Camden Woman

“We visited Camden about forty miles from Oswego. Previous to going I was shown the little company who professed the truth there, and among them, saw a woman who professed much piety, but was a hypocrite, and was deceiving the people of God. Sabbath morning quite a number collected, but the deceitful woman was not present. I inquired of a sister if this was all their company. She said it was. This woman lived four miles from the place, and the sister did not think of her. Soon she entered, and I immediately recognized her as the woman whose real character the Lord had shown me. In the course of the meeting she talked quite lengthily, and said that she had perfect love, and enjoyed holiness of heart, that she did not have trials and temptations, but enjoyed perfect peace and submission to the will of God. The brethren and sisters were strangers to me, and they seemed to have confidence in her, and I feared that they would not receive my testimony if I should state what had been shown me in regard to her. I inquired concerning this person, and was informed that she appeared to be the most zealous one among them. I left the meeting with sad feelings, and returned to Brother Preston's. That night I dreamed that a secret closet was opened to me, filled with rubbish, and I was told that it was my work to clear it out. By the light of a lamp I removed the rubbish, and told those with me that the room could be supplied with more valuable things.  

     “Sunday morning we met with the brethren, and my husband arose to preach on the parable of the ten virgins. He had no freedom in speaking, and proposed that we have a season of prayer. We bowed before the Lord and engaged in earnest prayer. The dark cloud was lifted, and I was taken off in vision, and again shown the case of this woman. She was represented to me as being in perfect darkness. Jesus frowned upon her and her husband. That withering frown caused me to tremble. I saw that she had acted the hypocrite, professing holiness while her heart was full of corruption. After I came out of vision I related with trembling, yet with faithfulness, what I had seen. I was severely tried, and anxious for the people of God. Would those present believe the testimony? The woman put on a calm appearance and said, “I am glad the Lord knows my heart. He knows that I love him.’ Then her husband rose in anger, and laying his hand on the Bible said, ‘The Bible is all we want, I shall not give up the Bible for vision.’ His wife was affected to check him, saying, ‘Don't, husband, dear, don't talk; the Lord knows me, and will take care of it all.’ Then she vindicated herself, saying, ‘If my heart could only be opened that you might see it.’ I knew the minds of some were unsettled, whether to believe what the Lord had shown me, or let her appearance weigh against the testimony borne. Her appearance was perfectly calculated to gain their sympathy. But I had discharged a painful duty and God would take care of the result. At the close of the meeting she stated that she had no hard feelings against me, and that she should pray for me, and if I got to heaven I would see her there. We returned with Brother P.'s family, and that night the Lord met with us. I believed that the Lord would show his people the truth, and justify the vision. The neighbors said that I had abused the poor woman.    

     “Not long after this, terrible fear seized this woman. A horror rested upon her, and she began to confess. She even went from house to house among her unbelieving neighbors, and confessed that the man she had been living with for years was not her husband, that she ran away from England and left a kind husband and one child. She also confessed that she had professed to understand medicine, and had taken oath that the bottles of mixture she made cost her one dollar when they cost her only twelve cents, that she had taken thirty dollars from a poor man by taking a false oath. Many such wicked acts she confessed, and her repentance seemed to be genuine. In some cases she restored where she had taken away wrongfully. In one instance she started on foot forty miles to confess. We could see the hand of God in this matter. He gave her no rest day nor night, until she confessed her sins publicly. This fully justified in the minds of the brethren and those also of their neighbors who sympathized with her for a time what God had shown me of her vileness under the garb of sanctification.”  

LS88 267