WIGGLESWORTH BAPTISED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Originally produced in a tract in November 1907 then published in ‘Confidence’ magazine, October 1908, p. 11, 15-16.
Later published in Redemption Tidings, February 14, 1947, p. 4
DEAR MR. & MRS. BODDY,
After 7 full days of the Glorious Presence of the Glory of God resting upon me, I send you this testimony for the Glory of God. For 3 months I have been exercised about the full Pentecost. I had the clear witness of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit 14 years ago last July, [Ed. 1894] and this brought a marvellous manifestation of God in special gifts to sick ones, and a constant living and seeking to bring others to Jesus. But from time to time when reading the Acts of the Apostles
Bowland Street Mission
I always saw that the signs were not following as I am led to believe ought to be after a real Pentecost, according to Mark xvi. The desire more and more increased in my very inner soul, giving me a holy breathing cry after this clear manifestation. I have visited meetings at London, and Sunderland, and other places, but always knew they were not seeking Pentecosts. There seemed a great deal of letter, but very little of the spirit that would give the hungry and needy a Baptism of Fire such as would burn up distinctions and officiousness and appearance of Pride and evidences of social standing.
To-day I am actually living in the Acts of the Apostles’ time. I am speaking with new tongues, the Holy Fire of God’s Presence fills me till my pen moves to the glory of God, and my whole being is filled with the Presence of the Holy Ghost. Almost am I led to believe that 20 years is not too long to wait for the Holy Anointing of God the Holy Ghost.
On Friday, 25th [October 1907 Ed.] we had a special meeting at the Mission Room, Bowland Street, Bradford, and after waiting about 2 hours the Presence of God came in a wonderful way and gave me a move as at the beginning. I perfectly well understood the glow and Holy Presence. This was felt by others, also. On Saturday, I and a friend went on to Sunderland to wait for Pentecost at All Saints’, at Mr. Boddy’s Church. We had heard much about this blessed work and were encouraged, but after arriving at Sunderland found the enemy very busy discouraging believers; this did not disturb me, because I had gone with an open mind and prayed much to be clearly convinced if there was anything there that did not reveal the Glory of God that I would at once have cleared out and protested against it, but God was with me there. But I found the full Presence and Power to restore believers and to heal the sick. My experience is that this does not take place in some kinds of meetings, the reason is that, to a great measure, they do not believe the full Gospel, and it is nothing new to me to find great leaders against the tongues, and I find that, even in these times, “they cannot enter in because of their unbelief.” I praise God for Pentecost.
On Sunday morning, Oct. 26th, [Wigglesworth was mistaken – it was 27th Ed.] after waiting much on God, I went to the Salvation Army Meeting, Roker Avenue. God bless the Army. They at once gave me a welcome, and already realising His Presence in my body I longed for communion, and when after praying the Glory of God covered me. I was conscious at the same time of much the experience I believe Daniel had in his 10th chapter. After this I regained strength to kneel, and continued in this Holy Glow of God all the day still realising a mightier work to follow. I went to All Saints’, to the Communion Service, and after this was led on to wait in the Spirit, many things taking place in the waiting-meetings that continued to bring me to a hungry feeling for Holy Righteousness. At about 11 a.m., Tuesday morning, at All Saints’ Vicarage, I asked a sister to help me to witness of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. She laid hands on me in the presence of a brother. The fire fell and burned in me till the Holy Spirit clearly revealed absolute purity before God.
At this point she was called out of the room, and during her absence a marvellous revelation took place, my body became fill1 of light and Holy Presence, and in the revelation I saw an empty Cross and at the same time the Jesus I loved and adored crowned in the Glory in a Reigning Position. The glorious remembrance of these moments is beyond my expression to give-when I could not find words to express, then an irresistible Power filled me and moved my being till I found to my glorious astonishment I was speaking in other tongues clearly. After this a burning love for everybody filled my soul. I am overjoyed in giving my testimony, praying for those that fight this truth, but I am clearly given to understand that I must come out of every unbelieving element. I am already witness of signs following. Praise Him.
* * *
From Stanley Frodsham’s ‘Smith Wigglesworth – Apostle of Faith,’ chapter 5.
At the time I received the Baptism in the Spirit, a meeting was going on in the large vestry of the All Saints’ Church, and I went straight to it. The vicar of the church, Pastor Boddy, had charge and he was speaking. I knew that as yet he had not received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and I interrupted him by saying, “Oh, please let me speak, Mr. Boddy; I have just received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.”
The place was full of people. I can’t remember what I said, but I know I made all those people extremely dissatisfied and discontented with their position. They said, “We have been rebuking this man because he was so intensely hungry, but he has come in for a few days and has received the Baptism and some of us have been waiting here for months and have not yet received.” A great hunger came upon them all. From that day God began to pour out His Spirit until in a very short while fifty had received the Baptism.
The first thing I did was to telegraph to my home saying “I have received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and have spoken in tongues.” On the train to my home town, the Devil began questioning, “Are you going to take this to Bradford?” As regards my feelings at the moment, I had nothing to take, but the just do not live by feelings but by faith. So I shouted out on the railroad coach to everybody’s amazement, “Yes, I’m taking it!” A great joy filled me as I made this declaration, but somehow I knew that from that moment it would be a great fight all the time.
When I arrived home one of my sons said to me, “Father, have you been speaking in tongues?” I replied, “Yes, George.” “Then let’s hear you,” he said. But I could say nothing, for although I had received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, I had not received the distinct gift of tongues. That did not come until nine months later.
My son did not understand that the speaking with tongues which accompanies the receiving of the Baptism in the Spirit is not the “gift of tongues” spoken of in I Corinthians 12. The former is given as evidence that the Spirit has come in Pentecostal fullness; but there may not be any further utterance in tongues unless there is a special anointing of the Spirit. The “gift of tongues,” however, is such that the receiver may use it for prayer or praise at any time.
My wife said to me, “So you’ve been speaking with tongues, have you?” I replied, “Yes.” “Well,” she said, “It want you to understand that I am as much baptised as you are and I don’t speak in tongues.” I saw that the contest was beginning right at home. “I have been preaching for twenty years,” she continued, “and you have sat beside me on the platform, but on Sunday you will preach yourself, and I’ll see what there is in it.”
She kept her word. On Sunday she took a seat at the back of the building. We had always sat together on the platform until that day. So the contest had begun tight in the church.
There were three steps up to the platform and as I went up those three steps the Lord gave me the scripture in Isaiah 61: 1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” I was no preacher, but hearing the voice of my Lord speaking those words to me, I began. I cannot now remember what I said but my wife was terribly disturbed. The bench on which she sat would seat nine people and she moved about on it until she had sat on every part of it. Then she said in a voice that all around her could hear, “That’s not my Smith, Lord, that’s not my Smith!”
I was giving out the last hymn when the secretary of the mission stood up and said, “I want what our leader has received.” The strange thing was that when he was about to sit down he missed his seat and went right down on the floor. Then my eldest son arose and said he wanted what his father had and he, too, took his seat right down on the floor. In a short while there were eleven people tight on the floor of that mission. The strangest thing was that they were all laughing in the Spirit and laughing at one another. The Lord had really turned again the captivity of Zion and the mouth of His children was being filled with laughter according to the word of the Lord in Psalm 126: I, 2.
That was the beginning of a great outpouring of the Spirit where hundreds received the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and everyone of them spoke in tongues as the Spirit of God gave utterance.