Experiences from April 26, 1867 to October 20, 1867
We returned north, and on our way held a good meeting at West Windsor, and after reaching home held meetings at Fairplains and Orleans, and also gave some attention to the
matter of building, planted our garden, and set out grapes, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Then in company with a good delegation we returned to the General Conference at Battle Creek.
The first Sabbath on our way we spent at Orleans and observed the fast. It was a day of great solemnity with us; we sought to humble ourselves before God, and with brokenness of spirit and much weeping we all prayed fervently that God would bless and strengthen us to do His will at the Conference. We had some faith and hope that our captivity would be turned at that meeting.
When we came to Battle Creek we found that our previous efforts had not accomplished what we had hoped. Reports and jealousy still existed. My soul was filled with intense anguish, and I wept aloud for some hours, unable to restrain my grief. In conversation a friend with whom I had been acquainted for twenty-two years related to me reports which he heard, that we were extravagant in expending means. I inquired wherein we had been extravagant. He mentioned the purchase of an expensive chair. I then related the circumstances. My husband was greatly emaciated, and it was exceedingly wearisome and even painful for him to sit long in a common rocking chair, and for this reason he would lie down upon the bed or lounge a great share of the time. I knew that this was no way for him to obtain strength and begged him to sit up more, but the chair was an objection.
On my way east to attend the bedside of my dying father, I left my husband at Brookfield, New York, and while at Utica looked for a spring, sofa-seat chair. The dealers had none made at the price which I wished to pay, which was about fifteen dollars, but they offered me a very excellent chair, with rollers instead of rockers, price thirty dollars, for seventeen. I knew that this was the chair in every respect. But the brother with me urged me to wait to have a chair
made, which would cost only three dollars less. The chair offered for seventeen dollars possessed the real value in itself; but I yielded to the judgment of another, waited to see the cheaper chair put together, paid for it myself, and had it carried to my husband. The report concerning our extravagance in purchasing this chair I met in Wisconsin and Iowa. But who can condemn me? Had I the same to do over again, I would do as I did, with this exception: I would rely upon my own judgment, and purchase a chair costing a few dollars more, and worth double the one I got. Satan sometimes so influences minds as to destroy all feelings of mercy or compassion. The iron seems to enter the heart, and both the human and the divine disappear.
Reports also reached me that a sister had stated in Memphis and Lapeer that the Battle Creek church had not the slightest confidence in Sister White's testimony. The question was asked if this referred to the written testimony. The answer was, No, not to her published visions, but to the testimonies borne in meeting to the church, because her life contradicts them. I again requested an interview with a few select, experienced brethren and sisters, including the persons who had circulated these things. I there requested that they would now show me wherein my life had not been in accordance with my teachings. If my life had been so inconsistent as to warrant the statement that the church at Battle Creek had not the slightest confidence in my testimony, it could not be a difficult matter to present the proofs of my unchristian course. They could produce nothing to justify the statements made, and they confessed that they were all wrong in the reports circulated, and that their suspicions and jealousies were unfounded. I freely forgave those who had injured us, and told them that all I would ask on their part was to counteract the influence they had exerted against us, and I would be satisfied. They promised to do this, but have not done it.
Many other reports against us, all either utterly false or greatly exaggerated, were freely talked over in different families at the time of the Conference, and most looked upon us, especially my husband, with suspicion. Some persons of influence manifested a disposition to crush us. We were in want, and my husband had tried to sell loose property, and he was thought to be wrong for this. He had stated his willingness to have his brethren make up the loss of our cow, and this was looked upon as a grievous sin. Supposing that our property at Battle Creek was as good as sold, we bought and began to build in Greenville. But we could not sell the Battle Creek property, and in our cramped position my husband wrote to different brethren to hire money. For this they condemned him and charged him with the sin of grasping for money. And the brother minister most active in this work was heard to say: "We do not want Brother E to buy Brother White's place, for we want his money for the Health Institute." What could we do? No way could we turn but we were blamed.
Only sixty-five hours before my husband was stricken down, he stood until midnight in a house of worship calling for three hundred dollars to finish paying for that house; and to give his call force he headed the subscription with ten dollars for himself and the same for me. Before midnight the sum was nearly raised. The elder of that church was an old friend, and in our extreme want and friendless condition my husband wrote to him, stating that we were in want, and if that church now wished to return the twenty dollars we would receive it. At the time of the Conference this brother called on us and made the matter a serious wrong. But before he came to our house he had taken some stock at least in the general infection. We felt these things most keenly, and if we had not been especially sustained by the Lord we could not have borne our testimony at the Conference with any degree of freedom.
Before we returned from the Conference, Brethren Andrews, Pierce, and Bourdeau had a special season of prayer at our house, in which we were all greatly blessed, especially my husband. This gave him courage to return to our new home. And then commenced his keen sufferings from his teeth, also our labors reported in the Review . He stopped preaching only one week in his toothless condition, but labored at Orange and Wright, with the church at home, at Greenbush and Bushnell, preaching and baptizing as before.
After returning from the Conference, a great uncertainty came upon me in relation to the prosperity of the cause of God. Doubts existed in my mind where none had been six months before. I viewed God's people as partaking of the spirit of the world, imitating its fashions, and getting above the simplicity of our faith. It seemed that the church at Battle Creek were backsliding from God, and it was impossible to arouse their sensibilities. The testimonies given me of God had the least influence and were the least heeded in Battle Creek of any part of the field. I trembled for the cause of God. I knew that the Lord had not forsaken His people, but that their sins and iniquities had separated them from God. At Battle Creek is the great heart of the work. Every pulsation is felt by the members of the body all over the field. If this great heart is in health, a vital circulation will be felt all through the body of Sabbathkeepers. If the heart is diseased, the languishing condition of every branch of the work will attest the fact.
My interest is in this work; my life is interwoven with it. When Zion prospers, I am happy; if she languishes, I am sad, desponding, discouraged. I saw that God's people were in an alarming condition, and His favor was being removed from them. I pondered upon this sad picture day and night, and pleaded in bitter anguish: "O Lord, give not Thine heritage to reproach. Let not the heathen say, Where is their God?" I felt that I was cut loose from everyone at the head of the work and was virtually standing alone. I dared not trust
anyone. In the night I have awakened my husband, saying: "I am afraid that I shall become an infidel." Then I would cry for the Lord to save me by His own powerful arm. I could not see that my testimonies were regarded, and I entertained the thought that perhaps my work in the cause was done. We had appointments at Bushnell, but I told my husband that I could not go. He soon returned from the post office with a letter from Brother Matteson, containing the following dream:
"DEAR BROTHER WHITE: MAY THE BLESSING OF GOD BE WITH YOU, AND THESE LINES FIND YOU STILL PROSPERING AND IMPROVING IN HEALTH AND SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. I FEEL VERY THANKFUL TO THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS TO YOU, AND TRUST THAT YOU MAY YET ENJOY PERFECT HEALTH AND FREEDOM IN THE PROCLAMATION OF THE LAST MESSAGE.
"I HAVE HAD A REMARKABLE DREAM ABOUT YOU AND SISTER WHITE, AND FEEL IT MY DUTY TO RELATE THE SAME TO YOU AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER. I DREAMED THAT I RELATED IT TO SISTER WHITE, AS WELL AS THE INTERPRETATION THEREOF, WHICH ALSO WAS GIVEN ME IN THE DREAM. WHEN I AWOKE, SOMETHING URGED ME TO GET UP AND WRITE DOWN ALL THE PARTICULARS, LEST I SHOULD FORGET THEM; BUT I NEGLECTED TO DO SO, PARTLY BECAUSE I WAS TIRED, AND PARTLY BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS NOTHING BUT A DREAM. BUT SEEING THAT I NEVER DREAMED OF YOU BEFORE, AND THAT THIS DREAM WAS SO INTELLIGENT, AND SO INTIMATELY CONNECTED WITH YOU, I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT I OUGHT TO TELL YOU. THE FOLLOWING IS ALL I CAN REMEMBER OF IT:
"I WAS IN A LARGE HOUSE WHERE THERE WAS A PULPIT SOMEWHAT LIKE THOSE WE USE IN OUR MEETINGHOUSES. ON IT STOOD MANY LAMPS WHICH WERE BURNING. THESE LAMPS NEEDED A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF OIL, AND QUITE A NUMBER OF US WERE ENGAGED IN CARRYING OIL AND FILLING THEM. BROTHER WHITE AND HIS COMPANION WERE BUSILY ENGAGED, AND I NOTICED THAT SISTER WHITE POURED IN MORE OIL THAN ANY OTHER. THEN BROTHER WHITE WENT TO A DOOR WHICH OPENED INTO A WAREHOUSE, WHERE THERE WERE
MANY BARRELS OF OIL. HE OPENED THE DOOR AND WENT IN, AND SISTER WHITE FOLLOWED. JUST THEN A COMPANY OF MEN CAME ALONG, WITH A GREAT QUANTITY OF BLACK STUFF THAT LOOKED LIKE SOOT, AND HEAPED IT ALL UPON BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE, COMPLETELY COVERING THEM WITH IT. I FELT MUCH GRIEVED, AND LOOKED ANXIOUSLY TO SEE THE END OF THESE THINGS. I COULD SEE BROTHER AND SISTER W. BOTH WORKING HARD TO GET OUT FROM UNDER THE SOOT, AND AFTER A LONG STRUGGLE THEY CAME OUT AS BRIGHT AS EVER, AND THE EVIL MEN AND THE SOOT DISAPPEARED. THEN BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE ENGAGED AGAIN MORE HEARTILY THAN EVER IN SUPPLYING THE LAMPS WITH OIL, BUT SISTER W. STILL HAD THE PRECEDENCE.
"I DREAMED THAT THE FOLLOWING WAS THE INTERPRETATION: THE LAMPS REPRESENTED THE REMNANT PEOPLE. THE OIL WAS THE TRUTH AND HEAVENLY LOVE, OF WHICH GOD'S PEOPLE NEED A CONSTANT SUPPLY. THE PEOPLE ENGAGED IN SUPPLYING THE LAMPS WERE THE SERVANTS OF GOD LABORING IN THE HARVEST. WHO THE EVIL COMPANY WERE IN PARTICULAR I COULD NOT TELL, BUT THEY WERE MEN MOVED UPON BY THE DEVIL, WHO DIRECTED THEIR EVIL INFLUENCE SPECIALLY AGAINST BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE. THE LATTER WERE IN GREAT DISTRESS FOR A SEASON, BUT WERE AT LAST DELIVERED BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND THEIR OWN EARNEST EFFORTS. THEN FINALLY THE POWER OF GOD RESTED UPON THEM, AND THEY ACTED A PROMINENT PART IN THE PROCLAMATION OF THE LAST MESSAGE OF MERCY. BUT SISTER WHITE HAD A RICHER SUPPLY OF HEAVENLY WISDOM AND LOVE THAN THE REST.
"THIS DREAM HAS RATHER STRENGTHENED MY CONFIDENCE THAT THE LORD WILL LEAD YOU OUT AND FINISH THE WORK OF RESTORATION THAT IS BEGUN, AND THAT YOU WILL ONCE MORE ENJOY THE SPIRIT OF GOD AS YOU DID IN TIMES PAST, YEA, MORE ABUNDANTLY. FORGET NOT THAT HUMILITY IS THE DOOR THAT LEADS TO THE RICH SUPPLIES OF THE GRACE OF GOD. MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND YOUR COMPANION AND CHILDREN, AND GRANT US TO MEET IN THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM. YOURS IN BONDS OF CHRISTIAN LOVE.
"OAKLAND, WISCONSIN, JULY 15, 1867."
This dream gave me some encouragement. I had confidence in Brother Matteson. Before I saw him with my natural eyes, his case was shown me in vision, in contrast with that of F of Wisconsin. The latter was utterly unworthy to bear the name of Christian, much more to be a messenger; but Brother Matteson was shown me as one who possessed humility, and who, if he maintained his consecration, would be qualified to point souls to the Lamb of God. Brother Matteson had no knowledge of my trials of mind. Not a line had ever passed between us, and the dream coming when and from whom it did, looked to me like the hand of God reached forth to help me.
We had the care of building with hired money, which caused perplexity. We kept up our appointments and labored extremely hard all through the hot weather. For want of means we went into the field together, hoeing, and cutting and raking hay. I took the fork and built the stack, while my husband, with his feeble arms, pitched the hay to me. I took the brush and painted the inside of much of our house. In these things we both wearied ourselves too much. Finally I suddenly failed and could do no more. For several mornings I fainted, and my husband had to attend the Greenbush grove meeting without me.
Our old, hard-riding carriage had been well-nigh killing us and our team. Long journeyings with it, the labor of meetings, home cares and labors, were too much for us, and I feared that my work was done. My husband tried to encourage me and urged me to start out again to fill our appointments at Orange, Greenbush, and Ithaca. Finally I resolved to start, and, if I was no worse, continue the journey. I rode ten miles kneeling in the carriage on a cushion and leaning my head upon another in my husband's lap. He drove and supported me. The next morning I was some better and decided to go on. God helped us to speak in power to the people at Orange, and a glorious work was done for backsliders and sinners. At Greenbush I had freedom and strength given me.
At Ithaca the Lord helped us to speak to a large congregation whom we had never met before.
In our absence, Brethren King, Fargo, and Maynard decided that in mercy to ourselves and team we should have a light, comfortable carriage; so on our return they took my husband to Ionia and purchased the one we now have. This was just what we needed and would have saved me much weariness in traveling in the heat of summer.
At this time we received earnest requests to attend the convocation meetings in the West. As we read these touching appeals we wept over them. My husband would say to me, "Ellen, we cannot attend these meetings. At best I could hardly take care of myself on such a journey, and should you faint, what could I do? But, Ellen, we must go;" and as he would thus speak, his tearful emotions would choke his utterance. In return, while pondering on our feeble condition, and the state of the cause in the West, and feeling that the brethren needed our labors, I would say: "James, we cannot attend these meetings in the West--but we must go." At this point, several of our faithful brethren, seeing our condition, offered to go with us. This was enough to decide the matter. In our new carriage we left Greenville August 29 to attend the general gathering at Wright. Four teams followed us. The journey was a comfortable one and very pleasant in company with sympathizing brethren. The meeting was one of victory.
September 7 and 8 we enjoyed a precious season at Monterey with the brethren of Allegan County. Here we met Brother Loughborough, who had begun to feel the wrongs existing in Battle Creek and was mourning over the part he had acted in connection with these wrongs, which had injured the cause and brought cruel burdens upon us. By our request he accompanied us to Battle Creek. But before we left Monterey, he related to us the following dream:
"WHEN BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE CAME TO MONTEREY,
SEPTEMBER 7, THEY REQUESTED ME TO ACCOMPANY THEM TO BATTLE CREEK. I HESITATED ABOUT GOING, THINKING THAT IT MIGHT BE DUTY TO STILL FOLLOW UP THE INTEREST IN MONTEREY AND THINKING, AS I EXPRESSED TO THEM, THAT THERE WAS BUT LITTLE OPPOSITION TO THEM IN BATTLE CREEK. AFTER PRAYING OVER THE MATTER SEVERAL DAYS, I RETIRED ONE EVENING ANXIOUSLY SOLICITING THE LORD FOR LIGHT IN THE MATTER.
"I DREAMED THAT I, WITH A NUMBER OF OTHERS, MEMBERS OF THE BATTLE CREEK CHURCH, WAS ON BOARD A TRAIN OF CARS. THE CARS WERE LOW--I COULD HARDLY STAND ERECT IN THEM. THEY WERE ILL-VENTILATED, HAVING AN ODOR AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN VENTILATED FOR MONTHS. THE ROAD OVER WHICH THEY WERE PASSING WAS VERY ROUGH, AND THE CARS SHOOK ABOUT AT A FURIOUS RATE, SOMETIMES CAUSING OUR BAGGAGE TO FALL OFF, AND SOMETIMES THROWING OFF SOME OF THE PASSENGERS. WE HAD TO KEEP STOPPING TO GET ON OUR PASSENGERS AND BAGGAGE, OR REPAIR THE TRACK. WE SEEMED TO WORK SOME TIME AND TO MAKE LITTLE OR NO HEADWAY. WE WERE INDEED A SORRY-LOOKING SET OF TRAVELERS.
"ALL AT ONCE WE CAME TO A TURNTABLE, LARGE ENOUGH TO TAKE ON THE WHOLE TRAIN. BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE WERE STANDING THERE AND, AS I STEPPED OFF THE TRAIN, THEY SAID: 'THIS TRAIN IS GOING ALL WRONG. IT MUST BE TURNED SQUARE ABOUT.' THEY BOTH LAID HOLD OF CRANKS THAT MOVED THE MACHINERY TURNING THE TABLE AND TUGGED WITH ALL THEIR MIGHT. NEVER DID MEN WORK HARDER PROPELLING A HANDCAR THAN THEY DID AT THE CRANKS OF THE TURNTABLE. I STOOD AND WATCHED TILL I SAW THE TRAIN BEGINNING TO TURN, WHEN I SPOKE OUT AND SAID, 'IT MOVES,' AND LAID HOLD TO HELP THEM. I PAID BUT LITTLE ATTENTION TO THE TRAIN, WE WERE SO INTENT UPON PERFORMING OUR LABOR OF TURNING THE TABLE.
"WHEN WE HAD ACCOMPLISHED THIS TASK, WE LOOKED UP, AND THE WHOLE TRAIN WAS TRANSFORMED. INSTEAD OF THE LOW, ILL-VENTILATED CARS ON WHICH WE HAD BEEN RIDING, THERE WERE BROAD, HIGH, WELL-VENTILATED CARS, WITH LARGE, CLEAR WINDOWS, THE WHOLE TRIMMED AND GILDED IN A MOST SPLENDID MANNER, MORE ELEGANT
THAN ANY PALACE OR HOTEL CAR I EVER SAW. THE TRACK WAS LEVEL, SMOOTH, AND FIRM. THE TRAIN WAS FILLING UP WITH PASSENGERS WHOSE COUNTENANCES WERE CHEERFUL AND HAPPY, YET WORE AN EXPRESSION OF ASSURANCE AND SOLEMNITY. ALL SEEMED TO EXPRESS THE GREATEST SATISFACTION AT THE CHANGE WHICH HAD BEEN WROUGHT, AND THE GREATEST CONFIDENCE IN THE SUCCESSFUL PASSAGE OF THE TRAIN. BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE WERE ON BOARD THIS TIME, THEIR COUNTENANCES LIT UP WITH HOLY JOY. AS THE TRAIN WAS STARTING, I WAS SO OVERJOYED THAT I AWOKE, WITH THE IMPRESSION ON MY MIND THAT THAT DREAM REFERRED TO THE CHURCH AT BATTLE CREEK AND MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE CAUSE THERE. MY MIND WAS PERFECTLY CLEAR IN REGARD TO MY DUTY TO GO TO BATTLE CREEK AND LEND A HELPING HAND IN THE WORK THERE. GLAD AM I NOW THAT I HAVE BEEN HERE TO SEE THE BLESSING OF THE LORD ACCOMPANYING THE ARDUOUS LABORS OF BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE IN SETTING THINGS IN ORDER.
"J. N. LOUGHBOROUGH."
Before we left Monterey, Brother Loughborough handed me the following account of another dream which he had about the time of the death of his wife. This was also a matter of encouragement to me.
"'THE PROPHET THAT HATH A DREAM, LET HIM TELL A DREAM.' JEREMIAH 23:28.
"ONE EVENING, AFTER MEDITATING UPON THE AFFLICTIONS OF BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE, THEIR CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OF THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE, AND MY OWN FAILURE TO STAND BY THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTION; AND AFTER TRYING TO CONFESS MY WRONGS TO THE LORD, AND IMPLORING HIS BLESSING UPON BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE, I RETIRED TO REST.
"I THOUGHT IN MY DREAM THAT I WAS IN MY NATIVE TOWN, AT THE FOOT OF A LONG SIDEHILL. I SPOKE WITH CONSIDERABLE EARNESTNESS AND SAID: 'OH, THAT I MIGHT FIND THAT ALL-HEALING FOUNTAIN!' I THOUGHT A BEAUTIFUL, WELL-DRESSED YOUNG MAN CAME ALONG AND SAID VERY PLEASANTLY: 'I WILL CONDUCT YOU TO THE SPRING.' HE LED THE WAY, AND I TRIED TO FOLLOW. WE WENT ALONG THE HILLSIDE,
PASSING WITH MUCH DIFFICULTY THREE WET BOGGY PLACES, THROUGH WHICH SMALL STREAMS OF MUDDY WATER WERE FLOWING. THERE WAS NO WAY TO CROSS THESE ONLY BY WADING. HAVING ACCOMPLISHED THIS, WE CAME TO NICE, HARD GROUND AND A PLACE WHERE THERE WAS A JOG IN THE BANK, AND A LARGE SPRING OF THE PUREST SPARKLING WATER WAS BOILING UP. A LARGE VAT WAS PLACED THERE, VERY MUCH LIKE THE PLUNGE TUB AT THE HEALTH INSTITUTE AT BATTLE CREEK. A PIPE WAS RUNNING FROM THE SPRING INTO ONE END OF THE VAT, AND THE WATER WAS OVERFLOWING AT THE OTHER. THE SUN WAS SHINING BRIGHTLY, AND THE WATER SPARKLED IN ITS RAYS.
"AS WE APPROACHED THE SPRING, THE YOUNG MAN SAID NOTHING, BUT LOOKED TOWARD ME AND SMILED WITH AN EXPRESSION OF SATISFACTION, AND WAVED ONE HAND TOWARD THE SPRING, AS MUCH AS TO SAY: 'DON'T YOU THINK THAT IS AN ALL-HEALING SPRING?' QUITE A LARGE COMPANY OF PERSONS, WITH BROTHER AND SISTER WHITE AT THEIR HEAD, CAME UP TO THE SPRING ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE FROM US. THEY ALL LOOKED PLEASANT AND CHEERFUL, YET A HOLY SOLEMNITY SEEMED TO BE ON THEIR COUNTENANCES.
"BROTHER WHITE SEEMED GREATLY IMPROVED IN HEALTH, AND WAS CHEERFUL AND HAPPY, BUT LOOKED TIRED AS THOUGH HE HAD BEEN WALKING SOME DISTANCE. SISTER WHITE HAD A LARGE CUP IN HER HAND, WHICH SHE DIPPED INTO THE SPRING, DRINKING OF THE WATER, AND THEN PASSING IT TO THE OTHERS. I THOUGHT THAT BROTHER WHITE WAS ADDRESSING THE COMPANY AND SAYING TO THEM: 'NOW YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE THE EFFECTS OF THIS WATER.' HE THEN DRANK, AND IT INSTANTLY REVIVED HIM, AS IT DID ALL OTHERS WHO DRANK OF IT, CAUSING A LOOK OF VIGOR AND STRENGTH IN THEIR COUNTENANCES. I THOUGHT THAT WHILE BROTHER WHITE WAS TALKING AND TAKING NOW AND THEN A DRAFT OF WATER, HE PLACED HIS HANDS ON THE SIDE OF THE VAT AND PLUNGED IN THREE TIMES. EVERY TIME HE CAME UP HE WAS STRONGER THAN BEFORE, BUT HE KEPT TALKING ALL THE WHILE AND EXHORTING OTHERS TO COME AND BATHE IN 'THE FOUNTAIN,' AS HE THEN CALLED IT, AND DRINK OF ITS HEALING STREAM. HIS VOICE, AS WELL AS THAT OF SISTER WHITE, SEEMED MELODIOUS. I FELT A SPIRIT OF REJOICING THAT I HAD FOUND THE SPRING. SISTER
WHITE WAS COMING TOWARD ME WITH A CUP OF THE WATER FOR ME TO DRINK, BUT I WAS SO REJOICED THAT I AWOKE BEFORE I DRANK OF THE WATER.
"THE LORD GRANT THAT I MAY DRINK LARGELY OF THAT WATER, FOR I BELIEVE THAT IT IS NONE OTHER THAN THAT OF WHICH CHRIST SPOKE, WHICH WILL 'SPRING UP UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE.'
"MONTEREY, MICHIGAN, SEPT. 8, 1867."
September 14 and 15 we held profitable meetings at Battle Creek. Here my husband with freedom struck a bold blow at some sins of those who stand in high places in the cause, and for the first time in twenty months he attended evening meetings and preached evenings. A good work was begun, and the church, as published in the Review, gave us the pledge to stand by us, if on our return from the West we would continue our labors with them.
In company with Brother and Sister Maynard, and Brethren Smith and Olmstead, we attended the large Western meetings, the principal victories of which have been fully given in the Review. While attending the meetings in Wisconsin, I was quite feeble. I had labored far beyond my strength at Battle Creek and nearly fainted in the cars on the journey. I had for four weeks suffered much with my lungs, and it was with difficulty that I spoke to the people. Sabbath evening a fomentation was applied over my throat and lungs; but the head cap was forgotten, and the difficulty of the lungs was driven to the brain. As I arose in the morning, I felt a singular sensation upon the brain. Voices seemed to vibrate, and everything appeared to be swinging before me. As I walked, I reeled and came near falling to the floor. I took my breakfast, hoping to be relieved by so doing; but the difficulty only increased. I grew very sick and could not sit up.
My husband came to the house after the forenoon meeting, saying that he had given an appointment for me to speak in
the afternoon. It seemed impossible for me to stand before the people. When my husband asked what subject I would speak upon, I could not gather or retain a sentence in my mind. But I thought: If God will have me speak, He will surely strengthen me; I will venture by faith; I can but fail. I staggered to the tent with a strangely confused brain, but told the preaching brethren on the stand that if they would sustain me by their prayers, I would speak. I stood before the people in faith, and in about five minutes my head and lungs were relieved, and without difficulty I spoke more than one hour to fifteen hundred eager listeners. After I ceased speaking, a sense of the goodness and mercy of God came over me, and I could not forbear rising again and relating my sickness and the blessing of God which had sustained me while speaking. Since that meeting my lungs have been greatly relieved, and I have been improving in health.
In the West we met reports amounting to little less than slander against my husband. These were current at the time of the General Conference, and were carried to all parts of the field. I will state one as a sample. It was said that my husband was so crazy for money that he had engaged in selling old bottles. The facts are these: When we were about to move, I asked my husband what we should do with a lot of old bottles on hand. Said he: "Throw them away." Just then our Willie came in and offered to clean and sell them. I told him to do so, and he should have what he could get for them. And when my husband rode to the post office, he took Willie and the bottles into the carriage. He could do no less for his own faithful little son. Willie sold the bottles and took the money. On their way to the post office my husband took a brother connected with the Review office into the carriage, who conversed pleasantly with him as they rode to and from town, and because he saw Willie come out to the carriage and ask his father a question relative to the value of the bottles, and then saw the druggist in conversation with my husband relative to
that which so much interested Willie, this brother, without saying one word to my husband about the matter, immediately reported that Brother White had been downtown selling old bottles and therefore must be crazy. The first we heard about the bottles was in Iowa, five months after.
These things have been kept from us so that we could not correct them, and have been carried, as on the wings of the wind, by our professed friends. And we have been astonished to find, by investigation and by recent confessions from nearly all the members of this church, that some one or more of the false reports have been fully credited by nearly all and that those professed Christians have cherished feelings of censure, bitterness, and cruelty against us, especially against my feeble husband who is struggling for life and liberty. Some have had a wicked, crushing spirit and have represented him as wealthy yet grasping for money.
Upon returning to Battle Creek, my husband called for a council of brethren to meet with the church that matters might be investigated before them and false reports met. Brethren came from different parts of the state, and my husband fearlessly called on all to bring what they could against him that he might meet it openly and thus put an end to this private slander. The wrongs which he had before confessed in the Review he now fully confessed in a public meeting and to individuals, and also explained many matters upon which false and foolish charges were based, and convinced all of the falsity of those charges.
And while looking up matters relative to the real value of our property, we found to his astonishment, and that of all present, that it amounted to only $1,500, besides his horses and carriage, and remnants of editions of books and charts, the sale of which for the past year, as stated by the secretary, has not been equal to the interest on the money he owes to the Publishing Association. These books and charts cannot
at present be regarded of much value, and certainly not to us in our present condition.
When in health, my husband had no time to keep accounts, and during his sickness his matters were in the hands of others. The inquiry arose: What had become of his property? Had he been defrauded? Had mistakes been made in his accounts? Or had he, in the unsettled condition of his affairs, given to this and that good object, not knowing his real ability to give and not knowing how much he gave?
As one good result of the investigation, confidence in those who have had charge of accounts relative to our affairs is unshaken, and we have no good reason to conclude that our limited means can be attributed to errors in the accounts. Therefore in looking over my husband's business matters for ten years, and his liberal manner of handing out means to help the work in all its branches, the best and most charitable conclusion is that our property has been used in the cause of present truth. My husband has kept no accounts, and what he has given can be traced only from memory and from what has been receipted in the Review . The fact that we are worth so little, appearing at this time when my husband has been represented as wealthy and still grasping for more, has been a matter of rejoicing to us, as it is the best refutation of the false charges which threatened our influence and Christian character.
Our property may go, and we will still rejoice in God if it be used for the advancement of His cause. We have cheerfully spent the best of our days, the best of our strength, and have nearly worn out in the same cause, and feel the infirmities of premature age, and yet we will rejoice. But when our professed brethren attack our character and influence by representing us as wealthy, worldly, and grasping for more, it is then that we feel keenly. Let us enjoy the character and influence we have dearly earned during the past twenty years,
with even poverty and a slight hold on health and this mortal life, and we will rejoice and cheerfully give to the cause the little there is left of us.
The investigation was a thorough one and resulted in freeing us from the charges brought against us, and restoring feelings of perfect union. Hearty and heart-rending confessions of the cruel course pursued toward us here have been made, and the signal blessing of God has come upon us all. Backsliders have been reclaimed, sinners have been converted, and forty-four have been buried in baptism, my husband baptizing sixteen, and Brethren Andrews and Loughborough, twenty-eight. We are encouraged, yet much worn. My husband and myself have had the burden of the work, which has been very laborious and exciting. How we have, in our feeble state, gone through with the investigation, with the feelings of nearly all against us, endured the preaching, the exhortations, and the late evening meetings, and at the same time prepared this work, my husband working with me, copying and preparing it for the printers, and reading proof, God only knows. Yet we have passed through it and hope in God that He will sustain us in our future labors.
We now believe that much in the foregoing dreams was given to illustrate our trials arising from wrongs existing at Battle Creek, our labors in clearing ourselves from cruel charges, and also our labors, with the blessing of God, in setting things right. If this view of the dreams be correct, may we not hope, from other portions of them not yet fulfilled, that our future will be more favorable than the past?
In concluding this narrative, I would say that we are living in a most solemn time. In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually
dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world.
I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them.
A blessing or a curse is now before the people of God--a blessing if they come out from the world and are separate, and walk in the path of humble obedience; and a curse if they unite with the idolatrous, who trample upon the high claims of heaven. The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."