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    AN IMPRESSIVE DREAM

    THE first work of Elder D. T. Bourdeau and me in California, in 1868 and 1869, was in Petaluma, Windsor, and Piner District, five miles west of Santa Rosa. The ministers preached against us in all these places. Finally a noted Christian minister defiantly challenged us for a debate on the Sabbath question. This debate came off on March 29, 1869, at Piner.QSM 38.1

    We had been very anxious to start the work in Santa Rosa, the county seat of Sonoma County, and we prayed earnestly that the debate might open the way. The first day of the debate, there was a fair attendance from the city; but on the second day, as stated by the editor of the Sonoma Democrat, “everything that could go on wheels went to the debate.” After the first day of the debate, Brother Bordeau and I had an earnest season of prayer that the Lord would make the next day tell mightily for His cause in California. And so it did. On the night of the twenty-ninth, the Lord was pleased to give me a very impressive dream. In the dream, we seemed to be endeavoring to get over a mountain, and were making some progress in the ascent. Having gone a few hundred feet from the valley, we were confronted with an abrupt rise of high rocks before us, apparently fifty feet high, and as straight up as the side of a house. We saw at once that there was no way we could scale the obstruction. We looked to the left. There was a slanting slope up, but so smooth and glassy we concluded that to attempt to go that way would be a hard undertaking, and a failure. Just then a messenger appeared, and informed us that we had reached the height we were to ascend, and we would find a pathway around this difficulty and down into the valley to which we wished to go.QSM 38.2

    We followed the directions, and found that the perpendicular rock was like a high wall at our left, extending around the rock, and that on our right was a deep chasm. The path on which we were to go, while gradually descending, grew narrower and still narrower as we advanced, requiring constant care and watchfulness that no misstep be made, and we thus be plunged into the abyss at our right. There seemed also to be a foggy cloud before us, which prevented our seeing more than fifty feet ahead. As we advanced, the cloud moved on, so that our immediate pathway was clear and our progress undisturbed.QSM 39.1

    By and by, as is often the case in a dream, there was a sudden change in the scenery. We were down in the valley, and the misty cloud was up the hill on the pathway by which we had come. When and how we got through the cloud, I did not know; but the interpretation given to us was, that the Lord had come, and His people had been resurrected. There was a vast company of people in the valley, and they were getting aboard a long train of cars, on which all the framework seemed to be of the brightest nickel plate, more beautiful than any millionaire’s car I ever saw.QSM 40.1

    Our train glided gently out of the valley with its happy load of passengers. We had gone only a short distance when we came into a broader valley, where seemed to be a railroad with four tracks. On three of these tracks were trains of cars which extended as far as the eye could reach, loaded with people whose faces shone with the glory of the Lord. The trains were so near together that one could step from one train to another as they passed along, for they all kept exactly even with each other. I saw Brother and Sister White passing from one train to another, greeting the redeemed saints from different states. As our train swung around onto the fourth track, and in line with the others, Brother White exclaimed: “And here comes the California train! We are all going to the city!” At this time I awoke, thrilled from head to foot by the thought that this was a token of victory for California. Not only was that debate the turning point in our first efforts in California, but since the infirmities of age creep on me, there has been much thought as to what was meant by Brother Bordeau and me going unconscious through that cloud, and coming out on the resurrection side.QSM 40.2

    Now a little history of my case: Two years ago, I was under doctor and nurse five days with pneumonia; last year, with pneumonia again, under doctor and nurse eleven days; this year, with a severe attack of la grippe, under doctor and nurse five weeks, and left in so feeble a condition that I venture to attend only one camp meeting this year, the one just past, at Stockton.QSM 41.1

    One day on the camp, a sister came to me, saying: “You will live till the Lord comes; for a sister told me that on one occasion, when Sister White was speaking in the Tabernacle in Battle Creek, Michigan, a number of ministers were on the platform, and you among them, when Sister White said, ‘Some of you ministers will live until the Lord comes,’ and pointing to you, said, ‘And you, Brother Loughborough, will be one of them.’” I replied to the sister, “It is the first I ever heard of it.” She turned away, saying, “Oh, these hearsays!”QSM 41.2

    Words frequently come to mind that Sister White did speak to me in the winter of 1858. Brother White had a two-seated carriage and a span of horses that he used in visiting the churches in Michigan. He was necessarily detained by duties in the office of the Review and Herald, and he said to me, “You take the horses and carriage, and your wife and my wife, and visit the churches in Michigan.” As we traveled from place to place, there was opportunity for much religious conversation. At one time, the conversation was on the situation when war against the Sabbath keepers would be so that they would have to hide away in desolate places. She looked at me most earnestly for a minute or more, and then said, “Brother John, the Lord has shown me that these early workers (meaning the ministers) who have labored and sacrificed for the building up of the cause will all be laid away before that time when the people will have to flee,” or words to that effect. All the ministers then (1858) preaching the message are laid in their graves, except J. N. Loughborough. When I think that “all” does not mean all but one, and think of the earnest look she gave me when she spoke those words, it seems to cut off the idea that I will live through all the decrees that will be passed against Sabbath keepers. Nevertheless, I hope to be among those who will be raised to everlasting life (Daniel 12:2), and see the Lord come, as set forth in this little book.QSM 42.1

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