The Journal


Sunderland P. Gardner, Part Twelve

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Second month 1st, 1859. - We are at present writing in Medina. We had two large, interesting meetings in Ohio on the 20th; last evening we had a large and satisfactory one two miles from E.'s, and this afternoon at 2 p.m. we had a meeting at Medina. In all of these meetings I have found it to be required of me to declare the truth in a plain way, so that all could clearly understand, and the people here appeared to be edified and encouraged; but oh, the exercises and baptisms through which I have had to pass since I left my home! I have labored under such a deep sense of poverty most of the time as was not for the time being very pleasant, but it is not for me to complain. I can truly bear testimony with Paul, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all the things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." But these things do not discourage me; I desire to be so fully instructed in the school of Christ that in whatsoever condition I may be, if in the line of my duty, therewith to be content.

You see that we are improving the time as it passes, and my health holds out thus far almost to a miracle; sometimes in crowded assemblies in warm rooms, in a free perspiration, and suddenly exposed to the cold air at the close of meetings, but thus far all is well, and I am confirmed that I am in the way of my duty, and you will of course say to me, "Be faithful." I feel that your minds are frequently turned toward me, and I am often thinking about you all, with desires for your welfare in every sense of the word.

We expect to start in the morning for Orlando White's, and shall probably have a meeting there day after tomorrow, and then back to Hudson on Seventh-day; at Adrian on First-day morning and in the afternoon near Raisin; on Second-day evening at the city of Toledo in Ohio, thence to Pelham Half-Yearly Meeting and probably home on Sixth-day evening.

Nathan Borton from Ohio is with us, who has kindly volunteered with his team and carriage to accompany us; it would comfort you to see how welcome we are among all classes (except perhaps the spiritualists).

Second month 7th. - I am now in Detroit waiting for the cars, which leave for the east at 6 p.m.  We left M.'s rather late on Fourth-day morning on account of a severe snowstorm. We had an appointment at Hudson for the next evening, and finding Asa Calkins and wife there, we went home with them and stayed the night; next morning they accompanied us to E. W. Markham's, and in the evening we all went to the meting, five miles through the cold, and although the time had arrived for gathering, the house was neither warmed nor opened, and word was yet to be sent to the sexton for the key. I was grieved at this occurrence, but I had a clear sense that something was wrong before we reached there; the difficulty was, undoubtedly, for want of energy in those in whose care the matter was left. The house was at last opened, the bell rang, and we had our meeting, but I felt it was rather a cold affair both outside and in. The people sent word that they desired to hold another meeting amongst them, but I felt best to decline. Every meeting which I have had in this kind of house has been singularly hard and trying. Markham then carried us about eighteen miles to Orlando White's, where we had a satisfactory meeting that evening, stayed that night at Moses Willets's, returned the next day to Markham's, and had a large and satisfactory meeting at Locust Corners; truth prevailed over all in this meeting. Here as well as at Hudson I met with a large number of my former acquaintances; I found smiling countenances and glad hearts, which was really refreshing and encouraging to a poor pilgrim as I feel myself to be. W. acquitted himself like a man in giving notice in the neighborhood, and his whole family attended, although more than two miles away and the night cold.  After meeting we went home with Asa Calkins, and yesterday [First-day] he carried us with his family sixteen and a half miles to Adrian meeting, which was large, and where I had very close labor and honest dealing, in which the hidden things of Esau were searched out and exposed, greatly to my wonder and surprise. As I was speaking it came before me as clearly and certainly as though it had been spoken in words, that there were persons present who did not believe in the Scriptures, nor in the Christian religion, nor in a Supreme Being; and I found no way but to plainly say so, and I saw several persons bow their heads. I told them I was a stranger to them so far as any outward knowledge or information was concerned, but that it was then made known to me so clearly that I declared the matter without any fear of successful contradiction. My labor in this meeting was of that nature which, like Jonah's, was very far from being pleasant, though I did not, like him, flee; but I am not quite certain I should not have done so if I had known what would be required of me, and this would have been an evidence of weakness indeed.

At 3 p. m. had another very large meeting in a place called the Valley, in an Orthodox neighborhood, but they did not attend as a general thing, though I believe a number of their young people were there: I trust they heard nothing that would harm them. It was a highly favored meeting, in which the truth was fearlessly declared, and I trust under the right authority. Thus ended my religious services in Michigan and Ohio, in the discharge of which I have endeavored to dwell under that anointing Power which alone can give ability or qualification to be of any use in the truth. I have often drunk the bitter cup to the very dregs, and again I have sat at the King's gate and have sometimes been permitted to ride the King's horse. I now feel clear, and am turning my face toward you, toward home. Ah, what sympathies, associations and interests cluster around my heart to shield it from the chills and assaults which assail us in this vale of tears! Can you read and understand me? We arrived at Detroit 12 p.m. If my health permits I expect to be at the Half-Year Meeting at Pelham, but if I do not feel better in the morning, I shall, if able, come home without delay. My sleeping-place last night was open and I took cold. We have been as rapid in our movements as the nature of the case would allow: we have had nine meetings in eight days, exposed to the changes of weather, frequently going out into the cold chills of night in a high state of perspiration, yet I took no cold until last night.

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