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    VISION OF ELD. J. B. FINLEY

    “It was in the summer of 1842. Worn down with fatigue, I was completing my last round of quarterly meetings, and winding up the labors of a very toilsome year. I had scarcely finished my work till I was most violently attacked with bilious fever, and it was with great difficulty that I reached home. The disease had taken so violent a hold on my system that I sank rapidly under its power. Everything that kind attention and medical skill could impart was resorted to, to arrest its ravages; but all was in vain, and my life was despaired of. On the seventh night, in a state of entire insensibility to all around me, when the last ray of hope had departed, and my weeping family and friends were standing around my couch, waiting to see me breathe my last, it seemed to me that a heavenly visitant entered my room. It came to my side, and in the softest and most silvery tones, which fell like rich music upon my ear, it said, ‘I have come to conduct you to another state and place of existence.’ In an instant I seemed to rise, and, gently borne by an angel guide, I floated out upon the ambient air. Soon earth was lost in the distance, and around us on every side, were worlds of light and glory. On, on, away, away from the world to luminous worlds afar, we sped with the velocity of thought. At length we reached the gates of Paradise; and oh! the transporting scenes that fell upon my vision as the emerald portals, wide and high, rolled back upon their golden hinges! Then, in its fullest extent, did I realize the invocation of the poet:-SGOM 115.2

    “‘Burst, ye emerald gates, and bring
    To my raptured vision,
    All the ecstatic joys that spring
    Round the bright Elysian.’
    SGOM 116.1

    “Language, however, is inadequate to describe what there, with unveiled eyes, I saw. The vision is indelibly pictured on my heart. Before me, spread out in beauty, was a broad sheet of water, clear as crystal, not a single ripple on its surface, and its purity and clearness indescribable. On each side of this lake or river, rose up the most tall and beautiful trees, covered with all manner of fruit and flowers, the brilliant hues of which were reflected in the bosom of the placid river.SGOM 116.2

    “While I stood gazing with joy and rapture at the scene, a convoy of angels were seen floating in the pure ether of that world. They all had long wings, and although they went with the greatest rapidity, yet their wings were folded close by their side. While I gazed I asked my guide who they were, and what their mission. To this he responded, ‘They are angels, dispatched to the world from which you came, on an errand of mercy.’ I could hear strains of the most entrancing melody all around me, but no one was discovered but my guide. At length I said, Will it be possible for me to have a sight of some of the just made perfect in glory? Just then there came before us three persons; one had the appearance of a male, the other a female, the third an infant. The appearance of the first two was somewhat similar to the angels I saw, with the exception that they had crowns upon their heads, of the purest yellow, and harps in their hands. Their robes, which were full and flowing, were of the purest white. Their countenances were lighted up with a heavenly radiance, and they smiled upon me with ineffable sweetness.SGOM 116.3

    “There was nothing with which the blessed babe, or child, could be compared. It seemed to be about three feet high. Its wings, which were long and most beautiful, were tinged with all the colors of the rainbow. Its dress seemed to be of the whitest silk, covered with the softest white down. The driven snow could not excel it for whiteness and purity. Its face was all radiant with glory; its very smile now plays around my heart. I gazed, and gazed with wonder upon this heavenly child. At length I said, If I have to return to earth, from whence I came, I should love to take this child with me, and show it to the weeping mothers of earth. Methinks when they see it, they will never shed another tear over their children when they die. So anxious was I to carry out the desire of my heart, that I made a grasp at the bright and beautiful one, desiring to clasp it in my arms, but it eluded my grasp, and plunged into the river of life. Soon it rose up from the waters, and as the drops fell from its expanding wings, they seemed like diamonds, so bright did they sparkle. Directing its course to the other shore, it flew up to one of the topmost branches of one of life’s fair trees. With a look of most seraphic sweetness it gazed upon me, and then commenced singing in Heaven’s own strains, ‘To him that hath loved me, and washed me from my sins in his own blood, to him be glory both now and forever. Amen.’ At that moment the power of the eternal God came upon me, and I began to shout, and, clapping my hands, I sprang from my bed, and was healed as instantly as the lame man in the beautiful porch of the temple, who ‘went walking, and leaping, and praising God.’ Overwhelmed with the glory I saw and felt, I could not cease praising God.”SGOM 117.1

    The name of Dr. Bond is well known throughout the country. He was an eminent minister of the Methodist denomination. His vision, as published in the Christian Advocate, was different from the preceding, being practical and involving duty upon him to warn others of the danger of their condition. It is as follows:-SGOM 118.1

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