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Life Sketches Manuscript

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    The Open Bible Test

    “Mr. Thayer, the owner of the house, was not fully satisfied that her vision was of the devil, as Robbins declared it to be. He wanted it tested in some way. He had heard that visions of Satan's power were arrested by opening the Bible and laying it on the person in vision, and asked Sargent if he would test it in that way, which he declined to do. Then Mr. Thayer took a heavy, large quarto Bible which was lying on the table and seldom used, opened it, and laid it open upon the breast of Ellen while in vision, as she was inclined backward against the wall in the corner of the room.LSMS 160.1

    “Immediately after the Bible was laid upon her, she arose upon her feet, and walked into the middle of the room, with the Bible open in one hand, and lifted it as high as she could reach, and with her eyes steadily looking upward, declared in a solemn manner, ‘The inspired testimony from God’ or words of the same import.LSMS 160.2

    “And then, while the Bible was extended in one hand, and eyes looking upward, and not on the Bible, she continued for a long time to turn over the leaves with the other hand, and place her finger upon certain passages, and correctly repeat the words with a solemn voice.LSMS 160.3

    “Many present looked at the passages where her finger was pointed, to see if she repeated them correctly, for her eyes at the same time were looking upward. Some of the passages referred to were judgments against the wicked and blasphemers; and others were admonitions and instructions relative to our present condition.LSMS 160.4

    “In this state she continued all afternoon until near sunset, when she came out of vision. When Ellen arose in vision upon her feet, with the heavy Bible in her hand, and walked the room, uttering passages of Scripture, the opposers were silenced. For the remainder of the time they were troubled, with many others; but they shut their eyes and braved it out without making any acknowledgement of their feelings.”LSMS 160.5

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