For six months not a cloud intervened between me and my Saviour.
Whenever there was a proper opportunity I bore my testimony in meeting,
and was greatly blessed. At times the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me
in such power that my strength was taken away.
This was a trial to some of those who had come out from the formal
churches, and often words were spoken meant for my ear, which grieved
me. They did not believe that any one could be so filled with the Spirit
of the Lord as to lose their strength. I began to fear.
I reasoned thus: Am I not justified in holding my peace in meeting,
and restraining my feelings, when my testimony causes such opposition,
even in meeting, and in the hearts of some of those older in experience,
and in years, than myself? I thought I would be just as faithful in
living out my religion, and not bear my testimony. I often felt pressed
by the Spirit of God to speak in meeting; but did not, and was sensible
that the Spirit of God was grieved. I even kept away from meeting where
some of those attended who were annoyed by my testimony.
I withheld my testimony for fear of offending my brethren, and that
uninterrupted communion with God which I had enjoyed for months was
broken, and I have not since, for so long a time, been perfectly free in
the Lord. But soon one of the family which had been most forward in
opposing me, while praying fell prostrate like one dead. His friends
feared he was dying; but while they stood weeping over him, rubbing his
hands, and using means for his restoration, he gained strength to praise
God, and shout with a voice of triumph. He was unable to return home
While attending an evening meeting I was much blessed, and again lost
my strength. Another of the family mentioned, said he had no faith that
it was the Spirit of God that was upon me. He selected one who was
considered a man of God, a devoted humble Christian, and said, "If this
is genuine, why does it not come upon Bro. R., and he lose his
strength?" Bro. R. was immediately prostrated, and as soon as he could
give utterance to his feelings, declared that it was of God.
All had believed me honest, but thought I could command my feelings,
and not suffer my strength to be taken away. The brother who opposed me
was brought to see that he was fighting against God. While in a
prayer-meeting, the blessing of the Lord rested upon him, and his
countenance seemed to shine with the glory of God, and he fell prostrate
to the floor. When he recovered strength he confessed he had done wrong
in opposing me.
Not long after this, while the same family were engaged in prayer,
the Spirit of the Lord rested upon them. I had the particulars from my
father who happened in at that time. He said there was scarcely one to
help another. They were prostrated by the power of God, while calling
upon his name. Cold formality began to melt, and then they regretted
that they had opposed me, and confessed their error.
In 1843, I felt like consecrating myself daily to the Lord, and
preparing for his coming. But the time of expectation passed, and we
were still in this dark world, and the scoffer was bold in scoffing, and
in his hard speeches against us. Some who joined the ranks through fear,
left us and united with the scoffer. But we still looked for, and loved
the appearing of, our Saviour. Again our minds were called to 1844, as
the time for the appearing of our Lord. We hailed every evidence in
favor of his coming with joy.
My experience was like most of God's people at that time. I felt for
others who seemed to be held in darkness and despair, and often united
with individuals in earnest prayer for their deliverance, and rejoiced
with them when they were made free. With great carefulness we came up to
the time of expectation. If clouds shadowed our minds, we could not rest
until the darkness was removed. We frequently went to the orchards and
groves, and sent up our earnest cries to God, "Restore unto us the joys
of thy salvation." We would not cease pleading with the Lord until he
revealed himself unto us, and we could rejoice in the sweet assurance of
I knew that I must walk tremblingly and carefully before God. Heaven
and its sweet joys were my meditation day and night. I loved Jesus, and
the sound of his dear name enraptured me. My lungs were diseased, and my
voice failed me. The Spirit of the Lord often rested upon me in great
measure. My frail body could not endure the weight of glory which the
mind grasped and feasted upon, and my strength was frequently gone. The
name of Jesus, lovely Jesus, was exalted before me. I seemed to dwell in
a heavenly atmosphere.
I expected Jesus to come and make me immortal, when I could endure to
drink in the light of his countenance, and ever feast upon his glory,
and praise him in perfect strains. We waited with earnest desire for the
appearing of Jesus, but the time of expectation again passed, and we
were still in this mortal state, and the effects of the curse all around
us. Our disappointment was bitter; but we did not faint. A strong arm
bore us up.
Some expressed their lack of faith as follows:--"You need have no
more fears; the time has passed, the Lord will not come for years." The
passing of the time tested and shook off such. But we believed that in
his own good time he would come; that we must first be proved, be
purified, made white, and tried, and then he would redeem his faithful,
My health failed rapidly. I could only talk in a whisper, or broken
tone of voice. One physician said my disease was dropsical consumption;
that my right lung was gone, and my left affected. He thought I could
not live long, might die very suddenly. It was very difficult for me to
breathe lying down, and nights was bolstered almost in a sitting
posture, and would often awake with my mouth full of blood.