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Life Sketches Manuscript

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    Prevented from Seeking Advice

    A lack of confidence in myself and a conviction that it would be impossible to make any one understand my feelings, prevented me from seeking advice and aid from my Christian friends. Thus I wandered needlessly in darkness and despair, while they, not penetrating my reserve, were entirely ignorant of my true state.LSMS 15.1

    One reason that led me to conceal my feelings from my friends was the dread of hearing a word of discouragement. My hope was so small and my faith so weak that I feared if another should take a similar view of my condition, it would plunge me into despair. Yet my heart longed for someone to tell me what I should do to be saved, what steps to take to meet my Saviour and give myself entirely up to the Lord. I regarded it a great thing to be a Christian, and supposed that it required some peculiar effort on my part. My mind remained in this condition for months.LSMS 15.2

    One evening my brother Robert and myself were returning home from a meeting where we had listened to a most impressive discourse on the approaching reign of Christ upon the earth, followed by an earnest and solemn appeal to Christians and sinners to prepare for the judgment and the coming of the Lord. My soul had been stirred within me by what I had heard. And so deep was the sense of conviction in my heart that I feared the Lord would not spare me even to reach home.LSMS 15.3

    These words kept ringing in my ears “The great day of the Lord is at hand! Who shall be able to stand when He appeareth?” The language of my heart was, “Spare me, O Lord, through the night! Take me not away in my sins. Pity me, save me.”LSMS 16.1

    For the first time I tried to explain my feelings to my brother, who was two years older than myself. I told him that I dared not rest or sleep until I knew that God had pardoned my sins. My brother made no immediate reply, but the cause of his silence was soon apparent,—he was weeping in sympathy with my distress. This encouraged me to confide in him still more. I told him that I had coveted death in the days when life seemed so heavy a burden; but now the thought that I might die in my present sinful state, and be eternally lost, filled me with terror. I asked him if he thought God would spare my life through that one night, if I spent it agonizing in prayer to Him. He answered, “I think He will, if you ask Him in faith; and I will pray for you and for myself Ellen, we must never forget the words we have heard this night.” Arriving at home, I spent most of the long hours of darkness in prayer and tears.LSMS 16.2

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