My brother Robert and myself still attended the Methodist
class-meeting. One evening the presiding elder was present. And, filled
with the love of God, I related what he had done for me, that I had at
last found the blessing I had so long sought for--entire conformity to
the will of God. I rejoiced in the soon coming of Jesus. I expected they
would rejoice with me, but was disappointed.
After I ceased speaking Elder B. asked me if it would not be more
pleasant to live a long life of holiness here, and do others good, than
to have Jesus come and destroy poor sinners. I told him I longed for
Jesus to come. Then sin would have an end, and we should enjoy
sanctification forever where there would be no tempting Devil to lead
our steps astray.
Then he asked me if I would not rather die easy on a bed, than to
pass through the pain of being changed from mortal to immortality. I
answered that I wished Jesus to come and save his children; and that I
was willing to live or die; that I could endure all the pain that could
be borne in a moment in the twinkling of an eye; and that I desired the
wheels of time to roll swiftly round, and bring the welcome day, when
these vile bodies should be changed, and fashioned like unto Christ's
glorious body. I also stated that when I lived nearest to the Lord, the
more earnestly did I long for his appearing.
Some in the classmeeting seemed to be greatly displeased. Once more I
attended class-meeting, and was happy in the love of God, and wished to
bear my testimony among them. I told them again what Jesus had done for
me, through the belief of the near coming of the Son of God. The
class-leader interrupted me, saying, "Through Methodism!"
But I could not give the glory to Methodism, when it was Christ and
the hope of his soon coming, that made me free. I finished my testimony,
the last I was ever to bear among the Methodists, and sat down. I was
convinced that I must give up my belief in the soon coming of my Lord,
or should have no freedom in class-meeting, or among the Methodists; for
my feelings would be wounded, and their ire would be kindled against me,
if I talked out what the Spirit of the Lord wrought in me.
Soon the minister visited my father's family. The entire family were
interested in the doctrine of the Lord's coming. The minister wished us
to withdraw from the church, as that would save a church trial. My
parents told him they wished to know the reason of this request. He said
that we had been walking contrary to their rules, and that they had
rather we would withdraw, than to have the sound go out that they had
turned us out.
We preferred a trial, that we might know what sin we had committed.
We were not conscious of any wrong, unless it was a sin to be looking
for, and loving the appearing of, our Saviour. Our family were notified
of the church-meeting, and we met in the vestry of the meeting-house.
The only charge brought against us was that we had walked contrary to
It was asked, "What rules have we violated?" After a little
hesitation it was stated that we had absented ourselves from the
class-meeting, and had attended other meetings, and they considered that
we had violated their rules.
They were reminded of some who were retained in the church, who had
not attended class meeting for more than a year, and a portion of our
family had been in the country, and none who had remained in the city
had absented themselves but a few weeks, and they were compelled to
remain away because they could not talk out the sentiments of their
If they mentioned the coming of their Saviour, or their love for his
appearing, there was a hard pressing spirit against them, and such
displeasure manifested that there was a plain division of feeling, and
we knew if they loved Jesus they would love to hear of his coming. It
was asked us whether we would agree to conform to their rules, and
confess that we had walked contrary to them.
We answered that we would confess that after the manner which they
call heresy, so would we worship the God of our fathers. We dared not
yield our faith. With free spirits, happy in the love of God, we left
the vestry of the Methodist meeting-house. We had the assurance that God
was on our side, who was more than all they that were against us.
At the commencement of their love-feast, Elder B. read off our names,
seven in number, and wished it understood that it was not for immoral
conduct that we were turned out, but for a breach of their rules. He
also stated that a door was now open, and all who should walk contrary
to their rules would share the same fate. They had made a beginning, and
should follow it up.
There were others in the Methodist church who were looking for the
appearing of the Saviour. They wished to hold these persons among them
by frightening them. They succeeded in a few instances, and some sold
their favor with God for a place in the Methodist church. Many believed,
but dared not confess their faith for fear of being turned out of the
synagogue. They loved the praise of men more than the favor of God.
Some afterwards left them and joined those who were loving the
appearing of Jesus. We were all pushed out of the church because we
believed and talked the near coming of our Saviour. At this time the
words of the prophet were exceedingly precious: "Your brethren that
hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be
glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed."
Isa. lxvi, 5.