Wingate 159
restraint―let out his long pent-up powers and pressed home on his
hearers the great truth of his text. I felt that he had seen a vision more
impressive than the great sheet let down from heaven, seen by Simon
Peter on the housetop; that he had heard a voice, and that the Lord had
anointed him to preach that sermon. He talked on the same subject at
night. Monday afternoon, after the college exercises were over, he
walked down to Forestville, went into the store of Bro. David Allen,
and looked him in the face as he stood behind the counter and
repeated the text and began to preach the sermon to him. Soon
Brother Allen was crying. This occurred about thirty years ago, and as
I write my heart `burns within me,' and I am blinded by tears, and I
am forced to get up and walk my floor and wish that I had the power
to describe the sermon. But I cannot. The prophet that has seen the
vision―he alone can tell it....
"The secret of his success as a preacher seems to me to be this: He
was endowed with great intellectual ability. He was a broad man and
had a large horizon. His English was pure and idiomatic. His voice as
sweet as the notes of a flute. He believed fully what he preached and
he lived what he preached. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and
He had anointed him to preach the gospel. It was as fire in his bones'."
Great as was Wingate as a preacher, he was not a preacher and
nothing more. He had other qualities not inferior which greatly
contributed to his success as a college president. He loved all men,
and in particular the students under his charge. His sympathy went out
to them. Though his own heart was guileless he knew the wiles by
which young men are led into evil ways, and when he saw any one in
danger he put a guard about him, often in ways that the young man
did not suspect. The students' interests were his interests, and when he
met them, except for the fact that his very presence was transforming,
he met them on
That the estimates quoted above of Wingate's powers as a preacher are not too
high is shown by the fact that like appraisals of them were given by Dr. T. H.
Pritchard in his obituary note in the Biblical Recorder of March 5, 1879, and in
succeeding numbers of the same paper by Dr. J. D. Hufham, Dr. A. McDowell, and
other able and discriminating men.
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