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Published By The Author

Chapters 1, 2 and 3


The author, W. B. Hill has been an evangelist among the early settlers of the Northwest for many years, and has passed through the varied experiences of pioneer life; and as his first publication of some of these experiences has been so favorably received by its readers, he is encouraged to revise and enlarge his book, and send it out on its mission once more, hoping thereby that its power for good may be increased, and that many may be led to Christ, the fountain of life, and to rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
W. B. Hill.

{p. 5}


Chapter ........................................................................................................Page
I. Early Life And Experiences.........................................................................7
II. Began The Life Of A Minister--First Missionary Tour..............................51
III. Meeting Opposition
...-Removing To Kingston
...-Meetings In Rock County, Minnesota.......................................................77
IV. Work In Wisconsin And In Kandiyohi County, Minnesota......................93
V. Labors In Various Places During The Winter Of 1879-80....................127
VI. Exposure, Sickness-- Battle Creek Sanitarium.....................................179
VII. Labors In Southwestern Minnesota......................................................207
VIII. Labors In North Dakota........................................................................230
IX. From Minnesota To Nebraska................................................................248
X. Labors In Southwestern Nebraska..........................................................263
XI. Labors In Northeastern Nebraska..........................................................276
XII. Experiences, Labors, And Conflicts Of A New Conference Year......289
XIII. Labors In New Fields............................................................................305
XIV. The Evangelist's Farewell.....................................................................330

{p. 6}


Boys and girls, where'er you go,
Make the world grow brighter;
Banish fear and lessen woe--
Make the world grow brighter,
Always have a smile to spare
For the heart made sad by care;
Scatter sunshine ev'rywhere--
Make the world grow brighter.

Words of hope and comfort speak--
Make the world grow brighter;
Share the burdens of the weak--
Make the world grow brighter,
Cheer, encourage and advise,
Banish tears from weeping eyes,
Help the fallen one to rise--
Make the world grow brighter.

Help the lives that strive in vain--
Make the world grow brighter;
Lessen sin and strife and pain--
Make the world grow brighter,
All along life's dreary way,
Nobly do whate'er you may
Ev'ry moment of the day,
Make the world grow brighter.
-- James Rowe

{p. 7}



I was born Jan. 25, 1843 in what is now Ontario, formerly called Upper Canada, or Canada West. My forefathers on both my father's and my mother's side were Quakers. My father's name was Walter Hill, and my mother's maiden name was Phoebe Brown.

About the first thing I can remember was going to a Quaker meeting. Their meetings were held every Sunday and Wednesday, called by the Quakers first day and fourth day. Ofttimes they would sit in silence for an hour or two, until some of the older brethren would shake hands, which would be the signal for all to rise, shake hands and go home. The men would sit with their hats on during meeting. Another peculiarity of this peculiar people was, that the men and women would by no means sit together during divine service; but the fathers would take their sons and the mothers their daughters, and sit in their respective parts of the church. I can see them now; in my mind's eye, as they filed into the meeting house-- the brethren in their Quaker coats and hats, and the sisters in their plain dresses and huge bonnets, a good and upright people, saying "thee" and "thou", and addressing one another, no matter how old or venerable, as James, or John, or Martha, or Mary, as the case might be.

When I was quite young, we lived for two years in the township of Malahide, not far from Lake Erie, where my father ran a sawmill. We boys took great delight in swimming, for which the creek and mill pond afforded splendid facilities. Before I learned to swim, I had a very narrow escape from drowning, which happened on this wise: A lot of boys coming home from school could not resist the temptation to go in swimming. I was only seven years old, and had not yet learned to swim. There was a ridge in the bottom of the creek, that I could wade across on; but if I went to {p. 8} the right or left, I would go in overhead. I waded across all right with the water up to the chin, but coming back I went too far to the left, and went down out of sight. The large boys that could have helped as well as not, were so frightened that they could not do a thing but look on. I knew I must get out of there somehow, and every time my toes touched bottom I made a spring for the shore, and finally, to the astonishment of the rest, I waded out none the worse for the involuntary diving. Walnuts, butternuts, and chestnuts grew quite plentifully in the woods, and to go nutting was also one of the things my young heart delighted in. One bright morning two neighbor boys older than I came along, and invited me to join them on a nutting expedition. I knew that I ought to ask mother, but I was quite sure she would not give consent, and I did want to go so bad that I went without parental sanction; but it proved to be a day of disappointments. After gathering nuts awhile, we varied the program by constructing a raft out of slabs, and taking a sail on the creek. We fixed our raft, and launched out into the stream and everything went well until we came to a great tree fallen clear across the creek. We determined to lie down on the raft and pass under, when a projecting limb caught my shirt, and tore it nearly off my back. O, dear! What will mother say now? Our fingers were all stained, cracking green walnuts, and that was all we had for dinner, and we got so hungry; and yet we were ashamed to go home. I felt just too mean for anything. I was learning that ''the way of the transgressor is hard." Prov. 13: 15. Advancing darkness compelled me to go home, and receive the reward of the disobedient. The way of transgression may look very enticing, but it brings only disappointment and sorrow, and the end thereof is death.

When I was eight years of age, my parents moved to the town of Bosanquet, a new country bordering on Lake Huron, in the county of Lambton, of which Port Sarnia, situated on the St. Clair River, opposite Port Huron, was the county seat. I well remember winding through woods with scarcely any road, in a lumber wagon, to our new home. It was new, sure enough. The great trees stood all around, and stretched away as far as the eye could see. Indians often camped across the road opposite father's door, {p. 11} and we children had little Indian boys and girls for playmates. We soon learned to shoot with bow and arrow, and enjoyed ourselves exceedingly. Our intercourse with them was for the most part pleasant and happy; on one or two occasions it was otherwise.

About a mile from our house flowed what we called Sable River. It was a wild-looking place, and we had to pass through the dark woods and deep ravines to get there.

One day, soon after arriving at our new home, some of us small lads thought we would go to the river, and catch some fish. We found some Indian boys fishing.

By some means there soon arose a strife between us, which we promptly undertook to settle by pelting one another with stones. The Indian boys were soon worsted; when they ran upon the bank, and raised the warhoop. They jumped up and down, and yelled terrifically.

We knew that meant for the old Indians to come, and we were scared nearly to death. We thought our scalps were about to be raised, sure. It is needless to say we ran home as fast as our legs could carry us, and our parents had no trouble about our going fishing for a long time.

There were immense stretches of forest, which served as a great cow pasture. Sometimes the cows would wander a long way from home, and it was the work of the children to hunt for them. Each settler was expected to have a bell on one of his cows. The cow hunters would hear bells in every direction, and they became expert in distinguishing the sound of one bell from that of another. One evening when a little fellow, I found the cows a good way away from home. Suddenly there came up a great storm; the lightening flashed, and the thunder rolled, and to add to my fear, it became very dark. I did not know what to do. Maybe I would have to stay in the woods all night, and be eaten by some wild beast. I decided I would stick to the cows, so I seized old Cherry by the tail, and away she started on the run, through brush, over logs and anything else that lay in her way; but I hung on for dear life, and soon we rounded up at father's door. I was a glad boy, and I think the cow was too.

Our fears of wild beasts were not altogether groundless. {p. 12 } One of my schoolmates, Dugald McGennis, while hunting cows one day, met an old bear with two cubs. He ran, and climbed a leaning sapling; but he could not get out of the old bear's reach, and she bit a great piece out of the calf of his leg, and would have killed him had it not been for his big yellow dog. When the bear would go for Dugald, the dog would bite her behind, and then she would chase the dog, and he kept up the fight until the boy was saved. As it was, the boy was laid up for a long time, and the calf of his leg was always afterward only about half as large as the other.

The river, by the way, was a great place of resort for men and boys. In the spring great numbers of fine fish were caught there with dip nets. The fish ascending the river from Lake Huron were stopped at this place by an old dam, and fell an easy prey to the pioneers. They sometimes built great fires, and fished all night, and had an abundance of sport.

On Sundays also the boys would resort to the river to run foot races, play ball, wrestle, swim, etc. Even after a Sunday school was established, the river had such attractions that after Sunday school exercises were over, I have seen nearly the whole Sunday school marching to the river to the sound of music played by the leaders in Zion. Of course in time it was thought to be a great sin thus to profane the venerable day of the sun.

Although there was plenty of hard work for men and boys, clearing away the mighty forest and cultivating the land, yet there were many pleasures to be enjoyed. There were thousands of wild pigeons, partridges, and black squirrels to shoot, besides deer and other game; then there were the corn-huskings, apple-parings, logging bees, and barn- and house-raisings, which were all sources of immense enjoyment to the young people. Also sugar making had its inexpressible charms. What fun a lot of wild boys would have in the sugar bush at night. Perhaps purloining some of mother's good bread, pork, eggs, and a frying pan, then make a lot of wax by pouring hot sugar over a pan of snow, and they would have a feast which hungry boys only could properly appreciate.

After supper all kinds of frolicking was in order, which sometimes ended with a grand display of fireworks. The boys {p. 15} would seize the flaming firebrands from around the kettles, and throw them into the tree tops. As they would strike the top-most branches of the trees, thousands of sparks would fly in every direction. Since then I have seen the elaborate pyrotechnics of the great city, but nothing that ever gave me a tithe of the delight our home-made fireworks did in the dark woods.

Our educational interests were not entirely neglected. There was a log schoolhouse situated at the four corners of the road, about a mile from father's, in which school was held. It was rather primitive, with logs split in two, with legs in them, for benches. The harum-scarum children took much more interest in playing pullaway and climbing trees than in their spelling books. One incident in school life I will relate. One day as we were all busy with our studies, we were startled by the appearance of a man in the schoolroom without even a shirt on him. He was a devotee of King Alcohol, and was suffering from delirium tremens. The teacher was frightened out of his wits, and the children ran for home as fast as they could go, followed by the poor man crazed by drink. Thus we had an object lesson on the evils of strong drink that could never be forgotten.

Spelling schools were a great institution in my boyhood days. Old and young would enter into the work with great spirit, especially when several competing schools would come together. They were carried on as follows: Two captains would choose sides, and a man with a slate would keep tally to see which side would gain most words from the other. If a word were missed on one side, and spelled correctly by the other, that side was credited with one tally. After spelling awhile, they would stand up and spell down. Soon the poor spellers would be weeded out, and the contest would be narrowed down to the best spellers on either side. As the spellers decreased, the interest increased, until one alone remained, and he was declared the victor. Spelling schools did much good by creating an interest in spelling. Many poor spellers improved very much by this means.

Many amusing incidents occurred. I will mention just one; One evening a green young gentleman from the lowlands of Scotland was pronouncing words. Much to the astonishment {p. 16} of the spellers he called out, "Bawbee." It was a new word, and a puzzler. It went round and round, but "bawbee" would be called out to the discomfiture of the best spellers. At last a bright-eyed maiden spelled, "B-a-b-y, baby." The laugh was tremendous, and it was our friend's turn from Caledonia to feel quite crestfallen.

Debating schools, as they were called, came to be very popular among the backwoodsmen. I shall never forget the first one I ever attended. I was about fifteen years old, and was one of the disputants. The question under discussion was, "Which has the greater influence among men, intellect or money?" One young man of powerful frame stood behind a bench, with one leg over the back of it, while he argued for intellect. In the course of his oration he cried out, "What brought us to this new country, money or intellect? I tell you it was intellect." Then he bethought himself a little, and added, "To be sure, it was to better our condition financially." This latter announcement was greeted with shouts of uproarious laughter. He had unconsciously admitted that to gain property (money) was the controlling influence that led them to leave the comforts and privileges of the older settlements to face the stern privations of pioneer life. One old gentleman, in the heat of discussion, shouted, "I deny the fact!"

Notwithstanding the inauspicious beginning, the Dialectic Society was a success. Old men who could scarcely connect two ideas together, became quite good speakers, and young men were stimulated to study historical and other works, in order to obtain facts and arguments by which to sustain their side of the question, whereby their minds were expanded, and their fund of knowledge was greatly increased.

Of all the attractions the singing school was the chief. There the girls and boys enjoyed themselves to the full. I was unfortunate in regards to music. At spelling and debating I was considered quite a success; but try as I would, I could never learn a tune, until I finally I gave up in despair; but still I could not forego the pleasure of attending singing school, although I took no part in the exercises. One music teacher was anxious I should join his school. I told him if he would teach me to sing I would gladly do so. "Well," he said, "the next evening you sit on the front seat, and sing, and {p. 19} at recess I will tell you what I can do for you."

At the appointed time I was there, and sang the very best I could. At recess he told me every one had a voice, and every voice was susceptible of improvement, but made no promises in my particular case. However, I joined his school. When the exercises began again, he placed me in the back part of the house, and cautioned me in particular, not to sing too loud. It was evident the less they heard of my singing the better. In fact, I have known the whole singing school to stop to listen to me.

One time I was standing by Elder Dimmick, who was leading the congregation in singing. A sudden inspiration came to me, And I struck in to assist in singing the sweet songs of Zion. Suddenly he stopped, and then the whole congregation was also silent as the grave, when Brother Dimmick turned to me, and said so all could hear, "Brother Hill, you put me off the tune." Since then I have been careful how I create discord among brethren.

Temperance meetings were also a source of instruction and enjoyment in our new country. Temperance lecturers, both male and female, would pass through the country holding temperance meetings in churches and schoolhouses. One elderly maiden lady, A Miss Daniels, combined both temperance and phrenology in her lectures. The younger rustics took great pleasure in having their bumps examined. Some came severely to grief, especially Brother Munson, a prominent Methodist of many peculiarities of which the lecturer was well informed; and one evening she set him out in a ridiculous light before the audience. He felt so bad that he left the meeting, and went home a sadder if not wiser man. I also fell a victim to her criticisms and delineations of character, which I determined by some means to counteract. So I borrowed my brother's best clothes, made some whiskers out of a buffalo robe, took my seat among the older and more sedate portion of the audience, and tried it over again the next evening. This time she set me out in glowing colors as a model young man. She soon discovered what a dilemma she was in, and had a fainting fit, and was assisted to the door for fresh air. Brother Munson and I had been at variance, but after this episode the wound was healed, and we were friends once more. The cause of variance was as follows: ---

{p. 20}

One spring I was making maple sugar for a Mr. McNab, about a mile from Munson's. As I was going home one Sunday morning, I called at Mr. Hutchinson's, who lived across the way. The young folks were saying, "If we could only fool Munson. He says nobody can fool him." To please them I promised to try. Now, Brother Munson was something of a cow doctor. As a result of my visit he was induced to go to Mr. McNab's to relieve a sick cow. He was much disappointed in finding the cows all enjoying excellent health, and that his medical skill was not at all needed at that time. He felt so badly about it that I apologized to him for my wrongdoing. He said he would not care so much, if, when he went to town, Christian women would not poke their heads out of the door, and ask him how McNab's cow was. But after Miss Daniels had been beguiled into telling opposite stories concerning my bumps, his love flowed toward me in a perpetual stream. "Oh, Willie," he said, "you showed her up to be a fraud."

Coon hunting was another delightful pastime for boys. The animals were quite plentiful, and we got something for their hides, so they were hunted for both pleasure and profit. One night Brother Munson accompanied the boys on a hunt. Soon we heard a coon fighting the dog. In a trice we were there. Brother Munson says, "Boys, I will choke the coon to death while the dog hunts for another." So we got the dog away, and he seized the coon by the throat. Presently Brother Munson was prancing around in a lively manner, crying out, "Call the dog, for the coon is scratching my hands." The coon resented parting with the breath of life in that way, and had curled up his hind feet, and was tearing Brother Munson's hands with all his might, which was the cause of his wild outcries and comical gymnastics. The boys thought it was better than a circus. But Brother Munson concluded coon hunting was no fun for him, and went home. Many other amusing incidents occurred while coon hunting, which mage it a fascinating sport for the hunters.

Our religious interests were cared for by earnest ministers of the gospel, who held meetings in churches, schoolhouses, and private dwellings. At a very early age I was the subject of religious impressions. Mother used to read the Bible to us {p. 21} children, and tried to teach us the fear of the Lord. Although I became a wild boy, yet the influence of a godly mother never left me. Mothers who teach their little ones the knowledge of God do not know how powerful and far-reaching their influence for good is. Let the dear mothers lead their children to Christ while they are young, and when they grow old, they will rise up, and call them blessed.

When I was thirteen my mother died, leaving six children, -Mary Ann, Charles James, Wm. B., Elisha, John, and Sarah Jane. My father married again, and we had a good stepmother. Although mother was dead, her words of admonition followed me, and I wanted to meet her in heaven. Sometimes I would read my bible and pray in secret, but I had no one to show me the way of salvation, and I failed to find the right way until I was eighteen years of age, when I attended a protracted meeting held by Robert Virtue in our schoolhouse. A goodly number of my comrades began to lead a new life. I saw my sinfulness, and desired greatly to find the peace others were rejoicing in, but found none. My burden became so great I could not sleep by night nor work by day. In this state of mind I went to the house of an old Christian lady by the name of Austin, to learn how to obtain the desire of my soul. Her two sons were rejoicing in the Saviour's love. I told them how I felt. They said, "you desire above all things to serve God? You are willing to give up all for Christ?" I replied, "Yes, I am." "Only believe He does accept you, and you are accepted," they said, and I was enabled to let go of self, and to lay hold of Christ by faith; and his blessed peace came into my heart, and I went home rejoicing in God. The Lord had indeed put a new song in my mouth. As I entered the house where I was staying, the people said, "William has found peace." They could see the change in my countenance.

We enjoyed ourselves greatly the winter of 1860- 61 in attending meetings, rejoicing in our new-found hope. Life seemed invested with something grander, nobler, than we had ever conceived of before. Those precious seasons I will never forget. O, why did we ever suffer our love to cool, or our light to wax dim!

My father ran a tannery and shoe shop, as well as a farm.

{p. 22}

When I was fifteen, I entered the shop to learn the shoemaker's trade. When I was sixteen, I went from house to house among the farmers, making boots and shoes for the family, a custom in vogue in those days. At one place where I was working there were a number of young men preparing to go to the Michigan lumber woods. I got a great fever to go too; not to the lumber woods, but to Port Huron where I thought I could perfect myself in trade. I was confident father would not be willing for me to go, so, foolish boy, I decided to go without his knowledge. We were an impecunious lot. I had scarcely any money, and I soon discovered the rest were nearly as bad off. We got a free ride from Port Sarnia, because it was the day of the opening of the Grand Trunk railroad to that point. Everybody rode free that day. We did not find Michigan the land of promise we expected. Times were hard, and work scarce and hard to get. I finally got a job of shoemaking with a drunken Irishman. Getting tired of this I went into the country, but met with no better success. As a last resort I went to Detroit, about sixty miles distant, but there was no work. Everywhere there were more men than work. Night found me in large city with no supper, no money, and no place to stay. I began to feel like the prodigal son. I was directed to the Russell House to stay all night. A flight of stone steps lead from the street to the first story, where the office was situated. I went up, weary and tired, rather a forlorn looking specimen of humanity. The floor was carpeted, the waiter boys were in broadcloth, and everything was grand. I asked the clerk if I could stay over night. He said, "No." Of course they had no room for such as I. He directed me to the Railroad Hotel. As I was descending the steps, I saw a crowd of roughs standing around. One cried out, "Let us go to Michigan Avenue." Another said, "Let's wait until this greenhorn gets down the stairs." I said to myself, "He means me of course. Shall I go down, or go back?" I decided to go on. As I came down, they surrounded me, tumbled me about, and thrust their hands into my pockets; but they were innocent of filthy lucre. After a while they let me go without doing me any harm. I told the clerk of the Railroad Hotel I had no money. He gave me a bed, but no supper. In the morning the bell rang for breakfast and I was so HUNGRY; {p. 23} but I was minus the wherewith for a meal; so I started out again to look for work; feeling such a goneness as I had never experienced in all my life.

I traveled incessantly until noon, looking for work, but found none. I found an empty stomach was a great reminder of my father's house, where there was bread enough and to spare. At noon a brother shoemaker gave me a good dinner, to which I did ample justice. I became discouraged about finding work, and home, with its comforts and the loved ones there, never looked so desirable to me; but, alas, it was a long way off to a boy without a cent in his pocket; but after dinner I said, "I will arise, and go to my father," and started for home. About dark I tried to find a place of refuge for the night. I soon found that this world has not much of a welcome for a moneyless man, or boy either. Nobody wanted to keep me, and to increase my difficulty, it began to snow furiously. I made up my mind that the next house I entered I would say nothing about staying all night, at first, but sit down, and await developments. The next house proved to be an Irishman's. I went in, sat down by the stove, and chatted with them for awhile, and finally broached the subject of staying until morning. The old gentleman said that was impossible, as they had only one bed in the house; but the good old lady came to my rescue saying, "Would you turn the poor boy out into the storm?'' They decided that I could have a quilt or two on a bundle of hay, by the stove, which would be better than a snow bank.

In the morning the man went off to drink whisky with some boon companions, and the poor wife told me her troubles, how her husband would come home drunk, and break even the stove to pieces. As I started on my journey the good woman blessed me by the Virgin Mary and all the saints. The snow was deep, and traveling was slow and difficult.

Toward evening I met an Irishman in the road, who took me for an Irishman's son, and invited me to partake of his hospitalities over night; which I gladly did. He lamented greatly that he was just out of whisky, and consequently could not entertain me so handsomely as he otherwise could; but as I never learned to drink Satan's firewater, I got along very well without the extra entertainment. Thus day after day I plodded along toward home.

When I got nearly home, I learned {p. 24} that I was the last of the returning wanderers. The other boys had already returned to the paternal roof, which was a comfort to me, but oh, how ashamed I was to go home to father's. The nearer I got home, the slower I went, until, one evening after dark, I entered the old familiar kitchen. All the folks were glad to see me, glad that I had reached home alive. I had learned the lesson, that there is no place like home for a boy, and that there are no friends like father and mother. Dear young friends, if you ever leave the blessed scenes of home, do so with the consent of your parents, with their counsel to guide you, and their blessing to follow you.

The autumn of 1861 found me at the village of Port Elgin, situated on Lake Huron, in the county of Bruce. On my way there I stayed all night in the town of Goderich. As I was sitting in the bar room a number of men were engaged in drinking beer. All at once an old gentleman arose, and thus addressed the crowd, "You have been drinking and treating one another all the evening, and here I sat all the time, and you never acted as if you thought I had a mouth on me." And he looked as if his mouth watered for the taste of the foaming liquid. As I saw the poor old man in his dilapidated clothing humbling himself for a glass of liquor, I thought, "What ruin rum has wrought!" and I said down deep in my heart. "No rum for me." A couple of evenings afterward, I met with another wreck of humanity at Southampton. He entered the room where I was sitting. His face was bloated all out of shape, and his eyes were deep in his head; such a bloated specimen of rum ruin I had never beheld, yet there was an air of intelligence and gentlemanly breeding about him. He sat down by my side and entered into conversation. I found he was an intelligent and well-informed man. He gave me a brief account of his fall under the power of the demon drink. His money, reputation, friends, were all gone. All hope for his life and the next gone, and he a poor stranded wreck on the shores of time. In the morning he stepped up to the bar, and drank a glass of liquor. As he set the glass down, he said. "Another nail in my coffin," and went out. I thought, "Another lighthouse to warn us away from the rocks of intemperance." Touch not, taste not, handle not, is the safe plan.

At Port Elgin I found Christian people, and formed many {p. 25} happy acquaintances. I joined the Good Templars, and began to speak on the subject of temperance occasionally. My first effort was on this wise: We received an invitation to attend a temperance meeting to be held in a schoolhouse a few miles in the country, so a load of Good Templars from Port Elgin went out. We found the house crowded, and an enthusiastic meeting in progress. Several speakers addressed the meeting. At the close of the remarks by one of the speakers, the chairman arose, and said, "One William Hill will now address the meeting." I was an entire stranger to all in the house excepting those who had come with me, and when my name was called, I was more than astonished. I did not have an idea to express but I ascended the platform, with my brain in a whirl, I began to say excitedly, ''My name is William Hill, and I must be the person called for." As soon as I began to speak, the people began to laugh, which gave me confidence to proceed. Among other things I said I was glad to see the interest the ladies were taking in the temperance movement, as the gentlemen will always be interested in what the ladies are. I illustrated the point by the Irishman who wished to buy a pair of spurs, but unfortunately could get only one. While riding home he thus soliloquized:" The people will think I am a queer man entirely -- two feet and only one spur to one foot. But there is one pleasing consolation, I can make one side of the horse gallop, and 'pon my word the other side will have to keep up." So if the ladies' side of the house moves in the temperance cause, the other side will have to keep up. What I said was very commonplace, yet it made the people laugh, and I was considered a success as a temperance speaker by the backwoodsmen.

In the fall of 1863, I went with a number of other young men to northern Michigan. We heard there was lots of work there and good wages. We were to take the steamer at Southampton. While waiting for the boat, an old acquaintance urgently requested me to take supper with him. I said I was afraid the boat would come and go, and leave me behind. He urged there was no possible danger, as we would be sure to hear the whistle. I yielded to his solicitations, and went. We kept a sharp lookout for the boat, but could neither see nor hear anything. At last I went to the wharf, only to find the boat {p. 26} and my comrades had gone. I felt sorry enough, but vain regrets were of no avail. They would not bring the boat back. I determined never to be left behind again as long as I lived, and often in after years has the recollection of that disappointment hurried me to the boat or train. How many of us will discover that we are too late to be saved, having put off salvation a little too long, and will in the deepest anguish of heart say. "The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." As it happened, the boys were delayed at Goderich. I overtook them there, and we went on to Port Sarnia together, where we remained one day waiting for the steamer to take us to Hancock, our point of destination on Lake Superior. We were a wild lot from the woods, and we raced, and ran hither and thither until the good propeller "Meteor" arrived at the dock. It was dark when we boarded the ship. The long cabin was lighted up gorgeously. I was amazed at the splendid lamps, reflectors, and mirrors. I thought. "Will heaven be more beautiful than this?" Our backwoods eyes had never beheld such magnificence before. We had about five hundred passengers on board, among whom was a young Englishman who was exceedingly well dressed. He carried himself very haughtily, and kept himself aloof from the rest of us. All went well with him until we reached the Bruce mines, where the boat stopped for a couple of hours. An old friend met him here, took him ashore, and they celebrated their happy meeting with a social glass or two. When he came aboard again, it was evident he had imbibed too freely of the exhilarating beverage, That evening, after we had all gone to bed, and I thought were nearly all asleep, he began to say in a loud voice, "I am as well dressed as any man on this boat. I wear as good clothes as anybody," etc. It was not a minute before there were voices jeering and making fun of him.


young Englishman was never seen than that young man was the next morning. He was as meek as a lamb the rest of the journey. He had discovered the truthfulness of the wise man's proverb, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever {p. 27} is deceived thereby is not wise." Prov. 20: 1. My young friend, don't let whisky bemuddle your brains like that, and put you to shame before friends and strangers, and before the great God and the holy angels in the day of judgment. We passed the great Manitoulin Island, up the Sault Ste. Marie River, through the St. Marie canal into Lake Superior, and so on to our destination. The other boys met friends and acquaintances at Hancock, but there were none such to greet me. I was a stranger among strangers; but I soon made friends. I connected myself with the M. E. Church and the Good Templars. I found them who love temperance and religion, and we had good times together. I was the only professor of religion in our company. Some would drink, and all would play at cards, and I was sorely tempted to do both; but I found Jesus could keep me in the midst of temptation, and He did keep me from many a snare of the enemy. Jesus is the best friend man ever knew. He is a friend that helps in every time of need. He says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isa. 41: 10. Many hundreds of men worked in the mines, and many of them were wicked, and murder was frequent. Innocent persons were often maltreated just for amusement. Two men who boarded with us were downtown one evening, when they were set upon by a mob of men, and kicked and bruised shamefully. They came back bleeding from wounds all over them, thankful to escape with their lives. A wholesale fight was nothing unusual. One evening three of us went downtown, and stopped awhile at a blacksmith shop where Hugh Sang, one of our boys, was working. While there, a crowd of drunken fellows came with a lot of strong drink, and stopped to drink it right before the shop door. As they continued drinking they became noisy until their whoops and yells were fearful. It did not seem such horrid sounds could come from human throats. They finally made an attack on the shop. The stones came like hail. The windows were smashed to atoms in an instant, and we thought the door would go next. To say we were frightened is putting it mildly. We thought our time had come, but we prepared with sledge hammers and pieces of {p. 28} iron to defend ourselves to the last. Happily the mob spent its fury on the shop, and departed, leaving its scared occupants unharmed.

The First Fourth of July I ever spent in the United States was at Hancock, in 1864


demonstration. First we marched and countermarched, with bands of music and banners flying, after which a great meeting was held in a large, unfinished building. The gentleman they expected to act as chairman of the meeting did not arrive. Brother Fairbrass, a leading Good Templar, came to me, and said, "Brother Hill, you must act as chairman of the meeting." I had never acted in such a capacity in all my life, and objected; but it was useless. I was quickly elected, and installed as chairman of the meeting. As I sat on the platform, with speakers to the right and the left, a band of musicians on another platform above my head, and the largest sea of upturned faces before me I had ever seen, I felt very uncomfortable, but did the best I knew how. In introducing one of the speakers, I strove to hit those who were on the fence in the temperance issue, as follows: "This gentleman is always found with his colors flying, and is always in the thickest part of the fight for right and truth. He is not like some who stand aloof until the battle is fought, and the victory won, and then come around, and say, `See what a great work we have done,' like the husband in the bear story. He and his wife Betty lived in a claim shanty on the frontier. One day, to their great surprise, a bear walked into the shanty. The husband sprang up onto a joist out of danger; but Betty, not being nimble enough for that, took the fire poker and began to belabor the intruder over the head with it. Every time she would strike the bear, the husband would say, `you're doing well; hit him again, Betty!' After the bear was killed, he ran away to the neighbors, and said, `Come, see the bear that Betty and I killed.' " Of course there was nothing to the story, as everybody knew, but it tickled the folks exceedingly, and so gave me courage, and took away my nervousness to some extent. After meeting I was encouraged to endeavor to do better the next time by the kindly congratulations of {p. 29} friends who rejoiced in my success.

A kind word of encouragement often inspires a young beginner to make the most of himself. I was taken sick, and determined to go home and see my folks. I had written, but of late I had received no answer from them. I went down on the steamboat to Port Sarnia, and took the train for Widder Station, about four miles from father's. Although just recovering from sickness. I felt elated and happy in the hope of soon seeing the loved ones at home. On my way from the station I called at Sylvanus Cornell's, an old acquaintance, with whose children I used to go to school. Not one of them recognized me. I finally told them who I was, and that I was going to see my folks. They informed me that I had not a relative in the country, as they had all moved to Minnesota. I never felt so lonely in all my life before. It seemed as if I were entirely alone in the world. I called on the old neighbors as I went along, who were glad to see me. I found the old homestead occupied by strangers. As I went into the house, what a flood of recollections flashed through my mind! I wandered over every familiar spot, but the dear ones who had hallowed them were gone. I remained in the old neighborhood from July until the following April. I found the religious interests of the people very low. Brother Willie Hutchinson and myself determined to start a prayer meeting in the old schoolhouse. so we announced the meeting, and invited all to attend. at the time appointed four persons were present- Mr. Ward, Willie Hutchinson, Samuel Wilcox, and myself. It was evident Satan was on hand to oppose that meeting. Brother Ward was the oldest, so he was chosen to lead. He did very well until in a prayer his words were cutoff, and he could say nothing at all. He hawked and choked and sputtered, but a word he could not utter, and seemed to be in great distress: but there came over the rest of us an almost uncontrollable spirit of laughter. I would not have laughed under the circumstances for anything. My frame shook as I stuffed the corner of my blouse in my mouth to prevent such a sacrilegious thing as laughing during prayer. Such a prayer meeting I never attended before nor since. Notwithstanding the inauspicious beginning, the prayer meeting increased in numbers and interest until the greatest revival broke out that {p. 30} was ever known in that neighborhood.

Old professors were warmed up into new life, and many young people started on there way to heaven. I spent a very happy winter, and received an impulse, in the heavenly way that I never lost.

In the spring of 1865, with Justus White, I started for Michigan. We hoped to run logs on Bell River. We stayed overnight in Memphis. We were awakened by hearing the firing of guns and the shouting of people. On looking out of the window we saw a huge fire, and people were running toward it, some putting on their coats as they ran. It was soon ascertained that news had come that Richmond had fallen, which was the cause of the bonfire and great commotion among the people. How rejoiced they were at the downfall of the rebel stronghold! What a rejoicing there will be when sin and Satan are overthrown! and peace and righteousness will reign supreme in the universe of God! Rev. 5: 13.

I had never run logs, and Justus told me the log runners were a hard lot, and that we must not let them know we were professors of religion, or we could not stay with them. I replied that I did not intend to make my religion offensively prominent, neither did I intend to hide my light under a bushel. The first night we were with the log runners we stayed at an old farmer's. He had just built a new house, and his old house was given up to us. In the evening while eating warm maple sugar, the log runners amused themselves by telling stories, some of which were far from being pure and elevating in there character. After a while, they called on me for a song. I said, "I cannot sing, but if you will keep quiet I will read you something from a book I have in my hand." They quickly agreed, and I read the 22nd chapter of Revelation, wherein the destiny of the righteous and wicked is brought to view. Strange to say, everything was as quiet as a meeting until the last word was read. It seemed as if the Spirit of God impressed the hearts of these hardened men. It was probably the first time they had ever heard such reading. When we went to bed, I felt it duty to do as aforetime, "kneel down and commend myself to God." and quietly did so. No one molested me: but the die was cast.

They all knew where I stood, and many were the talks with them on religion, as we would be together on the river, as sometimes two or {p. 31} three of us would be stationed at certain points to keep the logs running where there was danger of a jam. I felt happy in saying a word for my Master


and I am sorry to say was soon led away from his steadfastness. The only safe way is to be decidedly for God, no matter where we are or what company we are in. If Satan finds a wavering soul, he will strive all the more earnestly to lure him away from the paths of righteousness. Trust in God, and do right, and he will shield us from all the power of the enemy.

After I had worked at log running awhile, I went to a place called Mill Point, near Lake Michigan, where my brother Charles lived. Sawing lumber was the chief business, and my brother worked in one of the mills. I got work in a mill, but did not like it, and went up Grand River to work on a farm.

In August, 1865, I started for Minnesota, where father lived. I landed at Minneiska, a small village situated at the mouth of Whitewater Valley, on the Mississippi River. It was about 4 p.m. when I landed. I wished to make Greenwood Prairie to work in harvest. I soon discovered that the only conveyance was to go on foot; so I started carrying a large carpetbag full of clothes and a heavy beaver cloth overcoat. The road up the valley was overflowed with water. Wild ducks were swimming in the road, and mud and water were over boot-top. The great bluffs towered hundreds of feet high on either side of the valley, and no house in sight. As the sun neared the horizon, the mosquitoes came at me in clouds, and they were so hungry, I said to myself, "This is the brave land of Minnesota."

After traveling six miles I came to a house. It was a log cabin, with the ends of the logs sticking out in every direction, some shorter and some longer. As I came to the door, I found a man and a boy with a gun. I shall never forget the scene. The man had an old felt hat on his head, partly covering a mass of reddish hair. His beard and mustache looked fierce enough to belong to a bushwhacker, while a great hole graced the knee of his pants. The youngster was about fifteen years of age, and did not look at all as fierce as his father. {p. 32} I meekly asked the privilege of a night's lodging. The gentleman replied, "Ask the women folks; I am not the boss here." and away he and the boy went to shoot a marauding owl, and left me to paddle my own canoe with the ladies as best I could. I timidly entered the house, and was surprised to note a great contrast. The wife and daughters were neatly dressed, and everything inside the house was in nice order. The old lady thought I could stay, so I got an old pail full of water, and soon I had washed away the last remains of mud and mire, and was ready for bed.

As the old gentleman and son returned from an unsuccessful owl hunt, the gentleman wanted to know where I was going, and what I was going to do. When he learned I was seeking work, he offered me three dollars per day to work for him, and we soon made a bargain. It did not take long to discover that he was a very noisy individual. In the morning he came rushing upstairs yelling at the top of his (lungs,) "Ed!" As he came to the top of the stairs he saw me at my morning devotions. He stopped as though he had been shot; and seemed entirely dumbfounded, and amazed that anybody should be found praying on his premises


after a cradler. The sun poured its rays down the bluffs with great power. I never felt the heat so great in my life; I became so very, very hungry. Noon was a long, long time coming. At last the welcome call was heard, and away we went to dinner. I had but fairly got started at my dinner when all the rest were done, and so it was every time; I could eat far more than I ever could before. They said that was the way with everyone when they first came to Minnesota. Ho! you dainty people, whose appetite is a lost treasure, come to the invigorating, health-giving climate of Minnesota, and your appetite will soon take on proportions that will surprise you.

The gentleman's name for whom I worked was John Gage. The log cabin has since given way to a fine brick residence, and Mr. Gage has represented his county in the Minnesota legislature. Although he was of rough exterior, yet he was a good neighbor.

{p. 35}

I remained with him until November, and I bought a horse, harness, and light wagon of him and started for the western part of the State to find my folks. I found traveling over the vast prairies was not all pastime. I was always directed to take the main-traveled track. Sometimes far from any house the road would diverge, and which was the main-traveled track no man on earth could tell. Such a case is very perplexing, especially if it is nearly dark. Many of the sloughs were not bridged; while passing through one, the horse and buggy went down. Only one way out of the difficulty- wade into the cold water and mire, unhitch the horse, take the buggy to pieces, and carry it out onto dry land.

On my journey, I stopped overnight with a man to whom I spoke about religion in the evening, and in the morning the conversation turned again upon religion; he said to me: "Are you a preacher?" I said, "No," "Well, you will be sometime," he replied.

Ten years afterward I spoke on baptism at the Hutchinson camp meeting. After the sermon, a gentleman said to me, "Brother Hill, if you ever come our way, you must call and see us." "Where do you live?" "I live in a poplar grove between Austin and Albert Lea." I recognized the place and the man instantly. I asked him if he remembered a young man stopping overnight with him about ten years ago, who talked with him about religion, and who asked him if he was a preacher, and when the young man answered, "No," said, "Well, you will be one sometime"? He said, "Yes." Well, I was that young man. He had become a Christian, and I a minister since that evening.

I finally reached the neighborhood of Blue Earth City, and saw ahead of me a high load of old boards drawn by a yoke of oxen. I started to drive by, when a boy sprang from the load onto my wagon with great demonstrations of joy. It was my brother John. He said father was carpentering in town; he showed me the house where he was at work. I found him at the bench planing. He did not know me until I told him who I was. It was a joyful meeting after such a long separation. The next day I drove out to my father's homestead, six miles southwest of Blue Earth City. I found the family living in a dugout, a good many people lived in {p. 36} them in those days. Everybody was poor, and consequently on a level. The settlers were friendly, sociable, and willing to help one another. All seemed hopeful and cheerful, and although they lived in small houses, and wore cheap clothing, they were fully as happy as in after years when they were possessors of plenty.


My first introduction to one was Dec. 12, 1865. I had heard and read of blizzards, but it takes a personal experience to realize what a blizzard means. The conditions of a good blizzard are a lot of light snow and a furious wind. The snow becomes as fine as finest flour, and penetrates the slightest crevice. In an old-fashioned blizzard the snow is so blinding one cannot see anything, and scarcely hear anything, either; it is useless to shout, hoping to be heard, as your voice would be drowned in the awful storm. A light in a window would avail nothing; for it could not be seen. People have been lost and frozen to death only a few rods from their own door; blinded and bewildered by the storm they wandered around and round until exhausted nature gave way, and the poor victim sank down in the snow to rise no more. But those dreadful storms are of the past; the prairies are now dotted with farm houses, villages, towns, and groves, and every house, haystack, and every tree helps to break the force of the wind, until now such storms are no longer common to Minnesota. One must needs go to the Dakotas to enjoy a first-class blizzard. I would not have the reader think that Minnesota is a region of storms; for it is indeed a land of glorious sunshine. Even in winter, though it is cold, the skies are bright and the air bracing. Minnesota is indeed a goodly land, with broad prairies, great forests, fertile soil, and scattered over its surface are thousands of the most charming lakes imaginable. But I will not try to describe the land of my adoption; for the best I can do would be far short of the reality.

The winter of 1865-66 I chopped cordwood on the Minnesota River, near St. Peter; the following summer I went to Yellow Medicine, where the Indians broke out in their massacre of the whites in 1862. There were still fine brick buildings and great cisterns which the government had built for the {p. 37} Indians. It is a beautiful location, in a fine country, but no Indian is there. His beautiful heritage has passed into the hands of the white man.

I returned to the eastern part of the state in harvest. On my way from Yellow Medicine I was sent ahead on horseback one evening to select a camping ground for the night. As I was trotting along smartly I ran over a little striped animal; I was going so fast that I escaped any shock to my olfactory nerves. Not so with the teams following more slowly behind. They said that when they came to where I had selected a place to camp, "Didn't you run over a skunk back there a ways?" "Yes." "Whew! we thought so, as we came along." The night was very sultry, and the mosquitoes were in swarms; three of us slept in a covered wagon, and it seemed as if the hungry mosquitoes were determined to leave nothing of us by morning. One of our company was an Englishman; he had an iron tea kettle with him, and he would fill it with grass, and set fire to it, and make a smudge which, for the time stupefy the skeeters, and nearly suffocate us. He kept replenishing his kettle, and rebuilding his fires until a terrific thunder storm came up. The lightening blazed athwart the black sky in a fearful manner, while the thunder shook the heavens, and the rain fell in torrents. the cool drops of rain fell through our thin canvas onto my fevered brow so gratefully, and I fell asleep, but I shall never forget the night spent on the prairie with the Englishman and his tea kettle.

In the spring of 1867 I returned to father's, and helped during the summer. It rained and rained until sloughs, lakes, and streams were full to overflowing. It was almost impossible to go anywhere in a wagon. Flour rose to nine dollars a hundred, and could hardly be obtained for that. Father had a huge coffee mill, to which he attached a windmill, and the settlers would bring sacks of corn on their shoulders to get ground in the coffee mill, and thus keep the wolf from the door. It was so wet that summer that the prairie was swimming with water. On day as Mr. Stiles and myself were driving over the prairie with a breaking team, consisting of five yoke of oxen, we came to a rushing stream where usually no stream was to be found. The oxen went in; but as we got {p. 38} into the middle of the stream, the wagon came apart, and the cattle went away with the front wheels, and left us in the rushing waters with the rest of the wagon. Mr. Stiles cried out, "Oh, I don't want to get wet; for I am troubled with rheumatism," and there he was on top of the box as far out of the water as he could get. I went into the water, and got the wagon and Mr. Stiles to shore as best I could. Then I had to race after the oxen; for they were going it over the prairie with the front wheels of the wagon like all possessed. Such were some of the experiences of the early pioneers in this new country.


I found a class of people in father's neighborhood who observed the seventh day as the Sabbath. They were very zealous in spreading abroad a knowledge of their peculiar views. They supplied me with tracts, pamphlets, and books teaching what the called "present truth;" that is, the truth that is especially adapted for the times in which we live. Although I had no idea of keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, yet I found their arguments very hard to meet. I could find nothing in the New Testament to show that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day of the week. I found that the New Testament mentions the first day of the week just eight times, and not once is it called the Sabbath or Lord's day, neither is any sacred title applied to it whatever. Search as I would, I could not find that either Christ or his apostles observed it as a sacred day in a single instance. This seemed to me unaccountable, if the first day of the week had really become the Sabbath and it was a sin against God not to observe it as such. Although I could by no means explain the silence of the New Testament in regard to the change of the Sabbath. I tried to console myself with the thought that a great many wise and good men keep Sunday, and if we only keep one day in seven, it will do well enough. This was not very satisfactory, but it helped to ease my conscience while violating one of God's commandments.

{p. 39}


I worked a while for a man by the name of Shumacher. He was a zealous Catholic, and labored hard to convert me to the Catholic faith. We used to sit up very late talking upon points of doctrine. One evening he asked me, "How could the apostles remit sins unless they knew what sins to remit? and how could they know unless the sins were confessed to them?" "You claim the priest has just as much power as the apostles?" "Yes." "That the priest could know nothing of the sins committed unless they were first confessed to him?" - -- "Yes." "Was it necessary for Ananias and Sapphira to confess their sins before Peter knew that they had lied?" --- "No." "But you say the poor priest could know nothing of it unless it be first confessed to him, which shows his claim to have as much power as the apostles to be a fraud and deception of the first magnitude." We even got to speaking on persecutions of the Catholic Church, which he would not own until the proof was unanswerable. When he said, "If you had a flock of sheep, and the wolves should come to destroy them, what would you do?" "I would kill the wolves, of course, if I could; and so you Catholics are the tender sheep, and we Protestants are the fierce, howling wolves; so we must be killed, of course."

Reader, that is the doctrine of Rome, and she carries it out wherever she has the power to do so. Mr. Shummacher supplemented his personal efforts by furnishing me with Catholic controversial works to read. In "Milner's End of Religious Controversy" I found the Catholic Church claimed to have changed the Sabbath into Sunday without any scriptural authority for so doing. In fact, the change of the Sabbath is set forth as one of the strongest evidences that the Catholic Church is the true church; for indeed she must be the great power of God in the earth if she were able to change the divine laws of Jehovah. Having already discovered there was not a particle of evidence in the Bible of a change of the Sabbath, I confess this claim of the Catholic Church struck me very forcibly. The more I meditated and studied upon it, the more plainly I could see that the claim was well founded, and that the Catholic Church was the power brought to view in {p. 40} Dan. 7: 25 that should think to change the times and laws of the Most High.

I did not wish to believe it, but proof was too plain. "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into His hand until a time, times, and the dividing of time." It is true that the papacy has spoken great words against the Most High, even to arrogating to itself infallibility, which belongs to God alone. It is true the Catholic Church has slaughtered millions of the saints of the Most High (literally worn them out), until she is drunken with the blood of martyrs of Jesus. Rev. 17: 5, 6. Has she thought to change the times and laws of the Most High? She says, "Yes, I have changed the Sabbath into Sunday without any scriptural authority for so doing?"

Thus every specification of the prophecy is met by the Church of Rome, hence she must be the power spoken of. What should I do in this case? was the question that troubled me. Are these Seventh-day folks right, and has the time really come when the true Sabbath should be restored? Is it possible that God is calling on me His Word and Spirit to forsake the teachings of my youth and all my religious associations and take my stand for his ancient, down-trodden Sabbath? Reader, if you have ever sincerely faced that question, you will not say, "The Sabbath question is of little importance." It stirs the soul to its depths. "To whomsoever ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey." Rom. 6: 16. God says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." The Church of Rome commands: "Keep holy the Sunday." which shall I obey? If I obey God, I shall be God's servant: If I obey the papacy. I shall be the servant of the papacy. Although every worldly consideration was on the side of Sunday, yet I am thankful God gave me grace to decide, that as for me, I will serve the Lord, and keep his commandments. It is nearly a quarter of a century since that decision was made, and I have never ceased to rejoice in it. Never once have I had a doubt that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. I was superintendent of the Union Sunday school, held in our schoolhouse. No sooner was it known that I had begun the observance of the Sabbath {p. 41} than a great uproar was raised in our little community.

I went to the Sunday school one bright morning, and found the house surrounded with people. There were so many they could not all find room inside. My class leader, Brother Yetter, was there, but that morning he did not seen to notice me. After the exercises of the school were over, he said there was a little business to attend to. They had heard that Mr. Hill had turned Advent. If so, he was not wanted for superintendent any longer. But he was there, and could speak for himself. I pleaded guilty to the charge of keeping the seventh day Sabbath, because I found it plainly commanded in the word of God. I had sought long and carefully for a "thus saith the Lord" for Sunday keeping, and could not find it. If anyone present could point out to me any divine requirement for Sunday observance. I would cheerfully turn back again, and observe Sunday with them. They were not able to do so, but demanded that I should resign my office. I replied, "Show me it is duty for me to do so, and I will do it." "No, we are not here to do that; only resign, or we will turn you out," I said, "None of you will say I have not taught the children right things, things that you yourselves approve of. It seems to me your action is like condemning and executing a man, not because he has done anything wrong, but for fear he might do wicked things in the future." But they cast me out of the synagogue. Those on the outside thrust their hands through the raised windows to give their voice against me. Thus I began to experience a few drops of the wrath of the dragon. Rev. 12: 17

One man was there, who, when requested to attend Sunday school, said he could not because his pants were not good enough to appear in such a place; but upon that particular occasion he was there, pants and all, and they were not the best of pants either. I had lived in the best of friendship with all the people as neighbor and friend. Then why treat me so unkindly? They were only acting on human nature. They had it in their power to vent their feelings of anger upon me of their number who dared to accept of unpopular truth, and they did it. They were blinded, and knew not what they did. Luke 23: 34.

{p. 42}


I went with Samuel Smith and Newton Chute to bring their team back from their trapping ground on the Des Moines River. It was in November, and on my return I lost my way, and a furious snowstorm came on me in the afternoon. As darkness began to close upon me, it was evident that I must spend a night alone with my oxen on the prairie. The situation was anything but agreeable. I found a ravine where it was somewhat sheltered from the wind. I tied the cattle to one side of the wagon, took the box off, set it up on one edge, with the bottom toward the wind, with the upper edge resting upon the hubs of the wagon wheels. Under this slight protection I crawled with one quilt to wrap up in. I commended myself to him who cares for the sparrows, and has numbered the hairs of our heads. I renewed my covenant to be His, and to devote my life to His service. As I lay under there, I could feel the snow sift through onto my face. I soon fell asleep, And did not wake until daylight. I dreaded so much had passed away. At noon the next day, I came to a settlement on Twin Lakes, and had no further trouble getting home.

I only stayed at home for few days, when I started out again to seek a winter's job. I went to Mr. Gault's, near St. Peter, hoping to chop cordwood for him. He said there was no wood chopping to be had. Mrs. Gault said, "Teach our school this winter." I have never taught school, but I thought I might as well try. I asked the Lord to help me, and He did. I taught the school for four months, at thirty dollars per month, with the privilege of teaching the same school the next winter if I wished to. I returned home in the spring, and stayed until harvest, when I again went to the eastern part of the State.

I worked for Joel Brown and his nephew, Joseph Brown, near Mantorville, Dodge County. Deckster Brown, Joseph's father, came to help him finish the harvest. He formed a favorable opinion of all the hands he saw at noon when he arrived, but me. He told me afterward that he thought from my appearance that I did not amount to much; but he changed his mind in a little while, and after Joseph got {p. 45} through with me, he hired me at thirty dollars a month to work on a farm during the short days in the fall. Although he kept Sunday and I kept the seventh day. I worked hard, and one day as I plowed, my back ached, my face flushed, and I felt hardly able to follow the plow. At noon I told Mr. Brown how I felt. He said, "You are coming down with the typhoid fever." People were having it, and some were dying with it in the neighborhood. I knew I never could stand drug treatment, and come out alive; so Mr. Brown took me to Wasioja, where Elder Ingraham lived. He was not at home when we arrived. I lay down in the bed, and it seemed to me as if I would burn up with fever. When Brother Ingraham came home, he put me into a tub of hot water, putting a quilt over me to keep the steam in. The sweat poured down my body in streams. The next day the fever came up again, but not so strong, and the next evening I was put through the same process. Although I was very weak, the fever was completely broken, and in a few days I was at work again.


found me in the Whitewater valley again, teaching school in the Gage district. I had great talks with my old friends in regard to my change of views. Mr. Geo. Mathewson and wife accepted the present truth; they were my first converts to the faith. In the spring I was married to Miss Emma Town, one of my pupils.

We had some difficulty in getting the knot tied. We started with horse and cutter one bright morning for Winona, twenty-six miles distant, intending to be married the selfsame day. Our horse was a runaway, kicking colt. As we were rounding a bluff, the cutter upset, and sent us both onto the frozen ground, and the horse began to run and kick with all his might. I held onto the lines, however, until he stopped at the bottom of the bluff, but the shafts and cutter box were a wreck. We fixed up the shafts, piled the pieces of the box onto the cutter, and went into the city, our wedding rig sadly demoralized. We took the cutter to a shop for repairs, and in a little while busy hands made it as good as ever. We found that witnesses were necessary in our case, to get a marriage license; and witnesses, {p. 46} we, in our simplicity, had not provided. So we returned to the parental roof, somewhat sadder and wiser than when we departed. However, patience and perseverance overcame all difficulties, and the nuptial knot was duly tied on March 22, 1869, by Elder Alfred Chute, twenty-three years ago. We have stood by each other in shade and sunshine, sorrow and joy, all these years,and we expect too until the Redeemer comes to Zion, or until the grim reaper shall gather us into his narrow house, where we will wait until our change comes (Job 14: 13-15), and we hope to enjoy a long eternity together in the kingdom of God.

In the spring of 1870 we removed to Martin County, and opened up a new farm on the broad prairie. I went first, and prepared the home nest. While on my journey, I stopped one night at a farm house near Rochester. The good people were considerably exercised because I traveled on Sunday. I explained that I observed the seventh day. "O," said the lady, "you are one of those Advents; you don't believe you will ever die." "I expect to die, and go into the grave, as all my forefathers did." "Do you? Well, it is quite probable you will." "I may die, too, and that much sooner than I expect; but some of God's people will never die," and I opened my Bible and read 1 Cor. 15: 51: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." "So you see, sister, the Bible expressly says we shall not all die; you believe that, don't you?" Again we are told in 1 Thess. 4: 16, 17: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God; and the dead in Christ will rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." "Here it is expressly taught that some will be alive and remain until the Lord comes, and I believe it, don't you?" Her father-in-law interposed and said, "I don't see but that is alright; surely, it is scripture, and we ought not to be found fighting the scripture." She seemed quite reconciled after this, and only made one more sharp criticism upon her humble guest. My mind was dwelling upon the young wife I had left behind, and I took a {p. 47} loving look at her image which I carried with me.

She observed it also, and asked, "Is that your wife's picture?" "Yes, madam." "Well, I'm surprised truly." "Why so?" "That such a good-looking woman would marry such a homely man." In the morning I was beset to trade horses. I had one little horse and one large one. They had a good sized one, with smooth, glossy hair, which they would trade for my small one. They talked so honest and fair that in my verdancy I traded. My new horse started off in good shape, but soon fagged out, and I had to tie my other horse back to the sleigh, and make him draw almost the whole load. At noon the new horse would not eat, and I discovered I had fallen into the hands of the Philistines. I kept on trading until I had paid about twenty-four dollars in boot money, and had only a bridle and a pair of martingales left. I thought it was time for me to quit trading horses. I learned to my sorrow that those who will trade horses will cheat and deceive. Moral: Let no honest man indulge in horse trading.

In the winter of 1870-71 I taught school at Tenhassen, Martin County. A number of teachers attended school, some of whom had been through the arithmetic several times, and I had never been half through it. I studied at nights, and kept ahead of the class until we had gone through again. I found by careful study I could unravel the most difficult examples we had to deal with. A great love existed between teacher and pupils. I enjoyed the school so much. We had great spelling schools. The interest ran high, and they came from far and near to outdo us, but never one was found to equal us in that line.

The pupils edited a paper, which was read every two weeks. In one number it was stated that our school contained two natural curiosities: A lump of snow (a Miss Snow) that never melts, and a Hill in perpetual motion. The last day of school the house was filled with visitors, and at the closing exercises many eyes overflowed with tears. The next summer I had a nice crop growing, and taught school in the Chute district, eight miles distant. My pony would take me there in a few minutes. In June we were visited by a disastrous hailstorm, when grain, corn, potatoes, garden stuff, in fact everything, was beaten to the earth. The stones fell with such {p. 48} force they dented the side of the house, which was made of seasoned, hardwood boards.

I loved teaching, and decided to devote my whole attention to it. The next winter I taught school near Delavan, Faribault County. The school was large, with many large young men and women attending, -a wild lot. It was the first winter term ever held in the district; I had to draw a tight rein in order to control the school at all. I was firm, but kind. They soon saw that I sincerely desired their good, and was never weary in assisting them to the utmost of my ability, and they, for the most part, appreciated my efforts.

One day as the director was visiting the school, I heard something go click, click, click, click, and then all would be quiet for a while; then it would go again. I said nothing, but kept a sharp lookout; at last I discovered the offender. A youngster was striking a spur and pocket knife together, which caused the noise. I told him to come forth and climb onto a desk, and stand there for awhile. He stood up between the desks, seized hold of one with each hand, and declared he would never submit to such punishment as that; but he was persuaded to think better of it, and stood on the desk with a great stick of wood on his shoulder. It was an object lesson to the school, as well as a reminder to him that the way of the transgressor is hard. Prov. 13: 15.


was as sober as a judge, and said nothing, but I could see he was immensely pleased to see the youngster brought to time. I taught several terms in that district; but some were dissatisfied with the price. They could get an experienced lady teacher from Wisconsin for twenty-five dollars per month. As I had my hands full building a new house at Blue Earth City, in the spring of 1873, I made no application for any school. The new teacher came, and began teaching one Monday morning, and the next Monday morning she was on her way back to Wisconsin, with no wish to prolong her stay in the wild and woolly West. The pupils discovered they new more than the teacher, and she could do nothing with them. They were glad to get the old teacher back again. The girls and boys were collected on a knoll, and their faces were all smiles and dimples {p. 49} as I neared the old schoolhouse, and they gave their old teacher a royal welcome.



All the elements are telling it; the sky is full of signs;
There's an ominous awakening foreboding God's designs.
E'en the timorous are telling what the mighty fear to speak,
And the powerful are cringing with the wicked and the weak.
It is God's expostulation with the wretched and the rich,
With the princes in their palaces, the drunkards in the ditch.
Christ is coming, Christ is coming, all the prophecies proclaim,
With the mighty hosts of heaven, in his chariot of flame.
He is coming, He is coming, it is written in the sky;
Earth is rip'ning for the harvest, and the harvest time is nigh.

He has heard the cry of millions in the slavery of sin;
He has listened to the pleading of the ones he died to win;
He is gathering His armies for our liberation day;
And the great emancipation human hands cannot delay.
He is whispering in the whirlwind, He is speaking in the flood,
In the perfume-laden zephyr, in the bursting of the bud.
All the stars are singing praises, to the glory of His name,
While the reeling earth is groaning 'mid a load of sin and shame.

Vice parades her gaudy trappings 'mid the pleasure-seeking throng.
Tinging with enticing glamour every separate way of wrong.
Homes once happy are in ruins through the gay deceiver's wiles;
While the throng are singing praises to the drama that beguiles
. There's a lurking fascination for the slinking libertine
In the comedy of passion, for a glimpse behind the scene.
Soon his blandishments are followed by the wrecking of life,
And the bonds are snapped asunder 'tween a husband and a wife.
There's a plaintive cry ascending in a long, unceasing moan
From the law-made orphan children to the great Judge on His throne.

You may listen but a moment to the mutterings of woe
That are gathering all around you as the seasons come and go;
But the words you hear are laden with the draught of bitter dregs--
There's a great, gaunt army growing, and the ragged waif who begs
At the doorstep of your dwelling is a thorough-drilled recruit
In that massive, marching legion moving down destruction's route.
Justice heeds the cry but seldom of the innocent oppressed;
Where the glittering bribe is lacking, many a wrong is unredressed.
Wealth is marshalling its forces, labor's legions are astir;
Anarchy, the wild, red handed, has in this its dowager.

{p. 50}

All the nations are a-quiver with the threatenings of strife,
Pouring out a golden river for new means of taking life;
They are furrowing the ocean with a myriad ships of mail,
Ballasted like clouds of fury with a load of iron hail.
On the hill the beacon's lighted, every torch is trimmed anew,
And the ranks of moving millions gather where the harvest grew,
There's a force unseen impelling all earth's factions to the fray;
'Tis the warrior host of Satan, hastening Armageddon's day.

You have seen the stars of heaven falling as the King foretold;
Seen the moon with bloody visage, seen the sun his light withhold,
You have marked the march of knowledge with its swift, increasing stride,
And the progress of invention, like an irrepressive tide,
You have seen the preparation of the armies of the world,
Waiting now the order only like swift meteors to be hurled
To the seething sea of turmoil, 'gainst the city and the plain,
Belching in iron hailstorms, strewing all the land with slain.
God is holding still the bridle of the prancing warrior steed,
while there yet is hope in heaven and a Priest to intercede.

When redemption's work is finished in the sin-polluted land,
And the seal of God is given to His humble, faithful band.
Angel hands will stay no longer earth's impatient armed horde,
And the trodden plains will redden 'neath the threshing of the sword.
Sad will be the billow's burden where the flaming fleets go down,
With the bright-eyed sailor laddie, and the captain of renown.

Then the form of the Redeemer in the heavens will be seen,
Seated on a cloud of glory, in His hand a sickle keen.
By the hand that bled for sinners will the harvesting be done;
For salvation's work is finished, and the race of sin is run.

-Charles Miles Snow, in Signs Of The Times



{p. 51}

The summer of 1873, I attended our camp meeting, which was held at Medford. One evening after preaching service, Brethren Robert Schram and Henry Youngs took me, one by each arm, and said, "Brother Hill, come with us." They led me to the preacher's stand, and Elder Canright said: Brother Hill, if we give you a license to improve your gift, will you use it?" It was a momentous question. Upon my answer hinged the course of my future life. Although I loved teaching dearly, and was loth to give it up, yet I believed the coming of the Lord was at the door, and the world was to be warned to flee from the wrath to come. Time, too, I believed to be short, the harvest great, and the laborers few. I had firm faith in the promise of God to be with the laborers even unto the end of the world, and that whosoever would forsake houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for His name's sake, should receive an hundredfold and inherit everlasting life. Matt. 19: 29. With such views and feelings, I could only say, "By the assisting grace of God, I will;" and although I have had poverty, privation, even to the want of sufficient clothing to protect me from winter's chilling blasts, and have met with opposition and contumely on every side, and am now prematurely old, if I could be placed right there again as I was on that eventful evening, knowing all as I do now, I would raise my hand to heaven and say, "By Thy grace I will." I went home from camp meeting, and prepared to go forth as a herald of the cross. I had my new house to plaster, and very much to do. On the 7th of October, 1873, with Brother Ferdinand Morse, I started for Elm Creek, Marin County. We found that in consequence of the grasshopper raid the {p. 52} men had gone or were going East to work, to get something to live on during the winter, and it was impossible for the women to attend evening meetings without their husbands, so the idea of laboring in that vicinity had to be abandoned. At this juncture Brother Morse was taken with a sore throat, and returned home, and I was left, with valise in hand, on the broad prairie, with no experience whatever in preaching. I got a ride with a farmer to Vernon Center, where I found an old schoolmate, Alex Westover, and remained with him over night, and renewed old acquaintance. The next morning I went to Brother Fleming's; I was having temptations.


was fast approaching. Schools would soon be all taken, and if I did not succeed in preaching I would be without employment of any kind, and even if I did succeed I could hope but for very little remuneration, and why not go home, as had Brother Morse, and take a school and let some one better qualified do the preaching? I have never been so long absent from my wife and two little boys before, and I must say the drawings toward home were powerful. But I thought again: "I have not yet done all I can do to find an opening," and I felt something strong within me impelling me forward in the work to which I had set my hand. I told Brother Fleming of the conflict I was having, and he cheered me on my way. The laborers are few and the harvest is great. He said, "I will take you to Brother Rew's and we shall see what can be done." Brother Rew thought I should go to Brother Quinn's and see Brother Dimmick, one of our ministers, who was there. When we got there, Brother Dimmick had just taken the train for Iowa. It was decided that I had better go to Hutchinson, McLeod County, where there was quite a large company of our people. Having but little money, I shouldered my valise, and started for Ottawa, eighteen miles distant, where I had some acquaintances, among whom I visited until after Sunday. As Mr. Lewis and I were going to the depot, he suddenly asked," are you not going out on a mission?" I replied, "That's about the way of it." "Well, can you take a subject and carry it through?" "I don't know: I can tell better after I try" I took the train for Blakely, {p. 53} and started from there for Hutchinson, on foot, between thirty and forty miles distant. I arrived at Glencoe about 3 P.M., bought some crackers, ate a lunch, and started again for Hutchinson, sixteen miles away. I had not gone far when a man overtook me with a team, and gave me a ride. I asked, "Where are you going?" He said, "Hutchinson." "Do you know any Seventh-day people there?" "Yes, sir, I am one myself; my name is Dye. Are you one of our ministers?" "I am sent out to improve my gift, but how I will succeed time will tell." "You ought to have been at Hutchinson yesterday, and you would have seen Elders Haskell and Grant." "I wish I had; I would rather see Elder Grant (president of our Conference) than any man alive." "Well, you can see him; he is stopping with Brother Armstrong, and he lives not a great way from here." He pointed in the direction of his house, and I sprang from the wagon, and started. I found a stream of water flowed between me and his house which I was compelled to ford. It was now dark. As I approached the house, I saw Brother Grant's bald head through the window. When I entered, he was as much astonished to see me as though I had come down from the clouds. He said, "I thought you were in Martin County with Brother Morse, holding meetings." I explained to him how matters stood, and he was puzzled to know what to do with me. I was evidently an elephant on his hands. We talked over matters until late at night, but came to no conclusion what to do. I got up early in the morning and kindled a fire. Brother Armstrong did not seem to approve of my taking so much liberty. I excused myself by saying Elders Haskell and Grant were intending to take the early morning train, and I was afraid they would be belated. He replied I need not worry, he would see to that. I thought things were moving slowly, but said nothing more. At last we got into the wagon, and started for town. Alas! as we were going in, the train was going out, and the brethren were doomed to stay another day with Brother Armstrong. Brother Grant concluded I should go to Grove Lake, in Pope County, a distance of about eighty or a hundred miles. So I started for Hutchinson again. Brother Grant accompanied me a short distance, until we came to a thicket by the wayside, into which {p. 54} we entered and committed our way to Him who had promised to be with us always, even unto the end of the world.

At East Hutchinson I met with Allen Knott, a man who used to work for my uncle in Canada. I had slept with him many a night when I was a boy. We were both surprised to meet in the wilds of Minnesota. The next day I got as far as the village of Hutchinson, and was much refreshed to meet with those of like precious faith. The following day I shouldered my valise, and started for Litchfield, Meeker County, arriving there a little before dark. I found a Brother Swanson, presented him my letter of recommendation, and said I might leave my valise with him. and he would bring it to Ole Halverson's on the morrow, but that I should go to Ole's, five or six miles, that evening. I thought that was a cold way to treat a poor, tired brother, but I started on again. When I got to Halverson's I found Brother Lee holding meetings there among the Swedes. With these kind brethren I stayed over Sabbath and Sunday, and assisted Brother Lee what I could. After meeting, Sunday, Brother Lee spoke to the people in Swedish, and I noticed both he and the people were very much affected, and they were contributing money for something, I knew not what. After all was over, Brother Lee came, and put his arm around me, and said, "Brother Hill, you need not go on foot anymore, for the brethren have contributed twelve dollars to help you on your way." I felt very grateful to him and the good brothers and sisters of Litchfield for their help in time of need. When I arrived at Grove Lake, I found a few who were believers in the present truth. They were very glad a minister had come to help them. I told them not to rejoice too quickly, as I had never preached, and might make a failure of it. They said they had been praying for a long time for a minister to come, and they did not believe the Lord had made a mistake, and sent the wrong man. I appointed a prayer meeting the first evening of my arrival, and a young man, William Emmerson by name, made a start for the kingdom of heaven.

He was a young man of good abilities and many good qualities. I hoped he would make a laborer in the cause, but for some reason he became discouraged. He has a good, faithful {p. 55} wife, and we hope he will yet recover himself from the snare of the enemy. Brother Grant had told me to hold only prayer meetings until he could send Brother Dimmick to help me; but the people would not listen to that, but announced preaching for me in the Raymond schoolhouse.


soon rolled around, and I found myself face to face with my first audience. It was quite large, and full of interest to know what this Adventist preacher would say. The M. E. minister was one of my auditors. As they sang the last hymn, I thought, "Now I must say something soon." I could feel my temples throb. I lifted my heart to the Lord for help, and He helped me. I took for my text: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3: 16. I had quite good freedom in presenting the love of God to the children of men, as manifested in the gift of His Son. I held up the Giver, the Gift, and the glorious results of salvation as best I could. There was at least one good point in the discourse-- it was short. Brother David Emmerson was a little late getting started, and never got there at all, having met the people returning from meeting. However feeble the discourse may have been, it was the subject of great comment; everywhere it was the topic of conversation. The old Universalist said he liked it, because there was much love in it. The M. E. minister said old Dick Richardson, with two weeks' preparation, could preach a better sermon than that. Others thought that there was more scripture presented in the sermon than they had ever heard before. Others remarked, "Anybody could read texts of scripture, especially if they marked the places by turning down the leaves of the Bible." The whole neighborhood was in a ferment of excitement, which only prepared the way for a larger attendance at the next meeting. I preached on the second coming of Christ, the second and seventh chapter of Daniel, and announced to speak on the sanctuary question (Dan. 8: 14); but how to begin it or end it I did not know. I fasted and went into the grove, and laid the matter before the Lord, and felt assured that God would help me in His own {p. 56} good way.

As I visited Brother David Emmerson's that afternoon I learned that Brother Dimmick had arrived. He was a person of some experience, and I felt that God had sent him at the right time. I never heard him preach with such power as he did that evening. While at Grove Lake we met with many incidents of interest. One evening, as Brother Dimmick was preaching on Spiritualism, a lady sat in the congregation mocking his motions, which were not the most graceful that could be imagined. For some reason this lady could not stop her motions when she wished to. She seemed for the time to be in perpetual motion. Her mother, who sat by her side, became alarmed, and started with her for the door. The house was crowded, and it was difficult to get through the crowd. The old lady cried out. "Let us out of here before we are all dead." An old gentleman standing by the door, cried," Let the old lady out; she has been disturbing the meeting all evening." The opposition arose to a great height. Two men, Warren and Vielie, undertook to oppose our work publicly. Warren followed hard after Brother Dimmick with his glittering sword of controversy, while I was exposed to the fire of Vielie's batteries. Mr. Warren soon withdrew, but Mr. Vielie declared he would continue is opposition until June, and this was December. Perhaps a brief outline of our reply to his points will be of interest to the reader: --

"Our brother thinks he has the truth because he preaches the gospel as the great men understand it. In searching for truth we ought not to inquire what do great men say, but what does the great God say. Great men say Sunday is the Sabbath. The great God says the seventh day is the Sabbath. Whom shall we believe, and whom shall we obey?"

"Paul says: 'For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many noble are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.' Our brother claims a place among the mighty.

"You see, brother, according to Paul, you have located yourself in the wrong place. We invite you over on to the Lord's side.

"Our brother thinks he must be right because so many, {p. 57} such a great multitude, believe as he does, and so few believe as we do. He exclaims, 'We are more than a hundred to one.' Our brother goes with the great multitude. According to that, where would he have been in Noah's day? He would have been with the great multitude who were drowned, and not the few that were saved in the ark. He would have said, "Too few, altogether too few, for me to go with them.' Where would you have been in the days of Elijah, when he was opposed by the king and queen and the nobility of Israel; when four hundred prophets of Baal and four hundred and fifty prophets of the groves stood up against him? Would you, on that memorable occasion, have stood by the lone prophet of God to encourage him in the fearful battle against the hosts of wickedness, or would you have joined the opposing multitudes, saying, 'The great majority must be right?' Would you have stood by the side of the suffering Son of God in His day? or would you have joined the chief priests and multitudes in the cry, 'Away with Him! Crucify Him! He is not fit to live?' Brother, we should stand for Christ and His truth, if all the world should oppose."

" 'Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes,----
They were souls who stood alone
While the men they agonized for
Hurled the contumelious stone;
Stood serene, and down the future
Saw the golden beam incline
To the side of perfect justice.
Mastered by their faith divine,
By one man's plain truth to manhood,
And to God's supreme design.'

`"He said, 'The Adventists are wrong when they say the great river Euphrates symbolizes the Turkish empire, through which it flows; But it does symbolize the church of God.' We think Brother Vielie is mistaken. Because the sixth angel pours out his vial of wrath on the great river Euphrates, and it is dried up. Rev. 16: 12. If Brother Vielie is a part of the church, and the wrath of God falls upon the church, then the wrath of God will fall upon Brother Vielie. Again the wrath of God falls upon the church, and it is in consequence {p. 58} dried up, and Brother Vielie is a part of the church, he will be dried up with the rest of it, and there will be no Brother Vielie any more.

"Brother Vielie says we are right when we say the fourth beast of Daniel 7 represents Rome, but entirely wrong as to the fire that consumes him. The fire that consumes him, he affirms, is the gospel. Let us see: In Rev. 19: 20, we find the beast was cast into a lake burning with fire and brimstone. Is it possible we are to understand that the beast was cast into a lake of the gospel? Our brother proclaims to us a queer gospel, truly. If the fire is gospel, as the great men understand it. This may be so, brother; but you are the first man we ever heard preach a gospel composed of fire and brimstone. Once more: He says the Adventists have all learned the same story. If you hear an Adventist preach in Maine, an another preach in Minnesota, the one in Minnesota will preach just like the one in Maine; and if you hear a third preach in California, he will preach just like the other two. Yes, we plead guilty to the charge. We have all learned our story from the good old Bible, and we have all learned it alike. We are told to come out of Babylon (confusion). Rev. 18: 4. We are taught that we should come into the unity of the faith, which we do. Eph. 4: 13.

"The Saviour prayed that His people might be one (John 17: 11), and Paul exhorts us as follows in 1 Cor. 1: 10: 'Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.' Yes, my brother, I am glad that amid all the jarring, warring, conflicting theories and doctrines of men, there is a people who see the light of truth so clearly that they all, from Maine to California, in fact, throughout the world, speak the same thing and are united in the faith; and I rejoice greatly that I belong to that people. Won't you come, brother, out of the labyrinths of the darkness and confusion of Babylon, and stand with us upon the glorious platform of truth, against which all the waves of opposition beat in vain?"

{p. 59}

That was the last of Brother Vielie's public opposition. Even our enemies were forced to smile at his outlandish interpretation of scripture. As a result of our meetings about forty embraced the truth, and the next spring a church edifice was built, the second Seventh- day Adventist church building in Minnesota. It was gratifying to see the love that reigned in the company of believers. They rejoiced greatly in the light and blessing they had received. I had now been absent from home three months, and hearing that my little boy was sick, I started for home. I traveled by railroad from Melrose to Mankato. The rest of the way to Blue Earth City, about forty-five miles, I went on foot, catching a ride when I could. As I was riding into Blue Earth City with a gentleman, I saw my wife standing by the wayside, looking intently toward us. She said when she heard the wagon rattle, before it came in sight, she felt impressed that I was in it. It was a happy meeting. As we neared the house my oldest boy, about four years old, came running to meet us as fast as his little legs could carry him, crying, "My father, my father!" It seemed as if his heart would fly out of his mouth. I know something got very large in my throat. In a few days I was holding meetings in the village of Delavan. There was quite a good interest displayed, but although the believers were encouraged, and a good impression was made on outsiders, none took a stand for the commandments of God. One gentleman suddenly quit attending the meetings. When asked why he did so, he said, "If I continue to go to the meetings, I must become an Adventist;" which he did not wish to do, so he stayed away. Many others have done the same thing, which shows they love darkness rather than light. While holding meetings at Delavan, one evening, a Brother Call and myself attended a protracted effort at Bass Lake, conducted by the Methodists, I believe. In the social meeting we both took part. Brother Call's remarks were very highly appreciated. As I was standing on the platform after meeting waiting for Brother Call to come out of the church, one of the new converts asked me if I were the Adventist minister who was holding meetings at Delavan. I replied in the affirmative, whereupon he shook his fist in my face, and called me an imp of the devil, and ordered me to leave, and not {p. 60} come again. I said to him, "This is a strange way to do. Even if I am a bad man, you ought to be glad to have me attend meeting, so long as I behave myself properly, for by so doing I may receive good, and so become good." He became still more excited, and said, "You are an imp of the devil, and are not wanted here." At this juncture an elderly man took him by the arm, and led him away. As this man passed us in a sleigh, he struck at me with his whip, but did not quite reach me. Thus early in my ministry I was beginning to receive a few drops of the wrath of the dragon. Rev. 12: 17. In the spring of 1874 I removed to Grove Lake, Pope County, Minn. The brethren assisted me to build a little house near the church.


I taught school and worked in harvest, holding meetings Sabbaths and Sundays at Grove Lake and West Union. The conference allowed me four dollars per week for what time I was actually in the field. Four dollars at that time were about equal to two dollars now, because everything was so much dearer then than now. I was glad and happy, and made up the deficiency by teaching school and working in harvest, thankful for the privilege of working for God, having respect unto the recompense of reward to be given the faithful toilers when Jesus comes. One Sunday, David Emmerson urged me to go with him to the Raymond schoolhouse, and hear a discourse on the immortality of the soul. He said the minister had invited our people to come, and would give opportunity for remarks. The minister informed us that the souls of our departed friends are in heaven, beckoning us to come to them. Liberty was given to make remarks, which opportunity I improved by reading passages of scripture treating upon the state of the dead. When I read where Peter on the day of Pentecost said, "David is not ascended into the heavens" (Acts 2: 43), one man said he did not believe it, if the Bible did say so, and there was a regular stampede for the door. At this crisis our old Universalist friend cried out, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." The {p.61} effect was magical. For a moment every one stood in his tracks, irresolute whether to take to his heels or return to his seat. They finally went out, leaving Brother Emmerson and myself, with two or three others, sole occupants of the house. I went home thinking I had not accomplished much good, and have never tried to do good in that way again.


of recognition. As I was working for Jared Emmerson, he remarked one day, "I don't care a groat." His brother said: "What is a groat?" Mrs. Emmerson replied: "A groat is a fourpence; I used to go to school to a man by the name of Groat, and the children used to say: 'Who cares for a Groat? A groat is nothing but a fourpence.' " I said, "I used to go to a teacher by that name, and the children used to say the same to him." "Well, this man's name was Ebenezer Groat." "The teacher I went to was called Ebenezer Groat." "This man taught at No. 4 Hill, Canada." ''That is just where I went to school to him," and so it turned out we were old schoolmates and had been acquainted again for months without the least thought that we had ever seen each other before. In September, Brother Grant came to Grove Lake for me to go to Kingston, Meeker County, to hold tent meetings. I only had a day or two in which to get ready. My little wife worked day and night, almost, to put my clothes in order. Brother Grant took me in his buggy to Litchfield, where I took the train for Dassel. From there I walked to Kingston, a distance of nine miles. There was not a friend to greet me in the town. I went to the hotel, and it cost me one dollar the first night. Brother Phelps, who was to labor with me, did not come, and I determined to hold meetings in the schoolhouse instead of the tent. I published my meetings far and wide, but only a few attended. Religion was at a very low ebb in the town. I often went into the grove, and prayed God to help me, and He did. The interest increased, and seven adults decided to walk in the light, among whom was Sister Hall, wife of the leading merchant in the place. I was invited to their house, and was very kindly entertained, much more sumptuously than I had been accustomed to among the frontier people.

{p. 62}

After doing what I could to lead the people on Kingston to embrace the truth, I immediately began meetings in East Kingston, a few miles in the timber. We had a peculiar experience there.

''One night I preached on the ''Mark of the Beast.'' Rev. 14: 9-12. The power of God was present, and a deep solemnity rested upon us all, and nearly all in the house arose to signify their determination to keep the commandments of God. Some who had no intention of doing so were compelled to by the power that was in the meeting. They were amazed the next morning at what they had done, and soon turned away from the truth. How will such stand before the God of truth in the great day? A goodly number continued with us, which, with the company at Kingston, made about thirty believers. I held Sabbath school and meeting at Kingston in the forenoon, and the same in the timber in the afternoon. Sister Hall would come down stairs arrayed in her fine clothing, get into a lumber wagon and ride over corduroy bridges and the roughest roads imaginable to help us in East Kingston. Those were days of zeal for the cause of God. The time came that I must go home. As I bade Sister Hall farewell, she asked me, "Is it wrong to dance?" I said I thought it was not the best thing for Christians to engage in. She then asked me, "Is it right to play at cards?'' I had heard that her former pastor thought Christians might indulge in such amusements. It occurred to me, ''If I say it is wrong, she will think we are altogether too strict, and be discouraged.'' But I must tell the truth, let the consequences be what they may, and I did so, and with a prayer in my heart for her I started for home, about sixty miles distant.

I got to Manannah the best I could. From there a stage ran to Paynesville, which consisted of a buggy and one horse, with a young lady for a driver. We got along all right until within a few miles of Paynesville, when as we were going down a hill, the buggy came apart and pitched us head foremost on the ground. We got up, turned the buggy out of the road, loaded the horse with the buffalo robes, mail sack, and whatever would stay on his back; and the rest, such as valises and parcels, we loaded ourselves with, and started for town. A comical-looking trio,-- the horse, maiden, and myself. {p. 63} Still the weary miles stretched away that must be traveled before home, sweet home was reached. The monotony of travel was enlivened by the fierce onslaught of three great dogs, one of which seized me by my new pants, tearing a great rent in the same. I threw a stick at the brute, but missed him. Then I thought to give the owner a piece of my mind as to the propriety of keeping such a pack of hounds to attack travelers on the highway; but he cut my remarks short by saying, "Me no understand English!'' I then indignantly pointed to the dogs and the rent in my new pants, and then went on my way, having gained all the satisfaction possible under the circumstances. I reached home after dark on November 4. I found my wife assembled with the people at the church, engaged in holding prayer meeting. They were all glad to see me, and I was glad to be able to report the good blessing of God with me in leading precious souls out of darkness into light. I was home but a short time when I received a letter from Sister Hall, requesting me to return to Kingston. She said she never was so happy in all her life. Her heart rejoiced day and night. She though if I would hold some more meetings in Kingston her husband would go with us. I laid the matter before the brethren, and they all said I should return, which I did. I remained about six weeks. Brethren Ells and Dimmick joined me in the work. At my farewell meeting, Brother Hall took his stand publicly to obey God. I had a foretaste of heaven. "He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious see shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.'' What a happy day when all God's faithful workmen meet in heaven! Reader, will you be one of them? The weather was bitter cold, and I must over the prairies for home again. I suffered with the cold, and arrived at home sick. In January, 1876. I began teaching school at Grove Lake again, and had the pleasure of home joys the rest of the winter.

Brother A. Greenman was acquainted with a Mr. Shaw who lived about thirty miles away, in the Big Woods, near Round Prairie. After he embraced the truth, he and his wife went to see Mr. Shaw and his family. They found him an ardent Methodist. Messrs. Shaw and Greenman were both {p. 64} excitable and possessed all the fervor of new converts to their respective faiths. Without doubt, at times their visit waxed warm, as they each tried to lead the other from the error of his ways. As Brother Greenman left, he gave his friend some tracts treating upon the Sabbath question. It was not long before Brother Greenman received a letter from Mr. Shaw, requesting that a minister come and hold meetings in his neighborhood. The next Sabbath, Brother Greenman was all aglow with interest. He showed his letter to the brethren, and nothing would do but for me to give up my school, and go. I did so, and one Sunday in April we drove to Mr. Shaw's. As we neared his place, I inquired the way of a Mr. Bailey. He very kindly directed us. As we passed on, he said to his wife: ''I know that is Shaw's preacher he is looking for, and I don't believe he is much of a preacher, either.'' We found Brother Shaw keeping the Sabbath, and very enthusiastic. He said after he became convinced, by reading the tracts, that the seventh day is the Sabbath, he filled his pockets with them, and went from house to house, leaving tracts at every place, talking his new-found faith all the while, and soon the whole neighborhood was in a commotion on the Sabbath question. The ministers soon found it out, and two went to visit him one day. As they passed Mr. Bellingham's house, he asked them where they were going. ''Oh, we are going to get this Advent doctrine out of Shaw's head.'' Brother Shaw, by the aid of a little tract entitled, ''An Examination of Seven Reasons for Sunday Keeping,'' was enabled so completely to answer every argument in favor of Sunday sacredness that they acknowledged they were not posted on the subject. In the evening as they passed Mr. Bellingham's on their return, he asked them: ''Did you get that Advent doctrine out of Shaw's head?'' They answered, ''No. When a man gets this Advent doctrine into his head, it is very hard to get it out again.'' Well, truth is mighty, and we will prevail. I began meetings immediately. The interest was good from the beginning. It was breaking up in the spring, and the roads were wretched and the evening dark. In places the people had to cross ponds of water on fallen logs, yet men, women, and children came. They brought bundles of birch bark, which they lighted at the schoolhouse door, and started {p. 65} for home. It was a beautiful sight to see the torches flaming in the darkness. Brother Lyman Decker assisted me in opening meetings and visiting among the people.

We sought the Lord earnestly, and prayed often and much, and visited constantly. If we found a man splitting rails, or doing any other kind of work, we took right hold and helped him, and visited and worked both at the same time. The Lord especially blessed, and in about ten days twenty precious souls had decided to forsake the traditions of men for the commandments of God. The class leader, Brother Pease, arose in the meeting one evening, and tears steaming down his cheeks, and said, ''Brethren, I am compelled to keep the Sabbath against my will. The Lord says, 'Go out and compel them to come in.' '' Luke 14: 23. There is a mighty compelling power in the truth of God. There were a few of the class who did not come with us. We all attended their class meeting one Sunday. It was a remarkable meeting, truly. Our brethren came rejoicing in their new-found light and liberty. Our Methodist friends came full of arguments for Sunday keeping. They all ran in the same line of no law; hence no seventh-day Sabbath. As one man was eloquently explaining his views, Suddenly a piece of rope fell at his feet. Why it should be thrown at him I did not know until it was explained to me that a short time previously he had whipped his wife with a rope, hence the piece of rope was very suggestive to him. Undoubtedly he was the proper man to teach the abolition of divine precepts. ''The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed, can be.'' Rom. 7: 7. Bearhead was a little hamlet a few miles distant, and Burnhamville was another a little farther on. I lost no time in entering these places.

One evening as we were assembling for meeting at the Bearhead schoolhouse, A tall backwoodsman entered, and said, ''I heard there was a preacher here that knows the Bible all by heart; I would like to see him.'' With holding meetings at Greenwood, Bearhead, and Burnhamville, my time was fully occupied. I preached repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, with all my might. I emphasized the fourth commandment, because that is the one Christians ignorantly transgress. One lady, Mrs. Balmer, of Burnhamville, {p. 66} said to me one day, ''No one can keep the ten commandments; it is impossible.'' I asked her, ''Sister Balmer, how many of these commandments can we break, and not go to heaven? Can we break the first one, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me, and go to heaven?'' ''No.'' ''Can we bow down to graven images, and go to heaven?'' ''No.'' ''Can we take God's name in vain, and find an entrance through the gates into the city?'' ''No.'' ''We will skip the fourth at present and try the fifth, 'Honor thy father and thy mother.' Can we dishonor father and mother and please the Lord?'' ''No.'' And so we went over, ''Thou shalt not kill;'' ''Thou shalt not commit adultery,'' ''Thou shalt not steal,'' ''Thou shalt not bear false witness,'' ''Thou shalt not covet.'' She agreed that we must keep all those or be lost. ''What about the fourth command, sister? Do you think we can knowingly and willfully profane God's holy Sabbath, and be guiltless? What sayeth the scripture? 'Whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point is guilty of all.' James 2: 10.'' As I was holding meeting at Bearhead, a professor of religion said to me, ''Brother Hill, I know what you preach is truth. You have proved plainly by the Bible that the seventh day is the Sabbath; but I cannot keep it.'' ''Why not.'' ''Well, this coming fall I have opportunity to work on a thrashing machine with my team, and if I keep the Sabbath it will throw me out of a job.'' He was poor timber to make a martyr out of. How would such a man feel in the presence of the noble men and women who counted not their lives dear unto themselves so that they might win Christ and heaven? Acts 20: 24; 21: 13. I fear such will never join in the overcomer's triumphant song. Christ and His truth on one side and a job thrashing on the other, and he chose the job. That is about the way Christ is valued in this world. Judas sold his Master for thirty pieces, and the Jews preferred a murderer to the Son of God. So it is to-day. Thousands of popular professors, when it comes to choosing between Christ and His unpopular truth and the world, choose the world every time. The Sabbath is a great test by which to develop the true character of all such. After laboring six weeks, I once more started for home. Brethren Shaw and Carpenter took me in a wagon some distance beyond Sauk Centre.

{p. 67}

Near the latter place we fell in with a train of emigrants encamped in the edge of a grove. They were from Iowa. Religion was the theme of conversation. One gentleman was chief speaker of the party. He did not relish the law very well, and claimed there was no law from Adam to Moses. We showed him, if that were so, then there was no sin from Adam to Moses, for sin is the transgression of the law. John 3: 4, and where no law is there is no transgression, or sin. Rom. 3: 15. He yielded that point, and began asking questions. ''If you believe the Bible, why don't you greet one another with a holy kiss?'' ''We do.'' ''The Bible says you should wash one another's feet. John 13: 14, 15. Do you do that?'' ''Yes, sir, we do.'' ''Once more, the Bible tells you to heal the sick. Mark 16: 18. James 5: 14, 15. Do you do that?'' ''Yes, we pray for the sick, and they recover.'' Then he cried triumphantly, ''I am sick, heal me,'' at which the whole crowd set up a shout. We said, ''Do not be in a hurry to laugh and shout; wait a bit till we get through. Now, sir, the apostles did not heal everybody in their day. Paul wrote, 'Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.' 2 Tim. 4: 20. Why didn't he heal him?'' ''I do not know,'' said he. ''Perhaps he was not in the proper condition spiritually to be healed.'' ''I think that is the case with you.'' ''Why so?'' ''Because you swear.'' ''How do you know?'' ''I heard you a few minutes ago. A man who takes God's name in vain is not a fit subject for His healing power.'' He appeared quite humble after that, and wanted to know more of our people. We gladly gave him a lot of tracts, which he promised to read, and we went on our way, hoping his eyes might be opened to see the truth. After leaving Brethren Shaw and Carpenter, I walked home across the prairie a few miles. I found my wife and little ones well, for which I was thankful to God. As I looked over the past six weeks of labor I was happy. God had been very good to me. He had enabled me to kindle a light in dark places, and cause a goodly number to rejoice in hope of eternal life. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits. It was now nearly time for our yearly camp meeting to be held at Eagle Lake, Blue Earth County, about one hundred and fifty miles away. We started from Grove Lake with four covered wagons. We passed through {p. 68} Paynesville, Greenleaf, Litchfield, Hutchinson, New Auburn, St. Peter, and Kasota on our way. As we journeyed, our train increased continually until we became a large company. As we neared New Auburn, we entered the grasshopper region. The hoppers were by the countless millions. The country before them was smiling with grown crops; behind them was desolation. Some fields of grain were eaten as clean as though nothing had grown there at all. The people were out with cotton sacks attached to hoops, trying to catch the pests. Although they caught millions, it did not seem to lessen the myriads of hoppers to any perceptible extent.


has given this part of Minnesota a wide berth for many years. We had an excellent camp meeting. It was there I saw Brother and Sister White for the first time, the two most prominent pioneers in the third angel's message. Their labors were very highly appreciated by us. I was ordained at that camp meeting to the work of the gospel ministry by the laying on of hands by Elders White and Smith. Brethren Dimmick and Ellis were ordained at the same time. We felt to renew our consecration to the work of God. Although the harvest was great and the laborers few, the sound of the message was carried to all parts of the State, and believers and churches were multiplied. The few workers shrank from no toil or hardship in order to carry the glad tidings everywhere, that the return of our absent Lord is at the door.


Brother Ferdinand Morse and myself pitched our tent on Round Prairie, near Greenwood, where I had labored the previous spring. There was no village near, yet the tent was often filled to overflowing. The people had heard that Old Hill, who had held meetings in Greenwood had pitched his tent on the prairie, and they were curious to see and hear him. They expected to see an old man all wrinkled and gray. They could scarcely believe the young man of thirty-two, with hair as black as a raven's wing, was the Old Hill they had heard so much about. They came expecting to see the tent walls hung with pictures of ferocious beasts, and to hear the most {p. 69} outlandish discourse on the day of doom and crash of worlds. They were surprised to find everything different to what they expected to see and hear. After the first sermon, which was preached by Brother Morse, Mr. Brower was asked by the M. E. class leader what he thought of it. He replied, ''Mr. Krause, I think it was the best sermon I ever heard in my life.'' A good many people who had never taken an interest in our meetings, which some religionists no sooner found out than they tried to destroy their new-born interests. Some said to me: ''As long as we were wicked and swore and did many other sinful things, these people took no special interest in us. Never one spoke to us about our soul's salvation; but as soon as we turn to the Lord, and strive to do right, they try to discourage us all they can. They would rather than we were sinners without God, and without hope, than to be rejoicing in the present truth.''

Two ministers called on Brother Brower one day to turn him away from the faith. They said to him: ''No one can understand the prophecies. In fact, they are not to be understood.'' ''That is strange, indeed, for if they are not to be understood they can be of no possible use to us. It is passing strange that God should give us prophecies that are of no use to anybody. But don't you think the prophecies of Daniel can be understood?'' ''No, nobody can tell what those symbols mean.'' ''Don't you think we can tell what the ram and rough goat of Daniel 8 mean?'' ''No, sir, we do not.'' ''Well, let us read what the angel says they mean: 'The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia, and the rough goat is the king of Grecia.' Dan. 8: 20, 21. Is not that plain enough? Indeed, too plain to be misunderstood?'' It is needless to say their visit was not prolonged. Such encounters only strengthened the brethren in the faith.

A Mr. Johnson was very much opposed to our views, and had unlimited confidence in the ability of his wife to overthrow our doctrine. He said: ''Just let those ministers come and see my Anna, and she will show them where they are wrong.'' Of course we went. We found Mrs. Johnson an intelligent lady, and succeeded eventually in explaining satisfactorily {p. 70} her objections to our teaching, and she soon declared in favor of the truth. Her husband was greatly chagrined at the unexpected turn affairs had taken, but he, too, soon surrendered to the claims of God's word, and I had the pleasure of baptizing them both in one of Minnesota's lovely lakes. He lived a few years an exemplary Christian life, and died in the blessed hope. Mrs. Johnson became a successful minister of the gospel, crowded houses listening to the eloquent words that fell from her lips. An attempt was made by an Elder Fuller to overthrow our work, while I was thirty miles away, working in harvest to earn money to keep the wolf from the door. We heard of his appointment, and felt that we must be there to look after the few sheep in the wilderness. After sundown Saturday evening we went as far as Brother Moulton's. Sunday morning, before daylight, we were on our way again. Our buggy broke down, and we had a great job to rig it up again. Notwithstanding all obstacles we arrived on time. The elder said that Sunday is the true seventh day, which he claimed to prove by counting the age of the world to a day, not making a mistake of a single day. He said he had studied the subject for more than twenty years, and he had read books enough to make a pile that would reach from floor to ceiling. To demonstrate his ability to count the age of the world to a day and not make a mistake, he called upon any one in the audience to give him the year and day of the month on which one of their children was born, and he would tell them the day of the week. I gave him the year and day of the month up on which our Freddy was born. He ciphered awhile on the blackboard and came out wrong. A German lady next gave him the required figures. He ciphered away a while again, and said, ''Your child, madam, was born on a Tuesday.'' Much to the amusement of the audience and the discomfiture of the minister, she cried out, ''You hafe maidt von mishtake, for he vas porn on Sunday.'' We showed in reply that if we followed him we would have to forsake the Bible as our rule of faith and practice such a wonderful arithmetical problem as to count the age of the world to a day and not make a mistake. We would be forced to depend entirely upon {p. 71} the correctness of his count, and, from the exhibition he had given during the day of his ability to reckon, we were certain he was far from being infallible, and if he was mistaken in a single day, the whole thing was a miserable failure. Who would like to risk his salvation upon such a slender thread?---Not we. By his count he finds God did not give the Israelites His Sabbath, but a Jewish ceremonial Sabbath instead, which contradicts the word of God. ''And madest known unto them THY HOLY Sabbath.'' Neh. 9: 14. Here we learn that it was God's holy Sabbath that was made known to Israel, and not a Jewish ceremonial Sabbath, as taught by Elder Fuller's figures. He must rectify his count to bring him in harmony with the word of God. Again God said to the Israelites, ''The seventh day is the Sabbath.'' Ex. 20: 10. Hence it was the seventh-day Sabbath God gave Israel, and not a sixth-day Sabbath, as taught by Elder Fuller. Surely the Lord must be right, and he must be wrong in his count. Once more: The bible calls the resurrection day the first day of the week. ''Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week.'' Mark 16: 9. The first day of the week was the third day upon which Christ arose form the dead. Luke 24: 1-21. ''Oh, no;'' says Elder Fuller, ''I have studied the question for more than twenty years; I have read a pile of books that would reach from floor to ceiling; I have counted the age of the world to a day, and have discovered that the resurrection day is the seventh and not the first day of the week, as stated by the inspired apostles.'' ''Every one can see if we accept Brother Fuller, we must repudiate the apostles. If we accept the apostles, we must repudiate Brother Fuller. We propose to stand by the inspired Word of God and not by Brother Fuller's count. Come, Brother Fuller, over on to the Lord's side of this question, and then no more twenty years' hard study to sustain a weak cause. No more laborious counting. No more reading such a huge pile of books to ascertain which day is the Sabbath. All he will have to do is to take God at His word. Open the blessed Bible and read: 'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,' Ex. 20: 10, and the work is done.''

Some not of the faith were displeased with the reply, but our brethren were not only strengthened in the truth, but their {p. 72} eyes fairly shone with delight. Truth never loses by being contrasted with error.


In December Brother Decker took Brother Nelson and myself to Lake Joanna, to see if there was a good opening in that vicinity for a course of lectures. One Sunday we drove in the face of the northwest wind, and it was stinging cold. I was blue with cold when we drove up to a Scandinavian brother's, with whom we were to remain overnight. A good fire soon warmed us up. Our cold ride had sharpened our appetites, And as the good housewife was preparing supper, I boasted what ample justice I could do to the coming repast. The supper consisted almost entirely of a Scandinavian dish made of potatoes and flour, entirely new to me. I took a lot of it on my plate, and attacked it as only a hungry man could. Imagine my surprise and disappointment; I could not eat the mess at all. Do what I would I could not possibly swallow the mixture. I would not have cared if I had not informed them of my hunger, and what great things I was going to do at the supper table. The cold that night was intense. The house was a frail affair of one room, and was not well calculated to retain the heat or keep out the cold. As soon as the fire burned low, it was as cold as Greenland. There was an old mother dog with a lot of little ones in the house. When the fire would go down, the puppies would ''Ti, yi! Ti, yi!'' and our host would arise and rekindle the fire, and all would go well for awhile until ''Ti, yi! Ti, yi!'' would go the puppies again, and the kind-hearted host would again arise, and repeat the process of kindling the fire, which he did several times during the long, cold night. At last morning dawned, but oh! how cold. A feeble attempt at breakfast, and away over the broad prairies, over the glistening crackling snow for home. Miles away stretched the prairie, without a house to be seen. We had not been on our way long before brethren Decker and Nelson cried out, ''Brother Hill, your cheek is white.'' Just then we discovered a smoke curling up from a little house a mile or so away. We drove for it as fast as we could, in the meanwhile rubbing my face with snow, A little after noon we reached Brother Nelson's. {p. 73} It is needless to say we did ample justice to Sister Nelson's good dinner, glad and thankful we had escaped any serious mishap. When I arrived home, I found my brother John, who had come to teach the Grove Lake school that winter. He boarded at our house, which was a source of much pleasure to us. In January, 1876, Brother William Emmerson and myself went to Cannon City, a little hamlet near the city of Faribault. John Godfrey had secured the promise of the Disciple church in which to hold meetings, and invited us to come. When we got there, they refused to let us have it. Mr. Godfrey asked, ''Did you not say these men might have the use of the church?'' ''Yes; but we reconsidered the matter, and decided not to do so.'' ''And never said a word to me about it; and I have sent for these men, and they have come a long distance at large expense! Is that right?'' ''Right or wrong, we will not let them have the church anyway.'' We then went to Uncle John Hoover to see if we could get the Congregational church. He said we could have it for four evenings, but could not promise it longer. ''Why not longer? If I were a Baptist or Methodist minister, would you not grant it me a longer time?'' He replied, ''Yes, I would,'' and then asked, ''Where do you think the spirit goes to at death?'' I said, ''Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit to God who gave it.'' Eccl. 12: 7. That is what I believe.'' ''The thinking, intelligent part of a man goes to God at death?'' '' I do not think so; for if the intelligent thinking part of man, i.e., of all men, goes to God at death then, all men will be saved. They must all be happy. 'For at His right hand ( in His presence) is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.' Ps. 16: 11.'' ''The spirit returns to God as it was.'' "Did the spirit know anything when it came from God?'' ''I think not.'' ''Then it will know no more when it returns to God than it did when God gave it.'' Uncle John then said he thought the spirit did know something when it came from God. ''Do you believe your spirit had a conscious existence before you were born?'' ''Yes, I believe so.'' ''Please tell me some of your pre-existent history. It would be intensely interesting.'' Of course Uncle John was unable to bring it to his recollection. The truth is, "God takes in death what He gave man in creation, which was the breath of {p. 74} life (Gen. 2: 7), which Job calls ''the spirit of God which is in my nostrils.'' Job 27: 3.

But let the case be as it would, he would not promise the church longer, so we began meetings, thankful for the small favors. One day a gentleman asked me if I would occupy the Disciple church if I should find it heated and lighted for me. I said, ''Yes, gladly.'' That very evening I found it all ready for occupancy, and held meetings in it as long as we desired to. One evening, as I sat in the store looking over some scriptures before meeting, a Spiritualist took occasion to make great sport of the Bible and of them who believed it. He pitied the poor fellows who were harassed by the devil, and said, ''He never troubles me. He lets me alone.'' I said to him, ''Sir, you remind me of a story I once read.'' Immediately he and all the company were all attention to hear the story. ''There were two friends. One was often tempted of the devil. The other laughed at him and said, 'I am happier than you, for the devil never troubles me. He lets me alone.' One day as they were hunting ducks the one who was never troubled by Satan, fired into a flock of ducks, killing two and wounding a third. He paid no attention to the dead ones, but pursued the wounded one as fast as he could. When he returned, his friend asked him, 'Why did you leave the dead ducks and pursue the wounded one?' 'Oh, I was sure of the dead ones, but was afraid the wounded one would get away.' 'Exactly so. The devil is afraid he will lose me and so he is after me; but being sure of you, he lets you alone.' So you see, my friend, you are the dead duck. The devil is certain sure of you, anyway, so he lets you entirely alone.'' Amid the shouts of laughter, I decided it was time for me to go to church. Dear reader, so long as you are careless in your sins, the devil will not trouble you much; but if you renounce his service and begin to serve God, you will experience his opposing power. But it is a good sign; it only shows he is afraid of losing you. Be of good courage, and go forward, remembering He that is for us is greater than all that are against us. We had a good interest in our meetings at Cannon City, but an urgent call came from Pierce County, Wis., and we left the work too soon. We went to Pierce County, Wis. in February. We began meetings in Person's schoolhouse, {p. 75} and boarded with Brother O'Hara, who, with his wife, were the only Seventh-day Adventists in that neighborhood. We had crowded houses. We visited far and near, and held meetings in different places, and our hearts were cheered by seeing a goodly number renounce the works of darkness to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. While holding meetings at Olivet, some roughs drove us out of the schoolhouse, after which the people furnished us a private building. The rowdies followed us there, drank whiskey during the meeting, and carried on like demons. We got an old justice of the peace to come one evening and preserve order. In the midst of the disturbance, he suddenly took the stomach ache, and went home, and left us to the tender mercies of the crowd. While I was speaking, Elder D. P. Curtis stood by my side, watching with eagle eye, expecting every moment that the ruffians would make a rush for us. When I was about half through, he said, ''Brother Hill, you had better quit. Those fellows will raise the very old Satan himself if you don't.'' ''That's what they want me to do, and I won't stop until I get through.'' After meeting they jumped, danced, and yelled like wild savages; then they went out and stood around the door, continued their whooping and yelling and said, ''Let them ministers come out here!'' but we went out and passed through the crowd, believing the Lord would protect us, and he did. Not a hand was laid upon us.

The next day we took our warrants for four of the ring-leaders, one of whom ran away, two paid their fines, and one went to jail, after which we had great peace in that neighborhood. I was working very hard, preaching and visiting continually. I had not received a dollar from conference all winter, And my boots got so bad I had wet feet continually, and I took a very severe cold, and felt very miserable. One day I lay down on a bed in a room which served for bedroom, parlor, and kitchen. I soon fell asleep, during which several ladies called on a visit. I awoke just in time to hear one of them say, ''He is like a singed cat; better than he looks.''

I went one evening to hold meeting in a very new settlement in the deep, dark, woods. I was told that a Spiritualist, a Mr. Akers, would speak to the people after the sermon, {p. 76} as he always did so. I spoke that evening on the seventh chapter of Daniel. The Lord gave good freedom in speaking the word. Although liberty was given for remarks, no one responded. When the old gentleman was asked why he did not speak as usual, he said, ''He nailed me to my seat.'' There is nothing like the clear light of prophecy to prove the Bible is inspired by God, and to stop the mouth of gainsayers. At the next camp meeting, which was held at Eagle Lake, Minn., we had the pleasure of presenting to the conference the names of forty new converts to the faith.



O, ring the bells of heaven high!
The marriage feast has come;
The glorious jubilee is nigh,
The saints are going home.
The mighty pennons of the skies
Are waving in the air,
And o'er the gates of Zion rise
Her battlements so fair.

The King is mustering His guests;
I see His glorious band;
I see the shining habitants
Of far-off Beulah-land.
They come, they come on wings of light
I hear the bugle blast;
I know the reign of sin's dark night
Forevermore is past.

From cloud to cloud, from dome to dome,
The myriad army cries;
''The marriage of the lamb has come----
The marriage of the skies.''
Come, bring the linen white and clean,
The wedding guests prepare,
Garments which gleam like silvery sheen,----
The bridal robes so fair.

The Bridegroom, too, methinks I see,
While myriad voices ring;
''Chiefest among ten thousand He------
Immanuel, my King!''
''Thrice blest are they who hear the call,''
A mighty angel cries,
''Haste to the supper of the Lamb----
The marriage of the skies.''
------Mrs. L. D. Avery-Stuttle, in Signs of the Times

{p. 77}


Mrs. Hill and my three boys joined me at Olivet. I had not seen them for thirteen weeks. I was glad to meet them after such a long separation. In April we went to Lewiston, and made our home for a while with Brother Erb, who received us very kindly. I began meetings in a schoolhouse near the Dunkard church. The roads were very bad. The frost was just coming out of the ground. We hitched two span of horses on to the wagon, and yet we got mired on our way from the meeting. The interest was so great that the people requested us to hold meeting in the daytime while the roads were so bad. Two ministers, Mr. and Mrs. Ramer, attended my meetings, and opposed. After the sermon they would find all the fault they could, and ask questions to confuse me, if possible. They also visited the interested ones, and tried to turn them away from the faith. They said, ''Elder Hill has a good memory, and can repeat scripture, but he doesn't know how to apply it correctly. If we only had opportunity to preach, we would soon overthrow this doctrine.'' The people told them they should have the opportunity. So they were given the use of the Dunkard church. Mrs. Ramer spoke on the Sabbath question the next Sunday. She was a good speaker, and did as well for Sunday as any one I ever heard. She made a strong impression on many minds. I replied in the church in the evening. The large church was filled. I never had better freedom in maintaining the Lord's precious truth. After the discourse, Elder Ramer said, ''You did well for a law minister,'' implying I did not preach gospel, than which nothing could be farther than the truth. They held that Christ abolished His Father's law, and gave us a more spiritual one, requiring far more of us than the old. I replied, ''Let us first reach the standard of the old before we aspire to something higher. {p. 78} For instance, take the command, 'Thou shalt not covet,' which means, thou shalt not be selfish; for it is impossible, so long as a particle of selfishness remains in a man's nature, for him to fully keep that precept. I am afraid even our sister has not reached such a high standard yet. It is quite probable that all selfishness is not yet eradicated from her nature. That command gives her large room to grow in grace before she reaches the limit of its requirement.''

That evening the old gentleman was furious. He said, ''You must not say my wife is covetous, or I will show you law.'' I replied, ''Brother Ramer, are you not just a little bit covetous yourself?'' He seemed bewildered for a moment, and then said, ''No, I am not.'' ''Well, Elder, all I have to say is, you have a better opinion of yourself than your neighbors have of you.'' I had learned he was so selfish that even his own family had trouble with him in money matters.


in traducing the law of God. David said, ''I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.'' Ps. 119: 32. You see it takes an enlarged heart to keep the commandments of God, yet our friends tell us the law did not reach the heart at all. Again, David prays, ''Give me understanding and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.'' Ps. 119: 34. We see from this it takes an understanding heart to keep God's law. He says still further, ''Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.'' If our friends had lived in David's day, they must needs have corrected him. They would have said to him, ''You need not pray for understanding to keep God's law with the whole heart; for it does not now reach the heart at all. We must wait until the new dispensation before the law of God will require heart service.'' They would consider David was altogether too previous.

David prayed again, ''Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,'' Ps. 119: 18. after his eyes were opened, he said, ''I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy commandment is EXCEEDING BROAD.'' Ps. 119: 96. What a contrast! Our friends tell us that the law was exceeding narrow, so exceedingly narrow that it referred {p. 79} to outward actions only. Perhaps the reason of this great difference is that God opened David's eyes to behold wondrous things out of His law, while our friends are in total blindness in regard to it. David did not say that God's law will be perfect at some future time, but, ''The law of the Lord is PERFECT, converting the soul.'' Ps. 19: 7. Our friends have plainly and pointedly contradicted David by saying that the law was defective, and was not perfect until made so by Christ. If we hold to David or the Spirit of Christ that was in him (1 Peter 1: 10, 11), We must reject the teaching of Brother and Sister Ramer. To parry the force of this, they said, ''The margin of Ps. 19: 7 reads 'doctrine,' instead of 'law;' hence it is the doctrine of the Lord that is perfect, and not the law.'' ''Very well, we will now inquire, What is a good doctrine? 'Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and intend to know understanding, for I give you good doctrine.' Prov. 4: 1, 2. Yes, my friends, the good doctrine is, 'Forsake ye not my law.' That is the doctrine I am preaching to you, as you all know, but if 'forsake not the law' is good doctrine, what kind of doctrine are our friends teaching when they belittle the law, and not only teach the people to forsake it, but to look upon it as a yoke of bondage too grievous to be borne? We must all agree, if it is good doctrine to keep the law, it is bad, very bad doctrine to teach people to forsake it. Come, friends, over to the good doctrine of obedience to the law of God.

One evening, I tried to show that if we sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2: 1. We need an advocate with the Father, because we have transgressed the Father's law; but if Christ abolished the Father's law, and gave us one of His own, who then is our advocate?-- Perhaps the Virgin, or all the saints. To obviate this difficulty, they explained the text, ''There is one God, and one mediator between God and man; the man Jesus Christ,'' as follows: The divinity of Christ is the lawgiver, while the humanity of Christ is our mediator. We showed that our mediator is both the Son of God and the son of man,--both human and divine; 'His divine nature connects him with God, and His human nature connects Him with man. Thus, in Christ we {p. 80} have a perfect mediator between God and man; but our friends have divided their mediator, making the divinity of Christ a lawgiver, retaining only a human mediator. Thus do people run into absurdities, striving to avoid the law of God. As I was presenting these points, the elder denied they had ever said so; but they were constrained to admit they had done so, whereupon the old gentleman arose, and said he was so worried that he could not sleep nights. They found that the commandments of God are not easily overthrown as they thought for. After two weeks of opposition they publicly withdrew, and left the field. In the meantime Elder Cole, of Minneapolis, was sent for to help their sinking cause. He was a fine-looking man, and had city ways, and was well dressed; while I had been since December on a continual strain, my clothes were shabby enough. He would discuss two propositions: ''Is the Seventh-day Sabbath Binding on Christians?'' ''Are the Ten Commandments Abolished?'' I affirmed the first, and he affirmed the second. I have no desire to weary the reader with points pro and con; but one point where he gave himself completely away, I will mention. He said, ''If a man should come to me trembling under the law, I would point him to Christ, and show him how to get out from under the law.''

''But Brother Cole, you tell us the law is dead, abolished, and does not exist. Will you please inform us how it is possible for a man to tremble under a law that does not exist? Can you get under a house where there is no house? Can you crawl out from under a haystack if there is no haystack at all? How can a man get under, or out from under a law that has no existence?'' He could not tell, neither can anyone else. ''The law points out our sins.'' Rom. 7: 7. ''The strength of sin is the law.'' 1 John 3: 4. ''Where no law is, there is no transgression, or sin.'' Rom. 4: 15. ''If there be no sin, a saviour from sin is not needed.'' Thus, to abolish the law is simply to abolish the whole plan of redemption. But never fear; the law of God will stand. All his commandments are SURE. ''They stand fast forever and ever and are done in truth and uprightness.'' Ps. 111: 8. ''And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.''

{p. 81}

Luke 16: 17. After the camp meeting of 1876, in company with brother Ellis, I pitched our tent at Farm Hill, Olmstead County. Mrs. Hill; and the children remained with Brother and Sister Peterson, at Lake City, who were very kind to us. May the Lord bless them, and preserve them unto his heavenly kingdom. Our meetings were largely attended. After the services the scene was often lively beyond description. The whole tent would be filled with excited people, some standing on benches and some on the ground, all earnestly canvassing the doctrines taught in the tent. Many evil-disposed persons attended the meetings, and we had to keep a sharp lookout to prevent them from cutting the ropes, and letting the tent fall upon the people. One night, As I was standing outside the tent by the side of an Irishman, watching, a club, intended for me, came whirling end over end, through the air, and struck the Irishman in the stomach, doubling him up like a knife. He was a very angry Irishman; but as the offender was not recognized in the darkness, his anger could only vent itself on rowdies in general and none in particular.

THE POSTMASTER and his wife accepted the truth at Farm Hill, and the last I heard of them they were still faithful to the light they had received. the winter of 1876- 77 I labored at different places, and had the joy of seeing some precious souls give themselves to God, to serve Him, one of whom has since died in the blessed hope. The next spring we removed to Kingston, Meeker County, Minn. Soon after reaching Kingston, I went with horse and buggy to Rock County, the southwestern county of the State. The roads were in deplorable condition. I passed through Redwood Falls, Marshall, and Luverne. The distance was about two hundred miles. The country was very new, and the weather wet and cold. Near Marshall I found some brethren, and remained over Sabbath and Sunday with them, holding meeting both days.

Monday morning, I resumed my journey. I struck across the prairie to the southwest. About ten o'clock I came to the Big Cottonwood River. It was swollen from the recent rains and melted snow. As there was no bridge, I was forced to {p. 82} ford it. I got along alright until I came to go up the opposite bank, which was very steep, when my valise, full of books and clothing, fell out into the river. Nothing to do but wade into the cold stream after it. I was wet and cold enough, but there was no house in sight, so I trudged on in the cold wind as best I could. Before I reached a stopping place my clothes were dry. It was a hard journey, through cold, wet, and mud; but my heart was light. I was on my way to help my fellow men into the path of light. Like Moses, I had respect to the recompense of reward. I looked forward to the time when he that goeth forth and weepeth shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. One evening, as I was nearing the end of my journey, I saw a man standing on a high eminence. I could see he had on a black coat and a very white shirt front. I thought, ''That must be Brother Fulton.'' He was watching for me, and down he came to meet me; and right glad I was to see him.

There was a good interest to hear the word of God, and in two weeks a company of eighteen signed the covenant to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14: 12. At Luverne, was a noted Spiritualist, who was a thorn in the sides of the Christian people in the neighborhood. I was told he would get up and speak in the Methodist meetings, and when the people would not stop to listen, he would cry after them, ''You cannot bear to hear the truth!'' He was the talk of the country. I said to Brother Fulton, ''We had better give the people of Luverne a little light on Spiritualism before we go home.'' He said, ''Don't you do it. That man is the ablest man I ever heard speak, and he will be on hand to oppose.'' I thought, however, good would result; so we put a notice in the paper that on next Tuesday evening there would be a lecture in the schoolhouse on ''Modern Spiritualism Exposed and the Bible Vindicated.'' We knew if the gentleman would oppose, he would use the twenty-eighth chapter of first Samuel, so we prepared especially on that scripture. On our way to Luverne we met a gentleman, who had come out to meet us, and let us know a Baptist minister was expected to help the spiritualist.

We thought it a very strange combination. Spiritualism {p. 83} and Baptism, but we felt confident that the Lord's truth would triumph over all opposition. As we entered the schoolhouse we found it crowded. Extra seats had been brought in, and they were filled. As we entered, we were greeted with a vigorous clapping of hands. For once, I felt I was on the popular side of the question. Perhaps a very brief outline of the discourse will be of interest to the reader:---


Modern spiritualism is a fact. it is here and everywhere. Go where you will, you will find Spiritualism. It pervades all classes and conditions of men. It flourishes in the hut of the peasant, and sits in the palaces of nobles and kings. It revels in the haunts of ignorance, and rejoices in the halls of learning. It has found its way to the infidel club, and in churches and pulpits it has firmly entrenched itself. It originated a few years ago in the Fox family, near Rochester, N. Y. Now it numbers its adherents by millions, in all parts of the world. No movement in the annals of time has made such strides as this. It comes with a fascinating power to the sons of men. What can it be? It claims that its wonders are wrought by the spirits of our dead friends. Is this true? The Bible says, ' Try the spirits' 1John 4: 1. There is only one infallible rule by which to try them, and that is the word of God. By this rule we propose to try them to-night. The Bible, speaking of a dead man, says, 'His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.' Job 14: 21. Again: 'The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.' Ps. 115: 17. According to this, the dead are silent. 'When a man's breath goeth forth, his thoughts perish.' Ps. 146: 4. 'The dead know not anything.' Eccl. 9: 5. Much more might be adduced to the same effect, but this is sufficient to show that the Bible is diametrically opposed to Spiritualism; for it teaches that a dead father does know all about his sons; that the dead are not silent, that their thoughts are not perished, and that the dead know more than the living; but we see according to the Bible, the claim of Spiritualism that the spirits of the dead communicate with the living, is utterly false. The question recurs, 'If spirits communicate, what spirits are they?'

{p. 84}


that angels are ministering spirits. Hebrews 1: 13, 14. We have numerous instances of their ministering to the children of God, such as the angel that delivered Daniel from the lions, the Hebrew children from the flames, and Peter from prison. There are also evil angels. 2 Peter 2: 4; Rev. 12: 9. They also minister to the children of men. They possessed men in the days of Christ. Luke 4: 41. They knew Christ. Mark 3: 11, 12. Men did not know Christ, but the evil spirits did, which shows they had more than human knowledge. How did they know Christ?--- Evidently they knew Him in heaven before they were cast out. The damsel of Acts 16 knew more while possessed of a spirit of divination than she did after he was cast out. Let us read the text: 'And it came to pass as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed of a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. The same followed us and cried, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, and show unto us the way of life and salvation. But Paul being grieved (he did not desire praise from the devil), turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her, and he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them to the market place unto the rulers.'


Because the hope of their gains was gone. Why?-- Because the damsel could not divine anymore. Why?--Because the spirit of divination was gone. Therefore, it is evident that it was the spirit that enabled her to divine, and gave her more than human wisdom. Then why not those same spirits do the same things to-day? They can, and they do. Many are the damsels, and gentlemen, too, who are making money to-day by the aid of spirits. We believe the phenomena of modern Spiritualism are caused by evil agents or spirits.

1. They deceive. They say they are the spirits of our dead friends, to gain our confidence, when they are not.

2. The Bible condemns all such communications with spirits.

{p. 85}

'' 'And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits and after wizards... I will even set my face against that soul, and I will cut him off from among his people.' Lev. 20: 6. 'Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek wizards to be defiled by them; I am the Lord.' Lev. 19: 31. 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.' Ex. 22: 18. We see from this that witchcraft is something very hateful in the sight of heaven. But, you say, what has that to do with modern Spiritualism? I will show presently that modern Spiritualism and ancient witchcraft are one and the same thing. The Lord would not answer King Saul by dreams, nor by urim, nor by prophets. 1 Sam. 28: 6. In his distress he went unto a woman who had a familiar spirit at Endor. And he said unto her, Bring me up Samuel. Verses 7- 11. Now, Samuel was dead. This clearly demonstrates that when a person anciently wished to communicate with the dead, he went to a witch or a wizard. When a person wishes to communicate with the dead today, he goes to a spirit medium, which shows that modern Spiritualism is nothing more or less than a revival of ancient witchcraft. Thus, when God said, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, it was equivalent to saying, Thou shalt not suffer mediums to live. The Bible foretells the signs and wonders of Spiritualism. 'Many false Christs and false prophets shall rise and do great signs and wonders, insomuch if it were possible they would deceive the very elect.' Matt. 24: 24. 'The coming of Christ is after the working of Satan with all power and sign and lying wonders.' 2Thess. 2: 9. 'And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.' Rev. 13: 14. The miracles are wrought by the agency of spirits. 'For they are the spirits of devils working miracles.' Rev. 16: 14. So, when a wonder- working power arises in these last days, claiming to work its wonder by the agency of spirits, it is just what the Bible has foretold would come. Paul says, in 1 Tim. 4: 1, 'Now the spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.' Do any at the present time depart from the faith (teachings of the Bible) ?-- yes. Do they {p. 86} give heed to the spirits?--Yes. Do they then fulfill the prophecy?-- Yes. do the spirits teach the doctrines of devils?--Yes. They have taught free loveism, which is a doctrine of the devil. They have taught that the divine use of the ten commandments is in their violation, and not in their observance, which is a devilish doctrine, truly. They have taught that sin is only undeveloped good, that a lie is only undeveloped truth and many other things, equally abominable, all of which are doctrines of devils, and I have observed that those who give heed to the spirits, often tell a good deal of what they call undeveloped truth. Our Spiritualistic friends say they are too intelligent and enlightened to believe the Bible; but they will believe the spirits. Judge Edmunds was taken off in vision and shown some things in the Spiritualistic heavens, among which were a rag carpet and an old-fashioned sawmill. He said he saw what appeared to be a full-grown boy, who took a dog, split its tail and put a stick in it, when the owner of the dog came along and kicked the boy away up the road. Queer heaven, wasn't it? For me, I prefer the heaven that John saw. But look at it: A spirit boy seizes a spirit dog, and splits its spirit tail (laughter), and puts a spirit stick in it. (Laughter) And the spirit owner of the spirit dog comes along, and with his spirit foot kicks the spirit boy away up the spirit road. (Laughter and cheers.) This, my friends is not from any of the small fry or lesser lights; but from a learned judge, a champion of Spiritualism, who sets it forth as the teaching of the spirits concerning the spirit land. Such is the mental food upon which our Spiritualist friends wax too wise to believe the Bible. Choose ye which you will have. As for me, I will choose the blessed Bible. I will be guided by its holy precepts. I will rejoice in its blessed hope, and at last enjoy its everlasting reward.'' After the discourse, the Spiritualist arose, and asked me if I would teach the people that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. He supposed that I would rail out against Sunday, and would thus lose the sympathy of the people, and he, by saying a good word for it, would gain their favor. I handed him my Bible, saying, ''If you will find where the scriptures call Sunday the Christian Sabbath, I will teach the people so.'' He acknowledged he could not find it. He then asked me to read the {p. 87} twenty-eighth chapter of 1 Samuel. I replied I supposed he was the possessor of a Bible, and could read the chapter at home, which I hoped he would do, and receive great good from its careful perusal. He then became very fierce, and pressed very hard that I should at least read a portion of it, as he said it proved Spiritualism to be true. ''Well, my friend, I will read it, if you will endorse what the woman said as the truth.'' He replied, ''I will, sir.'' I read, '' 'I saw gods ascending out of the earth.' The old lady said she saw gods ascending out of the earth, and our friend here says he believes she told the truth.'' (Laughter.)

He cried out, ''There might have been forty gods, for all you know.'' ''They must have been Spiritualists' gods, then; for they themselves say the devil is their god and their father. (Laughter) I supposed the Spiritualists believed that the spirits of the departed went to what they call the beautiful summerland; but according to this ancient spirit medium, they go into the dark, cold ground; for what she saw, came up out of the earth, and our friend here believes she tells the truth. Poor spirits! What a dreary, dark abode they must have.'' He cried out, ''Read that chapter; but don't you comment on it!'' ''O, my friend, that's what I am here for; so you must allow me to comment as much as I please. Again, this gentleman's ancient exponent of spiritualism says. 'An old man cometh up covered with a mantle.' Where did Samuel get the mantle? Did he really get a mantle down there in the ground, or had he a mantle in appearance only? If the mantle was only an appearance, and not real, why not the old man also be an apparition only, and not the real Samuel? A Spiritualistic humbug, if you please. Once more: Samuel was buried at Ramah, and, according to the witch, who, our friend here says, told the truth, he came up out of the ground at Endor, forty miles distant. How is this? Did he have an underground passage--- an underground railroad perhaps, forty miles in length? (Uproarious laughter) Satan sometimes transforms himself into an angel of light. 2Cor. 11: 14. If Satan has power to transform himself into an angel of light, has he not the power to transform himself into the appearance of our dead friends? Could not the familiar spirit appear as Samuel?--Yes; he could, and he did. {p. 88} 'So Saul died...for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it.' 1Chron. 10: 13. Yes, Saul inquired of the familiar spirit, and the spirit answered him, making believe he was Samuel all the while. In our day, these spirits are up to their old tricks, deceiving men, under the guise of the spirits of our dead friends.''

I never before addressed an audience so enthusiastic. The M. E. minister was so demonstrative that, not knowing who he was, I requested him to be more quiet. After meeting, a gentleman said to me, ''I can stand another grasshopper raid now.'' The next morning, as, Brother Fulton and myself were driving through town, the Methodist minister and his class-leader hailed us. They said they were very thankful for the good work done the previous evening. Two happier men I never saw, the minister especially. He stood on one foot and then the other, and danced about in an ecstasy of delight. Brother Fulton and I went on our way rejoicing, like the eunuch in days of old. We were thankful that the truth of God is so plain and powerful.

When God's word says, ''The dead know not anything.'' Eccl. 9: 5, it takes the foundation away from Spiritualism. We had a long, tedious journey before us. It rained, rained, rained. Sloughs were full, and the streams swollen, and the roads were well nigh impassable. Day after day we plodded our weary way along, stopping at night in deserted houses, or stable if the house was locked. On account of the grasshopper scourge, many settlers had abandoned their homes.

Sometimes we had to carry our baggage across streams on our shoulders, because the water was too deep and swift to risk it in the buggy. Our horse got so tired that as soon as she entered a slough that had a soft bottom, she would lie down; and we would have to unhitch, and pull the buggy out by hand. On a Sunday we passed through New Ulm, which a few years afterward was visited by a disastrous cyclone. It was the scene also of a desperate defense during the Indian outbreak in 1862. It is beautifully situated on the Minnesota River.

{p. 91}


and climbed the high bluff on the opposite side. It was still raining, and the mud inexpressible. Toward evening, we began seeking a lodging place. We were in a German neighborhood, and for some reason they did not wish to keep us, but would every time tell us to go to the next neighbor. I said to Sammy, ''It is no use; we can not stay out in the rain and mud all night, and the next house must keep us, whether or no.'' We found the man at the stable, and told him our story, and requested lodging. He told us to go to the next neighbor. I said, ''He would send us to the next neighbor, and we have been doing that long enough. It is raining, the roads are very muddy, our horse and ourselves are very tired, and it will be too bad to force us to remain all night in the storm. We will not only be thankful to you for your kindness, but will pay you liberally also.'' Brother Fulton tried also to soften his heart; but all to no purpose. ''Go to the next neighbor,'' was the only thing. He sputtered a good deal, but we unhitched and prepared to stay. At last he consented to our staying. Our tired horse found good lodging and good provender that night; but we had to lie down in our wet clothing on the floor, which was not overly clean, either.

When we passed through New Auburn, where some of our brethren lived, we hoped that none of them would see us, we were in such a sad plight; but we met some of them, and they seemed glad to see us, if we had been wading mud and water for a week. Most of the way, one or both of us walked. We were footsore and weary, and glad enough to get home. We found our families well, for which cause we were devoutly thankful to God for His preserving care, and especially thankful that God had helped us to be a blessing to poor sinners inquiring the way to heaven.

In a few days we were rested, and ready for another campaign. That year the camp meeting was held at Hutchinson, after which Brother Fulton and I were sent to Ellsworth, Wis., to hold tent meetings. We preferred to return to Rock County, where we had left a good interest; but the conference said Ellsworth, and to Ellsworth we went.

{p. 92}

Crown Him with many crowns,
The lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee;
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Throughout eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime!
All hail! Redeemer, hail!
For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never fail
Throughout eternity.
--- Selected.


If you'll sing a song as you go along,
In the face of real or the fancied wrong,
In spite of the doubt if you'll fight it out,
And show a heart that is brave and stout,
If you'll laugh at the jeers and refuse the tears,
You'll force the ever reluctant cheers
That the world denies when a coward cries,
To give to the man who bravely tries.
And you'll win success with a little song---
If you'll sing the song as you do along!

If you'll sing a song as you trudge along,
You'll see the singing will make you strong.
And the heavy load and the rugged road
And the sting and the stripe of the tortuous goad
Will soar with the note that you set afloat;
That the beam will change to a trifling mote;
That the world is bad when you are sad,
And bright and beautiful when glad.
That all you need is a little song-----
If you sing the song as you trudge along!
---- R. McClain Fields.


last update 10-17-2004