ABOUT SMITH WIGGLESWORTH
Smith Wigglesworth had a plumbing business in
Bradford, England. Every Tuesday he would take people to Leeds to a group who practiced
divine healing because they could not persuade Smith that the people could be healed in
Bradford. Smith's wife Polly was healed in Leeds.
One day the leaders decided to go to the
Keswick Convention and leave Smith in charge of the meetings at Bradford. Reluctantly
Smith agreed. He hoped to persuade another to preach but each person he asked insisted
that he must do it himself.
In that meeting, as Smith preached, he could
not remember what he said but fifteen came out for healing. The first man was instantly
healed after prayer. No one was more surprised than Smith himself. This encouraged the
others to believe God and they were all healed. Smith said that it was not his faith but
God helping in his hour of need. As a result, healing meetings were started in
The work grew and they moved to other
premises in Bowland Street. The text at the front read, "I am the Lord that healeth
thee" and was an inspiration to many. A brother with a healing ministry came and was
invited home for tea. Polly asked, "What would you think of a man who preaches divine
healing, yet he himself uses medical means every day?" "I should say that man
did not fully trust the Lord" was the answer. After the meal Smith told that he had
suffered from hemorrhoids since childhood and used salts every day. They agreed to trust
God for healing and, from that time forward, his system functioned naturally without any
After this, Smith and his wife, Polly made a pledge to
God, "From henceforth no medicine, no doctors, no drugs of any kind shall come into
our house." Not long afterwards, Smith was gripped by a violent pain and was brought
home. He and Polly prayed all night but, as he was worse, he thought it was his "home
call." Smith reminded her of their agreement that, if one received a "home
call," the other would send for the doctor to avoid the embarrassment of an inquest
and the condemnation of outsiders.
The doctor diagnosed Smith with appendicitis
in an advanced state. The only hope would be an immediate operation but his body was
probably too weak. The doctor left, promising to return later. An elderly lady and a young
man came and prayed. The young man laid his hands on Smith and cried, "Come out,
devil, in the name of Jesus." Smith testified, "To my surprise the devil came
out and I felt as well as I had ever been." He went downstairs and told his surprised
wife, "I am healed." Answering a lady who left an urgent message in need for a
plumber Smith went to help her.
While he was out the doctor returned and
pronounced, "They will bring him back a corpse!" That "corpse"
preached the gospel in many parts of the world for another 40 years. He was instrumental
in bringing thousands of people to salvation, baptism in the Spirit and healing in God.
About twenty people were raised from the dead during Smith's ministry. He believed great
trials lead to a deeper experience with God. "Only melted gold is minted" was
one of his sayings.
HIS EARLY LIFE
Smith was born in 1859 and at the age of seven he was
working twelve hours a day with his father to supplement the family finances. As a result
he had little education. He was born again at eight and immediately sought to win others
to Jesus Christ. His mother was his first convert.
Smith was called by God to, "Come
out." First from the Methodist, then the Anglican, Brethren, Salvation Army and so
on. He ministered in Elim and Assemblies of God but he remained independent of any
His wife Polly was a great help, teaching him
to read and write. Smith slipped back when his business prospered and God used her to
restore him. He had a violent temper but God gave him victory.
In 1907, when he was 48, he was baptized in
the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. His wife was a good preacher and she had tried
without much success to help Smith. She, and many others, were surprised at his fluency
after the baptism in the Spirit.
read little other than the Bible. He waited for the Spirit to direct him to a particular
passage for his ministry. He often gave a short message in tongues which he immediately
Frequently he would quote a
"Only believe" was one of his favorites. Another, which was his testimony, was,
"I know the Lord laid His hand on me. Filled! A flowing, quickening, moving flame of
Some examples of God's healing power would be
related. He believed his sermons should make his hearers either glad or mad! He would say,
"If you do not progress every day, you are backsliding.
When he was preaching in Norway, the town
hall was full and thousands were outside. He had prayed for something different to happen.
God said to him, "If you will ask Me, I will give you every soul." Smith knew it
was God but was slow to accept. He did ask and the Spirit swept over the place. He had
never seen anything like it. Many cried for mercy and he was convinced that God gave him
FAITH WHEN WE DO
Although Smith believed all sickness was from the
devil and everyone could be healed, there were some difficulties. The untimely death of
his wife in 1913 was a real blow. He commanded death to give her up. She said, "Smith
- the Lord wants me." "If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you" was his
response but he greatly missed her.
His daughter, Alice Salter frequently
traveled with him after Polly's death. Alice was deaf and was never healed. His youngest
son, George, went to be with the Lord in 1915.
Early in the 1930's an X-ray revealed Smith
was suffering from kidney stones. An immediate operation was necessary to avoid a painful
illness and eventual death. "Doctor, the God who made this body is the one who can
cure it. No knife shall ever cut it as long as I live" was his response. He endured
six years of pain before he was delivered. Later he suffered from sciatica which made
walking painful and often, he was more sick than the people he prayed for! At seventy
eight he ruptured badly and in 1944 he suffered a slight stroke. He was quickened in 1945
and was able to chair the Easter convention at Preston.
Early one morning in 1937 in South Africa,
Smith marched into the office of the secretary of the Apostolic Faith mission. He
prophesied what we now know as the Charismatic Revival. This man of 31 would play a major
part in it if he remained humble and faithful. At that time, there was considerable
antagonism between the established denominations and Pentecostals although there were some
refreshing exceptions. That man was David du Plessis. Smith also told him, "The day I
pass away, then you can begin to think about it."
In 1947 du Plessis went to the World Pentecostal Conference in Zurich. From that point on,
his ministry and influence developed.
Smith died on 12 March 1947 at the funeral of
Wilf Richardson. His ministry is summed up in his own words, "There are four
principles we need to maintain: First, read the Word of God. Second, consume the Word of
God until it consumes you. Third believe the Word of God. Fourth, act on the Word."
As George Stormont put it, "He lived so that people would only see