Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 15—Western New York

My husband earned forty dollars, with a part of which we purchased some clothing, and had means left to take us to Western New York and back. 2SG 96.1

I had been troubled with a pain in my lungs and a severe cough, but I believed the Lord would give me strength to endure the long journey. We left our little Henry, then ten months old, in sister Bonfoey's care, at Middletown. This was a severe trial to me. I had not been separated from him before for one night. My health was poor. It was impossible for me to travel and have the care of our child. And we dared not let our affection for the child keep us from the path of duty. Jesus laid down his life to save us. How small is any sacrifice we can make, compared with his. 2SG 96.2

We took the steamboat for New York City. Bro. Chamberlain accompanied us. On board of the boat I coughed almost incessantly. Remarks were made as follows: “That cough will carry her to the grave-yard.” “She cannot live long,” &c. Some said that I would not live to see New York. But I knew in whom I believed. He that had bid me go, would give me relief when it would best glorify him. One word from him would heal my irritated throat and lungs. 2SG 96.3

The next morning we reached New York City, and called upon Bro. Moody who was then living. We there met Brn. Bates and Gurney. My cough increased. I knew I must have relief, or sink beneath disease. I had not had a good night's rest for weeks. I followed the direction given in James 5, and asked the brethren to pray for me. They prayed earnestly to God for me. But as often as I attempted to pray, was broken off by severe coughing. I relied upon the promise of God—“Ask and ye shall receive.” I tried to tell those present that I believed, but severe coughing prevented my speaking. I retired to rest trusting in the Lord. I commenced coughing as usual, but soon fell asleep, and did not awake till daylight. I then awoke with gratitude in my heart, and the praise of God on my lips. I felt the blessing of heaven resting upon me. My cough was gone. In the morning my friends noticed a pimple on my face, which increased and spread, and did not leave me for several years. I was not troubled again with a cough on that journey. 2SG 97.1

Our first conference was at Volney in Bro. Arnold's barn. There were about thirty-five present, all that could be collected in that part of the State. There were hardly two agreed. Each was strenuous for his views, declaring that they were according to the Bible. All were anxious for an opportunity to advance their sentiments, or to preach to us. They were told that we had not come so great a distance to hear them, but had come to teach them the truth. Bro. Arnold held that the 1000 years of Revelation 20 were in the past; and that the 144,000 were those raised at Christ's resurrection. And as we had the emblem of our dying Lord before us, and was about to commemorate his sufferings, Bro. A. arose and said he had no faith in what we were about to do; that the Sacrament was a continuation of the Passover, to be observed but once a year. 2SG 97.2

These strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially as Bro. A. spoke of the 1000 years being in the past. I knew that he was in error, and great grief pressed my spirits; for it seemed to me that God was dishonored. I fainted under the burden. Brethren Bates, Chamberlain, Gurney, Edson, and my husband, prayed for me. Some feared I was dying. But the Lord heard the prayers of his servants, and I revived. The light of Heaven rested upon me. I was soon lost to earthly things. My accompanying angel presented before me some of the errors of those present, and also the truth in contrast with their errors. That these discordant views, which they claimed to be according to the Bible, were only according to their opinion of the Bible, and that their errors must be yielded, and they unite upon the third angel's message. Our meeting ended victoriously. Truth gained the victory. 2SG 98.1

From Volney we went to Port Gibson. The meeting there was held in Bro Edson's barn. There were those present who loved the truth, and those who were listening to and cherishing error, and were opposed to the truth. But the Lord wrought for us in power before the close of that meeting. I was again shown in vision the importance of brethren in Western New York laying their differences aside, and uniting upon Bible truth. Wednesday we left Bro. Edson's, intending to spend the next Sabbath in New York City. We were too late for the packet, so we took a line boat, designing to change when the next packet came along. As we saw the packet approaching, we commenced making preparations to step aboard. Bro. Bates was to pay our fare. The packet did not stop, and we had to spring aboard while the boat was in motion. Bro. Bates was holding the money in his hand, saying to the men on the line boat, “Here, take your pay.” As he saw the boat moving off he sprang to get aboard, but his foot struck the edge of the boat, and he fell back into the water. Bro. Bates commenced swimming to the boat. His pocket-book was in one hand, and a dollar bill in the other. His hat came off, and in saving it lost the bill, but held fast his pocket-book. The packet halted for him to get aboard. We were near Centerport, and called at Bro. Harris’ and put Bro. Bates’ clothes in order. Our visit proved a benefit to that family. Sister Harris had been a sufferer for years with catarrh, and used snuff for this affliction, and said she could not live without it. She suffered much pain in her head. We recommended her to go to the Lord, the great Physician, who could heal her affliction. She decided to do so, and we had a sweet season of prayer for her. She left the use of snuff entirely. Her difficulties were greatly relieved, and her health better than it had been for years. 2SG 99.1

While at Bro. Harris’ I had an interview with a sister who professed to be looking for Christ's coming, who wore gold. We spoke of the express declaration of scripture against it. But she referred to where Solomon was commanded to beautify the temple, and that the streets of the city of God were pure gold. And said if we could improve our appearance by wearing gold, so as to have influence in the world, it was right. I replied that we were poor fallen mortals; and instead of decorating these bodies because Solomon's temple was gloriously adorned, we should remember our fallen condition, and that it cost the sufferings and death of the Son of God to redeem us. This should cause in us self-abasement. Jesus is our pattern. If he would lay aside his humiliation and sufferings, and cry, “If any man will come after me, let him please himself, and enjoy the world, and he shall be my disciple,” the multitude would believe, and follow him. But Jesus will come to us in no other character than the meek, crucified One. If we would be with him in heaven, we must be like him on earth. The world will claim its own, and whoever will overcome, must leave what belongs to it. 2SG 100.1

We took the packet on our way to Madison County, which left us within twenty-five miles of Bro. Abbey's, where we hired a carriage to complete the journey. When we arrived at the house, it was proposed that one go to the door and make inquiries, that if we should be disappointed we could return with the driver, and would keep the Sabbath at a public house. Sr. Abbey came to the door, and my husband introduced himself as one who kept the Sabbath. Said she, “I am glad to see you. Come in.” He replied. “There are three more in the carriage with me. I thought if we all came in together, we might frighten you. “I am never frightened at Christians,” was the reply. Heartily were we welcomed by sister A. She expressed much joy at seeing us, and when Bro. Bates was introduced she said, “Can this be Bro. Bates, who wrote that hewing book on the Sabbath? And come to see us? I am unworthy to have you come under my roof. But the Lord has sent you to us, for we are all starving for truth.” 2SG 101.1

A child was sent to the field to inform Bro. Abbey that four Sabbath-keepers had come. He was in no hurry to make our acquaintance; for he had been imposed upon. Some professing to be God's servants had often visited them, whose work was to scatter error among the little few who were trying to hold fast the truth. Bro. and Sr. A. had warred against them so long that they dreaded to come in contact with them. Bro. A concluded we were of the same class. When he came into the house he received us coldly, and then commenced asking a few plain, direct questions, whether we kept the Sabbath, and believed the past messages to be of God. When he had become satisfied that we had come with truth, he joyfully welcomed us. This dear family were just coming out from the furnace of affliction. They had been visited with that dreadful scourge, small-pox, and were just recovering. 2SG 102.1

While we were there, we had an exhibition of some of the trials they had passed through, from those visiting them who made great pretensions, but were Satan's agents to worry and devour. A spiritualizer came in, and talked in such a fanatical and blasphemous manner, that it was painful to hear him. He at last declared himself to be Jesus Christ; that there would be no literal, personal appearing of Jesus, &c. My spirit was stirred within me. I could hold my peace no longer. I told him that my Saviour did not bear such a disgusting appearance as he manifested. Then I described the lovely person of Jesus, his glorious appearance in the clouds of heaven, as he comes to earth the second time; with what majesty and power he rides forth upon the cloudy chariot, escorted by all the angelic host, and with the glory of the Father. He grew angry, and raised his umbrella as if to strike me. He was vehement. In great rage he left the house, showering denunciations upon us as he went. But a sweet spirit rested upon us. 2SG 102.2

Our meetings in that place were cheering to the few who loved the truth. We felt to rejoice that the Lord in his providence had directed us that way. We had enjoyed the presence of God together, and were comforted to find a few who had stood firm all through the scattering, and had held fast the messages through the mist and fog of spiritualism and fanaticism. This dear family helped us on our way after a godly sort. We continued our journey to Brooklyn, and held meetings in Bro. Moody's house. 2SG 103.1