Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2

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Chapter 7—Call to Travel

After I came out of vision a gloom was spread over all I beheld. Oh! how dark this world looked to me. I related the vision to our little company in Portland, who then fully believed it to be of God. The Spirit of the Lord attended the testimony, and the solemnity of eternity rested upon us. About one week after this the Lord gave me another view, and showed me the trials I must pass through; that I must go and relate to others what he had revealed to me; that I should meet with great opposition, and suffer anguish of spirit. Said the angel, “The grace of God is sufficient for you; he will sustain you.” 2SG 35.1

This vision troubled me exceedingly. My health was very poor, and I was only seventeen years old. I knew that many had fallen through exaltation, and that if I in any way became exalted, the Lord would leave me, and I should surely be lost. I earnestly prayed that the burden might be laid on some other one. But all the light I could get was, “Make known to others what I have revealed to you.” I was unreconciled to go out into the world. I had naturally but little confidence. When I had the assurance that all was right between me and God, then my confidence was strong. I was then willing to do anything, and suffer anything; and relying upon the strength of God could declare the testimony without fear. But the work looked great, and the trials severe. The idea of a female traveling from place to place caused me to draw back. I looked with desire into the grave. Death appeared to me preferable to the responsibilities I should have to bear. 2SG 36.1

At length the Lord hid his face from me. I was again in darkness and despair. I feared that he had left me because I was unwilling to go and do his will. The company of believers in Portland sincerely sympathized with me. They seemed to understand my case, and while some sought to comfort me, others were faithful in warning me of my danger. I was afraid I had grieved the Spirit of the Lord from me for ever, and thought if he would reveal himself to me again, I would obey him, and would go anywhere. How small the opposition and frowns of men appeared to me then, compared with the frown of God. 2SG 36.2

The meetings were held at my father's house; but my distress of mind was so great that I absented myself from the meetings. This did not relieve me from the burden which weighed so heavily upon me, and again I attended the meetings. The church all united in earnest prayer for me, and once more I consecrated myself to the Lord, and felt willing to be used to his glory. While praying, the thick darkness that had enveloped me was scattered, a bright light, like a ball of fire, came towards me, and as it fell upon me, my strength was taken away. I seemed to be in the presence of Jesus and of angels. Again it was repeated, “Make known to others what I have revealed to you.” I earnestly begged that if I must go and relate what the Lord had shown me, that I might be kept from exaltation. Then an angel told me that my prayer was answered, and that if I should be in danger of exaltation, I should be afflicted with sickness. Said the angel, “If ye deliver the message faithfully, and endure unto the end, ye shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the river of the water of life.” 2SG 37.1

I then committed myself fully to God, to go at his bidding. Providentially the way opened for me to go to my sisters’ in Poland, thirty miles from home. I there had opportunity to bear my testimony. The Lord gave me strength. I had been able to talk but little for about three months. My lungs and throat were very sore. It was with the greatest difficulty that I could speak aloud. I stood up in meeting, and commenced in a whisper; and labored to speak for about five minutes, then the soreness seemed to leave my throat and lungs, and my voice was clear, and I could talk from two to three hours, and when my message was ended, my voice was gone until I stood before the people again. I frequently spoke over two hours. 2SG 38.1

Thus I journeyed for three months. The way opened for me to go to the eastern part of Maine. Bro. J. was obliged to go to Orington [Orrington] on business, and his sister accompanied him. I was urged to go with them, and relate my visions. It caused me some trial to go, but as I had promised the Lord that if he would open the way before me, I would walk in it, I dared not refuse. 2SG 38.2

At Orington [Orrington] I met Bro. White, and learned that J. had come for the purpose of taking to him his horse and sleigh. The Spirit of the Lord attended the message I bore, and the desponding were encouraged, and made to hope. 2SG 38.3

At Garland a large number collected from different places to hear my message. But I was in great heaviness. I had received a letter from my mother, begging me to return home, for false reports were being circulated concerning me. This I had not expected. My name had never been reproached. My cup of sorrow was full. I felt grieved that my mother should suffer on my account. She was very sensitive in regard to the reputation of her children. If there had been any opportunity I should have returned immediately home, and by my presence contradicted these lying reports. I thought it would be impossible for me to speak that night. I was urged to trust in the Lord, but could not be comforted. At length the brethren engaged in prayer for me, and the blessing of the Lord rested upon me, and I had great freedom in bearing my testimony. I felt that an angel of God was standing by my side to strengthen me. Sweet heart-felt shouts of glory and victory went up from that house. Jesus was in our midst, and our hearts burned with his love. 2SG 39.1

At Exeter a heavy burden rested upon me, which I could not be free from until I related what I had been shown concerning some fanatical persons present, who were exalted by the spirit of Satan. I mentioned that I must soon return home, and that I had seen that these fanatical persons were anxious to visit Portland; but they had no work to do there; that they would injure the cause if they went, by carrying things to extremes; that they were deceived in regard to the Spirit they possessed. This seemed to cause some great trial. My testimony cut directly across their anticipated course, and they became jealous of me, and secretly held bitter feelings against me. 2SG 39.2

From Exeter we went to Atkinson. One night I was shown something that I did not understand. It was to this effect, that we were to have a trial of our faith. The next day, which was the first day of the week, while I was speaking, two men looked into the window. We were satisfied of their object. They entered and rushed past me to Eld. Damman. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and his strength was taken away, and he fell to the floor helpless. The officer cried out, “In the name of the State of Maine, lay hold of this man.” Two seized his arms, and two his feet, and attempted to drag him from the room. They would move him a few inches only, and then rush out of the house. The power of God was in that room, and the servants of God with their countenances lighted up with his glory, made no resistance. The efforts to take Eld. D. were often repeated with the same effect. The men could not endure the power of God, and it was a relief to them to rush out of the house. Their number increased to twelve, still Eld. D. was held by the power of God about forty minutes, and not all the strength of those men could move him from the floor where he lay helpless. At the same moment we all felt that Eld. D. must go; that God had manifested his power for his glory, and that the name of the Lord would be further glorified in suffering him to be taken from our midst. And those men took him up as easily as they would take up a child, and carried him out. 2SG 40.1

After Eld. D. was taken from our midst he was kept in a hotel, and guarded by a man who did not like his office. He said that Eld. D. was singing, and praying, and praising the Lord all night, so that he could not sleep, and he would not watch over such a man. No one wished the office of guarding him, and he was left to go about the village as he pleased, after promising that he would appear for trial. Kind friends invited him to share their hospitalities. At the hour of trial Eld. D. was present. A lawyer offered his services. The charge brought against Eld. D. was, that he was a disturber of the peace. Many witnesses were brought to sustain the charge, but they were at once broken down by the testimony of Eld. D.’ s acquaintances present, who were called to the stand. There was much curiosity to know what Eld. D. and his friends believed, and he was asked to give them a synopsis of his faith. He then told them in a clear manner his belief from the Scriptures. It was also suggested that they sung curious hymns, and he was asked to sing one. There were quite a number of strong brethren present who had stood by him in the trial, and they joined with him in singing, 2SG 41.1

“When I was down in Egypt's land,
I heard my Saviour was at hand,” &c.
2SG 42.1

Eld. D. was asked if he had a spiritual wife. He told them he had a lawful wife, and he could thank God that she had been a very spiritual woman ever since his acquaintance with her. The cost of court, I think, was thrown upon him, and he was released. 2SG 42.2

Distracting influences have separated Eld. D. from his friends who believe the third message; but we hope the time is not far distant when he and many others in Maine will joyfully receive the message. 2SG 42.3

We returned to Portland, and then visited Topsham. Sister Frances Howland was very sick with rheumatic fever. She was under the doctor's care. Her hands were so swollen that we could not see the joints. Bro. Howland was asked if he had faith that F. could be healed in answer to prayer. He said, “I will believe.” Again he was asked, “Do you believe?” He answered, “I do.” Then prayer was offered to God in her behalf. We claimed the promise, “Ask and ye shall receive.” Sister F. was in the chamber above. She had not stood on her feet for two weeks. The Spirit of the Lord indited prayer. We had the assurance of God's willingness to heal the afflicted one. Bro. D. cried out in the Spirit, and power of God, “Is there some sister here who has faith enough to go and take her by the hand, and bid her arise in the name of the Lord?” Sister C. was on her way as the words were spoken. She ascended the stairs with the Spirit of the Lord upon her, and took F. by the hand, saying, “Sister Frances, in the name of the Lord arise and be whole.” Sister F. acted out her faith, rose from her bed and stood upon her feet, and walked the room praising the Lord that she was healed. She dressed and came down into the room where we were, her countenance lighted up with the blessing of God. 2SG 42.4

The next morning sister F. sat at the breakfast table with us. And as Bro. White was reading for family worship, from James, chapter 5, the doctor came into the entry, and as usual ascended the stairs to visit his patient. But he could not find her. He hurried down, opened the door leading into the large kitchen where we were sitting, his patient in the midst. He looked astonished, and said, “Frances is better.” Bro. Howland answered, “The Lord has healed her,” and Bro. White resumed his reading, which had been interrupted, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray for him,” &c. The doctor nodded and left the room. The same day she rode three miles, and returned home in the evening. It was rainy, but she received no injury. A few days after, at her request, Bro. White led her down into the water and baptized her. 2SG 43.1

At this time Bro. Wm. H. Hyde was very sick with the bloody dysentery. His symptoms were alarming. A physician said that unless he received help in a short time, his case was hopeless. There was much unbelief and darkness in the place where he was staying, and we wished to get him away where there was more faith. We prayed for him around the bedside, that the Lord would raise him up and give him strength to leave that place. He was blessed and strengthened, and rode four miles. After he arrived at Bro. P.’s he grew worse, and seemed to be sinking every hour. Some things had hindered faith in his case. Faithful testimony was borne to him, and humble confessions were made on his part, where he had erred, and a few who had faith were permitted to enter his room. Our earnest, fervent prayers went up to God, that the progress of disease might be stayed, and then faith grasped still more, immediate restoration. God's children seemed to groan in spirit. Such a reaching out after God and bringing the promises near, I have seldom witnessed. The salvation of God was revealed. Power from on high rested upon our sick brother, and upon those in the room. He called for his clothes, arose and dressed himself, and walked out of the room, praising God, with the light of heaven shining in his countenance. A farmer's dinner was ready. Said Bro. H., “If I was well I should partake of this food, and I believe God has healed me, and shall act out my faith.” He ate heartily, and it did not hurt him. 2SG 44.1

From Topsham we went to Portland, and quite a number from the east were there, some of the very individuals to whom I had borne my testimony in Exeter, that it was not their duty to visit Portland. We trembled for the church, for they were in danger through these fanatical spirits. They trusted every impression, and laid aside reason and judgment. My heart ached for God's people. Oh must they be thus deceived, and led away by a false spirit! Warnings had but little effect, only to make those warned jealous of me. 2SG 45.1

The false burdens and impressions of others might have led me away from duty, but the Lord had previously shown me my duty where to go, and, although young and inexperienced, preserved me from falling, by giving me special directions who to fear, and who to trust. Were it not for this, I can now see many times where I might have been led from the path of duty. 2SG 45.2

About this time I was shown that I must visit New Hampshire. My sister's husband's sister accompanied me. She was faithful to me, kind and attentive, ever ready with the care of a sister to sympathize with me in all my trials, and to cheer me in my despondency and gloom. Bro. Files and his wife and Bro. White accompanied us. A distracted state of things existed in New Hampshire, yet the Lord often manifested his power there. 2SG 46.1

It was in New Hampshire that we had our first experience in relation to what is termed spiritual magnetism. We visited Claremont, and inquired for Adventists. We were told there were two parties; one holding fast their past advent experience, the other denying it. We asked for those who had not denied their past experience, and were directed to Elders B-----t and B-----s, as persons believing as we did. There was so much said against them, that we concluded that they were persecuted for righteousness’ sake. We called on them, and were received and treated kindly, yet such depression came upon me, that I felt that all was not right. 2SG 46.2

Elder B-----t appeared to be a very holy man. Had much to say upon charity. Speaking of faith he said, “All we have to do is believe, then whatever we ask of God will be given.” Bro. White answered, “Blessings are promised on conditions. John 15:7: If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you. Your theory of faith is empty as a flour barrel with both heads out. And as regards true charity, she is a very delicate personage, never stepping out of the path of Bible truth.” 2SG 46.3

In the afternoon we called at Bro. Collier's, where we purposed to hold a meeting in the evening. We supposed they were in union with Elder B-----t, and asked some questions in reference to him, but could get no information. Said Bro. C., “If the Lord has sent you here, you will find them out and tell us.” 2SG 47.1

That evening, as I was praying and reaching up by faith to receive the blessing of the Lord, B-----t and B-----s, began to groan and cry out, Amen! Amen! throwing their sympathy and influence in with my prayer. Bro. White was much distressed, and rising, cried, “I resist this spirit in the name of the Lord.” After this, while I was enjoying freedom in speaking, they again commenced groaning and crying out, Amen! Amen! I felt no union with them, for their amens chilled me. Bro. White feeling their influence upon him again, rose, and in the name of the Lord rebuked the wicked spirit. They were then so bound as to be unable to rise again that night. After the meeting Bro. White said, “Bro. Collier, now I can tell you about those two men; they are acting under a satanic influence, yet attributing all to the Spirit of the Lord.” Bro. C. answered, “I believe the Lord sent you. We have called their influence mesmerism; and because we could have no union with their spirit, do not generally have meetings here. They rise above us, manifest much feeling, but leave an influence darker than Egypt. I never saw them checked, or tied up, before tonight.” 2SG 47.2

During family prayer that night, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I was taken off in vision. A curtain was raised, and the cases of these men, and a few others in union with them, were clearly shown me. They were practising deception upon God's little flock, meanwhile professing to be chosen servants of the Lord. It was shown me that the Lord would tear off the pious garb they had drawn around themselves, and disclose their dark designs and iniquitous deeds; deeds that some had scarcely thought of. We then returned to Springfield. On the way I fell from the wagon and so injured my side that I had to be carried into the house. That night my suffering was great. Sister Foss joined with me in pleading for God's blessing, and for relief from pain. About midnight the blessing sought rested upon me. Those in the house were awakened by hearing my voice while in vision. This was the first time I had a view of the voice of God in connection with the time of trouble. 2SG 48.1