Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 21—The Review and Herald

We journeyed to Vermont and held a conference at Sutton, and then visited Paris, Me., and there commenced publishing the first volume of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. The brethren there were all poor, and we suffered many privations. We boarded in Bro. A.’s family. We were willing to live cheap that the paper might be sustained. My husband was a dyspeptic. We could not eat meat or butter, and were obliged to abstain from all greasy food. Take these from a poor man's table, and it leaves a very spare diet. Our labors were so great that we needed nourishing food. We had much care, and often sat up as late as midnight, and sometimes until two or three in the morning to read proof-sheets. We could have better borne these extra exertions could we have had the sympathy of our brethren in Paris, and had they appreciated our labors and the efforts we were making to advance the cause of truth. Mental labor and privation reduced the strength of my husband very fast. 2SG 143.2

About this time we received a special invitation to attend a conference in Waterbury, Vt. We decided to go, but let brethren R. and A. have our horse to visit the brethren in Canada East and Vermont, while we took the cars for Boston and New Ipswich. It took us two days to go forty miles to Washington, N. H., by private conveyance. The blessing of the Lord attended our meetings in Washington. We then rode fifteen miles to visit Bro. S. who was befogged with spiritualism. We were anxious he should attend the conference at Waterbury. But he had no horse, and to help him, we told him if he would get a horse we would ride in the sleigh with him, and give him our fare which would be about five dollars on the cars. He purchased a horse for thirty dollars. It was in mid-winter, and we suffered with cold, but we were anxious to see Eld. J. Baker who was shut up at home, and encourage him to attend the meeting in Waterbury. Weary, cold and hungry, we arrived at Bro. B.’s. Next morning we had a solemn season of prayer, and Bro. B. was deeply affected. We urged him to attend the conference. He said he had not health and strength to drive his horse through the cold. My husband handed him five dollars to pay his fare on the cars. He was very reluctant to accept it, but said, “If it is your duty to give me this, I will go.” We were the greatest part of three days more in reaching Waterbury. There were three of us in an open sleigh, without a buffalo skin or even a horse-blanket to protect us from the cold. 2SG 144.1

At Waterbury we had to labor against a great amount of unbelief, and this was not all we had to meet. Satan had tempted some of the brethren that we had too good a horse, although we had given it up for others to use, and had come that journey in the tedious manner described. Jealousy was aroused that Bro. White was making money. N. A. H. was the instigator, and it awakened the same feelings in those who should have stood in our defense, and silenced at once such unjust suspicions. As N. A. H. was very poor, my husband only seven or eight months before handed him twenty dollars which was put into his hands to help the cause, took his coat from his back and gave it to him, and interested the brethren in his behalf, so that a horse and carriage were given to him at the conference at Johnson. But this was the reward he received, jealousy, evil-surmising and false insinuations, which found a place in the hearts of some who knew us. This wounded deep. We were forced to wade through a tide of oppression. It seemed that the deep waters would overflow us, and we should sink. 2SG 145.1

At the close of the conference, means were raised to defray the expenses of those who had come to the meeting. The question was asked, how it should be appropriated. A brother, who knew our poverty, that we suffered for suitable food and clothing, hastily took the means and placed it in the hands of one whom my husband had helped to the meeting. And although we had been specially invited to attend the conference, we received none of it to defray our traveling expenses. 2SG 146.1

But the Lord did not forsake us in our extremity. While engaged in prayer around the family altar, I was taken off in vision and shown some things concerning this cruel, oppressive work. I saw that it had been carried on underhanded, and was as cruel as the grave. We found some relief, still our spirits were crushed to receive such treatment from our brethren. We then went to Waitsfield and Granville, visited the family of our dear Sr. Rice who rests in the grave, and tried to aid them a little in their need. Bro. K. took us to Bethel. We ascended a long mountain, and suffered with the cold extremely. We were five hours going fifteen miles. We held meetings among dark spirits. Bro. Philips there embraced the truth. We then returned to Massachusetts and Maine. The influence that had worked against us in Vermont affected individuals in other States, and one good brother in Massachusetts wrote us many pages of reproof. He had received prejudice from others. 2SG 146.2

My husband was borne down with care, and suffering from severe colds which had settled on his lungs. He sunk beneath his trials. He was so weak he could not get to the printing office without staggering. Our faith was tried to the uttermost. We had willingly endured privation, toil and suffering, yet but few seemed to appreciate our efforts, when it was even for their good we had suffered. We were too much troubled to sleep or rest. The hours in which we should have been refreshed with sleep, were often spent in answering long communications occasioned by the leaven of envy which commenced to work in Vermont; and many hours while others were sleeping we spent in agonizing tears, and mourning before the Lord. At length my husband said, “Ellen, it is no use, these things are crushing me, and will carry me to the grave. I cannot go any farther. I have written a note for the paper stating that I shall publish no more.” As he stepped out of the door to carry it to the printing office, I fainted. He came back and prayed for me, and his prayer was answered, and I was relieved. 2SG 147.1

The next morning, while at family prayer, I was taken off in vision and was shown concerning the matter. I saw that my husband must not give up the paper, for such a step was just what Satan was trying to drive him to take, and he was working through agents to do this; but he must continue to publish, and the Lord would sustain him, and those who had been guilty in casting on him such undeserved burdens and censure, would have to bear the burden, and yet see the extent of their cruel course, and come back confessing their injustice, or the frown of God would rest upon them; that it was not against us merely they had spoken and acted, but against Him who had called us to fill the place he wished us to occupy. And all their suspicions, and jealousy, and secret influence which had been at work, was faithfully chronicled in heaven, and would not be blotted out until every one who had taken a part in it should see the extent of their wrong course, and retrace every step. The exposure of that journey to Vermont my husband felt for years, and was not overcome until a few years since, when the Lord mercifully healed him in answer to prayer. 2SG 148.1

The brother referred to in Massachusetts, was convinced that he was wrong, and wrote an humble acknowledgement which melted us to tears. But he was not satisfied to confess with pen and ink, but came all the way to Paris, Me., to see us, and the breach was healed, and our hearts were more firmly united than ever. He had been influenced by one in whom he had the utmost confidence. 2SG 149.1

We soon received urgent invitations to attend conferences in different States, and decided to go. Here is an extract of a letter to Bro. Howland's family concerning the journey: 2SG 149.2

“I will give you a brief account of ourselves from the time we left you at Topsham. When we arrived at Boston, my husband put me in a hack on account of the baggage, while he walked to save his fare. We arrived at meeting time, and found brethren and sisters collected. We had a good meeting. The next morning we took the cars for Connecticut, and arrived at Bro. B.’s about three o'clock P. M. Our meeting commenced Sabbath. Brethren and sisters from different towns were present, and we had a profitable meeting, and trust our efforts will be blessed to the church. The next Monday took the cars for Oswego, arrived there the next day about noon, visited Bro. and Sr. Arnold in Volney, and the next day in company with brethren and sisters, went on our way to Camden. There were about eighty present, six from Michigan. 2SG 149.3

“The meeting was held at the house of Bro. Preston, and was interesting from the commencement to its close. Bro. B. took a decided stand for the truth, and thanked the Lord that he had property, for he should use it in his cause. At our season of prayer in the morning at Bro. Abbey's, the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in vision, and saw that some of the church had been disfellowshipped without sufficient cause, through the influence of dreams and impressions. I was shown that Sr. E. P. was a child of God, and they had no cause for rejecting her. And others also had been set aside who should not have been, which had driven them nearly to despair. 2SG 150.1

“Sabbath morning we went to the meeting, and there met Sr. E. P. Her husband was bitterly opposed to her faith, and forbid her coming to the meeting, and had bound her with cords so tightly as to much bruise her. She lay praying for the Lord to open the way for her to attend the meeting. Soon her husband released her, and unobserved she came across-lots about half a mile, and then waded ankle deep through swamps, traveling about three miles, and came to the meeting. She expressed the deepest gratitude for the privilege of seeing the people of God. 2SG 150.2

“I related the vision given me for the church, and those who had acted a part in casting her off confessed to her heartily. It was an affecting time. Many wept aloud. The desponding were encouraged and strengthened. The work of God is going forward. The Lord wrought for the church, and we left them rejoicing, and journeyed to Amsterdam, where we found Bro. B. waiting to take us to his house. We were kindly received by the family, although they had not yet embraced our faith. We had a meeting with them. My husband hung up his chart and talked from it one hour and a half. Then Bro. B. talked very affectingly, expressing his deep interest for his family. Said he, ‘Wife and children, I am going to the kingdom. Will you go with me? If you do not, I shall not remain behind; I shall go if I go alone. If you will not go, it will do you no good to have me lost with you. I shall go, if I go alone. This is the truth; I must save my soul by obeying the truth.’ He plead with his family from a full heart. They were deeply affected. They will attend the conference at West Milton, and may the Lord give Bro. B. his family to go with him is our prayer. The brethren are very anxious we should come to Saratoga Springs to publish the paper. We shall abide by the decision of the church generally.” 2SG 151.1