Otis Nichol writes to William Miller April 20, 1846
Although a stranger to you and not accustomed to writing I have desired to write you a few words. I have always believed that God called you to preach the definite time of the Lord's coming in1843, and that it was just as it should be; and if time had not been preached then, the church and world would never been effectually warned. . . .
Within is a part of the vision of E. G. H. of Portland. [The April 6, 1846 Broadside]. I fully believe them to be from heaven. The manner and circumstances attending is unlike any thing I have seen or read of since, the days of the Apostles. I would ask you to lay aside prejudice and suspend judgment until you have read and compared them with the scripture, and present truth. And if they speak not according to this word (and present truth) it is because there is no light in them. Isa 8:20. Despise not prophesyings, prove all things, hold fast that which is good. 1Thess 5:20, 21. Visions are either from heaven Acts 10:9-1-6 or from satan Deut 18:22. Many of them at the present time are undoubtably satan's counterfeit, so of course there is a true coin. We are to judge of them by their fruits according to the bible and the truth. If they are from heaven with a command to make it known to others, God will hold all accountable that hear. We are told in Deut 18:22: But many now say that every vision has failed. Well this is fulfilling Exe 12:22-28. That proverb has been used to perfection for a few months past in the land of Israel saying the days are prolonged and every vision faileth. But God says "I will make this proverb to cease" with "the effect of every vision."
The first vision of E. G. H. was in the fall of 1844 which never was published to the world. It was a view of the travels of the advent company from the 7th mo, 44 and so far as fulfilled they have had as perfect a fulfillment as could possible be especially in most [?]advent bands, and individuals wherever we are acquainted. Her calling was most remarkable only 17 years of age sick with a dropsical consumption and confined to the house for most of the time, for 5 years and been given over by physicians to die. In this state God called her and told her to go out and tell the flock what he had revealed to her -- that an angel should accompany her all the time and sometimes two in time of need ---that no wicked power on earth should have dominion over her if she would obey the Lord.
At the time she first went out to deliver her message (Jany) 1845) she was scarcely able to walk across the room and could not speak with an audible voice, but she had perfect faith in God and was carried in this state a few miles to deliver her message and when she came to speak her voice was nearly gone but God fulfilled his word: gave her strength of body and a clear loud audible voice to talk nearly two hours with tremendous power and effect on the people and without fatigue of body, and from that time for many weeks she continued to travel day and night talking almost every day until she had visited most of the advent bands in Maine and the easterly parts of New Hampshire.
Her message was always attended with the Holy Ghost, and wherever it was received as from the Lord it broke down and melted their hearts like little children, fed, comforted, strengthened the weak, and encouraged them to hold on to the faith, and the 7th month movement; and that our work was done for the nominal church and the world, and what remained to be done was for the household of faith. Those that rejected her message very soon fell into the world and a nominal faith, and those that did receive her testimony as from the Lord and afterward denyed it calling it mesmerism or an unholy thing, are many of them like those that are given over to strong delusion and working of Satan ---a ship without a helm or anchor and driven by every wind, thus causing the way of truth to be evil spoken of.
This class of persons are her greatest enemies, and have done what they could by calumny, and lies, to destroy her influence and character. But God has hitherto protected her in a remarkable manner from all harm; raised up benefactors for her wherever she goes not withstanding the malice of wicked spirits and fallen Adventists: through their influence there has been a number of warrants for her arrest but God has signally protected her; at one time a sheriff and a number of men with him had no power over her person for an hour and an half, although they exerted all their bodily strength to move her, while she or no one else made any resistance.
What I have here written I have a knowledge of and think I can judge correctly. Sister E. has been a resident in my family much of the time for about 8 months.
I have never seen the least impropriety of conduct in her since our first acquaintance. God has blessed our family abundantly with spiritual things as well as temporal since we received her into our family. The spirit of God is with her and has been in a remarkable manner in healing the sick through the answer of her prayers; some cases are as remarkable as any that are recorded in the New Testament. But prejudiced and unbelieving persons find it just as convenient to call it mesmerism and ascribe the power to the devil, as the unbelieving Pharisees did Mat 10:25, 12:24. Is not this sin against the Holy Ghost? See Mark 3.22, 29, 30. That power which is manifested in her, as far exceeds the power of mesmerism as Moses did the magicians of Egypt. The devil has as much power to imitate and counterfeit the work of God as he did in Moses time and the people can be deceived if they will.
Try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world 1 John 4:1. To the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them Is 8:20: If the thing follow not nor come to pass that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken Deut 18:22. In conclusion the bible has always been a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path for 4 years and is so still, and I desire it should be until Jesus comes the second time to redeem the purchased possession and our vile bodies, which I believe will be very soon.
Yours, waiting, for the return of our Lord from the wedding.
Dorchester, Mass April 20th 1846