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EXPERIENCES
Of A
PIONEER EVANGELIST
Of The
NORTHWEST 
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By ELDER W. B. HILL
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Published By The Author
1902

Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9

{p. 179}

CHAPTER VI.

EXPOSURE, SICKNESS---BATTLE CREEK SANITARIUM

In February, 1884, I attended a general meeting at Hutchinson. I was feeling poorly. The exposure and incessant labor were telling upon my naturally feeble constitution. I met some friends there from Dassel. They were very desirous that I should visit their church, and I finally consented to go. We started for Dassel, fourteen miles away, about sundown. As we got about half way, we crossed a lake on the ice. The sun had softened the snow some, and the horses sunk down in it. I immediately jumped out to lighten the load. Between the snow and the ice there was much water. My feet were as wet as if I had jumped into a river. We went to a house near by, put on a pair of dry socks, and started on again. It was not ten minutes before my boots were frozen as hard as rocks.

I was forced to run behind the sleigh to keep my feet from freezing, and consequently took a severe cold. I found the brethren were holding meetings in an old log hut about two miles out of town. It was entirely unfit for the purpose. I said to the brethren, ''Why don't you build a church?'' They said, ''We are not able.'' I replied, ''You have trees that will make lumber, and there is a sawmill near by, and you have strong hands. What is to hinder having a church?'' The idea took immediately. One said, ''I will finish a lot.'' Another would finish lumber, another work, etc: and they all agreed that if I would stay and help them through, they would go at it. I was suffering from a severe cold, and was weary and worn; but I was anxious to see the people enjoying the blessings of a good house of worship, so I said. ''Yes, brethren, I am with you.'' I thought, ''Strike now, when the iron is hot.'' I went into the woods to cut saw logs. The snow was up to my knees, and melting, and I kept adding to my cold all the time. It was marvelous how quickly we had a church inclosed. Those not of our faith helped us with work {p. 180} and money. One day, as I was lifting on a heavy stick of timber, I hurt my back. I felt so bad that I soon went home.

I kept getting worse until I was laid on a sick bed. My back pained me so I could get but little rest, night or day. I got a little better, and was called upon to preach Alva Presnall's funeral sermon. Although very weak, I could not refuse. The church was damp, and I took cold, and had a relapse. As I got a little better again, I was sent to visit Stella Moon, a young sister in the last stages of heart disease. She was in great distress, and wanted I should visit and pray with her. She lived three miles down the railroad track. The section boss said he would take there on the hand car in a few minutes. So, feeble as I was I went. We had only got nicely started on our way when it began to rain, and I took more cold, after which I was worse than before. My back pained me so intensely that if anyone approached the bed, Mrs. Hill said I would turn white to my ears, for fear someone would touch me or jar me in some way. The only way I could get relief was to wring clothes out of hot water, and put them on my back. In this way my flesh was scalded, but the pain was so great I realized it not. I determined, if ever I got able, to go to the Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Mich. I got some better; and in May I was carried to the train, and started for what I thought was the only earthly hope.

I fell in with some people on the train going from Dakota to Michigan. We soon became acquainted, told one another something of our past history, and so helped to while away the weary hours. At a station in Wisconsin, a German family boarded the train. They could speak no English, and when we reached Chicago, they were asked for their baggage checks by a man with a great number of checks on his arm. He could speak no German and they no English, and were having quite a hard time of it. I tried to explain to them in German what was wanted, and it did them a world of good to find someone who could speak a little German.

While waiting in the depot at Chicago, a lady learned that I was on the way to the Sanitarium, and she said to me, ''They will feed you on bran bread there.'' ''How do you know that?'' I asked. ''I had a sister who was there a while, and that is what they gave her to eat.'' ''Did she get well?'' ''Oh, yes, {p. 181} she has enjoyed most excellent health ever since.'' ''Well, I am willing to eat bran or any other kind of bread that will make me well again.'' I found, however, that the Sanitarium bill of fare embraced a great variety of fruits, grains, and vegetables, and was most excellent.

From Chicago I took the Michigan Central for Battle Creek, and was soon flying over the iron rails for the Sanitarium. The car I occupied was filled with Baptist ministers on their way to Detroit to attend a Baptist association. The conversation turned upon religion in politics. They became so interested in the subject that they stood up in the middle of the car so they could hear one another speak. I was an attentive listener. They thought the only way to save the nation from ruin was for the religious people to attend the primaries, and do all they could to control legislation. I asked one of them, a D. D., if all the religious people should unite upon any one point in politics if he thought they could carry it. He said, ''With the aid of those non-church members who would vote with us, we can.'' Thus the idea is rapidly gaining ground that the religious people must rule in politics, which means an image to the beast in the near future.

About 2:30 P. M. we arrived at the Sanitarium. I found W. H. Hall, of Minnesota, one of my children in the faith, acting as steward of the institution. The Sanitarium was an immense affair, and they were building on an addition costing $50,000. The institution is under the charge of Dr. J. H. Kellogg, who fills the office of medical superintendent. He is assisted by an able corps of doctors, nurses, bath hands, etc. The first thing they did for me was to give me a warm bath, which was refreshing in the highest degree. the next day they gave me a cold bath. It seemed as if me breath would forsake me, never more to return, as I got into the cold water. My attendant gave me a vigorous rubbing, quickly took me out, and dried me with a sheet, then spatted me all over his hands until I was in a warm glow. I took the cold bath once a week, and in while could take it with comfort. The next treatment was a salt glow. I stood on a stool, and with my hands took hold of iron hooks in the wall above my head, while my attendant took handfuls of salt, mixed with water until it was like mush, and rubbed me with it from head {p. 182} to foot until there was a redness all over me. It was quite a severe process, as the sharp salt crystals would almost cut through my skin. After my attendant was through rubbing me, my whole body was covered with salt. I was then taken to a water faucet which poured at first a stream of warm water upon me as I turned round, and soon the salt was all washed away; but the water gradually became cooler until I could scarcely endure it. After the salt glow came the massage, in which the patient was laid on a couch, and anointed with oil, and every muscle rubbed and kneaded in the most thorough manner. It was a very agreeable experience to me. One felt like new person after such a treatment. The electric bath was what I enjoyed most of all. The patient lay at full length in tepid water with folded arms. then the electricity was applied to the chest and upper part of the body. After a while the electric current was changed to the extremities. It seemed to me that I was being rejuvenated while in the bath. They used electricity in various ways, and it helped me very much in my run-down condition. There was the gymnasium, in which was every kind of appliance for exercising the muscles. Then there were calisthenics and Indian clubs, with marching to and fro to the sound of music. There was also a Swedish movement room, in which a patient's nerves and muscles were rubbed, kneaded, thumped, strapped, vibrated, and frictionized into activity by machinery.

One evening the doctor examined my nostrils, and said, ''I see some abnormal growths that will have to be removed.'' He removed four large hypertrophies, two from each nostril. He fastened a wire loop over the lumps of flesh in my nostrils, the two ends of which ran down a little tube, and were fastened to a screw at the end; as the doctor turned the screw, it pulled the wire down the tube making the loop smaller and smaller, until the lumps were cut off. It was a good deal worse that pulling teeth. All the abnormal growths could not be removed in this way, and the doctor continued to burn them out with a red hot iron once a week for six months, or as long as I continued at the institution. Mrs. Hill's health was also poor, and later after I had been there two months she also came with two of the children. We remained in Battle Creek until after General Conference. It was the first General Conference {p. 183} we ever had the privilege of attending. It was very interesting to hear reports from all parts of the field throughout the whole world. It is wonderful to see how the rays of light from heaven are penetrating the dark corners of the earth. Every morning before daylight we held meetings for seeking the Lord, and never did I see such earnestness before.

At the Sanitarium I met people from all parts of the country, among whom were all classes and conditions of men, ---judges, lawyers, doctors, ministers, college professors, senators, congressmen, and literary people. They flock to the Sanitarium for the recuperation of lost vitality. I made the acquaintance of C. F. Bradley, of Evanston, Ill., an eminent Methodist minister and educator. He was very sorry that I had left the Methodist church, and joined the Adventists, and often tried to show me it is all right to keep Sunday; but his Scripture proof was very slim. One day he said to me, ''Brother Hill, will nothing do you but a 'Thus saith the Lord' for Sunday keeping? Will not church history suffice?'' ''Well, Brother Bradley, I think nothing equals a 'Thus saith the Lord.' I prefer the commandment of God to all the teachings of men.'' I considered such a question as an acknowledgement on his part that he could find no ''Thus saith the Lord'' for Sunday sacredness, and if C. F. Bradley cannot find it, who can?

One evening, as I was leaving the Sanitarium for the cottage where my wife and I roomed, he called to me just as I reached the door. He desired to speak with me a moment. ''Yes, Brother Bradley; what is it?'' ''I wish to speak with you about the Sabbath.'' We stood side by side, with our shoulders against the wall near the door, and a patient sat near by in a chair. He began by saying, ''Your people are committing a great wrong in keeping the seventh-day Sabbath.'' ''How so, Brother Bradley?'' ''The Christian people of this land are having a great struggle with saloon keepers, infidels, and wicked people generally, to maintain the Christian Sabbath and sometimes it looks as if the forces of evil would prevail in spite of all that we can do; and you, a Christian people, weaken the hands of God's servants, and strengthen the hands of the wicked by saying, 'Sunday is not the Sabbath of the Lord at all.' Yes, I think you people {p. 184} commit a great wrong in so doing. I think it is displeasing to God.'' He certainly made out a plausible case, in his own eyes, at least. I replied, ''Brother Bradley, if I do wrong, and displease the Lord by keeping the seventh day, I commit sin, do I not?'' ''certainly.'' ''And if I commit sin I must answer for it on the day of judgment.'' ''Yes, that is so.'' ''very well, suppose the day of final reckoning has come, and I stand before the judge of all the earth, and he demands of me why I kept the seventh day, what reply could I make? Could I not say, 'The great God came down from heaven, and stood upon the trembling mount, amid smoke and flame, and with awe-inspiring majesty proclaimed with His own divine voice, ''The seventh day is the Sabbath; in it thou shalt not do any work?'' not only so, but the divine finger traced the same words upon the imperishable stone, and in that world of sin and rebellion against God, amid scorn and ridicule, at the loss of reputation, friends, and worldly preferment, I kept the seventh-day Sabbath because I loved the Lord, and trembled at His word. I kept it because I sincerely desired above everything else to honor God and keep His commandments.' Brother Bradley, what will the great God do with me?'' He thought a moment, and said; ''O, Brother Hill, you will be saved.''

The next morning, I met the patient who sat listening to our conversation, and he said to me, ''Elder, you made the strongest point last evening I ever heard made in all my life.'' There was only one answer that could be given, for it is inconceivable that God would condemn a man for keeping the divine precepts spoken and written by God Himself. ''then you think it is perfectly safe to keep the commandments of God.'' ''Yes, sir; I do.'' Is it equally safe to despise them, and trample them in the dust? Look at it from the other side. If a Sunday keeper were asked in the judgment, ''Why did you keep Sunday?'' could he point to any divine command for its observance?---No. All he could point to would be the commandments and traditions of men, and Christ said, ''In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'' Matt. 15: 9. Those are solemn words, and I hope the kind reader will ponder them well.

At the Sanitarium some things happen that impress the {p. 185} memory. One morning the welkin rang with shouts and yells from the bathroom. What could be the matter? We soon discovered that an eminent Episcopal clergyman of Milwaukee was being put through the cold bath exercise for the first time. On another occasion the Sanitarium resounded with whoops and yells and very unbecoming words, and short sentences delivered with all the energy and power of a Boanerges. A rebel general from Georgia was taking a steam bath, and the attendant had turned on the steam hotter than he ought to, and had departed for a moment to attend to some one else. Hence the terrific yells and bad language.

My experience at the Sanitarium was a benefit to me in more ways than one. I had the privilege of mingling with more refined people than ever before. Although a rustic from the frontier, some of the foremost people took an interest in me. After I had been at the Sanitarium a while, I became chaplain of the institution. It was my duty to preach in the parlor every Sunday evening, to hold family worship every morning, to hold Bible readings and prayer meetings with the helpers, and to visit, read, and pray with, and give consolation to, those patients who especially needed and desired it. Plenty to keep a well man busy. I was growing better every day, and almost daily I was greeted with, ''Elder, you are looking better.'' I thought if I could only continue to improve I would eventually become good looking, which would be a transformation indeed. I was invited to preach in the Tabernacle. On Sabbath morning before meeting, my wife and I were surprised to receive a call from a lady from Ohio. She said, ''I hear the people say you are not capable of preaching in the Tabernacle. I know you are, and I have come to request you to do the best you can;'' and the tears ran down her cheeks like rain. She would not stop a minute, but delivered her message, and went her way. The Lord gave freedom in speaking, and the hearty amens from the old veterans of the cause showed that the discourse had struck a responsive chord.

My health being greatly improved, we must return to Minnesota, and re- enter the gospel field. We arrived at Eagle Lake, Minn., about 2 A.M. We went to my father's house, intending to stay until daylight, but we found a stranger's foot had crossed the sill. Father had traded his town property for a {p. 186} farm. We then went to Brother Elwin Merrill's, where we received a hearty welcome.

The winter of 1884- 85 was severe. I labored, with Elder D. P. Curtis, at Wells, Rogers School House, and Good Thunder. We labored very hard, with some success, especially at good Thunder, where thirteen were brought to acknowledge the truth. I exposed myself so much during the winter that during the following summer and winter I could do but little in the cause.

A BAPTISMAL EXPERIENCE

Elder Grant and myself attended meeting at Tenhassen, Martin county. A Mrs. Snow had come to that meeting from Fairmount, to be baptized. Her husband strenuously objected. He had no valid reason, only he would not allow it. His objection made quite a stir. Elder Grant thought that under the circumstances she should be advised to postpone her baptism, but I did not feel clear to do so. So we called a number of responsible brethren to one side, and asked them if they were acquainted with the parties; and they said they were. ''Is Mrs. Snow a good woman?'' ''Yes.'' ''Is her husband a good man?'' ''We cannot say that he is.'' Then it was decided to go forward with the baptism. We had to go three miles to the water, and when we got there, it was discovered that the husband had purloined her baptismal clothing, and now what was to be done. I said to her, ''Go to that house over there, and borrow some clothing.'' She went, and soon returned, attired in an old German lady's costume. It did not fit very well, but it answered the purpose. As we were going to the water, Brother Knowlton said to me, ''Brother Hill, have a care what you do; for this is a very bad man. I know him well; he very nearly killed a man with a hoe once, and it would not surprise me in the least if it turns out that he has a revolver in his pocket now.'' 'Very well, Brother Knowlton I am doing the Lord's work in baptizing his believing children, and I will trust in Him while doing His work.'' There were a number of candidates for baptism, and I said to Sister Snow, ''You wait until the last, and then you step right forward; and if he undertakes to hinder you by force, {p. 189} we will not have to fight with him. We will consider we have gone as far as consistent, and let it go for this time.'' We gathered at the water's edge [I will never forget the scene], and all kneeled down, while Elder Grant prayed. I never heard him pray with such fervency of spirit before. It seemed as if the Lord was speaking to us through his servant. After prayer and song, the baptizing began. Mr. Snow stood between his wife and the water, with defiant attitude; but as I was leading out the last candidate, he suddenly ran up the bank and out of sight, while his wife was joyfully baptized in the name of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord was present in such power he could not stand it, and so ran away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

The winter of 1885- 86 I taught school at Eagle Lake. Brother David Alway was principal of the school that winter. He was an excellent teacher, and tried to rule the school by love and kindness; but on some of the youngsters his kindness was bestowed in vain. It was like casting pearls before swine. One evening he told some of the youngsters, whom he had retained after school because of misconduct, that he rather be whipped than to whip them; whereupon one of the young scapegraces took the rod, and proceeded to lay it on the teacher's back in the most approved fashion. I must confess that I did possess the required humility and meekness to run my department on that line. I kept the rod in my own hand, and wherever incorrigible meanness showed its head, I struck at it, and I found it had a most excellent effect. While some natures will respond to kindness, it is still true that the rod is for the fool's back.

In March, 1886, we had a Sabbath-school convention at Good Thunder. It was the most interesting and profitable I ever had the pleasure of attending. At that convention a Baptist minister accepted the truth, and the next summer I had the pleasure of baptizing him and his good wife in the Blue Earth River. I am sorry to say that afterward he met with trials, and became discouraged.

TRUTH CAST OUT

In the spring, before camp meeting, Brother John Hopkins invited me to hold meetings in his neighborhood. A church {p. 190} was secured, meetings were well attended, and everything was favorable, until we reached the Sabbath question on Sunday evening. The audience was large, and the interest good. At the close of the sermon I was informed that I could have the church no longer. I thanked the church people for the use of the church so far, and as the audience desired to hear further on this question, I would take the liberty to appoint one meeting in an empty schoolhouse that stood across the street. In the morning I found the same parties that controlled the church, controlled the schoolhouse also, and they refused it for even one meeting. Now, what was to be done? The announcement was made, and some would come for miles to the meeting, and they must not be disappointed. We decided to preach God's message in the street. Some interested ones fixed some seats with planks placed upon blocks, made a platform out of boards, and a pulpit out of a barrel. I hung my charts on the end of the schoolhouse woodshed, which stood adjacent to the street, lanterns were hung up, and thus we prepared for the meeting. The people came; some sat in their buggies and wagons, and some on the seats prepared for them. It was a strange sight to see God's messenger proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom in the highway, with an empty schoolhouse on one side of him and an empty church on the other. ''Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word. Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.'' Isa. 66: 5. Gentle reader, please ponder this scripture well. the Lord will appear to the joy of the people; but they will be a people tremble at the word of the Lord. They will be hated and cast out by their brethren. Are you one of them?

During the summer I held tent meetings in Dodge Center, Dodge County, in connections with A. H. Vankirk and Frank Coon. One Sunday evening, as Marshall Vankirk and W. A. Alway were sleeping in the tent, some thieves entered, and appropriated their clothing,---fine shirts, caps, coats, and vests, shoes and stockings. About break of day there came a rapping on my bedroom window. I looked out, and there stood Marshall without hat, coat, shoes, or stockings, with only an undershirt and an old pair of pants on. He made an urgent plea {p. 193} for clothing for himself and Brother Alway, which was immediately responded to. I relate this incident to show some of the experiences of holders of tent meetings. If all would keep the commandments of God, such experiences would be unknown. The meetings at Dodge Center were well attended. The church was revived, a few were added by baptism, and in the autumn a neat church was built, in which the little flock could worship God.

The summer of 1887, Brother A. H. Vankirk and myself held tent meetings at Mapleton, Blue Earth County. The interest was small, and we saw but little fruit of our labor. We were preparing to open meetings in Winnebago City, when I was called upon to go to Winona, Minn. Elder Shultz, of Nebraska, was conducting a series of German meetings there in a tent with a good interest, which stirred up the enemy of all right to oppose; and he stirred up his children, of whom there were a great number in the city, to tear the tent down, and so stop the work. So on one Sunday evening, when the tent was full of people, a great crowd of half- drunk followers of the beast [papacy] assaulted the tent, and tore it down on the heads of the assembled multitude. The yells of the mob and the screams of the women and children were terrific. If pandemonium had raised up bodily, the uproar could scarcely be exceeded. A board fence that ran by the tent was stripped of its boards in a twinkling, by men attending the meeting, and used as weapons of warfare against the rioters. One man made a rush for Elder Shultz, when a stout German, John Lamprecht by name, struck him with his fist, under the ear, and sent him sprawling on the ground. Brother Shultz said he lay there and quivered, as if he was about to give up his life.

AT THIS JUNCTURE OF AFFAIRS

Brother Shultz received a telegram that his son had been hurt with a mowing machine, and that he should immediately return home. As there was no minister in the conference that could speak any German but myself, I was sent to do what I could to care for the German interest at Winona. When I arrived at Winona, I found everything in a discouraging condition; but with Brother Wm. Rahn, we went to work holding Bible readings from house to house, rented a hall for meetings {p. 194} and Sabbath school, and soon the skies began to brighten. Brother Rahn soon went home to Hutchinson, but I removed my family to Winona, and Sister Amelia Meilicke stayed with us, and helped in the work. Also Brother and Sister Koeni helped some, although they were all learners. We used to have Bible study in German daily, which we all enjoyed very much. As the weather became colder, our hall became too uncomfortable to hold meetings in, and I rented a house, the parlor of which we converted into a chapel. Our Sabbath school increased in interest and numbers, until we had sixty or more members. Sometimes the Sabbath school would occupy parlor, dining room, and, kitchen. When Elder Grant visited the school, he was very much surprised at the interest, and said he would not have believed it, had he not seen it.

My life in Winona was a very busy one, holding Bible study with the German students, visiting and holding Bible readings from house to house, baptizing converts, and preaching in both English and German. As I was visiting a German family, Borman by name, the lady informed me that they were visited by another minister, and they told him of the Adventist and of their belief that the second coming of Christ was nigh and he replied. ''Mein Herr kommt noch lange nicht'' [My Lord delayeth His coming]. I said, ''Please read Matt. 24: 48, and she read, ''So aber jener, der boeser knecht, wird i(x)? Seinem hertzen sagen; Mein Herr kommt noch lange nicht. [And if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth His coming] I asked her. ''What was the evil servant to say?'' She said, ''Mein Herr kommt noch lange nicht.'' ''What did the minister say?'' He said, ''Mein Herr kommt noch lange nicht,'' ''Then what kind of a servant is the minister?'' ''Er ist ein boeser knecht [He is an evil servant] He said he would like to read the Scriptures with you.'' ''He can have that privilege any time.'' It was arranged that we should meet at the Borman home, and search the Scripture together; but before the appointed evening came, it was evident the house would not hold the people that would come; so the minister invited us into his church, and we searched the Scriptures together for two evenings; the result of which was that the Borman family accepted the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

{p. 195}

The work grew, until the spring of 1888 saw the Adventist people of Winona in possession of a neat church, and a house that answered well for a parsonage. Thus grew the word of the Lord and prospered. Since then the little company of believers have been called to pass through trials, and some have removed to other parts, while others have gone to rest a little season until the Lifegiver shall come. I hope and pray that others may be raised up to go with the little company to the kingdom of God. We remained in Winona until the spring of 1889, when we removed to Whitewater Valley, the place where I found my wife, twenty years before. We passed by the old house in which we were married, and the schoolhouse wherein I had taught school. A flood of old memories came thronging into our minds by these reminders of the olden times. The Summer of 1889, Brother Hultreich Graf and I ran tent meetings at Stockton and Lewiston, but with indifferent success.

At Lewiston the saloon keepers were the main pillars of the churches, and we could do but little with such a class of people. The walls of the saloons were decorated with pictures of Bible scenes, and drinking and getting drunk were no hindrance to church membership and church privileges. The first evening we were there, we heard women screaming in the street, a little way out of town. I ran down to see what the matter was. I found a poor man with his face beaten to a jelly. I never saw a worse looking face on a human being. It looked so shocking that women screamed when they saw it. A saloon keeper, one of the pillars in the church, had pounded him in such a shameful manner. One Sunday afternoon I saw a man with a great stick in his hand, chasing his wife. I stepped in front of the animal, and called a halt in his sanguinary proceedings. That is the only instance I ever saw in all my travels anything in the shape of a man chasing his wife with a club.

No wonder we could not accomplish much in such a place. We soon left for more inviting fields. Brother Graf moved to Winona, and we went to Minnesota City six miles up the Mississippi.

In the fall of 1889 I had quite an experience getting subscriptions to petitions to Congress against religious legislation. Senator Blair, of New Hampshire, had introduced two {p. 196} religious bills into the United States Senate. One was entitled, ''A bill to secure to the people the enjoyment of the first day of the week, commonly known as the Lord's day, as a day of rest, and to promote its observance as a day of worship.'' In section 2, of his educational bill, we find these words;--

''Each State in this Union shall establish and maintain a system of free public schools, adequate for the education of all the children living therein, between the ages of six and sixteen years inclusive, in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion.''

Thousands of religious zealots were working with all their might to commit Congress to the above religious legislation, and we thought it was time Congress, and the people generally, should have their attention called to the terrible effects of religious legislation. In my efforts to secure subscriptions to those petitions, I met with all kinds of people with all kinds of views. I came to a gentleman's house in Whitewater Valley, who readily signed the petition, but his wife thought religious instruction should be given in the public schools. She said, ''Here is Mr. Y's family, who do not attend religious meetings, and they receive no such instruction at home; and if they do not receive it in school, they will not receive it at all.'' ''If religion must be taught in the public school.'' I replied, ''what religion shall it be?'' Suppose you should secure a Catholic teacher for your school, and she should be required by law to teach religion, she would certainly teach her own faith, as she would consider that the truest and best. How would you like to have your little children taught to pray to the Virgin Mary, and adore her image? That they must confess their sins to a priest, and get his absolution or be lost? To be taught to believe in purgatory, and to pay the priest to say mass for the repose of the souls of the dead? To be taught that the pope is the infallible vicar of Christ? that all Protestants are damned, and outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation, and much more, equally abominable?'' ''I would not like it at all,'' she replied emphatically.

''But would you not love to have your children taught the Catholic religion just as well as the Catholic would love to have his children taught your religion? And would not the {p. 197} Catholic have just as much right to teach your children his religion as you have to teach the Catholic children the Protestant religion? Again, there are thousands of infidels who do not want their children taught any religion. Would the Christians have any more right to teach the children of infidel parents the Christian religion in the public schools than the infidels would have to teach the children of Christian parents infidelity? And would not a law requiring the principles of the Christian religion to be taught in the public schools, ultimately lead to defining, by act of Congress, just what religion should be taught in public schools? Then would not we have our religion ready-made for us by the government of the United States? It must certainly come to that; for if teachers must teach religion, they must be examined in that branch of education. In order to do so, there must be a standard by which to test their fitness to teach religion, and that standard must be established by law; and if Congress establishes a standard of religion, and we should not accept it, would we not be criminals in the eye of the law, and liable to prosecution as such? Teaching religion by the state is a serious thing, and few people reflect on its direful consequences.

''Again, if Congress defines the religion to be taught in the public schools, religion will enter into every Congressional election, which will stir up bitterness and wrath, such as our country has never known. No finite mind can comprehend the animosity and hate such a religio-political contest would evoke. If a majority of Congress were Catholics, then Congress would legislate in favor of the Catholics religion, and would they work for it?---Yes, with all their power. They would have as many Catholics in Congress as possible. So with Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. Church members, ministers, and priests would all be ardent politicians and political wire-pullers, and the baneful effects on religion and the state would be incalculable. How infinitely better to keep church and state forever separate. Civil government was never intended to teach religion, or preach the gospel, or define a man's duty to his God. If religion cannot be taught in the home and in the church, it cannot be taught anywhere.''

{p. 198}

THE LADY SIGNED MY PETITION

and I went on my way rejoicing. A granger gave me a ride in his wagon. He also was in favor of teaching religion in the public schools. ''Suppose the teacher were an unbeliever, would you have him teach what he did not believe? Would not that be hypocrisy?'' ''Well, I would have the teacher pray in the school, anyhow.'' ''But, my friend, what kind of prayers would an unconverted teacher offer to God. Are not the prayers of the wicked an abomination to Him? Do you think such prayers would be beneficial to the school? Would it not be far better off without them?'' ''Well, sir; I would not allow unconverted persons to teach school.'' ''Then you would have the state ask every teacher if he is converted, and make the state the judge of his spiritual condition before God. If the teacher desires the school very much, would he not be tempted to say, 'Yes, I am converted,' when he was not? And would not this teaching religion in the public schools have a tendency to make a first-class liar and hypocrite of him?

''When a lad, I attended school where the teacher prayed according to law. His prayers were printed on the cover of his daily register. When prayer time came, he would say, 'Let us pray,' and flop onto his knees, and we all had to follow suit and the old gentleman would read his prayers as fast as his tongue could fly. He seemed to look upon it as a disagreeable job, and to be glad when he got through, and I am sure we all were. He was praying because the state paid him for it and thousands of teachers would pray in the same way, for what money there is in it; but may our free schools of America long be delivered from such hypocrisy as that. It makes one sad to see how many good people are clamoring for the state to teach religion in the public schools, not knowing that when such a thing comes to pass, the sun of religious liberty shall have gone down in darkness forever.''

RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY.

Another man, an old acquaintance, and a resident of the Whitewater Valley, was in favor of Sunday laws. Sign a petition against religious legislation! Not he. ''We want laws protecting us against being disturbed in our religious meetings on {p. 199} Sunday.'' ''I believe there is already a law that severely punishes those who disturb religious meetings, or any other kind of meetings on Sunday or any other day. I supposed our rights were already strictly guarded on these points. But I do not think the man who observes some other day of the week should be fined and imprisoned for quietly following his occupation on Sunday. Also, the man who does not believe in keeping any day has the same right to work as you or I have to refrain from working. Don't you think so yourself?'' He thought that Sunday breaking ought to be punished the same as stealing and other crimes. ''Then if I observe the seventh day conscientiously unto the Lord, and quietly work on my own premises on Sunday, you would class me with thieves and murderers?''

I left him, thinking religious bigotry not yet dead. Gentle reader, the above sentiments were uttered by a professed Christian, in Whitewater Valley, in October, 1889; and he is not an isolated case, either; thousands are equally selfish and intolerant. If all would live according to the Golden Rule, there would be no clamor for Sunday laws. Kind reader, are you a Sunday keeper, and do you wish to enforce Sunday rest on all men, whether they wish it or not? Would you like it if the seventh-day keepers, having a majority, should force you to rest on that day? ---Of course not. Then when you compel them by law to rest on Sunday, do you do unto them as you would that they should do unto you?---Of course not. Then are you an observer of the Golden Rule?--- Not at all. Then are you a Christian?---Impossible; for a Christian observes the teachings of Christ.

Take another case: There are many thousands who do not believe in keeping any day. How would you like it if they should happen to gain control of legislation, and force you to labor on Sunday? Would you not think your natural rights had been fearfully infringed upon? Certainly you would. But have you any more right to compel them to conform to your notions of Sunday keeping than they have to compel you to conform to their notions of non-Sunday keeping? Don't you think it would be more Christlike to let every man keep Sunday or not, as he sees fit, so long as he does not interfere with the rights of others? or do you think that you, {p. 200} as a Sunday keeper, have more rights under the government than you are willing to accord to other people? If so, you have not yet learned the first principles of Christianity.

Again, if Congress has a right to define and enforce one religious institution, it has the right to enforce any and all religious institutions. It has just as much right to enforce Christian baptism as it has to enforce the Christian Sabbath, If not why not?

THIS RELIGIOUS LEGISLATION

is dangerous business, and should not be meddled with. I know it is said that it is not a religious but a civil Sunday our ministers and doctors of divinity are seeking to have enforced by law upon the people, because they do not otherwise take rest enough for their health. It is the health of the dear people that stirs up the zeal of our dear brethren in the ministry to labor so ardently to enforce the great American civil Sunday upon everyone; but Dr. Franklin, the great American philosopher aid, ''Laziness kills more people than hard work.'' Thousands already take altogether too much rest. What will our philanthropic D. D.'s do with them? Will they devise a course of healthful Sunday exercise for them, or will they make them rest on Sunday also for the good of their health? Be not deceived. The Sunday Sabbath is a religious institution and that only. Take religion away from it, and the Sunday Sabbath would vanish in the twinkling of an eye. It is only because of the religious regard that men have for Sunday that they clamor for civil laws to guard its sacredness. None know this better than those who are working for such laws.

''This day [Sunday] is set apart for divine worship and preparation of another life. It is the test of all religion.''---Dr. W. W. Everts, of Chicago. Then if Congress should enforce Sunday observance, it will enforce the test of all religion.

''The experience of centuries shows that you will in vain endeavor to preserve Sunday as a day of rest, unless you preserve it as a day of worship.''---Joseph Cook, in Boston lectures, 1887. So Joseph Cook wants Sunday preserved as a day of worship. How?--- By having Congress enforce it by law upon the people.

{p. 201}

''If you take the religion out of the day, you take the rest out.''---Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts, in the Washington National Sunday Convention, Dec. 11- 13, 1888. O, yes; those reverend gentlemen know what they want---a religious Sunday enforced upon all by law; but they sugar-coat it with the word civil, so that it may the more easily slip down the popular throat.

THERE ARE TWO SPECIAL OBJECTS

that incur the wrath of the Sunday reform divines, ---the Sunday newspaper and Sunday excursion trains. Why so? We will let them tell:---

''The laboring classes are apt to rise late on Sunday morning, read the Sunday papers, and allow the hour of worship to go unheeded.''---Dr. Everts, in Elgin convention. Yes, yes. The people are more interested in reading the Sunday papers than in listening to the dry sermons of the prosy preachers. And what are our reverend gentlemen going to do about it? Put more life and power into their sermons, and so attract the people to the gospel feast? O, no, not at all; but they will get a law to stop the naughty editors from thus hindering the people hearing their diluted sermons.

SO WITH THE SUNDAY TRAIN

''They cannot afford to run a Sunday train unless they get a great many passengers, and so break up a great many congregations. The Sunday trains are hurrying their passengers fast on to perdition.''---Dr. Everts, in Elgin convention. Query. Would the Sunday train hurry a man to perdition or any other place if he did not ride on it? But, don't you see, the people prefer the Sunday excursion train to the sanctuary, therefore the ministers call on the law makers to help them fill the churches. But who ride on the Sunday train? Rev. M.A. Gault says; ''The ministers complain that their members go {p. 202} on these excursions.''

Poor ministers! Their own church members forsake them, and go off on a Sunday frolic, and they are powerless to prevent it. So they say to the government, ''Stop that Sunday train; for our church members are on it, and leave us to empty pews; besides, that train is hurrying all on board to perdition. So we demand of the United States government a law enforcing a civil Sabbath, merely as a sanitary regulation to preserve the health of the dear people; and so stop the Sunday train to save us ministers from empty pews, and to save our church members from going to perdition.'' But if the government is to save people from going to perdition, pray what are the ministers for?

At the Elgin Sunday convention the following resolution was passed:---

''Resolved, That we look with shame and sorrow on the non-observance of the Sabbath by many Christian people, in that the custom prevails with them of purchasing Sabbath newspapers, engaging in and patronizing Sabbath business and travel, and in many instances giving themselves over to pleasure and self-indulgence, setting aside by neglect and indifference the great duties and privileges which God's day brings to them.''

A sad case truly. But have those shamed and sorrowing ministers enough spiritual power to stem the tide? Do they propose to cry to God for His converting power to come upon those pleasure-loving, Sabbath-breaking church members, until they will cease to don the livery of heaven, to serve the devil in? Do they propose to preach the gospel with such burning zeal that the church will be too hot to hold such arrant hypocrisy?---Not at all. They turn from the power of God to an arm of flesh---to the politicians, as is painfully evident from the next resolution:---

''Resolved, That we give our votes and support to those candidates or political officers who will pledge themselves to vote for the enactment and enforcing of statutes in favor of the civil Sabbath.''

What a spectacle to angels and to men! The ministers in convention assembled, calling upon the politicians to trounce their refractory church members into a decent observance of the Sabbath! If the church members had any true religion, they would not need it. If the ministers had any power with {p. 203} God, they would seek help of Him, and not appeal to corrupt politicians.

Surely no other evidence is needed to show the fallen condition of the churches. Surely Babylon is fallen, is fallen. Come out of her, my people.

Will the ministers eventually gain control of the government?---Yes; they are getting the politicians rapidly into line. In the session of 1828- 29, Congress was petitioned to not permit the mail to be carried on Sunday; but refused to grant the petition. The committee to whom the matter was referred reported adversely. An extract or two from that report is here presented:---

''It should, however, be kept in mind that the proper object of government is to protect all persons in the enjoyment of their religious as well as civil rights, and not to determine for any, whether they shall esteem one day above another, or esteem all days alike holy.''

After showing that some good citizens esteem Saturday holy, and other good citizens observe Sunday, the committee says:---

''With these different religious views, the committee are of the opinion that Congress cannot interfere. It is not the legitimate province of the legislature to determine what religion is true, or what false. While the mail is transported on Saturday, the Jew and the Sabbatarians may abstain from any agency in carrying it, on conscientious scruples. The obligation of government is the same on both these classes; and the committee can discover no principle on which the claims of one should be more respected than those of the other, unless it be admitted that the consciences of the minority are less sacred than those of the majority.''

It seems that the above principle need only be stated to be recognized and accepted by every fair-minded person, and Congress at that time summarily disposed of the petition. But how stands the case today?

CONGRESS HAS BOWED TO THE BEHESTS OF THE CLERGY.

The session of Congress that has just closed [1892], has decreed that the World's Fair at Chicago must be closed on {p. 204} Sunday, or receive no financial aid from the United States treasury. I quote again from the Congressional committee: ''Extensive religious combinations to effect a political object, are, in the opinion of the committee, always dangerous.''

Was there an extensive religious combination to induce Congress to add the Sunday-closing clause to the World's Fair appropriation bill?---Yes. The National Reform Association, the American Sabbath Union, the W. C. T. U., Catholic and Protestant, priest and preacher, united in one grand raid upon Congress with entreaties, petitions, ad threats, to secure the much- coveted Sunday legislation. Then have we reached the danger line?---Yes, we have.

Let us hear the Congressional committee once more; ''All religious despotism begins by combination and influence, and when that influence begins to operate upon the political institutions of a country, the civil power soon bends under it; and the catastrophe of other nations furnishes an awful warning of the consequence.'' Have the influence of religious combinations begun to operate upon the political institutions of our country?---Yes. Has the civil power begun to bend under it?---Yes. Congress has so far yielded to its demands as to go beyond its constitutional prerogative, and to legislate in favor of Sunday, a religious institution, in the face of the declaration of the Constitution that ''Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' What next?--- The awful catastrophe of other nations before us who yielded to the power of the priesthood. Just as soon as corrupt politicians discover that there is power in this religio-political movement, they will join hands with the scheming, ambitious preachers, jump on to the band wagon, and go with the crowd; as witness Senator Quay, the man who introduced the Sunday-closing amendment in the Senate, the malodor of whose reputation has scented the whole country, and smelled even to the world beyond the sea; a man who has been charged by reputable papers with almost every crime which circles around ''Thou shalt not steal.'', yet who has never dared to compel these papers to prove their allegations by libel suit against them. Yes, that is the man who rushed to the aid of the preachers, thinking; ''If I pat your back, you will pat mine.'' Yes, he needed the aroma of the holy {p. 205} clergy to counteract the bad smell of his unsavory reputation. and they needed his political influence to gain control of the government. So the spouse of Christ yielded herself to the arms of the political corruptionists for the sake of the political loaves and fishes. What kind of a child will such an unholy union bring forth? It will be---

AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST

and the enforcing of his mark. The mark of the beast is to be universally enforced: ''And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.'' Rev. 13: 16. The Sunday is also to be universally enforced. ''Let a man be what he may, Jew, seventh-day observer of some other denomination, or those who do not believe in the Christian Sabbath; let the law apply to every one, that there shall be no public desecration of the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath, the day of rest for the nation. They may hold any other day of the week as sacred, and observe it; but that day, which is the one day in seven for the nation at large, let not that be publicly desecrated by any one, by officer in the government, or by private citizen, high or low, rich or poor.'' Dr. McAllister, Who are to receive the mark?--- All, both great and small, rich and poor, free and bond. Who are to receive the Sunday institution?---Every one---officer in the government [the great] or private citizen [the small], high or low, rich or poor. Are enforced Sunday keeping and the mark of the beast the same?---Yes. The issue is before us. The commandments of God on one side and the commandments of the beast [the papacy] on the other. On which side of the controversy will you stand? ''To whomsoever ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.'' Rom. 6: 16. I venture to say now, in the year of our Lord 1892, that only a short time will elapse before the decree shall go forth, that those who will not keep Sunday will not be allowed to buy or sell.

{p. 206}

Step by step, O Saviour, lead us
On ward, upward, nearer thee,
Step by step our every weakness
In the light of God to see.
Sinful pride, unholy passions,
Help us bid them all depart.

Closer, sharper, through the testing
Give us grace for each and all.
Lest, defeated in the conflict,
From our steadfastness we fall.
Step by step, O blessed Jesus,
Help us walk close by thy side;
Step by step, O Holy Spirit,
Be thou evermore our Guide.

Thou wilt surely prove thy people,
Every heart by thee is seen.
Wash us, cleanse us from defilement
Till at last, all pure and clean,
Thou wilt own us at thy coming;
'Mong the sanctified and blest,
Hear thy voice of welcome saying,
''Soul, enjoy thy long-sought rest.''
---John Hopkins.


CHAPTER VII.

LABORS IN SOUTHWESTERN MINNESOTA.

{p. 207}

I must now go back to 1889. In November of that year I was sent as a missionary to the Lake Shetek country, in Murray County, Minn. It was the scene of a great massacre of the whites during the Indian outbreak of 1862.

The gentleman to whom I was directed proved to be very peculiar. He claimed to have had a very remarkable conversion the winter previous. When he discovered I was a minister, he was very much elated ; said he had been praying the Lord to send one, and he was certain I was the one the Lord had sent. He interested himself greatly in opening the way for meetings. ''When will you begin?'' ''Tonight.'' ''But you are tired, and had better rest an evening or two.'' ''Yes, I am tired; but there is a great work to be done, and but little time in which to do it. So the meetings begin tonight.'' The neighborhood was soon apprised of the meetings, and the first one was held at Mr. Dan Greenman's. A goodly number was present, and good attention was paid to the word spoken. After meeting we determined to hold the rest of the meetings in the schoolhouse. I was lead to that conclusion for two reasons; First, people feel more free to go to a schoolhouse than to a private dwelling; and lastly, I noticed that while the older ones were attentively listening to the minister in one room, some children were having a little war in an adjoining room, and some of the parents had to go in and settle them. Not enjoying such little side attractions, I preferred the schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was a poor affair, with no stove in it. The good people got a coal stove, and neatly lined the inside of the house with building paper, so it was fairly comfortable.

The people manifested a good degree of interest in the meetings, especially our peculiar friend, to whom I had been directed when I first entered the neighborhood. He thought the meetings {p. 208} were just right until I inadvertently incurred his displeasure. I will mention some of his peculiarities. He had an idea that, as a son of God, he had no need to work; that his heavenly father would supply all his wants. He also claimed to be able to live without eating, and to go barefoot through the snow without injury; but I noticed he did ample justice to the food set before him, and that his feet were warmly clad. He thought he had the power of the gospel in his right hand. He could just lay his right hand on a sinner, and convert him without any further trouble. He said to me that he was Christ, and could feel his hands and feet burn where the nails had been driven through them. But what alarmed me the most was his confidential statement that the neighborhood would never be right until somebody's blood was shed. I perceived that he was a religious fanatic of the first magnitude. I was afraid that he would sometime be seized with a determination to save the people by the shedding of blood. I remembered that a religious fanatic cut his brother's head off in the time of the great reformation. I thought of the Pocasset tragedy, where, a few years ago, Charles Freeman, under the influence of religious fanaticism, took the life of his own darling child. And what this man might do, I did not know.

In a discourse, one evening, I dwell on the danger of religious fanaticism; also I expressed my belief to some of his friends that he was mentally unbalanced, and should be cared for. This raised his ire to such a height he went to town to have me arrested, but returned, saying his lawyer told him he had no case. The Methodist minister attended a meeting or two, and expressed himself pleased with the doctrine preached. But when I came to speak on the Sabbath question, he opposed with all his might. He cried out, ''No man knows which is the seventh day. I don't know. Brother Hill doesn't know. No man knows; for we have all forgotten the day of the week.' I very briefly replied, ''If Brother Lewis has forgotten the Sabbath, he has broken the law of God; for God said, 'Remember the Sabbath day;' but Brother Lewis says he does not remember the Sabbath at all, but has entirely forgotten it. God said, 'Remember.' Brother Lewis says, 'I forgot.' Surely he ought not to forget what God told him to remember.''

{p. 209}

THE NEXT EVENING

I spoke on ''Who Changed the Sabbath?'' Brother Lewis was on hand to oppose again. I proposed to him that if he had opposing views to present, that he take a whole evening, and not have a jangle at the close of the sermon; but he persisted in speaking. In the course of his remarks, he said I ought to go where there were no other ministers of the gospel, and preach my peculiar views to the unconverted, and not to Christians. A gentleman in the audience inquired if it were peculiar to preach the commandments of God? The minister replied, ''It is peculiar to preach the seventh seventh, seventh day.'' ''Well, '' replied Mr. Carpenter, ''I have a very poor opinion of a man's piety that will pretend to keep the ten commandments, and yet try to get around one of them.'' The minister sat down as if he had been struck by lightning. He had not another word to say. After meeting, Mr. Carpenter invited me to lodge with him that night. As we were walking home, he said, ''Elder Lewis stops with us tonight, too. He took supper with us, and left his horse in my stable, and is ahead of us with Mrs. Carpenter and the boys.'' Sure enough, I found the elder at the house, as pleasant as though nothing unusual had occurred. Mr. Carpenter made a little apology for speaking out in meeting, and everything went along merrily as a marriage bell. The two elders occupied the same bed that night without the slightest discord until morning, when Brother Lewis abruptly asked me, ''Brother Hill, how many people do you expect to convert in this neighborhood?'' ''Well, Brother Lewis, what is it to be converted?'' ''To be converted is to be turned from sin to righteousness.'' ''Right. To turn men from sin to holiness is true conversion. Now, what is sin?'' ''Sin is the transgression of the law.'' ''Right again, Brother Lewis, and we hope by the grace of God to turn a goodly number from sin---transgression of the law---to keep the commandments of God.'' ''O, I suppose you mean to turn them to keep the Sabbath.'' ''We hope, Brother Lewis, to see them keep the Lord's Sabbath with the rest of the commandments; for James says, 'Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all.'' James 2: 10. The Sabbath is a point in the law, and we must keep it or be law breakers in the {p. 210} sight of God.'' Brother Lewis made no reply to this, and we arose, took breakfast, and each went his way for that time.

MY FRIEND WHO WAS SO CERTAIN

the Lord had sent me at first, in answer to his prayers, had now turned to be my enemy, and was just as certain I had been sent of the devil, to distract the peace of the neighborhood. He not only declared he would never enter another Adventist meeting, but that he would make war on us to the end. He joined Brother Lewis in opposition meetings in an adjoining schoolhouse, but all to no purpose. Although he manifested the greatest zeal [he ran, he said, a thousand miles or more, to get ministers to preach, and people to attend the meetings], it was all in vain. The people would attend the Adventist meetings in spite of everything, and the work went forward. A nice Sabbath school was established, and a company of believers was raised up to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Brother Lewis made one more attempt to bring the people back to the observance of the venerable day of the sun. He got so excited, and shouted so loudly that a child was so frightened its father had to take it out of the schoolhouse, and remain outside until the discourse was over. He labored so hard that he panted for breath, yet failed to find a ''Thus saith the Lord'' for Sunday keeping, and seemed determined to make up in noise what he lacked in truth. He complained bitterly that he found it necessary to preach on the Sabbath question at all. He would in nowise do so, only for the divisions brought in by the seventh-day folks. O, what troublers they are. I thought of the cry raised against the apostles anciently: ''These men being Jews, do EXCEEDINGLY trouble our city.'' Acts 16: 20. These men preaching that the seventh day is the Sabbath do exceedingly trouble the ministers. Why?---Because it is the truth, and they cannot successfully deny it. If there was any Bible authority for Sunday keeping, they would not feel so badly. If such scripture could be found, their bitter mourning would be turned into joy immediately, their wails of sorrow would be turned into songs of rejoicing. They would sing,---

''This is the way we long have sought
And mourned because we found it not.''

{p. 211}

But, alas! they are like Rachel, weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not. Even so the ministers are mourning for a ''thus saith the Lord'' for Sunday keeping, and refusing to be comforted, because it is not. No such divine authority can be found. As God has never commanded Sunday, the clergy are stirring up the corrupt politicians to supply the lack, by enacting human laws instead, and when they get the laws they ask for, what will become of the troublers of their Zion? Rev. Mr. Trefren, of Napa, Cal., speaking of Adventist ministers, said, ''What we want is law in this matter, and we will get it, too, and then we will show these men what their end will be. The ministers are fast gaining control of the government, and we will soon see how they will use those men who will dare to differ with them.

During the winter I was joined by Brother Frank Johnson, an earnest, faithful worker in the cause, and we held meetings at Currie, about six miles from Shetek. Mr. Neil Currie furnished us a good hall free of charge, and the good people furnished coal and light. We boarded at the Padgitt hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Padgitt were very kind to us, and she, with Mrs. Swartwood and some others, embraced the truth, and a Sabbath school was organized, and Sabbath meetings established. We worked hard, walking many miles over the bleak prairies, visiting and holding meetings, and were rewarded by seeing some fruit of our labor.

AT THE CAMP MEETING OF 1890

it was decided that J. W. Collie, W. A. Alway, and myself should hold a course of tent meetings at Worthington, a beautiful town of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, situated near the southwestern corner of the State. We went by way of Shetek and Currie. Brother Collie, while on his way over the prairie to visit Mr. Sam Greenman, fell in with our friend who claimed to have the power of the gospel in his right hand, etc. The gentleman invited him to a scriptural conference, to which he readily assented. So they sat down by the side of the fence to investigate a few doctrinal points our peculiar friend wished to explain. Presently he proposed a season of prayer, to which Brother Collie also assented. During his prayer, our peculiar friend began to grapple onto Brother Collie with his hands. He {p. 212} became so demonstrative that Brother Collie, being a youngster, became frightened, and wished himself somewhere else. Suddenly remembering he had an engagement at Sam Greenman's to dinner, he excused himself, and went on his way, wondering what kind of a man he had met with.

We arrived at Worthington in the latter part of June. We found Mr. DeWolf there, who had years before given me a ride in his wagon through the raging waters, when I was on my way to Tenhassen. He kindly helped us to secure a good location for our tent. It was late one summer afternoon when three quiet strangers entered the town which was soon to be stirred as it never was before by the truths which they bore to the people. In the dusk of the evening we pitched our family tent, and made a bed of the preaching tent and some blankets.

It was rather a hard bed for tired limbs, and the discomfort was much increased by clouds of hungry mosquitoes. In the morning there came a rapping on the tent pole. It was Mr. DeWolf, who had come to invite us to breakfast. He and his good wife were very kind to us, especially to me. They kindly gave me a home all ten weeks I was there, for which kindness I hope and pray they may not lose their reward. The meetings were sometimes well attended, and sometimes not. When the interest would lag, we would get out handbills, announcing special subjects, and so draw the people. What helped our cause the most of anything was holding Bible readings in private houses. Some of the best people in the town attended the readings. The Methodist minister, Elder Harrington, lived near the tent. He had a great desire to hear, but would not enter the tent. He was in the habit of clandestinely standing on the outside to listen. We thought to cure him of such unseemly behavior, so the next time he was discovered eavesdropping, the speaker was informed of it, and he said, ''I understand Brother Harrington is standing on the outside of the tent. There is plenty of room within. Please come in, Brother Harrington, and be seated.'' He refused to come in, but went away for that time. Even after that he was discovered standing outside in the rain, listening to the preaching. He would not be seen in the congregation, for fear of setting a bad example to his church members, so he listened on the sly.

{p. 213}

A NICE SABBATH SCHOOL WAS ORGANIZED,

and some began to obey the truth, when I determined to leave the boys, and go home for a while, as I had not been home for about twelve weeks. No sooner had I gone than Elder Harrington began to preach on the Sabbath question. Brother Collie answered him with such effect that some more [Brother and Sisters Griffin] took their stand for the truth. The elder said he had intended to preach a number of times upon the subject, but after he heard the reply, he concluded that once was enough.

In February, 1891, I was sent again to Worthington by the Conference Committee, to meet Elder J. M. Vankirk, of Ruthven, Iowa, who was confident he could exorcise the doctrines of Adventism from the town of Worthington. Our people tried to avoid a discussion, but nothing else would satisfy Elder Vankirk and the Sunday keepers. I was sick, and in no condition to perform labor of any kind, much less bear the burden of a twelve-nights' discussion. The propositions for discussion were: First, Ought Christians to sacredly observe the seventh-day Sabbath? Second, Is the law of which the Sabbath was a part abolished? Ought Christians to sacredly observe the first day of the week? I affirmed the first he the last two propositions. He was smooth, oily, slippery, and worked hard; but went away leaving more Adventists in Worthington than when he came. The little company there are still firm in the faith, and rejoicing in the blessed hope. May the Lord prosper them alway, even unto the end.

IN APRIL, 1891 WE REMOVED

to West Union, Minn., and lived in Brother C. McDonald's house, he having gone with the family to the state of Washington. Brother John Budd desired me to take his wife over to his father's one day, as she wished to go, and he had not time to take her himself. I wanted to see the old folks, and concluded to go. As we were returning, the front wheel of the carriage ran off in descending quite a steep hill, which frightened the horse, and he began to run and kick with all his might. Sister Budd was afraid her little boy, who was with us, would be killed, {p. 214} and, womanlike, screamed, and caught hold of the lines, which only made a bad matter worse. In a very short time the carriage top was in one place and a badly used-up carriage in another, and the horse and harness had disappeared over the prairie, leaving three badly shaken-up persons to get home as best they could. Sister Budd said she did not believe she would ride with the minister again.

The State camp meeting of 1891 was held at Minneapolis. A meeting, called a workers' meeting, was held about a week before the general camp meeting began. At this meeting there were hours set apart for devotion and the study of God's word. One day I thought Brother ------ took rather strong ground in regard to the faith. He said all Abraham did was to believe. All he could do was to believe. All you can do is to believe. All anybody can do is to believe. I asked, if that were so, why is it that we are exhorted everywhere to watch and pray, to strive, wrestle, run, fight, and even to add our faith, if only to believe were all we had to do? Brother Porter, president of our conference, said, ''Brother Hill will have five minutes in which to answer his own question at our next meeting:'' which I did as follows: ''We are told all we can do is to believe, or have faith, and that is not of ourselves; it is the gift of God; then why do not all men who both have faith? It is replied, because some men will not accept the gift. Very well, then the difference is in the men. Some men will, and other men will not. Again, here are the men who both have faith; the one goes on increasing in faith, while the other makes shipwreck of faith. How is this? Both had faith. One grew strong in faith and the other weaker, until he lost what faith he had. These opposite results were reached by the opposite course taken by the two men. The one thought he was required to improve upon the talent of faith God gave him, while the other thought he had nothing to do but believe.

WE ARE TOLD

that as faith is the gift of God, all we have to do is to take it. Well, here is a gift of God---a loaf of bread. Supposing we should all act upon the principle that bread is the gift of God, therefore all we have to do is to take it. Would we not all {p. 215} soon get very hungry? If faith is a gift of God, we should ask for it. 'Ask and ye shall receive;' and the disciples prayed, 'Lord, increase our faith.' If a man has only a little faith, he should live out the faith he already has, and his faith will be strengthened and perfected. James, speaking of Abraham, said, 'Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? James 2: 22. How was Abraham's faith perfected? --- By works. How will your faith be perfected?---By works. In order to be strong in faith we must act out the faith we already possess. We are told all anybody can do is believe. Suppose I steal Brother Curtis' knife. How can I be forgiven? Will it do for me just to believe I am forgiven without confession and restoration? Will it benefit me in the least to believe I am forgiven so long as I retain that knife in my possession?---No. But I go to Brother Curtis, and say, 'I stole your knife. I am truly sorry I did so, and here I give you the knife again.' Now I can come to God with the assurance that God will forgive me, because I have complied with the conditions for forgiveness. God will not repent for us, nor believe for us, nor watch and pray for us, nor improve our talents for us; but He will help us do all these things, and without him we can do nothing. Yes, God's wisdom and power will be given unto every one who seeks for it, and he will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.''

At that camp meeting our good president, Elder R. C. Porter, took leave of us. Never did we part with a president so reluctantly before. He had endeared himself to all the brethren in Minnesota. After camp meeting, Brethren W. A. Alway, A. Parker, and myself pitched our tents in a grove on the shore of Oasis Lake, Douglas County. Never did we pitch tent in a more pleasant location. We began meetings on July 2, with a fair attendance. The interest increased until ofttimes our tent was filled to overflowing, and some decided to obey the truth. Brother Satterlee, the M. E. minister, felt called upon to oppose our work. He started out on the warpath, tomahawk in hand, evidently determined to take our scalps at the first onset. Of course we went to hear him, and he gave us a roasting, sure enough. According to Brother Satterlee, we were the most ignorant, hypocritical hypocrites that could be found. {p. 216} He said we preached damnation to the people, and that we were a curse, and only a curse. The reverend gentleman's rage seemed to know no bounds. As we listened to him, we thought, ''What spirit impels a man to thus abuse his fellow man? Is it the Spirit of Christ?--- O, no. then what spirit is it?---It must be an evil spirit.''

Why is it that ministers almost always abuse Sabbath keepers when they preach upon the Sunday- Sabbath question? Is it because they cannot find any Bible authority for Sunday sacredness that they get so cross? He started out to give the reasons why the Sunday should be observed, and in a long discourse he gave us only three:---

1. We keep Sunday because Christ arose from the dead on that day. Did God tell us to keep Sunday holy because Christ rose from the dead on that day?---No; not at all. Who does?---Brother Satterlee. Would God have told us to keep Sunday holy if He thought it was best for us to do so?--- Yes, certainly. God did not tell us to do so; and why not?--- Evidently because He did not think it was the best for us to do so. What God has not commanded or required, Brother Satterlee ought not to command or require.

2. We keep Sunday the same as we keep the Fourth of July. Yes, certainly. The Fourth of July rests solely upon the commandments of men; so does Sunday. But Christ says, ''In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.''

3. We keep Sunday because all the world keeps it. Yes; Brother Satterlee keeps Sunday to be in harmony with the world; but ''the whole world lieth in wickedness.'' 1John 5: 19. It is not good for a Christian to love the world; for ''if any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him.'' 1John 2: 15. to be in harmony with the world is to be in harmony with the beast, as it is written. ''All the world wondered after the beast.'' Rev. 13: 3. Brother Satterlee places himself among the beast-worshipping world. To be in harmony with the world is to be against Christ; for Christ said, ''If ye were of the world, the world love its own; but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you.''

Here we are taught, First, Christians are not of the world; {p. 217} but Brother Satterlee goes with the world. Yes, there are altogether too many worldly ministers professing to be ministers of Christ. Secondly, we learn that the world hates Christ and Christians. Perhaps that is the reason why he hates Adventists so heartily. He not only hates Sabbath keepers, but the Sabbath and the law that enforces the Sabbath. He said the law was under his feet, and the man who follows the law ignores Christ.

Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said, ''The law is God's faithful witness in heaven.'' What a contrast! Brother Wesley has the law high up in heaven; Brother Satterlee has it low down under his feet. Queer place for God's holy law! God says, ''I will put my laws in their minds, and in hearts will I write them.'' We suggest to Brother Satterlee, and all others who are trampling the precepts of Jehovah in the dust, that the heart is a much more appropriate place for God's law than under their feet. If to follow the law ignores Christ, why does Brother Satterlee, every time he sprinkles a baby, require its parents to promise to teach it the ten commandments? Is not such contradiction and confusion the result of rejecting the truth of God? ''A house divided against itself cannot stand.'' Since Brother Satterlee is divided against himself, how can he stand? But really, does the man who keeps the commandments ignore Christ? If so, it follows that to honor Christ we must break the commandments of God. Could Satan devise a more wicked teaching? Christ said to the Father, ''Yea, thy law is within my heart'' [Ps. 40: 6], and ''I have kept my father's commandments'' [John 15: 10]; and he has joined the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus together: ''Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.'' Rev. 14: 12. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Were we offended because a brother minister railed on us so?--- Not at all. ''Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'' [Sermon on the mount.] Many of the elder's own people did not approve of his bitter spirit, and he soon left for {p. 218} another field of labor. He remarked to a gentleman before going that his people urged him to speak against the Adventists, but as it resulted differently from what was expected, they turned against him. Yes, fighting the truth results differently from what is expected. We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. His successor takes a different course, and says nothing publicly against the Sabbath. The ministers are learning, that whoever publicly opposes the Lord's Sabbath burns his own fingers. If they would only go a step farther, and embrace the whole truth, how much better it would be for them and their people, both now and hereafter. In Osakis, where we had no cause at all about a year ago, we have now a neat little church, of which P. Hogan was the master builder, with Sabbath school and meetings established. And although unpopular truth makes slow progress here, yet God's true people will eventually hear His voice, and follow Him. In September, 1891, we removed to Osakis, where we will reside, and can say we have received many kindnesses from the people of this place and vicinity, for which favors we are thankful.

In the winter of 1891-92, I was assigned fifteen churches to visit in the northwestern part of the State, One of which was Round Prairie. As I was walking from the depot with the gentleman, he showed me the old tent pole that we used in our tent meetings, sixteen years before. There it lay on the prairie, broken in two near the top. As I stood there, and looked at the old pole, what a flood of recollections came rushing into my mind. I could see the tent standing there, as of old, and the people coming on foot and in wagons and buggies. I could see them seated in the cotton meetinghouse, and imagine myself speaking to them once more. Where are this multitude of people now? --- Some have moved away; some to one place and some to another, and some have folded their arms across their bosom in their last long sleep, their work all done, and their life's record all made up, closed up, and sealed unto the judgment of the great day. In a little while that scattered congregation and I will meet again. They to give an account as to how they heard and obeyed the message of truth, and I to give an account of how I proclaimed it to them. Shall I be able in that great day, in the presence of God and the holy angels, to look each one in the eye, and say, ''I did my whole duty; {p. 219} I am free from the blood of all these men?'' I felt to renew my consecration to God and His work, and to pray, ''O, Lord, help me to be a faithful watchman on the walls of Zion.''

At Verndale I found two protracted meetings in progress; as a consequence our meetings were slimly attended by those not of our faith. What to do to get them to come I did not know. At last I got a lot of posters struck off announcing. ''The Adventist Heaven will be the subject of discourse at the Adventist church tonight.'' I posted them up all over the village, and sure enough, a goodly number of outsiders were present, among whom was a Methodist minister. I invited him to open the meeting with prayer, which he did. Several times during his prayer he prayed the Lord. ''If it be possible, bless this meeting.'' Evidently, he was in doubt whether the Lord could possibly bless the Adventist meeting or not, into which his bump of curiosity had beguiled him.

After the opening exercises, the minister took out his note book and pencil, and prepared to take notes. I began by explaining that the Adventists did not believe in a separate and distinct heaven for them, or that they should have a corner of heaven all by themselves. All of God's people shall share alike in that beautiful home; but Adventists have peculiar views as to how it shall be, where it shall be, and how and when it shall be obtained. Those views I endeavored to present, and the reasons therefore. I noticed at first that the minister took few notes, and sat with intense interest until the last word was spoken. The Lord helped in speaking, and the believers and unbelievers testified it was good to be there.

I left Verndale, in company with Brother Grant, for Eunice. The weather was intensely cold, and I felt peculiar pains traveling through my system almost continually. While holding meetings at Eunice, I was forced to give up to the power of la grippe (influenza). Brother and Sister Shields took me home, and gave me steam baths, which helped; but I took a relapse, and was worse than ever. It looked to me as if my work was done, and that I probably would never see my loved ones again in this life. I found it was a precious thing to have a hope in Christ at such a time as that. O, the blessed hope, that is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, and entereth into that {p. 220} within the veil. Who would for an hour be deprived of its rich comfort?

After a while, although very sick, I started for home. I was taken in a sleigh to Detroit, intending to take the cars; but I found I was too sick to go farther for two or three days, and I stayed at young Robert Schram's, who were very kind to me. I stayed during my sickness at Brethren Shield's, and Van Allen's, and at Mr. Schram's, all of whom showed me no little kindness. When I arrived at home, I was so weak I could scarcely walk; but soon got better, and assisted Brother Alway what I could, who was at that time holding meetings in the McKindley schoolhouse, situated in the timber about six miles from town. We often used to go across the lake on the ice. One day, as I was walking across, I came to a piece of ice that seemed to be detached from the main body. I was about to step on to it, when I thought, ''Better try that first;'' so I pushed it with my foot, and it sank quickly under the water. Had I stepped upon it, I would certainly have gone down with it. My time had not yet come to go down into the chambers of death.

WHAT WAS SOMEWHAT REMARKABLE,

Mrs. Hill had a presentiment that I was in danger, and could not rest that night. Surely, ''the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.'' At the McKindley schoolhouse there was quite a good interest to hear, and a goodly number actually took a stand to obey the commandments of God, but most of them soon tired of the self-denying way. I was informed that one man said, ''I would be keeping the Sabbath now only for some of my neighbors;'' and that another said, ''I know it is the truth, but my wife is so opposed that I can have no peace if I obey it.'' Thus they all, with one accord, began to make excuse, and of course the Lord will excuse them. Such excuses will hardly stand in the judgment. ''My neighbors hindered me'' will hardly shield the man from the penalty of the transgression of the divine law. ''My wife opposed me, therefore I rejected the commandments of the great King.'' will hardly pass in the court of heaven. Such excuses will only put the poor people to shame that make them. Not withstanding all discouragements, a little Sabbath {p. 221} school was organized there, but whether it will continue to hold out against the opposition, time will tell. Elder Knott is now teaching the people there that the ten commandments are abolished, Sabbath and all the rest. I dropped into his Bible study one evening, in which he was explaining the first chapter of Galatians, which says that, ''if an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel than that is preached, let him be accursed.'' I wondered on which the curse rested, the Methodist church for teaching that the ten commandments are the law of God and binding on all men, or on Elder Knott for teaching that the ten commandments are dead and binding on nobody. It must most surely rest on one or the other, for they preach directly opposite the one to the other.

One Sabbath day, as I was on my way to meeting, I met a gentleman from that neighborhood hauling a load of wood to town. I said to him, ''Brother, it hurts my feelings to see you breaking the Lord's Sabbath.'' On my return I met him again, when the following discourse ensued: ''I have been thinking about what you said to me about breaking the Sabbath. I don't know about its hurting your feelings to see me work on the Sabbath; maybe it is only a hobby you have. Brother Knott is teaching us that all the old commandments are done away, and we have nothing to do with them any more.'' ''Is that so? I supposed the Bible taught that we should observe the old commandments as well as the new.'' ''Yes; but you find that in the Old Testament.'' ''Let us see about that.'' and I read 1John 2: 7:'' 'Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which we had from the beginning.' This is in the writings of John, in the New Testament. John here plainly teaches that we should observe the old commandment, which is even from the beginning; but Brother Knott teaches that all the old commandments are done away. Which do you think is right, the holy apostle or Brother Knott?'' ''Well, in Paul's writings we find the law is done away.'' ''So you think the apostle Paul contradicts the apostle John?'' ''I think they agree.'' ''Let us hear Paul: 'Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.' Rom. 3: 31. Here Paul says the law is established, the very opposite of abolished or done away.''

''Well, I know Paul says, 'We are not under the {p. 222} law, but under grace.' '' ''I know that very well, too; but Brother--------, who is under grace, the man who breaks the commandments, or the man who keeps them? Do you think the man who lies, steals, commits murder, and the like, is under grace?'' ''O, no, the man who is a Christian will keep the commandments.'' ''Now, Brother-------, you are on the right track, and I will bid you good-by.''

IT IS CERTAIN THE MAN WHO IS A CHRISTIAN

will keep the commandments of God. ''For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.'' 1John 5: 3.

Kind reader, if a man who is a Christian will keep God's commandments, what kind of a man is it who tries to evade them, and teaches they are dead and abolished? And if it is love that leads a man to keep the commandments of God, what is it that impels him to disregard them? All true obedience springs from love, all other obedience is vain. May God's love rule in your heart and mine, and then we will be God's obedient children, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless in His sight.

THE SPRING OF 1892

was very cold and wet, and I took a heavy cold, which brought the la grippe back on me with great power. My friends watched in fear, lest I should not recover. Brother and Sister Bidgood and Brother and Sister Briggs were especially kind to us during this illness. Through the loving kindness of our Father in heaven I once more recovered so as to do a little in the cause I love.

I was too feeble to attend the State camp meeting in Minneapolis in May, 1892. My two daughters, Ella and Nellie, attended it, and it was the best one ever held in the State. The brethren came home greatly refreshed and encouraged. They could see clearly that the long-looked-for triumph of God's faithful children is at hand. The power of God was present, not only to heal the soul, but the body as well. Sister Haak, of Winona, with whom I am well acquainted, had been an invalid for years, and a great sufferer; she attended the meeting, and was instantly healed in {p. 223} answer to prayer, and returned to her home a well woman. Thus we see the Lord is gracious, and willing to do great things for His people. The Bible study, conducted by Elder A. T. Jones, was a great blessing to the dear brothers and sisters. Their eyes fairly shone with their new hope and joy. May the good and blessed work go on until the joy of every believer shall be full.

A WHILE AFTER CAMP MEETING

I had the pleasure of visiting Long Prairie, Stewartville, Eagle Lake, Good Thunder, and Kasota. It was a privilege to meet the dear old veterans in the cause, and speak to them once more of the blessed hope. We realized more than ever that we are standing on the very verge of the eternal world; events startling in their nature are transpiring before our eyes, and the next thing in order is the time of trouble, and then the glorious appearing of the Son of God on the white cloud, and the gathering of the saints unto Him. At Eagle Lake I had the pleasure of meeting my aged father. He is in his eighty-third year, and quite feeble; but his hope is strong in the holy one of Israel, the One that is mighty and able to save. At Kasota, where my sister Sarah, and brother-in-law, John Pettis, live, I could only stay one evening, which I improved by holding meeting with the brethren. My mind was carried back to the time, about thirteen years ago, when I first held meetings there. I asked the brethren if they remembered that at that time I told them the churches would gain control of the civil power in this country, and so make an image to the beast, or papacy? ''Are the churches uniting to gain that control?---Yes. Are they succeeding?---Yes. Both houses of Congress have yielded to the demands of the churches in regard to the Sunday closing of the World's Fair. Did I tell you that the time would come when this country would be stirred from one end to the other on the Sunday-Sabbath question?---Yes. Was it the truth?---Yes. Witness the universal agitation on this question caused by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the American Sabbath Union, the Sunday Rest leagues, and National reformers. Their literature, meetings, conventions, and petitions are everywhere. Ninety- one churches met in Chicago the other day to boom the Sunday movement. What other {p. 224} religious question creates such interest and enthusiasm?---None whatever. Did I tell you the time would come when Congress would, at the behest of the churches, make Sunday laws?-- -Yes. Has Congress already begun to make Sunday laws to please the churches?--- Yes. Did I tell you that the time would come when Sabbath keepers would be fined and imprisoned in this country for working on Sunday?--- Yes. Has it come to pass?---Yes; four as good, honest Christian people as can be found, are in a dungeon today, in free America, one of whom we are well acquainted with, for quietly working on their own premises, on Sunday, after having kept the Sabbath day according to the commandment of the Lord. Thirteen years ago I declared to you, on the authority of God's Word, that these things would come to pass, every one of which is in the process of fulfillment before your eyes today. Does not this prove to a demonstration that our people have the correct interpretation of the prophecies relating to the days in which we live?--- Yes, it most surely does. Will this persecution of commandment keepers become general?---Yes. The Sunday crusade is here, and is moving with mighty power, and will not stop until all over this broad land those who will not bow down to the image or receive the mark, will experience and know what it is to suffer for Christ's sake. They will experience the wrath of the dragon. But who will gain the victory in this last conflict, the beast and his image, or the suffering people of God? Let us read Rev. 15: 2: 'And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.'

WHO WILL STAND ON THE SEA OF GLASS?

Those who on this earth gained the victory over the beast and his image. Who are now warning the world against the beast and his image, and the reception of his mark?---Seventh-day Adventists. Then who only will stand on the sea of glass mingled with fire before the throne?--- Seventh-day Adventists. Do not misunderstand me; I do not say none {p. 225} but Adventists will be saved; but I do say, and every Bible believer must believe with me, that only those who contend with the beast and his image will stand on the sea of glass, and Seventh-day Adventists are the only ones in this world that are scripturally doing that. Ask any other class of people if they have any special burden to oppose the beast and his image, and they will tell you, no; that they do not know if there be any beast and his image or not. How is it with you, kind reader? Are you in ignorance of these things? How can you expect to stand with the glad company of overcomers on the sea of glass? Is it not high time that you were becoming intelligent in regard to these solemn truths?

IT IS OBJECTED THAT

it cannot be that the little unpopular people of Seventh-day Adventists can be the only ones who have the truth for our time. When was the present truth popular in this wicked world? Not in the days of Noah, neither in the days of Abraham, or Elijah, or Christ, or at any other time. Neither will it be in the last days; for in the latter times some shall depart from the faith. 1Tim. 4: 1. In the last days perilous times shall come. 2Tim. 3: 1. And the remnant or last of God's people, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, will suffer the wrath of the dragon. Rev. 12: 17. A popular church is never persecuted; therefore the remnant people of God, upon whom the dragon shall make war, will be a small, unpopular people, proclaiming unpopular truth to the world. Are the Seventh-day Adventists just such a people as that?---Yes. Are they already suffering fines and imprisonment for consciences' sake ?---Yes. And it will be more and more so as the days roll round. Many say the age in which we live is too enlightened to persecute anybody. But the spirit of intolerance and persecution is not dead by any means, as witness the fines and imprisonment of Sabbath-keepers in Arkansas, for working quietly on their own premises on Sunday. Also the celebrated King case: A man who was fined for planting corn on Sunday; who was dragged from court to court, and finally died under a thousand-dollar bond to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States; and {p. 226} for what crime?---For plowing corn on Sunday after having kept the Sabbath of the Lord according to the commandment. Was he a good man and a Christian?--- Yes, even those who prosecuted him admitted that. Who are responsible for his being persecuted to the day of his death?---The popular churches. What does Christ say about such things? ''Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye did unto me.'' How will such popular professors of religion answer for their persecution of Christ's little ones when they stand before Him in the great day? I would rather be the persecuted than the persecutors, would not you? Take the more recent case of the Adventists imprisoned in Paris jail, Henry County, Tennessee.

The following is a dialogue between an Adventist and a Methodist shortly before the persecution began: Methodist---''You people are doing a good deal of harm in this country.'' Adventist---''Why, how is that? We are a quiet, inoffensive people.'' Methodist---''Yes, but were it not for your church we would have regular meetings here at Springville, and all the young people who now go to your meetings would be working members of the Methodist Church.'' Adventist---''Well, show us our error, and we will all be Methodists.'' Methodist---''That's just what we are going to do; we are going to prosecute every one of you.''

Kind reader, I call that the spirit of religious bigotry and intolerance. What do you call it? Did they prosecute them?---Yes. Five Christian men, two of them personally known to the writer, were indicted as criminals, and appeared before the court without a lawyer, and personally pleaded for liberty to worship God according to His own word---To work six days and rest the seventh, as God had commanded them. Was it denied them?--- Yes. Although not a man could be found to testify he had been disturbed by their Sunday work, yet four of these Christian men were fined and imprisoned as criminals in the common prison. Was the spirit of persecution satisfied with their imprisonment?--- No, sir. But even ministers went to Paris, the county seat of Henry County, Tennessee, to see if by some means these suffering men could not be made to work in the chain gang on the public roads, and they were compelled even to endure that infamy.

{p. 227}

In the light of these facts, who will say the spirit of persecution is dead? Here is something more I find in the REVIEW AND HERALD, dated Aug. 9, 1892: ''We learn that Brethren E. E. Franke and C. L. Taylor are having an exciting time in their tent work at Ford's Store, Maryland. Methodist ministers have come in from all parts of the country, and stirred up a mob, who, wearing masks and armed with clubs and other weapons, have undertaken to tear down their tents, and drive them from the place, and would have done so, had not the tent been watched nights by its friends to the number of thirty or forty, armed for all emergencies. Who will say that the spirit of religious intolerance is dead? Who are suffering from this persecuting spirit?---Seventh-day Adventists.'' But this is not all, Judge Hammond, a judge of the United States District Court, in his decision in the King case, holds that the majority have the legal right to persecute the minority in this land [see ''Due Process of Law and the Divine right of Dissent,'' page 21]

THUS PLACING PERSECUTION

on a legal basis in this land of boasted freedom. Yet more; The Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision on the 29th day of February, 1892, that this is a Christian nation. Thus laws supporting Christian institutions are constitutional. Yet More: Congress has legislated in favor of Sunday, a religious institution. How long before the whole power of the government will be fully under ecclesiastical control, when the ministers will not stir up masked mobs to tear down tents and drive people away; but will say to officers of the law, ''Take care of these men,'' and they will do it. And while popular professors of religion will be enjoying their church fairs, festivals, and ice cream suppers, the victims of their bigotry and intolerance will be languishing in dungeons and laboring in the chain gang.

The crisis is before us, reader. On which side will you be? Will you join the popular professors of religion in oppressing the humble children of God? If so, will not the judge say to you and to them in that day: ''Wherefore did ye fine and imprison me and persecute me?'' And when you will ask, ''When did we such a wicked thing?'' will not the Judge {p. 228} say, ''Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye did it unto me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.'' Matt. 18: 1. God will not forsake His people in the time of trouble. He says, ''When thou passeth through the fire, the flame shall not kindle upon thee; and when thou passeth through the waters, they shall not overflow thee. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear and delivereth them.'' Ps. 34: 7.

DID THE ANGEL OF THE LORD

deliver the three worthies from the burning flame in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the king?---Yes, he did. Did the angel of the Lord deliver Daniel from the power of the lions?---Yes, he did. Did the angel of the Lord deliver Peter from prison?---Yes; the Lord delivered His faithful servant in ages past, and He will shield them by His mighty power in the last great struggle with the powers of darkness. God will have mighty men of faith in his army, in the last days, and His light and truth will shine forth until the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of God. Rev. 18: 1. Dear reader, are you in the army of the Lord? If not, you have no time to lose. He is now calling for volunteers, and whosoever will, may come.

{p. 229}

THE IMPORTANCE OF A LIVING PRESENT.

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil aid;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.

Backward look across the ages, and the beacon moment see,
That, like peaks of some sunk continent, just through Oblivion's sea.
Not an ear in court or market for the low, foreboding cry
Of those crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff must fly;
Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.

Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
One death grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,---
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own

Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust
Ere her cause bring fame and profit and 'tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside.
Doubting, in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified,
And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
---James Russell Lowell, on ''The Present Crisis."


{p. 230}

CHAPTER VIII.

LABORS IN NORTH DAKOTA

In the autumn of 1892, I went to Pembina County, North Dakota. My book, ''Experiences of a Pioneer Minister of Minnesota,'' was sent to a Mr. Schram, and by its instrumentality, himself, wife, and married daughter, a Mrs. Baker, began the observance of the Sabbath of the Lord, and it was thought advisable by the conference president for me to go and hold some meetings in that new field.

I arrived at Niche in December. The weather was clear and cold. North Dakota is a great wheat-producing country. I saw great rows of wheat sacks corded up like cordwood along the streets because there was no room for them in the elevators. It was perfectly safe from harm, because of the dryness of the atmosphere. After arriving at Niche, I found I had sixteen miles to go into the country. By inquiry, I found that Mr. Baker, Mr. Schrams' son-in-law, with whom the old gentleman lived, was in town, but I had great difficulty in locating him. At last I met a man on the street, and I was so strongly impressed that he was Mr. Baker, that I turned round and followed him into a stable, and sure enough, he was the man I was seeking. I introduced myself to him, and requested a ride with him, which I saw was reluctantly granted. After we had started on our journey, he informed me that he was much opposed to my religion, and he was very sorry that it had ever found its way into his house, and he assured me that he would not allow it to be talked in his family. I might visit with the old folks, but for me to talk my religion to them in his house would not be permitted. ''Well, Mr. Baker,'' said I, ''I am thankful that I may have the privilege of visiting with them; and will you permit me to read the Bible with them?'' ''O, yes, as much as you please,'' he said. As my religion was nothing but the plain word of God, I was all right. I could let the Bible talk my religion for me, and {p. 231} we had a blessed time reading God's holy Word with the old people. The next morning I started out to spread abroad among the people a knowledge of the present truth, which I did chiefly by visiting and holding Bible readings from house to house.

On Christmas day I had an appointment at the schoolhouse. The thermometer registered fifty-two degrees below zero. Only one man attended, and he was bundled up with two overcoats. We studied the Bible with a hot stove between us, with overcoats on, and were none too warm then. I held meetings for a while in Mr. Van Norman's house, at Elm Point, and several decided to obey; and then I held some meetings in Coburn's schoolhouse, which were well attended, and a goodly number believed, and some [a Mr. Carscallon and his family] obeyed the form of sound words. One of his sons, --- a noble young man,--- is at college, preparing to go out into the gospel field, and help sound the last message to poor sinners in need of salvation. How glad I was to see him when he came to see me at College View! How glad God's faithful servants will be to meet in heaven with those whom they have rescued from sin and death, by pointing them to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. ''He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.'' Ps. 126: 6. The winter was exceptionally severe. It was nothing uncommon to meet a man with a frozen nose, all unconscious that anything was wrong with this prominent organ of his face, but he would realize it all on coming to the fire. One very cold morning I drove several miles to Elder Scott's---Presbyterian. On arriving, Mrs. Scott exclaimed. ''Brother Hill, your nose is frozen.'' I rubbed it vigorously with snow for a while, after which Mrs. Scott applied kerosene oil. Although for several days my nose had a queer feeling in it, that was all the inconvenience I experienced from the nip I received from Jack Frost. I went into a house one bitter cold day, and found several men inside having a social chat. They soon found who and what I was, and they began:---

''We don't know what to believe. Here we have the Catholics, and they claim to be the only true church; and {p. 232} we have Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists and they all claim to be in the right; and lately the Christians Scientists have come among us, and they are certain sure that all others are wrong, and that they, and they only, have the true light; and now come the Adventists, and they are sure they are right, and we cannot tell which or what is right.''

''I perceive, gentlemen, that you are in confusion and uncertainty in regard to Christian doctrine.''

''Yes, that is it exactly''

''Well, the Lord tells you to come out of Babylon, or confusion. Rev. 18: 4. You see, gentlemen, you are in the place that the Lord tells you to come out of. He doesn't want you to be in such a sad condition. I think you had better get out of it right off.''

''Yes, but how are we to get out? That's the thing.''

''It depends upon how badly you want to get out whether you succeed or not. 'If any man will do His will, he will know of the doctrine.' John 7: 17. You see, the way is clear; only do the will of God, and your uncertainty will be gone, and you will know of the doctrine.''

''O, yes, but what is the will of God?''

''Here is a part, at least, of God's will: 'I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere.' 1Tim. 2: 8. Do you pray? No. Then you have not even begun to do God's will. Is it any wonder that you are in darkness? As fast as God's will is made known to you, walk in obedience to it; and your path will be as the path of the just, that shineth more and more even unto the perfect day.'' Prov. 4: 18.

One man of them, at least, walked in the path of obedience, and is now rejoicing in the Lord's marvelous light. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. One evening after meeting I told Brother Schram that I would call on him the next day. He said, ''I would much like to have you come; but I am afraid that Mr. Baker, the man I live with, will use you roughly, as he is very angry.'' ''Well, I think I will come.'' The next morning when I called Mr. Baker was not at home, and we had a profitable visit. About noon he returned, and began to scold his wife because I was in his house again. We heard him in the old folks' room where I was. I thought, It is too bad that a little {p. 233} woman must bear my scolding, I guess I had better take it myself. So I opened the door, and went in expecting that like as not he would help me out into the road. As I entered, I extended my hand, and said, ''How do you do, Mr. Baker.'' He shook hands. The storm subsided, and immediately there was a great calm.

It is my experience that a man that will domineer over his wife is a coward among men. A true husband will never stand between his wife and her duty to God. A man that does so is only a little pope on a small scale. Gentle reader, if you have ever tried to force the conscience of your wife, repent before God, ask her forgiveness, and do so no more.

Christian Science had gained quite a foothold in that country, and some of its followers had very queer notions. One gentleman, I was told, thought that he had climbed the ladder of life high enough to live without eating. He tried it awhile, but finally concluded that he must climb a little higher before he could make a complete success of it.

One lady, a leader among them, claimed that she was as powerful as Christ. I thought, what next? Here is a frail mortal claiming to be as powerful as the Lord himself. I said, ''Christ could make worlds. [Heb. 1: 2.] Have you power to make a world? If so, please make one.'' It is needless to say that the new world made by the Christian Scientist is not yet made manifest. You may say that she was some weak-minded person. On the contrary, she was a bright, intelligent lady, but she was bewildered and bewitched with the vagaries of Christian Science; and the only safeguard for you and me, that we do not believe it a lie, is a love of the truth as revealed in the Word of God. See 2Thess. 2: 10- 12.

There was lots of snow that winter, and when the wind blew, the air would be so full of it that you could hardly see at all. One day as I was out in such a storm, wading in the deep snow, I would walk a little way, and then kneel down and commend myself to my Father in heaven, and ask Him to help me to lead precious, blood-bought souls to Him. He brought me safely through to a place of shelter, and He will bring me through every storm to the heaven of eternal rest in His own good time.

I had to build my own fires in the schoolhouse, and a great {p. 234} snow bank covered the wood pile clear out of sight. It was a hard, cold job to dig into the wood pile, and it had to be repeated every evening, for the great hole I digged one evening would be filled again by the next evening. I felt a joy in doing it, for I was doing it for His name's sake, and I had to respect unto the recompense of reward. Heb. 11: 24- 26. On my way home I stopped at Brother Sage's, in Grand forks. He said, ''You look years older, Brother Hill, than you did last fall, when you went North.'' It was a hard, trying winter's labor, but I was happy, because a light had been lighted in that country that will shed its bright beams across darkness until Jesus comes. What a high privilege to be permitted to have a humble part in God's great plan of saving men! I returned before camp meeting to encourage the little flock, and met Elder Hapenny, a Methodist minister, who was very friendly, and thought, as we were both engaged in the Lord's work, we ought to help each other all we could, which I was willing to do; accordingly the next Sunday I attended his meeting, and helped all I could, for which he was much pleased, and thanked me for the aid I had given him. The next evening I began meetings in the Best schoolhouse, and Brother Hapenny happened along. I told him how glad I was of his company and help. ''Well, Brother Hill, I don't think I can stay, I am going to stay overnight with my cousin, who lives several miles from here, and, besides, we differ so widely in belief that think it is best for me not to stay anyway.'' ''Well, Brother Hapenny, if you think attending my meeting will injure you, or your cause, by all means don't stay,'' and he departed.

After meeting, all the congregation left, and none invited the stranger to share his hospitality with him. I saw a light in a house near by, and I thought to get lodgings there. I was very gruffly informed that I could not stay. It looks as if my lodging would be the schoolhouse. I thought the Lord whom I serve is able to get me a comfortable place to lodge in, and He will if it is for the best. It is cold, but I will neither murmur nor complain. Thank the Lord, ''all things work together for good to them who love God.'' As I returned to the schoolhouse, I saw another light farther up the road. There I found a welcome, comfortable lodging, a good {p. 235} breakfast, and the kind people would not take any pay. ''The Lord is good, and His mercy endureth for ever.''

I found some of the people in the Best neighborhood very much prejudiced. I called on a gentleman one morning, and invited him to my meeting. He said, ''I want nothing to do with you or your meetings.'' ''I am very sorry you will not attend my meetings. Perhaps, though, as I am tired, you will be kind enough to let me sit down and rest a while.'' ''What made you tired?'' ''Walking. I have been walking over the prairie for a day or two, and am tired, but not so much so but that I can go on if you refuse me the privilege of resting.'' He finally consented, saying ''I do not want to recognize you as a Christian minister; neither do I want anything said about the Sabbath.'' ''Very well, we will talk about something else.'' And we visited together until his prejudice wore somewhat away, and he became quite friendly, and invited me to dinner. He even apologized for his rudeness. The next house I entered, I was received kindly, I was scarcely seated when a very important-appearing young gentleman entered. He was introduced to me as Mr. Gough. I inquired if he were a relative of John B. Gough, the famous temperance orator. He very curtly informed me that he was not. Suddenly he said to me, ''Mr. Hill, what do you believe will be the punishment of the wicked?'' I knew in an instant that he was in for a theological discussion. Wishing to avoid controversy, I answered, ''I believe the wicked will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of God and the glory of His power.'' [2Thess. 1: 9], hoping he would be satisfied with such a scriptural answer. He thought a moment, and said, ''Mr. Hill, do you believe in a hell?'' ''Yes, certainly.'' He was not satisfied yet, and asked a third time, ''Mr. Hill, do you believe the wicked will ever have an end?'' ''Yes, I believe the Scriptures teach that the wicked will have an end.'' He handed me his Bible, and said, excitedly, ''Read it, read it.'' I thought, ''Young man, if you only knew what you are getting into, you would go slow, instead of fast. ''I opened my Bible, and read, ''What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?'' 1Peter 4: 17. ''It seems from this that the wicked will surely have an end.'' ''Oh yes, but end there means destiny.'' ''Well, here is {p. 236} another text that throws more light as to the destiny of the wicked. 'Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.' Mal. 4: 1. This seems quite clear that the wicked will be burned up root and branch.'' ''Mr. Hill, that refers only to a part of the wicked, those who will be alive on the earth when Christ comes.'' ''Maybe I did not read it aright. Let us see. It does say. 'All the proud and all that do wickedly.' It does take them all in, does it not?'' ''Well, but that refers only to their bodies.'' ''My friend, I believe I understand you now. When God says, 'the wicked shall be burned up root and branch, that means only their bodies; for the soul is immortal, and cannot die.' Eze. 18: 4. How is this, Brother Gough? The Lord says the soul that sinneth shall die, and you say the soul is immortal and cannot die.'' ''That means all that is bad of a man shall die, that's all.'' ''How much of a bad man is bad? Is he all bad?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''If he is all bad, and all that is bad of him dies, how much of him is left?'' I say, Mr. Hill, that is another kind of a death.'' ''Perhaps you mean that the soul that sinneth will die the death that never dies.'' "'Yes, sir, that's it exactly.'' "'My friend, what kind of a life would it be that never lives? Would not a death that never dies be about equal to a life that never lives, that never lives? The death that never dies is a theological invention; such a curious kind of death is unknown to the Bible.'' ''Mr. Hill. It is never said in the Bible that the righteous are dead. The wicked are said to be dead, but the righteous are said to be asleep, not dead.'' ''Is that so? We will have to read again; 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.' Rev. 14: 13. Does this scripture refer to the righteous?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''Are they dead?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''Were you mistaken when you said that the righteous were never represented as being dead in the Bible?'' With crimson face, he replied, ''Yes, sir'' Not discouraged entirely, he made another effort. ''The wicked are {p. 237} never said to be asleep, they are always represented as being dead.'' ''My brother, let us read again, 'and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.' Dan. 12: 2. Are those who awake to shame and everlasting contempt wicked?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''Are they represented as being asleep?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''Mistaken again.'' ''I cannot stay longer, I must be going.'' ''Please don't be in such a hurry. What will become of the wicked is a very interesting study, let us pursue it farther. In Ps. 37: 10. we read, 'Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.'' When this scripture is fulfilled, where will the wicked be?---He simply will not be at all. Let us read again, 'But the wicked shall perish, the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume, into smoke shall they consume away.' Ps. 37: 20. Do you believe this testimony concerning the wicked?'' ''Yes, sir.'' ''So do I; so we now believe alike on this important subject.'' ''Mr. Hill, I will not stay any longer.'' ''Why be in such haste, my brother. We have only just begun to examine the many texts of scripture in regard to the destiny of the wicked, and surely it is an interesting, profitable study.'' ''I tell you, Mr. Hill, I have not time to stay longer.'' ''Since your time is so limited, I will only call your attention to one more text that teaches that the wicked shall be as though they had not been. Obadiah 1: 16. Do you accept this word of God as the truth?'' Of course he had to say yes. ''Then you and I believe alike that the time will come when the wicked shall be as though they had not been.'' I ask the gentle reader to stop and think where he would be if he never had been at all, and then remember that that is where God says the wicked will be sometime.

After we had closed our Bible study, he said, ''Mr. Hill, I believe that a man who doesn't believe in eternal burning hell, is plumb on his way for that place himself.'' ''My young brother, you have sent me to a very bad place, but I am not going. In the first place, you have no authority to send me there; and in the second place, I am going the other way. Now let me give you a little good advice. As you wish to do good in the world, do not be too hasty in sending people {p. 238} to perdition; for after you get them there you never can do them good any more, so please keep them out of hell long as you can. Now, Brother Gough, as we have studied God's Word together, shall we as Christians have a season of prayer together before you go?'' ''No, sir.'' ''At least, let us shake hands, and part as friends.'' ''No, sir.'' and he made a rush for the door, and I have never seen him since. I do not know what the people thought of the conduct of their pastor; for such he turned out to be. I hope he will treat the next stranger he meets with more respectful consideration. If the reader cares to investigate the destiny of the wicked farther, he can send to Review & Herald Publishing Company, Battle Creek, Mich., for a book entitled ''Here and Hereafter,'' in which he will find every text bearing on the subject clearly elucidated; price, one dollar. Soon after leaving this house, I met a man in the road, who accosted me as follows: ''Are you the man that is around there teaching the people to work on the holy Sabbath?'' ''No, sir, I am teaching the people to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.'' ''Is your name Hill?'' ''Yes, sir that is my name. What is your name, please?'' ''None of your business. You get out of this neighborhood. You are not wanted here at all.'' ''Well, my friend, to tell you the truth, I am thinking a good deal that way myself. From present indications, it does not look as if I can do the people much good by prolonging my stay at this time, and I have about concluded to leave shortly.'' He likened me to the devil, and declared I ought to be ridden on a rail, and his eyes glared like the eyes of a maniac. I stepped up close to him, and looked him steadily in the eye, and said to him, ''Are you a Christian?'' It seemed to have a wonderful effect on him. He stepped back, and never answered a word. He knew he was manifesting the spirit of the dragon, and not the meek, gentle spirit of Christ. I bade him good day, and went on my way. The last I heard from him, he was crying after me, ''Around teaching the people to work on the holy Sabbath.'' The next Sunday I attended a meeting of one Rev. Mr. Patterson, in which the good people got so excited that they were going to cast me out of the schoolhouse. One elder of the church cried, ''Throw him out!'' I told them not to be quite so hasty as that, and {p. 239} the uproar subsided. It made me think of the uproar at Ephesus. I thought, What have I done that church people who claim to love the same dear Saviour I do, hate me so? I have only taught the people to love God and keep his commandments.'' Perhaps a comparison of Matt. 5: 11, 12 and Isa. 66: 5 will throw some light on the subject.

The next Monday morning I started for the Minneapolis, [Minn.] camp meeting, and have never had the pleasure of laboring in North Dakota since; but I have the rich joy of knowing that the light kindled in that region is still shining, and extending its bright rays continually. One brother, Carscallon, has gone from there to England, to engage in the good work. ''O, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.'' Ps. 34: 3.

The next summer I went with two young brethren, J. F. Pogue and C. Parker, to Pine City, county seat of Pine County, situated between St. Paul and Duluth, on the St. Paul & Duluth R. R., to hold a course of tent meetings. There were a good many Catholics and unbelievers in the town and vicinity. One of the leading men of the place, Mr. J. F. Stone, was a very pronounced skeptic. He attended our meetings quite regularly, and was very friendly to us. He invited me to come to his hotel at any time, night or day, and receive entertainment free of charge. He said to some ministers, one day, ''Do you know what I would do if I were a minister? I would go to the Adventist tent, hear some good preaching, and be converted.'' One night I was awakened by brother Parker crying out excitedly, ''Brother Hill, they have torn down the preaching tent, I heard the center pole fall.'' ''Well, Brother Parker, lie down and take your rest until morning, and then we will fix it up again.'' In the morning some gentlemen came over to see what had happened, as they could not see our gospel tent anymore. We said, some evil disposed persons have cut the ropes and let it fall to the ground. After breakfast we will put it up again. ''O, don't wait, but let us put it up right off. It is a disgrace to the town to leave it down.'' With the help of these kind friends all damages were quickly repaired, and our cotton meeting house was again ready for divine service. Among these kind friends were Mr. Stone and another skeptic by the name of E. L. {p. 240} George. I hoped to see them give up their skepticism, and rejoice in the hope set before them in the gospel. They were very kind to us, helped to build a little church for our people, but did not decide to go with us to the promised land. One bitter cold evening as Mr. George and I were out together, I said to him, ''Mr. George, if you were out in a bitter cold night, and the storm was fiercely beating upon you, and your strength and hope were almost gone, and you should discover a light shining in your father's window, and a little farther effort would bring you there, would it not bring good cheer and joy to you?'' He replied, ''Why, yes, of course.'' ''Well, that is what my religion does for me. In this cold world of storm and trouble I see a glorious light shining from my Father's house in heaven, and soon the weary pilgrim will be there, and it is a wellspring of comfort and joy to me every day of my life. What do you think of it, Mr. George?'' ''O,'' said he, ''I think it is a good thing.'' ''Sure enough, the blessed hope in Christ is a good thing.'' Kind reader do you rejoice in it? One year after we held our tent meeting at Pine City, Hinckley, the next town north, was swept by a storm of fire from the woods, and nearly every house and many of the inhabitants were burned. Mr. George was one who went to gather up the dead. He told me of a drayman who had three barrels of water on his dray when the fire struck the town. He drove with his family into the green woods, thinking there he would be safe; but the tempest of fire and flame followed them even there, and the only way he could keep himself and family alive was to keep drenching them with water. Many of his neighbors came running after him with clothing on fire, and calling for the Lord's sake to pour water on them. Some died with their hands on the wagon wheels, and Mr. George told me that he helped to gather more than a hundred dead near where that wagon stood. Not only Hinckley, but a large region of surrounding country, was swept by the flame of devouring fire, and many were the terrible experiences of that terrible day. See Isa. 29: 6, and then, kind reader, judge to yourself whether God's word is being fulfilled in the earth today or not.

The next winter was spent in holding meetings on the prairie and in the timber. Our experiences were often quite {p. 241} interesting. Brother and Sister Worline and some others in the timber accepted the hope of the gospel, and meetings were established, and a nice Sabbath school was organized. The Free Methodist brethren held meetings in the same schoolhouse we did. They seemed to be, for the most part, a very earnest people, and I had a good regard for them, and sincerely desired to be a help to them. One dear old brother, Uncle Johnnie Bond, declared that he could listen for three hours or more at a time to our preaching. After a while a change came over them. They were not at all pleased with the Sabbath question, and they began to look upon me as a disturber of their Zion. One evening, with a sleighload of friends, I attended their protracted meeting, which was in full blast. The minister, Elder Parks, thrust himself against the Law of God, the ten commandments, with all his power, declaring they were bondage and death, and done away, and those who were keeping them were on their way to destruction. After he was through, another minister arose, and very excitedly began scoring my people, and at length he directed his remarks to me. The thought flashed into my mind that when a lad in school, I was always called out onto the floor to take my whipping; so I stepped out on the floor close to the speaker, folded my arms, and quietly listened to what the brother had to say. His gesticulations, if not graceful, were at least dramatic. I could feel the floor jar as he came down on his heels; but I noticed that my standing so near to him had a very depressing effect on his oratory, and he soon subsided. I shook hands with him and Brother Parks, and asked if I might say a few words. After assuring them that I would speak kindly, liberty was granted, and I began by saying that I loved the Free Methodist brethren. Some began to say ''I don't believe it.'' ''Yes, I do. The only thing I said about my Free Methodist brethren last evening was to thank them for the kind Christian spirit they manifested in permitting me to have the use of the house.'' Voices began to say, ''That's so;'' then they kept silent while I spoke as follows: ''I am sorry to hear this good people say such hard things against God's holy commandments which He spoke with His own voice, and wrote with His own finger on the tables of stone. For, like their author, they are holy, heavenly, perfect. The {p. 242} apostle Paul says in Rom. 7: 12, that the law is holy, the commandment is holy, just, and good. It is passing strange that a holy people would oppose and make warfare on a holy, just, and good law. There must be some mistake about it somehow; for I believe my Free Methodist brethren have a love for the law, after all. Take the command: ''Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Do not you believe in keeping this one?'' They agreed that it was all right, and should be kept. So with the second and third.

The fourth commandment says: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' You and I may differ as to which day is the Sabbath, and think it ought to be kept. Yes, that is so. Is it not so? The fifth commandment says: 'Honor thy father and thy mother.' I will ask Brother Parks if he does not think that Free Methodists and all people ought to keep this divine precept?'' I could not prevail on him to say yes or no. To say yes would spoil his no-law sermon that he had just delivered with so much energy, and to say no would be so at variance with reason and common sense that it would destroy his influence with the people, so he said nothing. But Sister Ayres, a prominent worker among them, cheerfully acknowledged that to honor father and mother was a good thing, and everybody ought to do so; and so we went through with all of the ten, and they acknowledged them all. It followed that if keeping the law of the Lord is bondage and death, our Free Methodist brethren are as badly in it as anybody. Speaking a good word for the law of the Lord threw a wet blanket on the meeting; but after a while they got started again as high as ever. One old gentleman, by the name of Counselman, got to praying for me, crying out with white face, ''O, Lord, if it be possible, save Brother Hill.'' I was pleased that the kind friends took such an interest in my eternal welfare; but as it had been reported that the gentleman had stolen Brother Bidgood's hay, and had two living wives, I could not help thinking that perhaps his prayers were not ascending very high. Another man, Zach. Stokes by name, who was taking a high hand in the meeting, was soon after lying in Long Prairie jail because he proved to be the father of his daughter's child. As the meeting progressed, the excitement arose higher and higher, {p. 243} until they were having just a glorious time. One elderly gentleman by the name of Brown, arose by my side to give on his testimony, and in his remarks he said he wished Brother Hill enjoyed religion. I arose, and took him by the hand, and said, ''Brother Brown, Brother Hill does enjoy religion. He enjoys the religion that gives freedom from sin, and sin is the transgression of the law.'' He said, ''Brother Hill, look up, and don't be looking at the Bible all the time.'' I said, ''The Bible is the light by which I look up. 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.' Ps. 119: 105. You see, Brother Brown, if we walk in the light of the Bible, we will walk right into heaven.'' ''Well,'' he said, ''don't be looking through it and through it.'' While holding his hand with my right, with my left hand I held the Bible high as I could reach, and cried out above the din, ''Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.'' The excitement was intense, and the hubbub baffles my descriptive powers. A Miss Wickwire arose in the excitement to give in her testimony, and ended by very gracefully dancing a polka. As the house was crowded, she had a very narrow space in which to promenade, and as she passed me several times, she struck her limbs against mine. As she tore down the aisle again. I tried to shove the end of the seat out of the way. The brethren, perceiving what I was trying to do, cried out,

''She'll not hurt you, she'll not hurt you.'' ''I presume not, yet I would like to give the sister a little more room.'' One sister spoke in an excited manner until she ran out of anything to say, when she piped out, ''My name is Ida Gadbaugh,'' and sat down. This noise and excitement was kept up until after 1 A.M. and you may be sure that half had not been told. Why speak of these things?---Because these excitements are on the increase all over the land, and will increase in number and power of the strong delusions that shall precede the coming of Christ and the great day of the Lord. 2Thess. 2: 8- 12. As the great day draws nearer, Satan, through magnetism and hypnotism, will bewitch those who reject the truth of God; and will make them believe that these manifestations of satanic power are the workings of the Holy Spirit. Take heed to yourselves, is the admonition of the Lord.

{p. 244}

On Feb. 10, 1894, while returning from Sebeca, on the Great Northern Railroad, near the little town of Clarissa, occurred my first railroad wreck. As we were going at a high rate of speed, a rail broke and we ran on the ties for forty rods, and then tumbled over the bank. My sensations while whirling over in the air were of the most agreeable kind. A feeling of pleasant exhilaration is all that I can remember. While taking that rough ride for forty rods, it seemed to me that I was assured that I would come out all right, and I escaped with some slight cuts and bruises. Thank the Lord. Although some were badly hurt none were killed. Wrecked cars and bleeding and bruised people were a sad sight. I hope I may never see the like again. It was interesting to note how eager some people were for damages. One fellow with only the slightest scar was in for large damages; another strong man made up his mind to get something out of the company, although he could not show a scratch. He claimed to have in some way stretched his arms, so they did not feel just right. His motto seemed to be: Any way to turn an honest penny. After this experience, the brethren said, ''When Brother Hill goes through a cyclone, he will then have passed through about everything.''

On the fifth of July I landed at Sebeca, from Menahga, and found the little burg full of excitement. Mr. Detwiler's little girl wandered away from home the day before, and the people were organizing a searching party, which I immediately joined. We went to Mr. Detwiler's house, and found about seventy-five men assembled for the child hunt. A council was held, captains were chosen, then we were drawn up in line about a rod apart, facing the east, and began a march of one and a half miles to a big swamp, carefully searching every foot of the way. Sometimes when the men got out of line, the captains would shout, ''Halt! Line up men, line up,'' and then we would all get into the line, and go on again. We reached the swamp without finding any trace of the child. Now what is to be done next? At last the order came, ''Swing round, men! march north, and search the swamp!'' It had been a tamarack swamp, but in a dry time the fire had got in, and killed the trees, and then there had come a great wind and had blown the trees about in every direction, after which {p. 245} the wild grass had grown up about waist high, and it was a snarl and a tangle all combined. We had to look very closely; for we might pass within a few feet of the child, and not see her at all. The sun was hot, and my legs began to get very weary, and were it not for the great interest I had in the child and the almost distracted parents, I would have fagged out. We kept on until we were nearly out of the swamp, when bang went a gun. How we all ran, for that was the signal that the child was found. The little one was found sitting on a little hummock in the tall grass. What a time of rejoicing we had! Her uncle took her in his arms, on the back of a large, grey horse, and started for home. I thought I would see how the mother would act when the lost child was restored to her. It made me think of the words of Christ, ''I say unto you likewise, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.'' Luke 15: 7. She took it in her arms, hugged it kissed it, and said, ''Du kleine theure kind kin,''---''You dear little child, you dear little child.'' Her mother heart just bubbled over with joy. Why?--- Because the lost was found. This family shadows forth the joy in heaven over the return of one wandering child to his Father's house.

In April I had a severe wrestle with the quinsy. I was cold and rainy, and I was exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and had taken a severe cold, and it seemed to be augmented continually by unfavorable circumstances. My throat began to pain me, but I thought it would soon be better, and so kept on holding meetings and going out in the damp weather. One night I stayed at a house where, to get upstairs, it was necessary to go out doors, climb a ladder to the top of the kitchen, and from the roof of the kitchen climb into the chamber. That was all very well in fair weather, but this particular night it was raining at bed time, which made getting up to the guest chamber rather damp on the weary, sick evangelist. The next day my throat was worse. The next evening I enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. J. D. Wilcox. Mrs. Wilcox prescribed a large bowlful of hot Cayenne pepper tea. The result was a more inflamed throat. The next night I was at Sunrise, near which place I held meetings. My throat was now in a terrible shape, but I went to Minneapolis the next {p. 246} day, where our people were to hold a general meeting. There hot lemonade was prescribed as a good remedy for sore throat, but do what I could, I could get no relief night or day. After two or three days of terrible suffering a doctor was called, who pronounced my trouble of quinsy. ''Well, doctor, for several nights now I have been unable to sleep, I hope you will fix me so I can get some sleep tonight.'' ''Not tonight, '' said he, ''but I will see what I can do for you in the morning.'' Another weary night of pain. O how such experiences make one long for the time to come when there will be no more pain. In the morning the doctor decided that it was best not to lance my throat, but let the disease run its course. After weary waiting the quinsy broke, and the pain was transferred from my throat to my stomach. O, the pain! I could not lie still, so I sat up on the bed and soon fainted, and fell over on to the floor. When I regained consciousness, I saw the president of our conference, N. W. Allee, coming through the door, his eyes looking much larger than I had ever seen them before. They supposed Brother Hill was gone, but the Lord whom I serve saw fit to prolong my life once more. Almost the first thing that came flashing into my mind was, Where was my immortal soul during the time in which I knew nothing at all; had my immortal, never-dying soul fainted and become unconscious also? If when I was almost dead I knew nothing at all, how much shall I know when I am entirely dead? And this scripture came to my mind with considerable force, ''The dead know not anything.'' Eccl. 9: 5. The next time I had the quinsy the doctor kept lancing my throat at short intervals. I got quite tired of it, and said to him, ''Doctor, I have only one throat, and if you lance that all away I don't know what I shall do for another one.''

----------------------------------------------


MY PARTNER.
When the crops are snugly gethered,
An' the seedin' time is past,
An' the hoarhound brown an' feathered,
Rattles in the autumn blast;
When the russet leaves a-flyin'
Make a sort of dreary moan.
An' the lonesome woods 're sighin'
In a dismal monotone;
When the chestnuts are a beck'nin'
Fer Jack Frost, the sassy elf,
Then I like to hold a reck'nin'
'Twixt my Maker an' myself.

We 'ave worked along together
All the fruitful season through;
He has furnished all the weather---
Sent the sunshine, rain, an' dew;
I have used my brain an' labor,
He has found the seed an' land,
Been my kindest, nearest neighbor,
Alluz lent a helpin' hand
Now that harvest time is ended,
An' the workin' days 're o'er,
Of the crops that we 'ave tended
Have I got my shear---er more?

I've divided up the chattels,
Took the oats, an' corn, an' wheat
Kep' the fodder for my cattle---
Left him stubble, chaff, and cheat;
When it comes to the dividin'
Of potatoes an' such crops,
Why, I wasn't long decidin'
That I'd give 'im all the tops;
But with pumpkins, beans, an' hay, an'
Truck what grows above the ground,
I jest thought I'd use fair play, an'
So I turned the thing around!

So there ain't no use denyin'
That I've got my honest due,
An' I kindo' feel like tryin'
It another year or two.
Course I sometimes feel like sayin'
That he's prodigal o' rain---
That's espeshly when I'm hayin'---
But the sun'll shine again.
An' I'll feel 'most like confessin'
That I'm ruther weak an' small
An' without his help an' blessin',
I could hardly farm at all!
--- Selected.


{p. 248}

CHAPTER IX.

FROM MINNESOTA TO NEBRASKA

In the summer of 1897 Brethren G. A. Wright, G. Budd, and myself held meetings in a schoolhouse, four miles from Long Prairie, county seat of Todd County. We had quite a time getting there. It was necessary to walk part of the way, and the day was exceedingly hot. The horses we rode after for a little way sweat so that the drops fell from their bellies to the ground. After separating from the team we took our valises, filled with clothing and books, suspended them on a pole, and so trudged along. I never came so near giving out in all my long experience.

At last we reached Brother Charles Morrison's, where we stayed all night. And such a night! so sultry and hot, and the mosquitoes in hungry swarms! The next morning it was rainy, and the roads were muddy, and in places swimming with water. Notwithstanding all difficulties, we reached the schoolhouse before noon, had the teacher announce our meeting for the next evening, and so we began. The interest to hear was encouraging from the start.

The first Saturday evening I was surprised by a visit from Jerry Peet, of Osakis. He said, ''About eighteen miles from here, Brethren Ingison and Emmerson are holding a tent meeting, and tomorrow a Disciple minister is to preach in the tent an opposition sermon, and I want you to be there to answer him in the evening. It will only keep you from your own meeting two evenings, and Brethren Wright and Budd can hold the interest that long.'' He was so earnest and persistent in his solicitations that I yielded, and went. The mosquitoes were numerous and bloodthirsty, and Brother Peet had provided himself with a long stick, with leafy branches on the far end of it with which he could reach out, and switch the mosquitoes from the ears of the horses. About midnight we arrived at {p. 249} the tent, and found the sleeping tent full to overflowing with visitors; but they made room for us, and the next morning found us refreshed and ready for work. Brother Ingison preached a very affecting discourse in the morning, and in the afternoon our opposer came, an Elder Polly, whom I had met near the same place in the beginning of my ministry about twenty-four years before. He attended my first meeting at that time, and at its close he challenged me for a discussion. I told him I thought he had better wait and hear me through, and perhaps he would discover that a discussion would be unnecessary. A few days afterward he said publicly that he had waited long enough; that he believed in having an even race, and I was getting altogether too much of a start. I said in reply that I hoped Brother Polly would have patience, and let us even up the race a little before we began. He had been teaching the people there his views for years, and he certainly ought to let me present mine for a few weeks. He consented to wait a little longer; but one Sunday he arose in my meeting and stated that he was full, and must be delivered, and would wait no longer, and appointed a meeting for the next evening in the same schoolhouse that I was occupying. I maintained the truth of the gospel as well as I could at that time, and now after twenty-four years of separation we met again. For two and a half hours he inveighed against the ten commandments in general, and the fourth in particular. But the commands of God are sure and stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. Psalms 111. The apostle Paul declares that the law is holy, just, and good [Rom. 7: 12]: that it is established by faith [Rom. 3: 31]: and the spirit of Christ declares through the prophet that all His commandments are righteousness [Ps. 119: 172]; that his law is the truth [Ps. 119: 142 ]; and Christ declares that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16: 17.

Then what does a man do that thrusts himself against the law of the Lord?--- He hurls his puny self against that which is holy, just, and good, and is established by faith, and is righteousness and truth, and that which is sure, and stands fast forever and ever, and the only result of such an encounter is for the poor man to get decidedly the worst of it. And so it {p. 250} was in this instance. As usual, during the reply, he could not keep still, and we gave him opportunity to stand up and explain; and he explained that the word ''fulfill'' in Matt. 5: 17 means ''to abolish, or do away with.'' We could not agree with the brother in this; for Christ at his baptism said, ''Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.'' Matt. 3: 15. If our brother is correct, that ''fulfill'' means ''to abolish'' then Christ at His baptism fulfilled, or abolished, righteousness and there has been no righteousness since that time. Again we are told to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal. 6: 2. We will now read the text with Brother Polly's definition of fulfill, and mark the result: ''Bear ye one another's burdens, and so abolish the law of Christ.'' The dear old brother, could not stand his own definition any better than he could first in his bosom. It is evident that to fulfill a law is to be obedient to its requirements. Of course, his effort against God's law was a failure. Since Christ declares that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail, would it not be a good idea for the opposers of God's law to do the easier thing first, abolish the heavens and the earth? It would save them much trouble trying to do the harder things,---proving that the law has failed or passed away. On our return we met a lot of our Free Methodist brethren going to the circus. I am sure they did not like it at all that we should meet them going on such an excursion. They were great opposers of the divine command to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy and made very high profession of holiness. They often got the power, shouted, and fell over in meeting, and had wonderful manifestations of what they called the power of God, and now to meet the Adventist minister while on their way to the circus, was humiliating to a degree, leaving the pure, sparkling water of Lebanon to slake their thirst at the muddy pool of worldly pleasure. Leaving the joys of the Holy Spirit to delight themselves in the antics of men and women in tights. How had the mighty fallen! They were a people that depended much on their feelings. When they in their excitement had pleasurable emotions, their religion was at high tide. When their happy flight of feeling went so went their religion also. This is the love of God, {p. 251} that we keep His commandments. 1John 5: 3. I believe it is better to have our faith built on the unchangeable word of God, rather than on our changeable feelings.

Our meetings at the schoolhouse were very successful. Many accepted the message of salvation, and were baptized, and a Sabbath school was established, of over forty members. This was my last summer's work in Minnesota as I removed the next autumn to College View, Neb., where our people have a College and Sanitarium. I felt that our children ought to enjoy the advantages of these institutions, and for this reason we left the good State and dear friends of Minnesota. The last meeting we held in the schoolhouse, people came for miles, and filled the house to overflowing. Brethren Ingison and Emmerson were present, and assisted in ordaining an elder and deacon for the little flock. It was a meeting I shall long remember. Many of the dear ones there I have not seen since, and perhaps will not until we meet before the white throne in heaven. May the Lord keep us all faithful unto the great day. While the meetings were in progress, notices appeared from time to time in the papers, telling of the great interest. One lawyer, Vandyke by name, considered a man mighty in the Scriptures, lived at the county seat, and it was whispered around that he was coming some evening to ask hard questions, and silence the Adventist ministers. Sure enough, he and his wife came, and the people were on tiptoe of expectation. We spoke that evening on the disappointment of God's people in 1844, when they expected the Lord to come and He did not come.

The Lord gave mighty power to His word, as it was pointed out clearly in prophecy that just such disappointment was to be, and that the Lord would not come until His people had passed through such an experience. The lawyer paid close attention to the word spoken, and after the discourse, he had not one word to say. Those who were looking for a display of his wisdom were sadly disappointed.

One Mr. Zuberbier was very kind to us, and made us welcome at his home until his wife accepted the truth preached at the schoolhouse, which seemed to offend him very much. I called on him one Sunday evening, just before meeting, and he gave me a great scolding. I did my best to allay his excitement {p. 252} and calm his ruffled feelings, and, by the help of the Lord, succeeded so far that he consented to attend meeting that night. The subject of discourse was ''The Marriage Supper of the Lamb,'' the third and last call now going forth. We had a solemn meeting, and the truth made a deep impression on the minds of the people. The next Tuesday as I was at home, I saw two nice rigs drive up to the door. Mr. Zuberbier and his wife were in one, and his father-in-law, Mr. Van Blaricom and his wife occupied the other. We soon discovered that Mr. and Mrs. Zuberbier desired baptism. There were others in the vicinity who also wished to be baptized. We sent for them, and after finding that the candidates were soundly converted, and had turned from sin to walk in a new life, we went to Lake Osakis, a few rods from the door, and they followed their Lord in baptism, and like the eunuch in days of old, went on their way rejoicing and I was happy, too. It was the power of God that changed the heart of this man, and made him rejoice in the love of the gospel. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.

We were now preparing to start for Lincoln, Neb., and we began our long journey Sept. 26, 1897. We had a covered wagon and a one-horse carriage. We remained over Sabbath with brethren at Grove Lake, the place where I began my ministry, so many years before. The people that came to my farewell meeting could not all get into the house. Some of those who embraced the truth had moved away, and some had been laid to rest to await the sounding of the last trump. Some of the old veterans still remained, and new members had come in to fill the places of those who had gone. It was good to meet them once more.

If our meeting here below
In Jesus be so sweet,
What heights of rapture we shall know
When round His throne we meet.

The brethren, of their own free will, made up a little purse. One old friend, David Stephenson, gave us four silver dollars. May the rich blessing of the Lord rest upon the dear brethren for all the kindness they bestowed upon His servant. It was quite grand for the children, of which there were seven, four { p. 255} boys and three girls, to take our meals in the grove by the wayside and camp out at night. The first day we made about forty miles, and camped in a deserted house. After we got settled for the night, our little baby girl, Beulah, began to cry. To the question, ''What is the matter, little one?'' she said, ''Let us go back home, I don't like Lincoln.'' She supposed she had arrived at her new home, and was quite disappointed in her expectations. The next morning I got up long before daylight, and loosed the horses that they might feed upon the nice grass which grew upon the roadside. I watched them until I thought it was time to awaken the boys, who slept in the covered wagon. I had not reached the wagon before all three horses started on the run for home. I could just see their forms like shadows fleeing in the darkness. They did not follow the road, but took a bee line across the prairie. It flashed upon me in an instant what a sad plight I was in---wagon, carriage, and family on the prairie, and no horses. There is no use to run after them, for the horses can run faster than this old man. What shall I do? I remembered the Lord, He that numbers the hairs of our heads; sees me in the darkness, and knows all about my trouble, and He has millions of angels, and He can send one of them and stop my horses as well as not, if He so wills. And I remembered his promise, and lifted my heart to Him, and asked Him to help His old servant in this time of need. Believing and trusting in Him, I followed the runaways for about a quarter or half mile, when I saw them with their heads toward home standing perfectly still. As I came up, I found that there had at one time been a wire fence there, but the posts had rotted and fallen down excepting two, which were still standing with one wire stretched between them. Had they turned a few feet to the right or to the left, they would have met no obstruction, and would have been gone. I asked the Lord to stop the horses, and in a remarkable manner they were stopped. I believed the Lord in fulfillment of His promise, had sent His angel and delivered us out of our trouble, and I thanked Him for His great kindness to us.

We had many experiences on our way. We called at Kasote, where my sister Sarah Pettis lives, and held meetings with the brethren. At Eagle Lake, where my brothers live, {p. 256} we made a stop of a few days and held meetings, and took sweet counsel with the old servants of the Lord with whom we had stood shoulder to shoulder in the battle for truth and right, in the days gone by. At Mankato we found our old and tried fellow soldier, Brother Quinn, and his good wife. It made my heart burn to talk over the old times and seasons with them, and also with Brother and Sister William Pettis, the Bockhertzes, and others. It was refreshing to meet with children in the faith who were still faithful and true to Christ and His word, and whose hearts were aglow with the blessed hope. The next stopping place was the old battlefield of Good Thunder. While the Getzlaffs and others were gone, the Grafs, Dettamores, Guderiens, Justs, and others were still there. We here again looked into the faces of dear old friends, and we saw the little church we struggled so hard to build, and the other and larger church that was built after the brethren had increased in numbers and wealth. Old and familiar scenes we met with continually. On October 20 we reached my brother John's, near Blue Earth City. We had a splendid visit, and went on to Tenhassen and held meetings in the old schoolhouse where I taught school twenty-seven years before. What a change had taken place! Some were dead, some had gone to other parts, the children were grown and married; of the middle aged a few now grown old and feeble, were left. Shall we meet in the land where there will be no old and feeble ones, where all shall bear the impress of immortal vigor and youth? Bless God we may, if we will; for the Lord hath said, ''Fear not, little flock; for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.'' Luke 12: 32. Gentle reader, have you a title clear to a home in the heavenly land?

In the morning on Oct. 22, 1897, we crossed the Iowa line, and bade farewell to dear old Minnesota. The land where I had wooed and won my bride, and where our children were born, where the precious light of the third angel's message had shown into my soul, where I had spent the best of my manhood's days, the land that contained my kindred and friends, and the many children in the faith of the gospel. Tears come to my eyes as I write about it now. We were on our way to new and untried fields. What will the outcome be? We {p. 257} were poor in this world's store, but we were rich in faith, trusting our Father's kindly care, and bless His name, He never failed us. We know from blessed experience that God is good, and His love and tender care fail not.

Over the next Sabbath and Sunday we were royally entertained at my brother-in-law's, Frank Sherman, in Esterville, Iowa. On Sabbath I spoke to the brethren of like precious faith, and on Sunday I spoke by request in the Free Baptist church. On Monday the four older children and I went on with wagon and carriage, while my wife and three younger children went by rail the rest of the journey. We still had a long journey over valley and hill to Lincoln, Neb., the most interesting incident of which was the crossing of the bridge over the Missouri River, connecting Omaha, Neb., with Council Bluffs, Iowa. The street-car line and wagon track ran side by side, and when our four-year-old Hambletonian colt met the electric car, the first he had ever met in his life, he was frantic with fear, and came near backing the carriage over the railing into the river, broke the shafts and harness, and made shipwreck of things generally. It took time and money to repair damages, and the old pioneer minister went on his way with a depleted pocketbook, and an enlarged experience. On the morning of November 3, the three great buildings, North Hall, South Hall, with the College between, came into view. We were glad, indeed, for although the beginning of the journey was as a picnic to us, it had long since lost its novelty. We soon got settled in our new home, and the children entered upon school life in College View, Neb. We had left Minnesota without asking dismissal from the Minnesota Conference, or asking admission to the Nebraska Conference, although Elder F. W. Flaiz, president of their conference, gave me a strong recommendation as a successful laborer in the cause of the third angel's message. There had been several years of drought in Nebraska, and consequently great financial depression, and the conference was in debt, and the officers did not see their way clear, under the circumstances, to receive me as a laborer. I trusted that the Lord would in His own good time open the way, and he did. One day I got a message to meet the conference committee. They explained to me that at Lane the Latter-day Saints had challenged our people to hold a {p. 258} discussion with them, and that although they did not favor discussions in general, they thought that the circumstances there demanded that our Latter-day friends should be met in a friendly way, and if I would consent to it, they would appoint me to represent our people in the discussion. I told them that discussions are unpleasant, yet if they thought a discussion was necessary, I would do the best I could. I met with one Elder W. E. Peak, of Netawaukie, Kan. We held two discussions, one at Lane and one at College View, a condensed report of which was published. Any person wishing a copy can obtain one by writing to Miss Mary Beatty, 1505 E St., Lincoln, Neb.; 20 cents per copy. I will here insert a few reasons why we cannot accept the founder of their church, Joseph Smith, as a prophet of God: ---

First. Christ said, ''Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.'' Matt 16: 18. Joseph Smith taught that the powers of darkness did prevail, that the true church was completely overthrown, and that not a vestige of it was left upon the earth, and he restored it.

Second, Christ said to His people, ''Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.'' Matt. 28: 20. Joseph Smith taught that God's people were all cut off from the earth, and consequently, for a long time, even until the advent of Joseph, the Lord had not a people on the earth to be with. A prophet who thus contradicts the Lord cannot be true.

Christ said, ''My kingdom is not of this world.'' John 18: 36. When the people would make Him a king or a political ruler, He withdrew Himself. John 6: 15. Not so with Joseph. To be an earthly ruler suited him very well, and so he set himself up as a candidate for president of the United States, and issued his address Jan. 7, 1844, bidding for the votes of the people. Quite a contrast between Joseph and the Master in this respect.

Fourth, Christ taught His followers to be humble, and take the lowest seat. Luke 14: 7-11. Here again Joseph was not obedient to the divine Teacher, but, like the Pharisees of old, he desired the uppermost seat. He coveted the very highest seat of all. He even longed to sit in the presidential chair.

Fifth, Christ died for His enemies and prayed for them, saying, ''Father, forgive them; for they know not what they {p. 259} do.'' [Luke 23: 34] and He taught us to love our enemies, and do good to them that hate us. Luke 6: 27, 28. Joseph hated his enemies, and tried with rifle and cannon to put them to death. See history of Illinois.

Sixth, Christ said, ''All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.'' Matt. 26: 52. Joseph took the sword, raised an army, styled himself general, and as the Lord had said, perished with the sword. In taking the sword he resembles Mahomet more than the gentle Saviour, the Good Shepherd of the sheep.

Seventh. He contradicts the law of God, which declares that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. Ex.20: 8-11. According to Elder Peak, Joseph teaches that the first day of the week is the Sabbath. [Book of Doctrines and Covenants.] ''To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.'' Isa. 8: 20. Joseph speaks not according to the law; therefore, it is certain that the light of truth is not in him.

Eighth. He received his revelations from Moroni, the disembodied spirit or ghost of a dead man. We do not believe in ghosts. Joseph's ''Book of Mormon'' is nothing more nor less than a ghost story. We are commanded not to regard them that have familiar spirits, or wizards. Lev. 19: 31.

Those wizards held pretended communication with the dead. Saul said to the woman that had a familiar spirit, ''Bring me up Samuel.'' 1 Sam. 28: 11. Now Samuel was dead. 1Sam. 28: 3. What did this witch claim to do?- -- Hold communication with the dead. What did Joseph claim to do?---To hold communication with the dead, the very same thing. If consulting with the dead constituted the woman a witch, consulting with the dead constitutes Joseph a wizard, and God declares that all such are an abomination unto the Lord. Deut. 18: 11, 12. Joseph was on forbidden ground, consulting with the dead.

Ninth. ''The dead know not anything.'' Eccl. 9: 5. They ''go down in silence.'' Ps. 115: 17. they are asleep. Acts 13: 36. consequently all communication with the dead is a deception of the devil. ''They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.'' Ps. 106: 28. The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice unto devils. {p. 260} 1Cor. 10: 20. Thus, when the heathen thought they were sacrificing to or worshiping the dead, they in reality were worshiping the devil; and so when Joseph thought he was communicating with the angel Moroni, the spirit of a dead man, he was in reality communicating with the devil. How can this be? ''Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.'' 2Cor. 11: 14. He makes men believe that their dead friends are alive, and have become angels, and then he communicates with them as the spirit or angel of a dead man, and so deceives them to their ruin. Evidently, that was the kind of an angel that appeared unto Joseph.

Tenth. ''Ye shall know them by their fruits.'' Matt. 7: 16. The corrupt fruit of polygamy grew out of the movement of Joseph Smith. The great majority of elders, priests, high priests, and bishops ordained by Joseph, upon whom he claimed to lay holy hands of consecration and endow with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and many of his followers, believed in, taught, and practiced that abomination.

The Josephites deny Joseph ever preached or practiced spiritual wifery, but they admitted it when the facts were fresh and too plain to be denied.

In the first number of the official organ of the Reorganized, on pages 8 and 9, it is admitted that Joseph died a violent death, because of his connection with polygamy, although they say he repented of it before his death. The above is the official testimony of the Latter-day Saints concerning their prophet, and we suppose they hold the truth.

A prophet that Satan could lead into the awful depths of polygamy is not led of the Holy Spirit.

Eleventh. ''Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.'' 1John 4: 1. We can only try the spirits by the Word of God, but Joseph changed the standard itself by changing the Bible to fit his doctrine. He added nine verses to the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, in which he introduces evidence to sustain his finding the ''Book of Mormon,'' and his showing it to three witnesses. Only the spirit of the old deceiver could lead Joseph into such a terrible sin.

Twelfth. According to Latter-day Saints testimony, every one of Joseph's three witnesses, whose testimony we must believe {p. 261} or be eternally lost, turned out to be egregious liars and rascals; Joseph himself denounces them as such. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitman, the three witnesses to the ''Book of Mormon,'' are charged with theft, lying, counterfeiting, and defamation of Smith's character, and were cut off from the Mormon Church in 1838. If these were good men, honest and true, Joseph used them cruelly unjust when he treated them so. If they were rascals, thieves, and liars, as charged by Smith, it proves that he relied on the testimony of rascals, to prove that he received revelations from the Lord. A true prophet of the Lord would not be guilty of either. Therefore, we conclude that Joseph was not a true prophet of God. We were informed by Elder Peak that Joseph wrought miracles. It may be so, but what were the false prophets to do in the latter days?--- Work miracles and do great signs and wonders, insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Matt. 24: 24. Rev. 13: 13, 14. Prophets are not to be tested by signs or wonders, for false prophets are to do them, but by the unerring word of God. ''What saith the Scripture?'' Rom. 4: 3. ''To the law and to the testimony'' [Isa. 8: 20], is the only test. It is the love of the truth that shields us from the strong delusions of the latter times. 2Thess. 2: 9-13.

DEATH OF WILLIE.

Our second son, when quite small, had la grippe, and it left him with an ear that for years would be very painful at times; but he seemed to have outgrown it, and for a long time had not been troubled with it. But after we had been at College View a short time, it began to be painful again. We got the Nebraska Sanitarium doctor and an ear specialist from Lincoln to attend him. They pronounced his trouble cerebral meningitis. He kept growing worse in spite of all we could do or him, and after along and painful illness, he yielded up his young life to the last enemy. 1Cor. 15: 26. We were astonished at the fortitude he displayed. It was truly wonderful. O, those days and nights of anxious watching and solitude, as we witnessed his sufferings, and saw him wasting away under the cruel power of disease and death. It makes the breaking heart cry out, How long, O Lord, how long before the time will come when there will be no more death, neither sorrow {p. 262} nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. Rev. 21: 1- 4.

Many were the kind attentions we received during our severe affliction. We laid our dear boy to rest in College View cemetery, hoping to see his smiling face as he comes up in the first resurrection. Rev. 20: 6.

After laboring a little while I was duly accepted as a conference laborer in Nebraska.

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I SHALL NOT PASS THIS WAY AGAIN.

I shall not pass this way again!
The thought is full of sorrow,
The good I ought to do today
I may not do tomorrow.
If I this moment shall withhold
The help I might be giving,
Some soul may die, and I shall lose
The sweetest joy of living.

Only the present hour is mine---
I may not have another
In which to speak a kindly word,
Or help a fallen brother,
The path of life leads straight ahead;
I can retrace it never;
The daily record which I make
Will stand unchanged forever.

To cheer and comfort other souls,
And make their pathways brighter;
To lift the load from other hearts,
And make their burdens lighter,---
This is the work we have to do---
It must not be neglected,
That we improve each passing hour,
Is of us all expected.

I shall not pass this way again!
O! then with high endeavor
May I my life and service give
To Him who reigns forever,
Then will the failures of the past
No longer bring me sadness.
And his approving smile will fill
My heart with joy and gladness.
---Northwestern Christian Advocate.


{p. 263}

 

last update 11-25-2002