The Review and Herald

2/1902

July 21, 1851

Experience and Views

By the request of dear friends I have consented to give a brief sketch of my experience and views, with the hope that it will cheer and strengthen the humble, trusting children of the Lord. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 1

At the age of eleven years I was converted, and when twelve years old was baptized, and joined the Methodist Church. At the age of thirteen I heard Bro. Miller deliver his second course of lectures in Portland, Me. I then felt that I was not holy, not ready to see Jesus. And when the invitation was given for church members and sinners to come forward for prayers, I embraced the first opportunity, for I knew that I must have a great work done for me to fit me for Heaven. My soul was thirsting for full and free salvation, but knew not how to obtain it. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 2

In 1842 I constantly attended the Second Advent meetings in Portland, Me., and fully believed the Lord was coming. I was hungering and thirsting for full salvation, and an entire conformity to the will of God. Day and night I was struggling to obtain this priceless treasure, that all the riches of earth could not purchase. As I was bowed before God praying for this blessing the duty to go and pray in a public prayer-meeting was presented before me. I had never prayed vocally in meeting, and drew back from the duty, fearing that if I should attempt to pray I should be confounded. Every time I went before the Lord in secret prayer this unfulfilled duty presented itself, until I ceased to pray, and settled down in a melancholy state, and finally in deep despair. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 3

In this state of mind I remained for three weeks, with not one ray of light to pierce the thick clouds of darkness around me. I then had two dreams which gave me a faint ray of light and hope. After that I opened my mind to my devoted mother. She told me that I was not lost, and advised me to go and see Bro. Stockman, who then preached to the Advent people in Portland. I had great confidence in him, for he was a devoted and beloved servant of Christ. His words affected me and led me to hope. I returned home, and again went before the Lord, and promised that I would do and suffer any thing if I could have the smiles of Jesus. The same duty was presented. There was to be a prayer meeting that evening which I attended, and when others knelt to pray I bowed with them trembling, and after two or three had prayed, I opened my mouth in prayer before I was aware of it, and the promises of God looked to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received by only asking for them. As I prayed the burden and agony of soul that I had so long felt left me, and the blessing of God came upon me like the gentle dew, and I gave glory to God for what I felt, but I longed for more. I could not be satisfied till I was filled with the fullness of God. Inexpressible love for Jesus filled my soul. Wave after wave of glory rolled over me until my body grew stiff. Everything was shut out from me but Jesus and glory, and I knew nothing of what was passing around me. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 4

I remained in this state of body and mind a long time, and when I realized what was around me, everything seemed changed. Every thing looked glorious and new, as if smiling and praising God. I was then willing to confess Jesus everywhere. For six months not a cloud of darkness passed over my mind. My soul was daily drinking rich draughts of salvation. I thought that those who loved Jesus would love His coming, so went to the class-meeting and told them what Jesus had done for me, and what a fullness I enjoyed through believing that the Lord was coming. The class-leader interrupted me saying, “Through Methodism,” but I could not give the glory to Methodism, when it was Christ and the hope of His soon coming that had made me free. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 5

My father's family were most all full believers in the Advent, and for bearing testimony to this glorious doctrine, seven of us were at one time cast out of the Methodist Church. At this time the words of the Prophet were exceedingly precious to us. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 6

“Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my names's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:5. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 7

From this time, up to December, 1844, my joys, trials and disappointments were like those of my dear Advent friends around me. At this time I visited one of our Advent sisters, and in the morning we bowed around the family altar. It was not an exciting occasion, and there were but five of us present, all females. While praying the power of God came upon me as I never had felt it before, and I was wrapt up in a vision of God's glory, and seemed to be rising higher and higher from the earth, and was shown something of the travels of the Advent people to the Holy City, as will be seen in the vision hereafter. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 8

After I came out of vision everything looked changed, a gloom was spread over all that I beheld. O, how dark this world looked to me. I wept when I found myself here, and felt homesick. I had seen a better world, and it had spoiled this for me. I told the view to our little band in Portland, who then fully believed it to be of God. It was a powerful time. The solemnity of eternity rested upon us. About one week after this the Lord gave me another view, and shewed me the trials I must pass through, and that I must go and relate to others what He had revealed to me, and that I should meet with great opposition, and suffer anguish of spirit by going. But said the angel “The grace of God is sufficient for you: He will hold you up.” RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 9

After I came out of this vision I was exceedingly troubled. My health was very poor, and I was but seventeen years old. I knew that many had fallen through exaltation, and I knew that if I in any way became exalted that God would leave me, and I should surely be lost. I went to the Lord in prayer and begged Him to lay the burden on some one else. It seemed to me that I could not bear it. I lay upon my face a long time, and all the light I could get was “Make known to others what I have revealed to you.” RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 10

In my next vision I earnestly begged of the Lord, that if I must go and relate what He had shown me, to keep me from exaltation. Then He shewed me that my prayer was answered, and if I should be in danger of exaltation His hand should be laid upon me, and I should be afflicted with sickness. Said the angel, If you deliver the messages faithfully, and endure unto the end, you shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the water of the river of life. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 11

Soon it was reported all around that the visions were the result of mesmerism, and many Adventists were ready to believe, and circulate the report. A physician, who was a celebrated mesmerizer, told me that my views were mesmerism, and that I was a very easy subject, and that he could mesmerize me and give me a vision. I told him that the Lord had shown me in vision that mesmerism was from the Devil, from the bottomless pit, and that it would soon go there, with those who continued to use it. I then gave him liberty to mesmerize me if he could. He tried for more than half an hour, resorting to different operations, and then gave it up. By faith in God I was able to resist his influence, so that it did no affect me in the least. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 12

If I had a vision in meeting many would say that it was excitement, and that some one mesmerized me. Then I would go away alone in the woods, where no eye could see, or ear hear but God's, and pray to Him, and He would sometimes give me a vision there. I then rejoiced, and told them what God had revealed to me alone, where no mortal could influence me. But I was told by some that I mesmerized myself. O, thought I, has it come to this that those who honestly go to God alone to plead His promises, and to claim His salvation, are to be charged with being under the foul and soul-damning influence of mesmerism? Do we ask our kind Father in Heaven for “bread,” only to receive a “stone,” or a “scorpion?” These things wounded my spirit, and wrung my soul in keen anguish, well nigh to despair, while many would have me believe that there was no Holy Ghost, and that all the exercises that holy men of God have experienced were only mesmerism, or the deceptions of Satan. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 13

At this time there was fanaticism in Maine. Some refrained wholly from labor, and disfellowshipped all those who would not receive their views on this point, and some other things which they held to be religious duties. God revealed these errors to me in vision, and sent me to His erring children to declare them; but many of them wholly rejected the message, and charged me with conforming to the world. On the other hand, the Nominal Adventists charged me with fanaticism, and I was falsely, and by some wickedly represented as being the leader of the fanaticism that I was actually laboring to do away. Different times were repeatedly set for the Lord to come, and were urged upon the brethren.—But the Lord shewed me that they would all pass by, for the time of trouble must come before the coming of Christ, and that every time that was set, and passed by, would only weaken the faith of God's people. For this I was charged with being with the evil servant, that said in his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 14

All these things weighed heavily upon my spirits, and in the confusion I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience. And while at family prayers one morning, the power of God began to rest upon me, and the thought rushed into my mind that it was mesmerism, and I resisted it. Immediately I was struck dumb, and for a few moments was lost to everything around me. I then saw my sin in doubting the power of God, and that for so doing I was struck dumb, and that my tongue should be loosed in less than twenty-four hours. A card was held up before me, on which was written in gold letters the chapter and verse of fifty texts of Scripture. After I came out of vision, I beckoned for the slate, and wrote upon it that I was dumb, also what I had seen, and that I wished the large Bible. I took the Bible and readily turned to all the texts that I had seen upon the card. I was unable to speak all day. Early the next morning my soul was filled with joy, and my tongue was loosed to shout the high praises of God. After that I dared not doubt, or for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 15

In 1846, while at Fairhaven, Mass., my sister, (who usually accompanied me at that time,) sister A. and brother G. and myself started in a sail-boat to visit a family on West's Island. It was almost night when we started. We had gone but a short distance when a sudden storm arose. It was so dark that we could see nothing around us. It thundered and lightened and the rain came in torrents upon us. Brother G. had more than he could well attend to, to manage the boat. He tried to anchor, but the anchor dragged. Our little boat was tossed upon the waves, and driven by the wind, while it was so dark that we could not see from one end of the boat to the other. It seemed plain that we must be lost, unless God should deliver. Soon the anchor held. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 16

I knelt down in the boat, and began to cry to God to deliver us. And there upon the tossing billows, while the water washed over the top of the boat upon us, the rain descended as I never saw it before, the lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled. I was taken off in vision, and saw that sooner would every drop of water in the ocean be dried up than we should perish, for I saw that my work had but just began. After I came out of the vision all my fears were gone, and we sung and praised God, and our little boat was to us a floating Bethel. The editor of the “Advent Herald” has said that my visions were known to be “the result of mesmeric operations.” But I ask, what chance was there for mesmeric operations in such a time as that? RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 17

Brother G. at last called for help. There were but two houses on the Island, and it proved that we were near one of them, but not the one where we wished to go. All the family had retired to rest except a little child, who providentially heard the call for help upon the water. Her father soon came to our relief, and in a small boat, took us to the shore. We spent the most of that night in thanksgiving and praise to God, for His wonderful goodness unto us. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 18

Here I will give the view that was first published in 1846. In this view I saw only a very few of the events of the future. More recent views have been more full. I shall therefore leave out a portion and prevent repetition. RH July 21, 1851, Art. A, par. 19