About this time I was subjected to a severe trial.
If the Spirit of the Lord rested upon a brother or sister in meeting,
and they glorified God by praising him, some raised the cry of
mesmerism. And if it pleased the Lord to give me a vision in meeting,
some would say, "It is excitement and mesmerism."
Grieved and desponding, I often went alone to some
retired place to pour out my soul before Him who invites the weary and
heavy laden to come and find rest. As my faith claimed the promises,
Jesus seemed very near. The sweet light of heaven shone around me, and
there have I been taken off in vision.
Then I would relate what God had revealed to me
alone, where no earthly influence could affect me; but I was told by
some that I mesmerized myself, and that those who lived the nearest to
God were most liable to be deceived by Satan. According to this
teaching, our only safety from delusion was to remain quite a distance
from God in a backslidden state.
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 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 Spirit, and that all the exercises that holy men
of God have experienced, were only mesmerism or the deceptions of Satan.
At this time visions were given me to correct the
errors of those who had taken the extreme view of some texts of
Scripture, and refrained wholly from labor, and rejected 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 laboring to do away.
Different times were set for the Lord to come, and
were urged upon the brethren. But the Lord showed me that they would
pass by, for the time of trouble must come before the coming of Christ,
and that every time that was set, and passed, 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."
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 worship 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 the following texts of
Scripture: Luke i, 20; John xvi, 15; Acts ii, 4; iv, 29-31; Matt. vii,
6-12, 15; xxiv, 24; Col. ii, 6-8; Heb. x, 35-39; iv, 10-12; Phil. i, 6,
27-29; ii, 13-15; Eph. vi, 10-18; iv, 32; 1 Pet. i, 22; John xiii, 34,
35; 2 Cor. xiii, 5; 1 Cor. iii, 10-13; Acts xx, 28-30; Gal. i, 6-9; Luke
xii, 3-7; iv, 10, 11; 2 Cor. iv, 6-9, 17, 18; 1 Pet. i, 5-7; 1 Thess.
iii, 8; Mark xvi, 17, 18; John ix, 20-27; xiv, 13-15; xv, 7, 8; Mark i,
23-25; Rom. viii, 38, 39; Rev. iii, 7-13; xiv, 4, 5; Phil. iii, 20;
James v, 7, 8; Phil. iii, 21; Rev. xiv, 14-17; Heb. iv, 9; Rev. xxi, 2;
xiv, 1; xxii, 1-5.
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 conversed that day with slate and
pencil. Next morning my tongue was loosed to shout the praises of God.
After that, I dared not doubt my experience, or
for a moment resist the power of God, however others might think of me.
Up to this time I could not write. My trembling hand was unable to hold
my pen steadily. While in vision I was commanded by an angel to write
the vision. I attempted it, and wrote readily. My nerves were
strengthened, and my hand became steady.
It was very crossing for me to relate to
individuals what I had been shown concerning their wrongs. It caused me
great distress to see others troubled or grieved. And when obliged to
declare the messages, I often softened them down and related what I had
seen as favorable for the individual as I could, and then would go by
myself and weep in agony of spirit. I looked upon those who had only
their own souls to care for, and thought if I were in their condition I
would not murmur. How could I relate the plain, cutting testimonies
given me of God?
I anxiously watched the result, and if the
individual reproved, rose up against it, and afterwards opposed the
truth, these queries would arise in my mind. Did I deliver the message
just as I should? Oh, God! could there not have been some way to save
And then such distress hung upon my soul, I often
felt that death would be a welcome messenger, and the grave a sweet
resting-place. I did not realize that I was so unfaithful, and did not
see the danger and sin of such a course, until I was taken in vision
into the presence of Jesus. He looked upon we with a frown, and turned
his face from me. It is not possible to describe the terror and agony I
then felt. I fell upon my face before him, but had no power to utter a
word. O, how I longed to be covered and hid from that dreadful frown.
Then could I realize, in some degree, what the
feelings of the lost will be when they cry, "Mountains and rocks, fall
on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and
from the wrath of the Lamb."
Presently an angel bid me rise, and the sight that
met my eyes can hardly be described. A company was presented before me
whose hair and garments were torn, and whose countenances were the very
picture of despair and horror. They came close to me, and took their
garments and rubbed them on mine. I looked at my garments, and saw that
they were stained with blood. Again I fell like one dead, at the feet of
my accompanying angel. I could not plead one excuse, and longed to be
away from such a holy place.
Again the angel stood me up on my feet, and said,
"This is not your case now, but this scene has passed before you to let
you know what your situation must be, if you neglect to declare to
others what the Lord has revealed to you. But if you are faithful to the
end, you shall eat of the tree of life, and shall drink of the river of
the water of life. You will have to suffer much, but the grace of God is
I then felt willing to do all that the Lord might
require me to do, that I might have his approbation, and not feel his
dreadful frown. While visiting my sisters in Poland, I was afflicted
with sickness. Those present united in prayer in my behalf, and the
disease was rebuked. Angels seemed to be in the room, and all was light
and glory. I was again taken off in vision, and shown that I must go
about three miles to a meeting, and when there should learn what the
Lord would have me do.
We went and found quite a large gathering of the
brethren and sisters. None had known of any special meeting. J. T. was
there. He had boasted that he understood the art of mesmerism, and that
he could mesmerize me; that he could prevent me from having a vision, or
telling a vision in his presence. There were many present who had heard
I arose in the congregation. My visions came up
fresh before me, and I commenced relating them, when I felt a human
influence being exerted against me. I looked at J. T. He had his hand up
to his face, and was looking through his fingers, his eyes intently
fixed upon me. His lips were compressed, and a low groan now and then
In a moment I remembered the promise which the
Lord had given me, and turned to him and related what the Lord had shown
me in Portland; that if I was in danger of being affected by a human
influence, to ask for another angel, who would be sent to protect me. I
then raised my hands to heaven and earnestly cried, Another angel,
Father! another angel! I knew that my request was granted.
I felt shielded by the strong Spirit of the Lord,
and was borne above every earthly influence, and with freedom finished
my testimony. The saints were comforted, and rejoiced in the Lord. J. T.
was asked why he had not stopped my relating the vision? He answered,
"Oh, some of you would have her talk." With strong confidence, rejoicing
in God, we returned to my sister's.
Some in Paris, Me., believed that it was sin to
work. Jesse Stevens was leader in this error, and exerted a strong
influence over others. He had been a Methodist preacher and was
considered a faithful christian. He had won the confidence of many by
his zeal for the truth, and apparent holy living, which caused some to
believe him especially directed of the Lord.
The Lord gave me a reproof for him; that he was
going contrary to the word of God in abstaining from labor, and urging
his errors upon others, denouncing all who did not receive them. He
rejected every evidence which the Lord gave to convince him of his
error, and was firm to take nothing back in his course.
He followed impressions and went weary journeys,
walking great distances, where he would only receive abuse, and
considered that he was suffering for Christ's sake. The Lord gave me
faithful messages for this man, and I was sent long distances to warn
the people of God against the errors he was urging upon them. At one
time I was shown that I must go to Paris, for there was a meeting
appointed which I must attend.
I followed the directions given me, and there
learned that S. had notified the brethren that there was to be a great
meeting the next day at the house of Bro. C., and he urged all to
attend. The next morning we went to the place appointed for meeting.
When S. came in and saw us present he seemed troubled.
The meeting commenced with prayer. Then as I
tried to pray, the blessing of the Lord rested upon me, and I was taken
off in vision. S. had declared that he would listen to nothing but
I was shown what the Bible taught in contrast with
his errors. I then saw that the frown of God was upon him; that he was
leading astray honest, conscientious souls. They feared to differ with
him. Yet they saw inconsistencies in his faith, and their judgment told
them he was wrong. His object in appointing that meeting was to make an
effort to strengthen the cords of error with which he had bound these
I saw that God would work for the salvation of his
people; that S. would soon fully manifest himself, and all the honest
would see that it was not a right spirit which actuated him, and that
his career would soon close. I was told by those present that he would
hear no more, and took his hat and left the house. Soon after this the
snare was broken, and he could have but little influence over souls.
He denounced the visions as being of the Devil,
and continued to follow his impressions, until Satan seemed to take the
full control of his mind. His friends at length were obliged to confine
him, where he made a rope of some of his bed clothing with which he hung
himself. Thus ended his career.
At my father's house in Portland, I was shown that
I must go to Portsmouth the next day and bear my testimony there. My
sister Sarah traveled with me, and Bro. White accompanied us. I had no
means to pay my fare, but prepared to go, trusting in the Lord to open
the way. The first car bell was ringing, as I put on my bonnet. I looked
out of the window, and saw a good brother driving very fast up to the
gate. His horse was reeking with sweat. He quickly entered the house,
and asked, "Is there any one here who needs means? I was impressed that
some one here needed money."
We hastily related that we were going to
Portsmouth at the Lord's bidding, and had nothing to go with, but
resolved to start, trusting in the providence of God to open the way.
The brother handed us money enough to carry us to Portsmouth and back.
Said he, "Take a seat in my wagon, and I will carry you to the depot."
While on the way he told us he could not hold his horse, he would come
with great speed. The distance was twelve miles.
We had just taken our seats when the cars started.
Here the Lord tested and proved us, and strengthened our faith as we
were brought into a very straight place, and were carried through by the
manifestation of his providence. I had freedom in bearing my testimony