The Review and Herald


February 27, 1866

Our Late Experience



When we left Battle Creek for Dansville we did not feel that in order to regain health we must leave our religion behind. We felt that if ever we needed the consolations of faith and hope, it was in our time of severe affliction. Three times a day we had special seasons of prayer for the Lord to restore my husband to health, and for his special grace to sustain us in our affliction. These seasons of prayer were very precious to us. Our hearts were often filled with unspeakable gratitude that it was our privilege to call God our Father; that amid our affliction we had a heavenly Father in whom we could trust without fear, who was acquainted with all our distresses; one who had invited us in helplessness and affliction to lean upon his strong arm for strength and support. RH February 27, 1866, par. 1

My husband could obtain but little rest or sleep nights. He suffered with the most extreme nervousness. I could not sew or knit in his room, or converse but very little, as he was easily agitated, and his brain confused almost beyond endurance. He required almost constant care, and the Lord gave me strength according to my need. I was wonderfully sustained. Many nights when my husband was suffering with pain, unable to rest or sleep, have I left my bed at midnight and bowed before God and earnestly prayed for him to grant us this token of his love and care—that my husband might realize the soothing influence of his Holy Spirit, and find rest in sleep. For ten nights in succession, when it was impossible for him to rest or sleep, we had the evidence that God heard us pray, and my husband would drop into a quiet sleep. We frequently felt such a refreshing from the presence of God, that although it was in the still hours of the night, our Saviour seemed so precious that we praised God aloud without fear or restraint. And as we awoke refreshed in the morning, our first moments of wakefulness were generally spent in praise and thankfulness to God for the blessing of rest and sleep. RH February 27, 1866, par. 2

My husband was of good courage nearly all the time he was at Dansville, although he was a sufferer. During the last few weeks that we were there, we had better rooms, in a much more pleasant house, than we had previously occupied. Our rooms were now upon the first floor, which made quite a difference in my labor, as heretofore I had been obliged to ascend a flight of stairs. RH February 27, 1866, par. 3

We could truly say that our affliction had been a blessing to us, for we had time to examine our hearts, and carefully review our past lives, which was profitable for us. Our whole souls were drawn out after God—for an entire conformity to his will. I obtained but little rest or sleep nights. I was nurse and attendant to my husband, and the responsibility of his case seemed to rest principally upon me. He was fast losing flesh and strength. As dyspepsia pressed heavily upon him, he would cease to eat things which gave evidence of disturbing his stomach, till he was brought in his diet to simple Graham mush, and unleavened cakes without salt, milk, or sugar. RH February 27, 1866, par. 4

November 26, at our season of prayer in the morning, we were led out to pray fervently that God would especially bless my husband, and give him a large measure of his Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God rested upon us, and we were especially revived and strengthened in the Lord, and we united our voices in praise to God. As my husband was unable to walk up the hill to take his meals in the institution, Eld. Loughborough kindly performed the office of waiter, and brought our meals to us in a basket. My birth-day dinner consisted of Graham mush, hard Graham crackers, applesauce, sugar, and a cup of milk. And the 26th of November was a cheerful, happy day for me. I felt the peace of God abiding upon me, and that night spent much of the time in prayer to God for my husband November 27, Eld. Loughborough came into our room and united with us in family prayer. We all had an unusual spirit of prayer. Heaven seemed very near. We felt the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God; not a cloud intervened between us and our Saviour, and unspeakable gratitude filled our hearts, and we could not hold our peace. We shouted the high praise of God for his rich and precious blessing which was by us more highly prized than any earthly treasure. How rich, how exceedingly precious, seemed the promises of God! We could thank him for affliction. For more than one hour we could only rejoice and triumph in God. Especially did my afflicted husband share largely in this shower of grace. His countenance, though emaciated by disease, was radiant with a holy light as he praised God with a loud voice. Angels of God seemed to be all around us. I thought that the time had come and when my husband, in the strength of God would rise above disease and triumph in his saving power. The influence of this heavenly refreshing seemed to abide with us many days. But we had to learn that the time for our deliverance had not yet come; but that this great blessing was to prepare us for still greater trials. RH February 27, 1866, par. 5

December 4th, my husband passed a restless, suffering night. I prayed by his bedside as usual, but the Lord was not pleased to answer our prayers. He was troubled in mind. He thought that he might go down into the grave. He stated that death had no terrors to him. RH February 27, 1866, par. 6

The reform my husband had made in his diet, previous to his sickness, had a very beneficial influence upon his health. His head was generally free from pain and never felt clearer. By eating no meat, but grains, fruits and vegetables, simply cooked, his appetite was good, and he partook of his food with a keen relish. His brain felt so clear that he thought it safe for him to labor on, trusting much to the beneficial influence of his simple diet; and in addition to the labors and burdens he had hitherto borne, he added the Health Reform—making extra efforts to teach Sabbath-keeping Adventists how to live to preserve health and enjoy the blessing of God. RH February 27, 1866, par. 7

December 4th, before referred to, I felt intensely. I did not believe for a moment that my husband would die. But how was he to be inspired with faith to feel and say, “I shall not die, but live to declare the works of the Lord?” That night was the most distressing I had experienced during his illness. I did not sleep, but pondered the matter in my mind in regard to our future course. Previous to this night, I had not thought of leaving Dansville. I saw that the courage, hope, and buoyancy of spirits which had sustained my husband were failing. I had been remarkably sustained to endure anxiety, and the care of him during his sickness. He was considerate of my health and strength. Yet his case required constant care. I knew that no one at Dansville could take my place; and I had so long had the burden and care of his case that I could not leave for others to do that which I had considered not only a duty but a privilege to do for my afflicted husband. I did not consider this a task—it was to me a privilege. I have been nearly all my life an invalid, and tenderly, and patiently has he sympathized with and watched over, and taken care of me when I was suffering, and now my turn had come to repay in a small measure the attention and kind offices I had received. And again, I felt such a degree of the peace of God, and the consolations of his Spirit in the happy performance of my duty that I can say from the heart that I would not exchange the blessings and valuable experience I have obtained during the last six months, for those of the same length of time in any former period of my life. RH February 27, 1866, par. 8

I feared that I could not long endure being deprived of sleep so much, nights, and the additional tax upon my strength of taking treatment; and if I failed, where would my husband drop? Who would care for him as I had done? RH February 27, 1866, par. 9

Our accommodations were as good as we could expect, and we were very grateful that they were as pleasant and comfortable. But our rooms were small and inconvenient for our family, and with a cold winter before us, I could not see how we could be made comfortable and happy. My husband was losing flesh and strength every day. I thought of our large and convenient house at Battle Creek, with its high and airy rooms, and asked myself the question, Would we not make more rapid progress toward health were we at our own home? I thought of the large reservoir of hot water upon our stove—ready for use at any time, and our immense cistern of soft water, and our filter in the cellar, our various bathing pans, and bath room fitted up with a stove. But all these convenient things had but little weight in my mind compared with my anxiety to get my husband, while I could, among his tried brethren who knew him, and who had been benefited by his labors, and were acquainted with the perseverance and zeal with which he had toiled to do the work of God, that he might be found at his post. His faithful brethren could sympathize with, and help him by their prayers and faith. I prayed God to guide me, and not suffer me to take one wrong step; but to give me wisdom to choose the right course. The more earnestly I prayed, the stronger was the conviction fastened upon my mind that I must take my husband among his brethren, even if we should again return to Dansville. But my course seemed plain to take him to Rochester, and try the effect of the journey, and if this proved beneficial, to go still further, even to Battle Creek, after a short stay at Rochester. I said not a word to my husband of the exercise of my mind. He had not even thought he could leave Dansville in his reduced state. RH February 27, 1866, par. 10

In the morning Dr. Lay called, and I told him that unless there should be a decided improvement in the case of my husband in two or three weeks, at most, I should take him home. He answered, “You cannot take him home, he is not able to endure such a journey.” I answered, I shall go; I shall take my husband by faith, relying upon God, and shall make Rochester my first point, tarry there a few days, and then go on to Detroit, and if necessary, tarry there a few days to rest, and then to Jackson and rest there a short time, and then go on to Battle Creek. This was the first intimation my husband had of my intentions. He said not a word. RH February 27, 1866, par. 11

The same day I saw Dr. Jackson at his home and he kindly granted me an interview. I stated the case to him, and told him I had thoughts of taking my husband home. He advised me to take him to a nearer point than Battle Creek, and try the experiment of journeying; and if it worked favorably it might be the best thing I could do; but advised me to return if he got better, and continue the use of water. I mentioned to Dr. Jackson that an invitation had been sent me from our friends in Rochester to attend their Monthly Meeting to be held the next Sabbath, and if my husband was able, to have him come also; and that they further stated that they did not make this request for us to labor or have any burden of the meeting, but they were very desirous to see us among them, and thought we might gain courage, and the journey and the change might be beneficial to our health. Dr. Jackson gave consent, and expressed his opinion that we might have a few days of pleasant weather, and it would be well to improve it. He thought it would do us good. RH February 27, 1866, par. 12

Should we attend the Monthly Meeting at Rochester, we must leave Dansville the next Monday. I made known our intention to Eld. Loughborough, who was surprised at this sudden move; but as he considered the matter it all looked right to him. My husband soon began to manifest anxiety to go to Rochester. That evening we packed our trunks and before 9 o'clock were all ready for an early start the next morning. My husband slept none that night. In the morning it looked rather discouraging in regard to taking out a sick man. We had a drizzling rain storm. But we choose rather to risk the consequences of going than staying after we had made the decision to go. We took hastily an early breakfast, and between 7 and 8 o'clock were on our way to Wayland, a distance of seven miles, in an open carriage. We traveled on, trusting in God as our helper. RH February 27, 1866, par. 13

My husband endured the journey well to Wayland, and there lay down in the depot and rested until the cars came which were to take us to Rochester. He had been unable to have the temperature of his room above 60 degrees. Heat had a powerful influence upon his brain. He dreaded riding on the cars very much, because of their heated atmosphere. But the way seemed providentially prepared for us. As the train came along we saw a sleeping-car attached, and we begged the privilege of taking our seats in it, which was granted. Here we found as good conveniences as we could ask for. My husband rode comfortably to Rochester, where Bro. Orton with his easy, convenient hack, was waiting at the depot, the arrival of the train. He took us to the house of his son-in-law, Bro. J. B. Lamson, about three miles distant. RH February 27, 1866, par. 14

All who are acquainted with my husband know that his cautiousness, conscientiousness, and benevolence, have been large and active, and ruling traits in his character, and have been special blessings in qualifying him for his business career in connection with the work and advancement of the cause of present truth. But in the debilitated and excitable state of his nervous system during his illness, these special developments, which had been a blessing to him in health, were painfully excitable, and a hindrance to his recovery. RH February 27, 1866, par. 15

During the three weeks that we were in Rochester, much of the time was spent in prayer. My husband proposed sending to Maine for Eld. J. N. Andrews—to Olcott for Bro. and Sr. Lindsay, and to Roosevelt, requesting those who had faith in God, and felt it their duty, to come and pray for him. These friends came in answer to his call, and for ten days we had special and earnest seasons of prayer. All who engaged in these seasons of prayer were greatly blessed. They not only felt a burden of prayer for my husband, but in their own behalf. With brokenness of spirit, with their faces bathed in tears would these servants of God entreat that a deep work of grace might be wrought in their own hearts. Shouts of victory, and praise to God ascended to Heaven for his tokens of love and acceptance. I never enjoyed greater freedom in prayer. We had the assurance that our petitions were heard. We were often so refreshed with heavenly showers of grace that we could say, “My cup runneth over.” We could weep and praise God for his rich salvation. RH February 27, 1866, par. 16

My husband was often especially blessed as he ventured to believe God and trust in his power to save. At times he seemed free and happy, but with dyspepsia pressing upon him he seemed unable to retain hopeful feelings, and in faith to calmly trust in God at all times, claiming his precious promises as his. Those who came from Roosevelt were obliged soon to return to their homes. Bro. Andrews, and Bro. and sister Lindsay, still remained. We continued our earnest supplications to Heaven. It seemed to be a struggle with the powers of darkness. Sometimes the trembling faith of my husband would grasp the promises of God, and sweet and precious was the victory then enjoyed. Then again his mind seemed depressed, and to be too weak to hold the victory he had gained. RH February 27, 1866, par. 17

Every season of prayer increased in interest, and every one who took part in them felt repaid for their efforts in drawing near to God, and praying for my husband, by the work which they felt was wrought for their own souls. Bro. Andrews especially felt the burden of the case, and labored earnestly in faith, while the power of the Holy Spirit seemed to indite prayer. Every member of our family consecrated themselves anew to God. Our dear children united with us in this work of consecration, which was well wet down with tears. Bro. and sister Lindsay were refreshed and strengthened by the blessing of Heaven. Bro. and sister Orton's, and Bro. and sister Lamson's hearts were more firmly united with ours; and we all shared in a work of grace that was being wrought for us. I felt the assurance that we should come forth from the furnace of affliction purified. RH February 27, 1866, par. 18

Once at the house of Bro. Andrews, while engaged in a season of prayer I felt like presenting my case to the Lord, entreating him to give me health of body, and strength of mind. All present seemed to make my case a special subject of prayer. I felt a sweet, heavenly settling into God. A heavenly atmosphere pervaded the room. Since that time I have not been troubled with tenderness of the stomach; and my food has not hurt me. RH February 27, 1866, par. 19

Christmas evening as we were humbling ourselves before God, and earnestly pleading for deliverance, the light of Heaven seemed to shine upon us, and I was wrapt in a vision of God's glory. It seemed that I was borne quickly from earth to Heaven, where all was health, beauty, and glory. Strains of music fell upon my ear, melodious, perfect, and enchanting. I was permitted to enjoy this scene a while before my attention was called to this dark world. Then my attention was called to things transpiring here upon this earth, which I shall not attempt to relate here, but may give them at some future time. I had an encouraging view of the case of my husband, the particulars of which will be presented hereafter. RH February 27, 1866, par. 20

My husband then proposed our returning to Battle Creek the next week on Monday, New Year's evening. He had been unable to sit up long at a time. At times the journey looked large to him, and his fears would sometimes arise that he might be too weak to accomplish such a journey. But I felt the evidence that the Lord would go with us on our journey, and bring us safely to our home again. RH February 27, 1866, par. 21

New Year's morning was not as pleasant as we wished to see. The appearance of the clouds indicated a storm, and we could not forget the heavy snow storm just two years previous. Circumstances did not seem to favor our starting for Battle Creek. But my mind seemed fixed that we must go; so we were to take the cars that night about 10 o'clock. We took our seats in the carriage to convey us to the depot, believing that we were moving in the path of duty. Bro. Andrews kindly offered to accompany us to Battle Creek if it would relieve me of a burden; but I told him that I wished to go, trusting alone in God to sustain us. Several brethren and sisters accompanied us to the cars, and remained with us till we started. RH February 27, 1866, par. 22

We felt that angels of God were all around us. We went comfortably and safely to the Falls where we changed for a sleeping-car. My husband did not sleep, but he felt cheerful and happy. All appearance of a storm disappeared soon after we had taken our seats in the cars, and we had pleasant weather through the entire journey. I felt too much responsibility to sleep much. The words RH February 27, 1866, par. 23

“Gentle angels round me glide,
Hopes of glory round me bide,”
RH February 27, 1866, par. 24

were in my mind much of the time during the night. My husband arose in the morning feeling better than usual. He was cheerful, and of good courage. We prepared for him his simple breakfast of mush and gems, which we warmed on the stove. We could not make it very palatable to him; he ate but very little.

We were prospered on our journey—made connections all right, and came on most comfortably. My husband enjoyed the journey, for he realized that the sustaining hand of God was beneath him. On the arrival of the train at Battle Creek, we met several of our faithful brethren who received us gladly. As we entered our own home again, we met several faithful sisters who had labored all day, heating the rooms, airing bedding, and cooking food, so that when we came we should have nothing to do but rest and enjoy our home. We found the table ready for us to be seated, and partake of refreshments about 5 o'clock, which we needed, as we had tasted nothing since our breakfast in the morning. Faithful hands had prepared dinner for us at 2 o'clock, expecting us on the arrival of an earlier train. RH February 27, 1866, par. 25

My husband rested well through the night. The next Sabbath, although feeble, he walked to the meeting-house and spoke about three-quarters of an hour. We also attended the communion season in the evening. The Lord strengthened him as he walked out upon his faith. We felt grateful to God that we were again in the midst of our dear people in Battle Creek. When my husband was first afflicted they felt that the stroke had fallen upon them. Our affliction they made their own. They stood faithfully by our side, and how truly and tenderly did they seek to relieve me of every burden which they could take. Day and night for the first five weeks of our affliction were they unremitting in their care and attention. And when we left for Dansville that burden and interest for us did not cease. They had frequent, and stated seasons of prayer for us, the poor afflicted servants of Christ. We find them the same—manifesting a kind and heart-felt sympathy for us in our affliction. They are ready to bear our burdens as far as it is possible for them so to do. They have offered us liberal donations which we declined, as we at present do not need pecuniary aid. A number who have faith, meet together every week, and engage in earnest, fervent prayer to God for the restoration of my husband to health. May God reward the faithfulness of this dear people, is our prayer. RH February 27, 1866, par. 26

My husband is improving. He is not troubled as much with nervousness, anxiety, and fears. He suffers but little pain, but we cannot see that he gains in flesh. His stomach is gaining in strength, and takes care of food better. He is now venturing out in diet slowly—eats some fruit. His appetite is good, and he enjoys his food. The weather has not been favorable for him to ride or walk out much. We improve every pleasant day, and take him out to ride several miles in the country. He rode one day eight miles to Bro. Godsmark's, took dinner and returned the same day. RH February 27, 1866, par. 27

I believe, without a doubt, in the perfect and entire restoration of my husband to health. The Lord is for us, praise his holy name! Although Satan has tried to press us sore, yet help has been laid upon one that is mightier than he, and in the name of Jesus, our great Deliverer, shall we come off conquerors. RH February 27, 1866, par. 28

We still ardently desire the fervent prayers of God's people, that we may be sustained in, and delivered from, our present affliction. RH February 27, 1866, par. 29