Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White 1888

Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White 1888

Chapter 5—Parentage and Early Life

[Note: Pages 1-130 are not E. G. White material.]

“At the age of nine years an accident happened to me which was to affect my whole life. In company with my twin sister and one of our school-mates I was crossing a common in the city of Portland, Maine, when a girl about thirteen years of age, also a member of our school, becoming angry at some trifle, followed us, threatening to strike us. Our parents had taught us never to contend with any one, but if we were in danger of being abused or injured, to hasten home at once. We were doing this with all speed, but the girl followed us as rapidly, with a stone in her hand. I turned my head to see how far she was behind me, and as I did so, she threw the stone and it hit me on the nose. A blinding, stunning sensation overpowered me, and I fell senseless. LS88 131.1

“When consciousness again returned, I found myself in a merchant's store; my garments were covered with blood which was pouring from my nose and streaming over the floor. A kind stranger offered to take me home in his carriage, but I, not realizing my weakness told him that I preferred to walk home rather than soil his carriage with blood. Those present were not aware that my injury was so serious and allowed me to have my own way; but after walking only a few rods I grew faint and dizzy. My twin sister and my school-mate carried me home. LS88 131.2

“I have no recollection of anything further for some time after the accident. My mother said that I noticed nothing but lay in a stupor for three weeks; no one but herself thought it possible for me to recover. For some reason she felt that I would live. A kind neighbor, who had been very much interested in my behalf, at one time thought me to be dying. She wished to purchase a burial robe for me, but my mother said, ‘Not yet,’ for something told her that I would not die. LS88 131.3

“When I again aroused to consciousness, it seemed to me that I had been asleep. I did not remember the accident and was ignorant of the cause of my illness. As I began to gain a little strength, my curiosity was aroused by overhearing those who came to visit me say: ‘What a pity!’ ‘I should not have known her,’ etc. I asked for a looking-glass, and upon gazing into it, was shocked at the change in my appearance. Every feature of my face seemed changed. The bones of my nose had been broken, which caused this disfigurement. LS88 132.1

“The idea of carrying my misfortune through life was insupportable. I could see no pleasure in my existence. I did not wish to live, and yet feared to die, for I was unprepared. Friends often visited my parents and looked with pity upon me, and advised them to prosecute the father of the girl who had, as they said, ruined me. But my mother was for peace; she said that if such a course could bring me back my health and natural looks there would be something gained, but as this was impossible, it was best not to make enemies by following such advice. LS88 132.2

“Physicians thought that a silver wire might be put in my nose to hold it in shape. This would have been very painful, and they feared it would be of little use, as I had lost so much blood and sustained such a nervous shock that my recovery was very doubtful. Even if I revived, it was their opinion I could live but a short time. I was reduced almost to a skeleton. LS88 132.3

“At this time I began to pray the Lord to prepare me for death. When Christian friends visited the family, they would ask my mother if she had talked to me about dying. I overheard this and it roused me. I desired to become a Christian and prayed earnestly for the forgiveness of my sins. I felt a peace of mind resulting, and loved every one, feeling desirous that all should have their sins forgiven and love Jesus as I did. LS88 132.4

“I well remember one night in winter when the snow was on the ground, the heavens were lighted up, the sky looked red and angry, and seemed to open and shut, while the snow looked like blood. The neighbors were very much frightened. Mother took me out of bed in her arms and carried me to the window. I was happy; I thought Jesus was coming, and I longed to see him. My heart was full, I clapped my hands for joy, and thought my sufferings were ended. But I was disappointed; the singular appearance faded away from the heavens, and the next morning the sun arose the same as usual. LS88 133.1

“I gained strength very slowly. As I became able to join in play with my young friends, I was forced to learn the bitter lesson that one's personal appearance makes a difference in the treatment they receive from the majority of their companions. At the time of my misfortune, my father was absent in Georgia. When he returned he embraced my brother and sisters and then inquired for me. I, timidly shrinking back, was pointed out by my mother, but my own father did not recognize me. It was hard for him to believe that I was his little Ellen, whom he had left only a few months before a healthy, happy child. This cut my feelings deeply, but I tried to appear cheerful though my heart seemed breaking. LS88 133.2

“Many times in those childish days, I was made to feel my misfortune keenly. My feelings were unusually sensitive and caused me great unhappiness. Often with wounded pride, mortified and wretched in spirit, have I sought a lonely place and gloomily contemplated the trials I was daily doomed to bear. LS88 133.3

“The relief of tears was denied me. I could not weep readily as could my twin sister, so, though my heart was heavy and ached as if it were breaking, I could not shed a tear. I often felt that it would greatly relieve me to weep away my overcharged feelings. Sometimes the kindly sympathy of friends banished my gloom and removed, for a time, the leaden weight that oppressed my heart. How vain and empty seemed the pleasures of earth to me then! How changeable the friendships of my young companions yet these little school-mates were not unlike a majority of the great world's people. A pretty face, a handsome dress attracts them, but let misfortune take these away and the fragile friendship grows cold or is broken. But when I turned to my Saviour, he comforted me. I sought the Lord earnestly in my trouble and received consolation, believed that Jesus loved even me. LS88 134.1

“My health seemed to be completely shattered. For two years I could not breathe through my nose, and was able to attend school but little. It seemed impossible for me to study and retain what I learned. The same girl who was the cause of my misfortune, was appointed monitor by our teacher, and it was among her duties to assist me in my writing and other lessons. She always seemed sincerely sorry for the great injury she had done me, although I was careful not to remind her of it. She was tender and patient with me, and seemed sad and thoughtful as she saw me laboring, under serious disadvantages, to get an education. LS88 134.2

“My nervous system was prostrated, and my hand trembled so that I made but little progress in writing and could get no farther than the simple copies in coarse hand. As I endeavored to bend my mind to my studies, the letters on the page would run together, great drops of perspiration would stand upon my brow, and a faintness and giddiness would seize me. I had a bad cough, and my whole system seemed debilitated. My teachers advised me to leave school and not pursue my studies further till my health would warrant it. It was the hardest struggle of my young life to yield to my feebleness, and decide that I must give up my studies and relinquish the cherished hope of acquiring an education. LS88 134.3

“My ambition to become a scholar had been very great, and when I pondered over my disappointed hopes, and the thought that I was to be an invalid for life, despair seized me. The future stretched out before me dark and cheerless, without one ray of light. I was unreconciled to my lot, and at times murmured against the providence of God in thus afflicting me. I concealed my troubled feelings from my family and friends, fearing that they could not understand me. This was a mistaken course. Had I opened my mind to my mother, she might have instructed, soothed, and encouraged me. LS88 135.1

“After I had struggled with this unreconciled spirit for days the tempter came under a new guise and increased my distress by condemning me for having allowed such rebellious thoughts to take possession of my mind. My conscience was perplexed, and I knew no way to extricate myself from the labyrinth in which I was wandering. LS88 135.2

“The happy confidence in the Saviour's love that I had enjoyed during my illness, was gone. I had lost the blessed consciousness that I was a child of God, and felt that the hopes of my heart had deceived me. It was my determination not to again put confidence in my feelings, until I knew for a certainty that the Lord had pardoned my sins. LS88 135.3

“At times my sense of guilt and responsibility to God lay so heavy upon my soul, that I could not sleep but lay awake for hours, thinking of my lost condition and what was best for me to do. The consequences of my unfortunate accident again assumed gigantic proportions in my mind. I seemed to be cut off from all chance of earthly happiness, and doomed to continual disappointment and mortification. Even the tender sympathy of my friends pained me, for my pride rebelled against being in a condition to excite their pity. My prospect of worldly enjoyment was blighted, and heaven seemed closed against me. LS88 135.4

“I had the highest reverence for Christians and ministers of the gospel, but religion seemed too holy and sacred for me to obtain. An inconceivable anguish bore me down until it seemed impossible for me to longer live beneath the burden. I locked my secret agony within my heart, and did not seek the advice of experienced Christians as I should have done. LS88 136.1

“No one conversed with me on the subject of my soul's salvation, and no one prayed with me. I felt that Christians were so far removed from me, so much nobler and purer than myself, that I dared not approach them on the subject that engrossed my thoughts, and was ashamed to reveal the lost and wretched condition of my heart. LS88 136.2

“In March, 1840, William Miller visited Portland, Me., and gave his first course of lectures on the second coming of Christ. These lectures produced a great sensation, and the Christian church, on Casco street, that Mr. Miller occupied, was crowded day and night. No wild excitement attended these meetings, but a deep solemnity pervaded the minds of those who heard his discourses. Not only was there manifested a great interest in the city, but the country people flocked in day after day, bringing their lunch baskets, and remaining from morning until the close of the evening meeting. LS88 136.3

“Mr. Miller dwelt upon the prophecies, comparing them with Bible history, that the end of the world was near. I attended these meetings in company with my friends and listened to the strange doctrines of the preacher. Four years previous to this, on my way to school, I had picked up a scrap of paper containing an account of a man in England, who was preaching that the earth would be consumed in about thirty years from that time. I took this paper home and read it to the family. LS88 136.4

“In contemplating the event predicted, a great terror seized me; for the time seemed so short for the conversion and salvation of the world. I had been taught that a temporal millennium would take place prior to the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Such a deep impression was made upon my mind by the little paragraph on the waste scrap of paper, that I could scarcely sleep for several nights, and prayed continually to be ready when Jesus came. LS88 137.1

“But now I was listening to the most solemn and powerful sermons to the effect that Christ was coming in 1843, only a few short years in the future. The preacher traced down the prophecies with a keen exactitude that struck conviction to the hearts of his hearers. He dwelt upon the prophetic periods, and piled up proof to strengthen his position. Then his solemn and powerful appeals and admonitions to those who were unprepared, held the crowds as if spell-bound. LS88 137.2

“Special meetings were appointed where sinners might have an opportunity to seek their Saviour and prepare for the fearful events soon to take place. Terrible conviction spread through the entire city. Prayer-meetings were established, and there was a general awakening among the various denominations, for they all felt more or less the influence that proceeded from the teaching of the near coming of Christ. LS88 137.3

“When sinners were invited forward to the anxious seat, hundreds responded to the call, and I, among the rest, pressed through the crowd and took my humble place with the seekers. But there was a hopeless feeling in my heart that I could never become worthy to be called a child of God. A lack of confidence in myself and a conviction that it would be impossible to make any one understand my feelings, prevented me from seeking advice and aid from my Christian friends. Thus I wandered needlessly in darkness and despair, while they, not penetrating my peculiar reserve, were entirely ignorant of my true state. LS88 137.4

“One evening my brother Robert and myself were returning home from a meeting where we had listened to a most impressive discourse on the approaching reign of Christ upon the earth, followed by an earnest and solemn appeal to Christians and sinners, urging them to prepare for the judgment and the coming of the Lord. My soul had been stirred within me by what I had heard. And so deep was the sense of conviction in my heart, that I feared the Lord would not spare me to reach home. LS88 138.1

“These words kept ringing in my ears, The great day of the Lord is at hand! Who shall be able to stand when he appeareth! The language of my heart was, ‘Spare me, O Lord, through the night! Take me not away in my sins, pity me, save me! For the first time, I tried to explain my feelings to my brother Robert, who was two years older than myself; I told him that I dared not rest nor sleep until I knew that God had pardoned my sins. LS88 138.2

“My brother made no immediate response, but the cause of his silence was soon apparent to me; he was weeping in sympathy with my distress. This encouraged me to confide in him still more, to tell him that I had coveted death in the days when life seemed so heavy a burden for me to bear; but now the thought that I might die in my present sinful state and be eternally lost, filled me with inexpressible terror. I asked him if he thought God would spare my life through that one night, if I spent it agonizing in prayer to him. He answered, ‘I think he will if you ask him with faith, and I will pray for you and for myself. Ellen, we must never forget the words we have heard this night.’ LS88 138.3

“Arriving at home, I spent most of the long hours of darkness in prayer and tears. One special reason that prompted me to conceal my feelings from my friends, was the dread of hearing a word of discouragement. My hope was so small, and my faith so weak, that I feared if another took a similar view of my condition, it would plunge me into absolute despair. Yet my heart longed for some one to tell me what I should do to be saved, what steps to take to meet my Saviour and give myself entirely up to the Lord. I regarded it a great thing to be a Christian, and felt that it required some peculiar effort on my part. LS88 139.1

“My mind remained in this condition for months. I had usually attended the Methodist meetings with my parents; but since becoming interested in the soon appearing of Christ, I had attended the meetings on Casco street. The following summer my parents went to the Methodist camp-meeting at Buxton, Me., taking me with them. I was fully resolved to seek the Lord in earnest there, and obtain, if possible, the pardon of my sins. There was a great longing in my heart for the Christian's hope and the peace that comes of believing. LS88 139.2

“Some things at this camp-meeting perplexed me exceedingly. I could not understand the exercises of many persons during the conference meetings at the stand and in the tents. They shouted at the top of their voices, clapped their hands, and appeared greatly excited. Quite a number fell, through exhaustion it appeared to me, but those present said they were sanctified to God, and this wonderful manifestation was the power of the Almighty upon them. After lying motionless for a time, these persons would rise and again talk and shout as before. LS88 139.3

“In some of the tents, meetings were continued through the night, by those who were praying for freedom from sin, and the sanctification of the Spirit of God. Quite a number became sick in consequence of the excitement and loss of sleep, and were obliged to leave the ground. These singular manifestations brought no relief to me, but rather increased my discouragement. I despaired of ever becoming a Christian if, in order to obtain the blessing, it was necessary for me to be exercised as these people were. I was terrified by such peculiar demonstrations, and at a loss to understand them. LS88 140.1

“At length I was greatly relieved while listening to a discourse from the words: ‘I will go in unto the king,’ ‘and if I perish, I perish,’ In his remarks the speaker referred to those who were wavering between hope and fear, longing to be saved from their sins and receive the pardoning love of Christ, yet held in doubt and bondage by timidity and fear of failure. He counseled such ones to surrender themselves to God and venture upon his mercy without delay. They would find a gracious Saviour ready to present to them the scepter of mercy even as Ahasuerus offered to Esther the signal of his favor. All that was required of the sinner, trembling in the presence of his Lord, was to put forth the hand of faith and touch the scepter of his grace. That touch insured pardon and peace. LS88 140.2

“Those who were waiting to make themselves more worthy of divine favor, before they dared venture to claim the promises, were making a fatal mistake. Jesus alone cleanses from sin; he only can forgive our transgressions. He has pledged himself to listen to the petition and grant the prayer of those who come to him in faith. Many had a vague idea that they must make some wonderful effort in order to gain the favor of God. But all self-dependence is vain. It is only by connecting with Jesus through faith that the sinner becomes a hopeful, believing child of God. LS88 140.3

“These words comforted me and gave me views of what I must do to be saved. Soon after this I passed into a tent where the people were praying and shouting, some confessing their sins and crying for mercy, while other were rejoicing in their newfound happiness. My attention was attracted to a little girl who seemed to be in great distress. Her face would pale and flush by turns, as though she were passing through a severe conflict. LS88 141.1

“Tightly clasped in her arms was a pretty little parasol. Occasionally she would loosen her hold on it for a moment as if about to let it fall, then her grasp would tighten upon it again; all the time she seemed to be regarding it with a peculiar fascination. At last she cried out: ‘Dear Jesus, I want to love thee and go to heaven! Take away my sins! I give myself to thee, parasol and all.’ She threw herself into her mother's arms weeping and exclaiming: ‘Ma, I am so happy, for Jesus loves me, and I love him better than my parasol or anything else! LS88 141.2

“The face of the child was fairly radiant, she had surrendered her little all. In her childish experience she had fought the battle and won the victory. There was much weeping and rejoicing in the tent. The mother was deeply moved and very joyful that the Lord had added her dear child as a lamb to his fold. She explained to those present that her little daughter had received the parasol as a present not long before. She was very much delighted with it, and had kept it in her hands most of the time, even taking it to bed with her. LS88 141.3

“During the meeting her tender heart had been moved to seek the Saviour. She had heard that nothing must be withheld from Jesus; that nothing short of an entire surrender of ourselves and all we have would be acceptable with him. The little parasol was the child's earthly treasure upon which her heart was set, and, in the struggle to give it up to the Lord, she had passed through a trial keener perhaps than that of the mature Christian, who sacrifices this world's treasures for the sake of Christ. LS88 141.4

“It was afterwards explained to the little girl, that since she had relinquished her parasol to Jesus, and it no longer stood between herself and her love for him, it was right for her to retain it and use it in a proper manner. LS88 142.1

“Many times in after life that little incident had been brought to my mind. When I saw men and women holding desperately to the riches and vanity of earth, yet anxiously praying for the love of Christ, I would think: ‘How hard it is to give up the parasol! Yet Jesus gave up heaven for our sake, and became poor that we, through his poverty and humiliation, might secure eternal riches. LS88 142.2

“I now began to see my way more clearly, and the darkness began to pass away. I saw that, in my despair of at once attaining to the perfection of Christian character, I had scarcely dared to make the trial of serving God. I now earnestly sought the pardon of my sins and strove to give myself entirely to the Lord. But my mind was often in great distress, for I did not experience the spiritual ecstasy that I considered would be the evidence of my acceptance with God, and dared not believe myself converted without it. How much I needed instruction concerning the simplicity of faith. LS88 142.3

“While bowed at the altar with others who were seeking the Lord, all the language of my heart was: ‘Help, Jesus, save me or I perish! I will never cease to entreat till my prayer is heard and my sins forgiven!’ I felt my needy, helpless condition as never before. As I knelt and prayed, suddenly my burden left me and my heart was light. At first a feeling of alarm came over me and I tried to resume my load of distress again. It seemed to me that I had no right to feel joyous and happy. But Jesus seemed very near me. I felt able to come to him with all my griefs, misfortunes and trials, even as the needy ones came to him for relief when he was upon earth. There was a surety in my heart that he understood my peculiar trials and sympathized with me. I can never forget this precious assurance of the pitying tenderness of Jesus toward one so unworthy of his notice. I learned more of the divine character of Christ in the short period when bowed among the praying ones than ever before. LS88 142.4

“One of the mothers in Israel came to me and said: ‘Dear child, have you found Jesus?’ I was about to answer, ‘Yes,’ when she exclaimed: ‘Indeed you have, ‘his peace is with you, I see it in your face! Again and again I said to myself, ‘Can this be religion? Am I not mistaken?’ It seemed too much for me to claim, too exalted a privilege. Though too timid to openly confess it, I felt that the Saviour had blessed me and pardoned my sins. LS88 143.1

“Soon after this the meeting came to a close and we started for home. My mind was full of the sermons, exhortations and prayers we had heard. Everything in nature seemed charged. During the meeting, clouds and rain prevailed a greater part of the time and my feelings had been in harmony with the weather. Now the sun shone bright and clear and flooded the earth with light and warmth. The trees and grass were a fresher green, the sky a deeper blue. The earth seemed to smile under the peace of God. So the rays of the Sun of Righteousness had penetrated the clouds and darkness of my mind, and dispelled its gloom. LS88 143.2

“It seemed to me that every one must be at peace with God and animated by his Spirit. Everything my eyes rested upon seemed to have undergone a change. The trees were more beautiful, and the birds sang sweeter than ever before; they seemed to be praising the Creator in their songs. I did not care to talk, for fear this happiness might pass away, and I should lose the precious evidence of Jesus’ love for me. LS88 143.3

“As we neared our home in Portland, we passed men at work upon the street. They were conversing upon ordinary topics with each other, but my ears were deaf to everything but the praise of God, and their words came to me as grateful thanks and glad hosannas. Turning to my mother, I said: ‘Why, these men are all praising God, and they haven't been to the camp-meeting.’ I did not then understand why the tears gathered in my mother's eyes, and a tender smile lit up her face, as she listened to my simple words, that recalled a similar experience of her own. LS88 144.1

“My mother was a great lover of flowers, and took much pleasure in cultivating them, and thus making her home attractive and pleasant for her children. But our garden had never before looked so lovely to me as upon the day of our return. I recognized an expression of the love of Jesus in every shrub, bud, and flower. These things of beauty seemed to speak in mute language of the love of God. LS88 144.2

“There was a beautiful pink flower in the garden called the rose of Sharon. I remember approaching it and touching the delicate petals reverently; they seemed to possess a sacredness in my eyes. My heart overflowed with tenderness and love for these beautiful creations of God. I could see divine perfection in the flowers that adorned the earth. God tended them, and his all-seeing eye was upon them. He had made them and called them good. ‘Ah,’ thought I, ‘If he so loves and cares for the flowers that he has decked with beauty, how much more tenderly will he guard the children who are formed in his image.’ I repeated softly to myself, ‘I am a child of God, his loving care is around me, I will be obedient and in no way displease him, but will praise his dear name and love him always.’ LS88 144.3

“My life appeared to me in a different light. The affliction that had darkened my childhood seemed to have been dealt me in mercy for my good, to turn my heart away from the world and its unsatisfying pleasures and incline it towards the enduring attractions of heaven. LS88 145.1

“Soon after our return from the camp-meeting, I, with several others, was taken into the church on probation. My mind was very much exercised on the subject of baptism. Young as I was, I could see but one mode of baptism authorized by the Scriptures, and that was immersion. My sisters tried in vain to convince me that sprinkling was Bible baptism. The Methodist minister consented to immerse the candidates if they conscientiously preferred that method, although he intimated that sprinkling would be equally acceptable with God. LS88 145.2

“Finally the day was appointed for us to receive this solemn ordinance. Although usually enjoying, at this time, great peace, I frequently feared that I was not a true Christian, and was harassed by perplexing doubts as to my conversion. It was a windy day when we, twelve in number, were baptized, walking down into the sea. The waves ran high and dashed upon the shore, but in taking up this heavy cross, my peace was like a river. When I arose from the water, my strength was nearly gone for the power of the Lord rested upon me. I felt that henceforth I was not of this world, but had risen from the watery grave into a newness of life. LS88 145.3

“My cousin Hannah made confession of her faith at the same time that I did. She wished to be baptized by immersion, but her father, who was not a Christian, would not consent to this although we urged him to do so. So she knelt before the altar and had a few drops of water sprinkled upon her head. As I witnessed the ceremony, my heart rejoiced that I had not submitted to received sprinkling for baptism, feeling confident that there was no Scripture to sustain it. LS88 145.4

“The same day in the afternoon, I was received into the church in full membership. A young woman, arrived at the age of maturity, stood by my side and was also a candidate for admission to the church with myself. My mind was peaceful and happy till I noticed the gold rings glittering upon this sister's fingers, and the large showy ear-rings in her ears. I then observed that her bonnet was adorned with artificial flowers and trimmed with costly ribbons, arranged in bows and puffs. My joy was dampened by this display of vanity in one who professed to be a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. LS88 146.1

“I expected that the minister would give some whispered reproof or advice to this sister, but he was apparently regardless of her showy apparel and no rebuke was administered. We both received the right hand of fellowship. The hand decorated with jewels was clasped by the representative of Christ, and both our names were registered upon the church book. LS88 146.2

“I can now look back upon my youthful experience and see how near I came to making a fatal mistake. I had read many of the religious biographies of children who had possessed numberless virtues and lived faultless lives. I had conceived a great admiration for the paragons of perfection there represented. But far from encouraging me in my efforts to become a Christian, these books were as stumbling-blocks to my feet. I despaired of ever attaining to the perfection of the youthful characters in those stories who lived the lives of saints and were free from all the doubts, and sins, and weaknesses under which I staggered. LS88 146.3

“Their faultless lives were followed by a premature but happy death, and the biographers tacitly intimated that they were too pure and good for earth, therefore, God in his divine pity had removed them from its uncongenial atmosphere. The similarity of these avowedly true histories seemed to point the fact to my youthful mind, that they really presented a correct picture of a child's Christian life. LS88 147.1

“I repeated to myself again and again, ‘If that is true, I can never be a Christian. I can never hope to be like those children,’ and was driven by this thought to discouragement and almost to despair. But when I learned that I could come to Jesus just as I was, that the Saviour had come to ransom just such unworthy sinners, then light broke upon my darkness, and I could claim the promises of God. LS88 147.2

“Later experience has convinced me that these biographies of immaculate children mislead the youth. They extol the amiable qualities of their characters, and suppress their faults and failures. If they were represented as struggling with temptations, occasionally vanquished, yet triumphing over their trials in the end, if they were represented as subject to human frailties, and beset by ordinary temptations, then children would see that they had experienced like trials with themselves, yet had conquered through the grace of God. Such examples would give them fresh courage to renew their efforts to serve the Lord, hoping to triumph as those before them had done. LS88 147.3

“But the sober realities and errors of the young Christian's life were vigorously kept out of sight, while the virtues were so exaggerated as to lift them from above the common level of ordinary children, who naturally despair of ever reaching such excellence and therefore give up the effort, in many cases, and gradually sink into a state of indifference. LS88 147.4

“I again became very anxious to attend school and make another trial to obtain an education. But upon attempting to resume my studies my health rapidly failed, and it became apparent that if I persisted in attending school it would be at the expense of my life. I had found it difficult to enjoy religion in a large female seminary, surrounded by influences calculated to attract the mind and lead it from God. LS88 148.1

“I felt a constant dissatisfaction with myself and my Christian attainments, and did not continually realize a lively sense of the mercy and love of God. Feelings of discouragement would come over me, and this caused me great anxiety of mind. I heard much in regard to sanctification, but had no defined idea in regard to it. This blessing seemed away beyond my reach, a state of purity my heart could never know. The manner in which it was preached and taught made it appear a human impossibility. LS88 148.2

“In June, 1842, Mr. Miller gave his second course of lectures in the Casco street church, in Portland. I felt it a great privilege to attend these lectures, for I had fallen under discouragements and did not feel prepared to meet my Saviour. This second course created much more excitement in the city than the first. The different denominations, with a very few exceptions, closed the doors of their churches against Mr. Miller. Many discourses from the various pulpits sought to expose the alleged fanatical errors of the lecturer. But crowds of anxious listeners attended his meetings, while many were unable to enter the house, which was literally packed. LS88 148.3

“The congregations were unusually quiet and attentive. His manner of preaching was not flowery or oratorical, but he dealt in plain and startling facts that roused his hearers from the apathy in which they had been locked. He substantiated his statements and theories by Scriptures as he progressed. A convincing power attended his words that seemed to stamp them as the language of truth. LS88 149.1

“He was courteous and sympathetic. When every seat in the house was full, and the platform and places about the pulpit seemed crowded, I have seen him leave the desk and walk down the aisle, and take some feeble old man or woman by the hand and find a seat for them, then return and resume his discourse. He was indeed rightly called Father Miller, for he had a watchful care over those who came under his ministrations, was affectionate in his manner, of genial and tender heart. LS88 149.2

“He was a very interesting speaker, and his exhortations, both to professed Christians and the impenitent, were appropriate and powerful. Sometimes a solemnity so marked as to be painful, pervaded his meetings. A sense of the impending crisis of human events impressed the minds of the listening crowds. Many yielded to the convictions of the Spirit of God. Gray-haired men and aged women, with trembling steps, sought the anxious-seats. Those in the strength of maturity, the youth and children, were deeply stirred. Groans and the voice of weeping and of praising God were mingled together at the altar of prayer. LS88 149.3

“I believed the solemn words spoken by the servant of God, and my heart was aggrieved when they were opposed or made the subject of jest. I attended the meetings on Casco street quite frequently, and believed that Jesus was soon to come in the clouds of heaven; but my great anxiety was to be ready to meet him. My mind constantly dwelt upon the subject of holiness of heart. I longed above all things to obtain this great blessings, and feel that I was entirely accepted of God. LS88 149.4

“Among the Methodists I had heard much in regard to sanctification. I had seen people lose their physical strength under the influence of strong mental excitement, and had heard this pronounced to be the evidence of sanctification. But I could not comprehend what was necessary in order to be fully consecrated to God. My Christian friends said to me: ‘Believe in Jesus now! Believe that he accepts you now!’ This I tried to do but found it impossible to believe that I had received a blessing which, it seemed to me, should electrify my whole being. I wondered at my own hardness of heart in being unable to experience the exaltation of spirit that others manifested. It seemed to me that I was different from them, and forever shut out from the perfect joy of holiness of heart. LS88 150.1

“My ideas concerning justification and sanctification were confused. These two states were presented to my mind as separate and distinct from each other. Yet I failed to comprehend the difference or understand the meaning of the terms, and all the explanations of the preachers increased my difficulties. I was unable to claim the blessing for myself, and wondered if it was only to be found among the Methodists, and if, in attending the Advent meetings, I was not shutting myself away from that which I desired above all else, the sanctifying Spirit of God. LS88 150.2

“Still, I observed that some of those who pretended to be sanctified, manifested a bitter spirit when the subject of the soon coming of Christ was introduced; this did not seem to me a manifestation of the holiness which they professed. I could not understand why ministers from the pulpit should so oppose the doctrine that Christ's second coming was near at hand. Reformation had followed the preaching of this belief and many of the most devoted ministers and laymen had received it as the truth. It seemed to me that those who sincerely loved Jesus would be ready to accept the tidings of his coming, and rejoice that it was near at hand. LS88 150.3

“I felt that I could only claim what they called justification. In the word of God I read that without holiness no man should see God. Then there was some higher attainment that I must reach before I could be sure of eternal life. I studied over the subject continually, for I believed that Christ was soon to come, and feared he would find me unprepared to meet him. Words of condemnation rang in my ears day and night, and my constant cry to God was, What shall I do to be saved? In my mind the justice of God eclipsed his mercy and love. LS88 151.1

“I had been taught to believe in an eternally burning hell, and the horrifying thought was ever before me that my sins were too great to be forgiven, and that I should be forever lost. The frightful descriptions that I had heard of souls lost in perdition sank deep into my mind. Ministers in the pulpit drew vivid pictures of the conditions of the damned. They taught that God never proposed to save any but the sanctified. The eye of God was upon us always; every sin was registered and would meet its just punishment. God himself was keeping the books with the exactitude of infinite wisdom, and every sin we committed was faithfully recorded against us. LS88 151.2

“The devil was represented as eager to seize upon his prey and bear us to the lowest depths of anguish, there to exult over our sufferings in the horrors of an eternally burning hell, where, after the tortures of thousands upon thousands of years, the fiery billows would roll to the surface the writing victims, who would shriek, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?’ Then the answer would thunder down the abyss, ‘Through all eternity!’ Again the molten waves would engulf the lost, carrying them down into the depths of an ever restless sea of fire. LS88 151.3

“While listening to these terrible descriptions, my imagination would be so wrought upon that the perspiration would start from every pore, and it was difficult to suppress a cry of anguish, for I seemed to already feel the pains of perdition. Then the minister would dwell upon the uncertainty of life. One moment we might be here, and the next in hell, or one moment on earth, and the next in heaven. Would we choose the lake of fire and the company of demons, or the bliss of heaven with angels for our companions. Would we hear the voice of wailing and the cursing of lost souls through all eternity, or sing the songs of Jesus before the throne. LS88 152.1

“Our heavenly father was presented before my mind as a tyrant, who delighted in the agonies of the condemned; not the tender, pitying Friend of sinners who loves his creatures with a love past all understanding, and desires them to be saved in his kingdom. LS88 152.2

“My feelings were very sensitive. I dreaded giving pain to any living creature. When I saw animals ill-treated my heart ached for them. Perhaps my sympathies were more easily excited by suffering, because I myself had been the victim of thoughtless cruelty, resulting in the injury that had darkened my childhood. But when the thought took possession of my mind that God delighted in the torture of his creatures, who were formed in his image, a wall of darkness seemed to separate me from him. When I reflected that the Creator of the universe would plunge the wicked into hell, there to burn through the ceaseless rounds of eternity, my heart sank with fear, and I despaired that so cruel and tyrannical a being would ever condescend to save me from the doom of sin. LS88 152.3

“I thought that the fate of the condemned sinner would be mine, to endure the flames of hell forever, even as long as God himself existed. This impression deepened upon my mind until I feared that I would lose my reason. I would look upon the dumb beasts with envy, because they had no soul to be punished after death. Many times the wish arose that I had never been born. LS88 153.1

“Total darkness settled upon me and there seemed no way out of the shadows. Could the truth have been presented to me as I now understand it, my despondency would have taken flight at once, much perplexity and sorrow would have been spared me. If the love of God had been dwelt upon more and his stern justice less, the beauty and glory of his character would have inspired me with a deep and earnest love for my Creator. LS88 153.2

“I have since thought that many inmates of the lunatic asylums were brought there by experiences similar to my own. Their tender consciences have been stricken with a sense of sin, and their trembling faith dared not claim the promised pardon of God. They have listened to descriptions of the orthodox hell until it has seemed to curdle the very blood in their veins, and burnt an impression upon the tablets of their memory. Waking or sleeping, the frightful picture has ever been before them, until reality has become lost in imagination, and they see only the wreathing flames of a fabulous hell and hear only the shrieking of the damned. Reason has become dethroned and the brain is filled with the wild phantasy of a terrible dream. Those who teach the doctrine of an eternal hell, would do well to look more closely after their authority for so cruel a belief. LS88 153.3

“I had never prayed in public, and had only spoken a few timid words in prayer-meeting. It was now impressed upon me that I should seek God in prayer at our small social meetings. This I dared not do, fearful of becoming confused, and failing to express my thoughts. But the duty was impressed upon my mind so forcibly that when I attempted to pray in secret I seemed to be mocking God, because I had failed to obey his will. Despair overwhelmed me, and for three long weeks no ray of light pierced the gloom that encompassed me about. LS88 154.1

“My sufferings of mind were intense. Sometimes for a whole night I would not dare to close my eyes, but would wait until my twin sister was fast asleep, then quietly leave my bed and kneel upon the floor, praying silently with a dumb agony that cannot be described. The horrors of an eternally burning hell were ever before me. I knew that it was impossible for me to live long in this state, and I dared not die and meet the terrible fate of the sinner. With what envy did I regard those who realized their acceptance with God. How precious did the Christian's hope seem to my agonized soul. LS88 154.2

“I frequently remained bowed in prayer nearly all night, groaning and trembling with inexpressible anguish and a hopelessness that passes all description. Lord have mercy! was my plea, and, like the poor publican, I dared not lift my eyes to heaven but bowed my face upon the floor. I became very much reduced in flesh and strength, yet kept my suffering and despair to myself. LS88 154.3

“While in this state of despondency, I had a dream that made a powerful impression upon my mind, but in no wise lifted the vail of melancholy that darkened my life. I dreamed of seeing a temple, to which many people were flocking. Only those who took refuge in that temple would be saved when time should close. All who remained outside would be forever lost. The multitudes without who were going about their various ways, were deriding and ridiculing those who were entering the temple, and told them that this plan of safety was a cunning deception, that in fact there was no danger whatever to avoid. They even laid hold of some to prevent them from hastening within the walls. LS88 154.4

“Fearing to be laughed at and ridiculed, I thought best to wait until the multitude were dispersed or until I could enter unobserved by them. But the numbers increased instead of diminishing, and fearful of being too late, I hastily left my home and pressed through the crowd. In my anxiety to reach the temple I did not notice or care for the throng that surrounded me. On entering the building I saw that the vast temple was supported by one immense pillar, and to this was tied a Lamb all mangled and bleeding. We who were present seemed to know that this Lamb had been torn and bruised on our account. All who entered the temple must come before it and confess their sins. LS88 155.1

“Just before the Lamb, were elevated seats upon which sat a company of people looking very happy. The light of heaven seemed to shine upon their faces and they praised God and sang songs of glad thanksgiving that seemed to be like the music of the angels. These were they who had come before the Lamb, confessed their sins, been pardoned, and were now waiting in glad expectation of some joyful event. LS88 155.2

“Even after having entered the building, a fear came over me, and a sense of shame that I must humiliate myself before these people. But I seemed compelled to move forward, and was slowly making my way around the pillar in order to face the Lamb, when a trumpet sounded, the temple shook, shouts of triumph arose from the assembled saints, an awful brightness illuminated the building, then all was intense darkness. The happy people had all disappeared with the brightness, and I was left alone in the silent horror of night. LS88 155.3

“I awoke in agony of mind and could hardly convince myself that I had been dreaming. It seemed to me that my doom was fixed, that the Spirit of the Lord had left me never to return. My despondency deepened if that were possible. Soon after this I had another dream. I seemed to be sitting in abject despair with my face in my hands, reflecting like this: If Jesus were upon earth I would go to him, throw myself at this feet and tell him all my sufferings. He would not turn away from me, he would have mercy upon me, and I should love and serve him always. Just then the door opened, and a person of beautiful form and countenance entered. He looked upon me pitifully and said: ‘Do you wish to see Jesus? He is here, and you can see him if you desire to do so. Take everything you possess and follow me.’ LS88 156.1

“I heard this with unspeakable joy, and gladly gathered up all my little possessions, every treasured trinket, and followed my guide. He led me to a steep and apparently frail stairway. As I commenced to ascend the steps, he cautioned me to keep my eyes fixed upward, lest I should grow dizzy and fall. Many others who were climbing up the steep ascent fell before gaining the top. LS88 156.2

“Finally we reached the last step and stood before a door. Here my guide directed me to leave all the things that I had brought with me. I cheerfully laid them down; he then opened the door and bade me enter. In a moment I stood before Jesus. There was no mistaking that beautiful countenance. Such a radiant expression of benevolence and majesty could belong to no other. As his gaze rested upon me I knew at once that he was acquainted with every circumstance of my life and all my inner thoughts and feelings. LS88 156.3

“I tried to shield myself from his gaze, feeling unable to endure his searching eyes, but he drew near with a smile, and, laying his hand upon my head, said: ‘Fear not.’ The sound of his sweet voice thrilled my heart with a happiness it had never before experienced. I was too joyful to utter a word, but, overcome with ineffable happiness sank prostrate at his feet. While I was lying helpless there, scenes of beauty and glory passed before me, and I seemed to have reached the safety and peace of heaven. At length my strength returned and I arose. The loving eyes of Jesus were still upon me, and his smile filled my soul with gladness. His presence filled me with a holy reverence and an inexpressible love. LS88 157.1

“My guide now opened the door, and we both passed out. He bade me take up again all the things I had left without. This done, he handed me a green cord coiled up closely. This he directed me to place next my heart, and when I wished to see Jesus take it from my bosom and stretch it to the utmost. He cautioned me not to let it remain coiled for any length of time, lest it should become knotted and difficult to straighten. I placed the cord near my heart and joyfully descended the narrow stairs, praising the Lord and joyfully telling all whom I met where they could find Jesus. This dream gave me hope. The green cord represented faith to my mind, and the beauty and simplicity of trusting in God began to dawn upon my benighted soul. LS88 157.2

“I now confided all my sorrows and perplexities to my mother. She tenderly sympathized with and encouraged me, advising me to go for counsel to Elder Stockman who then preached the Advent doctrine in Portland. I had great confidence in him, for he was a devoted servant of Christ. Upon hearing my story, he placed his hands affectionately upon my head, saying with tears in his eyes: ‘Ellen, you are only a child. Yours is a most singular experience for one of your tender age. Jesus must be preparing you for some special work.’ LS88 157.3

“He then told me that even if I were a person of mature years and thus harassed by doubt and despair, he should tell me that he knew there was hope for me, through the love of Jesus. The very agony of mind I had suffered was positive evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was striving with me. He said that when the sinner becomes hardened in guilt he does not realize the enormity of his transgression, but flatters himself that he is about right and in no particular danger. The Spirit of the Lord leaves him and he becomes careless and indifferent or recklessly defiant. This good man told me of the love of God for his erring children, that instead of rejoicing in their destruction he longed to draw them to himself in simple faith and trust. He dwelt upon the great love of Christ and the plan of redemption. LS88 158.1

“He spoke of my early misfortune, and said it was indeed a grievous one, but he bade me believe that the hand of a loving Father had not been withdrawn from me; that in the future life, when the mist that then darkened my mind had vanished, I would discern the wisdom of the providence which had seemed so cruel and mysterious. Jesus said to his disciples: ‘What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.’ In the great future we should no longer see as through a glass darkly, but come face to face with the great beauties of divine love. LS88 158.2

“‘Go free, Ellen,’ said he with tears in his eyes, ‘Return to your home trusting in Jesus, for he will not withhold his love from any true seeker.’ He then prayed earnestly for me, and it seemed that God would certainly regard the prayer of this saint, even if my humble petitions were unheard. My mind was much relieved, and the wretched slavery of doubt and fear departed as I listened to the wise and tender counsel of this teacher in Israel. I left his presence comforted and encouraged. LS88 158.3

“During the few minutes in which I received instruction from Elder Stockman, I had obtained more knowledge on the subject of God's love and pitying tenderness, than from all the sermons and exhortations to which I had ever listened. I returned home and again went before the Lord, promising to do and suffer anything he might require of me, if only the smiles of Jesus might illume my heart. The same duty was presented to me that had troubled my mind before, to take up my cross among the assembled people of God. An opportunity was not long wanting; there was a prayer-meeting that evening which I attended. LS88 159.1

“I bowed trembling during the prayers that were offered. After a few had prayed, I lifted up my voice in prayer before I was aware of it, and in that moment the promises of God appeared to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received only for the asking. As I prayed, the burden and agony of soul that I had endured so long, left me, and the blessing of the Lord descended upon me like the gentle dew. I praised God from the depths of my heart. Everything seemed shut out from me but Jesus and his glory, and I lost consciousness of what was passing around me. LS88 159.2

“When I again awoke to realization, I found myself cared for in the house of my uncle where we had assembled for the prayer-meeting. Neither my uncle nor aunt enjoyed religion, although the former once made a profession but had since backslidden. I was told that he had been greatly disturbed while the power of God rested upon me in so special a manner, and had walked the floor, sorely troubled and distressed in his mind. When I was first struck down, some of those present were greatly alarmed, and were about to run for a physician, thinking that some sudden and dangerous indisposition had attacked me, but my mother bade them let me alone, for it was plain to her, and to the other experienced Christians, that it was the wondrous power of God that had prostrated me. LS88 159.3

“The next day I had recovered sufficiently to go home, but a great change had taken place in my mind. It seemed to me that I could hardly be the same person that left my father's house the previous evening. This passage was continually in my thoughts: ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ My heart was full of happiness as I softly repeated these words. LS88 160.1

“Faith now took possession of my heart. I felt an inexpressible love for God, and had the witness of his Spirit that my sins were pardoned. My views of the Father were changed. I now looked upon him as a kind and tender parent, rather than a stern tyrant compelling men to a blind obedience. My heart went out towards him in a deep and fervent love. Obedience to his will seemed a joy; it was a pleasure to be in his service. My path was radiant before me; no shadow clouded the light that revealed to me the perfect will of God. I felt the assurance of an indwelling Saviour, and realized the truth of what Christ had said: ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ LS88 160.2

“Everything in nature seemed to possess a glory, and seemed to reflect the loving smiles of God. My peace and happiness was in such marked contrast with my former gloom and anguish that it seemed to me as if my soul had been rescued from hell and transported to heaven. I could even praise God for the misfortune that had been the trial of my life, for it had been the means of concentrating my thoughts upon eternity. Naturally proud and ambitious, I might not have been inclined to give my heart to Jesus had it not been for the sore affliction that had cut me off, in a manner, from the triumphs and vanities of the world. LS88 160.3

“For six months not a shadow clouded my mind, nor did I neglect one known duty. My whole endeavor was to do the will of God and keep Jesus and heaven continually in my mind. I was surprised and enraptured with the clear views now presented to my mind of the atonement and the work of Jesus Christ. I will not attempt to farther explain the exercises of my mind, suffice it to say that old things had passed away, all things had become new. There was not a cloud to mar my perfect bliss. I longed to tell the story of Jesus’ love, but felt no disposition to engage in common conversation with any one. My heart was so filled with love to God and the peace that passeth understanding, that I loved to meditate and to pray. LS88 161.1

“The night after receiving so great a blessing I attended the Advent meeting. When the time arrived for the followers of Christ to speak in his favor, I could not remain silent, but rose and related my experience. Not a thought had entered my mind of what I should say; but the simple story of Jesus’ love to me fell from my lips with perfect freedom, and my heart was so happy to be liberated from its thralldom of dark despair that I lost sight of the people about me and seemed to be alone with God. I found no difficulty in expressing my peace and happiness, except for the tears of gratitude that choked by utterance, as I told of the wondrous love that Jesus had shown for me. LS88 161.2

“Elder Stockman was present. He had so recently seen me in deep despair, and had endeavored to encourage and inspire me with hope, that the remarkable change in my appearance and feelings touched his heart and he wept aloud, rejoicing with me and praising God for this proof of his tender mercy and loving kindness. My heart was so over-flowing with joy that I wanted to tell others how much the Lord had done for me. LS88 162.1

“I occasionally attended the Christian church, where Elder Brown was pastor. During a conference meeting I was invited to relate my experience, which was considered a marked one, and I felt not only great freedom of expression, but happiness in telling my simple story of the love of Jesus and the joy of being accepted of God. I told of my wonderful deliverance from the bondage of doubt and despair, and the joy that I experienced in the hope of salvation. As I spoke in simple language, with subdued heart and tearful eyes, my soul seemed drawn toward heaven in an ecstasy of thanksgiving. The melting power of the Lord came upon the assembled people. Many were weeping and others praising God. LS88 162.2

“Sinners were invited to arise for prayers, and many responded to the call. My heart was so thankful to God for the unspeakable blessing he had given me, that I longed to have others participate in this sacred joy. My mind was deeply interested for those who might be suffering under a sense of the Lord's displeasure and the burden of sin. While relating my experience, I felt that no one could resist the evidence of God's pardoning love that had wrought such a wonderful change in me. The reality of true conversion seemed so plain to me that I felt like helping my young friends into the light, and at every opportunity exerted my influence toward this end. LS88 162.3

“I arranged meetings with my young friends, some of whom were considerably older than myself, and a few were married persons. A number of them were vain and thoughtless, my experience sounded to them like an idle tale, and they did not heed my entreaties. But I determined that my efforts should never cease till these dear souls, for whom I had so great an interest, yielded to God. Several entire nights were spent by me in earnest prayer for those whom I had sought out and brought together for the purpose of laboring and praying with them. LS88 163.1

“Some of these had met with us from curiosity to hear what I had to say, others thought me beside myself to be so persistent in my efforts, especially when they manifested no concern on their own part. But at every one of our little meetings I continued to exhort and pray for each one separately, until my labors were crowned with success, and every one had yielded to Jesus, acknowledging the merits of his pardoning love. Every one was converted to God. LS88 163.2

“Night after night in my dreams I seemed to be laboring for the salvation of souls. At such times special cases were presented to my mind, which I afterwards sought out and prayed with. In every instance but one these persons yielded themselves to the Lord. Some of our more formal brethren feared that I was too zealous and solicitous for the conversion of souls, but time seemed to me so short that it behooved all who had a hope of a blessed immortality, and looked for the soon coming of Christ, to labor without ceasing for those who were still in their sins and standing on the awful brink of ruin. LS88 163.3

“Though very young, the plan of salvation was so clear to my mind, and my personal experience had been so marked, that, upon carefully considering the matter, I knew it was my duty to continue my efforts for the salvation of precious souls, and to pray and confess Christ at every opportunity. My entire being was offered to the service of my Master. Let come what would, I determined to please God, and live as one who expected the Saviour to come and reward the faithful. I felt like a little child coming to God as to my father and asking him what he would have me to do. Then as my duty was made plain to me, it was my greatest happiness to perform it. Peculiar trials sometimes beset me. Those older in experience than myself endeavored to hold me back and cool the ardor of my faith, but with the smiles of Jesus brightening my life, and the love of God in my heart, I went on my way with a joyful spirit. LS88 163.4

“As I recall the youthful experience of my early life, my brother, the confidant of my hopes and fears, the earnest sympathizer with me in my Christian experience comes to my mind with a flood of tender memories. He was one of those to whom sin presents but few temptations. Naturally devotional, he never sought the society of the young and gay, but chose rather the company of Christians, whose conversation would instruct him in the way of life. His manner was serious beyond his years, he was gentle and peaceful, and his mind was almost constantly filled with religious thoughts. His life was pointed to, by those who knew him, as a pattern to the youth, a living example of the grace and beauty of true Christianity. LS88 164.1

“My father's family still occasionally attended the Methodist church and also the class-meetings held in private houses. One evening my brother Robert and myself went to class-meeting. The Methodist presiding elder was present. When it came my brother's turn, he spoke with great humility, yet with clearness, of the necessity for a complete fitness to meet our Saviour, when he should come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. While speaking, a heavenly light irradiated his usually pale countenance. He seemed to be carried in spirit above present surroundings, and spoke as if in the presence of Jesus. When I was called upon to speak, I arose, free in spirit, with a heart full of love and peace. In my simple way I told the story of my great suffering under the conviction of sin, how that I had at length received the blessing so long sought, an entire conformity to the will of God, and expressed my joy in the tidings of the soon coming of my Redeemer to take his children home. LS88 164.2

“In unsuspecting simplicity I expected that my Methodist brethren and sisters would understand my feelings and rejoice with me. But I was disappointed; several sisters groaned and moved their chairs noisily, turning their backs upon me. I could not think what had been said to offend them, and spoke very briefly, feeling the chilling influence of their disapprobation. When I had ceased speaking, Elder B. asked me if it would not be more pleasant to live a long life of usefulness, doing others good, than for Jesus to come speedily and destroy poor sinners. I replied that I longed for the coming of Jesus. Then sin would have an end, and we should enjoy sanctification forever, with no devil to tempt and lead us astray. LS88 165.1

“He then inquired if I would not rather die peacefully upon my bed than to pass through the pain of being changed, while living, from mortality to immortality. My answer was that I wished for Jesus to come and take his children; that I was willing to live or die as God willed, and could easily endure all the pain that could be borne in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; that I desired the wheels of time to roll swiftly round, and bring the welcome day when these vile bodies should be changed, and fashioned like unto Christ's most glorious body. I also stated that when I lived nearest to the Lord, then I most earnestly longed for his appearing. Here some present seemed to be greatly displeased. LS88 165.2

“When the presiding elder addressed others in the class he expressed great joy in anticipating the temporal millennium of a thousand years, when the earth would be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. He longed to see this glorious period ushered in, and appeared to be in an ecstasy over the expected event. After the meeting closed I was conscious of being treated with marked coldness by those who had formerly been kind and friendly to me. My brother and I returned home feeling sad that we should be so misunderstood by our brethren, and that the subject of the near coming of Jesus should awaken such bitter antagonism in their breasts. LS88 166.1

“Yet we were thankful that we could discern the precious light, and rejoice in looking for the coming of the Lord. On the way we talked seriously concerning the evidences of our new faith and hope. ‘Ellen,’ said Robert, ‘are we deceived? Is this hope of Christ's soon appearing upon earth a heresy, that ministers and professors of religion oppose it so bitterly? They say that Jesus will not come for thousands and thousands of years. If they even approach the truth, then the world cannot come to an end in our day.’ LS88 166.2

“I dared not give unbelief a moment's encouragement, but quickly replied, ‘I have not a doubt but that the doctrine preached by Mr. Miller is the truth. What power attends his words, what conviction is carried home to the sinner's heart.’ LS88 166.3

“We talked the matter over candidly, as we walked along, and decided that it was our duty and privilege to look for our Saviour's coming, and that it would be safest to make ready for his appearing and be prepared to meet him with joy. If he did come, what would be the prospect of those who were now saying, ‘My Lord delayeth his coming,’ and had no desire for his appearance? We wondered how ministers dared to quiet the fears of sinners and backsliders by saying peace, peace, while the message of warning was being given by a few faithful souls all over the land. The period seemed very solemn to us; we felt that we had no time to lose. LS88 166.4

“Said Robert: ‘A tree is known by its fruits. What has this belief done for us? It has convinced us that we were not ready for the coming of the Lord, that we must become pure in heart or we could not meet our Saviour in peace. It has aroused us to seek for new strength and grace from God. What has it done for you, Ellen? Would you be what you are now if you had never heard the doctrine of Christ's soon coming? What hope has inspired your heart; what peace, joy, and love has it given you. And for me, it has done everything. I love Jesus, and all Christians. I love the prayer-meeting. I find great joy in reading my Bible and in prayer. If this precious faith has done so great a work for us, will it not do as much for all those who will believe it, and earnestly long for the appearing of the Lord.’ LS88 167.1

“We both felt strengthened by this conversation, and resolved that we would not be turned from our honest convictions of truth, and the blessed hope of Christ's soon coming in the clouds of heaven. Not long after this we again attended the class-meeting. We really wanted an opportunity to speak of the precious love of God that animated our souls. I particularly wished to tell of the Lord's goodness and mercy to me. So great a change had been wrought in me that it seemed my duty to improve every opportunity of testifying to the unsurpassed love of my Saviour. LS88 167.2

“When my turn came to speak, I stated the evidences I enjoyed of Jesus’ love, and that I looked forward with glad expectation to meeting my Redeemer soon. The belief that Christ's coming was near had stirred my soul to seek more earnestly for the sanctification of the Spirit of God. Here the class-leader interrupted me, saying: ‘You received sanctification through Methodism, through Methodism, sister, not through an erroneous theory.’ My heart was full of love and happiness, but I felt compelled to confess the truth, that it was not through Methodism my heart had received its new blessing, but by the stirring truths heard concerning the personal appearance of Jesus. Through them I had found peace, joy, and perfect love. Thus my testimony closed, the last that I was to bear in class with my Methodist brethren. LS88 168.1

“Robert then spoke in his meek way, yet in so clear and touching a manner that some wept and were much moved; but others coughed dissentingly and seemed quite uneasy. After leaving the classroom, we again talked over our faith, and marveled that our Christian brethren and sisters could so illy endure to have a word spoken in reference to our Saviour's coming. We thought if they loved Jesus as they should, it would not be so great an annoyance to hear of his second advent, but, on the contrary, they would hail the news with great joy. LS88 168.2

“We were convinced that we ought no longer to attend the Methodist class-meeting. The hope of the glorious appearing of Christ filled our souls, and would find expression when we rose to speak. This seemed to kindle the ire of those present against the two humble children who dared, in the face of opposition, to speak of the faith that had filled their hearts with peace and happiness. It was evident that we could have no freedom in the class-meeting, for our simple testimony provoked sneers and taunts that reached our ears at the close of the meeting from brethren and sisters whom we had respected and loved. LS88 168.3

“The Adventists held meetings at this time in Beethoven Hall. My father, with his family, attended them quite regularly, for we greatly prized the privilege of hearing the doctrine of Christ's personal and soon appearing upon earth. The period of the second advent was thought to be in the year 1843. The time seemed so short in which souls could be saved, that I resolved to do all that was in my power to lead sinners into the light of truth. But it seemed impossible for one so young, and in feeble health, to do much in the great work. LS88 169.1

“There were three sisters of us at home, Sarah, who was several years the oldest, my twin sister Elizabeth, and myself. We talked the matter over among ourselves, and decided to earn what money we could and spend it in buying books and tracts to distribute gratuitously among the people. This was the best we could do, and we did this little gladly. I could earn only twenty-five cents a day, but my dress was plain, nothing was spent for needless ornaments, or ribbons, for vain display appeared sinful in my eyes; so I had ever a little fund in store with which to purchase suitable books. These were placed in the hands of experienced persons to send abroad. LS88 169.2

“Every leaf of this printed matter seemed precious in my eyes, for they were as messages of light to the world, bidding them to prepare for the great event near at hand. Day after day I sat in bed propped up with pillows, performing my allotted task with trembling fingers. How carefully would I lay aside the precious bits of silver taken in return, and which was to be expended in reading matter that might enlighten and arouse those who were in darkness. I had no temptation to spend my earnings for my own personal gratification; the salvation of souls was the burden of my mind, and my heart ached for those who flattered themselves they were living in security, while the message of warning was being given to the world. LS88 169.3

“One day I was listening to a conversation between my mother and a sister, in reference to a discourse which they had recently heard, to the effect that the soul had not natural immortality. Some of the minister's proof texts were repeated. Among them I remember these impressed me very forcibly: LS88 170.1

“‘The soul that sinneth it shall die.’ ‘A living dog is better than a dead lion, for the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything.’ ‘Which in his times he shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.’ ‘To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life.’ ‘Why,’ said my mother, after quoting the foregoing passage, ‘should they seek for what they already have?’ LS88 170.2

“I listened to these new ideas with an intense and painful interest. When alone with my mother, I inquired if she really believed that the soul was not immortal? Her reply was she feared we had been in error on that subject as well as upon some others. LS88 170.3

“‘But mother,’ said I, ‘Do you really believe that the soul sleeps in the grave until the resurrection? Do you think that the Christian, when he dies, does not go immediately to heaven, nor the sinner to hell?’ LS88 170.4

“She answered: ‘The Bible gives us no proof that there is an eternally burning hell. If there is such a place, it should be mentioned in the Sacred Book.’ LS88 170.5

“‘Why mother!’ cried I, in astonishment, ‘This is strange talk for you! If you believe this strange theory, do not let any one know of it, for I fear that sinners would gather security from this belief and never desire to seek the Lord.’ LS88 171.1

“‘If this is sound Bible truth,’ she replied, ‘instead of preventing the salvation of sinners, it will be the means of winning them to Christ. If the love of God will not induce the rebel to yield, the terrors of an eternal hell will not drive him to repentance. Besides it does not seem a proper way to win souls to Jesus, by appealing to one of the lowest attributes of the mind, abject fear. The love of Jesus attracts, it will subdue the hardest heart.’ LS88 171.2

It was some months after this conversation before I heard anything farther concerning this doctrine; but during this time, my mind had been much exercised upon the subject. When I heard it preached I believed it to be the truth. From the time that light in regard to the sleep of the dead dawned upon my mind, the mystery that had enshrouded the resurrection vanished, and the great event itself assumed a new and sublime importance. My mind had often been disturbed by its efforts to reconcile the immediate reward or punishment of the dead, with the undoubted fact of a future resurrection and judgment. If the soul, at death, entered upon eternal happiness or misery, where was the need of a resurrection of the poor moldering body? LS88 171.3

“But this new and beautiful faith taught me the reason that inspired writers had dwelt so much upon the resurrection of the body, it was because the entire being was slumbering in the grave. I could now clearly perceive the fallacy of our former position on this question. The confusion and uselessness of a final judgment, after the souls of the departed had already been judged once and appointed to their lot, was very apparent to me now. I saw that the hope of the bereaved was in looking forward to the glorious day when the Life-giver shall break the fetters of the tomb, and the righteous dead shall arise and leave their prison-house, to be clothed with glorious immortal life. LS88 171.4

“Our family were all interested in the doctrine of the Lord's soon coming. My father had long been considered one of the pillars of the Methodist church where he lived, and the whole family had been active members, but we made no secret of our new belief, although we did not urge it upon others on inappropriate occasions, or manifest any antagonism toward our church. However, the Methodist minister made us a special visit, and took the occasion to inform us that our faith and Methodism could not agree. He did not inquire our reasons for believing as we did, nor make any reference to the Bible in order to convince us of our error; but he stated that we had adopted a new and strange belief that the Methodist church could not accept. LS88 172.1

“My father replied that he must be mistaken in calling this a new and strange doctrine, that Christ himself had preached his second advent to his disciples. He had said, ‘“In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.” LS88 172.2

“‘When he was taken up to heaven before their eyes and a cloud received him out of their sight, as his faithful followers stood gazing after their vanishing Lord, “Behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” LS88 172.3

“‘And,’ said my father, warming with his subject, ‘the inspired Paul wrote a letter to encourage his brethren in Thessalonica, saying, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.” “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” LS88 173.1

“‘This is high authority for our faith. Jesus and his apostles dwell upon the event of the second advent with joy and triumph; and the holy angels proclaim that Christ who has ascended up into heaven shall come again. This is our offense, believing the word of Jesus and his disciples. This is a very old doctrine, and bears no taint of heresy.’ LS88 173.2

“The minister did not attempt to refer to a single text that would prove us in error, but excused himself on the plea of a want of time. He advised us to quietly withdraw from the church and avoid the publicity of a trial. We were aware that others of our brethren were meeting with similar treatment, for a like cause, and we did not wish it understood that we were ashamed to acknowledge our faith, or were unable to sustain it by Scripture; so my parents insisted that they should be acquainted with the reasons for this request. LS88 173.3

“The only answer to this was an evasive declaration that we had walked contrary to the rules of the church, and the best course would be to voluntarily withdraw from it to save a trial. We answered that we preferred a regular trial, and demanded to know what sin was charged to us, as we were conscious of no wrong in looking for and loving the appearing of the Saviour. LS88 173.4

“Not long after, we were notified to be present at a meeting to be held in the vestry of the church. There were but few present. The influence of my father and his family was such that our opposers had no desire to present our cases before a larger number of the congregation. The single charge preferred was that we had walked contrary to their rules. Upon our asking what rules we had violated, it was stated, after a little hesitation, that we had attended other meetings and had neglected to meet regularly with our class. We stated that a portion of the family had been in the country for some time past, that none who remained in the city had been absent from class-meeting more than a few weeks, and they were morally compelled to remain away because the testimonies they bore met with such marked disapprobation. If the hope of their Saviour's soon coming was mentioned, a feeling of displeasure was manifested against them, and they were conscious of arousing a bitter spirit of antagonism. We also reminded them that certain persons who had not attended class-meeting for a year were yet held in good standing. LS88 174.1

“It was asked if we would confess that we had departed from their rules, and if we would also agree to conform to them in future. We answered that we dared not yield our faith nor deny the sacred truth of God; that we could not forego the hope of the soon coming of our Redeemer; that after the manner which they called heresy we must continue to worship the Lord. My father in his defense received the blessing of God, and we all left the vestry with free spirits and happy in the consciousness of right and the approving smile of Jesus. We felt the assurance that God was on our side, and he was stronger than all that were against us. LS88 174.2

“The next Sunday, at the commencement of love-feast, the presiding elder read off our names, seven in number, as discontinued from the church. He stated that we were not expelled on account of any wrong or immoral conduct, that we were of unblemished character and enviable reputation; but we had been guilty of walking contrary to the rules of the Methodist church. He also declared that a door was now open and all who were guilty of a similar breach of the rules, would be dealt with in like manner. LS88 175.1

“There were many in the church who waited for the appearing of the Saviour, and this implied threat was made for the purpose of frightening them into subjection. In some cases this policy brought about the desired result, and the favor of God was sold for a place in the Methodist church. Many believed, but dared not confess their faith lest they should be turned out of the synagogue. But some left soon afterward and joined the company of those who were looking for the Saviour. LS88 175.2

“At this time the words of the prophet were exceedingly precious: ‘Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.’ LS88 175.3

“For six months not a cloud intervened between me and my Saviour. Whenever there was a proper opportunity I bore my testimony, and was greatly blessed. At times the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me with such power that my strength was taken from me. This was a trial to some who had come out from the formal churches, and remarks were often made that grieved me much. Many could not believe that one could be so overpowered by the Spirit of God as to lose all strength. My position was exceedingly painful. I began to reason with myself whether I was not justified in withholding my testimony in meeting, and thus restrain my feelings when there was such an opposition in the hearts of some who were older in years and experience than myself. LS88 175.4

“I adopted this plan of silence for a time, trying to convince myself that to repress my testimony would not hinder me from faithfully living out my religion. I often felt strongly impressed that it was my duty to speak in meeting, but refrained from doing so, and was sensible of having thereby grieved the Spirit of God. I even remained away from meetings sometimes because they were to be attended by those whom my testimony annoyed. I shrank from offending my brethren, and in this allowed the fear of man to break up that uninterrupted communion with God which had blessed my heart for so many months. LS88 176.1

“We had appointed evening prayer-meetings in different localities of the city to accommodate all who wished to attend them. The family who had been most forward in opposing me attended one of these. Upon this occasion, while those assembled were engaged in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the meeting, and one of the members of this family was prostrated as one dead. His relatives stood weeping around him, rubbing his hands and applying restoratives. At length he gained sufficient strength to praise God, and quieted their fears by shouting with triumph over the marked evidence he had received of the power of the Lord upon him. This young man was unable to return home that night. LS88 176.2

“This was believed by the family to be a demonstration of the Spirit of God, but did not convince them that it was the same divine power that had rested upon me at times, robbing me of my natural strength, and filling my soul with the unbounded peace and love of Jesus. They were free to say that not a doubt could be entertained of my sincerity and perfect honesty, but they considered me self-deceived in taking that for the power of the Lord which was only the result of my own over-wrought feelings. LS88 176.3

“My mind was in great perplexity, in consequence of this opposition, and, as the time drew near for our regular meeting, I was in doubt whether or not it was best for me to attend it. For some days previous I had been in great distress on account of the feeling manifested towards me. Finally I decided not to go, and thus escape the criticism of my brethren. In trying to pray, I repeated these words again and again, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’ The answer that came to my heart seemed to bid me trust in my heavenly Father and wait patiently to know his will. I yielded myself to the Lord with the simple trust of a little child, remembering he had promised that those who follow him shall not walk in darkness. LS88 177.1

“My duty impelled me to go to the meeting, and I went with the full assurance in my mind that all would be well. While we were bowed before the Lord, my heart was drawn out in prayer, and filled with a peace that only Christ can give. My soul rejoiced in the love of the Saviour, and physical strength left me. With child-like faith I could only say, ‘Heaven is my home, and Christ my Redeemer.’ LS88 177.2

“One of the family before mentioned, as being opposed to the manifestations of the power of God upon me, on this occasion, stated his belief that I was under an excitement which he thought it my duty to resist, but instead of doing so he thought I encouraged it, as a mark of God's favor. His doubts and opposition did not affect me at this time, for I seemed shut in with the Lord, and lifted above all outward influence. But he had scarcely stopped speaking when a strong man, a devoted and humble Christian, was struck down before his eyes, by the power of God, and the room was filled with the Holy Spirit. LS88 177.3

“Upon sufficiently recovering, I was very happy in bearing my testimony for Jesus, and in telling of his love for me. I confessed my lack of faith in the promises of God, and my error in checking the promptings of his Spirit from fear of men, but that, notwithstanding my distrust, he had bestowed upon me unlooked for evidence of his love and sustaining grace. The brother who had opposed me then rose, and with many tears confessed that his feelings in regard to me had been all wrong. He humbly asked my forgiveness, and said, ‘Sister Ellen, I will never again lay a straw in your way. God has shown me the coldness and stubbornness of my heart, which he has broken by the evidence of his power. I have been very wrong.’ Then, turning to the people, he said, ‘When sister Ellen seemed so happy I would think, Why don't I feel like that? Why don't Brother R. receive some such evidence? for I was convinced that he was a devoted Christian, yet no such power had fallen upon him. I offered a silent prayer that, if this was the holy influence of God, Brother R. might experience it this evening. LS88 178.1

“‘Almost as the desire went up from my heart, Brother R. fell, prostrated by the power of God, crying, Let the Lord work! My heart is convinced that I have been warring against the Holy Spirit, but I will grieve it no more by stubborn unbelief. Welcome, light! Welcome, Jesus! I have been backslidden and hardened, feeling offended if any one praised God and manifested a fullness of joy in his love; but now my feelings are changed, my opposition is at an end, Jesus has opened my eyes, and I may yet shout his praises myself. I have said bitter and cutting things of Sister Ellen, that I sorrow over now, and pray for her forgiveness as well as that of all who are present.’ LS88 178.2

“Brother R. then bore his testimony. His face was lighted with the glory of heaven, as he praised the Lord for the wonders he had wrought that night. Said he, ‘This place is awfully solemn because of the presence of the Most High. Sister Ellen, in future you will have our help and sustaining sympathies, instead of the cruel opposition that has been shown you. We have been blind to the manifestations of God's Holy Spirit.’ LS88 179.1

“There had never been a question as to my perfect sincerity, but many had thought me young and impressible, and that it was my duty to restrain my feelings, which they regarded as the effect of excitement. But all the opposers were now brought to see their mistake and to confess that the work was indeed of the Lord. In a prayer-meeting soon after, the brother who had confessed that he was wrong in his opposition, experienced the power of God in so great a degree that his countenance shone with a heavenly light, and he fell helpless to the floor. When his strength returned, he again acknowledged that he had been ignorantly warring against the Spirit of the Lord in cherishing the feeling he had against me. LS88 179.2

“In another prayer-meeting still another member of the same family was exercised in a similar manner and bore the same testimony. A few weeks after, while the large family of Brother P. were engaged in prayer at their own house, the Spirit of God swept through the room and prostrated the kneeling suppliants. My father came in soon after, and found them all, both parents and children, helpless under the power of the Lord. LS88 179.3

“Cold formality began to melt before the mighty influence of the Most High. All who had opposed me, confessed that they had grieved the Holy Spirit by so doing, and they united in sympathy with me and in love for the Saviour. My heart was glad that divine mercy had smoothed the path for my feet to tread, and rewarded my faith and trust so bounteously. Unity and peace now dwelt among our people who were looking forward toward the coming of the Lord. LS88 180.1

“How carefully and tremblingly did we approach the time of expectation. We sought, as a people, with solemn earnestness to purify our lives that we might be ready to meet the Saviour at his coming. Notwithstanding the opposition of ministers and churches, Beethoven Hall, in the city of Portland, was nightly crowded, and especially was there a large congregation on Sundays. Elder Stockman was a man of deep piety. He was in feeble health, yet when he stood before the people he seemed to be lifted above physical infirmity, and his face was lighted with the consciousness that he was teaching the sacred truth of God. LS88 180.2

“There was a solemn, searching power in his words that struck home to many hearts. He sometimes expressed a fervent desire to live until he should welcome the Saviour coming in the clouds of heaven. Under his ministration, the Spirit of God convicted many sinners, and brought them into the fold of Christ. Meetings were still held at private houses in different parts of the city with the best results. Believers were encouraged to work for their friends and relatives, and conversions were multiplying day by day. LS88 180.3

“In the district where my father's family properly belonged, these evening meetings were held at the house of a sea-captain. He made no profession of religion, but his wife was a sincere lover of the truth. The captain finally became convicted through the influence of the meetings, professed Christ and embraced the belief that he was soon coming to the world. LS88 180.4

“All classes flocked to the meetings at Beethoven Hall. Rich and poor, high and low, ministers and laymen were all, from various causes, anxious to hear for themselves the doctrine of the second advent. The crowd was such that fears were expressed that the floor might give way beneath its heavy load; but the builder, upon being consulted, quieted such apprehensions and established confidence in regard to the strength of the building. Many came who, finding no room to stand, went away disappointed. LS88 181.1

“The order of the meetings was simple. A short and pointed discourse was usually given, then liberty was granted for general exhortation. There was, as a rule, the most perfect stillness possible for so large a crowd. The Lord held the spirit of opposition in check, while his servants explained the reasons of their faith. Sometimes the instrument was feeble, but the Spirit of God gave weight and power to his truth. The presence of the holy angels was felt in the assembly, and numbers were daily being added to the little band of believers. LS88 181.2

“On one occasion, while Elder Stockman was preaching, Elder Brown, a Christian Baptist minister, whose name has been mentioned before in this narrative, was sitting in the desk listening to the sermon with intense interest. He became deeply moved, and suddenly his countenance grew pale as the dead, he reeled in his chair, and Elder Stockman caught him in his arms just as he was falling to the floor, and laid him on the sofa behind the desk, where he lay powerless until the discourse was finished. LS88 181.3

“He then arose, his face still pale, but shining with light from the Sun of righteousness, and gave a very impressive testimony. He seemed to receive holy unction from above. He was usually slow of speech, with an earnest manner, entirely free from excitement. On this occasion, his solemn, measured words carried with them a new power, as he warned sinners and his brother ministers to put away unbelief, prejudice and cold formality, and, like the noble Bereans, searched the sacred writings, comparing scripture with scripture, to ascertain if these things were not true. He entreated the ministers present not to feel themselves injured by the direct and searching manner in which Elder Stockman had presented the solemn subject that interested all minds. LS88 181.4

“Said he, ‘We want to reach the people, we want sinners to be convicted and become truly repentant to God before it is too late for them to be saved, lest they shall take up the lamentation, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Brethren in the ministry say that our arrows hit them; will they please stand aside from between us and the people, and let us reach the hearts of sinners? If they make themselves a target for our aim they have no reason to complain of the wounds they receive. Stand aside brethren and you will not get hit!’ LS88 182.1

“He related his own experience with such simplicity and candor, that many who had been greatly prejudiced were affected to tears. The Spirit of God was felt in his words and seen upon his countenance. With a holy exaltation he boldly declared that he had taken the word of God as his counselor, that his doubts had been swept away and his faith confirmed. With sanctified earnestness he invited his brother ministers, church members, sinners and infidels to examine the Bible for themselves and charged them to let no man turn them from the purpose of ascertaining what was the truth. LS88 182.2

“Elder Brown neither then nor afterwards severed his connection with the Christian Baptist church, but was looked upon with great reverence and respect by his people. When he had finished speaking, those who desired the prayers of the people of God were invited to rise. Hundreds responded to the call. The sea-captain who had been recently converted, sprang to his feet with tears raining down his cheeks. He was unable to express his feelings in words, and stood for a moment the picture of mute thanksgiving; then he involuntarily raised his hat, and swung it above his head with the free movement of an old sailor, and in the abandonment of his joy, shouted, ‘Hurrah for God! I've enlisted in his crew, he is my captain! Hurrah for Jesus Christ!’ He sat down overpowered by the intensity of his emotions, his face glowing with the radiance of love and peace. This singular testimony, so characteristic of the bluff mariner, was not received with laughter, for the Spirit of God that animated the speaker lent his extraordinary words a strange solemnity that was felt through all that dense crowd. LS88 183.1

“Others followed with their testimonies. The voice of Brother Abbot rung through the hall in notes of warning to the world. He repeated the evidences of the soon coming of Christ, and that vast crowd listened in sacred silence to his stirring words. The Holy Spirit rested upon the assembly. Heaven and earth seemed to approach each other. The meeting lasted until a late hour of the night. The power of the Lord was felt upon young, old, and middle aged. Some Methodists and Baptists who were present seemed to fully unite with the spirit of the meeting. LS88 183.2

“As we returned to our homes by various ways, a voice praising God would reach us from one direction, and, as if in response, voices from another and still another quarter, shouted, ‘Glory to God, the Lord reigneth!’ Men sought their homes with praises upon their lips, and the glad sound rang out upon the still night air. No one who attended these meetings can ever forget those scenes of deepest interest. LS88 183.3

“Those who sincerely love Jesus can appreciate the feelings of those who watched with the most intense interest for the coming of their Saviour. The point of expectation was nearing. The time when we hoped to meet him was close at hand. We approached this hour with a calm solemnity. The true believers rested in a sweet communion with God, an earnest of the peace that was to be theirs in the bright hereafter. Those who experienced this hope and trust can never forget those precious hours of waiting. LS88 184.1

“Worldly business was for the most part laid aside for a few weeks. We carefully scrutinized every thought and emotion of our hearts as if upon our death-beds and in a few hours to close our eyes forever upon earthly scenes. There was no making `ascension robes’ for the great event; we felt the need of internal evidence that we were prepared to meet Christ, and our white robes were purity of soul, character cleansed from sin by the atoning blood of our Saviour. LS88 184.2

“But the time of expectation passed. This was the first close test brought to bear upon those who believed and hoped that Jesus would come in the clouds of heaven. The disappointment of God's waiting people was great. The scoffers were triumphant and won the weak and cowardly to their ranks. Some who had appeared to possess true faith seemed to have been influenced only by fear, and now their courage returned with the passing of the time, and they boldly united with the scoffers declaring they had never been duped to really believe the doctrine of Miller, who was a mad fanatic. Others, naturally yielding or vacillating, quietly deserted the cause. I thought if Christ had surely come, what would have become of those weak and changing ones? Where would have been their robes of righteousness? They professed to love and long for the coming of Jesus, but when he failed to appear they seemed greatly relieved and went back to a state of carelessness and disregard of true religion. LS88 184.3

“We were perplexed and disappointed, yet did not renounce our faith. Many still clung to the hope that Jesus would not long delay his coming; the word of the Lord was sure, it could not fail. We felt that we had done our duty, we had lived up to our precious faith, we were disappointed but not discouraged; the signs of the times denoted that the end of all things was near at hand, we must watch and hold ourselves in readiness for the coming of the Master at any time. We must wait with hope and trust, not neglecting the assembling of ourselves together for instruction, encouragement and comfort, that our light might shine forth into the darkness of the world. LS88 185.1

“Calculation of the time was so simple and plain that even the children could understand it. From the date of the decree of the king of Persia, found in Ezra 7, which was given in 457 before Christ, the 2300 years of Daniel 8:14 must terminate with 1843. Accordingly we looked to the end of this year for the coming of the Lord. We were sadly disappointed when the year entirely passed away and the Saviour had not come. LS88 185.2

“It was not at first perceived that if the decree did not go forth at the beginning of the year 457 B. C., the 2300 years would not be completed at the close of 1843. But it was ascertained that the decree was given near the close of the year 457, B. C., and therefore the prophetic period must reach to the fall of the year 1844. Therefore the vision of time did not tarry, though it had seemed to do so. We learned to rest upon the language of the prophet, ‘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.’ LS88 185.3

“God tested and proved his people by the passing of the time in 1843. The mistake made in reckoning the prophetic periods was not at once discovered even by learned men who opposed the views of those who were looking for Christ's coming. These profound scholars declared that Mr. Miller was right in his calculation of the time, though they disputed him in regard to the event that would crown that period. But they, and the waiting people of God, were in a common error on the question of time. LS88 186.1

“We fully believe that God, in his wisdom, designed that his people should meet with a disappointment, which was well calculated to reveal hearts and develop the true characters of those who had professed to look for and rejoice in the coming of the Lord. Those who embraced the first angel's message (see Revelation 14:6, 7) through fear of the wrath of God's judgments, not because they loved the truth and desired an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, now appeared in their true light. They were among the first to ridicule the disappointed ones who sincerely longed for and loved the appearing of Jesus. This most searching test of God revealed the true characters of those who would shirk responsibility and stigma by denying their faith in the hour of trial. LS88 186.2

“Those who had been disappointed were not left in darkness; for in searching the prophetic periods with earnest prayers, the error was discovered, and the tracing of the prophetic pencil down through the tarrying time. In the joyful expectation of the coming of Christ, the apparent tarrying of the vision had not been taken into account, and was a sad and unlooked for surprise. Yet this very trial was highly necessary to develop and strengthen the sincere believers in the truth. LS88 186.3

“Our hopes now centered on the coming of the Lord in 1844. This was also the time for the message of the second angel, who, flying through the midst of heaven, cried, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city!’ Many left the churches in obedience to the message of the second angel. Near its close the Midnight Cry was given: ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!’ Light was being given concerning this message, in every part of the land, and the cry aroused thousands. It went from city to city, from village to village, and into the remote country regions. It reached the learned and talented, as well as the obscure and humble. LS88 187.1

“This was the happiest year of my life. My heart was full of glad expectation; but I felt great pity and anxiety for those who were in discouragement and had no hope in Jesus. We united, as a people, in earnest prayer for true inward experience and the unmistakable evidence of our acceptance with God. LS88 187.2

“We needed unbounded patience, for the scoffers were many. We were frequently greeted by scornful allusions to our former disappointment. ‘You have not gone up yet; when do you expect to go up?’ and similar sarcasms were often vented upon us by our worldly acquaintances, and even by some professed Christians, who accepted the Bible yet failed to learn its great and important truths. Their blinded eyes seemed to see but a vague and distant meaning in the solemn warning, ‘God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world,’ and in the assurance that the saints will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. LS88 187.3

“The formal churches used every means to prevent the belief in Christ's soon coming from spreading. No liberty was granted in their meetings to those who dared mention a hope of the soon coming of Christ. Professed lovers of Jesus scornfully rejected the tidings that he whom they claimed as their best friend was soon to visit them. They were excited and angered against those who proclaimed the news of his coming and who rejoiced that they should speedily behold him in his glory. LS88 188.1

“Every moment seemed precious and of the utmost importance to me. I felt that we were doing work for eternity, and that the careless and uninterested were in the greatest peril. My faith was unclouded, and I appropriated the precious promises of Jesus to myself. He had said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ I firmly believed that whatever I asked in accordance with the will of God would certainly be granted to me. I sank in humility at the feet of Jesus with my heart in harmony with the divine will. LS88 188.2

“I often visited families and engaged in earnest prayer with those who were oppressed by fears and despondency. My faith was so strong that I never doubted for a moment that God would answer my prayers, and without a single exception the blessing and peace of Jesus rested upon us in answer to our humble petitions, and the hearts of the despairing ones were made joyful by light and hope. LS88 188.3

“With diligent searching of hearts and humble confessions we came prayerfully up to the time of expectation. Every morning we felt that it was our first business to secure the evidence that our lives were right before God. We realized that if we were not advancing in holiness we were sure to retrograde. Our interest for each other increased; we prayed much with and for one another. We assembled in the orchards and groves to commune with God and to offer up our petitions to him, feeling more clearly in his presence when surrounded by his natural works. The joys of salvation were more necessary to us than our food and drink. If clouds obscured our minds we dared not rest or sleep till they were swept away by the consciousness of our acceptance with the Lord. LS88 188.4

“My health was very poor, my lungs were seriously affected, and my voice failed. The Spirit of God often rested upon me with great power, and my frail body could scarcely endure the weight of glory that flooded my soul. The name of Jesus filled me with rapture, I seemed to breathe in the atmosphere of heaven, and rejoiced in the prospect of soon meeting my Redeemer and living in the light of his countenance forever. LS88 189.1

“The waiting people of God approached the hour when they fondly hoped their joys would be complete in the coming of the Saviour. But the time again passed unmarked by the advent of Jesus. Mortality still clung to us, the effects of the curse were all around us. It was hard to take up the vexing cares of life that we thought had been laid down forever. It was a bitter disappointment that fell upon the little flock whose faith had been so strong and whose hope had been so high. But we were surprised that we felt so free in the Lord, and were so strongly sustained by his strength and grace. LS88 189.2

“The experience of the former year was, however, repeated to a greater extent. A large class renounced their faith. Some, who had been very confident, were so deeply wounded in their pride that they felt like fleeing from the world. Like Jonah they complained of God and chose death rather than life. Those who had built their faith upon the evidence of others and not upon the Word of God were now as ready to again exchange their views. The hypocrites, who had hoped to deceive the Almighty as well as themselves, with their counterfeit penitence and devotion, now felt relieved from impending danger, and launched into open opposition to the cause they had lately professed to love. LS88 189.3

“The weak and the wicked united in declaring that there could be no more fears or expectations now. The time had passed, the Lord had not come, and the world would remain the same for thousands of years. This second great test revealed a mass of worthless drift that had been drawn into the strong current of the Advent faith, and been borne along for a time with the true believers and earnest workers. LS88 190.1

“We were disappointed but not disheartened. We resolved to submit patiently to the process of purifying that God deemed needful for us; to refrain from murmuring at the trying ordeal by which the Lord was purging us from the dross and refining us like gold in the furnace. We resolved to wait with patient hope for the Saviour to redeem his tried and faithful ones. LS88 190.2

“We are firm in the belief that the preaching of definite time was of God. It was this that led men to search the Bible diligently, discovering truths they had not before perceived. Jonah was sent of God to proclaim in the streets of Nineveh that within forty days the city would be overthrown; but God accepted the humiliation of the Ninevites and extended their period of probation. Yet the message that Jonah brought was sent of God, and Nineveh was tested according to his will. The world looked upon our hope as a delusion and our disappointment as its consequent failure; but though we were mistaken in the event that was to occur at that period, there was no failure in reality of the vision that seemed to tarry. LS88 190.3

“The words of the Saviour in the parable of the wicked servant apply very forcibly to those who ridicule the near coming of the Son of man. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat their fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour when he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. LS88 191.1

“We found everywhere the scoffers which Peter says shall come in the last days, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. But those who had looked for the coming of the Lord were not without comfort, they had obtained valuable knowledge in the searching of the word. The plan of salvation was plainer to their understanding. Every day they discovered new beauties in its sacred pages and a wonderful harmony running through all, one scripture explaining another and no word used in vain. LS88 191.2

“Our disappointment was not so great as that of the disciples. When the Son of man rode triumphantly into Jerusalem they expected him to be crowned king. The people flocked from all the region about and cried, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ And Jesus, when the priests and elders besought him to still the multitude, declared that if they should hold their peace even the stones would cry out, for prophecy must be fulfilled. Yet in a few days these very disciples saw their beloved Master, whom they believed would reign on David's throne, stretched upon the cruel cross above the mocking, taunting Pharisees. Their high hopes were drowned in bitter disappointment, and the darkness of death closed about them. LS88 191.3

“Yet Christ was true to his promises. Sweet was the consolation he gave his people, rich the reward of the true and faithful. LS88 192.1

“Mr. Miller and those who were in union with him supposed that the cleansing of the sanctuary, spoken of in Daniel 8:14, meant the purifying of the earth prior to its becoming the abode of the saints. This was to take place at the advent of Christ, therefore we looked for that event at the end of the 2300 days, or years. But after our disappointment the Scriptures were carefully searched with prayer and earnest thought, and after a period of suspense as to our true position, light poured in upon our darkness; doubt and uncertainty was swept away. LS88 192.2

“Instead of the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 referring to the purifying of the earth, it was now plain that it pointed to the closing work of our High Priest in heaven, the finishing of the atonement, and the preparing of the people to abide the day of his coming. LS88 192.3

“I might give a more detailed explanation of the passing of the time as considered in the light of prophecy, but it is not in the legitimate province of this work to do so. I merely designed to give as brief an account as possible of these important events with which my life was so closely interwoven that they cannot consistently be omitted from these pages. I would, however, refer those readers who desire further information, to works on this subject which give a full exposition of it. Address Review and Herald Battle Creek, Mich., or Signs of the Times, Oakland, Cal. LS88 192.4

“I now return to my personal history from which I have necessarily digressed. After the passing of the time in 1844, my health rapidly failed, I could only speak in a whisper or broken tone of voice. One physician stated that my disease was dropsical consumption, he pronounced my right lung decayed and the left one considerably diseased, while the heart was seriously affected. He thought that I could live but a short time, and might die suddenly at any time. It was very difficult for me to breathe when lying down, and at night I was bolstered in almost a sitting posture, and was frequently wakened by coughing and bleeding at the lungs. LS88 192.5

“About this time, while visiting a dear sister in Christ, whose heart was knit with mine, the first vision was given to me. There were but five of us, all women, kneeling quietly in the morning at the family altar, when this event transpired. I related this vision to the believers in Portland, who had full confidence that these manifestations were of God. A power attended them that could only emanate from the divine. A solemn sense of eternal interests was constantly upon me. An unspeakable awe filled me, that I, so young and feeble, should be chosen as the instrument by which God would give light to his people. While under the power of the Lord I was so inexpressibly happy, seeming to be surrounded by radiant angels in the glorious courts of heaven, where all is peace and joy, that it was a sad and bitter change to wake up to the unsatisfying realities of mortal life. LS88 193.1

“In a second vision, which soon followed the first, I was shown the trials through which I must pass, and that it was my duty to go and relate to others the things that God had revealed to me. It was shown me that my labors would meet with great opposition, and that my heart would be wrought with anguish, but that the grace of God would be sufficient to sustain me through all. The teaching of this vision troubled me exceedingly, for it pointed that my duty was to go out among the people and teach the truth. LS88 193.2

“My health was so poor that I was in actual bodily suffering, and, to all appearance, had but a short time to live. I was but seventeen years of age, small and frail, unused to society, and naturally so timid and retiring that it was painful for me to meet strangers. I prayed earnestly for several days and far into the night, that this burden might be removed from me and laid upon some one else more capable of bearing it. But the light of duty never changed, and the words of the angel sounded continually in my ears, ‘Make known to others what I have revealed to you.’ LS88 194.1

“I was unreconciled to going out into the world, its sneers and opposition rose before my mind in formidable array. I had little self-confidence. Hitherto when the Spirit of God had urged me to duty I had risen above myself, forgetting all fear and timidity in the great theme of Jesus’ love and the wonderful work he had done for me. The constant assurance that I was fulfilling my duty and obeying the will of the Lord, gave me a confidence that surprised me and was foreign to my nature. At such times I felt willing to do or suffer anything in order to help others into the light and peace of Jesus. LS88 194.2

“But it seemed impossible for me to accomplish this work that was presented before me; to attempt it seemed certain failure. The trials attending it appeared more than I could endure. How could I, a child in years, go forth from place to place unfolding to the people the holy truths of God! My heart shrank in terror from the thought. My brother Robert, but two years my senior, could not accompany me, for he was feeble in health and his timidity greater than mine; nothing could have induced him to take such a step. My father had a family to support and could not leave his business; but he repeatedly assured me that if God had called me to labor in other places, he would not fail to open the way for me. But these words of encouragement were little comfort to my desponding heart; the path before me seemed hedged in with difficulties that I was unable to surmount. LS88 194.3

“I really coveted death as a release from the responsibilities that were crowding upon me. At length the sweet peace I had so long enjoyed left me, and my soul was plunged in despair. My prayers all seemed vain, and my faith was gone. Words of comfort, reproof or encouragement were alike to me, for it seemed that no one could understand me but God, and he had forsaken me. The company of believers in Portland were ignorant concerning the exercises of my mind that had brought me into this state of despondency, but they knew that for some reason my mind had become depressed, and they felt that this was sinful on my part, considering the gracious manner in which the Lord had manifested himself to me. LS88 195.1

“A great fear possessed me that God had taken his favor from me forever. As I contemplated the light that had formerly blessed my soul, it seemed doubly precious as contrasted with the darkness that now enveloped me. Meetings were held at my father's house, but my distress of mind was so great that I did not attend them for some time. My burden grew heavier until the agony of my spirit seemed more than I could bear. LS88 195.2

“At length I was induced to be present at one of the meetings in my own home. The church made my case a special subject of prayer. Father Pearson, who in my earlier experience had opposed the manifestations of the power of God upon me, now prayed earnestly for me and counseled me to surrender my will to the will of the Lord. Like a tender father he tried to encourage and comfort me, bidding me believe I was not forsaken by the Friend of sinners. LS88 195.3

“I felt too weak and despondent to make any special effort for myself on this occasion, but my heart united with the petitions of my friends. I cared little now for the opposition of the world, and felt willing to make every sacrifice if only the favor of God might be restored to me. While prayer was being offered for me, the thick darkness that had encompassed me rolled back and a sudden light came upon me. My strength was taken away. I seemed to be carried to heaven and into the presence of the angels. One of these radiant beings again repeated the words, ‘Make known to others what I have revealed to you.’ LS88 196.1

“One great fear that haunted me was that if I obeyed the call of duty and went out into the open field, declaring myself to be one favored of the Most High with visions and revelations for the people, I might fall a prey to sinful exaltation and be lifted above the station that was right for me to occupy, bring upon myself the displeasure of God, and lose my own soul. I had before me several cases such as I have here described, and my heart had shrunk from the trying ordeal. LS88 196.2

“I now entreated that if I must go and relate what the Lord had shown me I should be preserved from undue exaltation. Said the angel, ‘Your prayers are heard and shall be answered. If this evil that you dread threatens you, the hand of God will be stretched out to save you, by affliction he will draw you to himself and preserve your humility. Deliver the message faithfully. Endure unto the end and you shall eat the fruit of the tree of life and drink of the water of life.’ LS88 196.3

“After recovering consciousness of earthly things, I committed myself to the Lord ready to do his bidding whatever that might be. Providentially the way opened for me to go with my brother-in-law to my sisters in Portland, thirty miles from my home. I there had an opportunity to bear my testimony. LS88 196.4

“For three months my throat and lungs had been so diseased that I could talk but little and that in a low and husky tone. On this occasion I stood up in meeting and commenced speaking in a whisper. I continued thus for about five minutes, when the soreness and obstruction left my throat and lungs, my voice became clear and strong, and I spoke with perfect ease and freedom for nearly two hours. When my message was ended my voice was gone until I stood before the people again, when the same singular restoration was repeated. I felt a constant assurance that I was doing the will of God, and saw marked results attending my efforts. LS88 197.1

“The way providentially opened for me to go to the eastern part of Maine. Brother Wm. Jordan was going on business to Orington [Orrington], accompanied by his sister, and I was urged to go with them. I felt somewhat reluctant to do so, but as I had promised the Lord to walk in the path he opened before me, I dared not refuse. At Orington [Orrington] I met Elder James White. He was acquainted with my friends and was himself engaged in the work of salvation. LS88 197.2

“The Spirit of God attended the message I bore, hearts were made glad in the truth, and the desponding ones were cheered and encouraged to renew their faith. At Garland a large number collected from different quarters to hear my message. But my heart was very heavy for I had just received a letter from my mother begging me to return home for false reports were being circulated concerning me. This was an unexpected blow. My name had always been free from the shadow of reproach, and my reputation was very dear to me. I also felt grieved that my mother should suffer on my account; her heart was bound up in her children and she was very sensitive in regard to them. If there had been an opportunity I should have set out for home immediately; but this was impossible. LS88 197.3

“My sorrow was so great that I felt too depressed to speak that night. My friends urged me to trust in the Lord; and at length the brethren engaged in prayer for me. The blessing of the Lord soon rested upon me and I bore my testimony that evening with great freedom. There seemed to be an angel standing by my side to strengthen me. Shouts of glory and victory went up from that house, and the presence of Jesus was felt in our midst. LS88 198.1

“Soon after I went to Exeter, a small village not far from Garland. Here a heavy burden rested upon me from which I could not be free until I related what had been shown me in regard to some fanatical persons who were present. This I did, mentioning that I was soon to return home and had seen that these persons were anxious to visit Portland; but they had no work to do there, and would only injure the cause by their fanaticism. I declared that they were deceived in thinking that they were actuated by the Spirit of God. My testimony was very displeasing to these persons and their sympathizers. It cut directly across their anticipated course and in consequence aroused in them feelings of bitterness and jealousy towards me. LS88 198.2

“I now returned to Portland, having traveled and labored for three months bearing the testimony that God had given me, and experiencing his approbation at every step. LS88 198.3

“Soon after quite a number of us were assembled at the house of Brother Howland in Topsham. Sister Frances Howland, a very dear friend of mine, was sick with the rheumatic fever and under the doctor's care. Her hands were so badly swollen that we could not distinguish the joints. As we sat together speaking of her case, Brother Howland was asked if he had faith that his daughter could be healed in answer to prayer. He answered that he would try to believe that she might, and presently declared that he did believe it possible. We all then knelt in earnest prayer to God in her behalf. We claimed the promise, ‘Ask and ye shall receive.’ LS88 198.4

“The blessing of God attended our prayers, and we had the assurance that God was willing to heal the afflicted one. Elder D. cried out, ‘Is there a sister here who has the faith to go and take her by the hand and bid her arise in the name of the Lord?’ LS88 199.1

“Sister Frances was lying in the chamber above, and before he ceased speaking Sister Curtis was on her way to the stairs. She entered the sick room with the Spirit of God upon her, and taking the invalid by the hand said, ‘Sister Frances, in the name of the Lord arise and be whole.’ New life shot through the veins of the sick girl, a holy faith took possession of her, and obeying its impulse, she rose from her bed, stood upon her feet, walked the room praising God for her recovery. She was soon dressed and came down into the room where we were assembled, her countenance lighted up with unspeakable joy and gratitude. LS88 199.2

“The next morning she took breakfast with us. Soon after, as Elder White was reading from the fifth chapter of James, for family worship, the doctor came into the hall, and, as usual, went up stairs to visit his patient. Not finding her there, he hurried down and with a look of alarm opened the door of the large kitchen where we were all sitting, his patient in our midst. He gazed upon her with astonishment and at length ejaculated, ‘So Frances is better!’ LS88 199.3

‘Brother Howland answered, ‘The Lord has healed her,’ and the reader resumed his chapter where he had been interrupted, ‘Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him.’ The doctor listened with a curious expression of mingled wonder and incredulity upon his face, nodded, and hastily left the room. The same day Sister Frances rode three miles and returned home in the evening; although it was rainy she sustained no injury, and continued to rapidly improve in health. In a few days, at her request she was led down into the water and baptized. And although the weather and the water were very cold, and her disease rheumatic fever, she received no injury, but from that time was free from the disease, and in the enjoyment of her usual health LS88 200.1

“At this time Brother Wm. Hyde was very sick with bloody dysentery. His symptoms were alarming, and the physician pronounced his case almost hopeless. We visited him and prayed with him, but he had come under the influence of certain fanatical persons, who were bringing dishonor upon our cause. We wished to remove him from their midst, and petitioned the Lord to give him strength to leave that place. He was strengthened and blessed in answer to our prayers, and rode four miles to the house of Brother Patten. But after arriving there he seemed to be rapidly sinking. LS88 200.2

“The fanaticism and errors into which he had fallen through evil influence seemed to hinder the exercise of his faith. He gratefully received the plain testimony borne him, and made humble confession of his fault. Only a few who were strong in faith were permitted to enter the sick room. The fanatics whose influence over him had been so injurious, and who had persistently followed him to Brother Patten's, were positively forbidden to come into his presence, while we prayed fervently for his restoration to health. I have seldom known such a reaching out to claim the promises of God. The salvation of the Holy Spirit was revealed, and power from on high rested upon our sick brother and upon all present. LS88 200.3

“Brother Hyde immediately dressed and walked out of the room praising God, with the light of heaven shining upon his countenance. A farmer's dinner was ready upon the table. Said he, ‘If I were well I should partake of this food; and as I believe God has healed me, I shall carry out my faith.’ He sat down to dinner with the rest and ate heartily without injury. His recovery was perfect and lasting. LS88 201.1

“From Topsham we returned to Portland and found there quite a number of our faith from the East. Among them were the very fanatics to whom I had borne my testimony at Exeter, declaring that it was not their duty to visit Portland. These persons had laid aside reason and judgment; they trusted every impression of their excitable and over-wrought minds. Their demonstrative exercises, while claiming to be under the Spirit of God, were unworthy of their exalted profession. We trembled for the church that was to be subjected to this spirit of fanaticism. My heart ached for God's people. Must they be deceived and led away by this false enthusiasm? I faithfully pronounced the warnings given me of the Lord; but they seemed to have little effect except to make these persons of extreme views jealous of me. LS88 201.2

“These false impressions of theirs might have turned me from my duty, had not the Lord previously showed me where to go and what to do. Although so young and inexperienced, I was preserved from falling into the snare of the enemy, through the mercy of God, in giving me special instructions whom to fear and whom to trust. Had it not been for this protection I now see many times when I might have been led from the path of duty. LS88 201.3

“About this time I was shown that it was my duty to visit our people in New Hampshire. My constant and faithful companion at this time was Sister Louisa Foss, the sister of my brother-in-law. She has been dead several years; but I can never forget her kind and sisterly attention to me in my journeyings. We were also accompanied by Elder Files and his wife, who were old and valued friends of my family, Brother Ralph Haskins and Elder White. LS88 202.1

“We were cordially received; but there were wrongs existing in that field which burdened me much. We had to meet a spirit of self-righteousness that was very depressing. I had previously been shown the pride and exaltation of certain ones whom we visited, but had not the courage to meet them with my testimony. Had I done so, the Lord would have sustained me in doing my duty. LS88 202.2

“While visiting at the house of Elder Morse, the burden did not leave me, but I did not yet feel sufficiently strong to relieve my mind and place the oppressive burden upon those to whom it belonged. During our stay at this house I was very ill. Prayer was offered in my behalf, the Spirit of God rested upon me, and I was taken off in vision. While in this state, some things were shown me concerning the disappointment of 1844, in connection with the case of Elder Morse. He had been a firm and consistent believer that the Lord would come at that time. He was bitterly disappointed when the period passed without bringing the event that was expected. He was perplexed and unable to explain the delay. LS88 202.3

“He did not renounce his faith as some did, calling it a fanatical delusion; but he was bewildered, and could not understand the position of God's people on prophetic time. He had been so earnest in declaring that the coming of the Lord was nigh, that when the time passed, he was despondent and did nothing to encourage the disappointed people, who were like sheep without a shepherd, left to be devoured by wolves. LS88 203.1

“The case of Jonah was presented before me. God commanded him to go into Nineveh and deliver the message that he gave him. Jonah obeyed, and for the space of three days and nights the solemn cry was heard throughout the streets of the wicked city, ‘Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ The city was a marvel of wealth and magnificence; yet the king believed the warning and humbled himself and his people before the Lord in fasting and sackcloth. LS88 203.2

“A merciful God accepted their repentance and lengthened the days of their probation. He turned away his fierce anger and awaited the fruits of Nineveh's humiliation. But Jonah dreaded being called a false prophet. He murmured at the compassion of God in sparing the people whom he had warned of destruction by the mouth of his prophet. He could not bear the thought of standing before the people as a deceiver. He overlooked the great mercy of God toward the repentant city, in the personal humiliation of seeing his prophecy unfulfilled. LS88 203.3

“Elder Morse was in a similar condition to that of the disappointed prophet. He had proclaimed that the Lord would come in 1844. The time had passed. The check of fear that had partially held the people was removed, and they indulged in derision of those who had looked in vain for Jesus. Elder Morse felt that he was a bye-word among his neighbors, an object of jest. He could not be reconciled to his position. He did not consider the mercy of God in granting the world a longer time to prepare for his coming; that the warning of his judgment might be heard more widely, and the people tested with greater light. He only thought of the humiliation of God's servants. LS88 203.4

“I was shown that although the event so solemnly proclaimed did not occur, as in the case of Jonah, the message was none the less of God, and accomplished the purpose that he designed it should. Subsequent light upon the prophecies revealed the event which did take place, in the High Priest entering the most holy place of the sanctuary in heaven to finish the atonement for the sins of man. Nevertheless God willed for a wise purpose that his servants should proclaim the approaching end of time. LS88 204.1

“Instead of being discouraged at his disappointment, as was Jonah, Elder Morse should gather up the rays of precious light that God had given his people and cast aside his selfish sorrow. He should rejoice that the world was granted a reprieve, and be ready to aid in carrying forward the great work yet to be done upon the earth, in bringing sinners to repentance and salvation. LS88 204.2

“It has been reported that on the occasion of this vision I declared that in forty days the end of the world would come. No such words were uttered by me. I had no light concerning the end of time. The subject of Nineveh, her lengthened probation, and the consequent grief of Jonah, was presented to me as a parallel case with our own disappointment in 1844. The case of Elder Morse was presented to me as one that represented the condition of a large class of our people at that time. Their duty was plainly marked; it was to trust in the wisdom and mercy of God and patiently labor as his providence opened the way before them. LS88 204.3

“It was difficult to accomplish much good in New Hampshire. We found little spirituality there. Many pronounced their experience in the movement of 1844 a delusion; it was hard to reach this class, for we could not accept the position they ventured to take. A number who were active preachers and exhorters in 1844, now seemed to have lost their moorings, and did not know where we were in prophetic time; they were fast uniting with the spirit of the world. LS88 205.1

“Upon one occasion when I was delivering the message that the Lord had given me for the encouragement of his people, I was interrupted several times by a certain minister. He had been very active in preaching definite time; but when the appointed period passed, his faith utterly failed, and he wandered in darkness, doubting and questioning everything. He was ever ready to array himself against any one who claimed more light than he possessed. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, as I related what he had shown me. This minister interrupted me several consecutive times; but I continued speaking, when he became very angry and excited, violently opposing what I said. He raised his voice to a high key, and abused me till he was forced to stop from sheer exhaustion. In a few moments he left the house, being seized with hemorrhage of the lungs. He rapidly failed from that time, and died not long after. LS88 205.2

“Our testimony was welcomed by some; but many received us suspiciously. Fanaticism and spiritual magnetism seemed to have destroyed the spirit of true godliness. Many appeared unable to discern or appreciate the motives that led me in my feebleness, to travel and bear my testimony to the people. Those who had little interest for the salvation of souls, and whose hearts had turned from the work of preparation, could not comprehend the love of God in my soul that quickened my desire to help those in darkness to the same light that cheered my path. Could they also have seen what had been revealed to me of God's matchless love for men, manifested in giving his only Son to die for them, they would not have doubted my sincerity. LS88 205.3

“I believed all that had been shown me in vision. Truth was to me a living reality, and my labor was for eternity. However others might view my work, the weight of its importance was heavy on my soul. In feeble health I was toiling to do good to others unto eternal life. Moments seemed precious to me, delays dangerous. LS88 206.1

“In New Hampshire we had to contend with a species of spiritual magnetism, of a similar character with mesmerism. It was our first experience of this kind, and happened thus: Arriving at Claremont, we were told there were two parties of Adventists; one holding fast their former faith, the other denying it. At other places we had visited and labored with this latter class, and found that they were so buried in worldliness, and had so far adopted the popular view in regard to our disappointment that we could not reach nor help them. LS88 206.2

“But we were now pleased to learn that there was a little company here who believed that in their past experience they had been led by the providence of God. We were directed to Elders Bennett and Bellings as persons holding similar views with ourselves. We discovered that there was much prejudice against these men, but concluded that they were persecuted for righteousness’ sake. We called on them and were kindly received and courteously treated. We soon learned that they professed sanctification, claiming they were above the possibility of sin, being entirely consecrated to God. Their clothing was excellent, and they had an air of ease and comfort. LS88 206.3

“Presently a little boy about eight years old entered, literally clad in dirty rags. We were surprised to find that this little specimen of neglect was the son of Elder Bennett. The mother looked exceedingly ashamed and annoyed; but the father, utterly unconcerned, continued talking of his high spiritual attainments without the slightest recognition of his little son. But his sanctification had suddenly lost its charm in my eyes. Wrapped in prayer and meditation, throwing off all the toil and responsibilities of life, this man seemed too spiritually minded to notice the actual wants of his family, or give his children the least fatherly attention. He seemed to forget that the greater our love to God, the stronger should be our love and care for those whom he has given us; that the Saviour never taught idleness and abstract devotion, to the neglect of the duties laying directly in our path. LS88 207.1

“This husband and father declared that the heavenly attainment of true holiness carried the mind above all earthly thoughts. Still he sat at the table and ate temporal food; he was not fed by a miracle and some one must provide that food, although he troubled himself little about that matter, his time was so devoted to spiritual things. Not so his wife, upon whom rested the burden of the family. She toiled unremittingly in every department of household labor to keep up the home. The husband declared that she was not sanctified, but allowed worldly things to draw her mind from religious subjects. LS88 207.2

“I thought of our Saviour as a constant worker for the good of others. He said ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.’ The sanctification that he taught was shown in deeds of kindness and mercy, and the love that counteth others better than themselves. LS88 207.3

“While at this house a sister of Elder Bennett requested a private interview with me. She had much to say concerning entire consecration to God, and endeavored to draw out my views in regard to that subject. I felt that I must be guarded in my expressions. While talking, she held my hand in hers, and with the other softly stroked my hair. I felt that angels of God would protect me from the unholy influence this attractive young lady was seeking to exercise over me, with her fair speeches, and gentle caresses. She had much to say in regard to the spiritual attainments of Elder Bennett, and his great faith. Her mind seemed very much occupied with him and his experience. I was glad to be relieved at length from this trying interview. LS88 208.1

“These persons, who made such lofty professions, were calculated to deceive the unwary. They had much to say of love and charity covering a multitude of sins. I could not unite with their views and feelings; but felt that they were wielding a terrible power of evil. I wished to escape from their presence as soon as possible. LS88 208.2

“Elder Bennett, in speaking of faith, said, ‘All we have to do is to believe, and whatever we ask of God will be given us.’ LS88 208.3

“Elder White suggested that there were conditions specified. ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ Said he, ‘Your theory of faith must have a foundation; it is as empty as a flour-barrel with both heads out. True charity never covers up unrepented and unconfessed sins. She only drops her mantle over the faults that are confessed and renounced. True charity is a very delicate personage, never setting her pure foot outside of Bible truth.’ As soon as the views of these people were crossed, they manifested a stubborn, self-righteous spirit that rejected all instruction. Though professing great humility, they were boastful in their sophistry of sanctification, and resisted all appeals to reason. We felt that all our efforts to convince them of their error were useless, as they took the position that they were not learners but teachers.” LS88 208.4