wanted us to move to Sweden.
I attended the Conference, preaching one night with much help from the Lord. Pastor Bjork interpreted for me. He was Pastor of a Baptist Church in Stockholm but had the baptism. I met him there before. I had a deep spirit of intercession during the Conference, so did not attend all the meetings. Monday morning came, one week from the time we had arrived in Orebro, and yet no decision about the rooms. The landlady was afraid if she rented them to me for only six months she would have them vacant the rest of the year. God had shown me we would only be in Sweden six months. They only rent in October in Sweden, once a year. If the first party took them it would be for one year.
Finally I told the landlady that if she could rent the rooms to the other party for one year she should go ahead and do so. I could only rent them for six months. But I added that if God wanted me to have the rooms I did not believe she could rent them to anybody else. I would leave the matter with God. I decided to make the rooms a test case, though I wanted them awfully bad. Then the Lord Himself spoke to the Sister and told her that she should let me have the rooms for six months, until April 1. Praise God! It was all done without my using a bit of influence or begging for them. I had committed the matter to the Lord for His will to be done. At the last moment she had discovered that the other party had made other arrangements, and did not want the rooms at all. So she was satisfied it was God’s will for me to have them.
But the rooms were unfurnished. It became now a question of where we were to get the furniture from. I again wet the sacrifice, and waited for God to answer by fire. He did not fail me. Without my turning a hand Pastor Ongman’s wife, who had engaged the first party to cook for the Bible School, thus depriving the Sister of a renter for her rooms, felt it her duty to help her to get a tenant in place of the prospective one she had carried off from her. So she offered voluntarily to collect some furniture for us to keep house with. Again it had paid to wait for the Lord.
God had sidetracked the first renter, and through the same force of circumstances furnished the rooms for us. I closed the contract, and Johnson and I left again for Gothenberg. Bro. Johnson did not have his fare back to his home. We said good-bye to Pastor Ongman before leaving, and he left ten Krone in my hand. I had told the Lord that if He would give me both our fares back to Gothenberg I would make up what Johnson lacked on his fare. The ten Krone just covered my fare and Johnson’s deficiency.
On my way home I had another token of God’s care for me. I was very tired, having lost much sleep, but I planned to take a train at 1 A. M., from Gothenberg, and travel all night, in order to catch the boat at Copenhagen for Lubeck. The brother I stopped with in Gothenberg failed to set his alarm clock right, although he assured me it would not fail to go off, so we overslept. I had to wait until morning. But I got a good night’s rest, which I needed very badly. It turned out the Lord had purposely overruled in the matter of the clock, for I took another train the next forenoon, and went from Copenhagen by train to Korsor, instead of sailing from Copenhagen, and found a boat there making quick connections with Kiel. I got to Hamburg earlier than I would have done with the night train from Gothenberg, which I had missed. I did not know of this boat connection until I reached Copenhagen. It was a wonderful token to me of God’s watch care over me. I reached home at Weener tired, but happy. Had been gone just one month. I came out just even on my expenses. And while I was away the Lord had sent us $30.00 from America in the bargain.
Father Voget, whom the family were staying with, had told me before I left for Sweden that he felt he could not keep us later than Oct. 1. He wanted to shut the house up and visit among his children for a time. But the Lord was not yet quite ready for us in Sweden. I could not pray through clearly for us to leave Germany at that date, although I had been obliged to rent rooms in Orebro from Oct. 1. I had paid a deposit on the contract. After praying much I felt I was to take a trip to Switzerland first to attend two conferences there. Father Voget had now decided that he would not close his house, and that we could stay until Nov. 1. So all was clear. It was now the latter part of September.
After returning from Sweden the Lord led me to take a trip to Berlin, with Pastor Voget. I preached at Steglitz one night. The next night I preached in Berlin, at a Mission conducted by Bros. Schilling, Ecke, and Gensigen. The Lord wonderfully blessed me. I had a good look around Berlin. Visited the Kaiser’s Church, where he frequently took the pulpit and preached. I also visited the Mausoleum of the kings in Charlottenburg. I took a side trip to Wittenburg, one hour’s ride from Berlin. Here I visited the house where Martin Luther lived and taught. I saw his old desk, books, furniture, etc. Here he taught the students of the Reformation. From here he shook the Pope on his throne at Rome. And from here he opposed Tetzel, the “Indulgence” monger. Here he nailed up the “Theses” on the church door, and burned publicly the “Pope’s Bull.” There is a new church now, on the same spot, with some of the old pillars. Bronze “Theses” are to be seen on the new church door, where the old one stood.
Here I also visited Melancthon’s house, where he lived and died. I saw the original handwriting of both Melancthon and Luther. Melancthon’s study chair and table are still there. I stood by both Luther’s and Melancthon’s graves, in the old Schloss Church. Their monuments both stand in the public square. Here is where the first preaching of the Reformation began, in a tumble down building in the middle of the public square. Historians tell us as follows: “In the middle of the square at Wittenburg stood an ancient wooden chapel, 30 feet long and 20 feet wide, whose walls propped up on all sides were falling into ruin. An old pulpit made of planks, and three feet high, received the preacher. It was in this wretched place that the preaching of the Reformation began.” I returned to Berlin, and home again, by way of Hannover. It seemed like hallowed ground to have walked over the same old scenes the Reformers had waged their battles over.
I spoke at a little Conference at Bunde after returning, and later preached a second time at a regular meeting. Pastor Voget and myself then started south for the Conferences in Switzerland. We had a very profitable time. We went south by way of Cologne, stopping at Bonn for a few hours, to visit friends.
From there we ran on to the old historic town of Worms, where we stopped over night. Next morning we looked around the city for two hours, before taking train for Basle. We saw the site of the old building where the Diet of Worms was held. This was very hard on the Pope’s stomach. In the Museum were many of the old relics of the Reformation. Parts of the old city walls were still standing.
We saw some of the old original letters of Luther and Melancthon, and a goodly collection of the original first Tracts that Luther had published against the Papacy. A large Monument stands in the public square, with the figure of Luther most prominent, among other Reformers. The Luther Denkmal is a magnificent work of art. Here this giant of the Reformation made his memorable stand against the great ones of earth, both civil and religious. “Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir. Amen!” (Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen!). This was one of the greatest stands for truth that mortal man has ever made. South of here we passed through Spires, where the Reformers were first called Protestants. At Basle we stopped an hour between trains, to visit the Pentecostal leader there.
We ran on and reached Zurich, Switzerland, in time for the night service. Here I had stopped in 1910, on my way around the world. I had a good look around the old parts of the city. Saw the house where Zwingli lived during the Reformation, and from whence he rode on his ill-fated adventure to the field of Cappell, where he was slain. “If any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” - Rev. 13:10.
Brother Barrat from Norway was the chief speaker at this Conference. We had a very blessed time. My ministry here was mostly in prayer, and in individual work. We next went to St. Gallen, to another Conference. This was an important place during the Reformation. It contains a very old Cathedral and Convent, which I visited. I met Bro. Arthur Booth-Clibborn here, who had interpreted for me in Germany in 1910. We had a very profitable time in St. Gallen.
I started home alone, by way of the historical city of Constance, on Lake Constance. Here I stopped two hours. I saw the old Council Hall, where the Princes used to meet, and where John Huss was tried and condemned by the Pope’s agents to be burned. The old tower is still standing that Huss was imprisoned in. I visited the site where his ashes are buried, marked by an appropriate stone. Next I crossed the lake to Friedrichshaven, passed through Ulm, getting a sight of the tallest church steeple in the world, and reached Wurzburg, Bavaria, after dark. Here I had four hours to wait between trains, but it was too foggy from the river to see very much of the old town. There is a very interesting old Castle and Cathedral there. I started on for Eisenach in the night, reaching there about 7:30 a. m. Here I stopped four hours.
I saw the house of Conrad Cotta, outside of which Luther as a youthful student sang in the streets for his bread. Ursula Cotta took him in to live with them. They have a fine large monument to the memory of Luther in this town. But most important of all I climbed the mountain and visited the Wartburg Castle, which was plainly visible from the front of the railway station. It is about a half hour’s climb on foot from the town. I felt I was treading sacred soil as I climbed this mountain. The Wartburg is a grand old Castle. From its lofty height all the country round about is spread out in panorama. It has a wonderful point of vantage. The scene is magnificent, over the Thuringian forest.
This was truly an Isle of Patmos for heavenly visions. But Luther had awful conflicts with the devil also. This old castle witnessed some of Luther’s most violent struggles. His great heart came near breaking here. Here it was that the New Testament was given to the German nation, in the language of the people. I stood in the room where Luther translated it, from the original. The guide showed us the supposed spot where the ink bottle struck that Luther hurled at the devil when tormented by him. The devil was very real to Luther. Here was the very furniture that the man of God used in his strange captivity. The old bed he slept in was still there, with desk, stool, and other articles of furniture as he had left them. There was an original letter, in his own handwriting.
The Wartburg is certainly a rocky fastness. It is one of the best Castles in Germany from standpoint of preservation and location. It would not have been at all easy to obtain unfriendly access to it. “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.” Truly! This inscription of Luther’s old Hymn is found on the old church at Eisenach. I was sorry to tear myself away from these sacred scenes. I took the train again, reaching Weener, home, at midnight. While I was gone a sister gave my wife $25.00.
We were now obliged to leave Germany for the north. Had been located in Germany just four months. It had not cost my family one cent for food all of this time. Father Voget had provided everything. He was a man of some means at that time. I appreciated greatly the unusual kindness of this man whom God had used to befriend us in the furtherance of the work of the Lord in Germany.