Robert Green was born and brought up a slave in Charleston, S.C. His master was a Methodist minister, who owned a large number of slaves, and was consequently very rich; but the act of emancipation suddenly reduced him to poverty. This reverse of fortune so overcame him, that he was taken immediately sick, and died soon after.
Robert had by this time become a first-class cook, and when freed, he went as cook on board a steamship running from Charleston to New York. This position he held for two years, after which he came to New York to live, and found no difficulty in getting and keeping a situation as cook in saloons or hotels. While engaged in this business he was taken sick with a rheumatic disease, which confined him to his bed for six months. After having spent all of his savings for doctors and nurses, he was carried to the Home, a helpless cripple; he could use neither hands nor feet.
One afternoon as we were visiting through the wards, finding him so very sick, we stopped by his bed, and began to talk with him about his soul, warning him to get ready for death. Until this time he had been careless and unconcerned about eternal things; but to find strangers so interested in his soul’s welfare, and the solemnity and earnestness with which the exhortation was delivered, so deeply impressed him, that he could not obliterate the effect from his mind. He slept none that night, for the solemn words kept ringing in his ears: “Get ready for death! Get ready for death!"
At one time during the night, he felt quite sure that he saw the same missionary standing by his bedside, repeating the same words: “You better get ready for death!“ He heard her voice, and knew it to be the same that warned him in the afternoon. The following day he would take no food, but said that he must fast and pray until the Lord had forgiven his sins. He was in great distress of soul, praying day and night for mercy.
The next Wednesday he asked if he might be taken into the chapel to the meeting. The doctor said he was not able to go; but he begged so hard that he finally consented; and two of the men helped him into the chapel. After the sermon, an invitation was given for sinners to come to the altar for prayer. Robert said he wanted to go, and the men helped him to the altar, where he began to cry for mercy.
The praying ones gathered around him, and carried his case to the Lord in mighty prayer. He had a hard struggle, but came off victorious. The blessing came in overwhelming power; he began to shout the praises of God, and asked to be helped on his feet. They told him he could not stand, and had better remain sitting. But he begged them to help him on his feet; so they raised him from the chair, and held him, while he continued to shout: “Glory to God! Glory to God!” Soon he told them to let him go, and, breaking away, he walked off a few steps, and stood shouting: “Glory to God!” for a few moments. Then he began walking to and fro in front of the altar, still shouting:
“Glory to God! He has converted my soul, and healed my body! I am a well man. Glory to God! He has converted my soul, and healed my body!”
The next day one of the doctors came into the ward, and left him some medicine. He said: “ Doctor, I don’t want any more medicine. The Lord has converted my soul, and healed my body.” “I heard,” said the doctor, “that you walked from the chapel into the ward yesterday; Are you well to-day? Let me see you walk!” Robert rose to his feet, and walked across the ward and back. “That will do,” said the doctor; “I guess you will be able to leave the Home soon.” And he did leave soon after, and engaged in his -former business. It is about four years since his conversion. He has enjoyed perfect health ever since, is a member in good standing in one of the churches, and continues faithfully following the Lord.
— Brands from the Burning
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893