Life Sketches

5/18

03 MY PUBLIC LABORS

ON returning from the great camp-meeting in Eastern Maine, where I heard with deepest interest such men as Miller, Himes, and Preble, I found myself happy in the faith that Christ would come about the year 1843. I had given up all to teach the doctrine to others, and to prepare myself to do this was the great object before me. I had purchased the chart illustrating the prophecies of Daniel and John, used by lecturers at that time, and had a good assortment of publications upon the manner, object, and time of the second advent. And with this chart hung before me, and these books and the Bible in my hands, I spent several weeks in close study, which gave me a clearer view of the subject. LIFSK 48.5

In October, 1842, an Advent camp-meeting was held in Exeter, Me., which I attended. The meeting was large, tents numerous, preaching clear and powerful, and the singing of Second Advent melodies possessed a power such as I had never before witnessed in sacred songs. My Second Advent experience was greatly deepened at this meeting, and at its close I felt that I must immediately go out into the great harvest-field, and do what I could in sounding the warning. I therefore prepared three lectures, one to remove such objections as the time of the advent not to be known, and the temporal millennium, one on the signs of the times, and one on the prophecy of Daniel. LIFSK 49.1

I had neither horse, saddle, bridle, nor money, yet felt that I must go. I had used my past winter’s earnings in necessary clothing, in attending Second Advent meetings, and in the purchase of books and the chart. But my father offered me the use of a horse for the winter, and Elder Polley gave me a saddle with both pads torn off, and several pieces of an old bridle. I gladly accepted these, and cheerfully placed the saddle on a beech log and nailed on the pads, fastened the pieces of the bridle together with malleable nails, folded my chart, with a few pamphlets on the subject of the advent, over my breast, snugly buttoned up in my coat, and left my father’s house on horseback. LIFSK 49.2

I gave from three to six lectures in four different towns around Palmyra. Speaking, with the blessing of God, gave me freedom and confidence, and as the subject opened to me by study, reflection, and in speaking, I found it necessary to divide subjects, so that I added one discourse, at least, to the little series, at each place. I had a good hearing at all these places, but saw no special results. LIFSK 49.3

A school-mate of mine had engaged to teach school in the town of Burnham; but by accident had lost an eye, and was told by his physician that he should rest at least one week before teaching. He urged me to teach for him one week. I consented, and on the first day of school gave an appointment for evening lectures. The school-house was crowded. I gave seven lectures, which were listened to with interest and deep feeling. LIFSK 50.1

At this place I began to feel the burden of the work, the condition of the people, and love for precious souls, as I had not before. Previous to this time I had taken great delight in dwelling upon the evidences of the Advent hope and faith. But now I realized that there was a solemn power in these evidences, to convict the people, such as I did not expect to realize. At the close of my last lecture, sixty arose for prayers. I felt deeply the condition of the people. But what could I do for them? I had not anticipated that I should ever have upon my hands sixty repenting sinners, and was wholly unprepared to lead them any farther. My little pond of thought, in the course of seven lectures, had run out, and I dared not undertake to preach a practical discourse for fear it would prove a failure, and injure the well-begun work. In this state of things it occurred to me to send for my brother, who had been in the ministry five years before me, and was favorable to the Advent doctrine. He came and labored six weeks, baptized, and organized a large church, for which they paid him sixty dollars. I paid, at the close of my week’s teaching and lecturing, one dollar for horse-keeping, and left for the Kennebeck. My brother afterward told me that every one he baptized dated their experience from my lectures. LIFSK 50.2

At one of the places near my native town, where I had given lectures, I met a gentleman who seemed much interested in the soon-coming of the Lord, who gave me an urgent invitation to visit Brunswick, Me. He stated that there had been no preaching on the subject in that part of the State, and that the Freewill Baptists, who were very numerous on the west side of the Kennebeck river, from Augusta to Brunswick, would willingly give me a hearing. From that moment I felt inclined to make my course toward Brunswick. So, in January, 1843, I left on horseback, thinly clad, and without money, to go more than a hundred miles among strangers. LIFSK 51.1

Night came on as I drew near Augusta, the capital of the State, and I inquired at a humble cottage for entertainment, stating that I was a penniless preacher, and wished to find rest with some Christian, who would willingly care for me and my tired horse without charge. “I am a member of the Christian church of this place,” said he, “please stop with me.” I gladly accepted the cordial invitation. LIFSK 51.2

During the evening my friend stated that Elder Pearl, a Christian minister, was to preach on the next Sunday, and invited me to stop and give evening lectures in the school-house, and spend the Sunday with my old friend and acquaintance, Elder Pearl. I did so, and had a good hearing, and was kindly received by Elder Pearl, who loved the doctrine of Christ’s soon coming. I was also invited to speak in the school district east of that, near the Kennebeck river. The house was filled, and many stood outside at the open windows. A Universalist opposed the doctrine I was presenting to the people, and finding he could prevail nothing, brought a Mr. Western, the editor of the Augusta Age, a noted Universalist, to oppose me, and, at the close of my lecture, introduced him to the people, and invited them to stop and hear what he had to say. I was too hoarse to reply, and stated that I had no further claims on the congregation. A dozen voices cried, “Clear the way, and let us pass out.” Only about twenty-five, and those of the baser sort, remained to hear Mr. W. They were, of course, ready to receive what the speaker chose to say, who, being grieved and angry with the youthful lecturer for leaving, and with the people for following me, was in a state of mind to excite in them a mob spirit. LIFSK 51.3

The reader may think me rash in depriving the editor of the Age of a hearing. But I was an inexperienced youth, and feared a battle, and took this course to avoid it. But a battle came the next evening of a different kind. Mr. W.’s hearers decided before leaving the school-house to get all to join them who would, and on the next evening break up the meeting. LIFSK 52.1

As I was about to go to the house the next evening, several of my friends came to me and stated that a mob of at least three hundred was around the school-house. They warned me, as I regarded my life, to remain away from the meeting. I went before the Lord with the matter, then told my friends that I should go to the school-house, trusting in God to defend me. And as I drew near the house I heard the shouting of the mob, and was again warned by the friends who accompanied me to take their advice, and go no further lest I lose my life. I then stated to them that I believed the Lord would in some way defend me, and pressed forward. My friends had resolved that if I went to the place of meeting they would go with me, and stand by me to the last. We found the school-house filled with women, all the windows taken out, and the house surrounded by men enough to fill three such houses. I pressed through the crowd and made my way to the desk. The greatest fear prevailed within the house, while unearthly yells seemed to be the delight of the mob without. The Universalist, who had taken the trouble to get Mr. W. to the place to oppose me, stood close to the desk, and, as I entered it, said to me:- LIFSK 52.2

“This, sir, is the result of your conduct last evening, in refusing to hear the gentleman I brought here to reply to you. Your meetings will be broken up.” LIFSK 53.1

I replied, “Very well, sir, if it is the will of God, let it be so.” I then called the meeting to order, and prayed, standing upon my feet. This I did for two reasons. First, want of room to kneel, and, second, it was safer for me to stand with my eyes open and watch this infuriated Universalist, who seemed to have all he could do to keep from striking me. LIFSK 53.2

While praying, a snow-ball whistled by my head and struck on the ceiling behind me. I read my text from Peter, relative to the burning day of God, and commenced commenting upon it, but could be heard by only a few near me, in consequence of the shouting of the mob. Many snow-balls were thrown at me through the open windows, but none hit me. I raised my voice above the noise of the mob, but while turning for my proof-texts they seemed to gain advantage over me. And there was too much excitement and fear for my proofs to tell on any mind. LIFSK 53.3

My clothing and also my Bible were wet from the melted fragments of a hundred snow-balls which had broken upon the ceiling behind me, and had spattered over me and it. That was no time for logic, so I closed my Bible and entered into a description of the terrors of the day of God, and the awful end of the ungodly. These opened before me wonderfully. Language and power of voice seemed to be given me for the occasion. I was nearly lost to all around me, while the naked glare of the fires of the day of God seemed to light up the field of slaughter of the ungodly men before me. I cried, “Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, or you will drink of the wrath of God. Repent, and call on God for mercy and pardon. Turn to Christ and get ready for his coming, or in a little from this, on rocks and mountains you will call in vain. You scoff now, but you will pray then.” LIFSK 53.4

The mob seemed more quiet. The night before, a spike was thrown at me and hit me on the forehead, and fell into my Bible, and I put it into my pocket. Inexpressible pity and love for the crowd came over me, and as I was pointing sinners to the Lamb of God, with tears, I held up the spike, saying: “Some poor sinner cast this spike at me last evening. God pity him. The worst wish I have for him is, that he is at this moment as happy as I am. Why should I resent this insult when my Master had them driven through his hands,” and at the moment raising my arms and placing my hands upon the ceiling behind me, in the position of Christ on the cross. LIFSK 54.1

The Spirit of God accompanied the words and the gesture to the hearts of the crowd. Some shrieked, and a general groan was heard. “Hark! hark!” cried a score of voices. In a moment all was silent. In tears I was calling on sinners to turn and live. I spoke of the love of God, the sacrifice of Christ; his undying pity for vile sinners. I then spoke of his coming in glory to save all who would seek him now. More than a hundred were in tears. “Do you want to see a happy man?” said I, “please look at me.” Many were weeping aloud, and I was getting so hoarse that I could hardly be heard for the penitent cries and sobs of those around me. “Who are willing to seek Christ,” said I, “and with me suffer persecution, and be ready for his coming? Who in this crowd wish me to pray for them, that this may be their happy portion? As many as do, please rise up.” Nearly one hundred arose. It was nine in the evening, and I was hoarse and weary. I closed with benediction, took my chart and Bible, and made my way out through the subdued crowd. Some one locked arms with me to assist and guard me. His countenance seemed impressively familiar, yet I did not know him. When I had passed the crowd, I missed him, and, from that evening, who he was, or how he left me, and where he went, have been mysteries. Was it an angel of God, sent to stand by me in the perils of that evening? Who can say it was not? LIFSK 54.2

My lectures continued in this place three or four evenings without the least opposition, and a general reformation followed. In about eight weeks I returned to the place again, and as I entered the door of an especial friend, near the old scene of battle, I recognized my Universalist friend. He had been driving some exciting conversation with the lady of the house about me. Both appeared greatly agitated as I entered. The lady greeted me cordially, but with expressions of astonishment that I was in her house again. The Universalist made for the door, and left in a most abrupt manner. The lady then stated that this man had been talking of me to her in a most abusive manner, and that the last statement he made as I came to her door was as follows: “White is a rascal. He has been overtaken in crime, and is safe in jail. One of my neighbors told me that he saw him yesterday in Augusta jail.” LIFSK 55.1

This man was overtaken in his guilty folly in a manner he little expected. He had certainly succeeded poorly in his war against me. I did not see this Universalist, neither did I hear of him after his hasty retreat homeward, showing as much shame as the face of a guilty man is capable of silently expressing. But let the reader go back with me over these eight weeks to the time I closed my labors in this place. LIFSK 55.2

An invitation came for me to visit Sidney, and lecture in the Methodist meeting-house. Cheerfully I accepted, and found a large house filled with attentive hearers. The first evening I spoke on the millennium with freedom. And as I entered the house the second evening, I was told that Elder Nickerson, the presiding elder, would be present that evening. I felt my youth, my lack of general knowledge of the Scriptures, and my brief experience in the things of God. I trembled for the result of that meeting, as I learned that this presiding elder was opposed to the doctrine I was teaching. I was on Methodist ground. This led me to pray most earnestly to God for help. My confidence that the Lord would be with me grew firm as I entered the pulpit. LIFSK 56.1

“I learn,” said I, “that Elder Nickerson is in the congregation. Will he please take a seat with me, and join in the services of the evening?” He cheerfully came forward, and I gave him an Advent hymn from the Methodist book to read, and found him willing to pray. I then sung an Advent melody, and took the text: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:36. I stated:- LIFSK 56.2

1. That the subject was the second advent. LIFSK 56.3

2. That God had not revealed the day nor the hour of that event. LIFSK 56.4

3. That Christ did say, in this connection, that when his people should see the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, that they should know that his coming was near, even at the doors, as truly as men know that summer is near when they see the trees of the field send forth their buds and unfold their leaves. LIFSK 56.5

4. That, as it was in the days of Noah, so should it be at the coming of the Son of man. LIFSK 57.1

The work of warning the people of the coming flood was given to righteous Noah. And in order for him to know when to build the ark, and when to raise his warning voice, the year of the flood was given to him. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of man. The world is to be warned of its approaching doom. And to this end the prophecies of Daniel and John especially point to this time. The signs in the heavens, on earth, in the church, and a wicked world, all show that Christ and the day of vengeance are at hand. LIFSK 57.2

The people of that place were divided between Methodism and Universalism, and it seemed a favorable time to show up from Matthew 24 the view held by Universalists that Christ came at the destruction of Jerusalem. In this I had had some experience, and succeeded in pleasing Elder Nickerson, who made a few general remarks, not directly opposing me, for fear, as I supposed of pleasing the Universalists, who evidently felt stirred at my discourse. The meeting closed with good feelings between us. But as I left the house, I received an urgent request by several gentlemen to call at the hotel the next morning, at nine, to answer some questions relative to what I had said of Universalism. LIFSK 57.3

At the hour appointed, I found myself surrounded by several Universalists, who were evidently in an unfriendly mood, and as many Methodists, who had come to see that the young stripling should be well treated. This was kind in my Methodist friends. The interview lasted till the clock struck twelve. My Methodist friends expressed themselves satisfied with my answers. The landlord, who was the leading spirit among those professing Universalism, then arose and said to me:- LIFSK 57.4

“Mr. White, please walk out to dinner. This afternoon I wish to show you that there is no connection between the Old and New Testaments.” LIFSK 58.1

I was surprised to find that this professed champion of Universalism was really an infidel, and declined dining with him, stating that my mission was to those who received the sacred Scriptures of both Testaments as a harmonious revelation from God. This closed our interview. LIFSK 58.2

My Methodist friends charged me to be on my guard lest the Universalists take advantage of some unguarded expression, and hurt my influence. This was indeed kind in them, and for which I have ever felt to respect them. I gave a few more lectures, and parted with the Christian people of that place, with their thanks for my labors among them, and their expressions of joy that Universalism had been fearlessly exposed without giving its adherents a chance to hurt me. LIFSK 58.3

My mind was still on the field of labor farther down the river toward Brunswick. My labors thus far in Augusta and Sidney, seemed more accidental, or providential, than in accordance with my design when I left home. And now, with the peace of God ruling in my heart, I journeyed on. As I passed a neat cottage in the town of Richmond, the impression came upon me powerfully, as distinctly as if a voice said unto me, “Call into this house.” I obeyed, and asked for a drink of water. A middle-aged lady laid down the paper she was reading, and upon it placed her glasses, and gravely said to me: “Please be seated.” As she stepped to another room to wait upon me, I took up her paper, and to my joyful surprise, saw that it was the Signs of the Times, published by J. V. Himes, No.14, Devonshire street, Boston. And as I took the water, the following conversation, in substance, commenced:- LIFSK 58.4

“I see you have the Signs of the Times, which teaches the peculiar sentiments of one William Miller. Are you a subscriber for it?” LIFSK 59.1

“I am, and I think it an excellent periodical. Would you like to read it?” LIFSK 59.2

I took the paper from her hand, and enjoyed reading several stirring articles from able pens, then passed it to her, and, with an air of indifference, asked: “What do you do with the long-cherished opinion of nearly all great and good men, of all denominations, that the temporal millennium, in which the conversion of the whole world and the complete triumph of the church is to take place prior to the second advent?” LIFSK 59.3

“I reject the doctrine. And you are mistaken, sir, as to the millennium being a long-cherished sentiment. It is an unscriptural fable of recent date. It has not been the faith of the church until the last century. The parable of the wheat and tares, as explained by our Lord, and his declaration that as it was in the days of Noah so should it be at the coming of the Son of man, forbids the idea. In fact, the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New, describe the last days as dark, gloomy and perilous, with the church fallen, and far from God, and the world filled with crime and violence.” LIFSK 59.4

“Admitting that you are right on this point, is it not very wrong to set the time, as Mr. Miller has done?” LIFSK 59.5

“Brother Miller, in searching the Scriptures, has found by the prophetic periods, as he thinks, the time of the end, and, as an honest man, has taken the cross to teach it to the world. He also sees by the signs of the times that Christ’s coming is near, even at the doors, and takes the safe side of the question to be ready, and to warn others to get ready. And all these texts usually quoted to show that men are to know nothing of the period of the second advent, do not prove what they are said to prove.” LIFSK 59.6

It was evident that this woman was mistress of the subject, and as she proceeded to give the proofs in support of definite time, I interrupted her, stating that I would no longer conceal from her my faith and mission. “I am,” said I, “a full believer in the second advent of Christ as taught by William Miller, and have left all to proclaim it.” LIFSK 60.1

“Thank the Lord!” she exclaimed, “my prayer is answered in sending you here. My husband is a Freewill Baptist minister, and will be glad to have you speak to the people of his charge here upon the coming of Christ. Let me have your coat and hat. I will send for some one to care for your horse, and will send an appointment to the school for you to lecture this evening.” LIFSK 60.2

“What is your husband’s name?” I inquired. LIFSK 60.3

“Andrew Rollins,” was the reply. LIFSK 60.4

“Is he a believer in the Advent doctrine?” LIFSK 60.5

“He does not oppose, and is favorable.” LIFSK 60.6

Soon Elder Rollins came in, and his wife introduced me to him as a Second Advent lecturer. He asked me a few questions in a grave manner, and looked me over closely, as much as to say, “You are a young stripling to go abroad to lecture upon the prophecies.” I saw that he was a strong man, watching all my words; therefore thought it best for me to be guarded. LIFSK 60.7

The appointment flew through that portion of the town, and, at the time appointed, what has ever been known as the Reed meeting-house, was filled with both the pious and the curious. And as I sung an Advent melody, all listened with solemn silence, and some wept. Elder Rollins then prayed in a most solemn and fervent manner for the blessing of God to rest upon the youthful stranger who was about to speak to the people. This prayer drew me nearer to him, and I began to feel that in this minister I had found a true friend. And so it proved. LIFSK 60.8

At the close of my lectures, there was a general interest and deep conviction upon all minds. The school children committed to memory all my texts, and almost everywhere you might hear them repeating this one from Daniel 8: “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” LIFSK 61.1

As I was about to leave, Elder Rollins said to me, “In two weeks our quarterly meeting, embracing about thirty churches in this locality, will hold its session at Richmond village. I would like to have you give some lectures before the preachers, delegates, and brethren who will be present. I will call the matter up in a business session, and they will probably vote you room, if you will decide to be present and speak to us.” “Certainly, I shall be glad of the opportunity to speak what I regard important truth to the heads of your denomination in this part of the State, and will, Providence permitting, be at the meeting in season.” This said, I rode off on horseback to fill appointments in Gardiner and Bowdoinham. LIFSK 61.2

After filling these appointments, I returned to the quarterly meeting in Richmond. And as I entered the place of worship, Elder Rollins, who was seated beside the pulpit at the further end of the house, arose and said: “Brother White, you will find a seat here by me.” After the sermon, liberty was given for remarks, and I spoke with freedom upon the Christian life, and the triumphs of the just at the second advent of Christ. Many voices cried, “Amen! amen!” and most in that large congregation were in tears. LIFSK 61.3

The Freewill Baptists in those days were indeed a free people, and many in that congregation were exceedingly anxious to hear upon the subject of the advent. And as I spoke, they seemed to be finding relief from their pent-up feelings in hearty responses and tears. A portion, however, seemed unmoved, unless it was to show in their countenances that they were displeased. Elder Rollins then informed me that his brethren had voted in favor of a lecture at that meeting, and the next day rescinded the vote. This displeased him much, and his statement to me relative to the action of his people as to my speaking to them explained to me the existing state of things. Near the close of that meeting, after getting my consent, Elder Rollins arose and said:- LIFSK 62.1

“Brother White, who sits at my right side, will speak at the Reed meeting-house this evening, upon the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Come up, brethren, and hear for yourselves. We have sufficient room to entertain you all. Come up, brethren - it will not harm any of you to hear upon this subject.” LIFSK 62.2

He had as much influence as any minister in that quarterly meeting, and, being disappointed and hurt that his brethren should vote against my lectures, and shut the Advent doctrine out of their meeting, was willing they should feel it. He very well knew that most of his brethren would leave their meeting in the village, and go three miles to hear me, and that their appointed business session would be broken up. And so it was. Three-fourths of the ministers, and nearly every delegate, left, and the Reed meeting-house at an early hour was crowded. My subject was Matthew 24. The Spirit of God gave me great freedom. The interest was wonderful. LIFSK 62.3

As I closed with an exhortation to Christians to fully consecrate themselves, and be ready, and to sinners to seek Christ, and get ready for the coming of the Son of man, the power of God came upon me to that degree that I had to support myself with both hands hold of the pulpit. It was a solemn hour. As I viewed the condition of sinners, lost without Christ, I called on them with weeping, repeating several times: “Come to Christ, sinner, and be saved when he shall appear in his glory. Come, poor sinner, before it shall be too late. Come, sinner, poor sinner, come.” LIFSK 63.1

The place was awfully solemn. Ministers and people wept - some aloud. At the close of every call to the sinner, a general groan was heard throughout the entire assembly. I had stood upon my feet explaining the chapter and exhorting for more than two hours, and was getting hoarse. I ceased speaking, and wept aloud over that dear people with depth of feeling such as he only knows whom God has called to preach his truth to sinners. It was nine o’clock, and to give liberty to others to speak, would be to continue the meeting till midnight. It was best to close with the deep feeling of the present, but not till all had a chance to vote on the Lord’s side. I then called on all in the congregation who would join me in prayer, and those that wished to be presented to the throne of mercy, that they might be ready to meet the Saviour with joy at his second coming, to rise up. Every soul in that large house, as I was afterward informed by persons in different parts of it, stood up. After a brief season of prayer, the meeting closed. LIFSK 63.2

The next morning I returned to the village, accompanied by at least seven-eighths of that Freewill Baptist quarterly meeting. Every one was telling what a glorious meeting they attended the evening before. This did not help the feelings of the few who remained away, who had been instrumental in closing the pulpit at the village against the doctrine of the soon coming of Christ. Their course only increased the interest to hear me. The independent stand taken by Elder Rollins resulted in their having a taste of that spiritual food for which they hungered. LIFSK 63.3

At intermission, delegates and ministers invited me to join them in making arrangements as to time when I could lecture to the several congregations in that quarterly meeting who had commodious houses of worship. It was then in the middle of February, and it was decided that there remained not more than six weeks of firm sleighing, giving the people a good chance to attend meetings. Twelve of the most important places were selected for my labors in six weeks. I was to give ten lectures, which would require of me to speak twenty times a week. This gave me only half a day each week, which I generally found very necessary to travel fifteen or twenty miles to the next place of meeting. LIFSK 64.1

At Gardiner, near the river, Elders Purington and Bush were holding a protracted meeting with poor success, and were ready to hear me. So were most of the church. Some opposed, stating their fears that the Advent doctrine would destroy their reformation. They had, after tugging at the wheel several days, on the third or fourth evening of their meeting, after inviting and coaxing for half an hour, prevailed on two persons to take what was called the anxious seat. In this, however, I saw no reformation to spoil. I told these ministers I was ready to commence my work. They hesitated. I proposed to go where the people were all anxious to hear me. They would not consent to have me leave. I waited one day longer, and spoke several times in social meeting. Many urged me to lecture. I sent them to the ministers. They labored with the opposition privately. Their meeting was becoming divided. I decided to bring the matter to the point of decision, so that I might at once enter upon my work, or leave the place. The ministers held on to me, and also labored with the opposition. LIFSK 64.2

I finally stated before the entire congregation that I had been invited to the place, and had been held there one day by their ministers and most of the congregation, waiting for a few individuals to consent to have me lecture; that I should wait no longer; that if I could not commence lectures that evening, I should go where they wanted to hear. I called for a vote of the congregation. Nearly all voted for me to remain and commence that evening. The ministers said, “Go on with your lectures, and we will stand by you.” LIFSK 65.1

As I took the stand that evening, I requested all who loved Christ, and the doctrine of his soon coming, to pray for me, and stated that I would excuse those who did not love him enough to wish to see him come in glory from praying for me, as I thought they could to better advantage and profit pray for themselves. Every ear was open, and every heart felt. The Lord gave perfect freedom in presenting proofs of the advent near, and in exhorting the people to prepare for that day. Many were in tears. I left the pulpit, exhorting the people, and calling on them to come forward to the front slips. About thirty came forward. Many of them wept aloud. I then turned to the ministers in the stand, saying:- LIFSK 65.2

“These fears, expressed by some unconsecrated ones, that the glorious doctrine of the second coming of Jesus would kill a reformation, are without foundation. Do you think the work of reform has been injured here this evening?” LIFSK 65.3

“No! no! Go on, Brother White; go on. The Lord is here.” LIFSK 65.4

This meeting, apparently swept away all opposition, and the way was prepared for a good work. But other appointments would not allow me to remain longer than to give three or four lectures more. The protracted meeting then progressed with success. LIFSK 65.5

At Richmond Corners I gave seven lectures in their new meeting-house, just dedicated, and at the close, two hundred arose for prayers. During the progress of the meetings, a Baptist deacon opposed. When I was commenting upon Daniel 7, I stated that it was a historical fact that on February 10, 1798, at the close of the 1260 days, Berthier, a French general, entered the city of Rome and took it, and that on the 15th of the same month the Pope was taken prisoner and shut up in the Vatican; and gave Dr. Adam Clarke as one of my authorities. An educated Catholic broke in upon me, charging me with falsehood, and offered me five dollars if I would read such a statement from Clarke’s comments on Daniel. With the promise that I would read Clarke the next evening, and by the entreaties and threats of his neighbors, this enraged Irishman was kept quiet. LIFSK 66.1

The next evening I entered the pulpit with Clarke’s Commentary under my arm, and, after calling the people to order by singing an Advent melody, read what Clarke had said upon taking away the dominion of the little horn, which fully sustained what I had stated the previous evening. I then offered the volume to any one who would see if I had read correctly, stating that I had not been to the trouble of going five miles for the Commentary in order to claim the five dollars. That I chose to let the gentleman keep his money, and have the truth on the subject besides. There was no reply. A gentleman of fine feelings and good influence in the community, who made no pretensions to piety, arose and said:- LIFSK 66.2

“I wish to call the attention of this congregation to this one fact, that no persons in this community have manifested opposition to the lectures of Mr. White but a Baptist deacon and a Roman Catholic.” LIFSK 67.1

Many were converted in the vicinity, a strong company of believers was raised up, and a Second Advent camp-meeting was held there in the autumn of 1844. LIFSK 67.2

At Bowdoinham Ridge my labors were well received. A protracted meeting was being held with that church by Elders Quinnum and Hathern. They and the church fully co-operated with me, and a good work followed. On the last day I spent in this place I spoke forenoon and afternoon, then invited sinners to come forward for prayers, and joined in prayer for them. When we arose from our knees the sun was just setting, and I had sixteen miles to go to my next appointment, which was that evening. A friend held my horse at the door. I had labored excessively, and was so hoarse that I could hardly speak above a whisper, and my clothes were wet with sweat. I needed rest. But there was my next appointment. The people would be together in about an hour, and I had sixteen miles to go. So I hastily said farewell to the friends with whom and for whom I had labored, mounted my horse and galloped away toward Lisbon Plains, in a stinging cold February evening. I was chilled, but there was no time to call and warm. My damp clothing nearly froze to me, but I galloped on. As I rode up to the door of the house of worship, an aged Freewill Baptist minister was saying to the crowd:- LIFSK 67.3

“I am sorry to say to the congregation that we are disappointed. The speaker we expected to hear this evening has not come.” LIFSK 67.4

As this minister raised his hands to dismiss the people with the benediction, I cried: “Hold! I am here!” LIFSK 67.5

“Good!” cried the minister; and the people sat down. They had been waiting for me more than an hour. With a few words of explanation of my late arrival, I commenced to speak; but I was so thoroughly chilled that my chattering teeth would cut off some of my words. However, I soon warmed up, and felt freedom in speaking. LIFSK 68.1

But where was my poor horse. His turn had come to be wet with sweat, and to shake with cold. A friend had stood at the door watching for my arrival, who took the poor creature, and, as I supposed, took care of it. But he simply tied it to the fence with a rope. Heated, wet, and without blanket, it had to stand in the keen wind one hour and a half, trembling with cold until it was ruined. The next morning there was seen in the poor creature a clear case of chest-founder. It is a shame to treat God’s poor creatures thus. I learned from this sad circumstance never to leave my horse without full directions as to its wants. LIFSK 68.2

The large house of worship was crowded with attentive hearers three times each day, till my time came to hasten to the next place. On Sunday, the Presbyterian minister had thirteen hearers. On Monday he came to hear me, and as I passed down the symbols of Daniel 8, and began to apply the specifications of the little horn of that chapter to the historical facts of Rome, he broke in upon me, saying:- LIFSK 68.3

“You mislead your hearers. Antiochus, and not Rome, is the subject of this prophecy.” LIFSK 68.4

“Please wait, sir,” was my reply, “till I have finished speaking, then you can talk as long as the people wish to hear you. Be patient, and hear me while I show that Rome, and not Antiochus Epiphanes, is the subject of the prophecy.” LIFSK 68.5

The matter was made quite plain, and the minister was told that he could speak. He rose, but his subject was the temporal millennium. All his propositions and proof-texts, which he tediously brought forward, had been examined in my first lecture. But it seemed necessary to briefly reply, notwithstanding it was little more than to repeat the same in the ears of nearly the same congregation. As I closed, a tall, rough-looking, red-shirted lumberman rose up in the house and said:- LIFSK 69.1

“The difficulty with Elder Merrill is that he is not ready, and is afraid the Lord will come.” LIFSK 69.2

The benediction repeated, the meeting closed. Good fruits followed in this place. LIFSK 69.3

At Brunswick, I had a candid hearing in what was called Elder Lamb’s meeting-house, a very large house of worship. My stay was brief, and most of the members of that numerous church were rich and worldly. They had not sufficient interest to even oppose me. So they heard me with a degree of apparent interest, amounting to little more than curiosity, and let me go. LIFSK 69.4

At Bowdoin, Elder Purington received me as a brother, and stood by me till my work was done in that place. The large house of worship was crowded. The people listened with deep interest and feeling. The Universalists sent a few questions to the desk in writing, which I enjoyed answering. Sinners manifested their desire for salvation, and those who loved Christ and his appearing rejoiced in the Advent hope and faith. LIFSK 69.5

Litchfield Plains was my next place of labor. The house was crowded the first evening. In fact, it was with difficulty that I found my way to the pulpit. To call the people to order, the first words they heard from me were in singing,- LIFSK 69.6

“You will see your Lord a coming,
You will see your Lord a coming,
You will see your Lord a coming,
LIFSK 69.7

In a few more days,
While a band of music,
While a band of music,
While a band of music,
Shall be chanting through the air.”
LIFSK 70.1

The reader certainly cannot see poetic merit in the repetition of these simple lines. And if he has never heard the sweet melody to which they were attached, he will be at a loss to see how one voice could employ them so as to hold nearly a thousand persons in almost breathless silence. But it is a fact that there was in those days a power in what was called Advent singing, such as was felt in no other. It seemed to me that not a hand or foot moved in all the crowd before me till I had finished all the words of this lengthy melody. Many wept, and the state of feeling was most favorable for the introduction of the grave subject for the evening. The house was crowded three times each day, and a deep impression was made upon the entire community. LIFSK 70.2

West Gardiner was my next point. Elder Getchel received me like a brother, and seemed to have a good interest in the subject. The people in this part of the town were nearly all Freewill Baptists. There had been one large church in the place, composed mostly of farmers possessing more wealth than piety. A part of the church had wanted a popular minister, and because they were opposed in this by a more humble portion, drew off in a church by themselves, built a fine house, and employed a preacher that pleased them. Here stood in full view two Freewill Baptist meeting-houses, each occupied every Sunday by two ministers of the same denomination, not always on friendly terms. It was a hard place to labor. LIFSK 70.3

While the members of these churches had been occupied with the division in their midst, they had been destitute of the spirit of reformation, and their children had grown nearly to manhood without conversion. These were much affected by my lectures, and sought the Lord, while their parents seemed unmoved. I will leave this place in my narrative, for the present, to return again, as I have something more to relate of the good work here in its proper place. LIFSK 70.4

According to arrangements at the quarterly meeting at Richmond village, I filled all my appointments, and saw in every place more or less of the work of God before I left. But the lectures were usually followed by protracted meetings, and large accessions were made to these churches. At the next quarterly meeting it was publicly stated that within the limits of that quarterly meeting, one thousand souls dated their experience from my lectures during that six weeks. LIFSK 71.1

The second day of April, 1843, I mounted my poor, chest-foundered horse, and started for my native town, much worn by the labors of the winter. The snow was very deep. My horse’s feet were much of the time, while passing over the drifts, higher than the tops of the fence posts. My only suit of clothes was much worn, and I had no money. I had not received the value of five dollars for my labors. Yet I was happy in hope. As I journeyed homeward, my horse became very much irritated with frequent turning out into the deep snow and sharp crust in passing teams. Several times while passing women and children he crowded nearly into the sleighs where they were. And fearing that he might seriously injure some one, I decided that it was safest, as teams approached, to dismount, crowd the horse out of the road, and hold him with a firm hand till they passed. LIFSK 71.2

As I was entering the city of Augusta, a farmer was returning home with an empty hay-sled, drawn by six oxen. I chose to ride past this team. The driver sat on the fore part of the sled, and the oxen kept the middle of the road. On being crowded out of the road, my horse became very angry, and as the sled was passing, threw himself over the first set of stakes on to the sled. Seeing strong probabilities that I should be thrown on some one of the second set of sharp stakes and killed, I sprang from the horse, quite over the stakes, into the snow on the other side. The team continued to move along with my horse fairly loaded upon the sled; and, by the time I had rescued myself from the snow, was several rods from me. LIFSK 71.3

“Halloo!” cried I. “Please stop your team and let me have my horse.” LIFSK 72.1

The good farmer stopped his oxen, and assisted me in unloading my horse, which, when I had mounted, galloped off as well as before. LIFSK 72.2

Rain came on, and the firmly trodden drifts became soft, so that my horse with my weight upon him would frequently sink to his body in the snow. I rode all day with my feet out of the stirrups, and as he would plunge into the snow, I would instantly slide off and relieve him of my weight, that he might better struggle out, or if he could not do this alone, assist him by lifting where most needed. LIFSK 72.3

April 5, I reached my father’s house, and, after resting a few weeks till the ground settled, returned to my field of labor, and was rejoiced to learn that the spirit of reformation had swept over the entire field. But the time had fully come for the people in farming districts to hasten out upon their lands, and I found but little chance to get a general hearing excepting on Sunday. However, I soon had a call to labor in East Augusta. LIFSK 72.4

But before going to this place I dreamed that an ox, with very high horns was pursuing me with very great fury, and that I was fleeing before him for my life. He followed me so closely that I sprang into a house near by and bolted the door. LIFSK 72.5

The ox broke down the door and entered. I left the house through an open window, and escaped to the barn. The ox broke down the barn door and entered. I escaped by another door, and as my last resort for safety, crept under the barn floor. The ox tore up the planks with his horns, and drove me from under the barn. And as he was pursuing me in the open field, I felt his horns goading my back. At that moment wings were given me, and I arose and flew with ease to the roof of the house. The disappointed ox stood looking at me, frequently shaking his horns, and appeared wild with rage. My deliverance was complete, and exultingly I flew from the house near the head of the ox, then quickly arose to the roof of the barn. This repeated several times, I awoke. This dream made quite an impression upon my mind, but soon passed from me, and I thought no more of it until brought to my mind by what occurred in connection with my labors at East Augusta. LIFSK 73.1

As I entered the school-house to meet my first appointment, the only person present, was a tall, athletic man, in the middle age of life. As it was a cool evening, he was kindling a fire. He spoke to me in a tone of kindness, but eyed me closely. I was afterward told that Walter Bolton, for this was his name, was an infidel. He was regarded as a good citizen, but had never before been known to take any interest in religious meetings. He attended all my lectures, and seemed deeply interested, and I often heard remarks from his neighbors like this: “What has got hold of Walter Bolton to call him out to these meetings? I never saw him out to a religious meeting before, only at a funeral.” We will leave Mr. Bolton for the present, and pass to other features of this series of meetings. LIFSK 73.2

During the week I gave lectures each evening to small congregations. But Sunday morning, at an early hour, the house was crowded. My subject was the millennium. I labored to show, LIFSK 73.3

1. That those texts usually quoted to prove the conversion of the entire world, did not prove what they are said to prove. LIFSK 74.1

2. What those texts do teach. In speaking upon Isaiah 65, I showed that it was not in this mortal state upon this old sin-cursed earth, that the leopard would lie down with the kid, and the lion eat straw like the ox, but in the new earth, as plainly declared by the prophet. That beasts, restored from the effects of the curse, would be no more out of their proper places in the earth restored, than when created upon it before the fall. LIFSK 74.2

3. That certain texts in the Old and New Testaments, in most distinct and emphatic language, teach that at no period of man’s fallen condition will all men be holy. LIFSK 74.3

At the close of this discourse, a Universalist preacher present arose and said:- LIFSK 74.4

“I want five minutes to show that this doctrine has no foundation in the Bible, or in common sense.” LIFSK 74.5

He had been a regular Baptist minister, had engaged in trade, and in the sale of liquor, had backslidden, and was preaching the unconditional salvation of all men. LIFSK 74.6

“You will want more than five minutes, sir, to do that,” I replied. “It is already half past twelve, and the people need rest and refreshment. When I have closed this afternoon, you can speak as long as they wish to hear you.” LIFSK 74.7

“No; this is just the place and time for me to speak, and the people want to hear me.” LIFSK 74.8

“We will submit the matter to the congregation, and let them decide it for us,” was my reply. I then asked those who agreed with me that the gentleman had better wait till afternoon, to rise up. Nearly the entire congregation were at once on their feet. I then asked those who chose to have him speak immediately to arise. Ten or twelve young men, who looked like finished ruffians, arose. The congregation was immediately dismissed for one hour. LIFSK 74.9

In the afternoon I spoke upon Matthew 24, and, expecting a battle with the Universalist preacher, gave some time to the examination of the view that Christ came the second time at the destruction of Jerusalem. My arguments told on the congregation, and the minister felt it. When I had closed my discourse, I said, “There is now room for that gentleman to speak as long as the people wish to hear him.” He arose embarrassed, and said in substance:- LIFSK 75.1

“I do not want to act the part of the scoffer, or fall under the denunciation of him who says, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming, and smites his fellow servant;’ but I wish to make a few remarks relative to a portion of scripture commented upon by the speaker this forenoon, which you will find in the sixty-fifth chapter of Daniel.” LIFSK 75.2

He immediately commenced to ridicule the idea of beasts in Heaven. I saw at once that it was Isaiah 65, and not Daniel, that he referred to. And after he had gotten fairly under way, I called his attention to the fact that he had made a mistake in giving the prophet Daniel credit for speaking of the lion and the ox both feeding on straw, and the leopard and the kid lodging together. It was not Daniel, but another prophet who had thus spoken. He rebuked me for interrupting him. I stated that as he should proceed to show in five minutes that the doctrine I preached had no foundation in scripture, or in common sense, I should see that his reference was all correct. But he affirmed that he was right in quoting Daniel, and went on with his remarks in a style well calculated to disgust the people, and turn them in strong sympathy with me. And when his unsanctified tongue was moving off at full speed, I called to him again, saying, “I am not willing the gentleman shall proceed any further till he reads from Dan.65, the scripture from which he is speaking. Please turn and read, sir, and satisfy us all that you are correct, and I will consent for you to go on.” LIFSK 75.3

He took up his Bible and turned from one side of it to the other, colored up, appeared greatly agitated, and said, “The book of Daniel is torn out of my Bible.” “Here, sir, is mine,” said I, and reaching it toward him, said to those seated near me, “Please pass it to him. Mine has the book of Daniel in it.” As my Bible was being passed from seat to seat toward this man, he looked distressed. He could not readily find the book of Daniel, not being familiar with his Bible, and evidently made the false statement for the occasion, that this book was torn from his Bible. LIFSK 76.1

He took my Bible and searched from one lid to the other several times for the book of Daniel, but was so agitated that he could not find it. The people fixed their eyes upon him, some with pity, others with apparent anger, while still another class laughed at him. My pity was moved toward him, and I stated that I could help the gentleman. That it was Isaiah, and not Daniel, that he wished to quote. That there were but twelve chapters in all the book of Daniel, and that he wished to speak upon Isaiah 65:17-25. I then quoted these nine verses from memory, and said, “This is what you want, is it not?” “Yes,” was his reply, and after a few broken remarks which showed his complete confusion, he sat down and covered his face with his hands. The people were ashamed of him, and seemed astonished that I should know from his remarks what chapter and verses he wanted, and that, without my Bible, I could repeat nearly half a chapter. LIFSK 76.2

If the dream of the ox applied to the effort on the part of this Universalist minister to crush me, then by this time I had all that victory over him represented by my soaring above him on wings. I then exhorted this poor apostate to turn from his sins, and seek a preparation for the coming of Christ. And as I felt the condition of the people, as there was scarcely a praying man or woman present, I exhorted them for half an hour. Nearly all wept. The minister did not raise his head. LIFSK 77.1

I gave an appointment for another evening meeting. Seventy men and women were present. At the close of the lecture I asked those who felt the need of Christ and desired my prayers, that they might become Christians, to rise up. Every one arose, the Universalist minister and all. He then stated as follows:- LIFSK 77.2

“I was once a Christian, and was called of God to preach, and if at last I wail in hell, I shall have this to comfort me, that I have been a means in the hands of God of the salvation of sinners.” LIFSK 77.3

The reader may judge that by this time this man’s faith in universal salvation had become very much shaken. I then asked all among those who had risen, who would esteem it a privilege to come forward and bow with me, to come to the front seats. All seventy started, and soon the floor in front of the seats was crowded so as to give no one a chance to kneel down. I then told them to go back to their seats and kneel down there as best they could, and give their hearts to the Lord. As I knelt every soul present bowed with me. There was no one in all that congregation to join me in vocal prayer, for not one of them enjoyed communion with God. LIFSK 77.4

The next day I called at the house of Walter Bolton. He and his family received me kindly, and conversed with me freely relative to the meetings, and upon the subject of religion in general. Before I left, Mr. Bolton said:- LIFSK 77.5

“Mr. White, when you rode into this place I knew you by sight as if I had been acquainted with you for years. Your countenance, hat, coat, horse, saddle and bridle, looked familiar to me. Just before you came here to lecture, I dreamed that a young man rode into this place on horseback, to speak upon the second coming of Christ. I noticed particularly his appearance and dress. The people asked him many questions, which he readily answered in a manner that carried strong conviction to their minds that the doctrine was true. Among these questions were those upon the millennium, suggesting the view that there was to be a thousand years of peace and prosperity to the church, during which time all men were to be holy. They were the very points you examined in your discourse last Sunday forenoon, which called out that Universalist minister. When I saw you, as you rode to this place, my dream came to my mind with such force that I felt that I must hear you speak. This is the reason why I have attended all your meetings, and have watched their progress with interest. Especially when you quoted the very texts which I heard you quote in my dream, and when you made the very remarks upon those texts which I distinctly remember of hearing you make, my feelings were beyond description.” LIFSK 78.1

From anything Mr. Bolton said during this interview with him and family, no one would receive the idea that he had been troubled with infidelity. He was under deep conviction, and seemed to choose the religion of the Bible as the theme of conversation. I bowed with this dear family in prayer, and parted with them in tears. The case of Walter Bolton furnishes an illustration of the simple means by which the Lord sometimes softens the hearts and enlightens the minds of those shut up to the hardness and blindness of infidelity, and prepares them for the reception of light and truth. LIFSK 78.2

In a few days I returned to Palmyra, where I received ordination to the work of the ministry from the hands of ministers of the Christian denomination, of which I was a member. But I soon returned back to East Augusta and baptized three persons. A fourth candidate stood ready to go into the water, but not being satisfied that she was sincere, I refused to baptize her in the presence of a large congregation at the water. This young woman was disappointed, and joined her parents in expressions and manifestations of anger. They sent for Elder Hermon Stinson, an educated Freewill Baptist minister of note, who came to the place, baptized the young woman, and organized a small church. And in just four weeks from that time, Elder Stinson was again called to the place to sit in counsel in the case of this woman, when she was dismissed from the church for bad conduct. LIFSK 79.1

During the summer of 1843, I was not able to awaken especial interest at any new place upon the subject of the second advent. I visited the congregation of believers in Portland and Boston, labored in the hay-field to earn clothing for the winter, and preached in different places where I had the previous winter given lectures. LIFSK 79.2

In the autumn of that year, in company with my father and two sisters, I attended the Maine Eastern Christian Conference, of which I was a member, held in the town of Knox. Before we reached the place, as night drew on, a heavy shower of rain compelled us to call at a hotel. In those days singing was our delight. My father had been a teacher of vocal music, and my sisters were first-class singers. And as time began to hang heavily upon our hands, we found relief in singing some of the most stirring revival melodies of those times. LIFSK 79.3

The landlord, his family, and many who had been driven in by the rain as we had been, seemed to enjoy our singing, and when we had finished one piece, they would call for another. In this way the evening passed off pleasantly. And when my father called for our bill the next morning, the landlord told him there was none for him to settle, as we had paid him the evening before in singing. He also stated that at any time we would put up with him he would entertain us, and take his pay in singing. LIFSK 80.1

The Christian denomination in Maine, as well as in other States, had been deeply imbued with the spirit of the Advent hope and faith. But it was evident before that Conference closed, that many, especially among the ministers, were drawing back, and were partaking of the spirit of opposition. The religious meetings and business sessions, however, passed off with a good degree of apparent harmony. No one preached or spoke in favor of the soon advent of Christ in a manner to offend any, and no one directly opposed. But a lack of freedom of spirit was felt by that portion of the Conference who were decided believers. This class constituted a majority, and on Sunday, the last day of the meeting, I was urged to preach. But I was young, and well knew that according to custom the ablest men present were already selected to preach to the crowd on that day, yet I felt assured by the Spirit of God, that I had the word of the Lord to speak to the people on that occasion. LIFSK 80.2

Just as the afternoon service was to commence, I felt so deeply impressed with duty to preach, that several ministers noticed it in my appearance, and came to me, saying: “It is your duty to speak, and we will try and secure the time to you this afternoon.” I then retired from the crowd in and around the house, to pray over the matter, and while bowed before the Lord, decided that I would press my way directly toward the pulpit, and if the ministers gave me room, and the time, I would speak. As I came toward the pulpit, I saw that the sofa was filled with ministers, and that one of experience in the ministry sat in the center, directly behind the large Bible. This man had been selected to give the last discourse. He had opposed me when lecturing in the west part of the State, and I concluded that he would not consent to give me the time. LIFSK 80.3

But as I drew near the pulpit, my brother Samuel, who was then a member of the Conference, and a Brother Chalmers, stepped down from the pulpit, took hold of my arms, and urged me to take a seat upon the sofa, stating to me that if I wished to preach I should have a chance. I replied that if one of them would read Advent hymns, the other pray, and I could get hold of the large Bible, I would speak. My brother read a hymn, and while Brother Chalmers was praying, I took the Bible from the stand and turned leaves to certain proof texts. When the prayer was finished, some uneasiness was manifested by several ministers as they saw me in possession of the Bible. The second hymn was read and sung, while I held fast the Bible. My intentions to preach were by this time well known to all the ministers, yet no one offered to take the Bible, or to speak to me in reference to occupying the time. The way seemed fully open, and I moved forward with freedom, while responses of “Amen,” were heard in different parts of the house from those who cherished the blessed hope of the soon coming of Jesus. LIFSK 81.1

At the close of this service, the Lord’s supper was to be celebrated, and while the friends of Jesus were gathering around this table, I joined with my sisters in singing:- LIFSK 81.2

“You will see your Lord a coming,” etc. Our voices in those days were clear and powerful, and our spirits triumphant in the Lord. And as we would strike the chorus of each verse - “With a band of music,” - a good Brother Clark, who ever seemed to have resting upon him a solemn sense of the great day of God near at hand, would rise, strike his hands together over his head, shout “Glory!” and immediately sit down. A more solemn appearing man I never saw. Each repetition of this chorus would bring Brother Clark to his feet, and call from him the same shout of glory. The Spirit of God came upon the brethren, who by this time were seated ready to receive the emblems of our dying Lord. The influence of the melody, accompanied by Brother Clark’s solemn appearance and sweet shouts, seemed electrifying. Many were in tears, while responses of “Amen,” and “Praise the Lord,” were heard from almost every one who loved the Advent hope. The emblems were passed, and that yearly meeting closed. LIFSK 81.3

In a few weeks I returned to my old field of labor, and gave lectures at Brunswick and Harpswell, where a good degree of interest was manifested. The field of labor seemed to open before me as winter drew near. I had become acquainted with Brother John Pearson, Jr., of Portland, who had been laboring a portion of his time giving lectures upon the near advent, and I invited him to join me. We labored together in different parts of Maine much of the time for nearly one year. At the Reed neighborhood, in Richmond, we saw a good work. Elder E. Cromwell, the pastor of the church, embraced the faith in full. I there baptized several. LIFSK 82.1

We labored at Litchfield and saw a good work. Many professed Christians embraced the faith, and sinners were converted. The Congregationalist minister felt that the work was against his interests, and in private circles opposed. On returning to the place, after an absence of some weeks, I met this minister in the road, and as we passed he seemed to be surprised to meet me again, and said:- LIFSK 82.2

“Why, Mr. White, are you yet in the land of the living?” LIFSK 83.1

“No, sir,” was the reply, “I am in the land of the dying, but at the soon coming of the Lord I expect to go to the land of the living.” We each went our way. LIFSK 83.2

The year 1843, Jewish time, which was supposed to reach, as stated by Mr. Miller, from March 21, 1843, to March 21, 1844, passed, and many were sadly disappointed in not witnessing the coming of the Lord in that year. But these soon found relief in the clear and forcible application to the existing disappointment of those scriptures which set forth the tarrying time. LIFSK 83.3

It was as early as 1842 that the prophecy of Habakkuk suggested the idea of the prophetic chart to the mind of that holy man of God, Charles Fitch. No one, however, then saw in this prophecy the tarrying time. Afterward they could see both the chart and the tarry. Here is the prophecy:- LIFSK 83.4

“Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Chap. 2:2, 3. LIFSK 83.5

True believers were also much comforted and strengthened by that portion of the prophecy of Ezekiel which seemed exactly to the point, as follows:- LIFSK 83.6

“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged and every vision faileth? Tell them, therefore, Thus saith the Lord God, I will make this proverb to cease; and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision. For there shall be no more any vain vision, nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord, I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass. It shall be no more prolonged, for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God. Again the word of the Lord came to me saying, Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore, say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.” Chap. 12:21-28. LIFSK 83.7

There was a general agreement with those who taught the immediate coming of Christ, in applying the parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25 to the events connected with the second advent. And the passing of the time of expectation, the disappointment and the delay, seemed to be forcibly illustrated by the tarrying of the bridegroom in the parable. The definite time had passed, yet believers were united in the faith that the event was near. It soon became evident that they were losing a degree of their zeal and devotion to the cause, and were falling into that state illustrated by the slumbering of the ten virgins of the parable, following the tarrying of the bridegroom. LIFSK 84.1

The first of May I received an urgent call to visit West Gardiner, and baptize. A messenger was sent twenty miles for me. He stated that there were ten or twelve children there, who were convicted by my lectures, who had held their little meetings by themselves, and sought and found the Lord, and who had decided to have me baptize them. Their parents opposed the idea, and told them that Elder Getchel, the pastor of the church, would baptize them. They held a little counsel and decided that they would not go into the water unless they could have me to immerse them. Their parents yielded and sent for me. But before I reached the place, an effort was made to intimidate these dear children, and, if possible, to frighten them, and thus keep them from doing their duty. “What kind of an experience does Mr. White suppose those babies can tell?” said a Baptist minister of the most rigid stamp of past times. LIFSK 84.2

The large school-house was crowded at the time appointed, and there were three unfriendly ministers present to watch the proceedings. “Please vacate these front seats,” said I, “and give those who are to be baptized a chance to come forward.” Twelve boys and girls, from seven to fifteen years of age, came forward. It was a beautiful sight, which stirred the very depths of my soul, and I felt like taking charge of them as I would of a class in school. I was determined to help the feelings of those dear children as much as possible, and rebuke their persecutors. LIFSK 85.1

After taking my text, “Fear not little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” Luke 12:32, a text quite applicable to the occasion, I stated that I should not require the children before me to relate their experiences before the congregation. That it would be cruel to decide their fitness to follow the Lord in the ordinance of baptism by the confidence and freedom they might have in speaking before those professed Christians present who felt unfriendly toward them, and that I should, at the close of my discourse; ask them a few questions. The children were much comforted and cheered by the discourse. In fact I was enjoying decidedly a good time with those lambs of the flock. They then arose in their turn and answered some questions, and related particulars as to their conviction of sin, the change they had experienced, and the love of Jesus they felt, until the congregation heard twelve intelligent and sweet experiences. It may be proper for me here to state that questions asked these children at the very point in the relation of their experiences when they were becoming confused, and were about to cut their story short, gave them confidence, and helped them to enter into all parts of their experiences. LIFSK 85.2

I then called upon all present who felt opposed to the baptism of the little flock before me, to rise up. Not one arose. I stated to them that the present was the time to object if they had objections. But if they did not then and there object, to forever be silent. I then said to the children that no one objected, and that the way was fully open before them, and no person from that day had any right to object to their baptism. We went to a beautiful body of water, where I led those dear children down into the liquid grave, and buried them with their divine Lord. Not one of them strangled or seemed the least agitated. And as I led them out of the water and presented them to their parents, the children met them with a heavenly smile of joy, and I praised the Lord with the voice of triumph. This meeting, and that sweet baptism, has lived among the most pleasing memories of the past, and when laboring for the youth in different States, I have probably rehearsed more or less of the particulars of that sweet meeting, and that happy baptism, a hundred times. LIFSK 86.1

In the month of June, 1844, a Second Advent Conference was held at Portland, Me., which I attended in company with Elder Pearson. I had traveled extensively in the heat and dust of summer, until my plain clothing was much soiled and worn. LIFSK 86.2

And not enjoying my usual freedom of spirits, I chose to remain silent and give others the time. I enjoyed the preaching, however, and the social seasons of this excellent Conference, and at its close felt my usual spiritual strength and freedom. LIFSK 87.1

There was present at this Conference an Elder H., from Eastern Maine, who had much to say in his peculiar, noisy style. He professed to be a man of great faith, and wonderfully filled with the Holy Spirit. If noise, harsh expressions, rough language generally, and frequent empty shouts of “Glory, hallelujah,” constitute the sum total of the fruits of the Spirit, then this Elder H. was an exceedingly good man. But if love, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and temperance, are among the fruits of the Spirit, this poor man was sadly deficient. In fact, these precious fruits were not exhibited in him. He enjoyed a shout with those who would join with him, and ever appeared to feel strong and sure of Heaven. Self appeared in this man, and not Christ. He had much to say of humility; but his was evidently on the outside. His style of worship, and pretended humility, are well described by the apostle as “voluntary humility and will-worship.” At times he was so very humble(?) that he chose not to seat himself at the table with others to take food; but, forgetting the words of the apostle, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” he would take food from the table, and go behind the door and eat it, attracting attention to his wonderful humility by shouts. But if corrected for his faults, however carefully, the demon in him was aroused at once. This man had no words of tenderness and comfort for the weak and fainting. So far from this, he even boasted of running over, as he expressed it, this one and the other. He spoke and acted as if he regarded himself as being on exhibition at that meeting as a wonderful specimen of faith and goodness. His career since that time, in following the spirit that seemed to possess him at that Conference, has proved that the man was laboring under the sad mistake of supposing himself led by the Spirit of God, while being controlled by Satan. LIFSK 87.2

The reader may be disappointed at the introduction of this unpleasant matter, choosing to read only of those incidents with which are connected the victories of the work and power of God. But it may be for the safety and sure advancement of young disciples, and those of little experience in the conflicts of the Christian life, to learn of the trials of the way, and of the wiles of the devil, as to know only of the power and love of God, and the triumphant victories of his truth and people. The various attacks of Satan, in order to mislead and finally destroy even honest men and women, may with propriety, in consequence of their numbers, bear the name of legion. And the duty of all is, as stated by our Lord, “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” LIFSK 88.1

But he who is filled with pride in spiritual things, and is unteachable - thinks himself especially led by the Spirit, and understands all about the work of the Lord, who regards himself as an eminent Christian, yet is easily tempted, and becomes jealous of being slighted, and even ugly if he does not receive a large share of attention - is a tool for the devil, and an exceedingly dangerous man. He is a medium in the hands of Satan through which to effect and mislead the precious flock of Christ. Let all beware lest they, in some way, be brought more or less under the influence of such, and, in consequence, weave into their experience uncomely stripes of vain religion. LIFSK 88.2

Such things ever have existed, and ever will exist during the entire period of Satan’s efforts to wrest precious souls from the hands of Jesus Christ. “For there must be also heresies among you,” says Paul, “that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” These, in the Lord’s providence, constitute a portion of the fuel to heat the furnace of affliction in which the true Christian loses his dross and is refined, so as to reflect in his life the meekness and purity of the loving Lamb of God. Therefore let not the beloved of the Lord think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try them, as though some strange thing had happened unto them. But rejoice, inasmuch as they are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, they may be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12, 13. LIFSK 88.3

The reader will please return to Poland Conference. One morning about forty brethren and sisters bowed at the family altar, at the house of Brother Jordan, while Elder H. led in prayer. A portion of that strange prayer was in substance as follows:- LIFSK 89.1

“O Lord, have mercy on Brother White. He is proud, and will be damned unless he gets rid of his pride. Have mercy upon him, O Lord, and save him from pride. O Lord have mercy, and wean him from the pride of life. Break him down, Lord, and make him humble. Have mercy upon him. Have mercy.” LIFSK 89.2

He went on telling a long story about me, informing the Lord of my pride, and how sure I was of destruction unless I should speedily repent, and closed up with vehement cries of, “Have mercy! Have mercy! Mercy! Mercy!” This was his way of treating those who did not seem to receive him with feelings of great reverence for his special humility and extra holiness. His object in this was to cast fear upon those around him, and thus bring them directly under his influence, that they might show him all that respect which his especial endowments demanded. LIFSK 89.3

But he did not succeed in my case. After the company had arisen to their seats, and had for awhile painfully pondered in silence what these things could mean, I drew my chair near Elder H., and in a kind manner said to him:- LIFSK 89.4

“Brother H., I fear you have told the Lord a wrong story. You say I am proud. This I think is not true. But why tell this to the Lord? He knows more about me than you do. He does not need to be instructed in my case. But this was not your object. You wished to represent me before these brethren and sisters as proud, and have chosen to do so through the medium of prayer to God. Now, sir, if I am proud, so much so that you are able to give the Lord information on the subject, you can tell me before these present in what I am proud. Is it in my general appearance, or my manner of speaking, praying, or singing?” LIFSK 90.1

“No, Brother White, it is not in those things.” LIFSK 90.2

“Well, is it manifested by these worn and soiled clothes? Please look me over. Is it in my patched boots? my rusty coat? this nearly worn-out vest? these soiled pants? or that old hat I wear?” LIFSK 90.3

“No; I do not see pride in any of these things you mention. But, Brother White, when I saw that starched collar on you, God only knows how I felt.” LIFSK 90.4

And here the man wept as though his heart would break. This was for effect. It was his usual resort when he had points to carry in a difficult case. In an extremity, tears are not unfrequently woman’s closing and most powerful argument. In her, if her cause be just, they are excusable, and even appropriate and beautiful. But to see a coarse, hard-hearted man, possessing in his very nature but little more tenderness than a crocodile, and nearly as destitute of moral and religious training as a hyena, shedding hypocritical tears for effect, is enough to stir the mirthfulness of the gravest saint. LIFSK 90.5

“But let me explain to you, Brother H., about this starched collar. I may be able to help you. When I came to this Conference, Sister Rounds offered to do my washing, and as I had no clean change, she kindly lent me her husband’s shirt, which unfortunately has a starched collar. Mine have only a narrow binding round the neck. I wear no collars only in cases of necessity like the present. It is this, sir, that has given rise to all your ado this morning. I usually wear a black alpaca bosom, but am not the owner of a single collar. You have certainly told the Lord a wrong story about me, under circumstances the most inexcusable. And I think your first and most important work is to settle this matter with him.” LIFSK 90.6

Elder H. dropped upon his knees, and said, in substance:- LIFSK 91.1

“O Lord, I have prayed for Brother White, and he is displeased with me for it. Have mercy upon him! Have mercy! Mercy! Mercy!” LIFSK 91.2

And seeing that none joined with him, not even so much as to kneel, he felt that his effort was proving a failure, and in a subdued tone came to me and said:- LIFSK 91.3

“Why did you not kneel with me? O Brother White, I have felt for you, prayed for you, and have wept over you, and I hope you will not be offended.” LIFSK 91.4

“Certainly, I am not offended. There is nothing in all this to offend any one. I pity you. You are suffering from unsanctified feelings arising from an unfortunate application of false ideas. Your prayers are no more to me than the howling of the winds. And when you, under such circumstances, plead your tears, feelings of shame and inexpressible disgust and pity for you come over me. I advise you to carry this matter no further; and I hope you will learn a good lesson from the folly you have manifested this morning.” LIFSK 91.5

By this time I seemed to lose sight of that gloom and despondency under which I had been suffering for several days, and I enjoyed the closing portion of the Conference exceedingly well, and from that time felt my usual freedom of spirits. This was my first experience in meeting and rebuking fanaticism, which served to prepare me to deal with it in its ever varying forms in after time. LIFSK 91.6

That fanaticism did arise about this time, and labor to attach itself to the Advent cause, I would not deny. I, however, by no means admit the truthfulness of the highly-colored reports of bitter enemies of the cause. Not more than one in ten of the slanderous reports had the least semblance of truth in them. Men filled with prejudice and bitterness against the proclamation of the immediate second advent of Christ, mingled with fear that it might be true, were totally unfitted to fairly represent the faith, motives and actions of believers. And there are no good reasons why he who gives a faithful sketch of Advent history, should hesitate to admit all the facts relative to fanaticism which have arisen from the bigotry and blind zeal of such men as Elder H., and those more designing and shrewd, who have borne the Advent name, and have professed the Advent faith. LIFSK 92.1

Is it not one of the plainest facts in sacred history, that when God has especially wrought for his people, Satan has ever improved the opportunity to make especial efforts? And, during the entire period of the controversy between Christ and his angels, and Satan and his angels, when the sons of God come to present themselves before the Lord, may they not expect that Satan will come also? Has not this ever been true in the history of the people of God? And does not the sad experience of the church of Jesus Christ, since the time where sacred history leaves it, agree with that of the patriarchs and prophets? LIFSK 92.2

We read of Luther’s perplexities, and of his anguish, in consequence of the conduct of fanatics, and the terrible influence the course of these men had on the great reformation, and count these things among the evidences that God was especially with Martin Luther. And there were the Wesleys, and a host of other good men, who have lifted at the great wheel of reform, and have blessed the world with the inspiring influence of their living faith. These men who kept pace with the spirit of reform, have, in their turn, been annoyed at every step by Satan close at their heels, pushing unguarded souls, over-zealous and illy-balanced ones, into fanaticism. The experiences of these men are in harmony with that of the holy men of old, and attest the fact that when and where God works for his people, just there is the time and place for Satan to practice his impositions upon those he can get under his foul influence. LIFSK 92.3

Did Satan stir up fanaticism in connection with the Advent movement? This is one of the proofs of the genuineness of the work. What! He suffer the world to be warned of their and his approaching doom, and he not be stirred in consequence of it? The church be aroused to action, and to readiness for the day of God, and sinners by thousands leaving his ranks and seeking a preparation to meet the King of kings, and he remain quiet? No. He knows his time is short, hence not only his wrath, but his wiles in all their forms. This is well illustrated by what is said to be a dream. A traveler saw Satan seated upon a post, in front of a house of worship, asleep. He aroused him from his slumbers and addressed him as follows:- LIFSK 93.1

“How is it that you are so quietly sleeping? This I conclude is unusual for you, considering your reputation for activity in your kind of work. Is it not?” LIFSK 93.2

“Yes,” was the reply, “but the people in this house of worship are asleep, and the minister is asleep, and I thought this a good time for me to take a nap.” LIFSK 93.3

Let the people be aroused to the living truths of the word of God, and to a life of faith and holiness; let them with gladness receive the news of the return and peaceful reign of the Just One; let them consecrate themselves and all they have to the Lord, and with one united voice swell the note, “Behold he cometh,” and you will have good evidence that the powers of darkness are all astir. Satan will not sleep then. With vigilance will he manifest his wrath, and, calling to his aid all the fallen angels of his realm, his wiles will be imposed upon all connected with the people of God who are not properly instructed and guarded. LIFSK 94.1

But it should be distinctly understood that the proclamation of time in the message symbolized by the first angel of Revelation 14:6, 7, and in the cry “Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” given in great power in the autumn of 1844, did not produce fanaticism. In those solemn movements, believers were sweetly united in the one blessed hope, and the one living faith. It was when they were left without definite time, during the summer of 1844, that extravagant views of being led by the Spirit prevailed, and to some extent brought in fanaticism, division and wildfire, with their blighting results, among the happy expectants of the King of glory. But when the proclamation of definite time came in the autumn of 1844, fanaticism, ultra holiness, unhappy divisions, and their results, melted away before it like an early autumn frost before the rising sun. LIFSK 94.2