Life Sketches Manuscript


Meetings in Portland, ME

Notwithstanding the opposition of ministers and churches, Beethoven Hall in the city of Portland, was nightly crowded; especially was there a large congregation on Sundays. LSMS 68.2

Elder Stockman was a man of deep piety. He was in feeble health, suffering from consumption; 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. 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. LSMS 68.3

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. LSMS 68.4

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. Many came, who, finding no room to stand, went away disappointed. LSMS 69.1

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 added to the little band of believers. LSMS 69.2

On one occasion, while Elder Stockman was preaching, Elder S. E. Brown, a Christian 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 face grew pale as that of the dead, and he reeled in his chair. Elder Stockman caught him in his arms just as he was falling to the floor, and laid him on the sofa back of the desk, where he lay powerless until the discourse was finished LSMS 69.3