Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 21 (1906)


Ms 131a, 1906

Portion of Narrative Related by E. G. White; Historical Remembrances Regarding Hewitt and Turner



Portions of this manuscript are published in 5MR 192.

[There was] Miss Ayres, an intelligent woman. William Hyde and Mrs. Ayres, and another. There they were, and here was William Hyde. [He] sent for us, and he was dying. They sent for the doctor, and he said it was no use, he could do nothing for him. I went in, [and said,] “Now, Brother Hyde, you have sent for us to come and pray for you as a last resort. I want to tell you that we cannot do anything of this kind unless you shall give up all this great fanaticism of the enemy. God has nothing to do with it. You have no right to lie on the bed, women and men together. If you will receive the message that God gives you and turn right around, then the Spirit of the Lord will come in, but the Spirit of the Lord cannot come in [under these circumstances.] You have been praying here, and you have been trying to do all that you can, but there is something for you to do, and that is to give up your error, and unless you do, fanaticism will be all through this vicinity, and God does not want it.” 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 1

Well, he came right out. Said he, “I will if you will pray for me.” He had then been sick for two weeks, and he came right out. Said he, “I take my position. I will have none of this work of familiarity that we have had going on; we will have none of it any more.” He just broke all down and asked the Lord to pardon him, and we could not ask him to do any more, and he was raised right straight up. Dinner was ready and he sat right down and ate a hearty dinner. He had not dared to eat anything for days. [It was] dysentery; it was all around in that section of the country. He was healed; the Spirit of the Lord worked in that way. Then we came to this place, Topsham, Maine. He was about six miles from Topsham, and he rode down—or ate his dinner and then rode down—and we held a most wonderful meeting, and the blessing of the Lord came down. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 2

Then we went where Brother Stevens’ people lived, and Brother Andrews—Paris, Maine. When we bore the testimony, the power of God came down right upon them, just as at South Paris. They were prostrated, and Brother Andrews was prostrated. Brother Chamberlain, he just went through that room, and said he, “You are not wanted here, the Spirit of God and the rebuke of God is upon you.” His countenance was just as white, and [the fanatics] fled from him, and went out, two of them. But there was one, F. T. Howland, who did not even take his hat. He turned as white as a cloth. That broke up that thing there. We had had two or three meetings before, and it was all broken up. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 3

Stevens, a notable fanatic, was there. Said he, “I feel tempted to take that clock down.” They laughed at him. He just had that clock down and all to pieces right there. Such things as that—fanatical. If you saw anybody coming up the road, if [their vehicle] should break down and be crippled, you were not to go near and help them. That was the doctrine they were preaching. After awhile one brother who was with the fanatical Howland came back, and came out all right. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 4

C. C. Crisler: These stories remind me of some of the experiences of the early Christians after Paul and John died. They had fanaticism a little like this. Men and women would sleep together, sometimes for years, just as children, and they thought that was religion and right. They did curious things like that. I suppose it all springs from the same source. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 5

E. G. W.: There was a brother that we knew was a Christian—Hewitt. I had to stand up against it all. There was a party on one side and one on the other, but I stood up against it all. And while I was speaking, the power of God came upon the very men that had held out so strong, and they were struck just like dead men. This is what separated the fanatical from the true. There were a few [who] held on to their fanaticism. Finally the leader hung himself, and that brought them to their senses. One of them lost his child, and he said that child was going to be raised up, and he let that dead child stay in that house until the authorities came and compelled him to have it buried. The body was decomposing. Such things as that. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 6

They were going to the very highest notch, and I had to stand right up, and the power of God would come upon me. And they would stand against me, and stand against me. The power of God came upon me, and I would be taken right off in vision. Then these others bore their testimony. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 7

Hewitt was a godly man, but he got into this fanaticism, and [thought] he was to eat nothing but sugar, and there he was, undermining his constitution in just that way. He would come into the room and take those chapters where it speaks of special things—denunciations—and he would motion it all out, just as the ancients did in those days when they had a message to carry. He would motion it out just as though his message was such. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 8

“Now,” said I, “your words are all right, Brother Hewitt, but it is not appropriate here. It was appropriate when they used it in the Bible, but it is not appropriate here at all. You are all out of line.” He did come out all right. He lived for years out of it. But they would act so curious. He would come up just like a prophet, and he would take hold of the parties, and he would tell them what was in these books, then he would go to them and tell them their condition, and all that, just like a stern prophet. “Now,” said I, “that is all excellent, Brother Hewitt, when it was due, when it was timely, but,” said I, “you are all out of line.” 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 9

These things would have to be met, and they would believe my testimony. But they thought the people were having an influence over me so I could not receive their testimony. Well, all these things we had to meet. We know what we do know about them. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 10

But there is nothing that would have brought Brother Andrews out of his idea that they must not work, and that they would be supported by the outside people. The Stevens [believed] if you saw a carriage, and persons in it, and they broke down right in the road, you were not to go near them. You just let the Lord work with them, etc. But we do not have such things now. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 11

A man came in (the man in the collar incident), crying, crying, “The Lord tells me, Sister White, that I must wash your feet.” [Said I,] “The Lord tells me that you have no business with my feet at all. When my feet are washed it will be by a sister, not by any man.” Then he would cry and cry and cry and cry. Said I, “I wouldn’t use up my strength in that way, because it doesn’t make any more impression on me than the barking of a dog, not a bit.” 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 12

That is what united our people, the testimonies. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 13

One woman—she was holy, tall, dignified, but she was one of the fanatical ones—would go right into a vision and tell them what they must do. They sent for me and I came up. Said I, “What is it?” They said what she was doing. She was in vision, and she said they must do so and so. The poor woman did not know what spirit she was of. “But, Sister Howland,” said I, as though I was whispering, “get a pitcher of cold water, good cold water, and throw it right in her face; that will bring her out of it the quickest of anything you can do.” She started to get the water, but before she got there, [the woman] had come out. She was deceiving them in this way. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 14

Then they all wanted to go to Portland with us, and I got right up, [and said,] “The Spirit of God does not want any of you there. Fanaticism is rooted in you right now, and if you go there, you will blaze it all out. God forbids you to go.” But they went. And the fanatical work took such a course, of men and women together, that it broke it all up. Our people saw where it was going. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 15

Well, there was a great deal of that that went everywhere. It would be like this: They would come together, they would blend together, and I would get up and bear my testimony, and as the power of God would come upon me, they turned just as white, and they would begin to confess and confess. Time and again I had to stand right by the fireplace. There was no room for my feet, hardly any room. Then the Spirit of God would come upon me and take my strength away. They would take me right in their arms. Then the condition they were in—and their names—was given to me, and I would stand right up there and bear my testimony until every soul in that room was struck down helpless. Then they knew; they had the evidence. Nothing would reach them but this message. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 16

C. C. Crisler: That is one thing the Spirit of Prophecy is given for, to bring us into unity of the faith. It must have been difficult to bring all the elements into unity in those times. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 17

E.G.W.: [I was in] my youth, you know, and bringing out such things that they knew were impossible [for me to know]—and then the power of God coming right down in their midst—their smartest men would exclaim they knew this was of God. They would all of them acknowledge it to be the power of God. All of the words they would use were harmonious, for the Spirit of God was in it. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 18

Then we would start out, and we would say, “Shall we go this road?” We knew they were lying in wait, the men were, when we would go from these meetings. “Shall we go this road?” Just as distinctly [we would hear:] “Take another road.” And they were left. They were there in that road; we found out decidedly that they were there in the other road, and they were all waiting to take us and shut us up. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 19

But I never was shut up. I never had a man’s hand laid on me to harm me, and the promise was [that] it never should be. They tried once. They tried to hold me, and the brethren felt terrible. The officers of justice got hold of me, and said I, “Brethren, do not worry about me. The light has come to me that no man’s hand should be laid upon me to hurt me, and so you need not have any fears.” Then these men would turn white, and the very men that they were trying to get hold of, they could not hold them. The power of God was upon His people and evidence of it was given. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 20

But they did take Dammon. They took him and imprisoned him. They said, “Have you got a wife?” “Yes,” said he, “I have got a splendid wife who fears God and keeps His commandments. I have lived with her; so many years we have lived together.” Then they would ask him similar question about what he was preaching. Said he, “I do not know as you could know.” Somebody said, “Get up and tell them.” He got right up and gave them a discourse right there. [They said,] “Now sing some of your hymns; I hear you have odd hymns.” Then they would sing, “We left old mystic Babylon to sound the Jubilee,” and they would tell them how the Lord was coming with power and great glory. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 21

“Well, supposing you pray.” “Oh, certainly. We do not pray to you, though; we will pray to God.” They would offer up a prayer there, and the tears would trickle down the faces of these men. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 22

At first they tried to get this Dammon, and they could not get him. There he lay on the floor, for three-quarters of an hour. “In the name of the State of Maine, we ask you to take hold of this man.” Then they would rush up and grab hold of him, and they would all begin to sing, “We left old mystic Babylon to sound the Jubilee.” And their hands would slip off him and they would start up. Now [when] they came up to him and began to take hold of him, they did not want me in the room. They wanted me to go out of the room. They said it was I that was keeping him. I stepped right out of the room, and I said, “Elder Dammon, the Lord will have you go with these men to this trial.” And he did. He went to the trial. 21LtMs, Ms 131a, 1906, par. 23