In the year 1803, in the eighth or ninth month, I was one day alone in the field, and observed that the sun shone clear, but a mist eclipsed its brightness. As I reflected upon the singularity of the event, my mind was struck into a silence the most solemn I ever remember to have witnessed, for all my faculties were low, and unusually brought into deep silence. I said to myself, What can all this mean? I do not recollect ever before to have been sensible of such feelings. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying: “ This which thou seest is a sign of the present coming times. I took the forefathers of this country from a land of oppression; I planted them here among the people of the forest; I sustained them, and while they were humble I blessed them, and fed them, and they became a numerous people. But they have now become proud, and forgotten me, who nourished them, and protected them in the wilderness, and are running into every abomination and evil practice of which the old countries are guilty, and have taken quietude from the land, and suffered a dividing spirit to come among them — lift up thine eyes, and behold.” And I saw them dividing in great heat. The division began in the churches on points of doctrine. It commenced in the Presbyterian Society, and went through the various religious denominations, and in its progress and close, its effects were the same. Those who dissented went off with high heads and taunting language, and those who kept to their original sentiments appeared exercised and sorrowful. And when the dividing spirit entered the Society of Friends, it raged in as high degree as in any I had noticed or before discovered; and as before, those who separated went off with lofty looks, and taunting, censuring language. Those who kept their ancient principles retired by themselves. It next appeared in the Lodges of the Free Masons; it broke out in appearance like a volcano, inasmuch as it set the country in an uproar for a time. Then it entered politics throughout the United States, and did not stop until it produced a civil war. An abundance of blood was shed in the course of the combat; the Southern States lost their power, and slavery was annihilated from their borders. Then a monarchical power sprang up, took the Government of the States, established a national religion, and made all societies tributary to support its expenses. I saw them take property from Friends. I was amazed at beholding all this, and I heard a voice proclaiming: “This power shall not always stand, but with it I will chastise my Church until they return to the faithfulness of their forefathers; thou seest what is coming upon thy native country for their iniquities and the blood of Africa, the remembrance of which has come up before me.” This vision is yet for many days. I had no idea of writing it for many years, until it became such a burden that, for my own relief, I have written it.--Phila. Press, May 19.
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