Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 20—Publishing Again

In company with Bro. and Sr. Edson we went to Centerport, and made it our home at Bro. Harris’ about three months, and printed the paper called the Advent Review. My child grew worse, but three times a day we had special seasons of prayer for him. Sometimes he would be blessed, and the progress of disease stayed, then our faith would be severely tried as his symptoms became alarming. At one time we left him to go about two miles to Port Byron. Bro. R. accompanied us intending to take the packet for Port Gibson. When we returned Sr. H. met us at the door much agitated, saying, “Your babe is struck with death!” We hastened to the child who lay unconscious. His little arms were purple. The death dampness seemed to be on his brow, and his eyes were dim. Oh, the anguish of my heart then! I could give up my child. I did not idolize him, but I knew that our enemies were ready to triumph over us and say, “Where is their God!” 2SG 136.1

I then said to my husband, There is but one thing more that we can do, that is to follow the Bible rule, call for the elders, but where should we go? We thought of Bro. R. who had just left on the line-boat, intending to step aboard the first packet. In a moment we were decided for my husband to go for Bro. R., drive on the tow-path until he overtook the line-boat, and bring him back. He drove five miles before overtaking the boat. While my husband was gone we were praying for the Lord to spare the life of the child until his father returned. Our petitions were answered. When they arrived, Bro. R. anointed the child and prayed over him. We all united in the prayer offered. The child opened his eyes and knew us. A light shone upon his features, and the blessing of God rested upon us all. We had the assurance that the power of the enemy was broken. 2SG 136.2

The next morning I was greatly depressed in spirits. Such thoughts as these troubled me. Why was not God willing to hear our prayers and raise the child to health? Satan, ever ready with his temptations, suggested that it was because we were not right. I could think of no particular thing wherein I had grieved the Lord, yet a crushing weight seemed to be on my spirits, driving me to despair. I doubted my acceptance with God, and could not pray. I had no courage, so much as to lift my eyes to heaven. I suffered intense anguish of mind until my husband, and the family we were with, besought the Lord in my behalf. They would not yield the point until my voice was united with theirs for deliverance. It came. I began to hope, and my trembling faith grasped the promises of God, when Satan came in another form. My husband was taken very sick. His symptoms were alarming. He cramped at intervals, and suffered excruciating pain. His feet and limbs were cold. I rubbed them until I had no strength to do so longer. Bro. Harris was away some miles at his work, and there were only Sr. Harris, Sr. Bonfoey and my sister Sarah present, and I was just gathering courage to dare believe in the promises of God. If ever I felt my weakness it was then. We knew that something must be done immediately. Every moment his case was growing more critical. It was clearly a case of cholera. He asked us to pray. We dared not refuse, and in great weakness we bowed before the Lord. I knew that God must do the work; we so unworthy could do nothing. With a deep sense of my unworthiness, I laid my hands upon his head, and prayed the Lord to reveal his power. A change was effected immediately. The natural color of his face returned, and the light of heaven beamed upon his countenance. We were all filled with gratitude unspeakable. We never had witnessed a more remarkable answer to prayer. 2SG 137.1

That day was appointed for us to go to Port Byron for the proof-sheets of our paper that was being printed at Auburn. It appeared to us that Satan was trying to hinder the publication of truth that we were laboring to get before the people. We felt that we must walk out upon faith. My husband said he would go to Port Byron for the proof-sheets, and we helped him harness the horse, and then I accompanied him. The Lord strengthened him on the way. He received his proof and a note stating that the paper would be off next day, and we must be at Auburn to receive it. That night we were awakened by the screams of our little Edson, who slept in the room above us with Sr. B. It was about midnight. Our little boy would cling to Sr. B., then with both hands fight the air, for we could see nothing, and then in terror he would cry, No, no, and cling closer to us. We knew this was Satan's work to annoy us, and we knelt in prayer, and husband rebuked the evil spirit in the name of the Lord, and Edson quietly fell asleep in Sr. B.’s arms, and rested well through the night. 2SG 139.1

Then my husband was again attacked. He was in much pain. I knelt at the bedside and prayed the Lord to strengthen our faith. I knew the Lord had wrought for him, and rebuked the disease, and we could not ask him to do what had already been done. But we prayed that the Lord would carry on his work. Thou hast heard prayer! Thou hast wrought! We believe without a doubt! Carry on the work thou hast begun! Thus we plead two hours before the Lord, and while I was praying, he fell asleep and rested well till daylight. He then arose very weak, but we would not look at appearance. We trusted the promise of God. He said it should be done, and we believed and determined to walk out by faith. 2SG 139.2

We were expected at Auburn that day to receive the first number of the paper. We believed that Satan was trying to hinder us, and my husband decided he should go trusting in the Lord. Bro. H. made ready the horse and carriage, and Sr. B. and self accompanied him. He had to be helped into the wagon, yet every mile we rode he gained strength. We kept our mind stayed upon God, and our faith in constant exercise as we rode on peaceful and happy. 2SG 140.1

We hired a room in a hotel for the purpose of reading proof for the last time, and in the afternoon as I looked out of the window I saw my husband carrying a heavy case of type from one office to another. This alarmed me, but the Lord gave him strength, and when we received the paper all finished, and rode back to Centerport, we felt sure that we were in the path of duty. The blessing of God rested upon us. We had been greatly buffeted by Satan, but through Christ strengthening us we had come off victorious. We had a large bundle of papers with us containing precious truth for the people of God. 2SG 140.2

Our child was recovering, and Satan was not permitted to afflict him again. We worked early and late, sometimes not allowing ourselves time to sit at the table to eat our meals, but having a piece by our side, we would eat and work at the same time. By overtaxing my strength in folding large sheets, I brought on a severe pain in my shoulder which did not leave me for years. 2SG 141.1

We had been anticipating a journey East, and our child was again well enough to travel. We took the packet for Utica. There was on the boat a young woman from Centerport who was busy relating to others some things concerning us. And they would occasionally promenade back and forth the length of the boat to get a view of me. They had been informed that I had visions, and the young lady was heard to say, “They are such a strange people! They can be heard praying at all times in the day, and often in the night. Most of their time is spent in prayer.” Many curious eyes were turned towards us, to examine us, especially the one who had visions. 2SG 141.2

There was at one time some trouble on the boat. The chamber-maid had been abused by one of the passengers. She went with her complaint to the captain, and she had many sympathizers. While she was describing the one who had abused her, many eyes were turned towards me, as the dress described answered very nearly to my dress. It was whispered round, “It is her! It is her! The one that has visions! What a shame!” And a zealous one spoke up and asked if it was me, pointing towards me. “Oh no, no,” said she in her Irish tongue, “surely she is as nice a little woman as there is on the boat.” I could but notice how gladly they would have had me the guilty one, because I had visions. 2SG 141.3

Next they inquired if I believed in the spirit rappings that had just commenced in Rochester. I told them that I believed there was a reality in it, but it was an evil spirit, instead of a good one. They looked at each other and said, “O what blasphemy! I would not repeat these words for my life.” With religious horror they withdrew from our company, and manifested a fear to approach us afterwards. 2SG 142.1

Some were very curious to know what physician had been attending my child. We told them we had not applied to any earthly physician. A minister and his wife and children were on board. Two of their children were very sick, and she enquired in regard to the remedies we had used. I told her the course we had pursued, that we had followed the prescription of the Apostle James, chapter 5, and the Lord had wrought for us as no earthly physician could, and we were not afraid to trust our child in his hands, that he was fast improving. The only answer was, “If that was my child, and I had no physician, I should know it would die.” 2SG 142.2

At Utica we parted with Sr. B., my sister S. and our child, and went on our way to the East, while Bro. Abbey took them home with him. We had to make some sacrifice in our feelings to separate from those who were bound to us by tender ties; especially did our hearts cling to little Edson, whose life had been so much in danger. We could not be entirely free from anxious thoughts on his account. 2SG 143.1