Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2


Chapter 24—Eastern Tour

We had appointments out for two months, reaching from Rochester, N. Y., to Bangor, Me., and this journey we were to perform with Charley and covered carriage. 2SG 166.1

We dared not leave the child in so critical a state, and decided to go unless there was a decided change for the worse. In two days we must commence our journey in order to reach the first appointment. We presented the case before the Lord, taking it as an evidence that if the child had appetite to eat we would venture. The first day there was no change for the better. He could not bear the least food The next day about noon he called for chicken broth, and it nourished him. We commenced our journey that night. About four o'clock I took my sick child upon a pillow, and we rode twenty miles. He seemed very nervous that night. He could not sleep, and I held him in my arms nearly the whole night. My husband would frequently awake, and as he heard the sound of my rocking-chair, would groan, for he thought of the tedious journey before us. We obtained no sleep through the night. 2SG 166.2

The next morning we consulted together whether to return to Rochester, or go on. The family who had entertained us said we should bury the child on the road. And to all appearance it would be so. But I dared not go back to Rochester. We believed the affliction of the child was the work of Satan to hinder us from traveling, and we dared not yield to him. I said to my husband, “If we go back I shall expect the child to die. He can but die if we go forward. Let us proceed on our journey trusting in the Lord.” We had a journey of about one hundred miles before us to perform in two days, yet we believed that the Lord would work for us in this time of extremity. 2SG 167.1

I was much exhausted, and feared I should fall asleep and let the child fall from my arms, so I laid him upon my lap, and tied him to my waist, and we both slept that day over much of the distance. The child revived and continued to gain strength the whole journey, and we brought him home quite rugged. 2SG 167.2

The Lord greatly blessed us on our journey to Vermont. My husband had much care and labor. At the different conferences he did most of the preaching, sold books, and took pay for the papers. And when one conference was over, we would hasten to the next. At noon we would feed the horse by the roadside, and eat our lunch. Then my husband, with paper and pencil upon the cover of our dinner-box, or the top of his hat, would write communications for the Review and Instructor. 2SG 167.3

Our meeting at Wolcott was of special interest. A canvas was attached to the house to accommodate the people. The Lord blessed us with freedom, and the truth affected hearts. I had a vision in the congregation, and had perfect liberty in relating it. I there became acquainted with our dear Sr. Pierce. My heart was drawn out in sympathy and love for her, for I had been in a similar state of mind. At this meeting our dear Bro. Benson was convicted of the truth. He believed the vision he witnessed to be the power of God, and was affected by it. He fully embraced the truth. Others decided at that meeting to obey all God's commandments and live. Since that meeting we have met Bro. B.’ s cheerful countenance in every conference we have attended in Vermont. But we shall meet him in this mortal state no more. He died in hope, and will rest in the silent grave until the resurrection of the just. 2SG 168.1

Again at Panton, Vt., the Lord met with his people. Bro. and Sr. Pierce were present. The Spirit of the Lord affected hearts in that meeting. Bro. E. Churchill was much broken in spirit, and decided fully to take his stand with the remnant people of God. At this meeting the Lord revealed himself to me, and I was taken off in vision. A comforting message was given me for Sr. Pierce. The following is their statement: 2SG 168.2

“My wife has for many years been subject to occasional, and sometimes protracted, seasons of the most hopeless despair. They began with her when quite young, and have from time to time afflicted her till since we embraced the present, the last message of truth. 2SG 169.1

“Some time after having embraced the Sabbath, and some other truths pertaining to the present message, the climax of darkness settled down upon her laboring mind, insomuch that the most encouraging conversation, elicited from the most cheering promises of the Bible, appeared to have no good effect upon her mind whatever. And although naturally possessed of a social disposition, and a cast of mind very favorable to friendly associations, yet so great was the weight of her mental oppression, and so vividly, in her estimation, was portrayed before the mind her forlorn, abject and wretched condition, that she was disinclined to participate in what by her had usually been deemed interesting social interviews, and rather inclined to absent herself from the presence of those who belonged to the circle of her acquaintance generally, and even some of her most endeared friends. Further, she had no disposition to attend any religious meetings, nor could she scarcely stimulate herself to go about the business of her usual avocation. 2SG 169.2

“This state of mind commenced, I believe, in the month of May, 1852, and continued with increased severity until the first of September following—the time of the Wolcott meeting, which myself and some other of her especial friends constrained her to attend. Nor was the weight of that mental anguish essentially abated then. Though she realized that it was an interesting meeting, that the Spirit of the Lord was there; and though the gift of prophecy was especially developed through Sr. White, in a manner that satisfactorily convinced her that the visions were of God, yet at that time she had no hope that she had any part or lot in the matter of interest which then passed before her. Thus she remained till the time of the Panton meeting, four weeks afterwards. It was at this meeting the Lord gave Sr. White a vision, a part of which so clearly showed up her case, and so perfectly instructed her what to do, from that time forward the scene with her was in a great measure the most happily changed. 2SG 170.1

“Previously those seasons of despair had worn off more gradually; but in this case it seemed that the word was spoken, and the work was done. For even on our return from the meeting, instead of gloom and horror being depicted on her countenance it was lighted up with cheering hope. 2SG 170.2

“Those sleepless hours and restless nights which before had been the effect of a mind tortured with forebodings more dreadful than it seemed able to endure, have scarcely since recurred to disturb our accustomed repose. Instead of a manifest shrinking from the attendance of religious meetings, which only seemed to aggravate her woes, she then engaged zealously in the work necessary in order to establish meetings periodically at our own house. 2SG 171.1

“I believe this favorable change in her condition at that time to be exclusively the effect of the visions then given. Untiring efforts had previously been put forth, by those who had been in a similar condition, in conversation eliciting many of the great and precious promises, to try to buoy up the sinking mind, but it all produced no beneficial effect. Truly I have since believed there was occasion for gratitude that this gift is in the church. “Stephen Pierce. 2SG 171.2

“According to my best recollection, the above account of my mental trials, and the effect of Sr. White's visions, written by my husband, is essentially correct. “Almira Pierce.” 2SG 171.3

While we were absent from Rochester the foreman of the Office was attacked with cholera. He was an unconverted young man. The lady of the house where he boarded died with the cholera, also her daughter. He was then brought down, and no one ventured to take care of him, fearing the disease. The Office hands watched over him until the disease seemed checked, then took him to our house. He had a relapse, and a physician attended him, and exerted himself to the utmost to save him, but at length told him that his case was hopeless, that he could not survive through the night. Those interested for him could not bear to see the young man die without hope. They prayed around his bedside, while he was suffering great agony. He also prayed that the Lord would have mercy upon him, and forgive his sins. Yet he obtained no relief. He continued to cramp and toss in restless agony. The brethren continued in prayer all night, that he might be spared to repent of his sins, and keep the commandments of God. 2SG 171.4

He at length seemed to consecrate himself to God, and promised the Lord he would keep the Sabbath and serve him. He soon felt relief. The next morning the physician came, and as he entered, said, “I told my wife about one o'clock this morning that in all probability the young man was out of his trouble.” He was told that he was alive. The physician was surprised, and immediately ascended the stairs to his room, and as he examined his pulse, said, “Young man, you are better, the crisis is past, but it is not my skill that saved you, but a higher power. With good nursing you may get about again.” He gained rapidly, and soon took his place in the Office a converted man. 2SG 172.1