Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 17—Visit to Mass. and N. H

One morning at family prayer, at Bro. Howland's, I was shown that it was duty for us to go to Dartmouth, Mass. Soon after, my husband went to the post-office and brought a letter from Bro. Collins, urging us to come to Dartmouth, for their son was very sick. We immediately went, and found Bro. Collins’ son, thirteen years old, had been sick nine weeks with the whooping cough, and was wasted almost to a skeleton. He had fits of coughing which would stop his breath, and his father was obliged to rush to the door with him in his arms that he might regain his breath. 2SG 108.2

The parents thought him to be in consumption, and were greatly distressed that their only son must be taken from them. We felt a spirit of prayer for him, and earnestly besought the Lord to spare his life. We believed that he would get well, although to look at appearance, there was no possibility of his recovery. It was a powerful season. My husband raised him in his arms, and cried out, “You will not die, but live!” We believed that God would be glorified in his recovery. We left Dartmouth, and was absent about eight days. When we returned, the sick boy came out to meet us. He had gained four pounds in flesh. We found the household rejoicing in God, for his wonderful work. 2SG 109.1

We then received a request to visit Sister Hastings of New Ipswich, N. H. She was greatly afflicted. We made it a subject of prayer, and obtained evidence that the Lord would go with us. We tarried on our way with Bro. Nichols’ family. They informed us of the affliction of Sister Temple of Boston. There was a sore upon her arm which caused her much suffering. It had extended over the bend of the elbow. She had suffered such agony that she had resorted to human means until she saw it was of no use. The last effort she made drove the disease to her lungs, and unless she obtained immediate help, would end in consumption. She left word for us to come and pray for her. We went with trembling. I had tried in vain to get an assurance that God would work for us, but all seemed dark. But we went into the sick room, relying upon the naked promises of God, which seemed so firm that we felt that we could venture out upon them. Her arm was in such a condition that we were obliged to pour the oil upon it. Then we united in prayer, and claimed the promises of God. The pain and soreness left the arm while we were praying, and we left her recovering. 2SG 109.2

We found Bro. Hastings’ family in deep affliction. Our dear sister Hastings met us with tears, and exclaimed, “The Lord has sent you to us in time of great need.” She had an infant about eight weeks old which cried continually when awake. This, added to her wretched state of health, was fast wearing away her strength. We prayed earnestly to God for the mother, following the direction given in James 5. We had the assurance that our prayers were heard. Jesus was in our midst to break the power of Satan, and release the captive. 2SG 110.1

But we felt sure that the mother could not gain much strength until the cries of the child should cease. We anointed the child and prayed over it, believing that the Lord would give both mother and child peace. It was done. The cries of the child ceased, and we left them doing well. The gratitude of the mother could not be expressed. Our interview with that dear family was precious. Our hearts were knit together, especially was the heart of sister Hastings knit with mine, as were David's and Jonathan's. Our union was not marred while she lived. 2SG 110.2

In about one year from that time, while in Oswego, N. Y., a sad letter reached us, giving information of sister H.’s sudden death. This news fell upon me with crushing weight. It was difficult to be reconciled to it. She was capable of doing much good in the cause of God. She was a pillar to the cause of truth, and it seemed indeed to us like a mysterious providence that she should be laid away from our sight, in the grave, and her talents be hid. But God works in a mysterious way his wonders to perform. Her death was needed to save her children. Her earnest prayer had gone up to God, to save them in any way that he should choose. The mother was snatched away, and then her faithful admonitions, her earnest prayers and many tears were regarded, and had an influence upon the smitten flock. 2SG 111.1

We visited the place after the mother's death, in June, 1850, and found the father bereaved and lonely, but living for God, and bearing well his double burden. He was comforted in his great grief in seeing his children turning unto the Lord, and earnestly seeking a preparation to meet their dear mother, when the Life-giver shall break the fetters of the tomb, release the captive, and bring her forth immortal. My husband baptized the four eldest children. Since that visit the eldest daughter has died in hope, and rests in the silent grave. Here I will give a statement from Bro. Hastings: 2SG 111.2

“Bro. and sister White made us their first visit in March, 1849. At that time my wife's health was quite feeble, also our youngest child was much afflicted. Bro. and sister White were moved to pray for him. Their faith prevailed, and he was made whole. From that time to the present, which is about nine years, he has been a rugged, healthy boy. I would here remark that my wife had been afflicted with a severe illness for two succeeding winters. At times she was so weak she could not raise her head from the pillow. Bro. and sister White united in earnest prayer for her. Sister White had a vision, and saw that an angel from God had hovered over my wife, and had strengthened her, or life would have departed from her. She saw if God's servants had united in prayer with strong and living faith for her the power of the enemy would have been broken before, and that then his power was broken. From this time until her death, which was one year, she enjoyed perfect health. The season then enjoyed, in Bro. and Sr. White's society will ever be remembered by me with feelings of joy and gratitude.” 2SG 112.1

On our return from New Ipswich to Boston, about eight days after we had prayed for sister T., we found her at the wash-tub in the enjoyment of good health. 2SG 113.1

Again we visited Connecticut, and in June, 1849, Sr. Clarissa M. Bonfoey proposed to live with us. Her parents had recently died, and a division of furniture, &c., at the homestead, had given her everything necessary for a small family to commence housekeeping. She cheerfully gave us the use of these things, and did our work. We occupied a part of Bro. Belden's house at Rocky Hill. Sister B. was a precious child of God. She possessed a cheerful and happy disposition, never gloomy, yet not light and trifling. My husband attended meetings in New Hampshire and Maine, and in his absence I was much troubled, fearing he might take the cholera, which was then prevailing. 2SG 113.2

But one night I dreamed that many were dying with the cholera. My husband proposed that we should walk out. In our walk I noticed that his eyes looked blood-shot, his countenance flushed, and his lips pale. I told him I feared that he would be an easy subject for the cholera. Said he, “Walk on a little further, and I will show you a sure remedy for the cholera.” As we walked on we came to a bridge over a stream of water. He abruptly left me, and plunged out of sight into the water. I was frightened. But he soon arose, holding his hand a glass of sparkling water. He drank it, saying, “This water cures all manner of diseases.” He plunged in again out of sight, and brought up another glass of clear water, and as he held it up, repeated the same words. I felt sad that he did not offer me some of the water. Said he, “There is a secret spring in the bottom of this river which cures all manner of diseases, and all who obtain it must plunge at a venture. No one can obtain it for another. Each must plunge for it himself.” As he drank the glass of water, I looked at his countenance. His complexion was fair and natural. He seemed to possess health and vigor. When I awoke, all my fears were dispelled, and I trusted my husband to the care of a merciful God, fully believing that he would return him to me in safety. 2SG 113.3