Nov. 5, 1888, was a memorable day in my experience...

Nov. 5, 1888, was a memorable day in my experience, for it was at that time that I found God, Life, and health and peace. Previous to that time I had for nearly twenty-five years been a partial invalid,—for months at a time confined to my bed, then for weeks a struggle against weakness,—and during the entire period I was able to perform only the lightest household duties. I will here state that early in my life a great sorrow had come to me, and its pall had shadowed and darkened my otherwise sunny nature and happy home. At the beginning of my illness the physician who was summoned was a dear friend of the family, and I feel sure he did all he could to cure me. According to his diagnosis mine was a case of extreme prostration of the nervous system, and one day when he left the house he told a friend that I would not be alive in half an hour. In a few days, however, I grew stronger, and four months after he was first called I was able to leave my bed and walk about the room. During the summer this kind physician died, and my hope of ever regaining my health died also. Another doctor was called, who attended me for more than a year, but as there was little or no improvement he gave up the case as hopeless.

About this time my beloved father died, after a brief illness. I was a member of an orthodox church at this time, and its creed taught me that this dear father, loving and beloved, an honorable citizen, a kind neighbor, and a faithful friend, was banished forever from the presence of God; that he was beyond hope because he had never made a public profession of religion or subscribed to the creed of any church. I was prostrated with grief, and in my sorrow and physical suffering I often prayed most earnestly that I, too, might go to be with him, and at least share his lonely banishment from hope and God. As the years passed slowly by, ministers of my chosen church exhorted me to be patient under these afflictions, because God had sent them to me for a wise purpose. Outwardly I tried to be calm, but inwardly I rebelled, and could not see in these things either love or justice. As time went on, one physician after another was called, no two agreeing as to the nature or location of the disease. One called it a form of lung trouble, with heart complications, and remedies were used which only added to my suffering and brought neither health nor hope of recovery. Failing to effect a cure, this physician also abandoned the case as altogether hopeless. As the need seemed great, another doctor was called, and after a careful examination he said the whole cause of the difficulty was spinal, and I was subjected to added torture, but without its affording and permanent relief.

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