Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 10—Trials and Victories

About this time I was subjected to a severe trial. If the Spirit of the Lord rested upon a brother or sister in meeting, and they glorified God by praising him, some raised the cry of mesmerism. And if it pleased the Lord to give me a vision in meeting, some would say, “It is excitement and mesmerism.” Grieved and desponding, I often went alone to some retired place to pour out my soul before Him who invites the weary and heavy laden to come and find rest. As my faith claimed the promises, Jesus seemed very near. The sweet light of heaven shone around me, and there have I been taken off in vision. Then I would relate what God had revealed to me alone, where no earthly influence could affect me; but I was told by some that I mesmerized myself, and that those who lived the nearest to God were most liable to be deceived by Satan. According to this teaching, our only safety from delusion was to remain quite a distance from God in a backslidden state. O, thought I, has it come to this, that those who honestly go to God alone to plead his promises, and to claim his salvation, are to be charged with being under the foul influence of mesmerism? Do we ask our kind Father in heaven for bread, only to receive a stone or a scorpion? These things wounded my spirit, and wrung my soul in keen anguish, well nigh to despair, while many would have me believe that there was no Holy Spirit, and that all the exercises that holy men of God have experienced, were only mesmerism or the deceptions of Satan. 2SG 57.1

At this time visions were given me to correct the errors of those who had taken the extreme view of some texts of Scripture, and refrained wholly from labor, and rejected all those who would not receive their views on this point, and some other things which they held to be religious duties. God revealed these errors to me in vision, and sent me to his erring children to declare them; but many of them wholly rejected the message, and charged me with conforming to the world. On the other hand, the nominal Adventists charged me with fanaticism, and I was falsely, and by some, wickedly, represented as being the leader of the fanaticism that I was laboring to do away. Different times were set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren. But the Lord showed me that they would pass by, for the time of trouble must come before the coming of Christ, and that every time that was set, and passed, would only weaken the faith of God's people. For this I was charged with being with the evil servant, that said in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” 2SG 58.1

All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in the confusion, I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience. And while at family worship one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I was struck dumb, and that my tongue should be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. A card was held up before me, on which was written in gold letters the chapter and verse of the following texts of Scripture: 2SG 59.1

Luke 1:20; John 16:15; Acts 2:4; 4:29-31; Matthew 7:6-12, 15; 24:24; Colossians 2:6-8; Hebrews 10:35-39; 4:10-12; Philippians 1:6, 27-29; 2:13-15; Ephesians 6:10-18; 4:32; 1 Peter 1:22; John 13:34, 35; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 Corinthians 3:10-13; Acts 20:28-30; Galatians 1:6-9; Luke 12:3-7; 4:10, 11; 2 Corinthians 4:6-9, 17, 18; 1 Peter 1:5-7; 1 Thessalonians 3:8; Mark 16:17, 18; John 9:20-27; 14:13-15; 15:7, 8; Mark 1:23-25; Romans 8:38, 39; Revelation 3:7-13; 14:4, 5; Philippians 3:20; James 5:7, 8; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 14:14-17; Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 21:2; 14:1; 22:1-5. 2SG 59.2

After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible. I took the Bible and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card. I conversed that day with slate and pencil. Next morning my tongue was loosed to shout the praises of God. After that, I dared not doubt my experience, or for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me. 2SG 59.3

Up to this time I could not write. My trembling hand was unable to hold my pen steadily. While in vision I was commanded by an angel to write the vision. I attempted it, and wrote readily. My nerves were strengthened, and my hand became steady. 2SG 60.1

It was very crossing for me to relate to individuals what I had been shown concerning their wrongs. It caused me great distress to see others troubled or grieved. And when obliged to declare the messages, I often softened them down and related what I had seen as favorable for the individual as I could, and then would go by myself and weep in agony of spirit. I looked upon those who had only their own souls to care for, and thought if I were in their condition I would not murmur. How could I relate the plain, cutting testimonies given me of God? I anxiously watched the result, and if the individual reproved, rose up against it, and afterwards opposed the truth, these queries would arise in my mind. Did I deliver the message just as I should? Oh, God! could there not have been some way to save them? And then such distress hung upon my soul, I often felt that death would be a welcome messenger, and the grave a sweet resting-place. I did not realize that I was so unfaithful, and did not see the danger and sin of such a course, until I was taken in vision into the presence of Jesus. He looked upon me with a frown, and turned his face from me. It is not possible to describe the terror and agony I then felt. I fell upon my face before him, but had no power to utter a word. O, how I longed to be covered and hid from that dreadful frown. Then could I realize, in some degree, what the feelings of the lost will be when they cry, “Mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” 2SG 60.2

Presently an angel bid me rise, and the sight that met my eyes can hardly be described. A company was presented before me whose hair and garments were torn, and whose countenances were the very picture of despair and horror. They came close to me, and took their garments and rubbed them on mine. I looked at my garments, and saw that they were stained with blood. Again I fell like one dead, at the feet of my accompanying angel. I could not plead one excuse, and longed to be away from such a holy place. Again the angel stood me up on my feet, and said, “This is not your case now, but this scene has passed before you to let you know what your situation must be, if you neglect to declare to others what the Lord has revealed to you. But if you are faithful to the end, you shall eat of the tree of life, and shall drink of the river of the water of life. You will have to suffer much, but the grace of God is sufficient.” I then felt willing to do all that the Lord might require me to do, that I might have his approbation, and not feel his dreadful frown. 2SG 61.1

While visiting my sisters in Poland, I was afflicted with sickness. Those present united in prayer in my behalf, and the disease was rebuked. Angels seemed to be in the room, and all was light and glory. I was again taken off in vision, and shown that I must go about three miles to a meeting, and when there should learn what the Lord would have me do. We went and found quite a large gathering of the brethren and sisters. None had known of any special meeting. J. T. was there. He had boasted that he understood the art of mesmerism, and that he could mesmerize me; that he could prevent me from having a vision, or telling a vision in his presence. There were many present who had heard this boast. I arose in the congregation. My visions came up fresh before me, and I commenced relating them, when I felt a human influence being exerted against me. I looked at J. T. He had his hand up to his face, and was looking through his fingers, his eyes intently fixed upon me. His lips were compressed, and a low groan now and then escaped him. In a moment I remembered the promise which the Lord had given me, and turned to him and related what the Lord had shown me in Portland; that if I was in danger of being affected by a human influence, to ask for another angel, who would be sent to protect me. I then raised my hands to heaven and earnestly cried, Another angel, Father! another angel! I knew that my request was granted. I felt shielded by the strong Spirit of the Lord, and was borne above every earthly influence, and with freedom finished my testimony. The saints were comforted, and rejoiced in the Lord. J. T. was asked why he had not stopped my relating the vision? He answered, “Oh, some of you would have her talk.” With strong confidence, rejoicing in God, we returned to my sister's. 2SG 62.1

Some in Paris, Me., believed that it was sin to work. Jesse Stevens was leader in this error, and exerted a strong influence over others. He had been a Methodist preacher and was considered a faithful christian. He had won the confidence of many by his zeal for the truth, and apparent holy living, which caused some to believe him especially directed of the Lord. The Lord gave me a reproof for him; that he was going contrary to the word of God in abstaining from labor, and urging his errors upon others, denouncing all who did not receive them. He rejected every evidence which the Lord gave to convince him of his error, and was firm to take nothing back in his course. He followed impressions and went weary journeys, walking great distances, where he would only receive abuse, and considered that he was suffering for Christ's sake. 2SG 63.1

The Lord gave me faithful messages for this man, and I was sent long distances to warn the people of God against the errors he was urging upon them. At one time I was shown that I must go to Paris, for there was a meeting appointed which I must attend. I followed the directions given me, and there learned that S. had notified the brethren that there was to be a great meeting the next day at the house of Bro. C., and he urged all to attend. 2SG 64.1

The next morning we went to the place appointed for meeting. When S. came in and saw us present he seemed troubled. The meeting commenced with prayer. Then as I tried to pray, the blessing of the Lord rested upon me, and I was taken off in vision. S. had declared that he would listen to nothing but Bible. I was shown what the Bible taught in contrast with his errors. I then saw that the frown of God was upon him; that he was leading astray honest, conscientious souls. They feared to differ with him. Yet they saw inconsistencies in his faith, and their judgment told them he was wrong. His object in appointing that meeting was to make an effort to strengthen the cords of error with which he had bound these souls. I saw that God would work for the salvation of his people; that S. would soon fully manifest himself, and all the honest would see that it was not a right spirit which actuated him, and that his career would soon close. I was told by those present that he would hear no more, and took his hat and left the house. Soon after this the snare was broken, and he could have but little influence over souls. He denounced the visions as being of the Devil, and continued to follow his impressions, until Satan seemed to take the full control of his mind. His friends at length were obliged to confine him, where he made a rope of some of his bed clothing with which he hung himself. Thus ended his career. 2SG 64.2

At my father's house in Portland, I was shown that I must go to Portsmouth the next day and bear my testimony there. My sister Sarah traveled with me, and Bro. White accompanied us. I had no means to pay my fare, but prepared to go, trusting in the Lord to open the way. The first car bell was ringing, as I put on my bonnet. I looked out of the window, and saw a good brother driving very fast up to the gate. His horse was reeking with sweat. He quickly entered the house, and asked, “Is there any one here who needs means? I was impressed that some one here needed money.” We hastily related that we were going to Portsmouth at the Lord's bidding, and had nothing to go with, but resolved to start, trusting in the providence of God to open the way. The brother handed us money enough to carry us to Portsmouth and back. Said he, “Take a seat in my wagon, and I will carry you to the depot.” While on the way he told us he could not hold his horse, he would come with great speed. The distance was twelve miles. We had just taken our seats when the cars started. Here the Lord tested and proved us, and strengthened our faith as we were brought into a very straight place, and were carried through by the manifestation of his providence. I had freedom in bearing my testimony in Portsmouth. 2SG 65.1