In 1842 I constantly attended the Second Advent meetings in Portland,
and fully believed the Lord was coming. I was hungering and thirsting
for holiness of heart; day and night it was my study how to obtain this
treasure that all the riches of the world could not purchase. And while
bowed before the Lord, praying for this blessing, the duty to pray in a
prayer-meeting was presented before me. I had never prayed vocally, and
was not humble enough to do this, fearing that if I should attempt to
pray, I should become confused and be obliged to stop, or my prayer be
Every time I went before the Lord in secret prayer this unfulfilled
duty presented itself, until I ceased to pray, for in this state of mind
my prayers seemed like mocking God. I settled down in a melancholy state
which increased to deep despair. In this state of mind I remained three
weeks, with not one ray of light to pierce the thick clouds of darkness
around me. My sufferings were very great.
How precious did the hope of the Christian look to me then. And how
wretched the state of the sinner without God or hope in the world. I
remained bowed before the Lord nearly all night, groaning, and all I had
any confidence to utter was, "Lord, have mercy." Such utter hopelessness
would seize me that I would fall upon my face with such agony of
feelings as cannot be described. Like the poor publican, I dared not so
much as lift my eyes toward heaven.
I became much reduced in flesh. My friends looked upon me as one
sinking in a decline. At length a dream was given me which sunk me still
lower in despair, if possible. I dreamed that there was a temple to
which many people were flocking, and all who would be saved when time
should close must be within that temple. And all who were outside the
temple would be lost. As I looked upon the people going to the temple, I
saw the multitude laughing at and deriding them, telling them that it
was all a deception. They even caught hold of some who were hastening to
the temple and tried to hold them.
I was afraid of being laughed at and ridiculed, and thought I would
wait until the multitude were dispersed, or until I could go in some way
that they would not know where I was going. My mind was troubled lest I
should be too late, and the multitude was increasing instead of
lessening. I hastily left my home and pressed through the crowd. I was
in such haste that I did not notice the throng. I feared I was too late.
I entered the building, and what a sight met my eyes! The temple was
supported by one immense pillar, and to this pillar was a lamb tied, all
mangled and bleeding. I thought that we all knew that it was our sins
that caused this lamb to be thus torn and bruised. Just before this lamb
were seats elevated above the level of the floor, and a company of
people were sitting there looking very happy.
All who entered the temple must come before the lamb and confess
their sins, and then take their place among the happy throng who
occupied the elevated seats. Even while in the building a fear came over
me and shame to have them all looking upon me. I was slowly making my
way around the pillar to face the lamb, when the trumpet sounded, and
the building shook, and shouts of triumph went up from the saints in
that building. The temple seemed to shine with awful brightness, and
then all was dark, terrible dark. Those who had seemed so happy were
gone, and I left alone in the place in complete darkness. The horror of
my mind could not be described.
I awoke, and it was some time before I could convince myself it was
not a reality. Surely, thought I, my doom is fixed, I have slighted
mercy, and grieved the Spirit of the Lord away, never more to return. In
a short time I had another dream.
I thought I was sitting in deep despair, with my face covered with my
hands, with reflections like these: If Jesus were upon earth, I would go
to him, and throw myself at his feet, and tell him all my sufferings.
And if he would have mercy upon me, I would love him always --he would
not turn me away.
Soon the door opened, and a person of beautiful form and countenance
entered. He looked upon me with pity. Said he, "Do you wish to see
Jesus? He is in the place, and you can see him. Take everything that you
possess and follow me." Gladly did I gather up everything, every
treasured trinket, and followed him who had given me the pleasing
He led me to a steep, and it looked like a frail stairway. As I
commenced to ascend the stairs, he gave me a word of caution, to keep my
eyes fixed upwards, for if I looked down I should become dizzy and fall.
Many seemed to be climbing up this steep stairway, and some fell before
reaching the top.
I succeeded in climbing to the top. Then my guide bid me lay
everything at the door. Cheerfully I laid down all I possessed. He then
opened the door and told me to go in. As I entered I saw Jesus, so
lovely and beautiful. His countenance expressed benevolence and majesty.
I tried to shield myself from his piercing gaze. I thought he knew my
heart, and every circumstance of my life. I tried not to look upon his
face, but still his eyes were upon me. I could not escape his gaze. He
then, with a smile, drew near me, and laid his hand upon my head,
saying, "Fear not."
The sound of his sweet voice, caused me to feel a thrill of happiness
I never before experienced. I was too full of joy to utter a word. I
grew weak, and fell prostrate at his feet. And while lying helpless,
scenes of glory and beauty passed before me. I thought I was saved in
At length my strength returned. I arose upon my feet. The loving eyes
of Jesus were fixed upon me still, and he smiled upon me. His presence
filled me with such holy awe that I could not endure it.
My guide opened the door and I passed out. Then all things I had left
at the door he handed me again. And he also handed me a green cord,
coiled up, and he bid me wear it next my heart, and when I wished to see
Jesus, to stretch this cord. I must not let it lie still any length of
time; for if I should, it would become knotted and difficult to
I placed the cord near my heart, and joyfully went down the narrow
stairway, praising the Lord as I went, and telling all I met where they
could find Jesus. I then awoke. This dream gave me a faint hope in my
despair. That green cord represented faith. I then opened my mind to my
She 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 anything 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 only by asking for
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. Everything was shut out from me but Jesus
and glory, and I knew nothing of what was passing around me. I remained
in this state a long time, and when I realized what was around me,
everything looked glorious and new, as if smiling and praising God. I
was then willing to confess Jesus everywhere, and seemed to be shut in
I went to the hall where the Advent people worshiped, and there
related what the Lord had done for me, and with tears of gratitude
declared the wondrous love of God. Bro. Stockman was present. He had
recently seen me in deep despair, and as he now saw my captivity turned,
he wept aloud, and rejoiced with me.
I also related my experience in the Christian meeting house in
Portland. The sacrifice that Christ had made to save me from sin and
death, looked very great. I could not dwell upon it without weeping. I
could then praise God for my misfortune. I was naturally proud and
ambitious, and fear that I never should have given my heart to the Lord
if I had not been afflicted. For six months not a cloud of darkness
passed over my mind.