From “Remarkable Answers to Prayer,” by Patton, the following extract is made:
The author has received a letter from James H. Black-man of Sharon, Mass., (P. O. address at Canton, Mass.,) which is of extraordinary interest. Some of the facts have been given before, but never so fully as now. Slightly abridged, it is as follows, under date of Oct. 23, 1875:
“In the spring of 1870, my wife was taken sick with kidney-complaint. She continued to grow worse during the summer. I took a bottle of urine to Dr. Erasmus D. Miller, a celebrated physician of Boston, to be tested. He sent me a note saying: "Her disease is Bright’s disease of the kidneys, in a far advanced stage, and incurable.’ The water was afterward tested by several physicians, who coincided with Dr. Miller. An increase of albumen was apparent at every test, and the last, (a 2 oz. bottle,) tested by Dr. A. A. Holmes, of Canton, contained nothing but albumen. The water gradually decreased in quantity, and finally stopped altogether, and for two years nothing passed. It is well known that physicians do not profess to cure this disease.
During my wife’s illness her left limb became completely paralyzed, and withered away to the size of a man’s wrist in the largest place, without any feeling even to pins and boiling water. She tipped a milk pan of boiling water upon her feet, but did not know that this limb was scalded till she began to dress her well foot.
For three years and two months she did not walk; for two years she crept upon her knees, drawing the lame leg after her; and for the last year she moved herself around in a wheeled invalid chair. During these three years she was taken out of her bed in the morning and put in to it again at night. For the two years and four months no physician had been in the house, and she had taken no medicine, resorted to no bathing or rubber. She ate but once a day, and immediately vomited.
“During her sickness, God gave me a new heart, and I prayed for her conversion, which occurred in January 1874; and then for that of our daughter, which took place in February. Previously I was a Unitarian, unacquainted with evangelical doctrines. Not knowing that the Christian world had decided that the day of miracles had passed, in my ignorance and simplicity, I went to praying with faith in Christ’s promise, that my wife might be healed-my wife and daughter joining after their conversion.
God gave me the assurance that our prayers were accepted, and I became bold to say to others that she would soon walk. I made this declaration to James Jennison, Congregational minister at Canton, and he replied: “Why, you can’t expect God to do a miracle!
My assurance grew stronger and stronger, and filled me with joy and gratitude. Just then the water came back in large quantity, and on being tested by Dr. Holmes, proved free of albumen. On the morning of February 25, 1873, I prayed earnestly in secret, and then placed my wife on her knees at the family altar, and again prayed earnestly that she might walk.
At the close of the prayer she was unconscious, and apparently dead. She remained thus about three minutes, when she exclaimed: ‘I can walk! I know I can walk! Praise God, I can walk!’ She got up off her knees, and walked twice around the room, exclaiming: ‘Praise God, I can walk! Why don’t you praise God that I can walk?” Then we commenced shouting: ‘Glory to God!’ Oh, the rapture of that moment! We bowed before God and thanked Him for the great miracle He had performed.
“I opened the door, and she walked out upon the piazza; and about an hour afterward she walked out and shook hands with a neighbor, who was so surprised that he lost all power of speech. The paralyzed limb became immediately enlarged, and in a few days was plump and round, and stronger than the other. The appetite came back, the vomiting ceased, and Bright’s disease, with all its attendant pains, passed away.
She is in better health than ever before, and, like the impotent man at the Beautiful Gate, goes about leaping and praising God, often walking eight and ten miles a day without limping or fatigue.
“We got our faith by prayer and reading the promises. How could we, after having been born again, refuse to accept those promises as true? Our hearts had been given to Him, and we prayed for her recovery, that each might be enabled to go out into the world and make known the wonderful things God had done for us, in giving us clean hearts; and by the grace of God, so we will ever do.”