Mosiah Hancock states that he baptized how many Indians in one day?
d. The thought of death
When somewhere about twenty years old, I joined the Methodist Church. My mother was also a Methodist, but I did not remain one long, not more than two or three years. The doctrine of eternal punishment was too horrible to contemplate. Still, I thought the Bible taught it, and thus, like a great many others, that one principle came very near causing me to reject the Bible entirely and turn an infidel. But the idea of an eternal sleep of annihilation filled my mind with despair, and I banished the thought from my heart and prayed almost unceasingly night and day for the Lord to give me a testimony that there was a God and a hereafter.
While in this unhappy state of mind I was taken sick. The doctor and all my friends pronounced me in the consumption. Of course, I thought my days were numbered. One night between sundown and dark I was laying on the bed in the bedroom pondering on my condition, thinking I would soon have to prove the realities of a future existence, when all in a moment I was enshrouded in a clear, white light and was enwrapped in a heavenly vision. A glimpse of the beauties of eternity were presented to my view, and a personage so lovely that description fails to convey an idea of the celestial beauty. The face was so clear and transparent and the features so perfect and angelic. Clothed in a pure white robe such as I have seen in latter days, she appeared quite a little distance from me at first and seemed to glide rather than walk as she approached me. She came within a few steps of me and as she looked at me she smiled such a sweet heavenly smile and passed on.
Immediately the scene vanished but left me so serene and happy that I seemed as though in a new state of existence. Every doubt and fear in regard to God and a hereafter was entirely obliterated and a heavenly calm and peace seemed to pervade my whole system. Still I thought I was surely going to die but death had lost all terrors. I interpreted the vision as a sure premonition of my death and with-all to dispel my fears in regard to the future, but instead of dying I began to recover and when I became sensible that I was really getting well I was quite disappointed, for I had anticipated with a great amount of satisfaction the happy change.
Although so many long years have rolled between and so many sore trials, hardships, and scenes of retrospection of the past, that scene is still clear and vivid as though of recent date. It is so indelibly stamped on the tablets of my memory that neither time nor changes can efface it. And even now at this late period of my existence when life seems trembling on the brink of the grave and the tired spirit seems almost ready to take its flight and bid farewell to the old worn out casket, I look back on that peculiar incident, that token of Divine approbation, and it is like a bright oasis in my dreary existence. I reflect upon it with a great degree of sublime satisfaction. It strengthens and cheers me in my gloomy and desponding moments.
Autobiography of Eliza Dana Gibbs, Typescript, UHI; htpp://www.boap.org/