Seven languages



A highly respected Methodist minister related the following to me. Languages had been his hobby and he was fluent in at least seven. Reading in the paper that extraordinary scenes of revival fervour were being experienced at Bowland Street Chapel, Bradford, and that some were professing to have the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy, he decided to investigate.

With much prayer that he might be clearly guided, he took a train to Bradford and entered the meeting at the moment when the whole congregation was audibly praising God together.

He kneeled with the rest of us, and few moments later was amazed to hear around him people speaking in rapturous praise and adoration to the Lord, in every one of those seven languages with which he was familiar.

He was dumbfounded. The people had been too occupied in their worship even to notice his entry or his kneeling among them. Certainly nobody present knew which languages he could speak. Then too, they were rejoicing in the death, resurrection and promised return of the Lord Jesus, extolling the efficacy of His cleansing blood and of His risen power. There were many things which he realised as Scriptural in that meeting, though he had never before seen them in practice.

Without saying a word he set out again for his home, and on the way found himself in a railway carriage alone, so took out his pipe and tobacco, and lit up in order to think over all he had seen and heard in Bowland Street meeting. A great longing took hold of him to be filled with the Holy Ghost, to be God-possessed and God-controlled. Then is occurred to him that that tobacco pipe was somehow not consistent with such a desire, so he threw his pipe and tobacco pouch out of the railway carriage window and falling on his knees, he cried to God to endue him too with power from on high. When his train arrived at the station where he was to alight, he found that he too was extolling the Lord Jesus in a new language which he had never learned.

From that time onward he often came into Bradford for times of fellowship, bringing with him members of his congregation, and I have heard him tell of the above experience on several occasions.


W. F. P. Burton


From: W. F. P. Burton, Signs following, pages 34-35