We took the packet on our way to Madison County, which left us within twenty-five miles of Bro. Abbey’s, where we hired a carriage to complete the journey. When we arrived at the house, it was proposed that one go to the door and make inquiries, that if we should be disappointed we could return with the driver, and would keep the Sabbath at a public house. Sr. Abbey came to the door, and my husband introduced himself as one who kept the Sabbath. Said she, “I am glad to see you. Come in.” He replied. “There are three more in the carriage with me. I thought if we all came in together, we might frighten you. “I am never frightened at Christians,” was the reply. Heartily were we welcomed by sister A. She expressed much joy at seeing us, and when Bro. Bates was introduced she said, “Can this be Bro. Bates, who wrote that hewing book on the Sabbath? And come to see us? I am unworthy to have you come under my roof. But the Lord has sent you to us, for we are all starving for truth.”
A child was sent to the field to inform Bro. Abbey that four Sabbath-keepers had come. He was in no hurry to make our acquaintance; for he had been imposed upon. Some professing to be God’s servants had often visited them, whose work was to scatter error among the little few who were trying to hold fast the truth. Bro. and Sr. A. had warred against them so long that they dreaded to come in contact with them. Bro. A concluded we were of the same class. When he came into the house he received us coldly, and then commenced asking a few plain, direct questions, whether we kept the Sabbath, and believed the past messages to be of God. When he had become satisfied that we had come with truth, he joyfully welcomed us. This dear family were just coming out from the furnace of affliction. They had been visited with that dreadful scourge, small-pox, and were just recovering.
While we were there, we had an exhibition of some of the trials they had passed through, from those visiting them who made great pretensions, but were Satan’s agents to worry and devour. A spiritualizer came in, and talked in such a fanatical and blasphemous manner, that it was painful to hear him. He at last declared himself to be Jesus Christ; that there would be no literal, personal appearing of Jesus, &c. My spirit was stirred within me. I could hold my peace no longer. I told him that my Saviour did not bear such a disgusting appearance as he manifested. Then I described the lovely person of Jesus, his glorious appearance in the clouds of heaven, as he comes to earth the second time; with what majesty and power he rides forth upon the cloudy chariot, escorted by all the angelic host, and with the glory of the Father. He grew angry, and raised his umbrella as if to strike me. He was vehement. In great rage he left the house, showering denunciations upon us as he went. But a sweet spirit rested upon us.
At Utica we parted with Sr. B., my sister S. and our child, and went on our way to the East, while Bro. Abbey took them home with him. We had to make some sacrifice in our feelings to separate from those who were bound to us by tender ties; especially did our hearts cling to little Edson, whose life had been so much in danger. We could not be entirely free from anxious thoughts on his account.
Chapter 21—The Review and Herald
We journeyed to Vermont and held a conference at Sutton, and then visited Paris, Me., and there commenced publishing the first volume of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. The brethren there were all poor, and we suffered many privations. We boarded in Bro. A.’s family. We were willing to live cheap that the paper might be sustained. My husband was a dyspeptic. We could not eat meat or butter, and were obliged to abstain from all greasy food. Take these from a poor man’s table, and it leaves a very spare diet. Our labors were so great that we needed nourishing food. We had much care, and often sat up as late as midnight, and sometimes until two or three in the morning to read proof-sheets. We could have better borne these extra exertions could we have had the sympathy of our brethren in Paris, and had they appreciated our labors and the efforts we were making to advance the cause of truth. Mental labor and privation reduced the strength of my husband very fast.
“The meeting was held at the house of Bro. Preston, and was interesting from the commencement to its close. Bro. B. took a decided stand for the truth, and thanked the Lord that he had property, for he should use it in his cause. At our season of prayer in the morning at Bro. Abbey’s, the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in vision, and saw that some of the church had been disfellowshipped without sufficient cause, through the influence of dreams and impressions. I was shown that Sr. E. P. was a child of God, and they had no cause for rejecting her. And others also had been set aside who should not have been, which had driven them nearly to despair.
“Sabbath morning we went to the meeting, and there met Sr. E. P. Her husband was bitterly opposed to her faith, and forbid her coming to the meeting, and had bound her with cords so tightly as to much bruise her. She lay praying for the Lord to open the way for her to attend the meeting. Soon her husband released her, and unobserved she came across-lots about half a mile, and then waded ankle deep through swamps, traveling about three miles, and came to the meeting. She expressed the deepest gratitude for the privilege of seeing the people of God.