The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
March 23, 1876 Mrs. Ellen G. White
Filed under: EG White Articles

Her Life, Christian Experience and Labors.

How carefully and tremblingly did we approach the time of expectation. We sought, as a people, with solemn earnestness to purify our lives that we might be ready to meet the Saviour at his coming. Notwithstanding the opposition of ministers and churches, Beethoven Hall, in the city of Portland, was nightly crowded, and especially was there a large congregation on Sundays. Elder Stockman was a man of deep piety. He was in feeble health, yet when he stood before the people he seemed to be lifted above physical infirmity, and his face was lighted with the consciousness that he was teaching the sacred truth of God.      

There was a solemn, searching power in his words that struck home to many hearts. He sometimes expressed a fervent desire to live until he should welcome the Saviour coming in the clouds of heaven. Under his ministration, the Spirit of God convicted many sinners, and brought them into the fold of Christ. Meetings were still held at private houses in different parts of the city with the best results. Believers were encouraged to work for their friends and relatives, and conversions were multiplying day by day.  

In the district where my father’s family properly belonged, these evening meetings were held at the house of a sea-captain. He made no profession of religion, but his wife was a sincere lover of the truth. Finally the captain became convicted through the influence of the meetings, professed Christ and embraced the belief that he was soon coming to the world. 

All classes flocked to the meetings at Beethoven Hall. Rich and poor, high and low, ministers and laymen were all, from various causes, anxious to hear for themselves the doctrine of the second advent. The crowd was such that fears were expressed that the floor might give way beneath its heavy load; but the builder, upon being consulted, quieted such apprehensions and established confidence in regard to the strength of the building. 

Many came who, finding no room to stand, went away disappointed. The order of the meetings was simple; usually a short and pointed discourse was given, then liberty was granted for general exhortation. There was usually the most perfect stillness possible for so large a crowd. The Lord held the spirit of opposition in check, while his servants explained the reasons of their faith. 

Sometimes the instrument was feeble but the Spirit of God gave weight and power to his truth. The presence of the holy angels was felt in the assembly, and numbers were daily being added to the little band of believers. 

On one occasion, while Elder Stockman was preaching, Elder Brown, a Christian Baptist minister, whose name has been mentioned before in this narrative, was sitting in the desk listening to the sermon with intense interest. He became deeply moved, suddenly his countenance grew pale as the dead, he reeled in his chair, and Elder Stockman caught him in his arms just as he was falling to the floor, and laid him on the sofa behind the desk, where he lay powerless until the discourse was finished. 

He then arose, his face still pale, but shining with light from the Son of righteousness, and gave a very impressive testimony. He seemed to receive holy unction from above. He was usually slow of speech, with a solemn manner, entirely free from excitement. But on this occasion, his solemn, measured words carried with them a new power, as he warned sinners and his brother ministers to put away unbelief, prejudice and cold formality, and, like the noble Bereans, search the sacred writings, comparing scripture with scripture to ascertain if these things are not true. He entreated the ministers present not to feel themselves injured by the direct and searching manner in which Elder Stockman had presented the solemn subject that interested all minds. 

Said he, “We want to reach the people, we want sinners to be convicted and become truly repentant to God before it is too late for them to be saved, lest they shall take up the lamentation, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Brethren in the ministry say that our arrows hit them, will they please stand aside from between us and the people, and let us reach the hearts of sinners? If they make themselves a target for our aim they have no reason to complain of the wounds they receive. Stand aside brethren and you will not get hit!” 

He related his own experience with such simplicity and candor, that many who had been greatly prejudiced were affected to tears. The Spirit of God was felt in his words and seen upon his countenance. With a holy exaltation he boldly declared that he had taken the Word of God as his counsellor, that his doubts had been swept away and his faith confirmed. With sanctified earnestness he invited his brother ministers, church-members, sinners and infidels to examine the Bible for themselves and let no man turn them from their purpose of ascertaining what was the truth. 

Elder Brown neither then nor afterwards severed his connection with the Christian Baptist church, but was looked upon with great reverence and respect by his people. After he finished speaking, those who desired the prayers of the people of God were invited to rise. Hundreds responded to the call. The sea-captain who had been recently converted, sprang to his feet with tears raining down his cheeks. He was unable to express his feelings in words, and stood for a moment the picture of mute thanksgiving; then he involuntarily raised his hat, and swung it above his head with the free movement of an old sailor, and in the abandonment of his joy, shouted, “Hurrah for God! I’ve enlisted in his crew, he is my captain! Hurrah for Jesus Christ!” He sat down overpowered by the intensity of his emotions, his face glowing with the radiance of love and peace. 

His singular testimony, so characteristic of the bluff mariner, was not received with laughter, for the Spirit of God that animated the speaker lent his extraordinary words a strange solemnity that was felt through all that dense crowd. 

Others followed with their testimonies. The voice of Bro. Abbot rung through the hall in notes of warning to the world. He repeated the evidences of the soon coming of Christ, and in sacred silence that vast crowd listened to his stirring words. The Holy Spirit rested upon the assembly. Heaven and earth seemed to approach each other. The meeting lasted until a late hour of the night. The power of the Lord was felt upon young, old, and middle aged. Some Methodists and Baptists who were present seemed to fully unite with the spirit of the meeting. 

As we returned to our homes by various ways, a voice praising God would reach us from one direction, and, as if in response, voices from another and still another quarter, shouted, “Glory to God, the Lord reigneth!” Men sought their homes with praises upon their lips, and the glad sound rang out upon the still night air. No one who attended these meetings can ever forget those scenes of deepest interest. 

Those who sincerely love Jesus can appreciate the feelings of those who watched with the most intense interest for the coming of their Saviour. The point of expectation was nearing. The time when we hoped to meet him was close at hand. We approached this hour with a calm solemnity. The true believers rested in a sweet communion with God, an earnest of the peace that was to be theirs in the bright hereafter. Those who experienced this hope and trust can never forget those precious hours of waiting. 

Worldly business was for the most part laid aside for a few weeks. We carefully scrutinized every thought and emotion of our hearts as if upon our death-beds and in a few hours to close our eyes forever upon earthly scenes. There was no making of “ascension robes” for the great event; we felt the need of internal evidence that we were prepared to meet Christ, and our white robes were purity of soul, character cleansed from sin by the atoning blood of our Saviour. 

But the time of expectation passed. This was the first close test brought to bear upon those who believed and hoped that Jesus would come in the clouds of heaven. The disappointment of God’s waiting people was great. The scoffers were triumphant and winning the weak and cowardly to their ranks. Some who had appeared to possess true faith seemed to have been influenced only by fear, and now their courage returned with the passing of the time and they boldly united with the scoffers declaring they had never been duped to really believe the doctrine of Miller, who was a mad fanatic. Others, naturally yielding or vacillating, quietly deserted the cause. I thought if Christ had surely come, what would have become of these weak and changing ones? Where would have been their robes of righteousness? They professed to love and long for the coming of Jesus, but when he failed to appear they seemed greatly relieved and went back to a state of carelessness and disregard of true religion. 

We were perplexed and disappointed, yet we did not renounce our faith. Many still clung to the hope that Jesus would not long delay his coming; the Word of the Lord was sure, it could not fail. We felt that we had done our duty, we had lived up to our precious faith, we were disappointed but not discouraged; the signs of the times denoted that the end of all things was near at hand, we must watch and hold ourselves in readiness for the coming of the Master at any time. We must wait with hope and trust, not neglecting the assembling of ourselves together for instruction, encouragement and comfort, that our light might shine forth into the darkness of the world.

Jenny @ 10:46 am
March 16, 1876 MRS. ELLEN G. WHITE
Filed under: EG White Articles


For six months not a cloud intervened between me and my Saviour. Whenever there was a proper opportunity I bore my testimony, and was greatly blessed. At times the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me with such power that my strength was taken from me. This was a trial to some who had come out from the formal churches, and remarks were often made that grieved me much. Many could not believe that one could be so overpowered by the Spirit of God as to lose all strength. My position was exceedingly painful. I began to reason with myself whether I was not justified in withholding my testimony in meeting, and thus restrain my feelings when there was such an opposition in the hearts of some who were older in years and experience than myself. 
I reasoned that repressing my testimony would not hinder me from faithfully living out my religion. I adopted this plan of silence for a time. I often felt strongly impressed that it was my duty to speak in meeting, but refrained from doing so, and was sensible of having grieved the Spirit of God. Sometimes I even remained away from meetings that I knew would be attended by those who were annoyed by my testimony. I shrank from offending my brethren; but in this I allowed the fear of men to break up that interrupted communion with God which had blessed my heart for so many months. 
We had appointed evening prayer-meetings in different localities of the city to accommodate all who wished to attend them. The family who had been most forward in opposing me attended one of these. Upon this occasion, while those assembled were engaged in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the meeting, and one of the members of this family was prostrated as one dead. His relatives stood weeping around him, rubbing his hands and applying restoratives. At length he gained sufficient strength to praise God, and quieted their fears by shouting with triumph over the marked evidence he had received of the power of the Lord upon him. This young man was unable to return home that night. 
This was believed by the family to be a demonstration of the Spirit of God, but did not convince them that it was the same divine power that rested upon me at times, robbing me of my natural strength, and filling my soul with the unbounded peace and love of Jesus. They were free to say that not a doubt could be entertained of my sincerity and perfect honesty, but they considered me deceived in taking that for the power of the Lord which was only the result of my own over-wrought feelings. 
My mind was in great perplexity, in consequence of this opposition, and, as the time drew near for our regular meeting, I was in doubt whether or not it was best for me to attend it. For some days previous I had been in great distress on account of the feeling manifested towards me. Finally I decided not to go, and thus escape the criticism of my brethren. In trying to pray I repeated these words again and again, “Lord, what will thou have me to do?” The answer that came to my heart seemed to bid me trust in my Heavenly Father and wait patiently to know his will. I yielded myself to the Lord with the simple trust of a little child, remembering that he had promised that those who follow him shall not walk in darkness. 
My duty impelled me to go to the meeting. I went with the full assurance in my mind that all would be well. While we were bowed before the Lord, my heart was drawn out in prayer and filled with a peace that only Christ can give. My soul rejoiced in the love of the Saviour, and my physical strength left me. With child-like faith I could only say, “Heaven is my home, and Christ my Redeemer.” 
One of the same family whom I have mentioned as being opposed to the manifestations of the power of God upon me, stated on this occasion, that he considered I was under an excitement which he thought it my duty to resist, but instead of doing so he thought I encouraged it, as a mark of God’s favor. His doubts and opposition did not affect me at this time, for I seemed shut in with the Lord, and lifted above all outward influence. But he had scarcely stopped speaking when a strong man, a devoted and humble Christian, was struck down by the power of God before his eyes, and the room was filled with the Holy Spirit. 
Upon recovering sufficiently, I was very happy in bearing my testimony for Jesus, and in telling of his love for me. I confessed my lack of faith in the promises of God, and that I had checked the promptings of his Spirit from fear of men, but that, notwithstanding my distrust, he had bestowed upon me unlooked for evidence of his love and sustaining grace. H—– P—–, the brother who had opposed me, rose, and with many tears, confessed his error in regard to me, that his feelings had been all wrong. He humbly asked my forgiveness. Said he, “Sister Ellen, I will never again lay a straw in your way. God has shown me the coldness and stubbornness of my heart, and he has broken it by the evidence of his power. I have been very wrong. When sister Ellen seemed so happy I would think, Why don’t I feel like that? Why don’t brother R—– receive some such evidence? for I felt that he was a devoted Christian, yet no such power had fallen upon him. I offered a silent prayer that, if this was the holy influence of God, brother R—– might experience it this evening. 
“Almost as the desire went up from my heart, brother R—– fell, prostrated by the power of God, crying, ‘Let the Lord work!’ My heart is convinced that I have been warring against the Holy Spirit, but I will grieve it no more by stubborn unbelief. Welcome, light! Welcome, Jesus! I have been backslidden and hardened, feeling offended if any one praised God and manifested a fullness of joy in his love; but now my feelings are changed, my opposition is at an end, Jesus has opened my eyes, and I may yet shout his praises myself. I have said bitter and cutting things of sister Ellen, that I sorrow over now, and pray for her forgiveness as well as all who are present.” 
Brother R—– then bore his testimony. His face was lighted with the glory of Heaven, as he praised the Lord for the wonders he had wrought that night. Said he, “This place is awfully solemn because of the presence of the Most High. Sister Ellen, in future you will have our help and sustaining sympathies, instead of the cruel opposition that has been shown you. We have been blind to the manifestations of God’s Holy Spirit.” 
There had never been a question as to my perfect sincerity, but many had thought me young and impressible, and that it was my duty to restrain my feelings, which they regarded as the effect of excitement. But all the opposers were now brought to see their mistake and confess that the work was indeed of the Lord. In a prayer-meeting soon after, H—– P—–, the brother who had confessed that he was wrong in his opposition, experienced the power of God in so great a degree that his countenance shone with a heavenly light, and he fell helpless to the floor. When his strength returned, he again acknowledged that he had been ignorantly warring against the Spirit of the Lord in cherishing the feeling he had against me. 
In another prayer-meeting still another member of the same family was exercised in a similar manner and bore the same testimony. A few weeks after, while the large family of brother P—– were engaged in prayer at their own house, the Spirit of God swept through the room and prostrated the kneeling suppliants. My father came in soon after and found them all, both parents and children, helpless under the power of the Lord. 
Cold formality began to melt before the mighty influence of the Most High. All who had opposed me, confessed that they had grieved the Holy Spirit by so doing, and they united in sympathy with me and in love for the Saviour. My heart was glad that divine mercy had smoothed the path for my feet to tread, and rewarded my faith and trust so bounteously. Unity and peace now dwelt among our people who were looking forward toward the coming of the Lord.

Jenny @ 7:46 pm
February 24, 1876 MRS. ELLEN G. WHITE
Filed under: EG White Articles


I now confided all my sorrows and perplexities to my mother. She tenderly sympathized with and encouraged me, advising me to go for counsel to Bro. Stockman who then preached the Advent doctrine in Portland. I had great confidence in him, for he was a devoted servant of Christ. Upon hearing my story, he placed his hands affectionately upon my head, saying with tears in his eyes, “Ellen, you are only a child. Yours is a most singular experience for one of your tender age. Jesus must be preparing you for some special work.” 
He then told me that even if I were a person of mature years and thus harassed with doubt and despair, he should tell me that he knew there was hope for me, through the love of Jesus. The very agony of mind I had suffered was positive evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was striving with me. He said that when the sinner becomes hardened in guilt he does not realize the enormity of his transgressions, but flatters himself that he is about right and in no particular danger. The Spirit of the Lord leaves him and he becomes careless and indifferent or recklessly defiant. This good man told me of the love of God for his erring children, that instead of rejoicing in their destruction he longed to draw them to himself in simple faith and trust. He dwelt upon the great love of Christ and the plan of redemption. 
He spoke of my early misfortune, and said it was indeed a grievous one, but he bade me believe that the hand of a loving Father had not been withdrawn from me; that in the future life, when the mist that then darkened my mind had vanished, I would discern the wisdom of the providence which had seemed so cruel and mysterious. Jesus said to his disciples, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” In the great future we should no longer see as through a glass darkly, but come face to face with the great beauties of divine love. 
“Go free, Ellen,” said he with tears in his eyes, “Return to your home trusting in Jesus, for he will not withhold his love from any true seeker.” He then prayed earnestly for me, and it seemed that God would certainly regard the prayer of this saint, even if my humble petitions were unheard. I was much relieved in mind. My wretched slavery of doubt and fear departed as I listened to the wise and tender counsel of this teacher in Israel. I went away from his presence comforted and encouraged. 
During the few minutes in which I received instruction from Bro. Stockman, I had obtained more knowledge on the subject of God’s love and pitying tenderness, than from all the sermons and exhortations to which I had ever listened. I returned home and again went before the Lord, promising to do and suffer any thing he might require of me, if only the smiles of Jesus might illume my heart. The same duty was presented to me that had troubled my mind before, to take up my cross among the assembled people of God. An opportunity was not long wanting; there was a prayer-meeting that evening which I attended. 
I bowed trembling during the prayers that were offered. After a few had prayed, I lifted up my voice in prayer before I was aware of it, and, in that moment the precious promises of God appeared to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received only for the asking. As I prayed, the burden and agony of soul that I had endured so long, left me, and the blessing of the Lord descended upon me like the gentle dew. I praised God from the depths of my heart. Everything seemed shut out from me but Jesus and his glory, and I lost consciousness of what was passing around me. 
When I again awoke to realization, I found myself cared for in the house of my uncle where we had assembled for the prayer-meeting. Neither my uncle nor aunt enjoyed religion, although the former once made a profession but had since backslidden. I was told that he had been greatly disturbed while the power of God rested upon me in so special a manner, and had walked the floor, sorely troubled and distressed in his mind. When I was first struck down, some of those present were greatly alarmed, and were about to run for a physician, thinking that some sudden and dangerous indisposition had attacked me, but my mother bade them let me alone, for it was plain to her, and to the other experienced Christians, that it was the wondrous power of God that had prostrated me. 
The next day I had recovered sufficiently to go home, but a great change had taken place in my mind. It seemed to me that I could hardly be the same person that left my father’s house the previous evening. This passage was continually in my thoughts: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” My heart was full of happiness as I softly repeated these words. 
Faith now took possession of my heart. I felt an inexpressible love for God, and had the witness of his Spirit that my sins were pardoned. My views of the Father were changed, I now looked upon him as a kind and tender parent, rather than a stern tyrant compelling men to a blind obedience. My heart went out towards him in a deep and fervent love. Obedience to his will seemed a joy, it was a pleasure to be in his service. My path was radiant before me, no shadow clouded the light that revealed to me the perfect will of God. I felt the assurance of an indwelling Saviour, and realized the truth of what Christ had said: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” 
Everything in nature seemed to possess a glory, and seemed to reflect the loving smiles of God. My peace and happiness was in such marked contrast with my former gloom and anguish that it seemed to me as if my soul had been rescued from hell and transported to Heaven. I could even praise God for the misfortune that had been the trial of my life, for it had been the means of concentrating my thoughts upon eternity. Naturally proud and ambitious, I might not have been inclined to give my heart to Jesus had it not been for the sore affliction that had cut me off, in a manner, from the triumphs and vanities of the world. 
For six months not a shadow clouded my mind, nor did I neglect one known duty. My whole endeavor was to do the will of God and keep Jesus and Heaven continually in my mind. I was surprised and enraptured with the clear views now presented to my mind of the atonement and the work of Jesus Christ. I will not attempt to farther explain the exercises of my mind, suffice it to say that old things had passed away, and behold, all things had become new. There was not a cloud to mar my perfect bliss. I longed to tell the story of Jesus’ love, but felt no disposition to engage in common conversation with any one. My heart was so filled with love to God and the peace that passeth understanding, that I loved to meditate and to pray. 
The night after receiving so great a blessing I attended the Advent meeting. When the time arrived for the followers of Christ to speak in his favor, I could not remain silent, but rose and related my experience. Not a thought had entered my mind of what I should say; but the simple story of Jesus’ love to me fell from my lips with perfect freedom, and my heart was so happy to be liberated from its thralldom of dark despair that I lost sight of the people about me and seemed to be alone with God. I found no difficulty in expressing my peace and happiness, except for the tears of gratitude that choked my utterance, as I told of the wondrous love that Jesus had shown for me. 
Brother Stockman was present. He had so recently seen me in deep despair, and had endeavored to encourage me and inspire me with hope, that the remarkable change in my appearance and feelings touched his heart and he wept aloud, rejoicing with me and praising God for this proof of his tender mercy and loving kindness. My heart was so over-flowing with joy that I wanted to tell others how much the Lord had done for me. 
I occasionally attended the Christian church, where Elder Brown was pastor. During a conference meeting I was invited to relate my experience, which was considered a marked one, and I felt not only great freedom of expression, but happiness in telling my simple story of the love of Jesus and the joy of being accepted by God. I told of my wonderful deliverance from the bondage of doubt and despair, and the joy that I experienced in the hope of salvation. As I spoke in simple language with subdued heart and tearful eyes, my soul seemed drawn toward Heaven in an ecstasy of thanksgiving. The melting power of the Lord came upon the assembled people. Many were weeping and others praising God. 
Sinners were invited to arise for prayers, and many responded to the call. My heart was so thankful to God for the unspeakable blessing he had given me, that I longed to have others participate in this sacred joy. My mind was deeply interested for those who might be suffering under a sense of the Lord’s displeasure and the burden of sin. While relating my experience, I felt that no one could resist the evidence of God’s pardoning love that had wrought such a wonderful change in me. The reality of true conversion seemed so plain to me that I felt like helping my young friends into the light, and at every opportunity exerted my influence toward this end. 
I arranged meetings with my young friends, some of whom were considerably older than myself, and a few were married persons. A number of them were vain and thoughtless, my experience sounded to them like an idle tale, and they did not heed my entreaties. But I felt that my efforts should never cease till these dear souls, for whom I had so great an interest, yielded to God. I spent several entire nights in earnest prayer for those whom I had sought out and brought together for the purpose of laboring and praying with them. 
Some of these had met together with us from curiosity to hear what I had to say, others thought me beside myself to be so persistent in my efforts, especially when they manifested no concern on their own part. But at every one of our little meetings I continued to exhort and pray for each one separately, until my labors were crowned with success, and every one had yielded to Jesus, acknowledging the merits of his pardoning love. Every one was converted to God. 
Night after night in my dreams I seemed to be laboring for the salvation of souls. At such times special cases were presented to my mind, which I afterwards sought out and prayed with. In every instance but one these persons yielded themselves to the Lord. Some of our more formal brethren feared that I was too zealous and solicitous for the conversion of souls, but time seemed to me so short that it behooved all who had a hope of a blessed immortality, and looked for the soon coming of Christ, to labor without ceasing for those who were still in their sins and standing on the awful brink of ruin. 
True I was very young, but the plan of salvation was so clear to my mind, and my personal experience had been so marked, that, upon carefully considering the matter, I knew it was my duty to continue my efforts for the salvation of precious souls, and to pray and confess Christ at every opportunity. I offered my entire being to the service of my Master. Let come what would, I determined to please God, and live as one who expected the Saviour to come and reward the faithful. I felt like a little child coming to God as to my father and asking him what he would have me to do. Then as my duty was made plain to me, it was my greatest happiness to perform it. Peculiar trials sometimes beset me. Those older in experience than myself endeavored to hold me back and cool the ardor of my faith, but with the smiles of Jesus brightening my life, and the love of God in my heart, I went on my way with a joyful spirit.

Jenny @ 7:41 pm
January 13, 1876 MRS. ELLEN G. WHITE.
Filed under: EG White Articles


“I gained strength very slowly. As I became able to join in play with my young friends I was forced to learn the bitter lesson that one’s personal appearance makes a difference in the treatment they receive from the majority of their companions. At the time of my misfortune, my father was absent in Georgia. When he returned he embraced my brother and sisters and then inquired for me. I, timidly shrinking back, was pointed out by my mother, but my own father did not recognize me. It was hard for him to believe that I was his little Ellen, whom he had left only a few months before a healthy, happy child. This cut my feelings deeply, but I tried to appear cheerful though my heart seemed breaking. 
“Many times in those childish days, I was made to feel my misfortune keenly. My feelings were unusually sensitive and caused me great unhappiness. Often with a wounded pride, mortified and wretched in spirit, have I sought a lonely place and gloomily contemplated the trials I was daily doomed to bear. 
“I had not the relief of tears, for I could not weep readily as could my twin sister, so, though my heart was heavy and ached as if it were breaking, I could not shed a tear. I often felt that it would greatly relieve me to weep away my overcharged feelings. Sometimes the kindly sympathy of friends banished my gloom and removed, for a time, the leaden weight that oppressed my heart. How vain and empty seemed the pleasures of earth to me then! How changeable the friendships of my young companions! yet these little schoolmates were not unlike a majority of the great world’s people. A pretty face, a handsome dress attracts them, but let misfortune take these away and the fragile friendship grows cold or is broken. But when I turned to my Saviour, he comforted me. I sought the Lord earnestly in my trouble and received consolation, for I believed that Jesus loved even me. 
“My health seemed to be completely shattered. For two years I could not breathe through my nose, and was able to attend school but little. It seemed impossible for me to study and retain what I learned. The same girl who was the cause of my misfortune, was appointed monitor by our teacher, and it was among her duties to assist me in my writing and other lessons. She always seemed sincerely sorry for the great injury she had done me, although I was careful not to remind her of it. She was tender and patient with me, and seemed sad and thoughtful as she saw me laboring, under serious disadvantages, to get an education. 
“My nervous system was prostrated, and my hand trembled so that I made but little progress in writing and could get no farther than the simple copies in coarse hand. As I endeavored to bend my mind to my studies, the letters on the page would run together, great drops of perspiration would stand upon my brow, and a faintness and giddiness would seize me. I had a bad cough, and my whole system seemed debilitated: My teachers advised me to leave school and not pursue my studies further till my health would warrant it. It was the hardest struggle of my young life to yield to my feebleness, and decide that I must give up my studies and relinquish the cherished hope of acquiring an education. 
“My ambition to become a scholar had been very great, and when I pondered over my disappointed hopes, and the thought that I was to be an invalid for life, despair seized me. The future stretched out before me dark and cheerless, without one ray of light. I was unreconciled to my lot, and at times murmured against the providence of God in thus afflicting me. I concealed my troubled feelings from my family and friends, fearing that they could not understand me. This was a mistaken course, had I opened my mind to my mother, she might have instructed, soothed, and encouraged me. 
“After I had struggled with this unreconciled spirit for days the tempter came under a new guise and increased my distress by condemning me for having allowed such rebellious thoughts to take possession of my mind. My conscience was perplexed, and I knew no way to extricate myself from the labyrinth in which I was wandering. 
“The happy confidence in the Saviour’s love that I had enjoyed during my illness, was gone. I had lost the blessed consciousness that I was a child of God, and felt that the hopes of my heart had deceived me. It was my determination not to again put confidence in my feelings, until I knew for a certainty that the Lord had pardoned my sins. 
“At times my sense of guilt and responsibility to God lay so heavy upon my soul, that I could not sleep but lay awake for hours, thinking of my lost condition and what was best for me to do. The consequences of my unfortunate accident again assumed gigantic proportions in my mind. I seemed to be cut off from all chance of earthly happiness, and doomed to continual disappointment and mortification. I was even pained by the tender sympathy of my friends, for my pride rebelled against being in a condition to excite their pity. My prospect of worldly enjoyment was blighted, and Heaven seemed closed against me. 
“I had the highest reverence for Christians and ministers of the gospel, but religion seemed too holy and sacred for me to obtain. A strange inconceivable anguish bore me down until I felt that I could no longer live beneath the burden. I locked my secret agony within my heart, and did not seek the advice of experienced Christians as I should have done. 
“No one conversed with me on the subject of my soul’s salvation, and no one prayed with me. I felt that Christians were so far removed from me, so much nobler and purer than myself, that I dared not approach them on the subject that engrossed my thoughts, for I was ashamed to reveal the lost and wretched condition of my heart.” 
J. W.

Jenny @ 7:25 pm