The Life and Experiences of a Layman by Charles Boller

Pages 83 - 87

"Then you, O Lord, may look upon
 Sins and misdeeds that I have done
 Who can keep them from your sight?

"And though it lasts on through the night,
 And again until the morning
 My heart shall rest within God's might
 Neither doubt nor care disarming;
 As Jacob did, so I shall do
 Kneeling down in prayer to you
 Until he earned your blessing."

Praise God! The Lord helped. The beloved Savior saw my dangerous situation, had mercy on me and delivered me in the following way. We had made up our minds to go to the Adirondack Mountains because of my illness for three or four weeks in order to spend some time in seclusion. But an inner voice, clear and convincing, said to me: "This time take your laden hearts to Linwood Park, the Mecca of the Evangelical Community." I followed the voice of the Lord.

The first sermon hit the mark. Those lovely thoughts I held within my heart of martyring and innocence and the onus that the Lord knew my intentions and motives in the entire matter from A to Z, were crushed.

I saw that all this did not help me.

The second sermon was mightily accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, which took away all my supports and crutches and soon after had me crying out loud: That's what I'm missing, namely the full cleansing of all sins and of all formal, frivolous, artless and graceless Christianity. If I became a holy child of God, as the sermon proposed to me, then I would be victorious over all bitterness which I encountered.

The third sermon crushed my heart. Involuntarily I threw myself upon the mercy of my loving savior. In other words, I gathered together my guilt and innocence, my bad feelings, envy, resentment and bitterness which had raged within me since the New York Conference, no longer paying heed to the devil and casting my whole bundle of sins along with my sinful heart in faith upon the altar of my savior. May God forever be praised; he graciously accepted my offering and helped me. He washed me clean in his precious blood; he cleansed me of all my sins and of all things gnawing away at my heart and plaguing me since

the meeting of the New York Conference. Then the spirit-rich song was sung twice:
                  "Everything is given by God
                  To him all things belong."

Since my return from Linwood Park the powerful sermons are a true comfort for my delivered soul.

I have a request, namely that my brothers and sisters may be inclined to pray for me, their aged brother. It is my wish and my daily prayer that the Lord may deliver me ever further into the ocean of his love, and allow me to experience the sanctification which is there to be experienced and enjoyed by his children.


31. Afraid of the Pastor


In the middle of the summer of the year 1907 one of my workers was sick. He had worked for 38 years in my factory and I could scarcely operate without him. It became known that Aug. Beilfuss (so the worker was named) had taken himself to a accomplished physician, who advised him to immediately go to the hospital. I promptly went to the doctor to find out what was wrong with him.

After having a conversation with him I was convinced that my worker suffered from a fatal cancer. He was operated on without success. I often visited him and talked with him about the health of his soul. He was of the opinion that he might return to work for a couple of weeks. I asked him: "But August, it is also a possibility that you may die. Are you ready to appear before God?" God's Word and the precious promise would sustain him as he read in his sickbed and meditated. There was winter and then summer returned and his illness became ever more severe. At one visit he said to me, "I am now ready and happy." I asked him, "Tell me, has your pastor been here to visit you? Or doesn't he know you're sick?" He answered "Oh no. That would create a lot a work if he came, so my wife and daughter say." I said to him: "Yes, you can go to your beloved savior without the minister. The savior alone can wash away your sins with his blood, which flowed from the cross for you too." I gladly would have asked him if I should send my minister.

As I got into my automobile the thought came to me to go to the pastor myself and a short time later I rang the doorbell of the parsonage on Hickory Street. The door opened and I asked for an appointment to speak with the pastor and I gave the lady of the house my card. The lady responded that the pastor had a spot open this afternoon, etc. I asked her to let him know that A. Beilfuss of Emslie St., a member of his congregation, was very sick, that this man had worked for me for thirty-eight years and I thought a great deal of him. She replied, "Please, Mr. Boller, has his family asked you to invite the pastor to come?" I answered, "No, Ma'am, they did not." She said after my reply, "Mr. Boller, you have no idea how the people here in Buffalo are. The entire family has a real fear if the pastor comes to the house. Whenever someone is sick and the pastor comes they think it means that they will die right away. And what should he say about who sent him?" I answered that he might say that his old boss Chas. Boller sent him. I'll take the responsibility completely upon myself.

The next week I visited the sick man again.

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Text provided by Lockwood Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, BX8080.B65

Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks