Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 8—Fanaticism in Maine

That night it was shown me that the cause of God had been wounded in Maine, his children disheartened and scattered by a fanatical spirit. Persons in whom we had placed confidence, J. T. and J. H., under a cloak of godliness were casting fear among the trembling, conscientious ones. I saw that it was our duty to go and bear testimony in Maine. 2SG 49.1

We soon returned to Portland, and found the brethren in great confusion. A meeting was appointed at the house of Sr. H. that I might have an opportunity to relate what had been shown me. While praying for strength to discharge that painful duty, I was taken off in vision, and in the presence of J. T., was again shown his ungodly course. Those present said I talked it out before him. After I came out of vision he said I was under a wrong influence. He acknowledged that a part of it was right, but the other part was wrong. Said it would take a critical spiritual observer to detect the difference; that this was the same spirit that had always followed him to crush him, &c. With anguish of spirit I left the meeting, for I had a message for his wife, a message of comfort to her sorrowing heart. I went to bear my testimony, and found her weeping and grieving, as though her heart would break. I related the vision, which she confirmed. We learned from united testimony, that honest, precious souls had been rejected by these fanatics, and by them told that they were rejected of God. We also learned that these officious ones had been flocking to my father's house, making that their stopping place. J. T. and J. H. who were leaders in this rank fanaticism, followed impressions and burdens, which led to corruption, instead of purity and holiness. 2SG 49.2

Our parents were disgusted as they saw reason and judgment laid aside by them, and protested against their hypocritical course. But finding that they could not be freed from this company, they closed their house, and left the city for Poland, where my two married sisters were living. This did not suit J. T., and when we arrived at Portland he told me my father was a doomed man. My mother and sisters might be saved, but my father would be lost. The reason offered was because my father would not give him possession of his house when he left it. We then went to Poland, where my parents rehearsed their trials, and mentioned incidents which occurred at Portland, all of which confirmed the vision given in N. H. 2SG 50.1

As I returned to Portland evidences increased of the desolating effects of fanaticism in Maine. These fanatical ones seemed to think that religion consisted in making a noise. They would talk in such a manner as to irritate unbelievers, and cause them to hate them, and then they would rejoice that they suffered persecution. Unbelievers could see no consistency in their course. The brethren in some places were prevented from assembling for meetings. The innocent suffered with the guilty. Much of the time I carried a sad and heavy heart. It seemed so cruel that the cause of Christ should be injured by injudicious men. They were not only ruining their own souls, but placing a stigma upon the cause not easily removed. And Satan loved to have it so. It suited him well to see the truth handled by unskillful workmen; to have it mixed with error, and then altogether trampled in the dust. He looked with triumph upon the confused, scattered state of God's children. 2SG 50.2

J. T. labored with some success to turn my friends, and even my relatives, against me. Why did he do this? Because I had faithfully related what was shown me respecting his unchristian course. He circulated falsehoods to destroy my influence and justify himself. My lot seemed hard. Discouragements pressed heavily; and the condition of God's people so filled me with anguish that for two weeks my mind wandered. My relatives thought I could not live; but brethren and sisters who sympathized with me in this affliction, met to pray for me. I soon realized that earnest, effectual prayer was being offered in my behalf. Prayer prevailed. The power of the strong foe was broken, and I was released, and immediately taken off in vision. In this view I saw that a human influence should never afflict me again in like manner. If I felt an influence affecting my testimony, no matter where I might be, I had only to cry to God, and another angel would be sent to my rescue. I already had one guardian angel attending me continually, but when necessary, the Lord would send another to strengthen, and raise me above the power of every earthly influence. Then I saw for the first time the glory of the new earth as follows. 2SG 51.1