Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Chapter 8—Publishing and Traveling

    “My husband soon commenced the publication of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald at Paris Maine. The brethren there were all poor, and we suffered many privations. We boarded in Brother A.’s family. We were willing to live cheaply that the paper might be sustained. My husband was a dyspeptic. We could not eat meat or butter, and were obliged to abstain from all greasy food. Take these from a poor farmer's table and it leaves a very spare diet. Our labors were so great that we needed nourishing food. We had much care, and often sat up as late as midnight, and sometimes until two or three in the morning to read proof-sheets. We could have better borne these extra exertions could we have had the sympathy of our brethren in Paris, and had they appreciated our labors and the efforts we were making to advance the cause of truth. Mental labor and privation reduced the strength of my husband very fast.LS80 278.1

    “About this time we received a special invitation to attend a conference at Waterbury, Vt. We decided to go, but let Brethren R. and A. have our horse to visit the brethren in Canada and Northern Vermont, while we took the cars for Boston and New Ipswich, N. H. It took us two days to go forty miles to Washington, by private conveyance. The blessing of the Lord attended our meetings in that place. We then rode fifteen miles to visit Brother S. who was befogged with spiritualism. We were anxious he should attend the conference at Waterbury. But he had no horse, and to help him, we told him if he would get a horse we would ride in the sleigh with him, and give him our fare which would be about five dollars on the cars. He purchased a horse for thirty dollars. It was in mid-winter, and we suffered with cold, but we were anxious to see Elder Joseph Baker who was shut up at home, and encourage him to attend the Waterbury meeting. Weary, cold and hungry, we arrived at Brother B.’s. Next morning we had a solemn season of prayer, and Brother B. was deeply affected. We urged him to attend the conference. He said he had not health and strength to drive his horse through the cold. My husband handed him five dollars to pay his fare on the cars. He was very reluctant to accept it, but said, ‘If it is your duty to give me this, I will go.’ We were the greater part of three days more in reaching Waterbury. There were three of us in an open sleigh, without a buffalo robe or even a horse-blanket to protect us from the cold, and we suffered very much.LS80 278.2

    “At this meeting we had to labor against a great amount of unbelief, and this was not all we had to meet. Satan had tempted some of the brethren to think that we had too good a horse, although we had given it up for others to use, and had come that journey in the tedious manner described. Jealousy was aroused by N. A. H. that Brother White was making money, and it awakened the same feelings in those who should have stood in our defense. As N. A. H. was very poor, my husband, only seven or eight months before, handed him twenty dollars which was put into his hands to help the cause, took his coat from his back and gave it to him, and interested the brethren in his behalf, so that a horse and carriage were given him at the conference at Johnson. But this was the reward he received. We were forced to wade through a tide of oppression. It seemed that the deep waters would overflow us, and that we should sink.LS80 279.1

    “At the close of that meeting means was raised to defray the expenses of those who had come to the meeting. The question was asked, how it should be appropriated. A brother, who knew our poverty, and that we suffered for suitable food and clothing, hastily took the means and placed it in the hands of one whom my husband had helped to the meeting. And although we had been specially invited to attend the conference, we received nothing to defray our traveling expenses. But the Lord did not forsake us in our extremity. While engaged in prayer around the family altar, I was taken off in vision and shown some things concerning this cruel work. I saw that it had been carried on underhanded, and was as cruel as the grave. We found some relief, still our spirits were almost crushed to receive such treatment from our brethren. We then went to Waitsfield and Granville, and visited the family of our dear Sister Rice, who rests in the grave, and tried to aid them a little in their need. Brother K. took us to Bethel. We ascended a long mountain, and suffered with the cold extremely. We were five hours going fifteen miles. We held meetings among dark spirits, but Brother Philips there embraced the truth. We then returned to Massachusetts and Maine. But the influence that had worked against us in Vermont effected individuals in other States, and one good brother in Massachusetts wrote us many pages of reproof. He had received prejudice from others.LS80 280.1

    “My husband was borne down with care, and suffering from severe colds taken on the journey to the Waterbury meeting and in returning, which had settled on his lungs. He sunk beneath his trials. He was so weak he could not get to the printing office without staggering. Our faith was tried to the uttermost. We had willingly endured privation, toil and suffering, yet but few seemed to appreciate our efforts, when it was even for their good we had suffered. We were too much troubled to sleep or rest. The hours in which we should have been refreshed with sleep, were often spent in answering long communications occasioned by the leaven of envy which commenced to work at the Waterbury meeting; and many hours while others were sleeping we spent in agonizing tears, and mourning before the Lord. At length my husband said, ‘Wife, it is no use to try to struggle on any longer. These things are crushing me, and will soon carry me to the grave. I cannot go any farther. I have written a note for the paper stating that I shall publish no more.’ As he stepped out of the door to carry it to the printing office, I fainted. He came back and prayed for me, and his prayer was answered, and I was relieved.LS80 280.2

    “The next morning, while at family prayer, I was taken off in vision and was shown concerning these matters. I saw that my husband must not give up the paper, for such a step was just what Satan was trying to drive him to take, and he was working through agents to do this. I was shown that he must continue to publish, and that the Lord would sustain him, and those who had been guilty in casting upon him such burdens would have to see the extent of their cruel course, and come back confessing their injustice, or the frown of God would rest upon them; that it was not against us merely they had spoken and acted, but against Him who had called us to fill the place he wished us to occupy, and that all their suspicions, jealousy, and secret influence which had been at work, was faithfully chronicled in heaven, and would not be blotted out until every one who had taken a part in it should see the extent of their wrong course, and retrace every step. The exposures of that journey to Vermont my husband felt for years, and were not overcome until a few years since, when the Lord mercifully healed him in answer to prayer. The brother referred to in Massachusetts, was convinced that he was wrong, and wrote a humble acknowledgement which melted us to tears. But he was not satisfied to confess with pen and ink, but came all the way to Paris, Maine, to see us, and confess his error, and our hearts were more firmly united than ever. He had been influenced by one in whom he had the utmost confidence.LS80 281.1

    “We soon received urgent invitations to hold conferences in different States, and decided to attend general gatherings at Boston, Mass., Rocky Hill, Ct., Camden and West Milton, N. Y. These were all meetings of labor, but very profitable to our scattered brethren.LS80 282.1

    “The conference at West Milton was held in a barn which was well filled. This was an interesting and profitable meeting. We tarried at Ballston Spa a number of weeks, until we became settled in regard to publishing at Saratoga Springs, then rented a house, and with borrowed household stuff commenced housekeeping, and here my husband published the second volume of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.LS80 282.2

    “Sister Annie Smith, who now sleeps in Jesus, came to live with us and assist in the work. Her help was needed. My husband expresses his feelings at this time in a letter to Brother Howland, dated February 20, 1852, as follows: ‘We are usually well, all but myself. I cannot long endure the labors of traveling, and the care of publishing. Wednesday night we worked until 2 o'clock in the morning, folding and wrapping No. 12 of the Review and Herald; then I retired and coughed till daylight. Pray for me. The cause is prospering gloriously. Perhaps the Lord will not have need of me longer, and will let me rest in the grave. I hope to be free from the paper. I have stood by it in extreme adversity, and now when its friends are many, I feel free to leave it, if some one can be found who will take it. I hope my way will be made clear. May the Lord direct. We hope to hear from you and your dear family, and from our little Henry. I can hardly pen these lines from incessant coughing. Consumption is my portion unless God delivers immediately.’LS80 282.3

    “While at Saratoga we met with many discouragements. The brethren in that vicinity were not in a prosperous condition. There were errors and wrong influences to be corrected. H. C. had but little of this world's goods, and took an extreme position on the subject of selling and giving alms, and was dissatisfied with his wealthy brethren because they were not more liberal. They were accused by him of being worldly-minded, covetous and selfish. Neither party was right. Some of those possessing property were covetous, and on the other hand, H. C. did not employ his time and strength as he should, that he might provide for his own, and have something himself to aid the cause. His course cut off our testimony, while we tried to hold up the true object which called for means. Brother S. was willing to do anything for the cause of God when a suitable object was presented, but he did not feel called upon to sell his home farm, while he had available means which would meet the present wants of the cause. But H. C.’s family gave him no rest. ‘Sell that ye have and give alms, and help the poorer brethren,’ was their cry. Brother S. was desponding, and this reason was assigned, ‘He is covetous, and God will not bless him until he disposes of his possessions.’ But it was H. C. who was covetous. He coveted the good things of Brother S., and felt tried if he was not willing to divide with him the fruits of his hard labor in cultivating his land, while H. C. took an easy course, trusting in the Lord as he said, and did but very little.LS80 283.1

    “Often did this oppressed brother come from Milton to Saratoga to ask our advice as to the course he should pursue. Said he, ‘They say this heavy weight about my heart is the frown of God upon me because I do not sell.’ He said he had ready means to use wherever the Lord called. We told him not to sink in discouragement, that if it was his duty to sell, the Lord was as willing to let him know it and feel the burden, as to teach it to his brethren. Once he came to see us, dizzy and distressed, having become nearly blind on the way. We felt sure his distress was in consequence of disease of the heart and told him so, that it was not because of neglected duty, for he was willing to do anything. The next day Brother S. handed us thirty dollars which was much needed by one of the brethren to enable him to labor in the gospel field. After we moved from Saratoga Springs to Rochester, we received a letter informing us that Brother S. was dead. He died of apoplexy. Oh, thought I, some who have oppressed that dear brother, and reproached him so unsparingly, and had false dreams and burdens which they spun out of their own bowels to extort from him means which should have been applied to God's cause, will have to give an account of these things. He received no sympathy from them while his heart was pressed as though a heavy weight was upon it. When in distress he was told, ‘When you do your duty, sell and give alms, you will be free and in the light.’ That aching heart is now still. He rests until the morning of the resurrection when we believe he will come forth immortal. Our testimony at Saratoga and vicinity was rejected by the covetous poor and also by the rich. We moved to Rochester and the cause went down.LS80 284.1

    “In a vision given me at Saratoga Springs I was shown a company in Vermont with a woman among them who was a deceiver, and the church must be enlightened as to her character lest poisonous error should become deeply rooted among them. I had not seen the brethren in that part of the State with my natural eyes. We visited them, and as we entered Brother B.’s dwelling a woman came forward to receive me whom I thought to be Sister B.’s mother. I was about to salute her when the light fell upon her face and lo! it was Mrs. C., the woman I had seen in vision. I dropped her hand instantly and drew back. She noticed this and remarked upon it afterwards. The church in Vergennes and vicinity collected together for meeting. There was confusion of sentiment among them. Brother E. E. held the age to come and some were in favor of S. Allen, a notable fanatic, who held views of a dangerous character which if carried out would lead to spiritual union and breaking up of families. I delivered the message in the Sabbath meeting which the Lord had given me. Sunday noon Mrs. C. was talking quite eloquently in regard to backbiting. She was very severe, for she had heard that speeches had been made against her fanatical proceedings. Just then Sister B. entered saying, ‘Will you please walk out to dinner?’ Mrs. C. instantly replied, saying, ‘This kind goeth not out save by fasting and prayer. I do not wish any dinner.’ In a moment my husband was upon his feet. The power of God was upon him, and the color had left his face. Said he, ‘I hope it will go out! In the name of the Lord, I hope it will go out!’ and said he to Mrs. C., ‘That evil spirit is in you, and I hope it will go out! I rebuke it in the name of the Lord!’ She seemed to be struck dumb. Her glib, smart tongue was stilled for once.LS80 285.1

    “But she had sympathizers. This is generally the case. It commenced with the fall of Satan in heaven, and angels who sympathized with him fell also. Those who are wrong and co-workers with Satan will ever find those who will sympathize with them when they are reproved. These sympathizers have great fear that the feelings of those who receive just reproof will be hurt. Brother and Sister B. sympathized with this deceitful woman. They thought her to be about right. But we did not feel discouraged. The Lord had taken this matter in his own hands, and would deliver his church who had been burdened and oppressed.LS80 286.1

    “That afternoon as we united in prayer, the blessing of the Lord rested upon us, and I was again shown the case of this deceived woman, and the danger of the church in listening to such teaching as came from her lips. Her course was calculated to disgrace the cause of God. Mrs. C. had a lawful protector and with him should she abide or in his company travel, and that by her fanatical course she had forfeited all claims to Christian fellowship, and that the course of H. A. and Mrs. C. should be protested against, and if the church did not cut loose from those who pursued such a course, and lift their voices against it, they would incur God's frown and be partakers with them in their evil deeds, and that the Lord had sent us to the church with a message which if received would save them from greater danger than they yet realized.LS80 286.2

    “Many had known and deeply felt these wrongs, but others had viewed things differently. But the brethren began to breathe free again, and receive strength to bear their plain testimony against wrongs which they knew had existed. They knew that I had not received information from any earthly source, and that the Lord had revealed these things to me, and they testified that I had related the matter better than those could who were acquainted with all the circumstances. We had another interview with Brother and Sister B. The Lord was opening their eyes to see things in their true light. We returned from that journey with feelings of satisfaction, knowing that the Lord had wrought for his people.LS80 286.3

    “April, 1852, we moved to Rochester, N. Y., under most discouraging circumstances. We had not money enough to pay the freight on the few things we had to move by railroad, and were obliged to move out by faith. I will give a few extracts of a letter to Brother Howland's family, dated April 16, 1852: ‘We are just getting settled here in Rochester. We have rented an old house for one hundred and seventy-five dollars a year. We have the press in the house. Were it not for this we should have to pay fifty dollars a year for Office room. You would smile could you look in upon us and see our furniture. We have bought two old bedsteads for twenty-five cents each. My husband brought me home six old chairs, no two of them alike, for which he paid one dollar, and soon he presented me with four more old chairs without any seating, for which he paid sixty-two cents for the lot. The frames were strong, and I have been seating them with drilling. Butter is so high we do not purchase it, neither can we afford potatoes. We use sauce in the place of butter, and turnips for potatoes. Our first meals were taken on a fire board placed upon two empty flour barrels. We are willing to endure privations if the work of God can be advanced. We believe the Lord's hand was in our coming to this place. There is a large field for labor and but few laborers. Last Sabbath our meeting was excellent. The Lord refreshed us with his presence.’LS80 287.1

    “Soon after our family became settled in Rochester, we received a letter from my mother informing us of the dangerous illness of my brother Robert, who lived with my parents in Gorham, Me. Wrong influences had affected him, and separated him in faith from us. He became bewildered as to our position and was unwilling to listen to any evidence in favor of the third message. He did not oppose, but entirely evaded the matter. This caused us many sad hours. When the news of his sickness reached us, my sister Sarah decided to go immediately to Gorham. To all appearance my brother could not live but a few days, yet contrary to the expectations of all he lingered six months, a great sufferer. My sister faithfully watched over him until the last. As soon as he was afflicted his voice was often heard pleading with God for the light of his countenance, and upon his sick bed he weighed the evidences of our position, and fully embraced the third message. He grieved that he had not looked into the subject before, and would frequently exclaim, ‘How plain! How clear that there must be a third message as well as a first and second,’ and he would say, ‘The third angel followed them, the two former, it is all plain now. I have deprived myself of many blessings that I might have enjoyed. I thought that brother White and sister Ellen were in error. I have felt wrong towards them and want to see them once more.’LS80 288.1

    “My brother seemed to be ripening for heaven. He took no interest in worldly matters, and felt grieved when any conversation, except that of a religious character was introduced in his room, He seemed to be holding communion with God daily and to regard every moment as very precious, to be spent in preparing for his last change. We had the privilege of visiting him before his death, It was an affecting meeting. He was much changed yet his wasted features were lighted up with joy. Bright hope of the future constantly sustained him. He did not once murmur or express a wish to live. We had seasons of prayer in his room, and Jesus seemed very near. We were obliged to separate from our dear brother, expecting never to meet him again this side of the resurrection of the just. The bitterness of the parting scene was much taken away by the hope he expressed of meeting us where parting would be no more.LS80 288.2

    “My brother continued to fail rapidly. If he felt a cloud shutting Jesus from him, he would not rest until it was dispelled, and bright hope again cheered him. To all who visited him he conversed upon the goodness of God, and would often lift his emaciated finger, pointing upwards, while a heavenly light rested upon his countenance, and say, ‘My treasure is laid up on high.’ It was a wonder to all that his life of suffering was thus protracted. He had hemorrhage of the lungs, and was thought to be dying. Then an unfulfilled duty presented itself to him. He had again connected himself with the Methodist church, from which he was expelled in 1843 with the other members of the family on account of his faith. He said he could not die in peace until his name was taken from the church-book, and requested father to go immediately and have it taken off. In the morning father visited the minister, stating my brother's request. He said that he would visit him, and then if it was still his wish to be considered no longer a member of their church, his request should be granted. Just before the minister arrived my brother had a second hemorrhage and whispered his fears that he should not live to do this duty. The minister visited him, and he immediately expressed his desire, and told him he could not die in peace until his name was taken from the church-book, and that he should not have united with them again if he had been standing in the light. He then spoke of his faith, and hope, and the goodness of God to him. A heavenly smile was upon his countenance, and those lips, a few moments before stained with blood, were opened to praise God for his great salvation. As the minister left the room he said to my parents, ‘That is a triumphant soul, I never saw so happy a soul before.’ Soon after this my brother fell asleep in Jesus, in full hope of having a part in the first resurrection. The following lines were written upon his death by Sister Annie R. Smith:—LS80 289.1

    “He sleeps in Jesus—peaceful rest—
    No mortal strife invades, his breast;
    No pain, or sin, or woe, or care,
    Can reach the silent slumberer there.
    LS80 290.1

    “He lived, his Saviour to adore,
    And meekly all his sufferings bore.
    He loved, and all resigned to God;
    Nor murmured at his chastening rod.
    LS80 290.2

    “‘Does earth attract thee here?’ they cried,
    The dying Christian thus replied:
    While pointing upward to the sky,
    My treasure is laid up on high.’
    LS80 290.3

    “He sleeps in Jesus—soon to rise,
    When the last trump shall rend the skies;
    Then burst the fetters of the tomb,
    To wake in full, immortal bloom.
    LS80 290.4

    “He sleeps in Jesus—cease thy grief;
    Let this afford thee sweet relief—
    That, freed from death's triumphant reign,
    In heaven will he live again.
    LS80 290.5

    “We toiled on in Rochester through much perplexity and discouragement. The cholera visited R., and while it raged, all night long the carriages bearing the dead were heard rumbling through the streets to Mount Hope cemetery. This disease did not cut down merely the low, but it took from every class in society. The most skillful physicians were laid low, and borne to Mount Hope. As we passed through the streets in Rochester, at almost every corner we would meet wagons with plain pine coffins in which to put the dead. Our little Edson was attacked and we carried him to the great Physician. The disease was stayed in its progress. I took him in my arms and in the name of Jesus rebuked the disease. He felt relief at once and as a sister commenced praying for the Lord to heal him the little fellow of three years looked up in astonishment and said, ‘They need not pray any more, for the Lord has healed me.’ He was very weak, but the disease made no further progress, and he gained no strength. Our faith was still to be tried. For three days he ate nothing, and we had appointments out for two months, reaching from Rochester, N. Y., to Bangor, Me., and this journey we were to perform with our good horse Charlie, given to us by brethren in Vermont, and covered carriage. We hardly dared to leave the child in so critical a state, but decided to go unless there was a change for the worse. In two days we must commence our journey in order to reach the first appointment. We presented the case before the Lord, taking it as an evidence that if the child had appetite to eat we would venture. The first day there was no change for the better. He could not bear the least food. The next day about noon he called for broth and it nourished him.LS80 290.6

    “We commenced our journey that night. About four o'clock I took my sick child upon a pillow and we rode twenty miles. He seemed very nervous that night. He could not sleep and I held him in my arms nearly the whole night. My husband would frequently awake, and as he heard the sound of my rocking-chair would groan, for he thought of the tedious journey before us. I obtained no sleep through the night.LS80 291.1

    “The next morning we consulted together whether to return to Rochester, or go on. The family who had entertained us said we would bury the child on the road. And to all appearance it would be so. But I dared not go back to Rochester. We believed the affliction of the child was the work of Satan to hinder us from traveling, and we dared not yield to him. I said to my husband, ‘If we go back I shall expect the child to die. He can but die if we go forward. Let us proceed on our journey trusting in the Lord.’ We had a journey before us of about one hundred miles to perform in two days, yet we believe that the Lord would work for us in this time of extremity. I was much exhausted and feared I should fall asleep and let the child fall from my arms, so I laid him upon my lap and tied him to my waist and we both slept that day over much of the distance. The child revived and continued to gain strength the whole journey and we brought him home quite rugged.LS80 292.1

    “The Lord greatly blessed us on our journey to Vermont. My husband had much care and labor. At the different conferences he did most of the preaching, sold books, and took pay for the papers. And when one conference was over we would hasten to the next. At noon we would feed the horse by the roadside and eat our lunch. Then my husband, with paper and pencil upon the cover of our dinner-box, or the top of his hat would write articles for the Review and Instructor. Our meeting at Wolcott was of special interest. A canvas was attached to the house to accommodate the people. The Lord blessed us with freedom and the truth affected hearts. I had a vision in the congregation and had perfect liberty in relating it. I there became acquainted with our dear Sister Pierce, who was in despair. My heart was drawn out in sympathy and love for her as I had been in a similar state of mind. At this meeting our dear Brother Benson was convicted of the truth. He believed the vision he witnessed to be the power of God, and was affected by it. He fully embraced the truth. Others decided at that meeting to obey all of God's commandments and live. Since that meeting we have met Brother B.’s cheerful countenance in every conference we have attended in Vermont. But we shall meet him in this mortal state no more. He died in hope, and will rest in the silent grave until the resurrection of the just.LS80 292.2

    “Again at Panton, Vt., the Lord met with his people. Brother and Sister Pierce were present. The Spirit of the Lord affected hearts in that meeting. Brother E. Churchill was much broken in spirit, and decided fully to take his stand with the remnant people of God. At this meeting the Lord revealed himself to me and I was taken off in vision. A comforting message was given me for Sister Pierce. The following is their statement:—LS80 293.1

    “‘My wife has for many years been subject to occasional, and sometimes protracted, seasons of the most hopeless despair. They began with her when quite young, and have from time to time afflicted her till since we embraced the present, the last message of truth. Some time after having embraced the Sabbath, and some other truths pertaining to the present message, the climax of darkness settled down upon her laboring mind, insomuch that the most encouraging conversation, elicited from the most cheering promises of the Bible, appeared to have no good effect upon her mind whatever. And although naturally possessed of a social disposition, and a cast of mind very favorable to friendly associations, yet so great was the weight of her mental oppression, and so vividly, in her estimation, was portrayed before the mind her forlorn, abject and wretched condition, that she was disinclined to participate in what by her had usually been deemed interesting social interviews, and rather inclined to absent herself from the presence of those who belonged to the circle of her acquaintance generally, and even some of her most endeared friends. Further, she had no disposition to attend any religious meetings, nor could she scarcely stimulate herself to go about the business of her usual avocation.LS80 293.2

    “‘This state of mind commenced, I believe, in the month of May, 1852, and continued with increased severity until the first of September following—the time of the Wolcott meeting, which myself and some other of her especial friends constrained her to attend. Nor was the weight of that mental anguish essentially abated then. Though she realized that it was an interesting meeting, that the Spirit of the Lord was there; and though the gift of prophecy was especially developed through Sister White, in a manner that satisfactorily convinced her that the visions were of God, yet at that time she had no hope that she had any part or lot in the matter of interest which then passed before her. Thus she remained till the time of the Panton meeting, four weeks afterwards. It was at this meeting the Lord gave Sister White a vision, a part of which so clearly showed up her case, and so perfectly instructed her what to do, that from that time forward the scene with her was in a great measure the most happily changed. Previously those seasons of despair had worn off more gradually; but in this case it seemed that the word was spoken, and the work was done. For even on our return from the meeting, instead of gloom and horror being depicted on her countenance it was lighted up with cheering hope.LS80 294.1

    “‘Those sleepless hours and restless nights which before had been the effect of a mind tortured with forebodings more dreadful than it seemed able to endure, have scarcely since recurred to disturb our accustomed repose. Instead of a manifest shrinking from the attendance of religious meetings, which only seemed to aggravate her woes, she then engaged zealously in the work necessary in order to establish meetings periodically at our own house.LS80 295.1

    “‘I believe this favorable change in her condition at that time to be exclusively the effect of the visions then given. Untiring efforts had previously been put forth by those who had been in a similar condition, in conversation eliciting many of the great and precious promises, to try to buoy up the sinking mind, but it all produced no beneficial effect. Truly I have since believed there was occasion for gratitude that this gift is in the church.LS80 295.2

    “‘Stephen Pierce.

    “‘According to my best recollection, the above account of my mental trials, and the effect of Sister White's visions, written by my husband, is essentially correct.LS80 295.3

    ‘Almira Pierce.’

    “While we were absent from Rochester on this eastern tour the foreman of the Office was attacked with cholera. He was an unconverted young man. The lady of the house where he boarded died with the same disease, also her daughter. He was then brought down and no one ventured to take care of him, fearing the disease. The Office hands watched over him until the disease seemed checked, then took him to our house. He had a relapse and a physician attended him and exerted himself to the utmost to save him, but at length told him that his case was hopeless, that he could not survive through the night. Those interested for him could not bear to see the young man die without hope. They prayed around his bedside while he was suffering great agony. He also prayed that the Lord would have mercy upon him, and forgive his sins. Yet he obtained no relief. He continued to cramp and toss in restless agony. The brethren continued in prayer all night that he might be spared to repent of his sins and keep the commandments of God. He at length seemed to consecrate himself to God, and promised the Lord he would keep the Sabbath and serve him. He soon felt relief. The next morning the physician came, and as he entered, said, ‘I told my wife about one o'clock this morning that in all probability the young man was out of his trouble.’ He was told that he was alive. The physician was surprised and immediately ascended the stairs to his room, and as he examined his pulse, said, ‘Young man, you are better, the crisis is past, but it is not my skill that saved you, but a higher power. With good nursing you may get about again.’ He gained rapidly, and soon took his place in the Office, a converted man.LS80 295.4

    “After we returned from our eastern journey I was shown that we were in danger of taking burdens upon us that God did not require us to bear. We had a part to act in the cause of God, and should not add to our cares by increasing our family to gratify the wishes of any. I saw that to save souls we should be willing to bear burdens; and that we should open the way for my husband's brother Nathaniel and sister Anna to come and live with us. They were both invalids, yet we felt to extend to them a cordial invitation to come to our house. This they accepted. As soon as we saw Nathaniel we feared that consumption had marked him for the grave. The hectic flush was upon his cheek, yet we hoped and prayed that the Lord would spare him, that his talent might be employed in the cause of God. But the Lord saw fit to order otherwise. Nathaniel and Anna came into the truth cautiously yet understandingly. They weighed the evidences of our positions, and conscientiously decided for the truth.LS80 296.1

    “Nathaniel died May 6, 1853, in the 22d year of his age. The following particulars of his sickness and death, are from a letter I wrote to our bereaved parents:—LS80 297.1

    “‘Dear Nathaniel, we miss him much. It seems hard for us to realize that we are no more to have his society here. He bore up through his sickness with remarkable cheerfulness and fortitude. I never heard him groan but once, and that was the Tuesday before he died. I loved him when he first came because he was brother to my husband, and I felt that I could do anything for his comfort, but soon he seemed as near to me as a natural brother. I read some in the Bible to him Wednesday, and told him about my poor brother Robert, who, after six months of great suffering, died of consumption. Said he, “I should not wish to have such lingering sickness as he had.” He enjoyed his mind well, and told us not to look sad when we came into his room. Said he, “I am happy; the Lord blesses me abundantly. I have obtained the victory over impatience, and have the evidence that the Lord loves and owns me as his child.” That night he suffered much with wakefulness. Thursday morning he expressed his joy that the long night had passed, and day had finally come. As he walked out to breakfast in the large parlor that morning, he looked around the room, and said, “Any one cannot help but get well in such a beautiful house as this, with such large, airy rooms.”LS80 297.2

    “‘Anna generally took his meals to him from choice, and then sat by his side while he ate; as she did not wish to eat until after he had. Said he, “Ellen, I wish you would make Anna sit down and eat with the rest of the family, for there is no need of her sitting by me while I eat.” He seemed to love Anna very much, and through his sickness often spoke of his coming to Rochester to accompany her, because she was so feeble, and now she was waiting upon him, and often said, “Anna, you did not know when you made up your mind to come to Rochester that you were coming to wait upon me.” That night [Thursday] we went into his room and prayed with him, and he was abundantly blessed. He praised the Lord aloud, while his face lighted up with the glory of God. We especially prayed that he might have sleep and rest that night. He rested very well through the night. Friday morning, the last morning that he lived, he called us into his room. He said that he wished us to pray there, but first he had something to say. He then with remarkable clearness called up little things that had transpired while he had been with us, and every word that he thought he had spoken hastily or wrong he confessed heartily. He confessed wherein he had distrusted God in times past, and asked forgiveness of the family. “I regret,” said he, “that I have been unreconciled to my sickness. I have felt that I could not have it so, and that the Lord dealt hard with me. But I am now satisfied it is just; for nothing but this sickness could bring me where I am. God has blessed me much of late, and has forgiven me all my sins. It often seems that if I should reach out my hand I could embrace Jesus, he is so near. I know that I love God and he loves me.”LS80 297.3

    “‘After he had said what he wished to, we united in prayer. It was a sweet season. He manifested great interest while we were praying, responding to our prayers, saying, “Amen! Praise the Lord! Glory to God! I will praise him, for he is worthy to be praised! His name is Jesus, and he will save us from our sins!” He prayed earnestly and in faith for a full consecration to God's will, to be baptized with his Spirit, and purified by his blood. Said he, “Thou hast forgiven me all my sins. Thou hast sanctified me to thyself, and I will honor thee as long as I have breath.” His face shone, and he looked very happy. He said that the room seemed light, and he loved us all. After we arose from prayers he said, “Anna, I love you, come here.” She went to his bedside, and he embraced her, and said, “I am very happy, the Lord has blessed me.” Nathaniel was triumphant in God through the day, although he was very sick. I remained in his room and entertained him by reading the Bible and conversing with him. As I read he would say, “How appropriate that is! How beautiful! I must remember that!”LS80 298.1

    “‘I then said, “Nathaniel you are very sick. You may die in two hours, and unless God interposes, you cannot live two days,” He said, very calmly, “Oh, not so soon as that, I think.” He immediately arose from the bed, sat in the rocking-chair, and commenced talking. He began back to the time when he was converted, and told how much he enjoyed, and how afraid he was of sinning, and then when he began to forget God, and lose the blessing, how high his hopes were raised. He “meant to be a man in the world, to get an education and fill some high station.” And then he told how his hopes had died, as afflictions had pressed heavily upon him, and how hard it was for him to give up his expectations. He said he felt he could not have it so, he would be well, he would not yield to it. Then he spoke of his coming to Rochester. How trying it was to have us wait upon him, and to be dependent. “It seemed to me,” said he, “that the kindness of you all was more than I could bear, and I have desired to get well to pay you for all this.” He then spoke of his embracing the Sabbath. Said he, “At first I was not willing to acknowledge the light I saw. I wished to conceal it, but the blessing of God was withheld from me until I acknowledged the Sabbath. Then I felt confidence towards God.” Said he, “I love the Sabbath now. It is precious to me. I now feel reconciled to my sickness. I know that it is the only thing that will save me. I will praise the Lord, if he can save me through affliction.”LS80 299.1

    “‘At our usual supper-time, we prepared poor Nathaniel's supper, but he soon said that he was faint, and did not know but he was going to die, He sent for me, and as soon as I entered the room, I knew that he was dying, and said to him, “Nathaniel dear, trust in God, he loves you, and you love him. Trust right in him as a child trusts in its parents.” Don't be troubled. The Lord will not leave you. Said he, “Yes, yes.” We prayed and he responded, “Amen, praise the Lord!” He did not seem to suffer pain. He did not groan once, nor struggle, nor move a muscle of his face, but breathed shorter and shorter until he fell asleep.’ The following lines occasioned by his death, were written by Sister Annie R. Smith:—LS80 300.1

    “Gone to thy rest, brother! peaceful thy sleep;
    While o'er thy grave bending, in sorrow we weep,
    For the loved and the cherished, in life's early bloom,
    Borne from our number, to the cold, silent tomb.
    LS80 300.2

    “Sweet be thy slumber! in quiet repose;
    Beneath the green turf, and the blossoming rose;
    Oh, soft is thy pillow, and lowly thy bed;
    Mournful the cypress that waves o'er the dead.
    LS80 300.3

    “Dark though the pinion that shaded his brow,
    The truth which he followed illumined it now;
    In the arms of his Saviour he fell to his rest,
    Where woes that await us pervade not his breast.
    LS80 300.4

    “Weep not for the Christian whose labor is done;
    Who, faithful to duty, the treasure has won.
    The jewel was fitted forever to shine,
    A gem in the casket, immortal, divine.
    LS80 301.1

    “Not long will earth's bosom his precious form hide,
    And death's gloomy portals from kindred divide;
    For swiftly approaching, we see the bright day,
    That brings the glad summons, Arise! come away!
    LS80 301.2

    “After Nathaniel's death, my husband was much afflicted. Trouble and anxiety of mind had prostrated him. He had a high fever, and was confined to his bed. We united in prayer for him, and he was relieved, but still remained very weak. He had appointments out for Mill Grove, N. Y., and Michigan, and feared that he could not fill them. We decided, however, to venture as far as Mill Grove, and if he grew no better to return home. While at Elder R. F. Cottrell's, at Mill Grove, he suffered such extreme weakness that he thought he could go no farther. We were in great perplexity. Must we be driven from the work by bodily infirmities? Would Satan be permitted to exercise his power upon us, and contend for our usefulness and lives as long as we remain in the world? We knew that God could limit the power of Satan. He may suffer us to be tried in the furnace, but will bring us forth purified and better fitted for his work.LS80 301.3

    “I went into a log house near by, and there poured out my soul before God in prayer that he would rebuke the fever and strengthen my husband to endure the journey. The case was urgent, and my faith firmly grasped the promises of God. I there obtained the evidence that if we should proceed on our journey to Michigan the angel of God would go with us. When I related to my husband the exercise of my mind, he said that his mind had been exercised in a similar manner, and we decided to go trusting in the Lord. My husband was so weak that he could not buckle the straps to his valise and called Brother Cottrell to do it for him. Every mile we traveled he felt strengthened. The Lord sustained him. And while he was upon his feet preaching the word I felt assured that angels of God were standing by his side to sustain him in his labors.LS80 301.4

    “At Jackson we found the church in great confusion. In their midst the Lord showed me their condition, and I related that portion of it which was clear before me which related to the wrong course of one present. C. and R. were greatly prejudiced against this sister and cried out, Amen! amen!’ and manifested a spirit of triumph over her, and would frequently say, ‘I thought so! It is just so!’ I felt very much distressed, and sat down before I had finished relating the vision. Then C. and R. arose and exhorted others to receive the vision, and manifested such a spirit that my husband reproved them. The meeting closed in confusion. While at family prayer that night at Brother S.’s I was again taken off in vision, and that portion of the vision that had passed from me was repeated, and I was shown the overbearing course of R. and C., that their influence in the church was to cause division. They possessed an exalted spirit, and not the meek spirit of Christ. I saw why the Lord had hid from me the part of the vision that related to them. It was that they might have opportunity to manifest before all what spirit they were of. The next day a meeting was called, and I related the things which the Lord had shown me the evening before. C. and R., who zealously advocated the visions the day before, were dissatisfied when shown to be wrong, and did not receive the message. They had stated before I came to the place that if I saw things as they looked upon them, they should know that the visions were of God, but if I saw that they had taken a wrong course, and that the ones whom they regarded wrong were not faulty, they should know the visions were incorrect. But both parties were shown me to be wrong, especially C. and R. and some others. They now began to fight against my testimony, and here commenced what is called the ‘Messenger party.’ I will here give an extract from a letter written to my parents in Gorham, Me., June 23, 1853:—LS80 302.1

    “‘While in Michigan we visited Tyrone, Jackson, Sylvan, Bedford and Vergennes. My husband in the strength of God endured the journey and his labor well. His strength did not entirely fail him but once. He was unable to preach at Bedford. He went to the place of meeting, and stood up in the desk to preach, but became faint and was obliged to sit down. He asked brother Loughborough to take the subject where he had left it, and finish his discourse. He went out of the house into the open air and lay upon the green grass until he had somewhat recovered, when brother Kelsey let him take his horse, and he rode alone one mile and a half to Brother Brooks’. Brother Loughborough went through with the subject with much freedom. All were interested in the meeting. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me and I had perfect freedom in bearing my testimony. The power of God was in the house, and nearly every one present was affected to tears. Some took a decided stand for the truth. After the meeting closed, we rode through the woods to a beautiful lake, where six were buried with Christ in Baptism. We then returned to Brother B.’s and found my husband more comfortable. While alone that day his mind had been excised upon the subject of Spiritualism, and he there decided to write the book entitled, ‘Signs of the Times.’ Next day we journeyed to Vergennes, traveling over rough log-ways and sloughs. Much of the way I rode in nearly a fainting condition, but our hearts were lifted to God in prayer for strength, and we found him a present help, and were able to accomplish the journey, and bear our testimony there.’LS80 303.1

    “Soon after our return my husband engaged in writing the ‘Signs of the Times.’ His health was poor. He was troubled with aching head and cold feet. He could sleep but little, but the Lord was his support. When his mind was in a confused, suffering state, we would bow before the Lord, and in our distress cry unto him. He heard our earnest prayers and often blessed my husband so that with refreshed spirits he went on with the work. Many times in the day did we thus go before the Lord in earnest prayer. That book was not written in his own strength. In the fall of 1853 we attended conferences at Buck's Bridge, N.Y., Stowe, Vt., Boston, Dartmouth and Springfield, Mass., Washington, N. H., and New Haven, Vt. This was a laborious and rather discouraging journey. Many had embraced the truth, who were unsanctified in heart and life, and the elements of strife and rebellion were at work, and it was necessary that a movement should take place to purify the church. The ‘Messenger party’ soon drew off and the cause was relieved.LS80 304.1

    “In the winter and spring I suffered much with heart disease. It was difficult for me to breathe lying down, and I could not sleep unless raised in nearly a sitting posture. My breath often stopped, and fainting fits were frequent. But this was not all my trouble. I had upon my left eye-lid a swelling which appeared to be a cancer. It had been more than a year increasing gradually until it was quite painful and affected my sight. In reading or writing I was forced to bandage the afflicted eye. And I was constantly afflicted with the thought that my eye might be destroyed with a cancer. I looked back to the days and nights spent in reading proof-sheets, which had strained my eyes, and thought, If I lose my eye, and my life, I shall be a martyr to the cause.LS80 304.2

    “A celebrated physician visited Rochester, who gave counsel free. I decided to have him examine my eye. He thought the swelling would prove to be a cancer. He felt my pulse and said, ‘You are much diseased, and will die of apoplexy before that swelling will break out. You are in a dangerous condition with disease of the heart.’ This did not startle me, for I had been aware that unless I received speedy relief I must lie in the grave. Two other women had come for counsel who were suffering with the same disease. The physician said that I was in a more dangerous condition than either of them, and it could not be more than three weeks before I would be afflicted with paralysis. I inquired if he thought his medicine would cure me. He did not give me much encouragement. I purchased some of his medicine. The eye-wash was very painful, and I received no benefit from it. I was unable to use the remedies that physician prescribed.LS80 305.1

    “In about three weeks I fainted and fell to the floor, and remained nearly unconscious about thirty-six hours. It was feared that I could not live, but in answer to prayer again I revived. One week later, while conversing with sister Anna, I received a shock upon my left side. My head was numb, and I had a strange sensation of coldness and numbness in my head, with pressure, and severe pain through my temples. My tongue seemed heavy and numb; I could not speak plainly. My left arm and side were helpless. I thought I was dying, and my great anxiety was to have the evidence in my sufferings that the Lord loved me. For months I had suffered such constant pain in my heart that I did not have one joyful feeling. My spirits were constantly depressed. I had tried to serve God from principle without feeling, but I now thirsted for the salvation of God, that I might realize his blessing notwithstanding the pain in my heart.LS80 305.2

    “The brethren and sisters came together to make my case a special subject of prayer. My desire was granted. Prayer was heard, and I received the blessing of God, and had the assurance that he loved me. But the pain continued, and I grew more feeble every hour. The brethren and sisters again came together to present my case to the Lord. I was then so weak that I could not pray vocally. My appearance seemed to weaken the faith of those around me. Then the promises of God were arrayed before me as I had never viewed them before. It seemed to me that Satan was striving to tear me from my husband and children and lay me in the grave, and these questions were suggested to my mind, Can you believe the naked promise of God? Can you walk out by faith, let the appearance be what it may? Faith revived. I whispered to my husband, ‘I believed that I shall recover.’ He answered, ‘I wish I could believe it.’ I retired that night without relief, yet relying with firm confidence upon the promises of God. I could not sleep, but continued my silent prayer to God. Just before day I slept.LS80 306.1

    “As I awoke, the rising sun was seen from my window. I was perfectly free from pain. The pressure upon my heart was gone, and I was very happy. I was filled with gratitude. The praise of God was upon my lips. Oh, what a change! It seemed to me that an angel of God had touched me while I was sleeping. I awoke my husband and related to him the wonderful work that the Lord had wrought for me. He could scarcely comprehend it at first; but when I arose and dressed and walked around the house, and he witnessed the change in my countenance, he could praise God with me. My afflicted eye was free from pain. In a few days the cancer was gone, and my eyesight was fully restored. The work was complete.LS80 306.2

    “Again I visited the physician, and as soon as he felt my pulse he said, ‘Madam, you are better. An entire change has taken place in your system; but the two women who visited me for counsel when you were last here are dead.’ I stated to him that his medicine had not cured me, as I could take none of it. After I left, the doctor said to a friend of mine, ‘Her case is a mystery. I do not understand it.’”LS80 307.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font