My husband earned forty dollars, with a part of
which we purchased some clothing, and had means left to take us to
Western New York and back. I had been troubled with a pain in my lungs
and a severe cough, but I believed the Lord would give me strength to
endure the long journey. We left our little Henry, then ten months old,
in sister Bonfoey's care, at Middletown. This was a severe trial to me.
I had not been separated from him before for one night. My health was
poor. It was impossible for me to travel and have the care of our child.
And we dared not let our affection for the child keep us from the path
of duty. Jesus laid down his life to save us. How small is any sacrifice
we can make, compared with his.
We took the steamboat for New York City. Bro.
Chamberlain accompanied us. On board of the boat I coughed almost
incessantly. Remarks were made as follows: "That cough will carry her to
the grave-yard." "She cannot live long," &c. Some said that I would not
live to see New York. But I knew in whom I believed. He that had bid me
go, would give me relief when it would best glorify him. One word from
him would heal my irritated throat and lungs.
The next morning we reached New York City, and
called upon Bro. Moody who was then living. We there met Brn. Bates and
Gurney. My cough increased. I knew I must have relief, or sink beneath
disease. I had not had a good night's rest for weeks. I followed the
direction given in James v, and asked the brethren to pray for me. They
prayed earnestly to God for me. But as often as I attempted to pray, was
broken off by severe coughing. I relied upon the promise of God-- "Ask
and ye shall receive." I tried to tell those present that I believed,
but severe coughing prevented my speaking.
I retired to rest trusting in the Lord. I
commenced coughing as usual, but soon fell asleep, and did not awake
till daylight. I then awoke with gratitude in my heart, and the praise
of God on my lips. I felt the blessing of heaven resting upon me. My
cough was gone. In the morning my friends noticed a pimple on my face,
which increased and spread, and did not leave me for several years. I
was not troubled again with a cough on that journey.
Our first conference was at Volney in Bro.
Arnold's barn. There were about thirty-five present, all that could be
collected in that part of the State. There were hardly two agreed. Each
was strenuous for his views, declaring that they were according to the
Bible. All were anxious for an opportunity to advance their sentiments,
or to preach to us. They were told that we had not come so great a
distance to hear them, but had come to teach them the truth.
Bro. Arnold held that the 1000 years of Rev. xx
were in the past; and that the 144,000 were those raised at Christ's
resurrection. And as we had the emblem of our dying Lord before us, and
was about to commemorate his sufferings, Bro. A. arose and said he had
no faith in what we were about to do; that the Sacrament was a
continuation of the Passover, to be observed but once a year. These
strange differences of opinion rolled a heavy weight upon me, especially
as Bro. A. spoke of the 1000 years being in the past. I knew that he was
in error, and great grief pressed my spirits; for it seemed to me that
God was dishonored.
I fainted under the burden. Brethren Bates,
Chamberlain, Gurney, Edson, and my husband, prayed for me. Some feared I
was dying. But the Lord heard the prayers of his servants, and I
revived. The light of Heaven rested upon me. I was soon lost to earthly
My accompanying angel presented before me some of
the errors of those present, and also the truth in contrast with their
errors. That these discordant views, which they claimed to be according
to the Bible, were only according to their opinion of the Bible, and
that their errors must be yielded, and they unite upon the third angel's
message. Our meeting ended victoriously. Truth gained the victory.
From Volney we went to Port Gibson. The meeting
there was held in Bro Edson's barn. There were those present who loved
the truth, and those who were listening to and cherishing error, and
were opposed to the truth. But the Lord wrought for us in power before
the close of that meeting. I was again shown in vision the importance of
brethren in Western New York laying their differences aside, and uniting
upon Bible truth.
Wednesday we left Bro. Edson's, intending to spend
the next Sabbath in New York City. We were too late for the packet, so
we took a line boat, designing to change when the next packet came
along. As we saw the packet approaching, we commenced making
preparations to step aboard. Bro. Bates was to pay our fare. The packet
did not stop, and we had to spring aboard while the boat was in motion.
Bro. Bates was holding the money in his hand,
saying to the men on the line boat, "Here, take your pay." As he saw the
boat moving off he sprang to get aboard, but his foot struck the edge of
the boat, and he fell back into the water. Bro. Bates commenced swimming
to the boat. His pocket-book was in one hand, and a dollar bill in the
other. His hat came off, and in saving it lost the bill, but held fast
his pocket-book. The packet halted for him to get aboard.
We were near Centerport, and called at Bro.
Harris' and put Bro. Bates' clothes in order. Our visit proved a benefit
to that family. Sister Harris had been a sufferer for years with
catarrh, and used snuff for this affliction, and said she could not live
without it. She suffered much pain in her head. We recommended her to go
to the Lord, the great Physician, who could heal her affliction. She
decided to do so, and we had a sweet season of prayer for her. She left
the use of snuff entirely. Her difficulties were greatly relieved, and
her health better than it had been for years.
While at Bro. Harris' I had an interview with a
sister who professed to be looking for Christ's coming, who wore gold.
We spoke of the express declaration of scripture against it. But she
referred to where Solomon was commanded to beautify the temple, and that
the streets of the city of God were pure gold. And said if we could
improve our appearance by wearing gold, so as to have influence in the
world, it was right.
I replied that we were poor fallen mortals; and
instead of decorating these bodies because Solomon's temple was
gloriously adorned, we should remember our fallen condition, and that it
cost the sufferings and death of the Son of God to redeem us. This
should cause in us self-abasement. Jesus is our pattern.
If he would lay aside his humiliation and
sufferings, and cry, "If any man will come after me, let him please
himself, and enjoy the world, and he shall be my disciple," the
multitude would believe, and follow him. But Jesus will come to us in no
other character than the meek, crucified One. If we would be with him in
heaven, we must be like him on earth. The world will claim its own, and
whoever will overcome, must leave what belongs to it.
We took the packet on our way to Madison County,
which left us within twenty-five miles of Bro. Abbey's, where we hired a
carriage to complete the journey. When we arrived at the house, it was
proposed that one go to the door and make inquiries, that if we should
be disappointed we could return with the driver, and would keep the
Sabbath at a public house. Sr. Abbey came to the door, and my husband
introduced himself as one who kept the Sabbath.
Said she, "I am glad to see you. Come in." He
replied. "There are three more in the carriage with me. I thought if we
all came in together, we might frighten you. "I am never frightened at
Christians," was the reply. Heartily were we welcomed by sister A. She
expressed much joy at seeing us, and when Bro. Bates was introduced she
said, "Can this be Bro. Bates, who wrote that hewing book on the
Sabbath? And come to see us? I am unworthy to have you come under my
roof. But the Lord has sent you to us, for we are all starving for
A child was sent to the field to inform Bro. Abbey
that four Sabbath-keepers had come. He was in no hurry to make our
acquaintance; for he had been imposed upon. Some professing to be God's
servants had often visited them, whose work was to scatter error among
the little few who were trying to hold fast the truth. Bro. and Sr. A.
had warred against them so long that they dreaded to come in contact
with them. Bro. A concluded we were of the same class. When he came into
the house he received us coldly, and then commenced asking a few plain,
direct questions, whether we kept the Sabbath, and believed the past
messages to be of God. When he had become satisfied that we had come
with truth, he joyfully welcomed us.
This dear family were just coming out from the
furnace of affliction. They had been visited with that dreadful scourge,
small-pox, and were just recovering. While we were there, we had an
exhibition of some of the trials they had passed through, from those
visiting them who made great pretensions, but were Satan's agents to
worry and devour.
A spiritualizer came in, and talked in such a
fanatical and blasphemous manner, that it was painful to hear him. He at
last declared himself to be Jesus Christ; that there would be no
literal, personal appearing of Jesus, &c. My spirit was stirred within
me. I could hold my peace no longer. I told him that my Saviour did not
bear such a disgusting appearance as he manifested.
Then I described the lovely person of Jesus, his
glorious appearance in the clouds of heaven, as he comes to earth the
second time; with what majesty and power he rides forth upon the cloudy
chariot, escorted by all the angelic host, and with the glory of the
Father. He grew angry, and raised his umbrella as if to strike me. He
was vehement. In great rage he left the house, showering denunciations
upon us as he went. But a sweet spirit rested upon us.
Our meetings in that place were cheering to the
few who loved the truth. We felt to rejoice that the Lord in his
providence had directed us that way. We had enjoyed the presence of God
together, and were comforted to find a few who had stood firm all
through the scattering, and had held fast the messages through the mist
and fog of spiritualism and fanaticism. This dear family helped us on
our way after a godly sort. We continued our journey to Brooklyn, and
held meetings in Bro. Moody's house.