After I came out of vision a gloom was spread over
all I beheld. Oh! how dark this world looked to me. I related the vision
to our little company in Portland, who then fully believed it to be of
God. The Spirit of the Lord attended the testimony, and the solemnity of
eternity rested upon us.
About one week after this the Lord gave me
another view, and showed me the trials I must pass through; that I must
go and relate to others what he had revealed to me; that I should meet
with great opposition, and suffer anguish of spirit. Said the angel,
"The grace of God is sufficient for you; he will sustain you."
This vision troubled me exceedingly. My health
was very poor, and I was only seventeen years old. I knew that many had
fallen through exaltation, and that if I in any way became exalted, the
Lord would leave me, and I should surely be lost. I earnestly prayed
that the burden might be laid on some other one. But all the light I
could get was, "Make known to others what I have revealed to you."
I was unreconciled to go out into the world. I
had naturally but little confidence. When I had the assurance that all
was right between me and God, then my confidence was strong. I was then
willing to do anything, and suffer anything; and relying upon the
strength of God could declare the testimony without fear. But the work
looked great, and the trials severe.
The idea of a female traveling from place to place
caused me to draw back. I looked with desire into the grave. Death
appeared to me preferable to the responsibilities I should have to bear.
At length the Lord hid his face from me. I was again in darkness and
despair. I feared that he had left me because I was unwilling to go and
do his will.
The company of believers in Portland sincerely
sympathized with me. They seemed to understand my case, and while some
sought to comfort me, others were faithful in warning me of my danger. I
was afraid I had grieved the Spirit of the Lord from me for ever, and
thought if he would reveal himself to me again, I would obey him, and
would go anywhere. How small the opposition and frowns of men appeared
to me then, compared with the frown of God.
The meetings were held at my father's house; but
my distress of mind was so great that I absented myself from the
meetings. This did not relieve me from the burden which weighed so
heavily upon me, and again I attended the meetings. The church all
united in earnest prayer for me, and once more I consecrated myself to
the Lord, and felt willing to be used to his glory.
While praying, the thick darkness that had
enveloped me was scattered, a bright light, like a ball of fire, came
towards me, and as it fell upon me, my strength was taken away. I seemed
to be in the presence of Jesus and of angels. Again it was repeated,
"Make known to others what I have revealed to you."
I earnestly begged that if I must go and relate
what the Lord had shown me, that I might be kept from exaltation. Then
an angel told me that my prayer was answered, and that if I should be in
danger of exaltation, I should be afflicted with sickness. Said the
angel, "If ye deliver the message faithfully, and endure unto the end,
ye shall eat of the fruit of the tree of life, and drink of the river of
the water of life." I then committed myself fully to God, to go at his
Providentially the way opened for me to go to my
sisters' in Poland, thirty miles from home. I there had opportunity to
bear my testimony. The Lord gave me strength. I had been able to talk
but little for about three months. My lungs and throat were very sore.
It was with the greatest difficulty that I could speak aloud.
I stood up in meeting, and commenced in a
whisper; and labored to speak for about five minutes, then the soreness
seemed to leave my throat and lungs, and my voice was clear, and I could
talk from two to three hours, and when my message was ended, my voice
was gone until I stood before the people again. I frequently spoke over
two hours. Thus I journeyed for three months.
The way opened for me to go to the eastern part of
Maine. Bro. J. was obliged to go to Orington on business, and his sister
accompanied him. I was urged to go with them, and relate my visions. It
caused me some trial to go, but as I had promised the Lord that if he
would open the way before me, I would walk in it, I dared not refuse.
At Orington I met Bro. White, and learned that J.
had come for the purpose of taking to him his horse and sleigh. The
Spirit of the Lord attended the message I bore, and the desponding were
encouraged, and made to hope. At Garland a large number collected from
different places to hear my message. But I was in great heaviness. I had
received a letter from my mother, begging me to return home, for false
reports were being circulated concerning me.
This I had not expected. My name had never been
reproached. My cup of sorrow was full. I felt grieved that my mother
should suffer on my account. She was very sensitive in regard to the
reputation of her children. If there had been any opportunity I should
have returned immediately home, and by my presence contradicted these
lying reports. I thought it would be impossible for me to speak that
night. I was urged to trust in the Lord, but could not be comforted. At
length the brethren engaged in prayer for me, and the blessing of the
Lord rested upon me, and I had great freedom in bearing my testimony. I
felt that an angel of God was standing by my side to strengthen me.
Sweet heart-felt shouts of glory and victory went up from that house.
Jesus was in our midst, and our hearts burned with his love.
At Exeter a heavy burden rested upon me, which I
could not be free from until I related what I had been shown concerning
some fanatical persons present, who were exalted by the spirit of Satan.
I mentioned that I must soon return home, and that I had seen that these
fanatical persons were anxious to visit Portland; but they had no work
to do there; that they would injure the cause if they went, by carrying
things to extremes; that they were deceived in regard to the Spirit they
possessed. This seemed to cause some great trial.
My testimony cut directly across their anticipated
course, and they became jealous of me, and secretly held bitter feelings
against me. From Exeter we went to Atkinson. One night I was shown
something that I did not understand. It was to this effect, that we were
to have a trial of our faith.
The next day, which was the first day of the week,
while I was speaking, two men looked into the window. We were satisfied
of their object. They entered and rushed past me to Eld. Damman. The
Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and his strength was taken away, and
he fell to the floor helpless. The officer cried out, "In the name of
the State of Maine, lay hold of this man." Two seized his arms, and two
his feet, and attempted to drag him from the room. They would move him a
few inches only, and then rush out of the house.
The power of God was in that room, and the
servants of God with their countenances lighted up with his glory, made
no resistance. The efforts to take Eld. D. were often repeated with the
same effect. The men could not endure the power of God, and it was a
relief to them to rush out of the house. Their number increased to
twelve, still Eld. D. was held by the power of God about forty minutes,
and not all the strength of those men could move him from the floor
where he lay helpless.
At the same moment we all felt that Eld. D. must
go; that God had manifested his power for his glory, and that the name
of the Lord would be further glorified in suffering him to be taken from
our midst. And those men took him up as easily as they would take up a
child, and carried him out. After Eld. D. was taken from our midst he
was kept in a hotel, and guarded by a man who did not like his office.
He said that Eld. D. was singing, and praying, and praising the Lord all
night, so that he could not sleep, and he would not watch over such a
man. No one wished the office of guarding him, and he was left to go
about the village as he pleased, after promising that he would appear
Kind friends invited him to share their
hospitalities. At the hour of trial Eld. D. was present. A lawyer
offered his services. The charge brought against Eld. D. was, that he
was a disturber of the peace. Many witnesses were brought to sustain the
charge, but they were at once broken down by the testimony of Eld. D.'s
acquaintances present, who were called to the stand.
There was much curiosity to know what Eld. D. and
his friends believed, and he was asked to give them a synopsis of his
faith. He then told them in a clear manner his belief from the
Scriptures. It was also suggested that they sung curious hymns, and he
was asked to sing one. There were quite a number of strong brethren
present who had stood by him in the trial, and they joined with him in
singing, "When I was down in Egypt's land, I heard my Saviour was at
Eld. D. was asked if he had a spiritual wife. He
told them he had a lawful wife, and he could thank God that she had been
a very spiritual woman ever since his acquaintance with her. The cost of
court, I think, was thrown upon him, and he was released. Distracting
influences have separated Eld. D. from his friends who believe the third
message; but we hope the time is not far distant when he and many others
in Maine will joy fully receive the message.
We returned to Portland, and then visited
Topsham. Sister Frances Howland was very sick with rheumatic fever. She
was under the doctor's care. Her hands were so swollen that we could not
see the joints. Bro. Howland was asked if he had faith that F. could be
healed in answer to prayer. He said, "I will believe." Again he was
asked, "Do you believe?" He answered, "I do." Then prayer was offered to
God in her behalf.
We claimed the promise, "Ask and ye shall
receive." Sister F. was in the chamber above. She had not stood on her
feet for two weeks. The Spirit of the Lord indited prayer. We had the
assurance of God's willingness to heal the afflicted one. Bro. D. cried
out in the Spirit, and power of God, "Is there some sister here who has
faith enough to go and take her by the hand, and bid her arise in the
name of the Lord?"
Sister C. was on her way as the words were
spoken. She ascended the stairs with the Spirit of the Lord upon her,
and took F. by the hand, saying, "Sister Frances, in the name of the
Lord arise and be whole." Sister F. acted out her faith, rose from her
bed and stood upon her feet, and walked the room praising the Lord that
she was healed. She dressed and came down into the room where we were,
her countenance lighted up with the blessing of God. The next morning
sister F. sat at the breakfast table with us.
And as Bro. White was reading for family worship,
from James, chapter v, the doctor came into the entry, and as usual
ascended the stairs to visit his patient. But he could not find her. He
hurried down, opened the door leading into the large kitchen where we
were sitting, his patient in the midst. He looked astonished, and said,
"Frances is better."
Bro. Howland answered, "The Lord has healed her,"
and Bro. White resumed his reading, which had been interrupted, "Is any
sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them
pray for him," &c. The doctor nodded and left the room.
The same day she rode three miles, and returned
home in the evening. It was rainy, but she received no injury. A few
days after, at her request, Bro. White led her down into the water and
baptized her. At this time Bro. Wm. H. Hyde was very sick with the
bloody dysentery. His symptoms were alarming. A physician said that
unless he received help in a short time, his case was hopeless. There
was much unbelief and darkness in the place where he was staying, and we
wished to get him away where there was more faith.
We prayed for him around the bedside, that the
Lord would raise him up and give him strength to leave that place. He
was blessed and strengthened, and rode four miles. After he arrived at
Bro. P.'s he grew worse, and seemed to be sinking every hour. Some
things had hindered faith in his case. Faithful testimony was borne to
him, and humble confessions were made on his part, where he had erred,
and a few who had faith were permitted to enter his room.
Our earnest, fervent prayers went up to God, that
the progress of disease might be stayed, and then faith grasped still
more, immediate restoration. God's children seemed to groan in spirit.
Such a reaching out after God and bringing the promises near, I have
seldom witnessed. The salvation of God was revealed. Power from on high
rested upon our sick brother, and upon those in the room. He called for
his clothes, arose and dressed himself, and walked out of the room,
praising God, with the light of heaven shining in his countenance. A
farmer's dinner was ready. Said Bro. H., "If I was well I should partake
of this food, and I believe God has healed me, and shall act out my
faith." He ate heartily, and it did not hurt him.
From Topsham we went to Portland, and quite a
number from the east were there, some of the very individuals to whom I
had borne my testimony in Exeter, that it was not their duty to visit
Portland. We trembled for the church, for they were in danger through
these fanatical spirits. They trusted every impression, and laid aside
reason and judgment. My heart ached for God's people. Oh must they be
thus deceived, and led away by a false spirit! Warnings had but little
effect, only to make those warned jealous of me.
The false burdens and impressions of others might
have led me away from duty, but the Lord had previously shown me my duty
where to go, and, although young and inexperienced, preserved me from
falling, by giving me special directions who to fear, and who to trust.
Were it not for this, I can now see many times where I might have been
led from the path of duty.
About this time I was shown that I must visit New
Hampshire. My sister's husband's sister accompanied me. She was faithful
to me, kind and attentive, ever ready with the care of a sister to
sympathize with me in all my trials, and to cheer me in my despondency
Bro. Files and his wife and Bro. White accompanied
us. A distracted state of things existed in New Hampshire, yet the Lord
often manifested his power there. It was in New Hampshire that we had
our first experience in relation to what is termed spiritual magnetism.
We visited Claremont, and inquired for Adventists.
We were told there were two parties; one holding
fast their past advent experience, the other denying it. We asked for
those who had not denied their past experience, and were directed to
Elders B-t and B-s, as persons believing as we did. There was so much
said against them, that we concluded that they were persecuted for
righteousness' sake. We called on them, and were received and treated
kindly, yet such depression came upon me, that I felt that all was not
Elder B--t appeared to be a very holy man. Had
much to say upon charity. Speaking of faith he said, "All we have to do
is believe, then whatever we ask of God will be given." Bro. White
answered, "Blessings are promised on conditions. John xv, 7: If ye abide
in me and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
be given unto you. Your theory of faith is empty as a flour barrel with
both heads out. And as regards true charity, she is a very delicate
personage, never stepping out of the path of Bible truth."
In the afternoon we called at Bro. Collier's,
where we purposed to hold a meeting in the evening. We supposed they
were in union with Elder B--t, and asked some questions in reference to
him, but could get no information. Said Bro. C., "If the Lord has sent
you here, you will find them out and tell us."
That evening, as I was praying and reaching up by
faith to receive the blessing of the Lord, B--t and B-s, began to groan
and cry out, Amen! Amen! throwing their sympathy and influence in with
my prayer. Bro. White was much distressed, and rising, cried, "I resist
this spirit in the name of the Lord." After this, while I was enjoying
freedom in speaking, they again commenced groaning and crying out, Amen!
Amen! I felt no union with them, for their amens chilled me.
Bro. White feeling their influence upon him again,
rose, and in the name of the Lord rebuked the wicked spirit. They were
then so bound as to be unable to rise again that night. After the
meeting Bro. White said, "Bro. Collier, now I can tell you about those
two men; they are acting under a satanic influence, yet attributing all
to the Spirit of the Lord." Bro. C. answered, "I believe the Lord sent
you. We have called their influence mesmerism; and because we could have
no union with their spirit, do not generally have meetings here. They
rise above us, manifest much feeling, but leave an influence darker than
Egypt. I never saw them checked, or tied up, before to-night."
During family prayer that night, the Spirit of the
Lord rested upon me, and I was taken off in vision. A curtain was
raised, and the cases of these men, and a few others in union with them,
were clearly shown me. They were practising deception upon God's little
flock, meanwhile professing to be chosen servants of the Lord. It was
shown me that the Lord would tear off the pious garb they had drawn
around themselves, and disclose their dark designs and iniquitous deeds;
deeds that some had scarcely thought of.
We then returned to Springfield. On the way I fell
from the wagon and so injured my side that I had to be carried into the
house. That night my suffering was great. Sister Foss joined with me in
pleading for God's blessing, and for relief from pain. About midnight
the blessing sought rested upon me. Those in the house were awakened by
hearing my voice while in vision. This was the first time I had a view
of the voice of God in connection with the time of trouble.