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The George J. Finney 

Collection of Shaker Literature 

Given in Memory of His Uncle 

The Rev. John Clark Finney 

Class of 1907 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 



Life, Character, Revelatians and Enctrines 





Through, wham thB Wnrd nf Eternal Life was npBnBd 

in this day, 


CDllBctBd frnm Living Witnesses, 


PASS A man. — Jeremiah. 





That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may 
have fellowship with us. — \st John, xst, 3rd. 

Having been eye and ear witnesses of all that our 
blessed Mother and the first Elders have done and taught 
among us, from the time they first opened the Gospel in 
America, till they left this world, it seems good to us, 
in answer to the request of our beloved Brethren and 
Sisters, who have never seen those blessed Ministers of 
Christ, in the body, to make a faithful record of those 
precepts and examples, and other cotemporary events, 
which most eminently manifest their real characters. 

The work of God, in the dispensations of His grace to 
a lost world, being contrary to all the desires and inclina- 
tions of an evil nature, is, of course, always manifested in 
a way contrary to all the calculations and expectations 
of the natural man. 

In consequence of these miscalculations and erroneous 
anticipations natural men always overlook the work of 
God ; and, while it appears in the world, and is seen, felt 
and known, of those who are in it, it is quite out of sight of 
those who presumptuously undertake to lay out the way of 
God according to their own corrupt inclinations. Hence 

iv Preface. 

it is that so much has been, and still continues to be said, 
and reported abroad in the world, to vilify and calum- 
niate the characters of the First Witnesses^ and especially 
that of Mother Ann Lee, notwithstanding the incontesti- 
ble evidences in their favor, so clearly manifested in the 
good fruits which they have brought forth. And, 1 hough 
knowledge increases in the land, yet, those who continue 
to do wickedly, do not, will not understand ! 

Therefore, it is not for such that we record these things ; 
for, like pearls of inestimable value, they ought not, and 
must not, be trampled under feet ; but, for the benefit of 
those who have honestly and faithfully confessed and for- 
saken their sins, and have set out, once for all, to follow 
Christ in the regeneration, for their sakes, we feel a pecu- 
liar satisfaction and blessing, in recording some of those 
precious gifts of God through which we are taught and 
led in the way of life and salvation. 

Every honest upright soul, in perusing these testimonies, 
will readily perceive they are no cunningly devised fables; 
but, that the spirit of eternal truth is clearly manifested 
in them, and that they witness, beyond all controversy, the 
reality of those things in which they, themselves, have 
already been instructed, and, by experience, found reliable. 

These testimonies have been given by those who were 
eye and ear witnesses of what they contain. By a suitable 
arrangement of the testimonies of many individuals, we 
have been enabled to give short sketches of the lives, 
characters, and manners of Mother Ann Lee, and the 
two principal Elders with her, viz.: Father William Lee, 
and Father James Whittaker ; with some of their expe- 

Preface. v 

rience and sufferings in England, as related by themselves, 
and those who came with them ; the plainness and clear- 
ness of their testimony, and the mighty power of God 
which attended it ; their principal struggles and persevering 
fortitude through many sufferings, and much opposition to 
plant the Gospel, and establish the foundation of Christ's 
Kingdom in this land ; their great manifestation of God ; 
their prophecies, visions and revelations ; their labors in 
word and doctrine, together with the remarkable power 
and gifts of the Holy Spirit revealed among the people, 
through their ministration. 

It is now many years since Mother Ann, and those who 
came from England with her, left the body ; and those 
who were eye and ear witnesses of these things, have also 
followed them to the land of souls. 

We, therefore, feel it a duty to record these things, 
being fully persuaded that God requires it of us, that those 
who come after us may know and understand more fully, 
concerning the truth of those things wherein they may 
be instructed. 

All who, at this day, have seen the branches flourish, 
may thereby be assured that the root is holy ; but this 
assurance will doubtless be greatly strengthened by a care- 
ful perusal of these testimonies. 

Herein may be seen, as in a mirror, the lives, examples 
and sufferings, the precepts, doctrines and spiritual gifts, 
and Divine manifestations of our ever blessed Parents in 
the Gospel, by which it will readily be perceived that we 
have received the Gospel, not by precept only, but by 
example also. 

vi Preface. 

It cannot be expected that every transaction of the lives 
and ministry of the First Witnesses should be particularly 
stated; nor is it necessary; but, enough is herein written, 
to prove to all faithful Believers, that Christ did, verily, 
make a Second Appearance in Ann Lee ; that she was 
chosen, a Witness of God, to usher in a new dispensation of 
the Gospel ; to rend the veil of the flesh, which separates 
the soul from God ; to enter into the Holy of Holies, and 
become the first spiritual Mother, of all the Children of the 
Resurrection. That the Elders with her were true and 
faithful Ministers of the Gospel ; and, that, through their 
labors and sufferings with Mother Ann, the testimony 
of eternal life has been revealed and confirmed unto us ; 
that a foundation has thereby been laid for the salvation 
and redemption of lost man; that the spiritual Zion now 
established on the Earth, with all its order, harmony and 
beauty, first originated from these faithful Witnesses ; and 
that this will prove a decisive work, which, in its progress, 
in this, and in the spirit world, will eventuate in a final set- 
tlement with all the souls of men, as it is written: 

" Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, 
to give to every man according as his" (own) "works 
shall be." 

The names of individuals who have given particular tes- 
timonies, are generally inserted at the end of the article 
given; or, where their names are particularly mentioned, at 
the beginning of such articles, then, their initials only are 
placed at the end; but, where the article given relates par- 
ticularly to the person who gave it, then the name, being 
given in the beginning of the article, is omitted at the end. 



Chapter I. Introduction, birth, parentage, religious exercises 
and sufferings of Ann Lee; her revelation and testimony; 
voyage to America i 

Chapter II. Mother's experience and sufferings in America, 

previous to the opening of the Gospel 8 

Chapter III. First interview of the people in this country 
with Mother and the Elders, with some questions and 
answers that passed between them 12 

Chapter IV. First interview of different individuals with 

Mother and the Elders 16 

Chapter V. The subject continued 23 

Chapter VI. The subject continued 28 

Chapter VII. Sketches of Mother's experience and sufferings 

in England, as related by herself, at different times 34 

Chapter VIII. Mother's persecution in England, as related by 

herself, and those who came with her to this country 39 

Chapter IX. Mother converses with Eleazer Grant and others. 
Some further particulars of her persecution in England — 
Mission and voyage to America, &c 49 

Chapter X. The wicked alarmed at the spreading of the Gos- 
pel — Mother and the Elders imprisoned at Albany — Many 
stirred up to inquiry, and the work still increases — Mother 
sent to Poughkeepsie jail, &c 54 

Chapter XI. The Church visited at Watervliet — The Gospel 
increases — Mother sets out on a journey to the eastward — 
Visits Tucconock, Enfield, and Grafton, and arrives at Har- 
vard. The inhabitants alarmed by false reports, &c 64 

viii Contents. 


CHAPTER XII. Mother and the Elders visit Petersham. Meet- 
ing at David Hammond's disturbed by a mob — Mother 
shamefully and cruelly abused 72 

Chapter XIII. Mother and the Elders return to Harvard. 
They are threatened, and ordered to leave the place. After 
much affliction, they leave Harvard, and go to Enfield, from 
whence they are driven by a mob — They go to Ashfield, 
afterward return to Harvard, &c 78 

Chapter XIV. The Believers driven from Harvard, and cruelly 

abused by a riotous mob 88 

Chapter XV. Mother visits Norton, Rehoboth and Stoning- 
ton — thence through Preston and Windham to Stafford — 
thence to Enfield, Cheshire, and Ashfield. 100 

Chapter XVI. At Ashfield Mother is visited by great multi- 
tudes of people — Great manifestations of the power of 
God, and great purging among the people — A mob excited 
by Daniel Bacon 106 

Chapter XVII. Mother and the Elders return to Harvard — 
By the complaints of a deaf and dumb man a mob is raised, 
and assembled at Shirley. The Elders taken from Shirley 
to Harvard and whipped 114 

Chapter XVIII. Mother and the Elders leave Harvard, and 
visit Petersham — A mob assembles, the Believers abused, 
and Aaron Wood knocked down — Mother and the Elders 
go to Joseph Bennet's in Cheshire — thence to Richmond.. 122 

Chapter XIX. Great opposition from the wicked instigated by 
Senior Valentine Rathbun, Mother and the Elders taken with a 
warrant, and tried by a Court of Justices. Samuel Fitch and 
Brethren committed to jail. Opposition continues — Mother 
visits the prisoners — Returns through West Stockbridge, &c. 125 

CHAPTER XX. Mother arrives at New Lebanon; Meeting at 
lohn Bishop's — Mother visits a number of families in and 
around New Lebanon — goes to Jabez Spencer's in Stephen- 
town; and returns again to New Lebanon 134 

Chapter XXI. A persecuting mob is raised — Mother carried 
before Eleazer Grant; cruelly abused, and driven out of 
New Lebanon *44 

Contents. ix 


Chapter XXII. Mother and the Elders return to Nathan Far- 
rington's — A mob surrounds the house at night — Mother 
proceeds on her journey — stops at E. Kapp's, and is driven 
off by a mob, arrives at Niskayuna, &c 152 

Chapter XXIII. Great manifestations of God in Mother; 

Christ her head, Lord and Husband 160 

Chapter XXIV. Prophecies, visions and revelations 168 

Chapter XXV. The subject continued 174 

Chapter XXVI. The subject continued 1S0 

Chapter XXVII. The Gospel preached to departed spirits. . . . 1S5 

Chapter XXVIII. The confession of sin. ... 192 

Chapter XXIX. Miraculous gifts 200 

Chapter XXX: Counsel in temporal things — Industry, clean- 
liness, prudence, economy, giving of alms and charity to the 
poor 207 

Chapter XXXI. Promises to the faithful — Counsel and in- 
struction to young people. Concerning children — Concern- 
ing beasts 214 

Chapter XXXII. Reproof and instruction 220 

Chapter XXXIII. Public teaching, doctrinal speeches; ex- 
hortations, &c 230 

Chapter XXXIV. The subject continued 238 

CHAPTER XXXV. Speeches to individuals, on various occa- 
sions 242 

Chapter XXXVI. The subject continued 249 

Chapter XXXVII. The subject continued 254 

Chapter XXXVIII. Sketches of the life and character of 

Elder William Lee 260 

Chapter XXX IX. Some further Sketches of the life and char- 
acter of Mother Ann Lee 268 

Chapter XL. Sketches of the life, character and ministry of 

Father James Whittaker 276 

Chapter XLI. The subject continued 287 

Chapter XLII. Of the judgments of God 297 








God, in His all wise providence, had laid the foundation 
of man's redemption in Judea, among the Jews, who were 
called his Chosen People. It was there the First Born in 
the New Creation, who was to be the Saviour of the world, 
was first revealed. There he fulfilled his ministry in his 
earthly tabernacle, and drank the full cup of his sufferings 
on earth ; and from thence he ascended to His Father, that 
the way might be prepared for his Second Coming, in the 
female part of his manhood, for the travel of souls in the 
regeneration. And when the time was fully come, according 
to the appointment of God, Christ was again revealed, not 
in Judea, to the Jews, nor in the person of a male? but in 
England, to a Gentile nation, and in the person of a female. 

2 Testimonies of 

This extraordinary female, whom, her followers believe 
God had chosen, and in whom Christ did visibly make his 
second appearance, was Ann Lee.* She was born in the 
year 1736, in the town of Manchester, in England. Her 
father's name was John Lee ; by trade a blacksmith ; she 
had five brothers, viz. — Joseph, James, Daniel, William and 
George, and two sisters, Mary and Nancy. Her father, 
though poor, was respectable in character, moral in principle, 
honest and punctual in his dealings, and industrious in busi- 
ness. Her mother was counted a strictly religious, and very 
pious woman. 

3. Their children, as was then common with poor people, 
in manufacturing towns, were taught to work, instead of 
being sent to school. By this means Ann acquired a habit 
of industry, but was very illiterate, so that she could neither 
read, nor write. She was employed, during her childhood 
and youth in a cotton factory, in preparing cotton for the 
looms, and in cutting velvet. It has been said that she was 
also employed as a cutter of hatter's fur, but this was proba- 
bly afterward. 

4. From her childhood she was the subject of religious 
impressions and divine manifestations. She had great light 
and conviction concerning the sinfulness and depravity of 
human nature, and especially concerning the lusts of the 
flesh, which she often made known to her parents, entreating 
them for that counsel and protection by which she might be 
kept from sin. 

5. It is remarkable, that, in early youth, she had a great 
abhorrence of the fleshly cohabitation of the sexes, and so 
great was her sense of its impurity, that she often admon- 
ished her mother against it, which, coming to her father's 
ears, he threatened, and actually attempted to whip her; 
upon which she threw herself into her mother's arms, and 

* It was the Christ, not Jesus, who should make a Second Appearance. 

Mother Ann Lee. 3 

clung around her to escape his strokes. In this we may see 
an early and significant manifestation of the testimony she 
was destined to bear, and the sufferings she was destined to 
pass through in consequence of her testimony. 

6. But not having then attained to that knowledge of God 
which she so early desired, nor having any one to strengthen 
and assist her in withstanding the powerful examples and 
practices of a lost world, and the ensnaring temptations of a 
fallen nature, she grew up in the same fallen nature, and 
was married to Abraham Stanley, who was a blacksmith by 
trade, and lived with her, at her father's house, while she re- 
mained in England; — by him she had four children, who all 
died in infancy. 

7. During this period of her cohabitation with her hus- 
band she fell under great exercise of mind, and, for a sea- 
son, passed through excessive tribulation and sufferings of 
soul; without any mortal guide to instruct and lead her 
in the way of truth, till she became acquainted with James 
and Jane Wardley. She became a subject of the work of 
God under their ministration, and united herself to that so- 
ciety in the month of September, 1758, being then about 
twenty-two years of age. 

8. As these people had been favored with a greater de- 
gree of divine light, and a more clear and pointed testimony 
against sin than had hitherto been made manifest, Ann 
readily embraced their testimony. And, as their light had 
led them to the open confession of every known sin, and to 
the taking up of a full and final cross against all evil in their 
knowledge, they were thereby endowed with great power of 
God over sin, by which means Ann found a good degree of 
that protection which she had so long desired, and so earn- 
estly sought after. And, by her faithful obedience to the in- 
struction of her Leaders, she attained to the full knowledge 
and experience in spiritual things which they had found. 

4 Testimonies of 

9. But Ann was destined to still deeper sufferings, in or- 
der to prepare her for a far greater work, and therefore 
could not rest satisfied with what she had already attained. 
In watchings, fastings, tears and incessant cries to God, she 
labored, day and night, for deliverance from the very nature 
of sin. And under the most severe tribulation of mind, and 
the most violent temptations and buffetings of the enemy, 
she was often in such extreme agony of soul as caused the 
blood to perspire through the pores of her skin. Well might 
her sufferings and trials be compared to those of the Lord .. 
Jesus, when he was in the wilderness, tempted of the devil. J 

10. As she was ordained of God, as her followers believe, 
to be the first Mother of all souls in the regeneration, she 
had, not only to labor and travel for her own redemption, 
through scenes of tribulation, and to set the example of 
righteousness, and mark out the line of self-denial and the 
cross for her followers, but also to see and feel the full 
depth of man's loss, and the pain and judgment which even- 
description of lost souls were under. 

n. Hence she was destined to pass through inexpressible 
sufferings for their redemption. Sometimes for whole nights 
together, her cries, screeches and groans were such as to fill 
every soul around her with fear and trembling, and could 
be compared to nothing but the horrors and agonies of souls 
under sufferings for the violation of the laws of God, whose 
awful states were laid upon her, and whose various agonies 
she was, by turns, made to feel. 

12. By such deep mortification and sufferings, her flesh 
wasted away till she became like a mere skeleton. Elder 
John Hocknell, who had been a member of the society under 
James and Jane Wardley, and was well acquainted with 
Mother Ann through all her sufferings, testified that he had 
known her to be under such power and operations of God, 
attended with such severe sufferings, for six weeks together, 

Mother Ann Lee. 5 

that her earthly tabernacle was so reduced that she was as 
weak as an infant; and was fed and supported by others, 
but utterly incapable of helping herself ; though naturally ot 
a sound and strong constitution, and invincible fortitude of 

13. Though Ann was wrought upon in this manner, more 
or less, for the space of nine years, yet she had intervals of 
releasement, and was, at times, filled with visions and reve- 
lations of God. By this means the way of God, and the 
nature of His work, gradually opened upon her mind, with 
increasing light and understanding. At length, about the 
year 1770, after a scene of deep tribulation, and the most 
excessive sufferings and cries to God, she received a full 
revelation of the root and foundation of human depravity, 
and of the very transgression of the first man and woman 
in the garden of Eden. Then, she clearly saw whence and 
wherein all mankind were lost and separated from God, and 
the only possible way of recovery. 

14. By the immediate revelation of God, she henceforth 
bore an open testimony against the lustful gratifications of 
the flesh, as the source and foundation of human corrup- 
tion. Her testimony was delivered with such power of God 
and accompanied with the word of prophecy in such a 
marvelous and searching manner, that it entered into the 
very secrets of the heart ; by which means the most hidden 
abominations were brought to light ! She testified in the 
most plain and pointed manner, that no soul could follow 
Christ in the regeneration, while living in the works of 
natural generation, and wallowing in their lusts. 

15. The light and power of God revealed in Ann, and 
through her revealed to those who received her testimony, 
had such sensible effect in giving them power over all sin, 
and filling them with visions, revelations, and gifts of God, 
that she was received and acknowledged as the first spiritual 

6 Testimonies of 

Mother in Christ, and the second heir of the Covenant of 
Life in the New Creation. Hence she received the title of 
Mother; and hence those who received and obeyed her 
testimony found a great increase in the power and gifts of 
God ; while those who rejected it lost all their former light 
and power, and fell back into a state of darkness, and into 
the common course of the world. 

16. The piercing and heart searching power of Mother's 
testimony against sin, together with the powerful operations 
of the spirit of God which prevailed in the meetings of her 
little family through her ministration, stirred up the rage 
and enmity of professor and profane, of almost every class 
and description, to such a degree, that, by formal opposition 
and tumultuous mobs, open persecution and secret malice, 
her very life and existence seemed in continual jeopardy. 
She was often shamefully and cruelly abused, and a number 
of times imprisoned. But, her testimony continued to grow 
and increase in the hearts of Believers in England, till, by 
the special revelation of God, she embarked for America. 

17. On the 19th of May, 1774, she sailed from Liverpool, 
in company with her husband (who then professed the same 
faith), her brother, — William Lee, James Whittaker, John 
Hocknell, Richard Hocknell, — son of John Hocknell, James 
Shepherd, Mary Partington, and Nancy Lee — a niece of 
Mother Ann. After enduring the storms and dangers of 
the sea, in an old leaky vessel, in which they came very near 
being shipwrecked, they all arrived safely in New York, on 
the 6th of August following. 

18. After their arrival in New York, Mother Ann obtained 
lodgings at the house of one " Smith " in Queen street, by 
whom Abraham — her husband, was employed as a journey- 
man, in the blacksmith business. Mother employed herself 
in washing and ironing, for her living, and, by her meek- 
ness, humility and amiable deportment, she gained the love 

Mother Ann Lee. 7 

and esteem of the woman of the house, by whom she was 
treated with great kindness. From this woman Mother 
afterward received offers, which, considered in a temporal 
view, were both honorable and advantageous, but which she 
declined, as being incompatible with the gift and calling of 
God to her; and chose rather to endure poverty and suffer- 
ings, than to turn aside from her duty to God, for the sake 
of any temporal advantages. 

19. John Hocknell, soon after their arrival, went up the 
river, and purchased a place at Niskayuna, near Albany, for 
their future residence. He then returned to New York, and 
soon after, sailed for England, in order to settle his affairs, 
and bring out his family. The remainder of the company 
were scattered, seeking their livelihood, by their hand 
labor, wherever they could find employment. Most of 
them went up the river, and remained in, and about Albany. 
William Lee, being a blacksmith by trade, was employed in 
that business at Albany, by one Fairchild. James Whitta- 
ker was, by occupation, a weaver, and found employment 
in that business. 

20. During John Hocknell's absence to England, Mother 
Ann went several times up the river, and visited the Be- 
lievers in and about Albany, and was occasionally visited 
by some of them, but still continued her residence in New 
York. On the 25th of December, 1775, John, and his 
family, arrived at Philadelphia, and proceeded to New York 
by land, where they found Mother Ann, and soon after 
moved up to Niskayuna, — now Watervliet. In the spring 
following, Mother left New York, and came up the river, 
and joined the rest of the society 




After Mother Ann and her little family arrived in this 
country, they passed through many scenes of difficulty of a 
temporal nature. Being in a strange land, without any 
means of subsistence, excepting the daily labor of their 
own hands; the inhabitants of the land being utter strangers 
to them, and their religion, their faith forbade their court- 
ing the friendship of the world; and Mother chose rather 
to rely upon the mercy of God, than to solicit their charity, 
or even to accept the offers of those worldly advantages 
which were several times made to her. Thus their poverty, 
and privation of worldly comforts, for several years, occa- 
sioned them many severe trials. 

2. During Mother Ann's residence in New York, Abra- 
ham — her husband, was visited with severe sickness; to 
nurse and take care of him in this sickness, required her 
whole time and labor. This duty Mother performed with 
the utmost care and attention. Their earnings now ceased, 
and they were reduced to extreme poverty. 

3. Abraham at length recovered, so as to be able to walk 
the streets, and, by associating with the wicked, he soon 
lost all sense of the gospel, and began, in a very ungodly 
manner, to oppose Mother's faith, and finally refused to do 
any thing for her, unless she would live in the flesh with 
him, and bear children. This proposition Mother utterly 
and positively rejected, which caused a final separation be- 
tween her and Abraham Stanley. 

4. Mother Ann was evidently destined to drink deeply of 
the cup of affliction and sufferings, before her testimonv 

Mother Ann Lee. 9 

could be opened and received in America. Her labor and 
travel of soul for the opening of the gospel was often so 
great as to banish all other concerns. Hence, poverty, pri- 
vation and hunger, were her frequent companions; and 
hence, she was often left destitute of all earthly friends. 

5. At one particular time she was reduced to such neces- 
sity, that her only shelter from the inclemency of the winter 
was a small uncomfortable room, without bed or bedding, or 
any other furniture than a cold stone for a seat, and her 
only morsel was a cruise of vinegar, and, as she herself af- 
terward testified, she sat down upon the stone, without any 
fire, sipped her vinegar and wept. 

6. But these things felt very small to Mother Ann, in 
comparison to the vast weight of sufferings which she had 
to bear, in her spiritual travel, for the opening of the gospel 
to a lost world, which she knew could not possibly be saved, 
but through those very sufferings which she endured. 

7. After passing through many trying scenes, Mother 
Ann, and those who stood faithful with her, were finally 
gathered and settled at Niskayuna, where they began to pre- 
pare the way, through additional sufferings and difficulties, 
for the opening of the gospel. But, so boundless was 
Mother's love for the work of God, and so great her feeling 
for the salvation of man, that her soul never flinched from 
sufferings, at any time; yet, in her extreme agony she would 
often cry out, " O that all things would cry to God for me !" 

8. At other times, and especially after a scene of deep 
sorrow of soul, she was surrounded with visions of angels 
and heavenly hosts; and the revelations of God, concerning 
the opening of the gospel, which was near at hand, filled her 
soul with joy and comfort, and her mouth with songs. 

9. In one of those scenes of sufferings which came upon 
her after she had taken up her residence at Watervliet, she 
was standing by a small creek, which ran near the house 


io Testimonies of 

where she then lived, she cried out, in her anguish, and said, 
"O that the fishes of the sea and fowls of the air, and all 
things that have life and breath, yea, all the trees of the for- 
est, and grass of the fields, would pray to God for me !" 
These words were accompanied with such a flow of tears, 
and heartfelt agony, as melted the hearts of those with her. 

io. Soon after this, Mother Ann received a great gift of 
rejoicing, attended with much trembling and shaking, and 
great prophecies of God, and said, " God is about to raise up 
a people here in America, who will serve Him and honor the 

ii. Those who came to America with Mother Ann, had 
great expectations that the gospel would soon open in this 
country, and that many would soon believe and obey her 
testimony. But, after waiting several years, without the ad- 
dition of a single soul to the faith, they were all, excepting 
Mother, brought into great trials and doubts respecting the 
opening of the gospel. 

12. But Mother Ann always maintained her confidence in 
the promise of God: and often spoke to strengthen and en- 
courage them to have patience, and wait till the time ap- 
pointed. She would often say, " O my dear children, hold fast, 
and be not discouraged. God has not sent us into this land 
in vain, but He has sent us to bring the gospel to this nation, 
who are deeply lost in sin; and there are great numbers who 
will embrace it, and the time draws nigh." 

13. On one of these occasions, which happened in the 
year 1779, the family was in great tribulation; feeling them- 
selves, as it were, alone in the world, they were ready to 
conclude that they must keep the way of God for them- 
selves, and end their days without any further opening of the 
gospel to other souls. While they were laboring under these 
feelings, Mother Ann came out and led them into the forest 
west of their dwelling, where, by the ministration of the 

Mother Ann Lee. ii 

power and gifts of God, through Mother, they had a very 
joyful meeting, and praised God in songs and dances. 

14. Elder William Lee then asked Mother, '' Do you be- 
lieve the gospel will ever open to the world ? " Mother re- 
plied, " Yea, brother William, I certainly know it will, and 
the time is near at hand when they will come like doves." 
William replied, " Mother, you have often told us so, but it 
does not come yet." Mother said, "Be patient, be patient, 
O my dear children, for I can see great numbers coming now, 
and you will soon see them coming in great numbers." 

15. The family having by this time, through their inde- 
fatigable zeal and industry, improved their lands, and in- 
creased their temporal circumstances, so as to enjoy a com- 
fortable living, Mother gave orders to lay up stores of 
provisions, which they did in great plenty. Some of the 
family inquired what was to be done with all this provis- 
ion, seeing they were so retired, and shut out from the world, 
and had so little prospect of any company to help consume 
it ? " Mother replied, " We shall have company enough be- 
fore another year comes about, to consume it all." 

16. The winter following, among many other similar vis- 
ions and revelations which Mother occasionally opened to 
her little family, she said, " I see great numbers of people 
come and believe the gospel; I see great men come and bow 
down their heads and confess their sins." Thus, by visions, 
revelations, and other gifts of God, through Mother, they 
were strengthened and encouraged from time to time, to 
wait, with patience, God's appointed time. 

17. Early in the following spring, 1780, the way being fully- 
prepared, all those visions and revelations began to be fulfilled ; 
the trumpet of the everlasting gospel began to sound, and 
many flocked to Niskayuna, from various quarters, to inquire 
what they should do to be saved ; and thus the long expecta- 
tions of Mother's little Church, were fully realized. 

is Testimonies of 



While Mother Ann and her little family were laboring in 
the wilderness of Niskayuna, and preparing themselves for 
the opening of the gospel, they were little noticed or known, 
even by the neighboring inhabitants. But, in the spring of 
the year 1780, God, in His providence, opened the way for 
that great and mighty work which they had long been wait- 
ing to see, and which, shortly after, filled the whole neigh- 
boring country with anxiety and alarm. 

2. The first intelligence concerning this little Church of 
Christ was received by the inhabitants of New Lebanon, 
and its vicinity, in the month of March. Inquiries were 
soon after made, and people began to visit this little 
Church from different places, particularly from New Leba- 
non. When they came to see Mother, and the Elders with 
her, they were filled with wonder and admiration, at the 
great power, and operations of the spirit which they were 
under, and the clear and pointed plainness of their testimony 
against all sin, and every evil work. 

3. The gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost were 
evident among them. Shaking, trembling, speaking in un- 
known tongues, prophesying and singing melodious songs, 
were gifts with which they seemed continually to be filled ; 
with many other signs and operations which showed the 
mighty power of God, and pointed out the particular sins 
and abominations which those who came to see them had 
committed. Even the very thoughts of the heart were 
plainly and particularly pointed out, insomuch that many 

Mother Ann Lee. 13 

feared and trembled in their presence, while others ran to 
get out of the way, lest their sins should be told them. 

4. Many inquiries were made concerning their religion 
and doctrines, of which the following is a short specimen. 
The people inquired of Mother Ann and the Elders, the 
cause of their maintaining such a singular faith and manner 
of life ? They replied that they had been laboring, for years, 
in the work of the regeneration, and had actually risen with 
Christ, and did travel with him in the resurrection ; and re- 
lated considerable of their experience. 

5. The people then said, " If you have attained to that of 
God which we have not, we should be glad to share with 
you, for we want to find the best way to be saved." They 
answered, " If you are ever saved by Christ, it must be by 
walking as he walked. And if you have committed sins you 
must confess them to those witnesses in whom Christ has 
taken up his abode." 

6. To the married people Mother said, " You must forsake 
the marriage of the flesh, or you cannot be married to the 
Lamb, nor have any share in the resurrection of Christ ; 
for those who are counted worthy to have part in the resur- 
rection of Christ, neither marry nor are given in marriage, 
but are like unto the angels. " 

7. But, said the inquirers, "We have had the power of 
God upon us, and received light and conviction, and have 
felt great tribulation for our sins ; after which we have felt 
great love and releasement, and thought ourselves converted, 
and born of God. Is not this of Christ ? " 

8. Mother Ann and the Elders replied, "The gifts and 
calling of God are given to souls in nature's darkness, not 
because they have repented, but they are intended to lead 
souls to repentance." 

9. The people then inquired, " What is repentance ? " and 
were answered, " To leave off committing sin is the only 

14 Testimonies of 

repentance which God accepts ; and this, said Mother, can 
no one do, short of making an honest and faithful confession 
of all the sins ever committed in his whole life, to the faith- 
ful witnesses of Christ." 

10. But, said the inquirers, " It is God alone that can for- 
give sins ; where, then, is the necessity of confessing them 
to man ? " 

ii. The Elders answered, "God has established that 
order for all souls who have committed sins, that they must 
confess their sins before His chosen witnesses ; and then re- 
ferred them to the scriptures, particularly to the law of 
Moses, to the case of Achan and Joshua, and to the days of 
John, the Baptist, where they came and confessed their sins 
and shewed their deeds. Said they, " All souls who commit 
sin are lost from God and therefore do not know God. For 
they who know God as He is, do not commit sin: for it is 
eternal life, to know God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hath 

12. But those who commit sin are bound in death, and 
are not able to come to God without help ; and when they 
come to Christ's witnesses, and honestly confess their sins 
to them, they find some relation to these witnesses, and that 
gives them some relation to Christ ; and in this sense, these 
witnesses become Mediators between Christ and lost souls. 
They also take the burden and loss that the soul is under, 
and bear it till the soul has had a season to gain strength, 
and becomes able to bear its own burden." 

13. Inquirers asked the Elders, "Are you perfect? Do 
you live without sin ? " The Elders answered, " The power 
of God, revealed in this day, does enable souls to cease from 
sin ; and we have received that power ; we have actually 
left off committing sin, and we live in daily obedience to 
the will of God." 

14. They replied, " Solomon was called a wise man ; and 

Mother Ann Lee. 15 

he said there was not a man upon earth that lived without 

15. The Elders answered, "Solomon was under the law 
of sin, and it is evident enough that he committed sin. He 
did not know Christ; for Christ had not then been revealed. 
Whatsoever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the 

Lata. But, when Christ came, those who believed and 
obeyed him, ceased from sin." 

16. "Those who are in Christ, are not under the law of 
sin, because they do not commit sin; therefore there is no 
law that can either justify or condemn them, but the law of 
Christ. For Christ has delivered them from the law of sin, 
and given them the law of righteousness, and made them 
able to walk in it." 

17. "But, those who commit sin are always in danger of 
the judgment of God. If we should be overcome and com- 
mit sin, our case would be deplorable; because we have 
tasted of the good word of God, and received of the powers 
of the world to come; therefore, if we should fall away, to 
us it would seem impossible to be renewed again to repent- 
ance; and we should have nothing to expect but the reproof 
of God." 

18. These, and many other things passed in conversation 
between these strange foreigners, and the people who first 
visited them to search out their religion. For the extraordi- 
nary report of a wonderful people had reached their ears, 
and many were anxious to see, and learn for themselves. 
And every candid and honest inquirer was fully convinced 
that they were the chosen witnesses of God ; for it was 
manifest to all who heard them, that they spoke by the 
mighty power of God. 

16 Testimonies of 



In the time of the first opening of the testimony in this 
country, the extraordinary information which was circulated 
abroad, concerning this new and strange religion, and the 
mighty power which attended the subjects of it, drew many 
inquiring and discerning minds to search into the truth of 
these things. Many inquiries were made from time to time, 
by different individuals, during their first interviews with 
Mother Ann and the Elders with her, concerning many 
particular things which appeared new, and strange to the 

2. Joseph Meacham and Calvin Harlow were among the 
first who visited this little Church, for the purpose of search- 
ing out the truth of their religion. After much conversa- 
tion, and many critical inquiries, in all of which they 
received plain and satisfactory answers, Joseph Meacham 
sent Calvin Harlow to Mother Ann with the following ob- 
servation and query, namely: Saint Paul says, "Let your 
women keep silent in the Churches; for it is not permitted 
unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under 
obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any- 
thing let them ask their husbands, at home; for it is a shame 
to a woman to speak in the church. But you not only 
speak, but seem to be an Elder in your church. How do 
you reconcile this with the Apostle's doctrine " ? 

3. Mother Ann answered, " The order of man in the 
natural creation is a figure of the order of God, for man in 
the spiritual creation. As the order of nature requires a man 
and a woman to produce offspring, so, where they both stand 
in their proper order, the man is the first, and the woman 

Mother Ann Lee. 17 

the second, in the government of the family. He is the 
father, and she the mother, and all the children, both male 
and female, must be subject to their parents ; and the woman, 
being second, must be subject to her husband, who is the 
first; but when the man is gone, the right of government 
belongs to the woman ; so is the family of Christ." 

4. This answer opened a vast field of contemplation to 
Joseph, and filled his mind with great light and understand- 
ing concerning the spiritual work of God He clearly saw 
that the New Creation could not be perfect in its order, 
without a father, and a mother. That, as the natural 
creation was the offspring of a natural father and mother, so 
the spiritual creation must be the offspring of a spiritual 
father and mother. 

5. He saw Jesus Christ to be the Father of the Spiritual 
Creation, who was now absent ; and he saw Ann Lee to be 
the Mother of all who were now begotten in the regenera- 
tion ; and she, being present in the body, the power and 
authority of Christ on earth, was committed to her; and to 
her appertained the right of leading and governing all her 
spiritual children. Jethro Turner. 

6. Joseph Meacham having now received from Mother 
Ann, an established and well founded faith, set out, with all 
his heart, to obey her testimony. After the decease of 
Mother Ann and the Elders with her, Joseph became a 
foundation pillar in the house of God ; and, by his unwearied 
and faithful labors, he gathered the Believers, and estab- 
lished them in the Gospel Order of a Church relation ; in 
which they have been increasing and growing to this day. 

7. David Meacham, of Enfield, Connecticut, visited 
Mother Ann and the Elders in the fore part of January, 
1 78 1. He had, for some time, been under great tribulation 
concerning his loss from God, especially in the actual grati- 
fication of the lusts of the flesh. The rumor concerning a 


1 8 Testimonies of 

strange people who lived near Albany, had reached his ears, 
and the intelligence of their profession and doctrines, to- 
gether with the information that his brother, Joseph, had 
embraced their faith, had brought him into a great labor of 
mind arising from an inward impression that they were the 
people of God. 

8. When he arrived among them, and beheld, in their 
worship, the extraordinary operations of the invisible power 
of God, he was fully convinced that Christ had made his 
Second Appearance in these people. After the meeting was 
ended, Mother Ann inquired the cause of his coming to 
see them. After he had informed her of the cause she 
spoke as follows : " God has called you to take up your 
cross, and obey the gospel ; and you must confess all your 
sins, and forsake them; and, in obedience, God will have 
mercy on your soul." He confessed his sins the same night, 
and received the power of God. 

9. The next day, Mother came to him and said, " I really 
feel a gift of God in your coming to see us ; and if you are 
faithful to take up a full cross against the flesh, and all 
sin, God will make you able to preach the gospel to the 
world of mankind. You will meet with great opposition 
from your father, and many others. Professor and profane 
will unite together to overcome your faith. But you must 
not be ashamed to own and testify your faith before all 
men. God has called you in relation to the people where 
you live, and if you are faithful, God will have a people in 
that place ; and God will give you strength to overcome the 

10. He told Mother Ann that he never could preach. She 
answered, " Believe what I say, and God will give you a 
gift to preach the gospel." Elder William Lee said, "God 
will give you an understanding of what has now been 
spoken to you, and make you a ' fisher of men.' ' 

Mother Ann Lee. 19 

11. After these prophecies and encouragements David 
took his journey homeward, feeling full of the power of 
God, and great boldness in behalf of the testimony. Soon 
after he arrived home, his father, who was then a Baptist 
Elder, inquired of him what he thought of the people whom 
he had been' to see. He answered that he believed them to 
be the people of God, and the only true Church of Christ 
on earth. 

12. His father appeared to be struck with astonishment, 
and said, " You are deceived, you are deluded. " And, after 
opposing his son in a very vehement manner, the old man 
gathered in three ministers, whom he, himself, had before 
called anti-Christians; and, with the assistance of these he 
endeavored, but in vain, to overthrow David's faith. 

13. After struggling with priests and people, professor 
and profane, for several months, David had the satisfaction 
to see the fruits of his labors; for the gospel found a perma- 
nent foundation in the hearts of many in and about Enfield ; 
and the old heavens and earth began to pass away with a 
great noise ; but Mother's words did not fail. 

14. David, though a wealthy, and an honorable man in 
the world, became a faithful and bold soldier in the gospel, 
and was afterward, for many years, the first Deacon in the 
church, and was greatly instrumental in establishing order 
in temporal things, throughout all the churches. 

15. John Farrington, who, for many years, was a faithful 
Elder in the Church at New Lebanon, N. Y., visited Mother 
Ann and the Elders at Watervliet, in May, 1780; being then 
about twenty years of age. He was received and treated 
with great kindness. Mother Ann taught him the necessity 
of confessing every secret sin, and showed him the pro- 
priety, according to scripture, of bringing his deeds to the 
light, and of being joined to the Lord in one spirit. He 
saw and acknowledged that it was right. 

20 Testimonies of 

i 6. John tarried several days, viewing, with admiration, 
the wonderful works of God that were among the people. 
When he was about to take his leave of them, Mother told him 
that he might open his mind, and confess his sins, if he was 
so minded, before he returned home. He answered that he 
believed it to be right to confess his sins; but he had thought 
to return home, and labor to get a deeper sense of sin, and try 
to amend his life a little. 

17. Mother Ann replied, " That is very good; but you can 
gain a deeper sense of sin after you have opened you mind 
as well as before, and be better able to amend your life." 
She then took him by the hand, and led him out into the 
door yard, where they both sat down. 

18. After some conversation, John began to confess his 
sins; and though not feeling himself very well prepared, he 
proceeded as far as he was able at that time. Mother 
Ann asked him if he had got through. He answered that 
he had confessed all that was on his mind. She replied, 
"You have done very well so far." 

19. Mother Ann then told- him many secret things that 
he had done, which he knew that she could not have known 
otherwise than by the revelation of God, and asked him 
whether these things were not so? He answered, " Yea, 
Mother, you have told me the truth." She then asked him, 
" Can you now go home to Lebanon and testify that you 
have found a woman that told you all things that you have 
ever done? " "and is not this the Christ? " He answered, 
"Yea, truly, I can." He went and testified accordingly. 

20. Ebenezer Cooley, before he found the Church, testified 
that he saw, in vision, a woman whose appearance was very 
glorious, and her face shone bright as the sun. In the be- 
ginning of the year 1781, he visited the Church at Water- 
vliet; and when he saw Mother, he knew her to be the same 
woman whom he saw in vision. She said to him, " I have 

Mother Ann Lee. 21 

seen you before, in vision. You must go forth and preach 
the gospel You ought to have been prepared before this 

21. These words of Mother Ann greatly strengthened his 
faith After Ebenezer had confessed his sins, and been 
taught what to do to be saved, he was filled with the Holy 
Ghost, and became a powerful preacher of the gospel, and 
was instrumental, in the gift of God, of converting many 
souls to the faith, and of instructing and building them up 
in the way of God. 

22. When Hezekiah Hammond, of New Lebanon, first 
heard the testimony of the gospel, he felt much opposed to 
it; and was not willing that any of his family should go to 
see the Church, and kept them from it. But he was, at 
length, awakened by a remarkable dream, which so affected 
his mind that he resolved to go and see the Church himself. 

23. Accordingly, he went to Watervliet, in June, 1780, and 
stayed over the Sabbath, but still felt strongly opposed. On 
Monday he was preparing to go home, and had sent for his 
horse, when Father William Lee came into the room, and 
began to reprove him for his unbelief. Hezekiah braced 
himself with all his feelings, against receiving his testimony. 
Having his horsewhip in his hand, he sat, twirling the lash 
upon the floor, and strove to fix his sense upon that, rather 
than upon Father William's discourse. 

24 Mother Ann soon came into the room, and perceiving 
Hezekiah's feelings, she said to him, " Put down that whip, 
and hear the word of God, you idle old man! It is the devil 
that makes you do that, to shut out the word of God." 
These words were spoken with such irresistible power, that 
Hezekiah immediately threw down his whip and gave 

25. Father William Lee again resumed his discourse, and 
soon the power of God fell mightily upon Hezekiah; his 

22 Testimonies of 

arms were instantly brought back up to his sides, and fixed, 
like a criminal pinioned for execution; his head was braced 
back, and his whole body bound in such a manner that he 
could neither move, nor speak. 

26. After remaining a while in this position he was so far 
released as to be able to speak. He then said to one who 
came with him, " The hand of God is upon me ; I cannot 
go home ; I shall have to stay here. I wish you would go 
home, and tell my family how it is with me, for the hand of 
God is upon me, and I cannot go." 

27. "Now," (said Mother Ann) "you may confess your 
sins." Hezekiah consented, confessed his sins, and was re- 
leased. He was at that time in a low state of health, had a 
violent cough, and was supposed to be in a consumption; 
being in a room with Mother Ann and Father William Lee, 
Elder Hocknell came in, under signs and operations of the 
power of God, and administered a gift of healing to him, so 
that his cough left him; and he returned home. 

28. Soon after this, his hands broke out with sores, and, 
on seeing Elder Hocknell again, he told him that his cough 
was healed, but he believed the disorder that caused it, had 
broken out in his hands. Elder Hocknell was again taken 
under the operations of the power of God, and said, " It is 
so. Your cough is healed by the gift of God, and has come 
out on your hands. God has a work for you to do, and 
when you have done your work, then the same cough will 
return to you again, and take you out of this world." 

29. Hezekiah having received an established faith, gath- 
ered all his family to the gospel, and was a faithful and very 
useful laborer for a number of years. He enjoyed his 
health until the gathering of the Church, when his work 
among the people ceased. He was then taken with a con- 
sumptive cough, and deceased in the second year after the 
Church was gathered. Prudence Hammond. 

Mother Ann Lee. 23 



Soon after the gospel began to open, Israel Chauncy, of 
New Lebanon, went to visit the Church, at Watervliet. 
While he was gone, (his wife) Elizabeth, had a remarkable 
vision, in which she saw herself at the Church, and saw 
Mother Ann and the Elders, and Israel with them, in the 
worship of God, and under great operations of the power of 
God. Israel appeared to be in great distress of soul and 
body, and his flesh was turned to a purple color. 

2. In this situation she saw him put his hands upon 
Mother Ann's shoulders, and heard him say, " Pray, Mother, 
forgive me, for thou knowest all the sins that I have com- 
mitted from my youth, up to this day." Mother answered, 
in these words: "Thy sins are gone, open, before hand, to 
judgment," and immediately he was released from his suf- 
ferings, and his flesh returned to its former color. Mother 
then took Elizabeth by the hand, and led her into another 
room, and immediately her vision ceased, and she found 
herself at home, in her own house. 

3. After Israel returned, Elizabeth opened the vision to 
him. He said, " It was a true vision of God ; these things 
were shown to you as plainly as if you had been there, and 
seen them with your bodily eyes." On hearing these things 
the whole family were filled with the power of God, and 
with great joy went forth and labored, under the beautiful 
operations of the power of God, in which they continued, all 
the night, without sleep. 

4. A few days after this, Israel and Elizabeth' both went 
to see the Church, and when they arrived, Mother Ann came 
to the carriage, and Elizabeth knew her to be the same 
woman she had seen in vision ; and Mother took her by the 

24 Testimonies of 

hand and led her into the house. After supper Mother Ann 
led her into the meeting and said, " Love the mighty power 
of God.'' The second night after their arrival, they had 
a very joyful meeting, in singing, dancing, shouting, leaping 
and clapping hands. 

5 The following morning Mother Ann led Israel and 
Elizabeth out of the house, and spoke to them as follows: 
" Last night, when we were in the worship of God, I saw a 
number of souls rise from the dead, and come into the resur- 
rection of life. And when you, Israel, was here before, I 
saw your mother,* and when you was released, and your 
flesh turned to its natural color again, she was released also, 
and came into the resurrection. And now you must confess 
all the sins you have ever committed, one by one." They 
immediately complied and confessed their sins in the pres- 
ence of each other. 

6. After they had confessed their sins, Mother Ann said, 
" Now you must go home, and set your house in order, for 
there will be great numbers of people there to visit you 
soon." Then, addressing herself to Israel she said, " Israel, 
you have begun to bear for other souls, and you must never 
give out till the last soul is gathered in. When you get 
home, tell your father and stepmother, that your mother is 
risen from the dead." 

7. They then returned home, and shortly after were vis- 
ited by great numbers of people, according to Mother's 
words. Israel gave himself wholly to the work of God, and 
was a faithful minister of the gospel. 

8. Nathan and Hannah Goodrich also came to see the 
Church in the early part of the opening of the gospel, in 
June, 18S0; and arriving just in the time of a sharp testi- 
mony against sin, and much company there, the first words 
they heard were the following: " Strip off your pride and 

*His mother had been dead thirty years. 

Mother Ann Lee. 25 

abominations! We know you, but you do not know us! We 
have men here that are not defiled with women, and women 
that are not defiled with men!" These words were from 
Mary Partington. 

9. The next day Hannah went to see Mother Ann; and, 
on inquiring after her husband, Mother said, " Let your 
husband alone — fastening your lust upon him! " Upon this 
she sat down in a room where Elder Hocknell was under 
the operation of the power of God. As it appeared strange 
to her, she prayed that God would make it known to her, 
whether this was His work, or not, and if not, to keep her 
from delusion. Immediately upon this, one of the Elders 
came and told her her thoughts, just as they passed through 
her mind. 

10. These, and many other things which they heard and 
saw, soon convinced Nathan and Hannah that this was the 
work of God, and that these people were His witnesses, 
and according to their faith and conviction, they both con- 
fessed their sins. When they had done that, Mother Ann 
showed them great charity; to Hannah, in a special manner, 
she told her the manner of her own travel in the way of 
God from the beginning.* Hannah Goodrich. 

11. Esther Bracket made her first visit to Mother Ann 
and the Elders while they were in prison, in Albany. After 
some conversation about the way of God, Mother spoke to 
her as follows: "You must be born again, or not be saved 
from sin; for he that is born of God, cannot sin. You must 
become as a little child — yea, you must be as dependent as 
a little infant — A little infant has no lust." 

12. She said, " The signs that Christ spake of, follow them 
that believe. They speak with new tongues; the sick are 
healed; and the wonderful power of God is made known by 

* See Chap. V, v. 12. 

26 Testimonies of 

divers operations. Search the scriptures, and labor to get 
an understanding. God is merciful, and will give to those 
who ask." She further said, " I have taken up my cross 
against the world, the flesh and the devil; I have suffered 
many things for my faith; and you must do so too, if you 
mean to be saved." 

13. Mary Knapp, who had already set out to obey the 
gospel, came also to see Mother Ann and the Elders in 
prison, and brought her daughter Hannah with her, who 
was then in obstinate unbelief. Mother said to Hannah, 
" Kneel down, you haughty creature, and confess your sins." 
Then, addressing Mary, she said, "Why did you bring your 
daughter here? Take her away, and make her confess her 
sins." And as they turned to go to another apartment, 
Mother said to Hannah, " You shall confess your sins, and 
be a believer." 

14. Notwithstanding the labors that were made with 
Hannah, she continued obstinate, for some time, and told 
her mother that if there was no other way to be saved, she 
was sure of going to hell; for she never could join them. 
Soon after this, on hearing some persons speak of Mother, 
she became much enraged. 

15. On this occasion she fell under immediate judgment, 
and continued so till she was convicted of her sins and was 
willing to confess and forsake them, and obey the gospel. 
Soon after that she went to see Mother Ann again. She 
confessed her sins to Elder Hocknell, but did not get re- 
leased from the judgment she felt for speaking against 

16. In the evening they were all called to kneel down, 
and Hannah among the rest. While on her knees her words 
against Mother came into her mind with such weight that 
she was compelled to cry out, as if it had been for her life, 
and pray that Mother would forgive her. Upon which 

Mother Ann Lee. 27 

Mother came and took her into her arms, and said, " God 
forgive you, child!" Instantly her judgment was taken 
away and she has never had a doubt concerning the way of 
God since. Hannah Knapp. 

17. Zadock Wright, of Canterbury, was, at the com- 
mencement of the revolution, a royalist, and conscientiously 
refused to take up arms against the King, to whom he had 
sworn allegiance. He accordingly fled to Canada, to avoid 
the danger to which his political principles had exposed him; 
but was afterward taken by the Americans, while attempting 
to move his family to Canada, and sent, a prisoner, to 
Albany. After being retained as a prisoner at large, for 
several years, his situation became very critical and alarm- 
ing. His estate was confiscated, and himself thrown into 
prison, at Albany. 

18. This happened at the time Mother Ann was im- 
prisoned in the same place. He was, at that time, under 
great exercise of mind concerning the work of God, which 
had then taken place at New Lebanon, among the people of 
his acquaintance. This, together with his present situation 
and temporal difficulties, brought him into great tribulation, 
and he felt very anxious to see Mother Ann, through the 
grates of the prison, which she perceived, and obtained ad- 
mittance for him into her apartment of the prison. 

19. On being questioned, he informed Mother and the 
Elders of his embarrassments. Mother looked on him and 
said, "You will be delivered." Again she said, "God will 
deliver you." Though, at that time, this appeared to 
Zadock impossible; yet, the declaration from Mother made 
a forcible impression upon his feelings. 

20. He had been, from principle, much opposed to the 
American Revolution. But Mother Ann taught him to view 
the subject in a different light from what he had done, and 
convinced him that it was the providential work of God, to 

28 Testimonies of 

open the way for the gospel. He then clearly saw that it 
would be impossible for England to prevail — that the hand 
of God was in the revolution, and America must be sepa- 
rated from the British Government, and become a land of 
liberty for the gospel's sake. 

21. Soon after this he parted with Mother, and after 
struggling through many difficulties, for more than a year, 
without seeing or hearing any more from Mother and the 
Elders, he was at length, through the interposition of Divine 
Providence, released from his embarrassments, according to 
Mother's words. 

22. Having returned to his family in the State of Ver- 
mont, in peace, he was, shortly afterward, visited by Israel 
Chauncy and Ebenezer Cooley, and embraced the testimony 
of the gospel, in which he continued faithful to the end of 
his days. 



John Deming, Senior, of Hancock, visited the Church at 
Watervliet in 1780, received faith, confessed his sins, and 
set out to obey the gospel. While there he informed Mother 
Ann that he was poor, and in debt, and knew of no way to 
pay his creditors, — that his wife had been sick a long 
time, — that it had cost him much to pay the physicians, 
and that one of his children, then five years old, had, some 
months previous, swallowed a large metal button, which 
lodged in his throat and had baffled all the skill of the phy- 
sician to remove it, and that no one expected the child to 

Mother Ann Lee. 29 

2. Mother Ann answered, " If you are faithful to obey 
the gospel God will bless you and make you prosperous. 
When you return home, put your hands to work and your 
heart to God, and keep your family to work, and you will be 
able to pay your debts, and none of your creditors shall 
distress you; and, instead of applying to physicians, take 
faith in the power of God, and your woman shall be made 
whole." But she said nothing about his child, at that time. 

3. Again she said to him, " You must never cut your 
nails, nor scour your buckles, nor trim your beard, nor do 
any such thing on the Sabbath, unless in case of great neces- 
sity." After tarrying a number of days, Mother came to 
him with a smile, and said, " Now you must go home and 
take care of your sick child." By this John perceived that 
Mother had not forgotten what he had said about the child. 
He returned home and found the child well ; and learned 
that the button was discharged from his throat about the 
time that Mother spoke to him. 

4. Having now full faith in Mother's words, John went 
forth in obedience, and found her promises fulfilled in a 
most remarkable manner. In a short time he was able to 
pay all his debts, and Sarah, his woman, soon recovered her 
health beyond expectation. His children were mostly 
gathered to the faith, and became faithful and eminently 
useful members in the Church at Hancock, Berkshire Co., 

5. Hannah Shapley, from New Lebanon, visited the 
Church in June, 1780, and through the operation of the 
mighty power of God which she saw there, she was con- 
vinced of sin, and received full faith in the testimony of 
Mother Ann and the Elders. She confessed, to Mother, 
that she had not lived up to the light that she had received. 

6. Upon hearing this, one of her companions said to her, 
"I believe you are a child of God." Mother replied, " Do 

jo Testimonies of 

not daub her with untempered mortar; she has the right 
work upon her." Then, turning to Hannah, she said, " You 
must begin at the top twigs, and crop them off, and continue 
cropping until you come at the root, and then you must dig 
that up, that it may never grow again." 

7. In obedience to Mother's words she began, by honestly 
confessing her sins, Hannah, being at that time in a weakly 
state of body, Mother said to her, " If you are faithful to 
take up your cross against the flesh, you will be healed, both 
soul and body." Accordingly Hannah was faithful, and 
Mother's words came to pass. 

8. Thankful Barce visited the Church about the same 
time. Mother Ann asked her if she was sick of sin ? She 
answered, that she thought she was. Said Mother, " Tell 
me what you call sin, that you may be instructed; for the 
way to Heaven is to leave the flesh behind, and be married 
to Christ." 

9. Asa Allen, having heard many strange reports of 
Mother and the Elders, (for common defamation had already 
branded them with witchcraft and all manner of evil,) he 
was determined to go and see, hear, and judge for himself. 
Accordingly, while they were at Stafford, in October, 1782, 
he went to see them, and had some conversation with them, 
and then returned home. But not feeling satisfied, he went 
again, the next day. When he arrived, the door was stand- 
ing open and he saw them arise from the table, and kneel 
down with thankfulness to God for His mercies. 

10. After they arose from their knees, Mother Ann turned 
to Asa, and said, " Man, thy heart feels as hard to me as the 
nether millstone ; we are of that Community who worship 
God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no 
confidence in the flesh. And we can truly testify to all 
souls, that God has laid a sure foundation of an everlasting 
kingdom of righteousness and peace which never can be 

Mother Ann Lee. 31 

moved, nor shaken; and he that is to rule is Christ ; and of 
the increase of his government and kingdom there shall be 
no end." 

11. By this time Asa was fully convinced that what he 
had heard was the word of God to him, and was desirous 
to know how he could find his relation to the kingdom of 
Christ now made manifest. He was answered in these words : 
" The first offering that God will accept of a sinner is, to 
make a full confession of all his sins, and forsake them for- 
ever." Asa readily complied, and confessed his sins, and set 
out to obey the gospel. 

12. Mother Ann again said to Asa, "Those who through 
faith and obedience find a just relation to Christ, thus re- 
vealed, will, of all souls, be the most blest. I see it, I know 
it ; and God will pour His blessings upon them like showers 
of rain from Heaven." 

13. Abel Allen first saw Mother Ann at Harvard. She 
inquired of him concerning his relations, and afterward 
spoke to him as follows : '' Go home, cry to God, and put 
your things in order, and then visit your relations; for you 
may be the instrument of bringing them all into the faith.' 
Just as he was taking his leave of her there came three men 
who informed the Church that they were sent by a mob of 
three thousand men, to warn them to leave the town im- 
mediately ; otherwise they would come and drive them out. 

14. It was then evening, Abel, however, started for home, 
and proceeded three miles to a Believer's house where he 
put up for the night. Here his mind was filled with doubts 
concerning the way of God. Soon after, Mother Ann and 
the Elders came in, having fled from their persecutors. 
Joseph Meacham, having been a journey, was at this time 
returning to Harvard ; but feeling a particular impression 
on his mind, he turned directly out of his road and came to 
the house where they had retreated. 

$2 Testimonies of 

15. Abel's doubts and darkness still increasing upon him 
Mother Ann came into the room with a lighted candle in her 
hand, and walked around the room. At which Abel drew 
back into the dark, to keep out of sight. Just at this time 
Joseph came into the room, and Mother asked him, " Joseph, 
how came you here to-night?" " I had a gift to come," said 
Joseph. "So you had," said Mother. 

16. But, as Mother continued walking the floor, Abel was 
watching and judging, through a spirit of unbelief. At 
length, she turned to the Elders, and asked, " Did you ever 
see any uncleanness in me?" They answered, "Nay." 
Mother then turned to Abel and said, " I would not give 
way to unbelief; it is a damning sin." 

17. These words were spoken with such power of God 
that all Abel's darkness, doubts and unbelief, were instantly 
banished from his mind; and from that day, he testified he 
never had the smallest doubt concerning the way of God. 
He returned home, as Mother directed him, and visited his 
relations in Tyringham, who all received faith in the gospel, 
and all continued in the faith to the end of their days. 

18. Lot Pease made his first visit to Mother Ann and the 
Elders, in the autumn of 1781, while they were at Harvard. 
The morning after his arrival, Mother questioned him con- 
cerning his kindred. He told her that his oldest brother — 
Peter, went to sea, came home sick, and died in the year 
1755. Not then recollecting that he had a brother older 
than Peter, named Samuel, who died in the twenty-second 
year of his age, he did not mention him to Mother. 

19. The next morning Mother came to him and said. 
" You did not tell me right about your brothers. I saw 
your brother Samuel come to judgment last night." As 
Mother spoke, he instantly recollected his brother Samuel. 
" Now," said Mother, "you must go home and tell your 
father that Samuel has come to judgment with you; and tell 

Mother Ann Lee. 33 

him that it will go ill with him if he does not repent." Lot 
went home, and delivered the message as Mother directed, 
which filled the old man with great consternation. 

20. Samuel Fitch was among the first who visited Mother 
Ann and the Elders at Water vliet. He arrived in the even- 
ing, and tarried over night. In the morning Mother came 
into the room and sat down with him, and related to him the 
manner in which the spirit of God wrought upon her, in the 
first of her faith. She continued her discourse several hours 
and related many remarkable dealings and manifestations of 
God to her from time to time. 

21. Among many other visions which she related, she said, 
" I saw, by revelation, the loss of all mankind, not only the 
present generation, but the generations of past ages; and I 
saw them, as it were, clothed with blackness and darkness, 
many of whom I knew. I saw my own natural mother in 
the same condition, and when I saw her, I cried to God; for 
I had thought that my mother was a good woman, if there 
were any good upon earth. 

22. She also said, "I have seen souls in the world of 
spirits who had wandered in the regions of darkness, in such 
agony and distress, that, to my vision, they had worn gutters 
in their cheeks with their tears in mourning and weeping; 
and when the gospel was offered to them they were so hun- 
gry for it, they came, as it were, with wide-open mouths to 
receive it. I have seen vast numbers of the dead rise and 
come to judgment, and receive the gospel, and begin their 
travel in the regeneration." 

23. She mentioned the names of some whom she had seen 
rise from the dead, and among others, a number of Samuel's 
relations and acquaintances, who had been dead, some of 
them, many years. She further said, " I have seen the poor 
negroes, who are so much despised, redeemed from their loss, 
with crowns on their heads." 


34 Testimonies of 

24. These, and many other things which Samuel heard 
and saw, convinced him, beyond a doubt, that Mother Ann, 
and those with her, had the power and revelation of God. 
He confessed his sins, and received great power and gifts of 
God, was much with Mother and the Elders, and was a 
faithful and powerful laborer in the vineyard of Christ, for 
many years. 



i. Mother Ann and the Elders, in the course of their labors 
with the Believers, occasionally related some of their own 
experience and sufferings in the early seasons of their faith. 
Mother's experience in particular as it evinced her indefati- 
gable zeal, and invincible fortitude of soul, was not only 
very interesting but very instructive to those who had but 
just set out in the same faith, and had a great effect in in- 
citing them to zeal and faithfulness in the way of God. 

2. Soon after the gospel opened at Watervliet in 17S0, in 
the presence of a number of the young Believers, Mother 
related some of her experience as follows: " I love the day 
when I first received the gospel ; I call it my birthday. I 
cried to God three days and nights without intermission, J 
that He would give me true desires." 

3. " I was sometimes under such sufferings and tribulation 
that I could not rest in my bed anights; but had to get up 
and walk the floor. I feared to go to sleep, lest I should 
awaken to find myself suffering the just consequences of 
violation of God's laws. When I felt my eyes closing with 

Mother Ann Lee. 35 

sleep I used to pull them open with my fingers, and say 
within myself, I had better open my eyes here than in hell." 

4. " I labored to feel a sense of the sufferings and tor- 
ments of hell, that I might keep my soul continually awake 
to God. I felt such a sense of my sins that I was willing to 
confess them before the whole world. I confessed my sins 
to my Elders, one by one, and repented of them in the 
same manner. When my Elders reproved me, I felt de- 
termined not to be reproved twice for one thing, but to la- 
bor to overcome the evil for myself." 

5. " I had not been in the Church more than six months 
before it was made known to me, by the revelation of God, 
that He would support me through all my trials, and estab- 
lish me an Elder in the Church. The man to whom I was 
married, was very kind, according to nature; he would have 
been willing to pass through a flaming fire for my sake, if I 
would but live in the flesh with him, which I refused to do." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

6. Just before Mother Ann was imprisoned in Albany, 
many of the Believers being assembled together at Water- 
vliet, were under considerable tribulation, because it was 
expected that Mother and the Elders would soon be driven 
away from that place by the wicked. Mother came into the 
room, and, with tears running from her eyes, said, " The 
wicked are plotting against us; they mean to drive us away 
from this place, and it is unknown to me whether I shall 
ever see you again in this world." 

7. When I set out to serve God, I served Him day and 
night, and cried to God, day and night, for deliverance from \ 
all sin. I did not receive a gift of God and then go away 
and think it was sufficient, without traveling any further; 
but I stood faithful, day and night, warring against all sin, 
and crying to God for deliverance from the very nature of 
sin. And can you expect to find power over sin without 

36 Testimonies of 

the same labor and travel of soul ? " The people were all 
filled with the gift of God from Mother, and were sent away 
with a blessing. Mehetable Farrington. 

8. At Harvard, in 1781, in conversation with Sarah 
Barker, of New Lebanon, Mother Ann said, " Soon after I 
sat out in the way of God, I labored anights, in the works of 
God. Sometimes I labored all night crying to God for my 
own redemption. Sometimes I went to bed and slept, but, 
in the morning I could not feel that sense of the work of 
God that I did before I slept. " 

9. This brought me into great tribulation, then I cried to' 
God, and promised Him that if He would give me the same 
sense I had before I slept, I would labor all night. This I 
did many nights, and, in the day time I put my hands to 
work, and my heart to God; and when I felt weary, and 
need of rest, I labored for the power of God, and the re- i 
freshing operations of the power of God would release me, 
so that I would feel able to go again to my work." 

10. "Many times when I was about my work I felt great 
gifts of sorrow; and I used to work as long as I could keep 
it concealed, and then run to get out of sight, lest some one 
should pity me with that pity which God did not." 

11. Soon after the gospel began to open at New Leba- 
non, Hannah Goodrich, with her husband — Nathan Good- 
rich, went to Niskayuna, received faith and confessed their 
sins; after which Mother related to them some of her experi- 
ence, as follows: " When I set out to obey the gospel, I cried 
to God to bring my sins to remembrance; and I confessed 
them, one by one, as I committed them; and I denied my- 
self of every gratification of a carnal nature; of every thing 
which my appetite craved, and ate and drank that which 
was mean and poor, that my soul might hunger for nothing 
but God." 

12. "I often rose from my bed in the night, and walked 

Mother Ann Lee. 37 

the floor in my stocking-feet, for fear of waking up the peo- 
ple. I did not let my husband know my troubles, lest I 
should stir up his affections-; and I was careful not to lay 
any temptations before him. I also prayed to God, that no 
man might suffer in hell on my account." v 

13. "Thus I labored in strong cries and groans to God,; 
day and night, till my flesh wasted away and I became like: 
a skeleton, and a kind of down came upon my skin, and my/ 
soul broke forth to God, which I realized with the greatest 
precision. Then I felt unspeakable joy in God, and my,- 
flesh came upon me like the flesh of an infant." 

Hannah Goodrich. 

14. At Enfield, to Mary Tiffany and others, Mother Ann 
related some of her experience as follows: "After I opened 
my mind, and set out in my travel, I received great power 
of God, and in my travel, it was revealed to me what the loss 
of man was, — that it was the lusts of the flesh." 

15. " My husband was opposed to me, and went and com- 
plained of me to the Church ; the Church opposed my tes- 
timony and tried to persuade me to give it up ; but I had 
to stand the test against my husband, my relations, and the 
Church; and I soon received such power of God that my 
bed would rock under me; and my husband was glad to 
leave it." 

16. "In my travel and tribulation my sufferings were \ 
so great that my flesh consumed upon my bones, and bloody 
sweat pressed through the pores of my skin, and I became 
as helpless as an infant. And when I was brought through, V 
and born into the spiritual kingdom, I was like an infant 
just born into the world ; they see colors and objects, but 
they know not what they see ; and so it was with me, 
when I was born into the spiritual world; but, before I was 
twenty-four hours old, I saw, and knew what I saw. " 

Mary Tiffany. 

38 Testimonies of 

17. When Nathan Tiffany, (then a young Believer) first 
went to see Mother Ann, she spoke to him concerning her 
manner of travel in the first of her faith. She said, " I 
traveled in such tribulation, wringing my hands and crying 
to God, that the blood gushed out from under my nails, and 
with tears flowing down my cheeks until the skin cleaved 
off; and you are not going to find redemption any cheaper 
than I, according to your place.'' Nathan Tiffany. 

18. The first time that Daniel Wood went to see Mother 
Ann, soon after she was released from prison, he related to 
her the conviction he had been under for fifteen years past, 
respecting the flesh, that the works thereof were evil; but 
confessed that he had not fully lived up to his faith; Mother 
replied, " You could not live up to that faith, because you 
had not confessed your sins." 

19. She then related some of her own experience, as fol- 
lows : " Some time after I set out to live up to the light of 
God manifested to me, through James and Jane Wardley, I 
fell under heavy trials and tribulation on account of lodg- 
ing with my husband ; and as I looked to them for help 
and counsel, I opened my trials to Jane." She said, "James 
and I lodge together; but we do not touch each other any 
more than two babes. You may return home and do like- 

20. " In obedience to Jane, I went to bed with my hus- 
band ; but could not sleep seemingly any more than if I had 
been in a bed of embers. I quitted the bed in great tribu- 
lation and continued laboring, and crying to God for the 
space of twelve days and nights, to know how the creation 
was fallen, and how the restoration should take place." 

21. "While I was in this labor, I saw the Lord Jesus in 
his kingdom and glory. He revealed to me the depth of 
man's loss, what it was, and the way of redemption. Then 
I was made able to bear an open testimony against that sin 

Mother Ann Lee. 39 

which is the root of all evil; and I felt the power of God 
flow into my soul like a fountain of living water. From 
that day to this, I have taken up a full cross against the dole- 
ful works of the flesh." Daniel Wood. 



The severe persecutions and cruel abuses which Mother 
Ann suffered in England, in consequence of her faith and 
testimony, were occasionally related to some of the Believers 
in this country, during their intercourse with her and the 
Elders, and others who came with her from England. They 
are striking evidences, not only of the inveterate hatred and 
malice of a lost world against every increasing manifestation 
of Divine light, but also of Mother Ann's unexampled con- 
fidence and resolution, in maintaining her testimony against 
all opposition, and of the wonderful interposition of Divine 
Power in protecting and preserving a life, which, next to that 
of Jesus Christ, her followers believe, was the most valuable 
and important of any that ever was born into the world. 

2. Soon after Mehetabel Farrington believed the gospel, 
as she was one day sitting in the piazza with Mother Ann 
and Mary Hocknell, and several others, Mother related many 
trials and persecutions which she had suffered at the hands 
of the wicked, on account of her testimony. Among others 
was the following remarkable account of her imprisonment, 
in some particular apartment of the stone prison. 

3. " They put me into the stone prison, and there kept 
me fourteen days, where I could not straighten myself. The 

40 Testimonies of 

door was never opened, through the whole time, I stayed 
there two weeks, and had nothing to eat nor drink, except 
what I sucked through a pipestem, that was put through the 
keyhole of the door once in twenty-four hours." 

4. After I had been there awhile, one of the Believers 
came and whispered to me through the keyhole, (for he 
durst not speak a loud word for fear of being heard,) and 
said, " Put your mouth to the keyhole and I will give you 
drink.'" " I did so, but the pipestem was so big that he 
could not get it through the keyhole, so I got no drink that 
night. The next night he came again, and put the stem of 
a pipe through, so that I could just take it into my lips; and 
I sucked through the pipestem till I felt refreshed." 

5. Mehetabel asked, "What could they give Mother that 
would have much nourishment?" She answered, "It was 
wine and milk, poured into the bowl of the pipe. This I 
received as a favor of God. I had no one to look to but 
God, for help. I bore testimony against their sins, and told 
them of their wicked lives, which was the reason of their 
hating me so. You must be faithful, and they will hate you 
too; for wicked men will always hate those souls who take 
up their cross against. sin." 

6. " But I was released in God's time. When their ap- 
pointed time came, they let me out, and I found I could 
walk off spry and nimble, and felt as well as I did before. 
So they did not get their design accomplished; for they 
meant to kill me. They kept me there four days longer than 
they could reasonably expect that any one could live with- 
out food." 

7. Mehetabel asked Mother how she could live so? 
Mother answered, " When my joints ached, and I was in pain 
all over, the power of God would flow upon me all over, 
from head to foot, and make me feel comfortable." 

8. A short time before Mother Ann set out on her 

Mother Ann Lee. . 41 

journey through some of the eastern states, she related the 
particulars of the above-mentioned imprisonment to some 
others of the Believers, in the presence of Elder James and 
Elder Hocknell. After she had told them how she came 
out of the prison, and could walk spry and nimble, Elder 
Hocknell testified to the truth of what Mother had related, 
and said he was present, adding " The world were astonished 
at it, and said it must be a supernatural power that attended 
her ; and they did not believe it was right to confine or 
oppress her." 

9. Elder James said, " I was young, at that time, and had 
but little acquaintance with Mother Ann, but I had a re- 
markable feeling for her, and could not rest, day nor night. 
I labored to know if I had not a duty to do. At length I 
thought what I could do. So I went and bought a pint 
flask bottle, which I could carry in my pocket ; and at the 
same store I bought some wine, and carried it home. About 
milking time I went and bought a half pint of milk, and put 
it in my bottle. I then considered how I could convey 
the wine and milk to Mother. At length I thought of a 
pipe, so I bought one and put it into my hat." 

10. " At night, after the people were asleep, having mixed 
wine with the milk, I went to the prison alone, and put my 
mouth to the keyhole and whispered to Mother, and told her 
to put her mouth to the keyhole, and I would give her drink ; 
which she did ; but the pipestem was so large that I could 
not get it through. I durst not pare my pipestem there, for 
fear of being discovered, so I returned home, very heavy." 

n. " The next day I went to a store and bought another 
pipe, which was a yard long and carried it home in the but- 
ton-holes of my coat. The next night I went to bed, and 
waited till all were asleep ; I then arose, and went to the 
prison and accomplished my design. This I did as often as 
I thought I could, and not be discovered ; and I know that I 

42 Testimonies of 

received a blessing of God in so doing. But no one knew that 
I ever went to the prison." Mehetabel Partington. 

12. Shortly after Mother Ann was released from Pough- 
keepsie jail, Mehetabel Farrington, and a number of others 
being at Watervliet, Mother related to them some of her 
sufferings, through persecution, as follows : " I suffered 
great persecution in England on account of my faith. Some- 
times the power of God operated so mightily upon me, that 
numbers would try to hold me still ; but, the more they 
tried to withstand the power of God, the more I was 
operated upon." 

13. " One of my brothers, being greatly enraged, said he 
was determined to overcome me. So he brought a staff, 
about the size of a large broom handle ; and came to me 
while I was sitting in my chair, and singing by the power of 
God. He spoke to me, but I felt no liberty to answer. 
' Will you not answer me,' said he." 

14. " He then beat me over my face and nose with his staff 
till one end of it was very much splintered. But I sensibly 
felt, and saw, the bright rays of the glory of God pass be- 
tween my face and his staff, which shielded off the blows, so 
that I did but just feel them. He continued beating till he 
was so far spent that he had to stop, and call for drink." 

15. "While he was refreshing himself I cried to God for 
His healing power. He then turned the other end of his 
staff and began to beat me again. While he continued 
striking, I felt my breath like healing balsam, streaming 
from my mouth and nose, which healed me, so that I felt no 
harm from his strokes ; but he was out of breath, like one 
who had been running a race."* 

16. Elder Hocknell being present, said "What Mother 
has related, is the truth. Her brother, in beating her, wore 

* While Mother was at Stonington, she related this same occurrence, to Phebe 
Spencer and others. 

Mother Ann Lee. 43 

his staff until it was not more than so long,'' extending his 
arm, and measuring from the ends of his fingers to his 

17. At another time Mehetabel Farrington being at 
Watervliet, Mother gave her the following information : 
" When I lived in England, there arose a great mob against 
me, and determined to put an end to my existence. They 
took me into the high road, and ordered me to advance. In 
submission to their order I made the attempt; but was soon 
knocked down with clubs; and after I got up and began to 
walk, I was kicked every few steps, nearly two miles. I 
then felt as if I should faint with thirst, and was almost 
ready to give up the ghost, by reason of the cruel abuses 
which I received from my riotous enemies. " 

18. " While I was suffering by the merciless mob, not one 
friend was allowed to follow me. But God in mercy remem- 
bered me, and sent a man who was instrumental in my 
deliverance. A certain nobleman, living at some distance, 
who knew nothing of what was passing, was remarkably 
wrought upon in his mind, and urged by his feelings to go ; 
but where, or for what cause, he did not know. But he 
ordered his servant to fetch his horse, immediately. The 
servant went in haste, but the anxiety of the nobleman was 
so great, that he sent a messenger after his servant, to hasten 

19. " He then mounted his horse and rode as hastily as if 
it had been to save his own life, as he afterward told me; 
but, for what cause, or where he should stop, was unknown 
to him, till he came to a large concourse of people. He 
then inquired what their business was. On being informed, 
he rode up to the place where I was, and commanded the 
mob to desist their abuse, and sharply reproved them for 
their cruel conduct, and ordered them to disperse, imme- 


44 Testimonies of 

20. " He then inquired if I had any friends present; and 
told me if I had not, he was determined to take care of me 
himself. Elder Hocknell appeared, and said he was my 
friend. The nobleman gave him a strict charge to take care 
of me. Thus God made use of this nobleman, though out 
of his sight, to do God's will." "And the earth opened her 
mouth and helped the woman."' 

21. Elder Hocknell was present, and testified to the truth 
of what Mother had related ; and also said, " I followed 
Mother, feeling determined to follow her, amidst the crowd. 
I had not proceeded far, before I was taken and thrown into 
a bulge place* as they call it. With much difficulty I got 
out, and went to a fountain of water, and washed myself ; 
then went and changed my garments, and pursued after 
Mother. When I overtook the mob they beat and abused 
me very much, and then rolled me in a mud slough ; and, 
although I was wounded, and my head in a gore of blood, 
I did not suffer anger to rise in the least degree. After they 
left me, a poor widow came and bound up my head with a 
handkerchief. I washed myself, and went and changed my 
garments again, and went again in search after Mother. 
When I came to the place where she was, the nobleman was 
reproving and dispersing the mob. According to the noble- 
man's orders, I took good care of Mother. We went and 
refreshed ourselves, and returned home in peace. " 

22. The first time Abigail Babbet went to see Mother 
Ann, she was at David Hammond's in Petersham, Father 
William Lee, and Father James Whittaker being present, 
Mother related to her some of her sufferings in England as 
follows, " One night I was told, by a friend, that there was 
a mob after me. As the inhabitants were very thick, I 
knew no better way to make my escape than to run to a man 
whom I knew to be my friend, and who lived but a few 

*A deep vault of human excrements. 

Mother Ann Lee. 45 

doors from me." "So I disguised myself, by putting an 
apron over my head, and ran to his house as quickly as I 
could, and asked him if he could hide me from the mob. 
He took a candle, and bade me follow him. I followed 
him to the upper loft of the house where was a large quan- 
tity of wool, lying under the roof. He pulled out several 
fleeces, and bade me lie down, and he covered me with the 
wool, and I lay safe and comfortable." 

22. " Soon after I heard the mob come into the house, 
and inquire for me, and asked to search the house. The 
man gave them liberty ; and they came into the loft where 
I was, and looking round said," ' She is not here, there is noth- 
ing here hut wool.' "So they departed. Soon after, my 
friend came up, and told me that my enemies were gone. I 
then went down and rested in peace that night." 

23. At another time I was accused of blasphemy. My 
accusers told me that my tongue must be bored through 
with a hot iron ; and that I must be branded on the cheek. 
I was led before four of the most learned ministers of those 
parts. They asked me to speak in other tongues. I told 
them that they must wait for God's power to move me; for 
it was by the operation of the power of God that I spoke 1 
in other tongues." " Soon after, the power of God came 
upon me, and I spoke to them in many different tongues, of 
the wonderful works of God. These men, being convinced 
that I spoke by the power of God, told the people not to 
hurt me; but the mob were not satisfied; their rage increased, 
and they said we must be stoned to death." "So they led 
me, Elder William Lee, Elder James Whittaker, Daniel 
Whittaker, and James Shepherd, down into a valley, and the 
mob brought as many stones as two men could carry, and 
placed them down on the side of a hill, and then began to 
cast them at us; but they could not hit any of us; (except 
Daniel, who received a slight wound on one of his temples;) 

46 Testimonies of 

upon which they fell into contention among themselves." 
" While they were throwing their stones I felt surrounded 
by the presence of God, and my soul was filled with love. I 
knew they could not kill me, because my work was not done; 
therefore I felt joyful and comfortable, while my enemies 
felt distress and confusion." 

24. "At another time I was put into a stone prison that was 
built over the water. In this prison I could not stretch my- 
self any way." " At another time, in the evening, I was in- 
formed, by a friend, that there was a mob after me. I soon 
ran out to the back side of a little hill, where there was a 
pond covered with ice; and I laid myself down upon the ice, 
and remained there all night, in great peace and consolation, 
and did not take cold." 

25. " At another time there came a mob, by night, and 
dragged me out of the house by my feet, till they tore the 
skin off my face." (She showed the scars.) 

Abigail Babbit. 

26. Mother also related to some of the Believers at Har- 
vard, that she was once taken by four men, one of whom 
was her natural brother ; that they bound her, hand and foot, 
and tried to throw her out of a high loft window, but the 
power of God protected her so that they were unable to ac- 
complish their designs." Lydia Kilbourn. 

27. At Nathan Kendall's, in Woburn, in the spring of 
1783, Eliphalet Comstock and others being present, Mother 
Ann said, " When I was in England, there was a great mob 
gathered against me to the amount of several hundreds. 
They brought a rope to bind me, but the power of God was 
so great upon me that they could not bind me. So they 
dragged me out, and put me into a cart, and drove through I 
the streets." " The streets and lots were full of people, who \ 
threw mud, horse dung, and all manner of filthy stuff which 
they could get, into my face ; and then carried me to the 

Mother Ann Lee. 47 

court-house. The court was then sitting, and they brought me 
before the judges, who gave me liberty to speak my faith 
without being molested ; and I did not spare them." 

Eliphalet Comstock. 

28. In addition to the foregoing particulars of Mother 
Ann's persecution, Mary Hocknell, daughter of John Hock- 
nell, who lived with Mother in Manchester, relates that they 
were frequently disturbed in their worship, by the mob, who 
used to throw stones in at the windows fronting the street, 
and sometimes break nearly every pane of glass, which often 
put the family to much cost and trouble ; yet, through the 
protecting power of God, the Believers always escaped 

29. Nathan and Eliphalet Slosson and others have fre- 
quently heard Mother and the Elders with her speak of these 
abuses of the mob, both at John Lee's and John Townley's; 
and that, at one time, when Mother was at John Townley's 
the house was surrounded by a mob who threw stones till 
they broke every pane of glass in the house, and beat in 
many of the casements; yet none of the Believers were hurt. 
The next morning they gathered up the stones which had 
been thrown into the house, and filled a cart body full. 

30. Mary Hocknell also relates the following particulars, 
concerning the last imprisonment which Mother suffered in 
England. It seemed that the wicked had forecast their de- 
vices with a view to seize Mother Ann, and the principal 
members of the society, upon the Sabbath, while they were 
in the worship of God, that they might have a lawful pre- 
tense to punish them for a breach of the Sabbath. For this 
purpose a number of Church officers and spies had been 
previously placed in the streets as watchmen under a pre- 
tense of preventing people from violating the Sabbath. 
Mother, being forewarned of God, had sent her brother, 
William, out of town, early in the morning. The Believers 

48 Testimonies of 

assembled and began their worship, which was attended with 
great power of God, and much shouting. The report was 
heard, the rumor spread, and the spirit of Anti-christ was 
aroused; for it was the time of their morning service. Several 
of these Church officers came, with a strong party, to seize 
the offenders. 

31. Mother Ann and her little family were worshiping 
God in the garret, or third loft of the house. The mob sur- 
rounded the house, burst open the doors, ascended the 
stairs and seized all in the house, but were greatly disap- 
pointed at not finding William Lee. Great search was made 
for him, but in vain. Mary, being young, was closely in- 
terrogated and threatened, by the mob. to make her tell 
where Bill Lee was, as they called him; but she refused to 
answer, or even to speak. After being shamefully abused 
by the mob, she was carried before the Church officers. 
Here she was again closely examined, threatened, coaxed, 
flattered, and had money offered to her, but all in vain. At 
length she escaped from her persecutors, and fled to John 
Townley's in Canon street. 

32. In the mean time, Mother Ann and those with her, | 
were conveyed to the stone prison, where they continued 
under great power of God, to sing and shout, and glorify 
God in the prison, so as to be heard at a great distance. In 
the night Elder James Whittaker visited them, and carried 
them drink, which he conveyed to them through the 

^^. The next morning they were all released, excepting 
Mother Ann and John Lee, who were conveyed from thence 
to the house of correction, where they were kept imprisoned 
several weeks. During this imprisonment Mary was fre- 
quently sent to carry provisions and other things to them. 

34. In this prison, and at this time, Mother Ann received 
great revelations of God; many deep and important myste- 

Mother Ann Lee. 49 

ries were there revealed to her; and by the power and au- 
thority of the Holy Ghost, she was there commissioned to 
take the lead of the society, which, until then, had rested 
with James and Jane Wardley. Though she had before re- 
ceived great manifestations of God, had discovered the root 
of human depravity, had taken up a full cross against the 
carnal gratifications of the flesh, and testified these things to 
the society, many of whom, through her testimony and influ- 
ence, had walked in the same faith; yet she had continued 
to yield obedience to James and Jane Wardley, as her supe- 
riors, and was eminently useful to them in leading, teaching, 
strengthening and protecting the society. 

36. But when she was released from this last imprisonment, 
she took Mary Hockr^ell with her, went to John Townley's, 
collected the society together, and opened her revelations 
with the most astonishing power of God. Here it was seen, 
at once, that the candle of the Lord was in her hand, and 
that she was able, by the light thereof, to search every heart, 
and try every soul among them From this time, Mother 
Ann took the lead of the society, and was received and ac- 
knowledged, by her followers, as the first pillar of God upon 




When Mother Ann was at John Spiers' at New Lebanon, 
Eleazer Grant, and Elisha Gilbert, Esqrs., and Dr. Averill, 
came, in a friendly manner, to see her. Mother and Elder 

50 Testimonies of 

James Whittaker treated them with great kindness, and con- 
versed with them several hours. They told Mother that 
they had understood she was banished from England, on 
account of her testimony. Mother and Elder James made 
answer that they were not banished; but that they were 
persecuted, and suffered many things for their testimony, 
both by mobs and imprisonments, while they were in Eng- 
land; but that for more than two years before they left 
England, they lived in almost entire peace. They also said, 
that in the time of their persecution, some, who were 
friendly, advised them to take protection under the King. 
But they were not willing to do that, for if they had, they 
should have lost the power of God, as George Whitfield did 
by so doing. 

3. Mother said, " When Whitfield first set out, he had 
great power and gifts of God. I was one of his hearers in 
England, but after he came to America he was persecuted 
for his testimony. He then returned to England, and took 
protection under the King; by which means he lost the 
power of God, and became formal, like other professors." 

4. Mother and the Elders also said that there were a 
number of great men who were foremost in persecuting 
them, who fell under the judgments of God and died, sud- 
denly. One of them set out to go to the King, in order to 
get a license to banish them out of the country; but he died 
on his way, by the judgment of God, and fear fell upon the 
rest, and persecution ceased in England. 

5. "After these things," said Mother Ann, "we left our 
native land, by the special gift of God, and came to America 
to bring the gospel. But while I was in England, I knew, 
by the revelation of God, that God had a chosen people in 
America; and I saw some of them in vision while I was in 
England; and when I saw them in America, I knew them." 
But no one came with me into this land except such as felt 

Mother Ann Lee. 51 

a special gift in their own souls; for they were greatly 
wrought upon by the power of God, and spake with new 
tongues and prophesied. Some could not speak in their own 
tongue, for a number of days; but when they spoke, they 
spake in unknown tongues, and prophesied." 

6. Mother Ann also said, " Once, while I was in England, 
I was brought before four of the greatest ministers in those 
parts. They professed to understand the languages as well 
as any in the Kingdom, and I was moved upon, by the power 
of God, to speak to them in unknown tongues for nearly the 
space of four hours They said that I spake in seventy- 
two different tongues, and that I spoke them more perfectly 
than any in their knowledge, were able to do. After this 
they tried to persuade me to teach the languages; but I did 
not regard their flatteries." Hannah Cogswell. 

7. In the course of the conversation, among other things, 
these men disputed concerning Mother Ann's having any 
knowledge of another world. To which she replied, " I see 
the heavenly hosts; I hear the angels sing, and converse with 
them daily." Sarah Loo mis. 

8. After speaking to these men for some time, in great 
kindness and charity, Mother took Eleazer Grant by the 
hand, and said, " I was once as you are ; I had feet, but they 
walked in forbidden paths ; I had hands, but they handled 
unclean things ; I had eyes, but they saw nothing of God 
aright. But now my eyes see, my ears hear, and my hands 
handle the word of life." These men went away apparently 
greatly satisfied with what they had heard. 

Hannah Goodrich 

9. At Harvard, in conversation with some of the Be- 
lievers, Mother Ann said, " Before I came from England, 
there was a great lord came to see me. He had been ac- 
quainted with me from my childhood, and knew that I was 
poor and had no letter learning. He watched me in every 

52 Testimonies of 

movement, for 1 had the power of God upon me, and spoke 
with other tongues; and being a learned man he understood 
what I said, and was thereby convicted that I had the power 
of God. ' Mary Munroe. 

10. At Nathan Kendall's in Woburn, Elder James related 
the following vision which he had in England : " When we 
were in England," said he, " some of us had to go twenty 
miles, to meeting ; and we traveled anights, on account of 
persecution. One Saturday night, while on our journey, we 
sat down on the side of the road to eat some victuals." 
" While I was sitting there I saw a vision of America, and I 
saw a large tree, and every leaf thereof shone with such 
brightness as made it appear like a burning torch, represent- 
ing the Church of Christ which will yet be established in 
this land. After my company had refreshed themselves they 
traveled on and led me a considerable distance before my 
vision ceased." ElipJialet Comstock. 

1 1 In Abigail Babbit's first interview with Mother Ann 
she related the following particulars : " It was revealed to 
me that I must come over to New England, and there was a 
meeting appointed on the occasion ; and there were so many 
gifts in confirmation of our coming, (such as prophecies, 
revelations, visions and dreams,) that some could hardly wait 
for others to tell their gifts ; and we had a joyful meeting 
and danced till morning." 

12. " Then I sent John Hocknell to search for a vessel to 
embark in. He found one that they said was condemned. 
I told him that ' God would not condemn it when we were*^ 
in it.' When we were on the water, coming over to this 
country, I was constrained to testify against the wickedness 
of the seamen, for which they threatened to throw me over-y 
board ; but I did not fear them, for my trust was in God, 
therefore they were not suffered to touch me during my 
passage. " Abigail Babbit. 

Mother Ann Lee. 53 

13. When Mother Ann and the Elders were at Harvard, 
some time in the month of September, 1781, Abigail Bishop 
and many others went to see them. While they were there, 
Mother told them that she was sent to this country by the 
revelation of God, to open the gospel to this nation. Then 
turning to Father James Whittaker, she told him to inform 
the people about their passage from England to America. 
Father James gave them the following information : 

14. " Before we embarked, Mother told the Captain that he 
should not have whereof to accuse us, except it were con- 
cerning the law of our God. So we embarked, and while 
we were on our passage, we went forth and praised God in 
songs and dances. This offended the Captain to such a 
degree that he threatened to throw us overboard if we 
attempted to go forth in this manner again." But Mother 
believed that it was better to hearken to God rather than 
man. "So when we felt a gift of God, we went forth in the 
same manner, not fearing man, but trusting in God. This 
greatly enraged the Captain, and he attempted to put his 
threats in execution. But that God who had sent us, had 
power to protect those who had trusted in Him, and this He 
did, in a marvelous manner. It was in the time of a storm. 
The vessel sprung aleak, occasioned by the starting of a 
plank, and the water flowed in so rapidly, though all the 
pumps were employed, the water gained upon us so fast that 
the Captain was greatly alarmed, and turned as pale as a 

15. "But Mother Ann maintained her confidence in 
God, and said, ' Captain, be of good cheer ; there shall not 
a hair of our heads perish ; we shall all arrive safely in 
America. I was just now sitting by the mast, and I saw a 
bright angel of God through whom I received this promise.' 
Soon after Mother had spoken these words, there came a 
great wave of the sea and struck the vessel, and the plank 

54 Testimonies of 

suddenly closed to its place, and we were soon, in a great 
measure, released from the pumps."* 

16. "After this the Captain gave us liberty to worship God 
according to the dictates of our own consciences, and prom- 
ised that he would never molest us again. Ke was faith- 
ful to his promise, and treated us with kindness and respect, 
during the remainder of our passage." 

17. "We have since been informed that the Captain said 
that if it had not been for us, he should have been sunk in 
the sea, and never reached America again ; and that he 
should not be afraid to sail through Hell Gate with us, at 
any time." Abigail Bishop. 






The opening of the gospel in America, and the mighty 
power of God which attended the subjects of it, excited 
great alarm among the enemies of the cross. The spirit of 
Anti-christ could not but view, with fearful apprehensions, 
this new and strange religion, attended as it was, with such 
extraordinary and unaccountable operations, and embraced 
with such enthusiastic zeal, by so many who had been 
anxiously waiting for the second coming of Christ. Every 
effort that Satan could devise was made to overthrow the 
work in its infancy, in which the enmity of the wicked was 
often displayed in its utmost extent. 

* This mav appear strange, to some, but it was viewed, by all on board, as a 
miraculous interposition of Divine Providence. 

Mother Ann Lee. 55 

2. As the testimony of the gospel was a testimony of 
peace, it gave occasion to the enemies of the cross of Christ 
to take advantage of the state of war in which the country was 
then involved, and to represent the Believers as enemies to 
the country. This charge, through the instigation of design- 
ing men, was made a pretext for many abuses which the Be- 
lievers suffered. But the real ground of enmity was in the 
cross, which had become a stumbling stone and rock of 
offense to a licentious world. 

3. The first act of open persecution that took place, after 
the testimony was received in America, was in the month of 
July, 1780. As many people from New Lebanon, Hancock 
and other places resorted to Niskayuna to hear the testi- 
mony, those Believers who were able, found it necessary to 
take provisions for their support. This served as an occa- 
sion for some evil-minded men in and about New Lebanon, 
to accuse these innocent people of being enemies to the 
country, and to stir up those in authority to persecute 

4. David Darrow, of New Lebanon, became the first vic- 
tim of their enmity. In attempting to drive a number of 
sheep to Niskayuna for the above-mentioned purpose, he 
was followed, and seized by Samuel Jones, Selah Abbot, 
Senior, and Jeremiah Hubbard, who took his sheep from 
him, and carried him before Matthew Adgate, who had been 
a Justice of the Peace, under the Royal Government. 

5. Here the charge of treason was alleged against him by 
his accusers; but, it appears that Adgate had no authority 
to try such causes, and therefore David was sent under 
guard to Albany, and delivered up to the Committee of 
Safety, to be tried by them. Joseph Meacham, of his own 
choice, accompanied David to Albany, and went on to Nis- 
kayuna and informed Mother Ann of these things. Mother 
sent Elder Hocknell, with Joseph, back to Albany, to see the 

56 Testimonies of 

issue of this trial; but when they arrived, they were also 
called to an examination before the Committee. 

6. As their accusers well knew it to be contrary to the 
faith of the Believers to bear arms and shed human blood, 
they flattered themselves with the hope of confirming the 
charge of treason, by taking the advantage of this circum- 
stance, and the minds of the Committee being previously im- 
pressed, they were ready to exert their authority according 
to their discretion. After some examination the Committee 
required them to promise obedience to their laws, without 
informing them what those laws should be. 

7. The result was what might be expected, the prisoners, 
whose faith and conscience bound them to obey every just 
and righteous law, without any external observation, could 
not promise obedience to laws which were yet unknown, 
and which, in all probability, would be unjust, and oppres- 
sive; consequently, they could not comply with the de- 
mand of the Committee; they were, therefore, committed to 

8. But the imprisonment of David Darrow, Joseph 
Meacham, and John Hocknell was not considered, by their 
persecutors, as sufficient to put a stop to the progress of the 
testimony. They therefore seized next upon Hezekiah 
Hammond, and Joel Pratt, both of whom were laborers in 
the gospel, and whose influence in circulating the testimony 
was dreaded; these men were also imprisoned with the 

9. But this was not enough, an officer was sent to take 
Mother Ann, Elder William and Elder James, and convey 
them to Albany. Calvin Harlow, being then at Watervliet, 
obtained Mother Ann's consent to go to prison with her. 
She also took Mary Partington with her, as a female com- 
panion. After a short examination, in which they were 
charged of being enemies to the country, and yet, without 

Mother Ann Lee. 57 

the smallest degree of evidence, they were also committed 
to prison. 

10. They were first put into the jail of the Old City Hall, 
but after a few days, they were removed to a prison in the 
Old Fort, just above the town, where those who were called 
tories, and other prisoners of war were generally confined. 
Thus were all the le?ding characters of the work imprisoned, 
at the instigation of evil-minded men whose enmity against 
the testimony of the gospel led to the wicked design of sup- 
pressing it by persecution. 

11. But the progress of the gospel was not to be arrested 
by these, nor any other means which its enemies could de- 
vise. The Believers were still zealous in assembling to- 
gether, and supporting the testimony at all hazards; for no 
outward opposition could dampen the zeal of a people who 
had been awakened by the resurrection power of Christ, 
and who, by their obedience to the testimony, had been 
made partakers of the power of salvation from all sin. 

12. Their enemies were, however, still determined to sup- 
press the growing testimony. Not long after Mother Ann 
and the Elders were imprisoned, Samuel Johnson, of New 
Lebanon, was seized, at Isaac Harlow's, in public meeting, 
on the Sabbath day, while on his knees in prayer, and was 
dragged out of meeting by the forementioned Samuel Jones, 
and others, and after a mock trial before Matthew Adgate, 
he was carried to Albany, and delivered up to the Commis- 
sioners for further trial. 

13. Samuel had formerly been a Presbyterian preacher, 
but had now embraced the testimony of the gospel of 
" Christ' s Second Appearing. " The crime with which he 
was charged, was saying that " people cannot follow Christ, 
and live in wars and fightings." The Commissioners en- 
deavored to represent to him the danger of preaching such 
doctrines among the people, when the country was in such 


58 Testimonies of 

imminent danger from the enemy. Samuel replied, " I shall 
speak what God gives me to speak, and I have spoken no 

14. They then said, " The Elect Lady is going to be sent 
to the British army, at New York," and intimated that the 
people would all be broken up. " The Elect Lady she is, 
indeed and in truth," replied Samuel, " but, whether she 
sinks or swims I know that the work of God, and this tes- 
timony, is the testimony of truth." 

15. He then informed them that he did not receive his testi- 
mony against war from the " Elect Lady/' nor from the 
Church, but, in a night vision, which wrought so powerfully 
upon his mind, as to convict him, fully, that people cannot 
follow Christ, and live in wars and fightings. He also in- 
formed them that he had been very zealous in the cause of 
the country, before he received this conviction, but knowing 
the truth of the testimony, he could proceed no further. 

16. They then said they would not suffer such doctrine 
to be preached among the people, and forbade his preach- 
ing it. Samuel replied, " I shall speak what God gives me 
to speak, for I feel it my duty to obey God rather than 
mar,." This so offended them that they appeared almost 
upon the point of condemning him to be executed, as a 
traitor, and an enemy to the country, when Dr. Stringer, one 
of the Committee, declared him to be insane. He was 
therefore imprisoned in the jail of the Old City Hall. 

17. But many sensible and candid men expressed their 
displeasure at the injustice of such proceedings. The public 
imprisonment of an innocent people, for no other cause, in 
reality, than their religious faith, and the piercing truth of 
their testimony, could not but have an effect most power- 
fully, upon the minds of honest and impartial people, and, 
of course, drew many inquiring minds to search into the 
truth of these things. 

Mother Ann Lee, 59 

18. The rumor concerning this new and strange religion, 
was, therefore, far more rapid and extensive in its circula- 
tion than it probably would have been, had their persecutors 
been content to let them alone. Man)- came to see the 
prisoners, and after having heard their testimony and seen 
the wonderful operations of the power of God among them, 
were so powerfully wrought upon that they could not go 
away without confessing their sins. 

19. By these means, the truth prevailed against all oppo- 
sition, and many were added to the faith in a short time ; 
for the word of God, which could not be bound, was often 
preached to large assemblies, through the gates of the pris- 
ons; and so powerful was its operation upon the hearts of 
the hearers, that open confessions of sin were often made, in 
presence of the multitude. Many faithful souls dated their 
beginning of faith, at this prison. 

20. Many precious gifts of God, and divine lessons of in- 
struction, and numerous heavenly visions were seen, felt, 
and received in this prison. The Believers without were 
also allowed the privilege of communication with those in 
prison, and of administering, freely, to their necessities; 
so that in the midst of their afflictions they were blessed of 
God, and had comfort and consolation in the gospel. 

21. These things greatly increased the rage of Mother 
Ann's persecutors; for they viewed her as the grand actress 
in these movements, therefore it was against her their malice 
was principally directed. Hence they were very urgent to 
banish her to the British army, which then lay at New York. 
The committee, however, decided on sending her to Pough- 
keepsie, accordingly, about the middle of August, she was 
taken from the prison, conveyed on board of a sloop, and sent 
down to Poughkeepsie, and imprisoned in the jail of that 
town. Mary Partington, at her own request, was permitted 
to accompany her. 

60 Testimonies of 

22. During Mother Ann's confinement in Poughkeepsie 
jail, she was generally treated with kindness; and Mary, who 
was not considered as a prisoner, had full liberty to procure 
necessaries for her at the groceries. But, for the most of 
the time, she was under great sufferings of soul; being 
deeply impressed with the importance of the work before 
her, and feeling that her infant spiritual children had great 
need of her presence and protection, her soul was in contin- 
ual cries to God. 

25. Mother Ann was visited by Elizur Goodrich, Samuel 
Fitch, and a number of others, while in this prison; but, as 
it was a time of much tribulation, she did not feel it expedi- 
ent for many to visit her at this place, nor for those who did 
go, to make much tarry, lest the presence of many strangers 
might excite alarm among the inhabitants of the town and 
bring on further persecution. This she chose to avoid, 
knowing that it would be attended with no honor to the tes- 
timony nor be any benefit to the people, who, at that time, 
were not in a situation to bear it. 

24. Elizur Goodrich visited Mother twice, and, by him, 
Lucy Wright, subsequently called "Mother Lucy," sent her, 
as a present, some things for her comfort and convenience. 
Mother Ann gave Elizur much good instruction, and sent 
him away, saying, " Go home, Elizur, and love Lucy as 
Christ loved the Church." She also sent, by him, some 
counsel, together with good and encouraging words, to the 
Elders, in prison at Albany. 

25. Elizur returned home, and then went, in company with 
Lucy Wright, to see the Elders. When he delivered his 
message, the Elders were so overpowered with joy that they 
exclaimed, " How beautiful are the feet of them that bring 
glad tidings of good things and publish peace!" And so 
thankful were they to receive a message from Mother Ann, 

Mother Ann Lee. 6i 

that they fell on their knees, and even bowed down with 
their faces at his feet. 

26. Mother Ann was also visited by James Boyd, of 
Poughkeepsie, who, by his repeated visits and conversation 
with her, gained a measure of faith in her testimony, and 
was solicitous to obtain her releasement from prison. At 
length, by the assistance of Joseph Ellis, a young Believer 
from Dover, who became responsible for her appearance, 
Mother Ann was removed from jail to Boyd's house, after 
having been confined a number of weeks. 

27. Here she was treated with great kindness, and fre- 
quently testified her faith to those who came to see her. 
Mary Hocknell, who had been left at Watervliet, and had 
often visited Mother Ann, while in the prison at Albany, 
and carried provisions and other necessaries to her and the 
Elders, now went down to Poughkeepsie and tarried at 
Boyd's with Mother Ann, during the remainder of her im- 
prisonment. James Boyd, and Nancy — his wife, having 
received a measure of faith, confessed their sins and united 
with Mother Ann, who, with her two female companions, 
were often engaged in the worship of God, under great 
power, and operations of the spirit. 

28. This began to excite opposition among some of the 
lower class of people in the town of Poughkeepsie — for the 
devil never could endure the worship of God — and Mother 
Ann's power and testimony always offended his emissaries. 
One night, in particular, a number of the baser sort, painted 
and habited after the manner of Indians, came and sur- 
rounded the house, while the people were in the worship of 
God, and attempted to throw papers of gunpowder, through 
the windows into the fire, but, failing in their attempt, and 
being discovered, and sharply reproved by Mother Ann and 
James Boyd, they withdrew for that time. The attempt was 
secretly renewed some time in the night, and a large paper 

62 Testimonies of 

of powder thrown in at the top of the chimney, but, fortu- 
nately, it bounded from the hearth, and did not take fire. 
This was the principal opposition that was manifested against 
Mother Ann while she was in Poughkeepsie. But none in 
the town embraced the testimony except James Boyd and 
his wife. 

29. Samuel Johnson, who was in prison at the Old City 
Hall, in Albany, at the time Mother Ann was sent down the 
river, was soon after released, at the solicitation of his 
brother — John Johnson, who, being in unbelief, pleaded that 
his brother Samuel was not in his right mind, that he had 
formerly been firmly devoted to the cause of his country, 
and had been zealous to defend her liberties by force of 
arms, and, that the doctrine he had since preached, and for 
which he was imprisoned, was the effect of his insanity. 
He was therefore discharged, after ten days' imprisonment, 
upon his brother's becoming responsible that he should leave 
the state. 

30. The Elders, and those who were left in prison at the 
Old Fort in Albany, after Mother Ann's departure, suffered 
considerably, partly from the persecuting spirit of their 
enemies, who endeavored to keep the Believers from visiting 
them, and in part from the arrival of a division of soldiers 
to be quartered in the Fort, which included the prison, and 
by which means they were confined to very limited quarters. 
By these means access to the prisoners was rendered more 
difficult, and their situation became more uncomfortable. 

31. Sometime in November following, David Darrow was 
released on parole, at the intercession of his father-in-law,* 
and permitted to return to his family for a limited time. 
At the expiration of the time appointed he returned to 
Albany, and appeared before the Commissioners to deliver 
himself up; but they refused to receive him again as a pris- 

* Jarvis Mudge. 

Mother Ann Lee. 63 

oner, or to have any thing more to do with him. He, there- 
fore, went and visited the prisoners, and then returned again 
to his family. 

32. Prayers were now incessantly made for the release- 
ment of Mother Ann and the Elders. The Commissioners 
were earnestly entreated, even as they walked the streets, to 
grant them their liberty. Being at length overcome with 
entreaties, they discharged the Elders, and those imprisoned 
with them in Albany, about the 20th of December, 1780, 
Avithout any formal trial. The next object was to obtain 
Mother Ann's discharge; with this view the Elders took a 
carriage, and went down to Poughkeepsie, to see Mother. 
Elder James presented himself before Governor Clinton, 
who, at that time, resided in Poughkeepsie, and on his knees, 
besought the Governor's assistance. The Governor replied 
that he would assist him as far as lay in his power. Elder 
James Whittaker then informed him of their imprisonment, 
and related, circumstantially, the pretense of accusation, and 
manner of their treatment and sufferings. The Governor 
said it was the first knowledge he had received of the matter; 
that he did not know there was such a woman in prison; 
that if he had known it she should have been released before, 
and immediately gave orders for her releasement. Having 
obtained Mother Ann's releasement, the Elders, and Breth- 
ren who accompanied them, took her and her two compan- 
ions,* and returned to Watervliet, about the last of Decem- 
ber, 1780, where she was joyfully received by all her faithful 
children, in spiritual relation, after an absence of nearly five 

33. Thus ended the only imprisonment that ever Mother 
Ann suffered in America ; an imprisonment, which, though 
intended to suppress the work of God in this country, was, 
by the overruling hand of Divine Providence, made the oc- 

* Mary Partington and Marv Hocknell. 

64 Testimonies of 

casion of the most extensive circulation of the truth, and laid 
a foundation for the greatest ingathering of souls, of any 
event that had ever yet taken place. By means of this event, 
the sound of the Gospel trumpet, and the fame of " Christ's 
Second Appearing " extended far and wide in this country. 





After Mother Ann and the Elders were released from 
prison, and collected again at Watervliet, they were visited 
by great numbers of people from various parts of the states 
of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Some of 
these had received faith at the prison in Albany, and others, 
in consequence of that event, came to see, and hear the tes- 
timony of a people who had been persecuted and imprisoned, 
for Christ's sake, and the gospel; and, by seeing and hearing 
for themselves, they received faith and embraced the 

2. Great labors were now made, and great power of God 
manifested in planting, nourishing, and building up the faith 
of the gospel, in purging out and destroying sin, root and 
branch, and preparing souls for the kingdom of Heaven. In 
this labor Mother Ann and the Elders were now greatly as- 
sisted by a number of leading characters who had embraced 
the testimony and been faithful from the beginning; among 
whom were Joseph Meacham, Calvin Harlow, Elizur Good- 

Mother Ann Lee. 65 

rich, Samuel Fitch, Israel Chauncy, Josiah Cogswell, Heze- 
kiah Hammond, and others. 

3. Their labors continued at Watervliet through the winter 
and spring following till May. During this time the increase 
of the work was great and rapid. The Believers continually 
increased in light and zeal, in power and understanding, signs 
and operations of the spirit in various manners upon the mortal 
body, prophecies, visions, and revelations of God greatly 
abounded ; the purifying fire of the gospel searched every 
heart; the increasing power of salvation, and the enduring 
substance of eternal life, daily evinced, in every faithful souh 
the reality of the latter day of glory. 

4. In May, 1781, Mother Ann set out on a journey to visit 
the Believers in the east; this journey had been upon her 
mind for some time. She had seen in vision, while in Eng- 
land, a place in this country, which she had not yet found, 
and often spoke of it. Daniel Wood, of Upton, Massachu- 
setts, had believed, the preceding winter, and had opened 
the testimony to his friends and neighbors, some of whom 
had received faith, and being at Watervliet, in the spring, 
with his sister — Margaret Leland, Mother Ann sent him 
home to prepare people for her reception, for her feelings 
were drawn that way. 

5. Mother Ann left Watervliet about the middle of May, 
1781, accompanied by Elder William Lee, (Ann Lee's 
natural brother) Elder James Whittaker, Samuel Fitch, 
Mary Partington, and Margaret Leland. She had, the week 
before, sent Jonathan Slosson to Benjamin Osborn's, Tuc- 
conock mountain* with orders to be faithful, and wait a 
further gift of God. She had previously determined to 
visit that place in her journey, but did not inform Jonathan 
of her determination. She, however, went directly there, 
and her visit, though quite unexpected, was joyfully received. 

* Now called Mt. Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass. 

66 Testimonies of 

6. Benjamin, and several of his sons, with their wives, 
and some others in that place, and its vicinity, had already- 
embraced the testimony. On hearing of Mother Ann's ar- 
rival, the Believers in the neighborhood, also from Living- 
ston's Manor, and other places around, gathered here to 
hear the word of God. Great labors were made; those who 
had already believed were greatly strengthened in the way 
of God, and a number of others added to the faith. On 
the Sabbath following a large concourse of the world, be- 
sides many Believers attended. Great power of God, with 
much manifestations of the power of the spirit upon the 
physical body attended the testimony, as was usual where- 
ever Mother Ann ministered; this was also followed by 
much opposition. One Doctor Hollebert attempted to dis- 
pute with the Elders, but being confounded and put to the 
blush by Elder James Whittaker, he went and advised the mob 
to let them alone; so no acts of violence were committed. 

7. After tarrying about ten days, in continual labors with 
the people, Mother Ann and her company took their leave, 
and proceeded to Enfield, Connecticut, and arrived at the 
home of David Meacham* about the first of June. The 
news of their arrival greatly alarmed the inhabitants of the 
town, and the Believers were threatened with a mob, to pre- 
vent which the Selectmen of the town came and advised the 
Elders to leave the place. Many, however, came for in- 
formation, and a number believed and confessed their sins; 
this greatly enraged their ungodly neighbors around, whose 
darkness and unbelief, and consequent opposition to the 
cross, led them to brand the sacred testimony with the stigma 
of witchcraft, and delusion. After continuing in the place 
about a week ministering the gospel, and strengthening and 
encouraging those by whom it was received, Mother Ann 
and the Elders proceeded on their journey unmolested. 

* Sixty-seven miles from Tucconock. 

Mother Ann Lee. 67 

8. The next place they visited was John Maynor's, in 
Grafton.* They arrived about the middle of the week, and 
tarried till Saturday, ministering the gospel to some who 
had embraced the testimony in that neighborhood; on Sat- 
urday they proceeded to Daniel Wood's in Upton, nearly 
eight miles from Grafton, and tarried over the Sabbath. 
On Tuesday, they pursued their journey toward Harvard; 
arrived that night at Zaccheus Stephen's, in Still River, 
within the bounds of Harvard. On Wednesday they went 
to Isaac Willard's in Harvard, where they tarried about a 

9. The house of Isaac Willard was in sight of, and not 
more than half a mile distant from the Square House, so 
called, in Harvard, where Mother Ann and the Elders after- 
ward took up their residence, While at Isaac Willard's 
Mother Ann saw a large mob, in black, which filled the road 
leading to the Square House, and which seemed opposed to 
her going there. She then saw two angels, who made their 
way through the mob, by which she perceived that God 
would open the way for her to go. 

10. After preparations were made for the reception of 
Mother Ann and the Elders at the Square House, they pro- 
ceeded thither and took up their residence. Here they were 
visited from almost every quarter where the sound of the 
testimony had extended, and continued to preach the gospel, 
and minister the power of eternal life and salvation to all 
who were willing to receive it. Here Mother found the 
place and the people which had been shown to her in vision 
while in England, and during her residence in this place, the 
gospel had a rapid and extensive circulation. She visited 
many places in this quarter where the sound of the gospel 
had awakened serious inquiry, and where numbers had 

* County of Worcester, Massachusetts, about sixty miles from Enfield and forty 
south-west from Boston. 

68 Testimonies of 

already embraced the testimony, particularly Shirley, Woburn, 
Littleton and Petersham. 

ii. Mother Ann and the Elders passed through many 
scenes of suffering and tribulation in their labors to plant 
the gospel and nourish and strengthen the faith of Believers 
in these places. They spared no pains by day nor night, 
and frequently spent whole nights in continued labors teach- 
ing and instructing the people, and ministering the power of 
the resurrection to lost souls. Great power of God attended 
their labors wherever they went, and great multitudes fol- 
lowed them from place to place, to hear the word of God 
and partake of the power of the resurrection which accom- 
panied their ministration. These things greatly alarmed the 
spirit of evil, and roused the anti-christian world around 
them, by which means they frequently suffered great per- 
secution and were sometimes shamefully and cruelly abused 
in their persons. 

12. Though the spirit of opposition did not suddenly rise 
to so high a pitch of malignity as was afterward manifest, 
yet it began to discover itself immediately after Mother Ann 
arrived in Harvard. As many continued to come, through 
honest intentions to seek after the truth, so many came also, 
from time to time with a caviling spirit, to search after evil, 
and, if possible, to overthrow that which was good. But 
such persons often went away greatly abashed, and con- 
founded. Small parties of the above description of people 
frequently came, but were often greatly confounded at the 
mighty operations of the power of God among the people. 
At one time, shortly after Mother Ann's arrival, a large col- 
lection of people assembled, with a persecuting spirit, and it 
was reported that some of them brought clubs, but they did 
not show them. Their pretense was to attend meeting, and 
hear what these strange people had to say. 

13. Being unwilling to admit people of such a spirit and 

Mother Ann Lee. 69 

character into the house, (and there was not room in the 
house for so many) Elder James Whittaker desired them to 
assemble themselves in the door yard, which they accord- 
ingly did. He then took the Bible and read a passage of 
scripture to them, after which he delivered a solemn dis- 
course, and then dismissed the assembly. This discourse, 
and manner of dismission so bound their feelings, they re- 
tired without offering any abuse. 

14. Sometime in the latter part of July of this year a re- 
port was circulated in Harvard, that the Shakers had come 
there with seventy wagons, and six hundred stand of arms ; 
that they were enemies to the country, and had come to aid 
the British in the war against America. It was also asserted 
by David Whitney, a bitter persecutor, in the presence of a 
number of people, that a certain man had told him that he had 
seen a curious chest of firearms at the Square House. These 
reports, while they alarmed the weak and ignorant, served as 
a pretext for the enemies of the truth, by whom they were 
fabricated, to vent their malignant spleen, and urge that the 
people should be forcibly driven off ; while those of more 
candor and consideration were willing, first, to inquire into 
the matter, and ascertain the truth of such vague and doubt- 
ful reports, before they proceeded to violent measures. 

15. Ephraim Davis, of Harvard, Captain of militia, hav- 
ing collected his company, informed them that he had heard 
such and such reports concerning the Shakers, and he in- 
tended to go and see whether they were true or not, and if 
they were true, they should be seen to, but, if false, he 
should not molest them. Accordingly a committee was ap- 
pointed, with Asa Houghton at their head, to go and search 
into these matters. Davis, and his company, with a number 
of others, collected from different towns, attended the com- 
mittee to the Square House. The committee requested to 
see the Elders, and stated to them the reports that were in 

70 Testimonies of 

circulation; after hearing these reports. Elder James Whit- 
taker came forward, and desired to speak to the assembly, 
to which they consented. Elder James said", " I understand 
that you have heard that we have weapons of war here, and 
are apprehensive that we are enemies to the country; we are 
a harmless, inoffensive people; we do not want to injure any 
man either in person or property; we want no man's silver 
nor gold, but only their souls to God; this is all we want of 
any one; but if you believe those reports, you may have 
free liberty to search the house, or barn, or any of these 
surrounding buildings. 

16. This speech had a great effect on the candid part of 
the assembly; but the enemies of the truth, after finding no 
firearms, nor any thing else to warrant such reports, were 
still unwilling to relinquish their design; and seeing the 
truth afforded no pretext to arrest the people, they were 
determined to proceed upon any pretext which their own 
enmity might suggest, or even without any. Accordingly, 
Asa Houghton, in the name of the committee, ordered them 
to be gone from the place by such a stated day. Elder 
James Whittaker replied, " We came here peaceably, and 
we can say, as was said of St. Paul, we dwell in our own 
hired house." After considerable parley, about sunset, they 
began to depart, having been there most of the afternoon; 
but, through the gift of wisdom exercised toward them, they 
had not power to commit any act of violence. 

17. But, a part of the company stayed until evening, and 
desired to hear the Elders speak their faith. Accordingly 
Elder James spoke to them; but, in the midst of his dis- 
course, an ungodly ruffian broke in upon him; but he was 
soon rebuked by Father William Lee, who said, " You are 
not fair to break in upon Brother James; you ought to be 
silent, and hear, or peaceably withdraw." This put the man 
to silence, and Elder James continued to speak of the neces- 

Mother Ann Lee. 71 

sity of confessing and leaving off sin, and closed his dis- 
course with these words, " If you believe and obey these 
words which you have now heard, it will be well for you; 
but if you disobey them, it will be like mountains of lead to 
sink your souls into misery." Some of the company were 
pricked to the heart, and afterward opened their minds, and 
embraced the testimony, and were able to testify concerning 
these things. 

18. Thus the work of God prevailed and the gospel spread 
against all opposition; so that notwithstanding all the 
mighty exertions of the beastly power of Antichrist, it found 
a permanent residence in the hearts of many. So mighty was 
the shaking among the " dry bones " to bring bone to its bone, 
that every awakened soul felt and acknowledged that the 
day of judgment was come. 

19. The people in Harvard were mostly poor, and, at the 
Square House, where Mother Ann and the Elders had their 
residence, there had been no stores of provisions laid up, 
and, though vast numbers of people came from various parts 
to visit them, and great crowds were almost daily fed there, 
yet, through the abounding goodness of God, they were 
never known to lack a meal of victuals, but always found 
enough to satisfy the multitude, which, at times, seemed al- 
most miraculous. But Mother Ann felt that it was the duty 
of Believers to provide for their temporal support and not 
always be seemingly idle dependents on the bountiful, and, 
apparently miraculous hand of Providence. She therefore 
called Jonathan Slosson to her room one day, and spoke to 
him concerning these things; and reminded him of the small 
quantity of provisions they had possessed to entertain so 
many people. "We are fed here," said Mother Ann, "ap- 
parently by the miracles of God; a great many people come, 
bringing little or nothing with them but their sins; yet they 
are fed, and have a plenty. I know it is by the miracles of 

72 Testimonies of 

God, as when Christ fed the multitude with a few loaves and 
little fishes; so it is now, but, it cannot always be so." She 
then asked him if he could not assist them in devising some 
means to procure bread for the multitude. 

20. As grain was scarce in, and about Harvard, and Jona- 
than knew it to be plenty in Lebanon, Hancock and Rich- 
mond, he offered to make a journey thither, to which 
Mother Ann agreed, and sent him, and Reuben Harrison, as 
messengers, to their Brethren in the west, to make known the 
circumstances of the little flock of Christ in Harvard. They 
went, and, by the kindness and liberality of their faithful 
Brethren, they soon obtained a good supply of flour and 
cheese. When they returned to Harvard with their provis- 
ions, Mother Ann and the Elders wept, and knelt down in 
thankfulness to God, for such a manifestation of faith and 
liberality in His people. Mother then called upon the 
young Believers to see what kindness and liberality had 
been displayed by the western Believers, and to witness the 
faith and zeal of the two young men who had been such a 
journey for their sakes; she said it was an example worthy 
of their imitation and ought to awaken them to thankfulness 
and gratitude. 


ING at david Hammond's disturbed by a mob. — 


In December, 1781, Mother Ann and the Elders made a 
journey to Petersham;* they arrived at Thomas Shattuck's 
late in the evening, and found the family waiting their ar- 

* About furty miles west, from Harvard. 

Mother Ann Lee. 73 

rival, — Mother said, "It is good to watch, and you should 
always watch." Father William Lee said, "Ye watched for 
ye knew not the hour we would come." They, however, 
proceeded to David Hammond's that night. 

2. The next day, being Sabbath, many people of the 
world, came in to attend meeting. Elder James Whittaker 
preached the gospel from these words, "Cleanse your hands 
ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded; be af- 
flicted, and mourn and weep."* He spoke with great 
power and energy of the spirit, and urged the necessity of 
confessing and forsaking their sins. " What is cleansing 
the hands," said he, "but confessing sins ? " "And what is 
purifying the heart, but forsaking them? and what is being 
afflicted and mourning and weeping, but repenting of sin ?" 
He continued his discourse about two hours. 

3. This being the first visit that Mother Ann and the 
Elders made in Petersham the inhabitants generally mani- 
fested a desire to see and hear for themselves, and as they 
pretended civility, they had full liberty. Accordingly, on 
Monday evening there came a considerable number of civil 
people, also a company of lewd fellows from the middle 
of the town, who styled themselves the blackguard com- 

4. Being all assembled together Elder James Whittaker 
came and gave notice that all who had come with an honest 
desire to get information might walk into the other room. 
Accordingly the more civil part of the assembly went in, 
leaving the forementioned company who had evidently come 
with no good intentions. Elder James took a Bible and 
read to the assembly, then began to speak. In the time of 
speaking the company that had stayed back in the other 
room, began to crowd in, and stretched themselves through 
the room, from the door to the bed, where Mother Ann 

*.Tames IV, 8th and 9th. 

74 Testimonies of 

and Elizabeth Shattuck were sitting together, on the bed- 
side, with a number of other sisters sitting near them. 

5. As people were occasionally coming in, and the 
assembly generally engaged in hearing the preacher, this 
mob had opportunity to arrange themselves through the 
assembly without being much noticed. Instantly a cry was 
heard, " knock out the lights." The lights were all sud- 
denly extinguished, except the one in Elder James' hand ; 
and immediately a passage was made by the mob, from the 
door to the bed, where Mother Ann was sitting. At this 
instant entered three ruffians painted black, and rushing 
forward, the foremost one seized hold of Mother, and, with 
the assistance of his comrades, attempted to drag her out, but 
Elizabeth Shattuck and several other sisters instantly 
clinched hold of her, and held her, and Elizabeth being a 
large, heavy woman, and the passage narrow, the ruffians 
were not able to accomplish their purpose ; and quitting 
their hold they suddenly fled out of the house. 

6. In this struggle, though it was but momentary, they 
tore a breadth out of a new gown which Mother had on. 
Their wicked design being now fully known, Elder James 
advised to have the remainder of the assembly withdraw, as 
it was growing late. On being spoken to, they left, appa- 
rently, in a peaceable manner, but Mother, in the spirit of 
prophecy, said the wicked would come again, which caused 
some labor among the Brethren and Sisters, to secure her 
from their cruel hands. However, as the mob had with- 
drawn and all danger apparently at an end, the neighboring 
Believers returned home, and some of the Brethren who 
accompanied the Elders, went with them. Those who re- 
mained were about retiring to rest when Mother discovered, 
from the window, that her cruel persecutors were near, and 
made some attempts to conceal herself. The house was 
again assaulted by about thirty creatures in human shape; 

Mother Ann Lee. 75 

the doors being fastened, were burst open and broke, and 
these ruffians entered. 

7. David Hammond was immediately knocked down and 
cruelly beaten; Mary, his woman, who had a young child in 
her arms, was knocked down, and received several severe 
strokes on her head by one Thomas Carter. Elder James 
Whittaker was clinched by the collar, knocked down and 
left for dead; and several others were knocked down. 
Father William Lee was also hurt, and all who stood in 
their way were beaten and bruised more or less. 

8. As their object was to seize Mother Ann, the candles 
had been previously concealed to prevent their finding her. 
But this did not hinder them, they seized fire brands, and 
searched the house, and at length, found her in a bedroom ; 
they immediately seized her by the feet, and inhumanly 
dragged her, feet foremost, out of the house, and threw her 
into a sleigh with as little ceremony as they would the dead 
carcase of a beast, and drove off, committing, at the same 
time, acts of inhumanity and indecency which even savages 
would be ashamed of. 

9. In the struggle with these inhuman wretches, she lost 
her cap and handkerchief, and otherwise had her clothes torn 
in a shameful manner. Their pretense was to find out 
whether she was a woman or not. In this situation, in a cold 
winter's night, they drove nearly three miles to Samuel Peck- 
ham's tavern, near Petersham Meeting-house. Father Wil- 
liam Lee feeling great concern for Mother's safety, he and 
David Hammond followed the sleigh. He told the ruffians 
that she was his sister and he would follow her ; and, attempt- 
ing to hold on to the hind part of the sleigh, they gave him 
many blows with the butts of their sleigh whips. He and 
David however followed them to the forementioned tavern. 
Elder James Whittaker, being badly wounded, was not able 
to follow them. 

76 Testimonies of . 

10. It appeared that Samuel Peckham was a Captain of 
militia, and had previously agreed with the ruffians who seized 
Mother, to give them as much rum as they would drink, on 
condition that they would bring her to his house. After they 
arrived Father William Lee and David Hammond remon- 
strated against the ungodliness and brutality of their be- 
havior. David presented to them the unlawfulness of such 
conduct, and how they had exposed themselves to the pen- 
alties of the law. Being by this time ashamed of their con- 
duct, and fearful of the consequences, they promised to re- 
lease Mother Ann upon condition that David would sign an 
obligation not to prosecute them for what they had done. 
Being impelled by a feeling for Mother's safety, he re- 
luctantly yielded to their demands, and left them to answer 
at the bar of Divine justice concerning a species of conduct 
for which they were unwilling to appear before an earthly 

n. This being done, they released Mother Ann, and some 
time in the night some of them brought her and those with 
her back to David Hammond's. She came in singing for joy 
that she was again restored to her children, (meaning her 
spiritual followers). The men who brought her back ap- 
peared to be greatly ashamed of their wicked conduct, and 
confessed that they had abused her shamefully, said they 
were sorry for it, and desired her forgiveness. Mother Ann 
replied, " I can freely forgive you, I hold nothing against 
you, and I pray God to forgive you ;" so they departed 
peaceably. After their departure Mother related the shame- 
ful abuse that she had suffered from these merciless wretches, 
and said, " It really seemed as if my life must go from me, 
when they dragged me out of my room, and threw me into 
the sleigh ; besides they tore my handkerchief from my 
neck, my cap and fillet from my head, and even tore some 
of the hair out of my head. 

Mother Ann Lee. 77 

12. But I was treated kindly at the tavern where they car- 
ried me. The tavern-keeper's wife kindly nursed and helped 
me One of the men that took me away gave me his hand- 
kerchief to wear on my head, and another gave me his sur- 
tout to wear home.* Elder James Whittaker, who had been 
prevented from following Mother by reason of the severe 
wound which he had received, informed her of his abuses. 
His face was greatly swollen, and his jaw very painful, and 
he was apprehensive that it was broken ; but, said he ; " I can 
pray for them,'' and kneeling down, he cried, " Father, for- 
give them, for they know not what they do." 

13. But so insidious were the inhabitants of Petersham, 
both priests and people, professors and profane, that it 
seemed as if nothing was too bad for them to say or do 
against the Believers in general, but more especially against 
Mother Ann and the Elders, against whom the most vile and 
vicious accusations that could be conceived, were uttered. 
Witchcraft and delusion was the general cry; even in their 
solemn assemblies of worship, the preachers would vent 
their malicious spleen, and mock and mimic the operations 
of the power of God, which they had seen or heard of among 
the people. This has reference to those exercises of the physi- 
cal body produced by great spiritual emotion, and experience 
which has been manifest in all ages of the world among a 
people very deeply and spiritually exercised. 

* By this it appeared Mother was willing to acknowledge kindness, even in her 
worst enemies. 

78 Testimonies of • 






i. Soon after these incidents Mother Ann and the Elders 
returned to Harvard, and continued their labors through the 
winter, visiting the Believers in Shirley, Woburn, and other 
places in the vicinity, purging out sin, and strengthening and 
confirming the Believers in their most holy faith. Many 
Believers also continued to visit them, during the winter, 
from various other parts. The spirit of opposition also con- 
tinued to manifest itself, which frequently brought great suf- 
ferings upon the Believers, particularly upon Mother Ann 
and the Elders. 

2. The opposition of the wicked, in and about Harvard, 
had been more or less manifest, even before the opening of 
the testimony in these parts. Many threats were made, and 
the people were all apprised of having many secret, as well 
as open enemies; and, though many individuals suffered 
abuses, from time to time, from their particular acquaint- 
ances who were opposed to the testimonies, such as slander- 
ing, mocking, scoffing, stoning, pilfering, cheating, defraud- 
ing, and the like, yet, no general persecution had been 

3. But during this season, as the gospel increased, and the 
testimony against the flesh prevailed, the fears of Antichrist 
began to be more and more alarmed. He could no longer 
endure religion which threatened the foundation of his king- 

Mother Ann Lee. 79 

dom, by turning so many of his subjects from darkness to 
light, and converting them from the error of their ways. 

4. Much had been said, and many fears excited among 
the multitude, concerning the Believers being enemies to the 
country, and having firearms secreted among them; and, 
though public search had been made and no trace of evi- 
dence could be found to authorize such a suspicion, yet, as 
the Believers were, from principle, averse to war, and as 
this principle had been inculcated by Mother Ann, and the 
Elders, it was still held up as a suspicious evidence of their 
hostile feelings to the country. 

5. This, through pretense, being made the ground of alarm, 
measures must, of course, be taken to prevent the appre- 
hended danger; Mother and the Elders must be driven out 
of Harvard. Accordingly, about the latter part of January, 
1782, Phineas Farnsworth, — Captain of militia, came, with a 
large company of men, to drive them off, unless they would 
promise to be gone by such a time. Many Believers were 
assembled in the Square House, and engaged in the worship 
of God. The company surrounded the house with clubs, 
which they poised and shouldered, after the manner of mus- 
kets, apparently with a view to alarm the Believers. The 
Captain obtained admittance into the chamber where Mother 
Ann was, and stated his business, requiring her to leave the 
town. Mother replied that she expected to go away to-mor- 
row, if it was God's will. "Very well," said the Captain, 
''if you are going so soon I shall let you alone." After 
some conversation he took his leave of Mother, promising 
not to molest her, seeing she was going away to-morrow. 
"Yea," said Mother, "I expect to go to-morrow, if it is 
God's will ; but I will return again the next day if it is God's 
will, for all you." The Captain, feeling himself bound, said 
no more, but went down stairs. 

6. During the Captain's interview with Mother Ann, a 

8o Testimonies of 

number of his men had entered the room where the Breth- 
ren were in their worship, Daniel Wood, by order of Father 
William Lee, was stationed at the partition door, to keep the 
mob from entering the Sisters' apartment; several attempted 
to enter, but were kept back by Daniel. At length a violent- 
spirited stout man came up with a determination to enter, 
and clinching Daniel, with sudden violence, forced him 
through the door. Instantly the blood gushed forth, and 
ran down Daniel's face and bosom. Soon after this, the 
Captain came down stairs, and seeing Daniel bloody, in- 
quired, who had done that ? "One of your men," replied 
Daniel. He then ordered his men to go immediately out of 
the house. They obeyed his order, and all departed, with- 
out offering any further abuse, at that time. The next day, 
Mother Ann and the Elders went away, were gone a short 
time, and then returned. 

7. Having been, for some time, continually threatened and 
harassed by mobs, and feeling the way of their usefulness 
in Harvard nearly hedged up, and knowing that their young 
disciples were not able to keep the way of God without help, 
they were brought under great sufferings and labor; and be- 
ing warned of God, to leave the place, in order to avoid a 
mob, which was coming, the next day, to drive them off by 
force, they assembled the Believers together, in the evening, 
and spoke much to them, to strengthen and encourage them 
to stand faithful in the way of God, come life or death. 

8. Mother Ann, in taking leave of her children, knelt 
down and spoke to them in a very feeling and affecting man- 
ner; manifesting the great concern she felt for their welfare; 
that she could freely lay down her life for them, if it could 
be any gain to them; but that she was called of God to pre- 
serve her life, and take care of herself for their sakes; and 
added, " I should be willing to die, and go to Christ, if you 
could do without me, but you cannot." This was a very af- 

Mother Ann Lee. 8i 

fecting season to her spiritual children, and caused their 
tears to flow in abundance. Mother, with Mary Partington 
and the Elders, departed, the same night, from the Square 
House, and went to Zaccheus Stevens'. Early the next morn- 
ing, the mob came, in great multitudes, to the Square House 
but not finding Mother Ann and the Elders, they placed an 
empty barrel before the door as a stage, on which they 
placed the Brethren and Sisters, one after another, and ex- 
amined them, but were still unable to gain any intelligence 
concerning Mother and the Elders. 

9. They then proceeded to Isaac Wi Hard's where Elizur 
Goodrich and Lucy Wright, (subsequently called Mother 
Lucy) had retreated, and began to search his house; but, on 
attempting to open a door of an upper room, where Lucy 
and Elizur had retired, Isaac forbade them, and told them 
that if they opened another door in his house, they should 
suffer the penalty of the law ; upon which they all dispersed. 

10. Mother and the Elders departed from Zaccheus Ste- 
vens' the same morning, and proceeded on their journey to 
Enfield, Connecticut, where they arrived, about the beginning 
of March. Here they had new scenes of sufferings to pass 
through. Many Believers gathered to see them; the world, 
also, from the surrounding country, were very pressing for 
information. They tarried a week, or ten days, ministering 
the gifts of God, and strengthening and encouraging the 

11. These things, while they excited great joy and zeal 
among the Believers, did not fail to alarm the jealous fears, 
and stir up the persecuting spirit of Antichrist. A mob of 
about two hundred men was raised, and assembled before 
the house of David Meacham, where Mother Ann then was; 
this mob was led on by Jonathan Bush, Captain of militia, 
Eli Bush, Lieutenant, and Isaac Terry. They ordered Mother 
Ann and the Elders to leave the town within one hour, and 


82 Testimonies of 

threatened, in case of disobedience, to carry them off by 
force. As their orders were peremptory, and a refusal likely 
to be attended with dangerous consequences, Mother felt it 
most prudent to leave the place. Elder James Whittaker 
addressed the mob, and said, " We came to this place peace- 
ably, to visit our Brethren, but, since you have judged your- 
selves unworthy to receive the gospel, we will go to some 
other place." They accordingly withdrew and the mob fol- 
lowed them to the ferry which was about eight miles 
distant. On their way from Brother David's to the river, 
Mother Ann and her companions saw and felt themselves 
surrounded by hosts of angels, which so strengthened and 
encouraged them that they broke forth in heavenly songs, 
and, in union with the angelic hosts, sung with great power 
of God, while their wicked persecutors, who understood 
none of these things, followed on in gloomy silence. 

12. In passing through the town, near the river, a noisy 
rabble gathered and followed after them with threatening and 
abusive language. At this instant, a young American officer 
who was passing through the main street, observed the mob, 
and, being attracted by curiosity, he rode up to them, and, 
on inquiry, was informed that they were driving the Elect 
Lady and her followers, out of the town. Being well 
mounted and armed, and perceiving that the woman and her 
friends, though entire strangers to him, were very peaceable, 
and inoffensive, and patiently bore the insulting language of 
the mob, without making any reply, he took his station near 
Mother Ann's carriage, and followed her to the ferry, with 
the determination, if possible, to prevent abuse. 

13. Having arrived at the ferry, the young man, altogether 
undaunted at the threatening appearance of the mob, led 
Mother into the boat, and assured Mother that she had noth- 
ing to fear. As the boat was about to start from the shore, 
one of the mob made proclamation, forbidding Mother and 

Mother Ann Lee. 83 

the Elders ever entering the town of Enfield again, — de- 
clared that they were very fortunate in escaping punishment 
at this time; and that, if in future they should ever come 
again, they might expect tarring, feathering, ducking, &c. 

14. Being prevented from using any further violence, by 
the presence and determined resolution of the officer, the 
mob withdrew, and Mother Ann and her companions crossed 
the river in safety. After landing, they returned their grate- 
ful acknowledgments to the young man who had manifested 
such kindness to them, though strangers, and who had so 
generously interfered in their behalf, as to protect them from 
the abuse of their enemies. They then separated, and the 
young man went his way.* 

15. Mother Ann and the Elders proceeded up to West 
Springfield; they then re-crossed the river, and went to 
Kingston, while Brother David Meacham, who had accom- 
panied them from Enfield, returned home to get a carriage 
to assist them on their journey. They tarried at Scott's tav- 
ern in Kingston, from Saturday, until Monday. Brother 
David having returned with his carriage, they all proceeded 
to Amaziah Clark's, in Granby; thence they visited Jona- 
than Bridges', and some other Believers in Belcher; thence 
up the river, to Peter Bishop's, in Montague. 

16. Peter and his family had embraced the testimony the 
preceding summer, and being the only Believers in the town, 
they had many difficulties, and much opposition to en- 
counter. Their unbelieving neighbors were greatly enraged 

* Elijah Jones, subsequently a merchant, in Lansingburgh, N. Y., was the young 
officer mentioned above. He was, at that time, a Lieutenant in Col. Sheldon's 
Regiment of Dragoons, in the Revolutionary War ; and, being then on business 
that way, he was providentially led through the town just at the time of the above- 
mentioned occurrence; and was thus made instrumental in protecting Mother Ann 
from the abuses of a cruel mob. Mother several times mentioned her remarkable 
deliverance at that time, with great thankfulness, and said, " God sent that voung 
man there for my protection." " And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed 
up the flood." 

84 Testimonies of 

against them on account of their faith; and as they lived re- 
mote from Believers, and supported themselves by their oc- 
cupation, they were considerably exposed to the injustice 
and abuse of their wicked neighbors, who threatened to 
starve them by withholding their custom.* 

17. After Mother Ann arrived at the house, she inquired 
(it Abigail Bishop concerning their temporal circumstances, 
and whether they had provisions. Abigail replied they had 
but little, and informed Mother of their circumstances, and 
how they were threatened by their unbelieving neighbors, 
and she took all the flour she had to make a cake for 
Mother's supper. Mother then said, " I pray that thy mor- 
sel of meat may be like the widow's barrel, and the cruise of 
oil, that did not fail in the time of famine. Trust in God, 
and you will never want for bread. The world will feed 
you; they will make good measure, pressed down, heaped 
up, and running over, will men measure unto you." Mother 
and the Elders tarried at Peter's over night, had a com- 
fortable meeting with the family, and then departed. 

1 8. A few days after this there came a man to the house 
that owed them, and brought grain, to pay the debt; he 
measured the grain in Abigail's sight, and she observed that 
he heaped every measure, and pressed it down till it ran 
over. Thus were Mother's words fulfilled, ■ and, through 
God's abounding goodness, Abigail and her family never 
came to want; but, notwithstanding the enmity of their 
wicked neighbors, they always had a plenty. 

19. After leaving Peter's, Mother Ann and her company 
returned down the river, five miles, to Sunderland, crossed 
the river, and proceeded on their journey to Asa Bacon's to 
Ashfield, where they arrived the latter part of March, 1782. 
Here they found a place of retirement from the clamor ot 
riotous mobs; and here they continued about two months, 

♦Their occupation was weaving, coloring and pressing cloth. 

Mother Ann Lee. 85 

without permitting the Believers to visit them very openly. 
As there were but few Believers in the neighborhood of 
Ashfield, Mother Ann seldom had occasion to visit while 
she remained in that place. But, a little "before her return 
to Harvard, she went to Shelburne, about five miles distant, to 
visit the family of Jonathan and Aaron Wood. She had fre- 
quently been requested by the family, and particularly by 
Aaron, to come and see them, and had given them some en- 
couragement of coming. She accordingly set off, accompa- 
nied by Mary Partington, and some of the Elders, and 
walked there on foot. She came smiling into the house. 
This was a welcome and joyful visit to the family, and es- 
pecially to good Brother Aaron, who loved Mother with all 
his heart; for she had often filled him, soul and body, with 
many powerful gifts of God, and he did not lose the remem- 
brance of them. She tarried some days, and blest the fam- 
ily, and then returned to Ashfield. 

20. About the 20th of May, 1782, Mother Ann and the 
Elders left Ashfield and returned to Harvard, and continued 
their labors in Harvard. Shirley and Woburn, nearly through 
the summer, teaching, strengthening and encouraging the 
Believers in these places, as well as those who visited them 
from places more distant. But, the spirit of opposition was 
still restless ; the enemies of the cross still thirsted for per- 
secution. The stale charge of enemies to the country, fire- 
arms, ami implements of war, was again renewed as a pre- 
text ; nor could they be satisfied short of expelling the testi- 
mony, with all its witnesses, from the country. 

21. About the latter part of July, 1782, a number of men 
met, and appointed a committee to set up advertisements in 
the several towns around, to notify the people to meet, on 
Harvard Commons, and drive off the Shakers. The adver- 
tisements were accordingly put up, and on the appointed 
day, the people met. On the morning of that day, Phineas 

86 Testimonies of 

Fairbanks, the first deacon in the Presbyterian Church, at 
Harvard, and accounted the greatest Christian in town, sent 
two barrels of cider on to the Commons, for the mob to drink, 
in order to stimulate their zeal. But, it being the time of the 
meeting of the Clergy, commonly called Ministers' meeting, 
the ministers requested the mob to wait until they had first 
seen, and conversed with the Shakers, themselves. Accord- 
ingly, four of them came over to the Square House, and de- 
sired to converse with the Elders. The Elders came into 
the room, and Labdiel Adams, minister of Lunenburg, who 
appeared to be their chief speaker, desired to know if there 
was liberty to ask a few questions. " Yea," replied Elder 
James Whittaker, "any civil questions." 

22. Adams then observed that the people were apprehen- 
sive that there were warlike stores laid up in this house, and 
manifested much concern about it ; Elder James, who knew 
that they did not believe this charge themselves, and that it 
was made merely as a pretext, replied, " There is liberty to 
search the house, if you can do it and not wrong your con- 
sciences ; I say, there is liberty to search the house all over, 
if you can do it, and not wrong your consciences ; but don't 
you wrong your consciences." 

23. Adams then asked, " Are you willing to take up arms 
against Britain ?" Father William replied, " I never killed a 
creature with a gun in my life." " But," asked Adams, " Are 
you friends to America?" "Yea," replied Elder James 
Whittaker, "We are friends to all the souls of men." "But 
supposing," said Adams, " one of your people should go 
into the war, and should live to return home again, would 
he not have to confess it as a sin ?" " Yea, surely," replied 
Elder James, " if he, himself, believes it to be sin," " but, 
we do not bind men's consciences." Adams then turned to 
Aaron Jewett, who was present, and asked him, " When you 
confessed your sins, did you not confess your going into the 

Mother Ann Lee. 87 

army, as a sin ?" To which Aaron replied, " I was so far 
from confessing it as a sin, that I never once thought of it." 
Many other inquiries were made on this subject, which were 
all promptly and judiciously answered by Elder James and 

24. The principal object of their inquiries seemed to be, 
to find out the opinion of the Elders concerning the war, in 
order to satisfy themselves concerning the general rumor, 
that the people were enemies to the country. But, Elder 
James answered them plainly and pointedly, concerning that 
matter ; that they had nothing to do with the war, one way, 
nor the other. "But," said he, "We will fight your enemy, 
and the enemy of all mankind, that is, the devil." 

25. After a good deal of conversation on these, and other 
subjects, Elder James began to sing, and there being many 
of the Brethren present, they all united, and sang with him, 
for some time. After this Elder James invited these minis- 
ters to stay and dine; but they declined, and took their leave. 
Having returned to the mob, who were still waiting, they ad- 
vised them to relinquish their design, and let the people 
alone. One of the ministers, by the name of Parker, inquired 
of Adams, what he thought of the Shakers ? Adams replied, 
"I think the people better let them alone; that Whittaker 
is a sharp man." 

26. This advice occasioned considerable confusion among 
the mob; some were still very urgent to proceed; but, on 
some of the town officers inquiring for paper and ink, it was 
rumored, among the mob, that they were going to take down 
their names. This gave them a start, and they immediately 
began to disperse. Several scattering parties came to the 
Square House, but offered no abuse. Thus were the evil 
designs of the wicked again frustrated. 

88 Testimonies of 



i. The wicked having hitherto failed in their attempts to 
expel the witnesses of the truth from Harvard, or to stop the 
progress of the testimony, and " still breathing out threaten- 
ings and slaughter," were determined to renew their attempts, 
and, by a powerful mob, to drive them out of the town. 
With this view, it seemed they were determined to exert all 
their influence to strengthen their party, and to seize upon 
the most favorable opportunity for putting their designs into 

2. The Believers, having harvested their grain, began to 
collect, from New Lebanon, Hancock, and other distant 
places where the gospel had been planted, to visit the Church 
at Harvard. Large numbers having already collected, great 
power, and operations of the Holy Ghost, and great zeal, on 
the part of the Believers, all conspired to increase the rage 
and enmity of the wicked, and to hasten the execution of their 
cruel designs. 

3. It appears, that, in this last attempt, they had designed 
to keep the time and plan of their intended proceedings en- 
tirely secret from the Believers. But Mother Ann saw, in 
vision, a mob coming, and seeking her life; and being warned 
of God to withdraw herself, because the wicked were plot- 
ting measures of violence, she and the Elders prepared to 
leave the place for a season. But before they departed, the 
Brethren and Sisters assembled together, to take their leave 
of them, and to renew the bonds of filial love, to their blessed 
Parents in the gospel. 

4. Being assembled together, they all knelt down and 
wept, bitterly, and prayed for the safe protection of their 

Mother Ann Lee. 89 

blessed Mother and Elders. She said to them, "Brethren 
and Sisters, be comforted, my spirit shall be with you." 
Many other good words were spoken to them by Mother and 
the Elders, for their strength and consolation. 

5. After the Elders had mounted their horses to go, there 
came some Believers from a distance; Mother and the Elders 
stopped awhile with them, and the two Elders — (Father 
William Lee, and Father James Whittaker) alighted from 
their horses, kneeled upon the ground, and cried to God in 
a very powerful and affecting manner. Then, mounting 
their horses again, they set off, on Friday, the 16th of Au- 
gust, 17S2, leaving Elder Hocknell to take care of the peo- 
ple, and went to Abel Jewett's in Littleton. The next day 
they proceeded to Nathan Kendal's in Woburn, and thus 
escaped the cruel rage of their persecutors. 

6. After the departure of Mother Ann and the Elders, the 
Believers attended to their duties with great joy. The Sab- 
bath following, the Believers in general, from Harvard, and 
the neighboring towns, assembled at the Square House, to 
hold their public worship. These, together with the distant 
Believers, formed a large assembly, who all went forth with 
great zeal, and worshipped God with singing, dancing, leap- 
ing, shouting, clapping of hands, and such other exercises as 
they were led into by the spirit. 

7. The power of God manifested in this meeting, in visible 
operations, was so mighty that it shook, not the Believers 
only, but the spectators who attended meeting with them, 
so that when the Believers kneeled, they kneeled also. But, 
the sound of this meeting, though joyful to the Believers, 
was terrible to the wicked ; for the sound thereof was heaid 
at the distance of several miles. 

8. The wicked had been so embittered against the testi- 
mony, that they were hardly able to keep themselves within 
bounds, and only waited for a suitable occasion, to vent their 


90 Testimonies of 

malignant rage. This meeting furnished the occasion, and 
roused their persecuting spirits to the highest pitch of 
enmity ; so that while the Believers were yet engaged in de- 
voting their time and strength to the service of God, their 
enemies were busily employed in collecting their forces, to 
make war with the woman and her righteous seed. 

9. The Believers having spent the day, and the evening, 
to a very late hour, in various exercises of the spirit, the 
meeting was dismissed. Those who belonged in the neighbor- 
hood, returned to their homes, and a number of the distant 
Believers went with them, for the convenience of lodging. 
Early on the morning of the 19th of August, 1782, while it 
was yet dark, the mob began to assemble around the Square 
House; their noise alarmed the people within, some of whom 
supposed them to be a company of Indians. An aged Brother 
soon opened the door, and some of them came in, and, in a 
very rough manner, manifested their determination. Two of 
them went up stairs in search of Mother and the Elders, and 
were vexed at not finding them. Lucy Wright, who had 
slept in another chamber, went and spoke to them, and 
endeavored to calm their ferocious spirits; but they refused 
to hear her, and threatened to pitch her, headlong, down 
stairs. Mother Lucy understanding their object, and con- 
sidering her horse was at Shirley, and being unable to take 
her journey on foot, she went down with Mary Partington, 
and each took a milk pail, as though they were going to 
milking, passed through the mob, and went to the barn, 
where they left their pails, and passed through the barn, took 
their flight across the fields, to Solomon Cooper's, and so 
escaped the mob. 

10. Messengers were immediately dispatched to acquaint 
the neighboring Believers, who soon repaired to the scene of 
action. When they arrived, they found a large company of 
men in front of the house, armed with whips, cudgels, &c, 

Mother Ann Lee. 91 

and their numbers rapidly increasing. As the Brethren and 
Sisters collected, they went into the house. When they had 
chiefly assembled, it was judged there were about four hun- 
dred of the mob. All was yet silent between the parties. 

11. Elder Hocknell now gave orders for all the Believers 
to assemble in one large room, fronting the mob. When as- 
sembled, the room was full, from end to end, excepting a 
narrow alley between the Brethren and Sisters. He then de- 
sired them all to kneel down, and pray to God for His pro- 
tection, in such a trying time as this. Accordingly, they all 
fell upon their knees, and cried earnestly to God. 

12. The mob no sooner discovered that the Believers were 
on their knees, than they rushed upon the doors which were 
shut and barred, burst them open, and began to seize upon 
the Brethren and Sisters as they stood upon their knees. 
Richard Treat, being next to the door, was the first who fell 
into their hands. They seized him by the collar with such 
rage and fury that they nearly severed it from his shirt. 
Thus they seized one after another, some by their collars, 
some by their throats, and some by the hair of their heads, 
and wherever they clinched, they kept hold, until they 
dragged the person out of the room, through an entry, and 
out at the outer door, on to the doorsteps, then they were 
delivered up to the party without. 

13. In this manner the Brethren and Sisters were seized, 
indiscriminately, without any resistance and dragged out, 
with as little humanity as ravenous wolves would drag out 
harmless sheep from the fold. None but devils incarnate 
could be so far divested of the feelings of common humanity, 
as to engage in such a horrid transaction. 

13. In the mean time Elder Hocknell passed out, undis- 
covered, through the midst of the mob, and leaped over the 
fence into the garden, where he kneeled down, under some 
peach trees, and cried to God to know what he should do. 

(j 2 Testimonies of 

Suddenly the power of God fell upon him, and stretched out 
his hand toward the east. He immediately followed its di- 
rection, which led him to Mother Ann and he informed her 
of these things. 

14. The Believers being all embodied, and surrounded by 
the mob, orders were given that all who lived in the vicinity 
should return immediately home; and that the distant Be- 
lievers should leave the town, and never be seen there again; 
and one hour was allowed them to prepare, and eat their 
breakfast, and make ready for their journey. If any of the 
Believers attempted to address the mob, with a view to cool 
their rage, they were immediately answered by a stroke over 
the head, with a whip, or cudgel. 

15. During the hour of preparation to which they were 
limited, all were busily employed. The time indeed was 
short, considering there were more than one hundred peo- 
ple, and many of them more than an hundred miles from 
home. They, however, made what expedition they could, 
and prepared according to their restricted circumstances. 
At the expiration of the hour, they were ordered to march. 
The Sisters were permitted to ride, but the Brethren were 
forbidden, though many of them had horses with them. 
About one-half of the mob formed the advance guard; the 
Believers, in a body, were placed next, and the remainder of 
the mob brought up the rear. The Brethren who belonged 
in and about Harvard were determined to follow their dis- 
tant Brethren and Sisters, notwithstanding the orders of the 
mob to the contrary. 

16. The leaders of the mob were Phineas Famsworth, 
Captain of militia, Jonathan Pollard, Lieutenant, Isaiah Whit- 
ney, Jonathan Houghton, Asa Houghton and others. The 
mob, being nearly all on horseback, compelled the Believers 
to advance with speed. If any who were aged and infirm 
did not travel so fast as their drivers thought proper, their 

Mother Ann Lee. 93 

pace was soon quickened by a severe stroke of a whip, or 
cudgel. If any one attempted to admonish them for their 
cruelty, the lash, or cudgel over his head, face and eyes soon 
convinced him of the danger of admonishing an unprincipled 
mob, whose loving kindness is bitter, and whose tender mer- 
cies are cruel. Numbers of the Brethren found, by sad ex- 
perience, in the course of that day, that it was in vain to 
attempt to moderate the fierceness of their cruelty, or soothe 
their savage hearts. 

17. Soon after the procession began, one of the Brethren — 
Dyer Fitch, for praying to God, was cruelly beaten over his 
head and face, by Isaiah Whitney, who commanded him to 
hold his tongue. Dyer replied, " I will not, I will cry to 
God, if you kill me." Whitney continued beating and re- 
peating his command, and Dyer continued to make the 
same reply, for some time. Thus they proceeded. As they 
were crossing Jeremiah Willard's pasture, Abijah Wooster, 
and another Brother came up, and Abijah, seeing James 
Shepherd, immediately clasped him in his arms, at which 
Asa Houghton rode up and struck Abijah over his head, 
with a good staff. Abijah was then put under a guard, who 
was ordered to keep him safe and take him along with the 

18. They drove on about three miles till they came to a 
level open plain near Still River, where they were ordered 
to halt. " Now," said the leaders of the mob, " we will 
have a little diversion," and orders were given for James 
Shepherd to be soundly whipped. James was the only per- 
son whom they had taken of those who came from England, 
and against whom their enmity was the most pointedly 
leveled ; and, as they had been disappointed of taking 
Mother Ann and the Elders, they resolved to wreak their 
vengeance on his back, and whip him for all the rest. They 
accordingly formed a ring, and sent one of the mob into the 

94 Testimonies of 

bushes to cut sticks for the purpose. He soon returned 
with his arms full, and distributed them among the company 
appointed to whip him, and each one was appointed to give 
him a certain number of strokes. James was then ordered 
to strip, and, accordingly, pulled off his coat and jacket, and 
kneeling down he said, " Be of good cheer, Brethren ; for 
it is your Heavenly Father's good pleasure to give you the 

19. On hearing these words, one of the ruffians — Isaiah 
Whitney, without waiting for orders, gave him a number of 
severe strokes with his horse-whip. Just at this instant 
Eleazer Rand and Jonathan Slosson arrived ; and Eleazer, 
seeing these strokes, suddenly leaped on to James' back. 
This increased the rage of the mob to such a degree that 
they beat on with their clubs, canes and whips, and then laid 
hold of him to pull him off; but he held so fast that they 
drew him and James some distance before they broke his 
hold ; others of the Brethren followed Eleazer's example, to 
cover James and each other from the blows, till they were 
all in a huddle. 

20. Eleazer often repeating the words "O Lord" was 
seized by the collar, by one Priest, from Bolton, who shook 
him severely, and commanded him to hold his tongue. 
Eleazer replied, "I wont hold my tongue, I will pray." 
Upon this, Priest shook him, and drove his fist against his 
neck, till he drove him several rods, repeating the same com- 
mand, and receiving the same answer. He then hurled him 
against a stone wall and returned to the mob. Jonathan 
Houghton asked, did you stop the little dog from praying? 

' No," replied Priest, "nor I could not unless I had killed 

21. William Morey, of Norton, at that time a zealous Be- 
liever, testified, with great boldness, against such acts of 
cruelty, and sharply reproved Farnsworth, the Captain of 

Mother Ann Lee. 95 

the mob, for their abusive conduct; declaring that the judg- 
ments of God would follow them for these things. Farns- 
worth, enraged at this report, came at him, and, with his 
clenched fist, struck him on the side of the face with such 
violence, that he knocked out several of his teeth, and 
wounded him in his cheek and jaw, in such a manner that 
he bled excessively. But William still continued to bear 
testimony against their wickedness; though, in consequence 
of his severe wound, he was not able to speak plainly. 

22. The malicious Farnsworth now gave orders to march, 
and the Believers were again arranged according to the or- 
ders of the mob, and driven on with greater vehemence than 
before, being continually abused by their merciless drivers, 
all the way till they came to the division line which separates 
Harvard from Bolton, and which is about six miles from the 
Square House. Some of the Harvard Brethren who had been 
kept back, by the mob, made a little halt in the road, before 
the house of Zaccheus Stevens, which was near the line. A 
number of Sisters being at Zaccheus' in much tribulation, 
one of them — Hannah Prescot, came to the door weeping, 
and said, "Brethren, don't go back." The Brethren replied 
they were determined to go with their distant Brethren as 
far as the mob went. "Do," said Hannah, " I would die 
with them, rather than leave them with that wicked mob." 
They accordingly followed on till they came to the division 

23. Here the mob placed a strong guard to prevent the 
Brethren of Harvard from going any further, and sternly 
forbade their passing the line. But, the Brethren being de- 
termined still to go on, cried out, " Are you highway rob- 
bers ? We have as good a right to the highway as you have, 
and we will not trust our distant Brethren with you, we will 
go as far with them as you do." " If you attempt it," said 
the Captain, "we will spill your blood in the sand." Notwith- 

96 Testimonies of 

standing these threats, the Brethren proceeded; but were in- 
humanly beaten with clubs, by the Captain and his guard. 
Eleazer Rand had the bone of his arm split, and a number 
of the Brethren received very severe bruises. The club, at 
length, flew backwards, out of the Captain's hands; and the 
guard, apparently terrified, fled before the Brethren, with the 
utmost precipitation; so that the Brethren went on and 
joined the rest of the Believers. 

24. From the place where the mob halted to whip James 
Shepherd, to Lancaster, a distance of seven miles, was one 
continued scene of cruelty and abuse ; whipping, with horse- 
whips, pounding, beating, and bruising with clubs, collaring, 
pushing off from bridges, into the water and mud, scaring 
the Sisters' horses, with a view to frighten the riders, and 
every kind of abuse they could invent without taking lives; 
indeed it seemed almost miraculous that none lost their lives 
from such cruel and inhuman abuses. 

25. One of the Brethren in the rear — Jonathan Bridges, 
for not going as fast as they chose, was cruelly whipped, al- 
most every step, nearly the distance of a quarter of a mile. 
The Brethren, at length, became weary, and out of breath. 
Some of the aged and infirm ventured to mount their horses 
for relief; but, they were not brought before a judge, or jury, 
to be tried for such offenses as these; some one of this persecut- 
ing rabble would immediately ride up to them, and, with the 
butt of a whip-stalk, or large cudgel, soon hurry them down 
from their horses. William Morey, after being so severely 
wounded, mounted his horse to ride, but was soon pulled off ; 
he again renewed the attempt, a number of times; but was 
pulled, or beaten off every time. One aged man mounted 
his horse, and rode some distance, before the mob could at- 
tend to him. This enraged them so that they could not be 
satisfied to punish him with the weapons they had in posses- 
sion; therefore, one of them took a rail from the fence, and 

Mother Ann Lee. 97 

beat him off his horse, by which means the old man narrowly 
escaped being killed. 

26. When they arrived at Lancaster, the leaders of the 
mob, after consulting together, dismissed the distant Believers, 
with this injunction, namely, " that they should never be seen 
again in Harvard; and if any of them should be seen there 
again, any of the party, then present, should have full power 
to tie them up, and whip them without judge or jury." 
"But," added they, "we have a further work to do with the 
Harvard Shakers." 

27. After this dismission, the Brethren and Sisters, feeling 
the need of some refreshment, gathered under a large shady 
elm to eat some bread and cheese, which some of the 
Brethren from Harvard had provided for them. Here they 
all kneeled down and gave thanks to God that they were 
accounted worthy to suffer persecution for the testimony of 
the gospel. This so provoked the mob that they again 
rushed in among them, some on horseback and some on 
foot, and again began the horrid scene of beating. Here 
they vented their malignity without regard to age or sex; 
lashing and beating both Brethren and Sisters, over their 
heads and faces, seemingly with as little feeling as though 
they had been a herd of swine in some mischief. Some 
were beaten and bruised; others were pushed over, as they 
stood on their knees. One of the Sisters had her head 
pulled back in such a manner, that she was nearly strangled, 
her face turned black, and it was with much difficulty that 
she recovered her breath again. When the mob had suffi- 
ciently exercised their cruelty in this manner, they left them. 

28. After taking an affectionate leave of their Harvard 
Brethren, the company of distant Believers went on their 
journey. They had not advanced more than twenty rods,, 
when they were met by a large, rough-looking man who had 
placed himself in the road with a long horse-whip, to give 


9$ Testimonies of 

them the last stroke. With this, he lashed, severely, every 
one that he could get at till they were out of his reach. 
Richard Treat, who relates this circumstance, says these 
strokes felt more painful to his back, than any he received 
in the course of the day. 

29. Passing this man, they proceeded on their journey, and 
the Brethren who belonged in and about Harvard, returned, 
with the mob, and some of them were much abused on their 
way back. Jonathan Houghton — one of the leaders of the 
mob, and a violent persecutor, with the butt of a large loaded 
whip-stalk, having the lash wound round his hand, beat sev- 
eral of the Brethren with all his strength, particularly Jona- 
than Clark, an aged Brother from Harvard. After the mob 
entered Harvard, on their return, still having Abijah YVooster 
under guard, they stopped at Captain Pollard's near Zaccheus 
Stevens', and formed a ring. Then charging Abijah with 
going about and breaking up churches, and families, they 
declared he should be whipped; and, by the vote of the mob, 
appointed Jonathan Houghton and Elijah Priest to be the 

30. The next object was, to decide upon the number of 
stripes to be given; and, after several nominations, it was 
settled, by vote, that twenty should be the number. Then, 
stripping him, and tying him to a tree, Jonathan Houghton 
laid on his number first. At this time, James Haskell — a 
respectable man of the world, rode up, and seeing what was 
going on, dismounted his horse, and stripping off his coat, 
cried out, " Here, here, if there are any more stripes to be 
given let me take the rest." On hearing these words from 
Haskell, the mob seemed struck with fear, and immediately 
released Abijah, and let him go. Having put on his gar- 
ments, he began to sing, and went on singing, all the way to 
Zaccheus Stevens'. But, some who made no profession of 
faith, were, nevertheless, so affected with Abijah's sufferings, 

Mother Ann Lee. 99 

that they went home weeping. The mob having spent the 
day, and with it their strength, in doing evil, now returned 
to town. 

31. But, some of the town's people who had not been 
engaged in this persecuting business, were much displeased 
with these proceedings. Solomon Sanderson, speaking to 
Jonathan Pollard against their conduct, Pollard undertook 
to justify it, but, in the dispute he got angry, and struck 
Sanderson with his horse-whip; Sanderson, who was on foot, 
instantly seized hold of Pollard and brought him from his 
horse flat upon the ground, and would have given him a 
severe bruising, had not the rest of the company interfered. 

32. It is worthy of remark, that not only in Harvard, but 
through the whole course of ten miles, through which the 
Believers were driven, there were many people who were 
greatly dissatisfied with the abusive conduct of the mob. 
Many on the road remonstrated against their cruelty ; but 
were generally answered with curses and threats from the 
mob, to serve them in the same manner. 

^^. It ought also to be remarked, that the conduct and 
testimony of the Believers, while on the road, had a tendency 
to exasperate the devil, and excite his emissaries to greater 
acts of cruelty than they probably would have committed, 
had the Believers remained silent. But most of the Believers 
were very young in the faith ; many of them had believed 
but a few months, and were full of zeal and power, and being 
divested of all fear of man, they would sing, and praise God 
on the road, that they were counted worthy to suffer per- 
secution for the gospel's sake. 

34. And again, when the mob attempted to whip and beat 
one, others would cry out, " Don't whip him, if you must 
whip anybody, whip me," and immediately throw themselves 
in the way to take the blows. Such genuine marks of 
Christianity were too much for the seed of Cain to endure. 

ioo Testimonies of 

Others again would reprove, and admonish them for their 
cruelty, telling them that the judgments of God would cer- 
tainly follow them for these things. This was only answered 
by a repetition of profane curses, and greater abuse. 

35. But these predictions were evidently fulfilled ; the 
judgments of God did follow those persecutors in a remark- 
able manner. Many of them, who were men of respectable 
standing in the town of Harvard, and in affluent circum- 
stances, fell under judgments, run out their estates, and came 
to poverty and beggary ; and a blast among those persecutors 
was so general, and so manifest, that men of candor and 
observation said, " Those Shaker drivers are all coming to 


Abijah Wooster, 

Richard Treat, 

Isaac Crouch, and others. 



Mother Ann and the Elders, who were at Woburn, during 
the transactions of the mob at Harvard, soon after went 
from thence to William Morey's in Norton, where they 
stayed about a week, and then went to Morrell Baker's in 
Rehoboth, tarried eight or ten days, and spent one Sabbath ; 
after which they returned again to Norton. As there were a 
few scattering families in these two places, Mother and the 
Elders tarried about three weeks, visiting and strengthening 
the Believers, and bearing testimony to the world. 

Mother Ann Lee. ioi 

2. From Norton they went to Stonington in Connecticut, 
where they tarried between three and four weeks, at Joshua 
Birch's ; but occasionally visited the family of Joseph Cole, 
and other families of Believers in that neighborhood, as there 
were several that professed faith. They also held several 
public meetings, in which the testimony of the gospel was 
opened, showing that the present manifestation of God re- 
quired souls to confess and forsake all sin ; to deny the 
carnal gratifications of the flesh ; to take up a full cross, and 
follow Christ in the regeneration, as the only way of accept- 
ance with God. 

3. But, this doctrine of the cross was very displeasing to 
carnal men, and false professors, who wished to be Christians 
without the cross. The Baptists were the most predominant 
sect in this place, and the most opposed to the testimony of 
the gospel. Bound down by their old traditions, they could 
not endure to have their false foundation uncovered, nor see 
the guilt of their sins exposed before the burning and shining 
light of the gospel Mother Ann preached ; they, therefore, 
maliciously stirred up persecution against these witnesses of 
the truth. 

4. One Simeon Brown — son of an Elder of the Baptist 
society in this place, was very active in aiding persecution, 
and doing mischief to the Believers; while the old man 
showed himself well pleased with his son's conduct. Several 
times, while Mother Ann and the Elders tarried in this place, 
they were beset by unlawful assemblies of the wicked, who 
threatened and reviled them, and personally beat and abused 
some of the Believers. A little before they departed, they 
were ordered, by one Henry Minor, — a bitter opposer, to 
leave the place within twenty-four hours, threatening them, 
in the name of the people, that a refusal should be attended 
with severe consequences. As they had already labored 
with the people till they had felt their gift out, and the in- 

102 Testimonies of 

habitants of the town, generally, seemed determined to reject 
the counsel of God against themselves, Mother Ann soon 
felt a gift to depart. 

5. They left Stonington on Friday, near the latter part of 
October, 1782, and tarried that night at Elias Brown's, in 
Preston, where they were civilly used. Mother Ann had, 
before, been informed by one of the Believers, that a certain 
man by the name of Abbey, in Windham, desired to have 
her and the Elders come to his house; said his house should 
be open to them and they should be welcome. She now 
felt a gift to go there, and leaving Preston on Saturday, she 
proceeded directly to Windham, tarried at Abbey's over the 
Sabbath, and was kindly treated. 

6. On the Sabbath, they held public meeting ; many of the 
world attended; the gospel was preached, by the Elders, 
with great plainness; the necessity of confessing and forsak- 
ing all sin was clearly opened; and the impossibility of fol- 
lowing Christ, without a full and final cross against the flesh, 
was declared with such plainness, that the assembly was 
greatly struck, and every tongue was silent.* A few were 
convicted and opened their minds. 

7. On Monday, Mother Ann felt a gift to dismiss most of 
the Believers who had followed her to this place from vari- 
ous parts, and they returned to their homes. She, with the 
Elders, and some of the laborers, then proceeded to Ezekiel 
Slate's, in Stafford, who, with his family, had embraced the 
testimony; here she tarried a few days, and made labors with 
the family, and with those who resorted there to see her ; 
but found no appearance of any increase of the gospel in 
this place. 

8. While Mother Ann and the Elders were in the town of 
Stafford, the wicked in the town of Somers, got information 
of it, and formed a combination to take them by force, while 

* There were some in this place who held the doctrine of a community of wives. 

Mother Ann Lee. 103 

passing through that town to David Meacham's, in Enfield. 
Brother David, being informed of their designs, went and 
notified Mother Ann and the Elders.' Mother, however, 
determined on passing through the town, and taking Mary 
Partington into the carriage with her, she set off, accom- 
panied only by Brothers David and Calvin Harlow, on horse- 
back; Calvin in advance, and David in the rear, each riding 
at a considerable distance from the carriage. 

9. Coming to the town of Somers, they drove very sud- 
denly through it, which caused great confusion among those 
who had conspired to apprehend them. The conspirators, 
however, hastily collected a band, consisting of between 
twenty and thirty men, pursued, on horseback, and arrived 
at Brother David's soon after Mother. Charles Kibbee, 
Captain of militia of Somers, was the leader of this band. 
On their arrival, they immediately broke into the house, and 
a spirit of savage violence marked all their actions after 
they entered. 

10. They first demanded Mother Ann, who was then in a 
back room; but, as the family, in order to keep them back, 
gathered around the stairs, in the entry, they supposed her 
to be up stairs, and endeavored to force their way up by 
violence, beating the Brethren and Sisters, and dragging 
them out of the house; some of the Sisters were dragged out 
in a manner too shameful to mention, and too abusive for 
even savages to be guilty of. 

n. In the midst of the hubbub, Mother came out of her 
room, passed through the crowd, and went up stairs, unper- 
ceived by the mob. The Captain of the mob finally forced 
his way through, and went up to the head of the stairs, but 
feared to venture further. At this instant the Brethren and 
Sisters, in one united voice, raised their cries to God for 
help; at which the ruffians were struck with terror, and im- 
mediately left the house. But Mary Partington was dragged 

104 Testimonies of 

out by them, and put upon a horse before one of them, who 
attempted to carry her off. Brother David, in attempting 
to rescue her from their merciless hands, was knocked down 
and wounded. 

12. At this instant — John Booth, the Constable of the 
town, came up and commanded the peace, and threatened 
the mob with the severity of the law for their riotous con- 
duct. But they rose against him, and swore that they would 
burn the house down before morning. This so offended the 
Constable, that he came the next morning, with two magis- 
trates, who requested information of their violence, which 
was, accordingly, given them in writing, together with the 
names of the rioters. 

13. They were summoned before the County Court in 
Hartford, and required to settle the matter with David 
Meacham, or stand their trial, and suffer the penalty of the 
law. David replied that he did not want their money; but, 
if they would make a public confession of their conduct, in 
their own church, according to the requirement of their own 
religion, he would be satisfied. Although the leading part 
of the rioters were professors of religion, these terms were 
too humiliating to their pride. They therefore stood their 
trial, and were fined, by the Court, in a penal sum, propor- 
tioned, as the Judges supposed, to the enormity of the crime 
in such cases. This put a final stop to all mobs and riots 
against the Believers in the state of Connecticut.* 

14. The Elders, and others who followed Mother Ann 
from Stafford, arrived at Brother David's just as the mob 

* It is worthy of remark that the leaders of these mobs, who, at several different 
limes, mse against the Believers in Enfield, although they were men of affluence, 
and in honorable standing, in their own order; yet they all soon lost their reputation 
as citizens. In the town of Enfield there were three of them, who were men of 
note, who soon lost their character, and left the town, as men under the judgments 
of God. In the town of Somers, there were two leaders of this last mob, who evi- 
dentlv appeared to die under judgment. One of them, by the name of Hambleton. 
came, before his death, and confessed his wrong, and asked forgiveness. 

David Meacham. 

Mother Ann Lee. 105 

dispersed. They tarried a few days, strengthened and en- 
couraged the Believers, and then all proceeded, together, on 
their journey westward, crossed the Connecticut River, and 
went to Joseph Bennett's, in New Providence, (now, Chesh- 
ire,) where they tarried about four days. As they were 
here on the Sabbath, many of the world attended their meet- 
ing. Calvin Harlow had a very clear and striking gift, to 
open the gospel to them; some of them were very much 
broken down, and wept, and the assembly, generally, behaved 
with civility. 

15. After meeting, an old Baptist Deacon, who had been 
much opposed to the testimony, called in, as he was return- 
ing from his own meeting, to see and converse with Mother 
Ann. He seemed, at first, well pleased with her conversa- 
tion, and said, "Your children don't talk as you do." 
"Why don't they talk so ? " Mother replied, " You must not 
expect children to be parents." But, Mother soon after 
felt a gift to search out the old deacon, and bring some of 
his hidden works of darkness to the light, which so offended 
him that he soon made his escape. 

16. One evening, afterward, two men came to dispute with 
Mother, one of whom was called Colonel Smith. They went 
into the room where Mother Ann and the Elders were, with 
a number of the Believers, but did not know Mother. Smith 
asked, " Is there not a woman here that is the head of the 
Church ? " " Nay, Christ is the head of the Church," replied 
Mother. Elder William Lee said, " We do not allow man 
nor woman to be the head of the Church, for Christ is the 
head of the Church." "But," said Smith, " there is a woman 
here that teaches, is there not?" 'We must not suffer a 
woman to teach." Father William Lee replied, "We do 
not suffer man nor woman to teach except they have the 
spirit of Christ in them, and Christ teaches through them, 
and then either man or woman may teach." This answer so 


106 Testimonies of 

confounded the Colonel that he had no more to say, but soon 
went away. 

17. The same evening, as one of the Sisters, who lived a 
few miles distant, was returning home, she gained intelligence 
that the wicked were preparing to raise a mob to drive 
Mother Ann and the Elders out of the place. On hearing 
this she immediately turned back, and informed Mother. As 
this was a providential discovery, Mother soon felt a gift to 
depart ; and no personal violence was committed while they 
stayed in this place. From Cheshire, they went to Asa Bacon's 
in Ashfield, where Mother and the Elders took up their resi- 
dence and continued their labors till the following spring. 




Mother Ann and the Elders arrived at Ashfield, Massachu- 
setts, about the 1st of November, 1782. As this was a cen- 
tral place, and convenient for the resort of the Believers 
from different quarters, and less liable to be disturbed by 
mobs and riots, Mother felt a gift to take up her residence 
here during the approaching winter; and to give a general 
liberty for the Believers to come and see her. Accordingly, 
great numbers resorted here during the winter, from all 
parts where the gospel had been planted. More than sixty 
sleighs, and six hundred people, were there at one time.* 

2. During this season the power of God was manifested in 
a marvelous manner; extraordinary operations of the power 

* They were counted by John Farrington, by Mother's order. 

Mother Ann Lee. 107 

and gifts of God, and violent wars of the spirit against the 
flesh were ministered, through Mother, to the people. The 
voice of Mother and the Elders, against the filthy, fallen 
nature of the flesh, was like the roaring of thunder. Every 
heart was searched, and every rein tried, which caused great 
purging and purifying among the people. 

3. Here, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon 
and his angels ; and so mighty was the noise of the battle 
that many, coming from abroad, were often seized with fear 
and trembling at a great distance ; * for the sound thereof 
was like the roaring of many waters, driven by mighty winds; 
and so great and powerful were the operations that it seemed 
as though Heaven and Hell had each engaged their forces 
to contend for mastery. 

4. These mighty operations were attended with wonder- 
ful effects; the combustible materials of a fallen nature, the 
lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, 
were burnt as in a furnace; for nothing could feel more like 
a furnace than the scorching flames of truth against sin, 
which issued from the mouths of Mother Ann and the 
Elders, and which flamed around among the assembly 
scorching, burning, and consuming, every thing which was 
not of God. 

5. The blessed effects of this purifying fire were soon 
seen and felt. When the poisonous influence of the nature 
of evil was purged away, the good fruit had room to grow. 
By these things did Mother's children learn meekness, and 
humility; peace and harmony now flowed in among them, 
and love, pure heavenly love, and gospel union, unmixed 
with lust and fleshly affection now gained the pre-eminence 
and was greatly cherished by every faithful Believer. 

6. Spiritual light now began to shine more effectually 
upon them; wisdom and understanding now began, in a 

* The sound was said to have been heard at a distance of seven miles. 

108 Testimonies of 

more extraordinary manner, to guide and influence them in 
all their actions. As the rubbish of the Old Heavens and 
earth was purged out, and burnt up, they began to see and 
understand more clearly, that which belonged to the new; 
and in all these things they saw that it was, indeed, a great 
thing to learn the way of God, and that they had, as it were, 
but just begun to understand it. In short, these things pro- 
duced a remarkable increase of the gospel among the 

7. As no previous preparation had been made for the en- 
tertainment of the Believers in Ashfield, consequently there 
were no stores of provisions laid up for the multitude; and, 
though the quantity on hand was sometimes very small, and 
great numbers of people were continually coming and going; 
yet, being constantly attended with the blessing of God, they 
found no lack; but always had enough. 

8. Sometimes Mother ordered the people to sit down 
upon the floor, or on the ground, and a small quantity of 
bread and cheese, or some other kind of provision, was served 
round to the multitude, much in the same manner as Christ 
fed the multitude, with a few loaves and fishes; and the 
power and blessing of God evidently attended them, so that 
a small portion sufficed for a large number, and all were 

9. One particular instance of this kind which took place 
in the winter, is well recollected, by many. There being a 
very large collection of people from various parts, and 
scarcely any thing to eat, Mother called on the family to 
give the people something to eat. They answered, " There 
is no victuals to give so many people." Mother again said, 
"Give them to eat." The people were then ordered to sit 
down, and a very small quantity of bread and cheese, cut 
into small pieces, was served around to the multitude, of 
which they all partook, and had a plenty. After they had 

Mother Ann Lee. 109 

eaten, Mother said, " It is by the miracles of God that you 
have been fed, as when Christ fed the multitude, O! ye of 
little faith." 

10. The opposition to the work of God in Ashfield was 
never so great, as it had been in most other places; yet the 
Believers were sometimes disturbed by " lewd fellows, of the 
baser sort," who gathered there for carnal and mischievous 
services. The greatest disturbance that Mother Ann and 
the Elders met with while they continued in Ashfield, was 
excited by Daniel Bacon, brother to Asa, and Moses Bacon. 

11. Daniel and his wife had both received faith and em- 
braced the testimony; but he afterward fell away, and be- 
came very bitter, and moved off into Shelburne; but his 
wife still desired to obey her faith. Sometime in March, 
Daniel came to the Church in a sleigh, and brought his wife 
and young child, and without going into the house, he put 
them out of the sleigh, in a very rough and churlish manner, 
into the mud before the house, and immediately drove off 
and left them. When Mother was informed of this circum- 
stance, she said, "This is a snare; he has done this to get 
occasion; she is his wife, and I will not keep her here so." 
She therefore sent one of the Brethren to carry the woman 
back. Daniel failing of his purpose to get occasion in this 
manner, now openly came forth, and showed plainly what he 
was after; and, by spreading slanderous reports, he gave the 
enemies of the cross a pretext to persecute. 

12. Though the inhabitants of the town of Ashfield were, 
generally speaking, very friendly ; yet, in the neighboring 
towns there were many calumniators and busybodies, who 
were industrious in circulating slanderous reports, and seized 
every occasion to scandalize Mother Ann's character, and 
bring reproach upon her testimony. This furnished the 
wicked with a pretext to come, in a riotous manner, to in- 
quire into the truth of these reports. 

no Testimonies of 

13. A few days after Daniel's wife was sent home, a mob 
of about fifty or sixty men was collected in Shelburne, and 
its vicinity by Daniel's instigation. The inhabitants of the 
town of Ashfield being informed of it, were desirous to pre- 
vent any riotous proceedings; with this view they appointed 
a committee to confer with the mob, and inquire into the 
cause of their coming; and to take suitable measures to pre- 
vent them from using any violence in the town. The com- 
mittee, consisting of Thomas Stocking — Captain of militia, 
and two other respectable men, came to Asa Bacon's and 
desired to see Mother Ann. She went to the door to see 
them, and said, " I am a poor, weak woman, and I have suf- 
fered so much by mobs, that it seems to me as though I could 
not endure any more." Stocking replied, "You need not be 
afraid Maam, we have not come to hurt you, but to defend 
you." He then informed her that there was a mob coming 
from Shelburne, to disturb her and her people; that they were 
not willing to have any mobs in Ashfield ; that if she and the 
Elders would go to Philip Philip's in the center of the town, 
they should be protected. Mother paused a little, and con- 
sidering herself under the protection of God, she did not 
choose to put herself under the protection of man, and de- 
clined their offer; but, at the same time, invited them in 
to dinner, and treated them kindly. 

14. After dinner, the committee went up to Smith's tavern, 
about a half a mile distant, and met the mob. Here they 
held a conference with their leaders, and found that their 
pretended object was to search into the truth of some pre- 
vailing rumors respecting Mother Ann's character, and the 
character and conduct of the people with her. They had 
heard many base and infamous reports, and concluded that 
Mother's pretensions were an imposition upon the people, 
and strongly suspected her to be a British emissary, dressed 
in woman's habit, for seditious purposes. Though the com- 

Mother Ann Lee. hi 

mittee bore testimony to the peaceable deportment and 
harmless conduct of the people, still the mob could not be 
satisfied without a full examination of the people themselves, 
and particularly of the woman. Accordingly the committee 
agreed, that if the mob would proceed no further, Mother 
should go to Smith's, and answer for herself, upon condition 
that she should not be abused. 

15. This appeared to satisfy the leaders of the mob, but, 
a part of the company being determined to go to Asa 
Bacon's, separated from the rest, and went. When they 
came to the house, they called to Ephraim Welch, who was 
standing in the door, asking '* Where is that woman you call 
Mother?" " I suppose she is in the house," said Ephraim; 
"What do you want of her ? " " We hear," said they, " that 
she ran away from her own country, that she has been crop- 
ped, and branded, and had her tongue bored through for 
blasphemy; and we want to see for ourselves." Ephraim 
went in and informed Mother, and she came out. " What 
do you want of me," said Mother. They replied by repeat- 
ing the same reports, which they had mentioned to Ephraim, 
and said they had come to see for themselves. " Will you 
believe your own eyes ? " said Mother. " We shall be obliged 
to," said their leader. " Then come near," said Mother, 
"and see for yourselves." She then turned up her cap and 
showed her ears, and said, " see if my ears have been cropped, 
and see if my forehead has been branded." Then, showing 
her tongue, she said, " see if my tongue has been bored ? " 

16. After they had seen, and examined for themselves, 
Mother asked, "What do you think now?" Their leader 
replied, " I think they tell damned lies about you." Mother 
then shamed them for giving credit to such foolish and in- 
consistent reports, and coming, in such a mob-like manner, 
to inquire about them; and they went off, apparently much 
chagrined at their own folly. 

ii2 Testimonies of 

17. About this time the fore-mentioned committee came 
and informed Mother and the Elders, of their conference 
and agreement with the leaders of the mob; and urged the 
necessity of their going to Smith's in order to prevent the 
mob from coming any further. Mother and the Elders felt 
it most prudent to comply, and immediately had a sleigh and 
horses prepared, and went, accompanied by Calvin Harlow, 
Aaron Wood, Ephraim Welch and several others of the 
Believers. Having arrived at Smith's, the leaders of the 
mob, of whom Col. David Wells, of Shelburne was chief, 
entered upon theii examination; and finding their charges 
against Mother fully refuted in all other points, they wished 
to know whether she was a woman or not. Accordingly 
Smith's wife, and another woman were appointed as a jury 
to examine her, who reported that she was a woman. 

18. Several other accusations were brought against the 
people, the principal of which was, that the Shakers had 
bought up the hay in the town, so that a poor man could not 
get a hundred of hay to keep his cow from starving; that 
they had likewise bought up the grain; so that the poor were 
left destitute of bread to eat. To the first the committee 
replied that the inhabitants had a surplus of hay, and had 
found a great advantage in selling it to the Shakers; because 
they paid the money for it, which enabled them to procure 
salt from Boston; an article which could not be had, without 
money. That they knew of no such poor man in the town, 
and if any such one could be produced, he should be pro- 
vided with hay. The Believers also made similar offers; 
but no such poor man was found. 

19. Respecting the second charge, it was proved that the 
Shakers had not bought any grain in the place; but, on the 
contrary, they had sold some to the inhabitants, which they 
had brought into the place. The committee further bore 
testimony to the honesty and integrity of the people in all 

Mother Ann Lee. 113 

their dealings with the inhabitants of the town ; and ex- 
pressed their unwillingness to have them molested, or to have 
the town disturbed on their account. 

20. Having gone through with their examinations, Mother 
addressed herself to Col. Wells, and reproved him, saying, 
" Is it not a shame for you, who profess to be a gentleman, 
and an officer, to give heed to such scandalous and incon- 
sistent reports; and to come here, at the head of a mob, out 
of your own town, to persecute an innocent people ? Is not 
the authority of the town able to see to the affairs of their 
own town ? " 

21. The Colonel, stung with this reproof, replied, in a pet, 
'' If you don't hold your tongue, I'll cane you." " Do you 
pretend to be a gentleman," said Mother, " and are going to 
cane a poor weak woman ? What a shame it is ! " Abashed 
at this reply, the Colonel attempted no further opposition. 
Elder James Whittaker also spake to the assembly, and to 
the family, and closed his speech in these words, " I am 
called to stand in defense of the gospel, and that I will do 
to the losing of my life." The assembly was silenced, and 
put to shame, and went off confounded, without committing 
any act of violence. And Smith's family, who had before 
been unfriendly, were now so far overcome, that they ap- 
peared very friendly, and spoke no more against the people, 
so long as the Church continued in Ashfield. 

22. Thus did the earth open her mouth and swallow up 
the flood of malicious lies and slanderous reports which the 
dragon had cast out of his mouth against the woman ; and thus 
did God protect His Anointed from the snares of the wicked, 
and no man, on this occasion, was suffered to hurt her, or 
destroy her faithful seed. 

23. But this Daniel Bacon, having failed in his purposes, 
still determined on venting his rage against the innocent 
people of God. About a fortnight after this, he came again, 


ii4 Testimonies of 

with twelve or fourteen enemies of the cross, and beset the 
house, railing and threatening the people. Elder John 
Hocknell attempted to reason with him ; but Daniel, refusing 
to hear reason, struck him two or three severe strokes across 
the shoulders, with the butt end of a whip, having the lash 
wound around his hand. But some of his company refused 
to join with him in acts of violence ; so they all departed. 






On the last day of April, 1783, Mother Ann and the 
Elders left Ashfield, and passed through Petersham, where 
they tarried one night, returned again to Harvard ; visited, 
strengthened and encouraged the Believers in Harvard, Shir- 
ley, Woburn, and other places in the vicinity. Being con- 
tinually destined to suffer persecution in these parts, they 
soon had to prepare for a new and trying scene, which over- 
took them about the first of June. 

2. Of this Mother was warned in a vision a few days 
previous. Being with the Elders at Jeremiah Willard's and 
under great sufferings, Lucy Prescott went up into the 
chamber to see her. While there Mother said to Elder 
James, " There is going to be a great persecution ; for I saw 
a man come and look in at the window, and he was as black 
as a negro." 

3. The circumstances which gave rise to these new acts 
of persecution, were as follows: Sarah Turner, — sister of 

Mother Ann Lee. 115 

Nathaniel and Joseph Turner, had married a deaf and dumb 
man of Leominster, by the name of Jude Carter. Sarah had 
embraced the testimony of the gospel, and her husband, ap- 
pearing friendly and pliable, she had labored to gain his 
feelings to the way of God, and had induced him, by signs, 
to make some confession of his sins. 

4. Being at Elijah Wild's, in Shirley, in company with her 
husband, and wishing to have him conform to the faith and 
practice of Believers, she endeavored to prevail with him to 
have his hair cut, and to sell his silver buckles, to buy things 
more necessary. He replied, by signs, that if he should 
have his hair cut, people would laugh at him, and, as to his 
buckles, other people wore buckles, as well as he.* 

5. The next day they went together to Boston market, for 
the purpose of getting some family necessaries; and Sarah 
prevailed with her husband to sell his buckles, and buy 
something more necessary. On their return they came to 
Nathan Kendal's, in Woburn, where she also prevailed with 
him to have his hair cut; but, Jude not being willing to have 
it cut so short as some, and seeing a man the cut of whose 
hair suited him, he consented to have it cut like that man's, 
which was accordingly done. 

6. Jude appeared much pleased with his new friends, and 
passed the time # in much harmony till bed time, when he 
strenuously insisted on lying with his wife. This being ut- 
terly inadmissible in a family of Believers, was as strenu- 
ously opposed. Being highly offended with this treatment, 
he set off early the next morning, for home, and left his wife, 
who, afterward, followed on, with some other company. In 
passing through Harvard, Jude made a grievous complaint, 
by signs, that the Shakers had robbed him of his silver 
buckles, cut off his hair, and got away his wife. 

7. The motions and gestures of this deaf and dumb man 

* It was then customary for men to wear long hair, and large silver shoe buckles. 

n6 Testimonies of 

furnished a sufficient occasion, for those who were always 
watching for occasion, to persecute, without inquiring into 
the true state of the matter. Secret measures were now 
taken to raise a mob, of which the Believers had no knowl- 
edge, till the mob appeared. This tumultuous assembly 
from Harvard, came to Elijah Wild's, in Shirley, on Sab- 
bath evening, June ist, 17S3, and beset the house at every 
door and window, and forbade any person going in or out. 

8. Mother and the Elders, having very early that morning 
gone from Harvard to Shirley, were at this time in the 
house, with many other Believers, who had assembled there, 
and who were, at this time, in the worship of God. The 
leaders of the mob were Phineas Farnsworth, James Pollard, 
Elisha Fullam, and Asa Houghton, all of Harvard, with a 
considerable company of the baser sort from Harvard, Rox- 
bury, and Bolton. Like the men of Sodom, they attempted 
to enter the house by pressing hard against the door; but 
were prevented, by the Brethren within. 

9. Brother David Meacham was, at this time, in labors, 
with some of the Brethren, in a shop, at a distance from the 
house; but, on discovering the mob, he left the shop, and 
attempted to force his way through the mob into the house, 
but was not able. He then drew back from them and in- 
quired the cause of their coming together in such a manner; 
and began to lecture them on the impropriety and unlawful- 
ness of such proceedings; urging the testimony of truth, the 
liberty of conscience, and the duty of Christians. At this 
time a large number of the mob gathered around him, and 
gave good attention to what he said, which caused a dis- 
union among themselves. The leaders of the mob, on see- 
ing the effect of Brother David's lecture upon the feelings of 
the people, came and took hold of him, and, with violence, 
thrust him into the house, saying, " You shall not preach any 
more to the people." 

Mother Ann Lee. 117 

10. One of the Sisters — Moily Randall, notwithstanding 
the previous orders of the mob to the contrary, obtained lib- 
erty to return home to her young child. Having got home, 
she immediately dispatched a messenger to acquaint the 
Grand Juryman of the town, of their situation. The mob 
continued to surround the house all night, with much rail- 
ing and savage behavior; but committed no personal in- 
jury till next morning. In the morning, the leaders of the 
mob required Mother Ann and the Elders to come out, 
which they refused to do; but consented that they four, 
might come into the house, and they accordingly came in. 
Mother ordered Eunice Wilds to prepare some breakfast for 
them, saying, " We must feed our enemies, and so heap 
coals of fire upon their heads." Eunice prepared breakfast, 
and they sat down and ate. Elijah, by Mother's advice, 
carried bread and cheese to the mob, without, and the chief 
part of them ate freely. 

11. After this Elder James said, "I must go and speak 
the word of the Lord to them," and accordingly went out, 
with some of the Brethren, and spake to them. He ques- 
tioned them, very solemnly, concerning such riotous proceed- 
ings, and said, " Why have you come here to abuse us ? 
What have we done ? Have we hurt or injured your persons 
or property? If we have, make us sensible of it, and we will 
make you satisfaction." 

1 i. After these words, the mob broke forth in a rage, and 
seized Elder James by the collar and arms ; at which the 
Brethren instantly stepped forth to rescue him from their 
merciless hands; and in the struggle he cried out, " Father, 
Lord of Heaven and Earth, forgive them; for they know not 
what they do!" It appeared as though he would have been 
choked to death, had not one of the Brethren * unclinched 
the ruffian's hands. 

* Nathan Kendal, Jr 

n8 Testimonies of 

13. About this time, Thomas Buckmour, — the Grand 
Juryman of the town, and James Parker, — a Peace Officer, 
arrived, who immediately commanded the peace, and ordered 
the mob to desist from troubling the people. This seemed 
to strike a damp upon them; but still the tumult continued, 
and the mob continued to increase from Harvard. A num- 
ber of the Brethren and Sisters, being at this time in the 
street, kneeled down to pray, at which some of these ungodly 
ruffians, who were on horseback, attempted to ride over 
them, but were not able. 

14. After several hours' contest with the Believers, and 
with the peace officers, the leaders of the mob, whose object 
was to carry off Mother and the Elders, consented to give 
up their unlawful demands, upon the following conditions; 
namely, that if the two Elders, — "William Lee, and James 
Whittaker, would go with them to Harvard, they would leave 
Mother Ann, and withdraw in a peaceable manner; that they 
would treat the Elders with kindness and civility, and that 
they should not be hurt. This they promised upon their 
honor ; and, upon these conditions, the Elders consented to 
go with them. They set off, accompanied by Brothers David 
Meacham, Calvin Harlow, and a number of other Believers, 
from different parts. Soon after they entered Harvard, the 
mob broke forth in a violent and savage manner, and com- 
manded Brothers David, and Calvin, and all the rest of the 
Believers who accompanied them, to return back to Shirley. 
They all obeyed this tyrannical order except Brothers David 
and Calvin, who resolutely withstood them, and refused to 

15. Upon this they seized Brother David's horse by the 
bridle, and held him; he instantly leaped from his horse, told 
them he had a right to the highway, and if they attempted to 
stop him, they should, every soul of them, suffer the penalty of 

Mother Ann Lee. 119 

the law,* that Brother Calvin was his companion, and he 
should go too Thus they broke through the mob, and fol- 
lowed after the Elders. The Elders, being mounted on 
good horses, outrode the mob, and arrived at Jeremiah 
Willard's before them. Jeremiah, who then professed faith, 
sat in the door of his house to keep the mob from entering. 
But, instead of regarding his order, as the ruler of his own 
house, or respecting the laws of civil society, they violently 
drew him, feet foremost, out of the house, with -his head 
thumping against the steps that led up to the door. They 
then broke into the chamber, and furiously dragged the 
Elders out, and carried them back about half a mile, where 
they met the main body of the mob. 

16. Here they made a stand to execute their savage de- 
signs, and said " James Whittaker, and William Lee, should 
be tied to a tree, and whipped." But, before they began 
their scourging, they laid violent hands upon David Meacham, 
and Calvin Harlow, threw them upon the ground, and held 
them fast, until their barbarous deed was accomplished. 
They then seized Elder James, tied him to the limb of a 
tree, near the road, cut some sticks, from the bushes, and 
Isaac Whitney, being chosen for one of the whippers, began 
the cruel work, and continued beating and scourging till his 
back was all in a gore of blood, and the flesh bruised to a 
jelly. They then untied him, and seized Father William 
Lee; but he chose to kneel down and be whipped, therefore 
they did not tie him; but began to whip him as he stood on 
his knees. Notwithstanding the severity of the scourging 
which Elder James had already received, he immediately 
leaped upon Father William's back, Bethiah Willard, who 
had followed from Jeremiah's, leaped upon Elder James' 
back; others, who came with Bethiah, followed the same 
example. But, such marks of genuine Christianity only 

* He did not tell them what law. 

120 Testimonies of 

tended the more to enrage these savage persecutors, and 
those who attempted to manifest their love and charity in 
this manner, were inhumanly beaten without mercy. 

17. Bethiah Willard was so cruelly beaten, she carried the 
scars until death. She received one stroke over her head 
and face, which, in a few minutes, caused one of her eyes to 
turn entirely black. Calvin Harlow, on seeing Bethiah, said 
to the mob, " See how you have abused that woman; you 
have exposed yourselves to the law." On hearing this they 
began to disperse, and were soon gone, leaving the suffering 
objects of their cruelty to take care of themselves. 

18. During these inhuman transactions, Mother Ann and 
Hannah Kendal were standing together in Elijah Wild's 
garden, at Shirley, nearly seven miles distant, and Mother 
said to Hannah, " The Elders are in great tribulation, for I 
hear Elder William's soul cry to Heaven." After the mob 
left the ground, the Elders, and those few Believers who 
were with them, retired a few rods, and all kneeled down; 
and Elder James had a new song of praise put into his 
mouth, which he sung on the spot,' as he was kneeling. They 
then went back to Jeremiah Willard's, took their horses, and 
returned to Shirley the same evening, and were received by 
Mother and the Elders, with great joy. 

19. " Did they abuse you, James?" said Mother. " I will 
show you. Mother," said James, and kneeling before her, he 
stripped up his shirt, and showed his wounded back, which 
was covered with blood. This was a shocking sight, and 
caused an affecting scene of sorrow and weeping. When 
they came to wash, and dress it, they found his flesh black 
and blue from his shoulders to his waistband, and, in many 
places, bruised to a jelly, as though it had been beaten with 
a club. 

20. Elder James, addressing the Brethren and Sisters, said, 
"I have been abused, but it is not for any wrong I have ever 

Mother Ann Lee. 121 

done to them; it is for your sakes." " I have nothing against 
them for any thing that they have done to me; for they were 
ignorant, and knew not what manner of spirit they were of." 
Then turning to Ivory Wilds, he said, " Ivory, I could take 
as many more for you if it would do you any good." 

21. Mother Ann and the Elders, with all the Brethren and 
Sisters, then kneeled down and prayed to God, to forgive 
their bloody persecutors; Elder James cried, " Father for- 
give them, for they know not what they do." " James, this 
is the life of the gospel," said Mother. After this, Mother 
and the Elders were very joyful, and thankful that they 
were worthy to suffer persecution for Christ's sake. 

22. It was not known that any person belonging to Shir- 
ley took an active part in this mob; but the inhabitants, gen- 
erally, appeared much displeased with these transactions. 
A neighboring young man, by the name of Ezekiel Longley, 
whose feelings were friendly to the Believers, received a se- 
vere blow upon his head, from one of this mob, for testify- 
ing against their unlawful proceedings. Such were the 
transactions of a malicious and cruel mob, raised under the 
pretense of avenging the alleged abuses to a deaf and dumb 
man. But, it is easy to see that this circumstance was made 
use of merely as a pretext to persecute and abuse the 
chosen witnesses of God. 


122 Testimonies of 



After these transactions, Mother Ann and the Elders con- 
tinued their labors, and visited the Believers in Woburn, 
Harvard, and Shirley, until about the beginning of July, 
1783, then set off, on Saturday morning, for Petersham, and 
went as far as Templeton, where they put up for the night, 
and, early next morning, proceeded to David Hammond's 
in Petersham. They were accompanied by a considerable 
number of Believers, from Harvard, and other places. 
About the third day after their arrival, in the afternoon, a 
considerable collection of people, who were returning from 
a funeral, came and gathered around the house, in a tumult- 
uous manner, and seemed determined to enter; but were 
kept out, by David Hammond, and others, who stood in 
the hall. 

2. Elder James, observing their riotous and persecuting 
spirit and conduct, read, with his usual calmness, an article 
in the Bill of Rights, which grants to Christians, of every 
denomination, equal rights and privileges, in the exercise 
and enjoyment of their religious profession and worship. 
He then reasoned with them, for some time, and endeavored 
to show them that such proceedings as theirs, were unchrist- 
ian, unlawful, unmanly, and abusive. Mother Ann also 
came down stairs, went to the door, and boldly reproved the 
mob for their wickedness, and reminded them of the abuse 
which she and the Elders suffered before in this place. Sev- 

Mother Ann Lee. 123 

eral of the company were then admitted into the house, 
and Mother conducted them to a back apartment, and 
showed them a narrow passage, back of the chimney, say- 
ing, "They thrust me through there; it seemed as though 
they would press my soul out of my body; I was never so 
abused, in all my life." 

3. Soon after this the mob withdrew, but, to their dis- 
honor, they returned again, about dusk, with redoubled rage, 
determined on mischief ; however, not many of them were 
suffered to enter the house. Mother Ann did not conceal 
herself, but appeared openly, before the mob. She was ex- 
ceedingly powerful, and it seemed she intended they should 
understand that she did not stand in fear of them; for she 
spake boldly, of their brutal and ungodly behavior, and re- 
lated what she and the Elders had suffered before in this 
place, by their wicked hands. 

4. Some of the Brethren went out to reprove and admonish 
the mob, for their ungodly and abusive behavior; but, it 
seemed in vain to parley with a people bent on wickedness. 
Stones were thrown in at the windows, which hit and 
wounded several persons, in their heads, and a number of 
the Brethren and Sisters were abused, and hurt. But, in the 
midst of the hubbub, Mother ordered the Believers to sing; 
they instantly sang with great power. When the singing 
ended, the chief portion of the Brethren went out among the 
rabble, and were very bold and powerful in supporting the 
testimony of the gospel, and reproving them for their abusive 
and wicked behavior; but this seemed only the more to ex- 
asperate them, they reviled and abused the Brethren, and 
struck a number of them. At length, a man by the name of 
Benjamin Witt, with a large club, struck Aaron Wood on the 
head with such violence that he fell prostrate upon the 
ground, apparently dead. 

5. Some one of the people cried out, "You have killed 

124 Testimonies of 

him." Elder James cried out, "Mark the man that killed 
that man." Instantly the whole mob began to disperse; 
some ran one way, and some another, clambering over fences 
and stone walls, the falling of which, in the confusion, made 
a great clattering, which was succeeded by three shouts from 
the Believers that made the woods echo. Aaron was carried 
into the house, and his wound dressed. 

6. The following evening, while the Believers were zeal- 
ously engaged in the worship of God, the house was again sur- 
rounded by a noisy rabble, mocking, hooting and yelling like 
savages; but they were not suffered to enter. During the 
worship, a pistol was discharged in at the window, apparently 
with a view to disconcert and terrify the Believers; but, so 
little was it regarded, that, although the fire passed close by 
the principal singer, who stood beside the window, it did 
not break the song, nor stop the exercise of the people. 

7. Thus the wicked continued their savage and heathen- 
ish behavior, night after night, during the principal part of 
the time that Mother Ann continued in Petersham, which 
was about twelve days. But, while these children of confu- 
sion contented themselves with noisy clamor, without pro- 
ceeding to personal abuse, and acts of mischief, they were 
but little regarded by the Believers, who were engaged in far 
different employment. 

8. Shortly before Mother and the Elders left Petersham, 
they went to Thomas Shattuck's, about three-fourths of a 
mile from David Hammond's, where, being followed by 
nearly all the Believers, they had a very joyful meeting, at- 
tended also with sharp war against the flesh and all sin. 
Mother afterward spake very comforting to the Believers, 
counseled them to forget their troubles, and remember their 
sorrows no more. 

9. Soon after this Mother and the Elders proceeded on 
their journey to the westward, crossed Connecticut river at 

Mother Ann Lee. 125 

Sunderland, and went directly to Joseph Bennett's, in Chesh- 
ire, where they arrived on Friday, July 18th, 17S3. Here 
they tarried over the Sabbath; held a public meeting, and 
many of the world attended. The Elders all • spoke, and 
opened the gospel with great clearness, so that unbelievers 
were confounded. 

10. After meeting, some of the young people of the town 
came to the house, and began to rail, in the most vehement 
manner, against Mother Ann. At this one of the young Sisters, 
feeling greatly pressed upon by the power of God, cried out, 
"She is my Mother; She is my Mother." Father William 
Lee immediately added, " and She is my Mother; She is my 
Mother." This put them to silence. Mother laid open 
some of their sins before their faces, so they went off greatly 

11. After tarrying at Joseph's nearly a week, strengthen- 
ing the Believers, and building them up in their most holy 
faith, Mother and the Elders pursued their journey to Rich- 
mond, with the view of visiting the Believers in Richmond 
and Hancock, and arrived at Samuel Fitch's, in Richmond, 
on July 24, 1783. 







The Believers in Richmond and Hancock gathered, with 
great joy, to see Mother Ann and the Elders, after their 

126 Testimonies of 

arrival. Many of the world also came, and desired'informa- 
tion. At first, they behaved with civility ; but, when the 
Brethren went forth in the worship of God, and the power 
of God was manifested among them, the subjects of Anti- 
christ's kingdom were disturbed, and the spirit of opposi- 
tion began to show itself in a violent manner. 

2. In the evening of the second day after their arrival, 
there came a number of the unbelievers, and behaved very 
roughly, but were kept out of the house by Samuel and the 
Brethren. On the Sabbath, many of the Believers gathered 
and exercised in the worship of God, with great power, re- 
joicing, shouting, and praising God. This alarmed the 
unbelievers, many of whom were present, and manifested 
their opposition in various ways ; but no serious act of per- 
sonal violence was committed. 

3. About the middle of this week, Mother Ann and the 
Elders went to Daniel Goodrich's in Hancock. Here the 
opposers also gathered, and increased in their opposition. 
The following Sabbath, August 3, 1783, many of the world 
gathered, under the pretense of seeing the meeting; and, 
although some appeared civil, and doubtless came with 
honest intentions; yet, in the latter part of the day, many 
being offended with the worship, and gifts of God, showed 
much opposition, and behaved in a riotous manner, scoffing 
at the work, and threatening, beating and abusing some of 
the Believers. 

4. On Monday, the rage of the wicked still increasing, 
they gathered, in great numbers, in the morning, and con- 
ducted themselves in a very rough and malicious manner, 
venting out the most false and scandalous accusations against 
Mother and the Elders, that they could invent, or hear of 
from anybody, or nobody, and their invention was very pro- 

5. Valentine Rathbun was the principal instigator and 

Mother Ann Lee. 127 

leader of this mob.* He had received faith in the first open- 
ing of the testimony at Watervliet, and set out to take up 
his cross ; but, after a few months he fell away, and became 
a very bitter enemy, and published a small pamphlet against 
the people and their testimony. Several of his brothers, and 
their families were in the faith, also his son, Valentine 
Rathbun, Jr. 

6. He, with a part of his company, came into the house, 
and began to revile Mother and the Elders to their faces, 
calling them deceivers, false prophets, and the like. His 
son Valentine, coming in just at this time, and hearing his 
father use such reproachful and abusive language, began to 
reprove the old man, saying "I think it is a shame, for a 
man of God, and a minister of the gospel, as you profess to 
be, to come here, at the head of a mob to abuse the inno- 
cent people of God." 

7. This reproof, from his son, roused the old man's anger; 
but, not having power to vent his passion in presence of 
Mother Ann and the Elders, and being surrounded, as he 
was, by so many people, he drew back, out of the door ; his 
son still following with his reproof. The old man mounted 
some steps, and taking an advantageous position, with a large 
hickory staff, he leveled several strokes at his son's head, 
with such violence that his skull was laid bare nearly three 
inches in length. 

8. The young man bled profusely, was not knocked down, 
but still stood his ground, and, seizing hold of the staff, 
wrested it from the old man's hands, and committed it to 
the flames. The mob continued their abusive and clamorous 
behavior, for a considerable time, and seemed determined, if 
possible, by their false accusations, and hard speeches, to 
destroy the testimony of the gospel out of the land. 

* He was an Elder in the Baptist Church, and called a great preacher in that 
Order; was a man of considerable talents, and of a very violent spirit. 

i28 Testimonies of 

9. At length, Mother Ann went out at a door on the 
opposite side of the house, and stepped into a carriage 
which had been prepared for her, and returned back to 
Samuel Fitch's, unperceived by the mob. The Elders tarried 
behind till Mother was out of the way, and then walked on, 
in presence of the mob, to follow her. 

10. But, as they were taking their leave of the Believers, 
one Titus Wright, who had been very busy in circulating the 
most shameful and scandalous reports respecting Father 
William Lee, now came up, and openly vented these lying 
accusations to his face. Father William, without paying 
any regard to him, continued his attention to the Believers, 
and sung, rejoiced, and shouted, in a very powerful manner. 
This so enraged his malicious accuser that he ran and took 
a stake out of the fence, and came up to Father William and 
swore that if he was not gone in fifteen minutes, he would 
spill his brains out. Father William, although undaunted 
by his threats, gave him a look of stern reproof. "You 
walking devil," said Father William, and again turned his 
attention to the Believers, and continued his gift. Wright 
continued to repeat his threats, and often reminded Father 
William of what he might expect at the end of fifteen min- 
utes; till, at length, by Father William's powerful gift of God 
to the Believers, without any further notice of him, the man 
was so confounded, that he threw down his weapon, sneaked 
off, and was never known to molest the Believers afterward. 

n. The Elders followed Mother Ann to Samuel Fitch's; 
and when the mob discovered that they were gone from Daniel 
Goodrich's, they soon dispersed. But, the same evening, 
having heard that they were gone to Samuel's, this perse- 
cuting rabble again collected their forces, and followed them 
there, and were very boisterous, and abusive. Elizur Good- 
rich, and others of the Brethren, rebuked them, for their 
ungodly conduct; but all in vain. In this mob several of 

Mother Ann Lee. 129 

the Believers were roughly handled, and some of them 
knocked down. John Demming, Senior, received a severe 
stroke upon his head, by which he was knocked down, badly 
hurt, and the blood flowed freely. The rioters were, how- 
ever, kept out of the house, by Samuel Fitch, and others. 

These things brought great tribulation upon Mother 
Ann, and she said, " If God does not work for me, it seems 
as though the wicked would destroy me." Soon after 
these words, she said, " I see a white hand stretched out 
toward me, which is a sign, and a promise of my protec- 

12. Valentine Rathbun, Sen., and his coadjutants had so 
far influenced the civil authorities of Richmond, as to obtain 
a warrant to apprehend Mother Ann and the Elders, with 
some others of the Brethren. The warrant was issued by 
Samuel Brown, Esq., of Stockbridge, and delivered to Philip 
Cook, who, as a Constable, served it upon Mother and the 
Elders, Elizur Goodrich, Samuel and Dyer Fitch. All these 
being taken by the warrant, the mob dispersed. The Con- 
stable, however, consented to leave them, on receiving their 
word, that they would appear the next day. Accordingly, 
the next day, they all appeared before the Board of Justices 
of the Peace, held in Richmond meeting house. This 
Board consisted of Samuel Brown and J. Woodbridge, of 
Stockbridge, and James Gates of Richmond. These were 
the Judges who were to try Mother and her little company, 
upon a charge of blasphemy and disorderly conduct, brought 
against them by their wicked persecutors. 

13. Many testimonies were produced against them, which 
were readily heard ; but, the few that were brought forward 
in their defense could scarcely obtain any hearing at all. 
The riotous and abusive conduct of the mob, from which 
ajl the disorder originated, was, by a strange perversion of 
evidence, charged upon the Believers ; a clear manifestation 


130 Testimonies of 

of the spirit and principles which governed this court. To 
prove the charge of blasphemy, it was testified that Samuel 
Fitch had declared that " in Mother Ann, dwells the full- 
ness of the Godhead, bodily." To this charge, Samuel, by 
Elder James' direction, replied, in his own defense, " We 
read, in the scriptures, that the fullness of the Godhead 
dwelt in our Lord Jesus Christ, bodily." And again, " ex- 
cept Christ be in you, ye are reprobates." The inference 
was at once perceived, by the Judges, who found themselves 
unable to proceed with a charge which must, in the issue, 
prove themselves reprobates. 

14. But Samuel, feeling great boldness, stood up and 
warned the Judges in these words, " Take heed what you 
do to these people — Mother Ann and the Elders — for they 
are God's Anointed Ones whom he hath sent to America." 
This admonition was highly offensive to those Judges, and 
the persecutors; and they consulted, among themselves, to 
know what they should do with these Shakers; for, although 
they appeared to be conscientious, and acted upon religious 
principles, yet they deluded the people, and disturbed the 
inhabitants, and they must be taken care of, or, they would 
turn the world upside down. 

15. After considerable labor among themselves, it was 
decided that Mother Ann and the Elders should be fined 
the sum of twenty dollars, as disturbers of the peace, and 
then leave the state. The money was immediately advanced 
by the Brethren, so that they might be set at liberty ; but, 
as to leaving the state, they chose to obey God, rather than 
man, and accordingly continued their labors among the 
people in these parts. 

16. Samuel and Dyer Fitch, and Elizur Goodrich, being 
inhabitants of the town, were required to give bonds for 
their good behavior, and for their appearance at the County 
Court in Barrington. But, these Brethren insisted that they 

Mother Ann Lee. 131 

had a right to worship God in their own houses without mo- 
lestation, therefore, they could not consent to give bonds, as 
they might be charged, by their adversaries, with breaking 
the peace, whenever they attempted to worship God in their 
own habitations. They were, therefore, committed to Bar- 
rington jail, to be tried by the County Court. 

17. After Mother Ann and the Elders were released they 
returned to Samuel Fitch's, and from thence to Nathan 
Goodrich's, in Hancock, where they tarried over the Sab- 
bath, and continued their labors in searching out, and purg- 
ing away sin, and teaching and building up the Believers 
in the most holy faith. 

18. But, so great was the collection of the people, on the 
Sabbath, that they collected in three different houses to 
worship, viz.: at Nathan, Daniel, and Ezekiel Goodrich's ; 
many of the world attended, and the gospel was preached, by 
the Elders, and the Elder Brethren with them. The meet- 
ings were attended with great power, and operations of the 
Holy Ghost, and the wicked vented their rage in words ; 
but no essential acts of violence were committed. Mother 
tarried at Nathan Goodrich's, and some of the Elders 
attended the other meetings. 

19. About the middle of this week Mother felt a gift to 
go and visit the Brethren in Barrington jail. She accord- 
ingly went, accompanied by the Elders, and a number of 
the Believers. When they came into the prison, Mother 
said, "We have come to see Christ, in prison." After tar- 
rying with them a day or two, and comforting them under 
their afflictions, Mother and her company, returned, by the 
way of West Stockbridge, and visited the family of Elijah 
Slosson, who lived in that place. Elijah and his family had 
embraced the testimony of the gospel, and his son Jonathan, 
who accompanied Mother, had, previous to her leaving Han- 
cock, to visit the prisoners, kneeled down before her and 

132 Testimonies of 

prayed her to visit his father's family, and bless it. She 
arrived there on Saturday, and tarried until Monday ; and 
the blessing of God seemed to attend this visit in a remark- 
able manner. 

20. Many Believers gathered at Elijah's on Saturday, from 
New Lebanon, Hancock, and other places; and, on the 
Sabbath, there was, also, a large concourse of the world. 
The house being insufficient to hold them, they all assembled 
on the green, before the door, and the gospel was preached 
to them, by the Elders and leading Brethren with them. 
The meeting was attended with great power, and the multi- 
tude of the world, generally, behaved with civility 

21. This day there were upwards of two hundred people 
in Elijah's family ; and such was the blessing of God that 
rested upon the family, and all they possessed, that it may 
be truly said, The Lord blessed the family of Elijah, and all 
that pertained to him.* Mother Ann appeared greatly satis- 
fied with her visit at Elijah's; and, after helping the family, 

* The blessing of God which attended this visit was truly remarkable ; in conse- 
quence of the vast concourse of people who followed Mother, there were upward 
of one hundred horses turned into Elijahs' cow-pasture, of between six and seven 
acres of grass, where they remained from Saturday till Monday, and fed the pas- 
ture bare. When they were gone, Elijah's neighbors laughed at him, and asked 
him what he would do now, for the Shakers' horses had eaten up all his pasture? 
' Trust in God," replied Elijah. The Saturday following, his pasture, which was 
of white clover, was fresh grown, and in blossom, and so abundant, that Elijah 
took in cattle and horses to pasture, for his neighbors, who were short of pasture. 
The quantity of butter and cheese made by the family, from four cows, was con- 
sidered as almost miraculous. They were also enabled to entertain many Believers 
while on their journey to and from the Church, and as most of them were poor, 
they not only found entertainment in this hospitable mansion, but were also fur- 
nished with provisions for their journey. Vet, so great was the blessing of God 
upon the family, that they always had a plenty; and so evident did the blessing 
appear, that the unbelieving neighbors were forced to confess that it was marvelous. 

J. H , a tavern keeper, who lived next neighbor to Elijah, had, before this, been 

violently opposed to the people ; but, on observing these things, he was struck 
with astonishment, and exclaimed, "How is it, I keep tavern, and have pay for all 
I dispose of, and yet I can but just get along ; you have much more company than' 
I do, and entertain them upon free cost, and yet you always have a fullness." From 
this time he became very friendly, and remained so until death. 

Mother Ann Lee. 133 

she departed, about ten o'clock, on Monday, and returned to 
Samuel Fitch's, from thence to Nathan Goodrich's, where 
she tarried till Saturday, and continued her labors with the 

22. One evening, while Mother Ann and the Elders were 
at Nathan Goodrich's, and a large collection of Believers 
assembled, in the worship of God, there came a company of 
unruly men rushing up on horseback. Mother, on hearing 
their noise, went to the door and bade them "draw back." 
But, the men refusing to obey, she raised her hand, and, 
with great power and authority, cried aloud, " Draw back, 
I say, or I will smite the horse and his rider." These words 
were spoken, not of herself , but of the power and gift of God. 

23. On uttering these words, all the power of resistance 
seemed instantly to be taken from the men, and their horses 
immediately ran backward, from the house, down to the 
road, which was about ten rods distant; nor, to those who 
saw it, did it appear to be in the power of their riders to gov- 
ern them, till they got quite into the road; then they peace- 
ably turned their horses, and departed. 

24. During the time that Mother and the Elders con- 
tinued in Richmond and Hancock, they were visited by 
many Believers from New Lebanon, and other places, who 
were fed and nourished by the power and gift of God, from 
these Parents in the gospel; and they were almost so con- 
tinually, more or less in meeting, that, as it was expressed 
by some of the Believers in Hancock, " We could hardly 
distinguish the days of the week, for every day felt like Sab- 

25. And while the Believers were rejoicing, in the power 
of the resurrection, the spirit of opposition was not asleep, 
but continued to rise, as the gifts of God continued to flow. 
And, seeing that Mother and the Elders did not obey their 
assumed authority over conscience, but still continued in 

i34 Testimonies of 

the place, to the great disturbance of their kingdom of dark- 
ness, they determined to redouble their efforts, and drive 
them out of the place by violence. 

26. On Friday, a large mob collected, headed by one 
Aaron Baker, of Pittsfield, who was a near neighbor to the 
Believers. The company came on like drunken madmen, 
and, on arriving before the house, Baker called out, " Fetch 
out those Europeans." Among the mob was the persecut- 
ing Valentine Rathbun, Sen'r, whose malice was not yet suf- 
ficiently glutted. He railed and blasphemed, and Mother 
and the Elders were ordered off, with great threatenings, 
and much abusive language. 

27. Mother and Father William Lee feeling their gift at 
an end in this place, informed the mob that they should go 
the next day, before ten o'clock. Some of the mob were 
for using violence, others were against it; so there was a 
division among them. Elder James went out to speak to 
them, and was seized, by one Absalom Ford, who attempted 
to draw him into the street, but, some others of the mob in- 
terfered, and insisted that there should be no violence used, 
seeing they were going away the next day. They then dis- 
persed, and the Believers enjoyed the night in peace. 




i. On Saturday morning, August 23d, 1783, Mother Ann 
and the Elders, with a large company of Believers, set off 

Mother Ann Lee. 135 

from Nathan Goodrich's to visit New Lebanon. They ar- 
rived at Israel Talcot's, on the mountain, between New 
Lebanon and Hancock, a little before noon. Abigail Tal- 
cot had her small pot of meat and vegetables over the fire, 
cooking, for the dinner of her little family. Mother said to 
Abigail, " You must get dinner for us, and all who are with 
ns." 'Then I must boil more meat, and sauce," said Abi- 
gail. "Nay," said Mother, "There is aplenty." Accord- 
ingly, Abigail took up her dinner, and all the company, con- 
sisting of nearly forty people, sat down and ate, and were 
satisfied. Abigail was greatly astonished that so many peo- 
ple were fed on so small a quantity of victuals. 

2. After dinner they proceeded to David Shapley's, where 
they made a short tarry, then went on to John Bishop's, in 
New Lebanon. And here was fulfilled Mother's prophecy 
to John, while she was in prison, at Albany, more than three 
years before; and this was a joyful day to John. When 
Mother came in, she walked through the house, from one 
room to another, and singing, " Now Mother is come! 
Mother is come now!" Then turning to the Elders, "So 
John's soul sings," she said. 

3. The next morning Mother asked John if he had any 
suitable place on his lot to hold meeting ; for, said she, 

' There will be more than twice as many people here to-day 
as can get into your house." "Yea," replied John, and 
pointed out his orchard, near the house. Accordingly they 
assembled in the orchard; and it was judged there was not 
less than four hundred people there on that day. After the 
assembly was collected in the orchard, Father William began 
to sing, and the power of God was manifested, in a marvel- 
ous manner among the Believers in this assembly; not with 
great noise, nor external operations, but with a mighty in- 
ward power and trembling. 

4. Amos Rathbun expressed that he felt such an extraor- 


dinary outpouring of the power of God, that it filled him 
full, from head to foot, in so much that it seemed as though 
he should burst, if he did not speak. He saw, with great 
clearness, the great loss, and awful state of fallen man, and 
the great salvation and glory now offered, and to be attained 
by the gospel. As soon as Father William had done sing- 
ing, Amos was constrained to cry out, and warn the world 
of their state, — of the great salvation offered by the gospel, 
and of the awful consequences of losing the day of their vis- 

5. After this Elder James came forward, and said, " My 
name is James Whittaker; I have prayed to God for you, as 
earnestly as I ever prayed for my own soul." He then 
spoke of the great loss and fallen state of man; and of the 
necessity of a restoration through Christ, in order to find 
salvation and redemption now offered through the medium 
of the gospel. " The time is fully come," said he, " according 
to ancient prophecy, for Christ to make his second appear- 
ing, for the redemption of lost man. This is the Second 
Appearance of Christ, and we are God's true witnesses, 
through whom Christ has manifested himself, in this day of 
his second appearing; and the only means of salvation that 
will ever be offered to a lost world, is to confess and forsake 
their sins, take up their cross, and follow Christ in the re- 

6. He spoke of the necessity of souls' believing in the 
messengers whom God had sent ; and declared the only way 
they could find the will of God, was, to find it in those mes- 
sengers whom He had sent; that this was the way, accord- 
ing to the Scriptures, that God manifested himself to the 
ancients, and, that it was as much so now, as in ancient 
days. Father James wept much, and spoke much of humil- 
ity and self-abasement, and said, " You cannot blame me for 
abasing myself." He declared the great riches he had 

Mother Ann Lee. 137 

found by the gospel, and spoke of the awful consequences 
of rejecting the day of their visitation. After this, Elder 
Joseph Meacham and Calvin Harlow spoke, in confirmation 
of what had been spoken, — declared this to be the Second 
Appearing of Christ, and that these were his true witnesses. 

7. So great was the power of God, and so clear the evi- 
dences of the testimony that every mouth was stopped and 
every tongue became dumb; all opposition was put down 
and the world appeared like souls arraigned before the bar 
of judgment. The Believers went forth in the worship of 
God with great power, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The 
world had not power to molest them, and no disturbance 
was made. 

8. After meeting, a large number of the Brethren and Sis- 
ters were fed. After the Believers had finished their repast, 
Mother Ann asked John if he was willing to invite the 
world in to eat, to which he consented, and went out and 
told them, if they were needy, they should be welcome to 
come in and eat. Accordingly all who chose, came in and 
ate, to the number of fifty or sixty. And, so great was the 
blessing of God, that, although no victuals were cooked that 
day yet, it seemed as though there was more left, after feed- 
ing more than two hundred people, than when they began 
to eat. 

9. Concerning this visit of Mother Ann's to John Bishop's, 

John himself gave the following account : " I evidently felt 

the blessing of God rest upon my house, and all that I had; 

and though temporal blessings are the lesser, and were, at 

that time, the least in my esteem, yet, as they were evidences 

of the good fountain whence they flowed, I shall here insert 

some of them in particular. I took Mother Ann's horse, 

and the horses of those who came with her, nearly forty in 

number, and put them into my cow pasture, which contained 

eight or ten acres of land ; at first, I thought my feed would 

i$$ Testimonies of 

soon be gone, but, concluded I should not care for that, 
since Mother had come to my house. Here those horses, 
with my four cows, continued from Saturday, in the after- 
noon, until near noon of the Monday following." 

10. ''The same day, after they were taken out, I went to 
see my pasture, and strange as it may seem, it was more 
fresh and green than I should have expected, had there not 
been a hoof of a creature in it for a whole week. And, 
though a number of pails of milk were carried out for the 
multitude to drink, my family made more butter during that 
week, than any week during the season. These things, 
which, in the natural tide of events appeared impossible, I 
felt confident were effected by the same power that fed the 
five thousand, with five barley loaves, and a few small fishes." 

ii. Mother Ann left John Bishop's on Monday, about 
noon, and went to Hezekiah Hammond's, where she stayed 
until evening, and then went to George Darrow's, and tarried 
all night. The next day she visited the family of Reuben 
Wight. Here Elder James had a gift to sing with remark- 
able power of God, and the Believers went forth, with great 
zeal, and worshipped God in the dance. Mother Ann stayed 
and dined ; after dinner, as she was about to depart, and 
had advanced to the door, she turned herself round, and 
kneeling down spake as follows: 

12. " God created my soul in innocence, but, by sinning 
against His holy commandments, I was defiled, and abomi- 
nable in His sight. While I was in this wretched state, God 
was pleased to call my soul by the gospel ; I was wrought 
upon by the power of the Holy Ghost, to see and feel the 
depth of my loss ; and, by the same power, I was helped to 
travel out of it. When I was despised and afflicted by mine 
enemies, thou, O God, didst comfort me. When cruel per- 
secutors rose against me, and put me into prisons and dun- 
geons, thou didst stretch forth thine hand for my deliverance. 

Mother Ann Lee. 139 

I thank thee, O Father — Lord of Heaven and Earth, for 
the revelation of Christ, which showed me the depth of 
man's loss, and the way of recovery by the gospel. 

" When I was in my native land I received a special revela- 
tion of God, to come to America, to bring the gospel to 
this nation, and when the time was fully come, I crossed the 
great waters, through many dangers and perils, and, by the 
miraculous power of God, I arrived safe to this land. Ever 
since I have been here, God has supported me, by His 
special grace, under all trials and afflictions; and has given 
me strength and fortitude to stand in defense of the truth." 

13. "I thank Thee, O God, for raising up so great a peo- 
ple in this land. Thou hast made me able to plant the gos- 
pel in the hearts of many, who are now able to glorify Thy 
name. I pray God, protect and strengthen Thy chosen peo- 
ple, and keep them from all evil." 

14. After Mother arose from her knees, she went directly 
to Joseph Meacham's, and tarried an hour or two; and from 
thence to Isaac Harlow's, where she tarried till near night; 
she then went to Josiah Skinner's, where she took supper, 
and held meetings; the Believers went forth in the worship 
of God in singing and dancing, with great joy. The same 
evening, she proceeded from thence to John Spier's.* Many 
people followed her through New Lebanon to this place, 
singing and shouting with great joy. 

15. But, the wicked could not be contented to let Mother 
rest; they gathered in considerable numbers, beset the house, 
and demanded to see the old woman. Mother felt no liberty 
to see them, knowing that they were upon mischief. They 
used much threatening and abusive language, and, at length, 
burst open the door, and crowded into the entry that led to 
the room where the Believers were assembled. 

16. Mother was, at this time, standing in the midst of the 

* About six miles from John Bishop's the way she went. 

140 Testimonies of 

assembly, with a young child of Nathan Farrington's in her 
arms; but, feeling to go into another room, which she could 
not do without passing through the mob in the hall, she, 
therefore, with the child in her arms, took hold of young 
Mehetabel Farrington, and bade her go forward, and stop 
for nobody, and thus they passed through the mob, into a 
more retired room. " We have got through, and God has 
protected us," said Mother to Mehetabel. Late at night the 
mob departed, and the Believers retired to rest. 

17. The next day, Eleazer Grant, and Elisha Gilberts, 
Esq'rs, and Dr. Averill came there, and had a long conver- 
sation with Mother Ann and the Elders. The day following, 
several Indians came, and Father William Lee was moved, 
by the power of God, to speak to them in their own native 
language, although he had no knowledge of it, but by the 
gift of God; but the Indians understood, and answered him. 

18. The family of Nathan Farrington had, very early, de- 
sired Mother to come to their house, and though she had 
not given any encouragement of coming, yet, on Friday 
morning, she went there. Nathan had just been building a 
new house, which was then unfinished. When Mother came 
into the house, she said, " Now Mother has come, and you 
are welcome; you have been faithful to ask, and now you 
have got a blessing." 

19. Mother then looked around the house, and said, "I 
feel a gift and blessing, in the building of this house; you 
must serve God in it." Then turning to a young woman, — 
daughter of old Daniel Rathbun, said, " I have been all 
around your father's house, on every side of it, and yet have 
never been invited to come into it; but here is a family that 
was so urgent, that it seemed as though I could not get away 
from thetn ; you know not what a blessing you have lost.* 

* This family of Rathbuns all professed faith, at that time, but. afterward, all 
fell away to the world; while Farrington's family, with but one exception, all con- 
tinued to flourish in the way of God . 

Mother Ann Lee. 141 

20. Many Believers being collected here, Father William 
said, " The house is not large enough for all the people to 
assemble and serve God in; we had better go out on the 
grass and serve God." Accordingly they all assembled in 
the meadows near the house. Father William sang for them 
and they all went forth with great power, in the worship of 
God, and danced till they trod the grass into the earth, and 
even trod down the earth, so that it was like an earthen 
threshing floor, with scarcely the appearance of any grass 
upon it. Some of the world were there, and seeing the sit- 
uation of the ground, cried out, " Farrington, you are a fool, 
to let the Shakers tread down your meadow so; there will 
not be any grass there ; " Nathan replied, " You will see 
there will be more grass here than in any other part of the 

21. Nathan's words came to pass, for, in a short time, the 
grass grew, and flourished in the circle where the meeting 
was held, so that it was much larger, and higher, than in 
any other part of the meadow; and could easily be distin- 
guished from the other grass, as far as the meadow could be 
seen; and yielded far more abundantly, than any other part 
of the meadow, to the great astonishment and disappoint- 
ment of those unbelieving neighbors. 

22. The same evening, Mother went from Nathan Far- 
rington's to Jabez Spencer's, in Stephentown. On the Sab- 
bath morning following, Capt. Ichabod Turner, and — — 
Birch, Esqr., came, in a friendly manner, and informed the 
Elders that there was a mob about to arise, but said they 
thought it would take two or three days for them to collect. 
The Elders informed them that they expected to leave the 
place on Monday. The men replied that if they would leave 
the place by that time, they believed they should be able to 
keep the mob back. The same day some ruffians came and 
maliciously struck and collared some of the Brethren; but 

142 Testimonies of 

Jabez interfered and sent the rioters out of the house; be, 
being a man of note, they were under fear, and desisted 
from further violence. 

23. A large assembly of the world, besides many Believ- 
ers, collected to attend meeting. There were some of the 
assembly who had manifested a great spirit of opposition; 
had charged Mother and the Elders with being deceivers, 
and false prophets, and vented many evil reports which 
arose from prejudice, unbelief, and malicious and wilful 
opposition. Elder James preached, and introduced his dis- 
course with these words : " O full of all subtilty, and all 
mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteous- 
ness ? Wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the 
Lord ? " * 

24. Afterward, as the Believers were engaged in the wor- 
ship of God, some carnal young men, with their female com- 
panions, drew near, and, in a scoffing manner, said, to some 
of the Brethren. "What, are you dancing to worship God? " 
"Yea," replied the Brethren, "And you may worship God 
too, if you will." They then stepped in, and went to danc- 
ing ; their young women soon followed their example and 
began to dance among the Sisters. They were soon sur- 
rounded by the Brethren and Sisters, and so great was the 
strength and power of God in the assembly, that they were 
unable to make any resistance, but were compelled to dance 
under the operation of the power of God, with the head 
dresses and hair of the young women flying in every direc- 
tion until they were brought down to feel very low and sim- 
ple, and went off peaceably, and well mortified. The Believers 
continued their exercises through the whole night following. 

25. On Monday evening, September 1st, 1783, Mother 
and the Elders with a considerable number of the Brethren 
and Sisters, left Jabez Spencer's, to return to New Lebanon. 

♦Acts XIII, 10th. 

Mother Ann Lee. 143 

They had proceeded about half a mile, when they were met 
by Eliab Harlow, on horseback, Mother, being in a chair, 
with Hannah Kendall, told Eliab, that he might let one of 
the people take his beast, and he might help her along, as it 
was dark, and very rough for a carriage. Eliab readily gave 
up his beast and led Mother's on one side, while another 
Brother led on the other side; and Childs Hamlin held the 
carriage behind. The Elders and the rest of the company 
followed on horseback. Thus they proceeded in a very 
joyful manner. Mother would often say, " Brethren, be 
comfortable — Brethren, be joyful." The Brethren as often 
replied, "We will, Mother." Thus they went on, singing 
very joyfully till they arrived at Daniel Green's, about five 
miles from Spencer's. Here they stopped, and Mother 
alighted from her carriage and went in, with the chief part 
of her company, and tarried a short time. Daniel's wife 
was a Believer, and Daniel was a friendly man, but did not 
profess faith. From thence they proceeded about one mile 
further, to the house of Joshua Greene. Here they made 
another halt and went in; and those who had need took 
some refreshment of bread and cheese. 

26. After cheering and strengthening them in their faith 
Mother came out and went on, exhorting the Elders and 
Brethren, to be joyful, and serve God. Thus they proceeded, 
singing, in a very joyful manner, and shouting so loudly 
they made the whole forest ring, which greatly disturbed 
unbelievers. At length they arrived at Isaac Harlow's, in 
New Lebanon, eight miles from Spencer's. Here they 
stopped for the night, and put out their horses. After 
gathering into the house they again went forth in the worship 
of God, with great zeal, and powerful operations of various 
kinds. Some of the Brethren were led by these operations, 
in among the Sisters, and pulled them about, with apparent 
violence. The two Daniel Rathbuns, father and son, were 

144 TeSTIMONII - 01 

peculiarly exercised in this manner. This, Mother Ann 
said, was a sign that they were going to have persecution, 
and that a mob was near at hand.* 

27. This journey from Stephentown, and the labors and 
exercises at Isaac Harlow's, took up the greater part of the 
night. Toward daylight, the people retired to rest ; but 
Mother Ann, and two young Sisters — (Hannah Kendall and 
Lucy Wood,) with the Elders, went on about one mile fur- 
ther, to George Darrow's, the place where the meeting- 
house in New Lebanon now stands. 




Scarcely had the day began to dawn when a mob began 
to collect, and soon after, surrounded the house where 
Mother was, and a terrible scene of persecution ensued. 
It was supposed, by many, that Eleazer Grant, Esqr., was 
the instigator of this mob; but, be that as it may, it was 
evidently planned, and matured in connection with him. 
There were many very malicious enemies in and about New 
Lebanon, who knew where Mother Ann was, and who were 
watching the first opportunity of her return into the place, 
to vent their malicious rage on her and the Elders. The 
mob was undoubtedly raised and pushed on by some who 
acted under cover. It consisted of two companies; that 

* That the two Rathbuns were peculiarly operated upon at that time appears very 
significant of their own subsequent conduct; for though they were remarkably 
zealous, at that time, they afterward turned their back to the way of God, and 
became very bitter persecutors. 

Mother Ann Lee. 145 

from the south was headed by Nehemiah Fitch, Captain of 
militia; that from the north, and west, by Thomas Tanner, 
who had formerly been a Captain of militia. But there 
were many others who distinguished themselves, and ap- 
peared much more open in their abuse than the real leaders 
of the mob. Among these were Thomas Law, Selah Abbot, 
Senr., Selah Abbot, Junr., Ephraim Bowman, Zadock Lee, 
and Enos Meacham. 

2. Their first act was to seize George Darrow and David 
Meacham, with a warrant, under pretense of their having 
abused a young woman, — the daughter of David Meacham. 
But, this act was evidently intended to cover their real ob- 
ject, which was, to get these two men from the house where 
Mother and the Elders were, knowing that the mob would 
have much more power to act in their absence, as David was 
a man of great fortitude and influence, and George, the 
owner of the house. They were, accordingly, taken before 
Grant for trial. George left the care of his house with his 
brother, David Darrow, and Richard Spier. These men 
informed the mob of the authority they had to protect the 
house, and expostulated with them upon the unlawfulness 
of their assembling and conducting in such a manner. But 
the mob felt no disposition to parley about the matter; for 
they were determined on violence, without any regard to 
law, or justice. 

3. The Believers collected as fast as the mob did, and 
went into the house, which was soon nearly filled up. 
There were three outside doors to the house, which were all 
guarded by the Believers. The mob commenced their acts 
of violence by attempting to force a passage into all the 
doors at once. The Brethren, who had charge of the house, 
forbade their entrance, and again urged the unlawfulness of 
such proceedings; but, in vain; their conduct was like that 
of ravenous wolves among harmless sheep. 


146 Testimonies of 

4. They seized the Brethren, one after another, and 
dragged them out with the most savage violence. Richard 
Spier was three times thrown out at a back door, which was 
very high from the ground. Some were drawn out by the 
hair of their heads; some were taken by four or five men, 
one at each arm and leg, and pitched, headforemost, with 
great violence, into a mud puddle near the door; some had 
their clothes badly torn. After a conflict of fifteen or twenty 
minutes, the mob succeeded in getting into the house. 
Mother, at this time, was in a back bedroom, separated from 
the rest of the people, by a ceiled partition. The ruffians 
strove to enter the room where she was, but were kept back 
by the Brethren who guarded the door; after a considerable 
struggle, they succeeded in tearing down the ceiling of the 
room, seized Mother Ann by her feet, and dragged her in a 
shameful manner, through the parlor and kitchen, to the 

5. Eliab Harlow had made ready Mother's carriage, be- 
fore the action commenced, and sat in it, before the door, 
where he had a fair view of the scene. Mother was pitched, 
headlong, into her carriage; Hannah Kendall and Lucy Wood 
followed, through the crowd, and got into the carriage with 
her. Eliab then gave them the reins, and as they were about 
to start, Mother spoke to Prudence Hammond, who brought 
out her budget, and said, "Prudence, keep along with us." 
They had not proceeded more than three or four rods, when 
the ruffians cut off both the reins of the bridle. Eliab then 
attempted to lead the beast, and proceeded six or eight rods 
further, when the mob surrounded the carriage, and beat 
him off, with many severe strokes, and undertook to lead 
the beast themselves, and drove on, very furiously, toward 

6. Prudence Hammond, according to Mother's orders, 
kept close by the side of the carriage. A certain young man 

Mother Ann Lee. 147 

of the mob, observing her, exerted himself, very much, to 
beat her off, and ride over her, but was not able ; for Mother 
often repeated her order, " Prudence, keep along with us, 
don't let your faith fail," which gave Prudence a degree of 
power which the world were not able to resist. At length, 
another young man said to his companions, " These people 
have got a power that we know nothing about; it is the 
power of God that carries that woman along in such a man- 
ner." He then politely offered to take Prudence on behind him 
and carry her civilly. But, Mother cautioned her, saying, 
" Prudence, don't be enticed by them ; don't let your faith 
fail, and you will hold out to the end." So Prudence ran 
along on foot, still keeping close by the side of the carriage. 

7. In this manner they proceeded about sixty rods 
further, when they came to a narrow bridge, across a small 
rivulet, upon the side of a steep hill, which formed a dan- 
gerous precipice. Here the inhuman wretches attempted to 
overset the carriage, but, were prevented by Medad Curtiss, 
who, at that instant, saved the chair, but, in the struggle, 
Thomas Law, who was the most active in the business, fell 
down the precipice. Law was afterward heard to say, " I 
should have finished the old woman, if it had not been for 
that devil of a Medad." 

8. When they had proceeded about half a mile further, 
Law violently seized hold of Elder James, and pulled him 
from his horse, evidently intending to precipitate him, head- 
foremost, upon a rock; but, one of the Brethren instantly 
caught him upon the shoulders, and, by that means, saved his 
head ; but he fell with his side upon the rock with such vio- 
lence, that three of his ribs were fractured by the fall. By 
the assistance of some of the Brethren, he mounted his horse 
again, and rode on to Grant's. In driving from George 
Darrow's to Eleazer Grant's, which was about one and a half 
miles, the mob continually strove to keep the Believers back, 

148 Testimonies of 

by beating and abusing them, and trying to ride over them ; 
but were not able to effect their purpose. Prudence Ham- 
mond kept close by the side of the carriage, the whole dis- 
tance, and, though the mob drove furiously, she was not in 
the least fatigued, nor out of breath. 

9. When Mother alighted from her carriage, the mob were 
very numerous around her; she desired them to stand off, for 
she wanted to go aside; but they refused, and one young 
man — Jehiel Wright, persisted in keeping close to her. Han- 
nah Kendall bade him go off, for, said she, " You are a thief 
and a robber." This charge offended the young man, and 
he swore she should prove it. ''Where is that Hammond 
girl," said Mother. Prudence immediately stepped forward, 
and Mother addressed her, saying, " Hannah has told this 
man he is a thief, and a robber, and he says she shall prove 
it." Prudence replied, "It is the truth of God, Mother; for 
he broke into my father's house and stole twenty-nine dollars." 

10. This charge, made by Hannah Kendall, and supported 
by Prudence Hammond, was done by a special gift of God; 
for neither of the Sisters knew the young man. He was, 
however, highly offended, and struck Prudence, with a staff; 
but his comrades, who knew the truth of the charge, laughed 
at him heartily; and the guilty culprit sneaked off, and was 
soon missing. 

11. Mother Ann was dragged into Grant's in such a man- 
ner that her cap and apron were torn off. Elder James 
informed her that Thomas Law had pulled him from his 
horse, and broken his ribs, and requested liberty to enter a 
complaint against him. But Mother, feeling no liberty for 
him to do it, counselled him to let it pass, and labor to be 
comfortable and peaceable. Shortly after this, Elder James 
received a healing gift of God, which restored him to his 
former soundness; so that, on the same evening, he rode a 
number of miles, on a full gallop. 

Mother Ann Lee. 149 

12. At the time of Mother's arrival at Grant's, he was sit- 
ting in Court, and pretending to try a cause of complaint 
against David Meacham and George Darrow, which lasted 
some time. This complaint, which originated in maiice, and 
was prosecuted through envy, ended in a mere mock trial, 
evidently designed to cover deeds of greater persecution 
and abuse. 

13. When Grant had disposed of this case, he had Mother 
Ann brought before him, and called upon her to hear her 
indictment. But, instead of attending to the false accusa- 
tions brought against her by her enemies, and which it was 
in vain to counterplead, before a mob tribunal, headed by 
an unjust judge, whose sole object was to overthrow the 
work of God, she reproved him for sitting as a magistrate, 
and suffering such riotous mobs to abuse innocent people 
contrary to law, without attempting to suppress them.* 

14. Grant, unable to endure this reproof, ordered his con- 
stable to take her to a new house, which he was then build- 
ing, and put her under keepers. The constable and two 
other ruffians, — Ephraim Bowman and Enos Meacham, took 
her, and in a very abusive manner, dragged her out of the 
house, and along the street, about fifteen or twenty rods, to 
the new house. Mother felt extreme anguish, from the cruel 
abuses of these men, who vented their enmity by beating, 
griping and pinching her, as they dragged her along. She 
cried out, saying, "Must I give up my life in your hands? " 
But regardless of her cries, they dragged her along into the 
house, and up stairs, as though she had been a dead beast, 
and then thrust her into a room, where she sat down and 
cried like a child. 

* John Noyes — the constable, had greatly abused Mother, and struck her several 
times, with his staff, before Grant's face ; particularly one severe stroke across her 
breast, the mark of which she carried for sometime afterward. In reproving Grant, 
she said, " It is your day now ; but, it will be mine, by and by ; Eleazer Grant, I'll 
put you into a cockleshell yet." 

150 Testimonies of 

15. The mob immediately surrounded the doors, and 
refused to let any of the Believers enter ; though many of 
the Brethren and Sisters strove hard to get in. But Father 
William boldly insisted on going in, declaring that she was 
his sister, therefore he had a right, and would go in to her. 
The mob still obstinately opposed it; but, at length, he, and 
two of the Sisters, found their way in, and went up stairs 
to Mother. Soon after this, Mother Ann and Father Wil- 
liam put their heads out at the window, and sung to the 
Believers without, who danced with great power. 

16. In the mean time, Grant, and his wicked court, con- 
sulted among themselves, to know in what manner they 
should proceed, and having settled the point, Mother was 
brought back again. Elder James, during the whole time 
of trial had been kept under guard, in a room, in a house 
where Grant's Court was sitting; he was also called in, and 
a suit was now entered against them for a breach of the 
peace. They were accused of making disturbance, and 
breaking people of their rest, by singing and shouting along 
the road, at a late hour of the night. 

17. Grant inquired of them if they did not pass by such 
a man's house; (naming the man) to which Elder James 
replied, "I never saw that man in my life, that I know of; 
but I sung and served God a great deal." Grant again 
asked if they did not pass by such a man's house; (naming 
another man;) and received the same answer. Thus he 
inquired, concerning one house and another; but received 
invariably the same answer. 

18. Grant then made a pretense of binding them over to 
the County Court, and said they must be taken to jail, or get 
bondsmen for their appearance. David and George imme- 
diately offered themselves as bondsmen, and were accepted. 
The bondsmen then said, " The prisoners are ours, and we 
have a right to take them where we please. " 

Mother Ann Lee. 151 

19. It appears, however, that Grant did not give them up 
to their bondsmen; but they all went out, and Mother and 
Hannah Kendall and Lucy Wood got into their carriage. 
The Brethren, who were the bondsmen, considering them- 
selves as having the right, attempted to lead the carriage, 
but were prevented by the mob, who had determined on 
taking the carriage themselves. 

20. Grant came to the door and addressed them thus, "As 
a magistrate of the state of New York, I desire that there be 
no mobs, nor riots," and then added, " Lay hands suddenly 
on no man." These words he repeated several times, laying 
a peculiar emphasis on the last words, no man. He then 
went back into the house, and was seen no more that day. 
This speech was evidently intended as a cloak, to cover his 
own hypocrisy, while it held out a license to the mob, to 
abuse Mother at their pleasure, seeing she was a woman. 

21. This was evidently well understood by the mob; for 
they took hold with increased zeal, and separated Mother 
from the body of the Believers, and would not suffer them to 
come near her ; but drove on, with great violence, toward 
Albany; still keeping the Believers back, and threatening 
and abusing every one who attempted to go forward. Many 
of them were inhumanly beaten, some of those on horseback, 
besides being beaten themselves, had their horses beaten 
with such violence that they several times nearly fell down. 
Thus they drove on about seven miles, over a rough and 
muddy road, over stones and stumps, seeking the roughest 
places in the road for Mother's carriage; which, together 
with many severe strokes, which she received from her dri- 
vers, greatly increased the fatigue and sufferings she had 
already endured. And, though several families of the Believ- 
ers lived on the road, the mob would not suffer Mother to 
stop for any refreshments, although it was near sunset, and 
she had eaten nothing that day, except a few mouthfuls 

152 Testimonies of 

which she nad obtained of Grant's wife, at the intercession 
of some of the Sisters. 

22. At length, about dusk, they arrived against a tavern 
on the road, and the Landlord, whose name was Ranny, 
hearing the tumult, and understanding the cause, came out, 
and with great authority of spirit, and keen severity of lan- 
guage, reprimanded the mob for such shameful abuse, 
toward an innocent and civil people; and boldly threatened 
them with the utmost rigor of the law, if they did not imme- 
diately disperse. This severe rebuke and bold threat from 
Ranny, greatly embarrassed the mob, and concluding they 
were near the boundary line of the town, and night coming 
on, they said that all who belonged to Niskayuna, might 
pass on, but those who belonged to New Lebanon, should 
go back. The Brethren, however, would not consent to 
this, but determined to cleave to Mother. After much 
wrangling, and some blows from the mob, they left the Be- 
lievers, a few rods west of Ranny's, and near to Charles Mc- 
Carthy's — a poor man, who lived in a little log-house, 
where the most of them retired, and took shelter for the 
night; Mother was very much exhausted, and passed the 
night under great distress and sufferings. 





i. When daylight appeared, the Believers who had taken 
their lodgings on the floor of the house, and in an old log 

Mother Ann Lee. 153 

barn, arose from their cold berths, wet and muddy, just in 
the situation the mob had left them. However, the young 
Brethren soon cleared away the brush, in the door-yard, and 
prepared for meeting. The people assembled, and kneel- 
ing down, wept, with great sorrow. Elder James said, " If 
these should hold their peace, I believe the very stones 
would cry out to God." They then went forth in worship, 
with great power of God. 

2. Soon after meeting, some of the Brethren came from 
New Lebanon, and brought them plenty of provisions, 
which came in a time of need, and was thankfully received; 
for very few of those who had followed Mother, had eaten 
any thing the preceding day. 

3. After they had eaten their breakfast, Mother showed 
them the bruises she had received from their cruel persecu- 
tors. Her stomach and arms were beaten and bruised black 
and blue; and she, and the Sisters with her affirmed that she 
was black and blue all over her body; and indeed it was 
not to be wondered at, considering how much she had been 
beaten and dragged about; she wept, and said, " So it has 
been with me almost continually, ever since I left Niskayuna; 
day and night, day and night, I have been like a dying 

4. Mother and her persecuted little flock, passed the fore 
part of the day in serving God and comforting one another. 
In the afternoon they returned back to Nathan Farrington's, 
where they spent the remainder of the day, and the follow- 
ing night. After they arrived there, Mother said, " I feel 
now as though I could take some rest," and appeared in a 
measure, comfortable, considering the shocking scene of suf- 
fering and abuse which she had passed through the preced- 
ing day. 

5. But, the enemies of the work could never be at rest 
while Mother was within their reach. In the dusk of the 


154 Testimonies of 

evening, about thirty or forty heathenish creatures of the 
baser sort, collected around the house, in a mobbish manner. 
This collection consisted chiefly of a company of fellows 
from the town of Chatham, who, from the savageness of 
their manners, were styled the "Indian Club." 

6. These ruffians demanded, in very rough and abusive lan- 
guage, "to see that old woman." Nathan inquired what 
they wanted of her ? They answered, " She is an old witch, 
and she shall not stay here." Nathan replied, " She is a wo- 
man of God, and you shall not see her in such a manner." 
On hearing the tumult, and perceiving that a mob had gath- 
ered, Mother wept, and said, " This comes suddenly upon me, 
what shall I do ? I do not feel as though I could endure 
any more ! " 

7. The mob threw clubs and stones at the house, and 
threatened to break down the doors. Nathan boldly com- 
manded them to desist, and threatened them with the pen- 
alty of the law if they attempted to break into the house. 
This, for a moment, seemed to check their rage; Nathan ex- 
postulated with them, and endeavored to show them the 
wickedness and folly of such conduct, and said, " I have 
lived, as a neighbor with you a number of years, in peace; 
but now, because I have joined the people of God, accord- 
ing to my faith, and confessed my sins, as you ought to do, 
you come here to break into my house, and abuse my 

8. But the mob, being determined to break into the house, 
set reason and humanity at defiance, and with horrid oaths 
and blasphemies, continued to throw stones and clubs. 
The house being new, and unfinished, and one of the pas- 
sages fastened up with loose boards, they, at length, suc- 
ceeded in forcing the boards down, and carried them into 
the street, but were still prevented from entering the house, 
by Brethren, who stood in the passage. 

Mother Ann Lee. 155 

9. Mother, who was at this time in the upper part of the 
house, sent for John Farrington,* and said to him, " John, 
can't you go and send these creatures off ? " :< Yea, Mother," 
replied John. " Go," said she, " and shame them, tell 
them it is a shame for men to be around after a woman in 
the night; but, if they will go off, and come peaceably, to- 
morrow, in the day-time, I will see them." 

10. Accordingly, John went down in Mother's gift, and 
slipped out at another door, and was instantly seized, by 
two lusty ruffians. " Love," said John. " Love," replied the 
men, in a sneering tone of voice; and immediately gripped 
him between them with such violence that it seemed as 
though they intended to squeeze the breath out of his body. 

11. John held his breath, and, as they slackened their 
arms, he cried "More love," at which they renewed their 
hug, gripping him with all their strength. This was repeated 
a number of times till the men had wearied themselves in 
hugging and squeezing John, who received no hurt. 
" Now," said John, " If you have got through, I want to 
reason with you, as you are reasonable men, or ought to be. 
Why do you come here, in such a manner, in the night, af- 
ter a woman ? It is a shame; I am ashamed of you, that men 
should behave so ! Do, for the honor of man, withdraw, 
peaceably, and if you will come again, in the morning, 
peaceably, when it is day-time, the woman is willing to see 
you." These words, spoken in the power and gift of God, 
completely vanquished their rage, and quelled their savage 
spirits; they immediately began to withdraw, and were soon 
all gone, so that Mother enjoyed the remainder of the night 
in peace. 

12. The next morning, only six or eight of them made 
their appearance. Mother, with John, and two or three 
of the Sisters, went out to see them. " This is the woman 

* Eldest son of Nathan Farrington. 

156 Testimonies of 

that you pressed so hard to see last night," said John. 
" What do you want of me ? " said Mother, ' I am a poor, 
weak woman, I do not hurt any body." 

13. The guilty wretches had no confidence to speak to 
her, nor to look her in the face, but hung down their heads, 
and began to sheer off. John then invited them to stay and 
take breakfast, but they declined, and soon went off. Thus 
did God frustrate the designs of the wicked, at this time. 

14. About ten o'clock in the morning, Mother took her 
leave of the Believers at Nathan Farrington's, and said she 
did not feel it to be best for any to follow her, excepting 
the Elders, and Richard Spier, because it would only tend 
to increase the enmity of the world. She then departed for 

15. After proceeding a few miles on the road, one of the 
shoes of Mother's beast came off, and they made a stop on 
White's hill, opposite to a blacksmith shop, to get the shoe 
set. Father William stepped up to the shop and asked the 
blacksmith, whose name was Johnson, to set the shoe, and 
offered to pay him the money for it. But the man in a very 
rough and passionate manner, refused, and seizing a pair of 
his tongs, threw them at him with great violence; but, miss- 
ing his aim, they struck the ground between Father William's 
feet, and pierced a hole, nearly six inches deep, in the hard, 
solid earth. 

16. Richard Spier picked up the tongs, and asked John- 
son what he meant by such conduct ? He replied, with an 
oath, that he would immediately kill them all, if they did 
not depart. They left him, and went on about a mile, 
and stopped at Ebenezer Knapp's ; Mary Knapp, and her 
daughter Hannah, were Believers, and the old man was 
friendly. Hannah had been sent home from Nathan Far- 
rington's by Mother, in the morning, with information that 
she was coming along soon, and would stop there. The 

Mother Ann Lee. 157 

family had also made preparations to receive her; but she 
had not been in the house but a few minutes, when this 
wicked Johnson, with about twenty ruffians, in his own like- 
ness, came and beset the house, and ordered Mother and 
the Elders to be gone in half an hour, or they should suffer 
the consequences. 

17. These cruel wretches were chiefly armed with cudgels, 
and large whips, with the lashes wound around their hands. 
George White, Esqr., was one of the crew. Mother and the 
Elders were so oppressed by these ruffians that they did not 
even sit down to eat the victuals which was provided for 
them; though some of them took a few mouthfuls into their 
hands and ate while they tarried. 

18. Hannah, who had returned from Nathan Farrington's 
with the joyful expectation of seeing Mother and the Elders 
at her father's house, was greatly grieved to think that they 
could not eat their victuals in peace; and, though young 
and bashful, she was constrained, by the power of God, to 
break forth in the following words, " If there was a company 
of drunkards, whoremongers, and whores gathered here to 
serve the devil, you would not come to drive them away." 
Father William Lee replied, " It is the truth of God, Child." 

19. Though Ebenezer Knapp did not pretend to be a Be- 
liever, he appeared to be very sorry that Mother and the 
Elders were so interrupted ; that they could not refresh 
themselves in peace, especially, as it was the first time they 
had been at his house. He said they came peaceably, and 
were welcome to stay as long as they chose. Father William 
went out into the piazza and spoke to the mob with his usual 
boldness, saying, "We came here peaceably to refresh our- 
selves, and we will stay as long as we have a mind to, and do 
you resist us, if you dare." Mother and the Elders soon 
took their leave, and no further resistance was offered. One 
of the mob, however, attempted to lead Mother's carriage, 

158 Testimonies of 

but Hannah Kendall, who was in the carriage with Mother, 
forbade it, saying, " Let the horse alone, I am able to drive 
him myself." He then let the beast go, and they then pro- 
ceeded on their journey, and met with no further opposition. 

20. When they arrived at the ferry, opposite Albany, a 
number of native Indians were at the ferry; and on discov- 
ering Mother Ann, they cried out, "The good woman is 
come ; the good woman is come," and manifested great joy 
and satisfaction on seeing her and the Elders. Mother soon 
crossed the river, and proceeded on till they entered the 
forest, north-west of the town, where they made a little 
stop, and rested themselves in peace. After this they pur- 
sued their journey, and arrived at Niskayuna about eleven 
o'clock at night, September 4th, 17S3. 

21. During the period of two years and four months, — 
the time of their absence from Niskayuna, Mother and the 
Elders traveled many hundred miles, and suffered indescrib- 
able hardships, afflictions and persecutions, to establish the 
gospel in this land, and lay the foundation of Christ's King- 
dom on earth. Most of the Believers in America had a 
privilege to see her, either by being visited in their own 
habitations, or by visiting her where she tarried, and all had 
a privilege to be taught the way of God more perfectly. 
During this period of time Mother and the the Elders had 
many precious and powerful gifts of God, to search out and 
reprove sin, to strengthen the weak, instruct the ignorant, 
and comfort the afflicted ; and all who were honest-hearted, 
found a great increase of power over evil, of love and union, 
light and understanding; while those who were rotten- 
hearted, and insincere, began to wither away, more and 
more, till they fell off, as withered branches. 

Note. — It is proper here to give some further account of 
the prisoners who were left in Barrington Jail. Mother, 
whose care and tender feelings extended to all her children, 

Mother Ann Lee. 159 

and especially to those who were under afflictions and suffer- 
ings, had been careful to send messengers from time to time, to 
look after their situation, and minister to their necessities. 
Jonathan Slosson, — who had been charged by Mother Ann to 
see to them, returned to Niskayuna the day after Mother's ar- 
rival, and gave her some comforting intelligence about them. 

While in prison they were visited by many of the world, 
to whom they held a bold testimony. Some were convicted, 
confessed their sins, and set out in the w r ay of God. The 
prisoners, though they were sometimes abused by the jailer, 
were generally treated with kindness ; and, though they 
were, sometimes, closely confined, yet they were at other 
times, treated with great confidence, and let them have lib- 
erty to walk abroad, saying he was not in the least concerned 
about their running away. 

After they had been there a while, the authority at Bar- 
rington wrote to the Judges who had imprisoned them, to 
know for what purpose they were imprisoned in such a man- 
ner, and received for answer, " they were obliged to do it to 
satisfy the people." Pitiful excuse, an innocent people, 
without having as much as a crime alleged against them, 
must be imprisoned To Satisfy the People ! They did 
not reflect that those wicked people could not save them 
from the judgments of God. 

After six or seven weeks' imprisonment, they were, at 
length, brought to trial; their Judges applied to Theodore 
Sedgewick, the District Attorney, to know whether they could 
support the charge of blasphemy against them, on account 
of what Samuel Fitch had said, and were informed that it 
would not bear an action, because what they had said was 
agreeable to their faith, to which they had a constitutional 
right, neither could they prove a breach of peace, because 
the Shakers, as well as other people, had a right to worship 
God as they pleased. 

160 Testimonies of 

Hence they were under the necessity to try another scheme 
to carry their point, and throw the cost of prosecution upon 
the innocent prisoners. Old Valentine Rathbun brought 
forward a charge, supported by oath, of assault and battery; 
and though it was evidently proved to be false, and his abuse 
to his own son was a clear evidence, that he, for one, was 
guilty of assault and battery; yet, these unjust Judges, who 
confessed that they had committed them to prison to satisfy 
the people, completed this disgraceful scene by sentencing 
those who had been proved innocent, to pay a fine of one 
dollar with the costs of Court, which amounted to twenty 
pounds, lawful. As the prisoners had not the money pres- 
ent, they informed the Sheriff that they did not want to lie 
in jail for money, and they would pay it as soon as they 
could. The Sheriff therefore released them, with no other 
security than their word, for the money; a striking proof of 
the confidence which he placed in these persecuted people. 
The money was paid, before the time had expired. 

Thus ended this imprisonment, to the disgrace of this per- 
secuting generation, but to the honor and increase of the 



i. The manifestations of God, in, and through Mother Ann 
were exceedingly great, and marvelous. That she was an 
eminent witness of God, no one could doubt who ever heard 
and felt the power of her testimony, or experienced the 
heart-searching power of her spirit; and that she was that 
distinguished person whom she declared herself to be, was 

Mother Ann Lee. 161 

beyond all dispute in the minds of her faithful followers; 
for her works plainly testified it. 

2. In the early part of the year 17S1, a large assembly of 
the Believers were gathered at Watervliet, among whom 
were Joseph M each am, Calvin Harlow, Nathan, Ezekiel, 
and Eunice Goodrich; Mother was at that time, under great 
sufferings of soul. She came forth with a very powerful gift 
of God and reproved the people for their hardness of heart, 
and unbelief in the Second Appearance of Christ. " Espe- 
cially ye men and brethren, I upbraid you for your unbelief 
and hardness of heart," said she. She spake of the unbe- 
lieving Jews, in Christ's first appearance, and, added she, 
" Even his own disciples, after he arose from the dead, though 
he had often told them that he should rise, the third day, 
believed it not." " They would not believe that he had risen 
because he appeared, first, to a woman! So great was their 
unbelief that the words of Mary seemed to them like idle 
tales! His appearing first, to a woman, showed that his 
Second Appearing would be in a woman." 

3. So great was the manifestation of the power of God in 
Mother at this time, that many were unable to abide in her 
presence, her words were like flames of fire, and her voice 
like peals of thunder. Well said the prophet, " Who shall 
abide the day of his coming, for he is like a refiner's fire and 
like fuller's soap." After this Mother Ann was released 
from her sufferings, and began to sing with great joy and 
love, and gathered the people around her, and her counte- 
nance was very beautiful and glorious. Eunice Goodrich. 

4. At Joseph Bennett's, in Cheshire, many people were 
gathered to see Mother. She kneeled, wept, and groaned in 
spirit, saying, " They do not know who I am, nor my calling." 
She repeated these words three times. Elizabeth, Phebe, 
and Rhoda Chase, Eunice Bennett, and many others were 
present. Elizabeth Chase. 



162 Testimonies of 

5. The first time Rhoda Hammond visited the Church, at 
Watervliet, in 1780, she had considerable conversation 
with Mother, in private. Mother informed her of wonder- 
ful manifestations of God to her, and said she spake with 
God, (to her sense,) face to face, as Moses did, and saw the 
glory of God, and had seen wonderful visions. She also 
said, " It is through great labor and sufferings, that the 
gifts of God come to me." Rhoda Hammond. 

6. When Mother was at Benjamin Osborn's, on Mount 
Washington, in conversation with Elizabeth Hill, she said, 
" I am the first Elder in the Church, I have seen God, and 
spoken with him, face to face, as we speak one to another.* 
Elizabeth, being young in the faith, these words of Mother 
Ann had a powerful effect in confirming and establishing 
her in the faith. Elizabeth Hill . 

7. Again, at the same place, Mother was under great suf- 
ferings, and travail of soul, after which she said, "The 
Lord, who brought me over the great waters, has redeemed 
my soul. I hear the angels sing ; I see the glory of God as 
bright as the sun ; I see multitudes of the dead, who were 
slain in battle, arise and come into the first resurrection; 
I see Christ put crowns on their heads of bright, glorious, 
and changeable colors. — I converse with Christ; I feel Him ^ 
present with me, as sensibly as I feel my hands together. 
My soul is married to him in the spirit; — he is my hus- 
band; it is not I that speaks ; it is Christ who dwells in me. 

Jonathan Slosson. 

8. Nathan Farrington, who lived in the western part of 
New Lebanon, having, with all his family, embraced the 
gospel, was one day taken in the visions of God while in the 
field, gathering his Indian corn, and carried, in the spirit, to 
the spot where the meeting-house in Lebanon now stands. 

* Powerful angels, clothed with God's spirit and power, appear to human souls 
as God Himself. God, to mortals is known through vicegerents. — Editor. 

Mother Ann Lee. 163 

Casting his eyes eastward, he saw the mountain chiefly di- 
vested of its trees, from the place where he stood, even to 
its summit. Near the summit, he saw the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and Mother Ann by his side, with their faces toward the 
west, and they walked side by side, down the mountain, 
until they came within a few rods of where he stood, and 
then disappeared. The vision then ceased, and Nathan 
found himself in his cornfield again. Mother Ann was, at 
that time, in Harvard, and Nathan, soon after, went to see 
her. Mother said, " I own your vision; it is so, it really is; 
and it is a great vision of God." Nathan told Mother that 
he knew what the vision meant, that it was given to him for 
an anchor to his soul. " Ah, truly it is,'' said Mother, "And 
it will hold you when all things else fail." 

Nathan Harrington, Senr. 

9. Hannah Goodrich, 1st, being at Watervliet, with others, 
saw Mother very full of power, and her face shone with the 
glory of God. It reminded Hannah of Moses, when he 
came down from the Mount. Mother then took hold of 
Hannah's hand, and raised it to her head, and said, "Han- 
nah, I see your face shine with the glory of God." 

10. Sometimes Mother Ann used to be taken under great 
sufferings, so that it would seem as though her life must go 
from her; at other times she was filled with unspeakable joy 
and triumph, and would say, " I feel as terrible as an army 
with banners ! " Hannah Goodrich. 

11. At Harvard, in presence of Ebenezer Cooley, and 
others, Mother spoke many things relating to her own ex- 
perience; she said, "When I first gained the victory over a 
carnal nature, I was brought into great clearness of sight, I 
saw the Lord Jesus, met with him, and walked with him 
side by side. Ebenezer Cooiey. 

12. Timothy Hubbard was one of the first who visited 
Mother and the Elders at Watervliet. While there, he saw 

164 Testimonies of 

Mother sit in her chair from early in the morning until after- 
noon, under great operations and power of God ; she sung 
in unknown tongues, the whole of the time, and seemed 
to be wholly divested of any attraction to material things; 
all her sensations appeared to be engaged in the spiritual 
world. After she was released from these operations she 
spoke to the people present, saying, " The way of God will 
grow straighter and straighter; so straight that if you go one 
hair's breadth out of the way, you will be lost. — I felt my 
soul walking with Christ in groves and valleys, as really as 
if he had been here on earth. — It is good for a man not to 
touch a woman." Timothy Hubbard. 

13. At another time, in the presence of Timothy Hubbard, 
and others, Mother Ann was overshadowed with the power 
of God. She stood erect, on the floor, for the space of an L 
hour; her countenance was angelic, and she seemed to notice ) 
nothing of the things of time. She sang, chiefly in unknown 
tongues ; though, sometimes, she uttered expressions in her 
own language. Among other expressions she made the fol- 
lowing: "Thou wilt keep them in perfect peace whose minds 
are staid on Thee." When her gift was out she said, " I saw 
Jesus Christ, and conversed with him face to face, as a man 
converseth with his friend." Timothy Hubbard. 

14. In the spring of 17CS4, Sarah Barker, of New Lebanon, 
saw Mother in vision. She saw a bright spot on the top of 
her head, which gradually spread all over her, till, to Sarah's 
sensation, she seemed entirely covered with glory, and it 
seemed as though God, who created all things, dwelt in her. 
Sarah, afterward, related the vision to Mother Ann, and 
Mother said, " It is a great gift of God, I have nothing in me 
to my knowledge, but what is of God. If I have, I do not 
know it." Sarah Barker. 

15. About two months after Samuel Fitch believed the 
gospel, being at Watervliet, and having received a great mani- 

Mother Ann Lee. 165 

festation of light and understanding, he said to Mother Ann, 
" Christ is called the Second Adam, and thou art the Second 
Eve." She answered, "Flesh and blood has not revealed it 
unto thee, Samuel; but God has." Samuel Fitch. 

16. Job Bishop, being with Mother Ann at Watervliet, 
opened some visions he had seen of some of the Apostles. 
Mother turning to Elder James, who was present, exclaimed, 
"Ah! James, these are great gifts of God; they are minister- 
ing spirits. I have often seen St. Peter and St. Paul, and^ 
conversed with them, and with all the Apostles ; and with J 
Christ Jesus, — my Lord and Head; for no man is my head, 
but Christ Jesus; he is my Lord and Head." Mother wept, 
and, turning to Job, said, " Job, though you are a young man, 
you are now called to go and preach a greater and purer 
gospel than St. Paul preached; for this day, requires a con- 
fession of every known sin ; and a full cross against the flesh, 
with all its affections and lusts." Job Bishop. 

17. Morell Baker, Senr., visited the Church at Watervliet 
in 1784. After their return from the eastern states, and 
being under great impressions of mind concerning Mother's 
calling, he said to her, " Thou art the Bride, the Lamb's wife ! " 
She answered, " Thou hast rightly said, for so I am. Christ 
is my husband. I now see many souls who have left the body, 
and have come to hear the gospel ! I now hear the hosts of 
heaven singing praises to God." Morell Baker, Senr. 

18. The same year, David Slosson and many others, being 
at WatervKet, N. Y., were present with Mother Ann and the 
Elders who came from England with her, when Mother 
appeared clothed in majesty, and her visage was exceedingly 
glorious. She spake with great power, saying, " I am mar- 
ried to the Lord Jesus Christ ! He is my head and my hus- 
band, and I have no other ! I have walked hand in hand 
with him in Heaven ! I have seen the Patriarchs, Prophets 
and Apostles; I have conversed with them, and I know them, 

166 Testimonies of 

I have seen King David, with his robes on, which were of 
vast extent, and inexpressibly glorious ! I have seen Job 
St. Paul, and others." , She also described their statures, and 
their glory and majesty. David Slosson. 

19. While Mother Ann and the Elders were at Nathan 
Kendall's in Woburn, Sarah Kendall, and some other young 
Sisters, being with Mother in the chamber, one day, and 
after she had been walking the floor for a considerable time, 
the Elders came in, and Mother, addressing them, said, " I 
have been walking in fine valleys with Christ, in heavenly 
union." Sara// Kendall. 

20. At Watervliet, in 17S4, in presence of a large number 
of people, Mother spake as follows, " Christ is ever with me, 
both in sitting down and rising up; in going out and coming 
in. If I walk in groves and valleys, there he is, with me; 
and I converse with him as one friend converses with another, 
face to face." Elizabeth Chase. 

21. The first time that Mother Ann visited Enfield, Conn., 
in June, 1781, many people being present, many people, in 
conversation with Mother, asked her when she was con- 
verted? "Converted " ! said Mother, I converse with God 
face to face, every day." * Joseph Markham, Senr. 

22. One evening, at Watervliet, when a number of the 
Believers were assembled together, Mother came into the 
room and said " Silence " ! " There is silence in Heaven for 
the space of half an hour." The people then all sat down, 
and Mother retired. After about half an hour she returned 
and said, "I have been with God and with Christ; and I 
saw the holy angels, and heard them sing; and they sang 
'Glory to God and the Lambd " Eliphalet Slosson. 

23. Mother often said, "I feel the blood of Christ running 
through my soul and washing me; him do I acknowledge 
as my head, and Lord." Eliphalet Slosson. 

A mediatorial Ansel, representing God to the finite human perception. — Editor. 


Mother Ann Lee. 167 

24. When Mother Ann and the Elders were at Nathan 
Goodrich's, in Hancock, Joseph Meacham, Hannah Ken- 
dall and others being present, Mother was under great power 
of God, her soul seemed filled with joy, and her countenance 
shone with beauty, and she spake these words, " I know that 
the mysteries of God are revealed unto me; and there is no 
one who can see through me, or comprehend me, until born 
of God." Thankful Barce. 

25. One morning Mother raised her window, and looking 
out, said, " I have had new fruit to eat this morning, such 
as I never had before. I am full. Like a vessel that is 
ready to burst, my soul is running over ! O that souls 
would come and partake ! I feel the blood (life) of Christ, 
running all over me, and washing me." Daniel Cogswell. 

26. One day, at Ashfield, Mother was under great opera- 
tions and prophecies of God, concerning the future opening 
of the gospel to a lost world. She walked out a little dis- 
tance from the house under great operations, and cried with 
a loud voice, " Come! Come! Come! Come! All the world, 
Come! " Mary Rabbins. 

27. At another time, being in the same place, she stood 
in the door and stretched forth her hands, and with great 
power, called upon all the kindreds of the earth, saying, 
"Come away! Come away! All the world, Come away! " 

Hannah Goodrich. 
2S. At Watervliet, in the presence of Anna Mathewson, 
Mother Lucy Wright and others, a short time before her de- 
cease, Mother Ann expressed her great love to Christ, say- 
ing, " He is my Lord. I feel great union with him, and 
walk with him in union. I see the opening of the heavens, 
and I see the heaven of heavens, as it were, glory beyond 
glory; and still see that which does excel in glory." 

Anna Mathewson. 

i68 Testimonies of 



i. Mother Ann and the Elders abounded in visions, 
prophecies and revelations; these, and many other gift: 
were administered in abundance through them, to those who 
embraced their testimony; they were given to strengthen, 
confirm, and establish the faith which the people had re- 
ceived; and were also preparatory to, and evidences of the 
real substance which was to follow. 

2. Though these gifts were very numerous and common, 
and, in that day, very important, yet those which were 
merely outward signs and operations were considered as 
matters of less importance, because they could not, of them- 
selves, accomplish the real work of redemption; and, in pro- 
portion as the body of the people traveled into the more en- 
during substance of the gospel, these outward gifts became 
less necessary among them. 

3. Soon after the testimony of the gospel reached New 
Lebanon, Nathan Farrington, Senr., and his daughter, Me- 
hetabel, with many others, went to Watervliet, to see the 
Church. Mehetabel soon received faith in the testimony, 
and confessed her sins. Nathan returned home with the 
rest of his company, and left his daughter there. After 
they had been gone a while Mother said to Mehetabel, " I 
see your father and those with him in open vision; and your 
father has received a gift since he went from here. He says, 
if he was here now, he would confess his sins." While Me- 
hetabel was at the Church, Mother said to her, " Your natu- 
ral mother believes that we are the people of God, who con- 
fess and forsake our sins." She also added, "All your 
father's family will believe the gospel." This prophecy, 
shortly after, came to pass. 

Mother Ann Lee. 169 

4. After some days, Mehetabel returned home; when she 
arrived, her father informed her that when he was on the 
road, returning from the Church, he received light and un- 
derstanding, and said that if he had then been at the Church, 
he would have confessed his sins; this he told his daughter, 
without having any knowledge of what Mother had said to 
her, respecting the matter. 

5. About four weeks after this Mehetabel again visited the 
Church. While she was there, Mother Ann again spoke to 
her, saying, Mehetabel, your Elder is coming; she then 
spake to some Sisters, and bade them prepare victuals for 
six people. They did so, and as soon as it was ready, Jo- 
seph Meacham and five others came in. Mother said to Jo- 
seph, " I saw you before you crossed the river." * At another 
time while Mehetabel was there, Mother said she felt that 
there was a number of people coming, and bade the Sisters 
prepare food for them; as soon as the meal was prepared, a 
number of needy people came in, and were made welcome ; 
not only to the victuals, but to the gospel. 

6. Again, after Mother Ann returned from Poughkeepsie 
Jail, Mehetabel was at Watervliet, and a number of Believers 
being present, Mother addressed them as follows, " You are 
called in relation to all the rest of mankind, and through 
your faith and obedience they must receive the gospel. 
Pain and sufferings will never cease in the Church until all 
souls have heard the gospel of salvation. This gospel will 
be freely offered to all souls; and will be a savor of life unto 
life, or of death unto death." She also said, "The increase 
of the gospel in the first opening, will be small; after that, 
souls will embrace it by hundreds and by thousands; for 
this testimony will overcome all nations; it will increase till 
the covering is taken off; then mankind will see the rotten- 
ness of Antichrist's foundation ; then souls who are bound 

*They crossed below Albany, nearly nine miles distant from Watervliet. 

170 Testimonies of 

in their sins will call to the rocks and to the mountains to 
cover them. But the Saints will never be overcome again 
by the beastly power of Antichrist." 

7. She further said, " The work of God in this day is not 
so great, in outward appearance, as it was in past dispensa- 
tions; therefore, souls must be very cautious how they treat 
this gospel; for such as finally reject this testimony will not 
have another day." Mehetabel Farrington. 

8. After Mother Ann returned from her missionary tour 
in the eastern states, there was a time of much tribulation 
among the Believers, occasioned by the great opposition of 
the wicked, which brought deep sufferings upon Mother. 
As she was walking the floor, and laboring under the power 
of God, she prophesied, saying, " The time will come when 
God will draw the line between the righteous and the wicked, 
and the wicked cannot pass over it, — Yea, the time will 
come when God will give that power to His people, so that 
they will be able to draw the line, and the wicked cannot 
step one step over it. Fear not their fears, neither be afraid, 
for God will deliver His people." After this Mother Ann 
was released, and sang with great joy and triumph. 

David Slosson, 

9. At a certain time Mother Ann addressed a number of 
Believers as follows, " You think that you will yet subdue 
and overcome the nations of the earth ; but you are mis- 
taken; they have that work to do for themselves. They will 
fight, and devour, and dash each other in pieces, until they 
become so humble as to be willing to receive the gospel." 

John Barnes. 

10. At 'Watervliet, while a number of the Brethren were 
in a room together, in conversation about the Antichristian 
world, Mother Ann came into the room and inquired what 
they had been saying about the Antichristian world. After 
they had informed her she spake with great power, saying, 

Mother Ann Lee. 171 

" They will build up, but God will pull down ; they will build 
up, but God will pull down, until they can build no more! 
But you will have nothing to do with it." Abel Allen. 

11. Mother Ann prophesied to Samuel Fitch, at the time 
of his first interview with her, saying, " After I have done 
my work in this world, there will be a great increase of the 
gospel. It will be like a man's beginning in the world and 
raising up a family of children, gathering an interest, then 
dying, and leaving his interest with his children, who will 
improve thereon and gather more." Samuel Fitch. 

12. At Watervliet, after Mother Ann's return from her 
journey to the east, she was one day in great tribulation and 
weeping, with fervent cries to God, in consideration of the 
scattered state of Believers. " But," said she, " the time 
will come when the Church will be gathered into order; but 
not till after my decease." She also said, " After my depar- 
ture there will come grievous wolves, who will destroy many 
of the flock." Morell Baker. 

13. At Watervliet, in the former part of the year 1781, 
Elder James Whittaker took Amos Rathbun by the hand, 
and prophesied, saying, " In eleven years, the Church will be 
established in her order." This prophecy has been exactly 
fulfilled; for in the year 1792, the Church was established in 
its present order and spirit of government. 

Amos Rathbun. 

14. After Joseph Meacham and Calvin Harlow had em- 
braced the gospel, Mother prophesied, saying, " Joseph 
Meacham is the wisest man that has been born of a woman 
for six hundred years. God has called and anointed him 
to be a Father to all His people in America. Calvin Harlow 
will be a minister of the gospel to other souls. The wisdom, 
knowledge, and light of God will increase in the Church till 
Zion travels to her full glory." Elizur Goodrich. 

15. At another time, at Watervliet, after Mother's return 

1 72 Testimonies of 

from the east, she said, " Calvin Harlow is an Elder! O the 
bright glories I see for Calvin! I see him stand with his 
people like a Bishop, ministering the gifts of God. O the 
beautiful gifts of God I see for souls who stand fast ! I see 
the increase of the gospel like an impassable river." Again 
she spoke to Elder James, saying, " James, how does the 
scriptures say ? Shall a man eat his bread by the sweat of his 
brow? " " Yea, Mother," answered Elder James. Mother 
said, " I feel that gift for the people of God, James. Go and 
tell Calvin that he must gain a gift in hand labor, before he 
can find his lot, and order of his people."* 

Jonathan Slosson. 

16. At Ashfield, Mother Ann, being under great suffer- 
ings, said, " It will not be my lot, nor the lot of any who 
came with me from England, to gather and build up the 
Church ; but, it will be the lot of Joseph Meacham, and 
others, to gather and build up the Church." She also said, 
" It will not be my nation, nor any of those that came with 
me from England who will lead this people, but the lead will 
be given to Joseph Meacham." Sarah Bennett. 

17. Again at Ashfield, Mother Ann said, "Joseph 
Meacham is my first born son in America. He will gather 
the Church in order, but I shall not live to see it." 

Hannah Kendall. 

18. Mother Ann testified, " When order comes to be es- 
tablished, it will then be seen and known, who are true Be- 
lievers." Mother Lucy Wright. 

19. One day, at Watervliet, not long before her decease, 

* This prophecy was completely fulfilled. Calvin Harlow continued his resi- 
dence in New Lebanon, and improved his time in hand labor, (except when called 
to travel with the Elders,) till after the gathering of the Church at New Lebanon; 
but, at length, was called, by a special gift of God, while reaping in the field, and 
was sent to take charge of the people in Hancock and Pittsfield, and having gath- 
ered them into the order of a church, called the " Chirch of Han-cock" he became 
their first Elder and Father, and continued to stand as a faithful minister of Christ, 
till his decease. 

Mother Ann Lee. 173 

Mother Ann took Joseph Meacham by the hand, and walk- 
ing the floor, said, " I see the glories of God, in visions and 
revelations of things to come. Joseph is my first Bishop ; 
he is my Apostle in the Ministry ; my first Bishop ; what he 
does, I do. I see the glories of God shine in his face ! 
Joseph, my son Joseph ! I feel my time short ! I speak, 
that you may understand ! " Jonathan Slosson. 

20. In conversation with Elizabeth Chase, a little before 
her decease, Mother Ann said, " A ministration to this people 
will cease, and then you will see peaceable times ; then you 
may worship God under your own vines and fig trees, and 
none of the wicked will make you afraid. You will not 
need, then, to teach one another to know the Lord ; for all 
the faithful will know Him." Elizabeth Chase. 

21. This prophecy was fulfilled about eight years after- 
ward; a ministration ceased, and persecution ceased, also; 
and the Believers worshipped God in their appointed habi- 
tations, unmolested by the wicked, and under that measure 
of the gospel which each one had treasured up in his own 
soul, and which became therein an abiding substance. 

22. While Morell Baker, Senr., was at Watervliet, after 
Mother Ann returned from her journey among the eastern 
Believers, he had a vision, one night, in which he saw 
Mother Ann and the Elders in the south-western states, under 
the power of God, holding forth the same testimony which 
they had borne at Watervliet; and great multitudes of people 
were gathering to them to hear the gospel. The next morn- 
ing, he related his vision to Mother; she replied, "Your 
vision is of God, and what you saw will surely come to 
pass."* Morell Baker, Senr. 

23. At Ashfield, Mother Ann testified to Samuel Fitch, 
that, by revelation, she saw a people in the south-western 

* Morell did not understand that Mother and the Elders were, as instruments in 
the body, to preach the gospel, but spiritually, and, literally through messengers, 
clothed with their spirit. 

i;4 Testimonies of 

parts of this country, who would believe and obey the gos- 
pel. She also testified the same to Ebenezer Cooley. At 
Watervliet, in 1784, in presence of David Slosson and many 
others, Mother Ann lifted up her hand, and, pointing to the 
south-west, said, " There is a great level country in the south- 
west, in which God will raise up a great people, who will be 
His people." David Slosson. 

24. One day, as Mother Ann was walking the floor, and 
singing the melodious songs of the New Jerusalem, she 
turned to the people, and said, " I feel a special gift of God; 
I feel the power of God running all over me. " And, stretch- 
ing forth her hand toward the south-west, she said, " The 
next opening of the gospel will be in the south-west; it will 
be at a great distance ; and there will be a great work of 
God." And, looking upon Eliphalet Slosson, she said, 
"You may live to see it, but I shall not." 

Eliphalet Slosson. 

25. Eliphalet recollects of hearing Mother Ann speak, 
three different times, by prophecy, concerning a wonderful 
work of God which she said would take place in the south- 
western part of this country. There were also many others 
who remembered to have heard Mother Ann prophesy con- 
cerning a great work of God in the western country; and 
her prophecies verily came to pass. 



After Elizur Goodrich had embraced the testimony of the 
gospel, he opened his feelings to Mother Ann concerning 
Lucy Wright, to whom he had lately been married. He said 
her relations were a lofty, high-minded people; and it was 

Mother Ann Lee. 175 

very doubtful, to him, whether she would believe and obey 
the gospel. To this, Mother Ann made no reply at the 
time; but soon after, the Elders, William Lee, and James 
Whittaker, took him, by his arms, and led him to Mother. 
He observed that her visage was solemn and heavenly. She 
said to him, " Take faith, Lucy may be gained to the gospel 
and, if you gain her, it will be equal to gaining a nation." 

Elizur Goodrich. 

2. Again, after Lucy came to Watervliet to see the Church, 
and had received faith, a number of the Brethren and Sis- 
ters being there, Mother Ann passed through the room, 
and, with a smile, said, " We must save Lucy, if we can, for, 
if we save her, it will be equal to saving a nation." 

Joseph Markham, Senr. 

3. After the gathering of the Church Elizur spoke to 
Father Joseph of Mother Ann's prophecy concerning Lucy 
Wright, which had, till then, remained a mysterious saying 
to him. Father Joseph replied, " Mother's prophecy re- 
lated to Lucy's present lot in the Church. She, being 
called, and anointed of God to stand in her lot, as the first 
Mother in Church relation, the consequence of her labor, in 
the final event, will be equal to saving a nation." He fur- 
ther added, " Mother Ann travelled so deeply in the regen- 
eration, and her soul stood in such near relation to Christ, 
that not one of her prophecies will fail; but every one of 
them will be fulfilled in due time." Elizur Goodrich. 

4. When Mother Ann first arrived at Harvard, many of 
the Believers went to see her. She came into the room and 
sat down where a number were present, and said, "I have 
seen a mob, in vision, and I saw two female angels standing 
by them, by which I know that we shall continue here a 
while, in peace." Joseph Markham, Senr. 

5. Again, after Mother arrived at Harvard, she took Esther 
Lambson by the hand, saying, " I saw this woman in the 

176 Testimonies of 

visions of God, when I was in my own country." Then, 
looking round upon the assembly, she said, " So I did see 
you all, before I came to this land." Hannah Prescott, 

6. Mother Ann also testified to Jonathan Slosson, and 
others, that she saw in vision, while in England, the place, 
in Harvard, where the Church is now established, together 
with the people who afterward embraced the gospel there; 
and, that when she came in sight of the place, she knew it, 
and knew the people who came to see her. 

7. Soon after Mother Ann's arrival in Harvard, she spoke 
to some who came to see her, saying, " God has a people in 
this place; He has heard their cries; they have had great 
light. Their Leader* got overcome; God has taken him 
away and sent me here. The wicked seek my life; as they 
did in England, so do they here; but heed it not; for God 
will establish His work here, and the wicked cannot over- 
throw it. Jonathan Slosson. 

8. After this, in the presence of Elder William Lee, and 
others, Mother Ann said, " Shadrach Ireland has been to see 
me; and I made labors with him, but he would not believe; 
therefore he was left to feel hell; and souls in that state 
were frightened at him, because his sufferings were so much 
greater than theirs. But, he will never be released, until 
some of his people find their redemption." 

Joseph jV/arhham, Senr. 

9. Phebe Spencer, with her husband and family, em- 
braced the gospel in the fall of 1781, while Mother Ann and 
the Elders were at Harvard; awhile afterward, she went to 
Harvard, to see Mother. After she arrived there, one of 

* Shadrach Ireland was their Leader; he was a man who had formerly received 
great light, took up his cross against the flesh, drew after him many followers, 
formed a considerable society, suffered much persecution, and built a large house, 
about three miles out of the town of Harvard, well known by the name of the 
"Square House'" where the Church at Harvard is now established. Before his 
decease, he fell from his light, and died at Harvard, not long before the gospel 
opened. Many of his followers embraced the gospel. 

Mother Ann Lee. 177 

the Elders took her by the hand and led her to Mother, say- 
ing, "You never saw Mother before, did you?" She an- 
swered, "Nay." Mother said, "I have seen you before; 
and I knew that you, and your family, would come and em- 
brace the gospel with us. Poor woman, you little know 
what you have lived amongst! I saw the lost condition of 
the people in America, before I came from England; how 
deeply they were all sunk in their pollutions; and so did 
Brother William." Phebe Spencer. 

10. Amos Sexton went to see Mother in 1780; he was then 
in the seventy-third year of his age; Mother prophesied to 
him thus, " You shall live to see the beginning of another cen- 
tury, and will be seen walking the streets of Jerusalem, and 
leaning upon your staff for very age." He confessed his 
sins and was very zealous; and, though greatly advanced in 
years, he took great delight in beholding the increase of 
Christ's Kingdom on earth; and, after having about twenty 
years' privilege in the gospel, he departed this life the 17th 
of May, 1802, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. 

Mary Spencer. 

11. When Mother Ann visited Joshua Birch's, at Ston- 
ington, there was a young woman then living in the family, 
who was thought to be very honest, and chaste. Lois Birch 
manifested her feelings to Mother in favor of the girl's char- 
acter; to which Mother replied, "Are you a Christian, and 
think that girl is chaste and honest? You are deceived; 
she lives in whoredom with married men, young men, black 
men, and boys." This declaration almost staggered Lois' 
confidence in Mother, believing that she knew the girl's 
character. But, soon after, Mother's charges against the 
girl were proved to a demonstration; by which Lois' faith 
in Mother was strengthened, beyond a doubt, that Mother 
had the revelation of God, and was able to see what crea- 
tures had in them. 

2 3 


178 Testimonies of 

12. While Mother Ann was at Enfield there came a wo- 
man to see her by the name of Tryphena Perkins, who made 
a great profession of Christianity. But, in the hearing of a 
number of people, Mother Ann reproved her for her wick- 
edness, and said, " You are a filthy whore. " This greatly 
offended her, and she went away and complained that she 
had been abused, which furnished Mother's enemies, as they 
supposed, with sufficient cause to prosecute her. They now 
began to flatter themselves that they were able to prove 
Mother a false prophetess, and determined to prosecute her 
for defamation. They said they could prove to a certainty, 
that Tryphena's organization was such that she could not, 
possibly, be guilty of the charge of whoredom; she was 
called a great Christian, and, of necessity, a pure virgin. 
But, behold, she was soon found to be with child, by a mar- 
ried man! This was well known throughout the town of 
Enfield, and Mother's enemies were greatly abashed and 

13. While Mother Ann was at Ashfield, Anna Goodrich 
went to see her, in company with her husband, (Daniel 
Goodrich). After she had been there some days, Mother 
came to her with a very solemn look, and said, " Poor chil- 
dren; your children are in trouble, and you must go home." 
Anna went immediately to find Daniel, and while she was 
speaking with him, Mother came to hasten him, saying, 
"You must go home, for your children are in trouble." So 
they immediately started for home, which was upwards of 
forty miles distant. When they arrived, they found, as 
Mother said, the children were in great trouble, for one of 
them was very sick. Anna Goodrich. 

14. Zeruah Clark went to see Mother while she was at 
Samuel Fitch's in Richmond, about five miles distant. 
After she had been there about an hour, Mother spoke to 
her, in the presence of a number of people, saying, "You 

Mother Ann Lee. 179 

must not stay here, you must go home, as soon as possible, 
for you are needed there." Zeruah set off in great haste, 
and when she had got about half way home, she met a mes- 
senger, who informed her that her oldest son was very sick, 
and they had but very little hope of his life. When she 
arrived, it appeared that he would not have continued long 
without assistance. Zeruah Clark. 

15. While Mother Ann and the Elders were at Asa Bacon's, 
in Ashfield, a number of the Believers were there one even- 
ing, and there appeared very extraordinary Northern Lights. 
One said, " It is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man 
in the clouds of heaven." Mother replied, "Those signs 
which appear in the sky are not the sign of his coming; but 
the Second Appearing of Christ is in his Church; and Christ 
is come to put away sin from his people, and this is the 
Cloud" (of witnesses) "alluded to." Anna Matheivson. 

16. While Elder Hocknell had the care of the people at 
Watervliet, in the summer of 17S1, while Mother Ann was 
at Harvard, he came into meeting one evening, under great 
operations of the power of God, and, with his hand stretched 
toward the fire, he spake in an unknown tongue, seemingly, 
in great wrath. When his gift ceased, he said, " I saw the 
souls of three men, whom I knew while I was in England. 
They came to hear the word of God, but, they had not fin- 
ished their sufferings, and therefore were returned again to 
their suffering state." He also said, "If you could see the 
glory of God that shines around you as I do, and the angels 
that minister the power of God to you, your hair would rise 
on your heads, and flesh would crawl on your bones." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

17. One Sabbath day, at Harvard, in February, 1782, Elder 
James spoke to a large assembly, both of Believers and the 
world, and being under great impressions of the power of 
God, he spoke with such solemnity, concerning the judg- 

i8o Testimonies of 

ments of God that would follow the wicked, and, in the spirit 
of prophecy, uttered the following prediction : " The judg- 
ments of God will follow them that reject this gospel; their 
flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet; 
their eyes shall consume away in their holes; and their 
tongues shall consume away in their mouths; and some of 
this generation shall yet live to see it." He also said, 
" There are three things that no man can pass by, namely, 
Death, Judgment, and Eternity." Hannah Cogswell. 



At Watervliet, in 1780, Hannah Cogswell and others being 
present, Mother Ann related some visions which she had 
seen, and at the same time said, " I see an angel, with a glori- 
ous trumpet, and he is sounding it." Again she said, "I see 
another angel sounding a trumpet. Hannah, do you believe 
that I see these things ? " Hannah answered, " Yea." Mother 
said, "Blessed are they that have not seen and yet believe." 

2. Again Elder William Lee said, " I know the condition 
of souls who have left the body, and where I see one soul in 
the body, I see a thousand in the world of spirits." Mother J 
Ann and Elder James Whittaker often spoke in the same 
manner, concerning their intercourse with the world of 
spirits. Hannah Cogswell. 

3. The winter after the gospel opened Mary Moseley was 
at Watervliet in the room with Mother Ann, and Mother 
said, " I see the room full of angels, and they are female 
angels."' Then turning to Mary, she said, " You must leave 
off sinning, and serve the living and true God." 

Mary Moseley. 

Mother Ann Lee. 181 

4. At another time, while the Brethren and Sisters were 
worshipping God in the dance, Mother came into the room 
and sung awhile. After they stopped dancing, Mother said, 

' The room over your heads is full of the angels of God. I 
see them, and you could see them too, if you was redeemed 
from the nature of the flesh." Lucy Prescott. 

5. The first time Mother Ann visited Enfield, Mary Tif- 
fany went, one evening, to see her, and Mother said, " I see 
your deceased kindred all around you." Mary asked if it 
was her mother, or her child ? She said, " It is all your 
kindred, both upon your father's and mother's side ; they are 
nearer to you than I am." 

6. The next day, Mary, with a number of other sisters 
went to see Mother, and asked her how she did ? She an- 
swered, " I have been under great sufferings for the dead, 
last night, and I saw your souls in vision, as plainly as I can 
see your bodies, standing shoulder to shoulder, clothed in 
white; do you hear me, Molly?" "Yea, Mother," answered 
Mary. " I saw your soul clothed with a long white robe down 
to your feet," said Mother. 

7. At another time Mother Ann said to Mary, " I saw the 
travail of your soul written upon you in great capital letters, 
and I can read them as fast as I can speak." Again she 
said, " I look into the windows of Heaven, and see what 
there is in the invisible world." As one of the Sisters was 
speaking concerning Dr. Watts, Mother said, " Dr. Watts is 
now in Heaven." Mary Tiffany. 

8. At Watervliet, in presence of Cornelius Thayer, Wil- 
liam Scales, and others, Mother said, ' I saw William 
Scales in vision, writing that which was not according to the 
simplicity of the gospel, and the evil spirits hovered around 
him, and administered evil to him. They looked like crows." 
And Mother reproved William sharply. 

Cornelius Thayer. 

182 Testimonies of 

9. Again Mother said, " I have seen Michael and his an- 
gels fight with the Dragon and his angels, and the Dragon 
was cast down and there was no place found for him ; I saw 
it as plain before my eyes as ever I saw any natural thing." 

Lydia Mathewson, Senr. 

10. In the presence of Sarah Kendall and others, Mother 
Ann said to a certain Brother, " I see two golden candle- 
sticks, and they stand by each of your legs, and they reach 
up to your knees." Again she said to a Sister, "I see your 
mouth set open with a wheel of glory." Sarah Ken Jail. 

11. At another time Mother said, " I see souls in the world 
of spirits who have lately set out to embrace the gospel, 
and I see them under the beautiful operations of the power 
of God." Mother often said, "I see the angels of God, 
and hear them sing." " And I see the glory of God." 

Sarah Kendall. 

12. At Nathan Goodrich's, in Hancock, Mother said, "I 
see Ezekiel Goodrich* flying from one heaven to another," 
and, turning to the Believers, she said, " Go in, and join his 
resurrection." She then began to sing, and they went 
forth and praised the Lord in the dance. 

13. At Ashfield, Elder James Whittaker came into meet- 
ing one evening and said, " Since last night this time, I was 
in the visions of God in the world of spirits, and I heard the 
song of angels, as of an host ; and after singing some time, 
they stopped. Then I heard it proclaimed three times, dis- 
tinctly, with a loud voice that roared like thunder : 'This 
is the day of your visitation.' Then they began again to 
sing, as an innumberable multitude, and the sound seemed 
to go off at a distance, and the further it. went, the louder it 
grew; and I heard it, till it seemed, to my sensation, to be a 
million miles off." Abijah Wooster. 

* Ezekiel was a beloved Brother who deceased the third year after the gospel 

Mother Ann Lee. 183 

14. Mother Ann said to Lydia Matthewson, "The Apos- 
tles, in their day, saw darkly, as through a glass; but now we 
see clearly, face to face, and see things as they are, and con- 
verse with departed spirits, and see their states." 

15. After Mother returned from the eastward, Joseph 
Meacham, Joseph Markham, and a number of others being 
present, Mother said, " I now see faces, I will not say, as the 
stars of Heaven, but as the sand on the sea shore." Mother 
often spoke when the Believers were assembled in meeting, 
of seeing angels in the room; sometimes she spoke of seeing 
male angels and female angels. Joseph Markham, Senr. 

16. One morning Mother came into the room and in- 
formed Eunice Bennet that she had been under great suffer- 
ings the night past ; but was supported and comforted in 
her sufferings, by the visions of God. She said she saw the 
glories of God round about her head and pillow, like the 
colors of the rainbow, and she saw twelve angels come into 
the room placed in the form of a heart, six males on one 
side, and six females on the other; these, she said, comforted 
her. Eunice Bennet. 

17. After Mother returned from the eastward, while a 
number of the Brethren were sitting in the new meeting- 
room, and conversing about Mother Ann's gifts, Mother, 
being present, said, " I will tell you a vision I saw of myself. 
I saw a great gulf fixed between God and the world of man- 
kind; and I had two great wings given to me, and my work 
was, to go up that gulf, and fan it away." And, speaking in 
a very joyful manner, she said, " I did go up the gulf, with 
my two wings, and did fan it away ; I did fan it away with 
my two great wings, so that poor lost souls could come to 
God." Isaac Cranch. 

18. The winter after Mother returned from the eastward, 
Phebe Spencer went to see her, — Phebe, and several other 
Sisters slept in the room with Mother. One morning, as 

184 Testimonies of 

they arose from their beds, Mother said, " The other night 
I saw a female angel with a bright sword of God in her hand, 
and this night it was revealed to me who it was, — It was 
Lucy Wright." Phebe Spencer. 

19. One Christmas evening, before the opening of the 
gospel in America, Mother Ann and those with her, had 
some conversation concerning the right day to be observed 
in commemoration of the birth of Christ, querying whether 
the twenty-fifth day of December, according to the old or 
new style, ought to be kept. Soon after, it was revealed to 
Mother that the twenty-fifth day according to the new style 
was the day to be kept for Christmas. Mary Hocknell. 

20. When Mother Ann and the Elders were in prison, at 
Albany, John Bishop went to see them. While there he was 
informed that she was to be taken down the river, the next 
day, for the purpose of banishing her to the British Army, 
which was then in New York. On receiving this informa- 
tion John was much troubled, and, as he was walking the 
prison yard, in great tribulation, Mother Ann came to him, 
and inquired the cause of his trouble. He answered, that 
they were about to take her away, and he did not know that 
he should ever se*e her again in this world. She replied, 
" You shall see me at your house, in New Lebanon, for I 
know it of God." She also said, "When I first arrived at 
Albany, Mary Partington and I lodged in the vessel, the first 
night; and, in the night, I was led by the power of God, to 
go out of the vessel, and came to this prison; and it was then 
revealed to me that I should be imprisoned here." Mother's 
prophecy to John greatly relieved his mind, and he returned 
home in full assurance that she had the revelation of God, 
and therefore he had not the least doubt of seeing her at his 
house in New Lebanon, which came to pass about three 
years after. John Bishop. 

21. Job Bishop was at Watervliet about three days before 

Mother Ann Lee. 185 

Mother Ann's decease, and felt an earnest desire to see her 
once more in the body, but did not ask the privilege. 
Mother, however, soon sent for him, and he went to her 
room. She was sitting in her chair, her bodily strength was 
almost exhausted, but her mind was sound, and her spirit 
firm and serene ; Lucy Wright was with her; and Job, being 
filled with sorrow, kneeled down by her. She said, " I shall 
soon be taken out of this body; but the gospel never will be 
taken from you if you are faithful. Be not discouraged, nor 
cast down, for God will not leave His people without a Lead. 
Elder James Whittaker, and Elder Joseph Meacham will be 
left, and there will be a great increase of the gifts of God, to 
all who are faithful and obedient. Now you are a young 
man, and have received many blessed gifts of God. Go, be 
faithful and zealous, and when you travel to your lot in the 
Church, all these beautiful gifts will be yours." Job then 
expressed some of his sorrowful feelings in parting with 
Mother. She replied, " Be of good comfort; cleave to Elder 
Joseph, for he will be your father, and will take care of you." 

Job Bishop. 



i. Mother Ann, and the Elders with her, uniformly taught 
the doctrine of a free offer of the gospel to all souls, whether 
in this world, or in the world of spirits. That none could 
be deprived of the offer of salvation because they had left 
the world before Christ made his appearance; or because 
they had lived in some remote part of the earth, where the 
sound of the gospel had never reached their ears. Their 
labors in the work of regeneration were not confined to this 
world, but extended to the world of spirits, and their travail 

1 86 Testimonies of 

and sufferings for the salvation of departed souls, were often 
distressing, beyond description. 

2. Cornelius Thayer, of Patridgefield, came to see the 
Church, soon after the opening of the gospel, and embraced 
the testimony. After he had confessed his sins, and received 
the promise of eternal life, Mother Ann told him to read a 
chapter in the Revelations, concerning the woman clothed 
with the sun. Elder James read, in the Epistle of Peter, 
concerning the gospel being preached to those who were 
dead, that they might be judged according to men in the 
flesh, and live according to God, in the spirit. He said, 
" The gospel is preached to souls who have left the body." 
And Mother said, " I see thousands of the dead rising and 
coming to judgment now, in this present time." 

Cornelius Thayer. 

3. Not long after the opening of the gospel at Watervliet, 
Mother Ann was speaking to a large number of the Believers, 
concerning those who were called by the gospel, and of their 
bearing and travailing for other souls, and she said, " If there 
is but one called out of a generation, and that soul is faith- 
ful, it will have to travail and bear for all its generation; for 
the world will be redeemed by generations." Elder William 
Lee, and Elder James Whittaker often spoke in the .same 
manner, concerning the redemption of souls. 

Hannah Cogswell. 

4. Mother spoke, oftentimes, when under great sufferings, 
of seeing the spirits in prison, and often spoke to them. 
Sometimes she used to speak to them in a very powerful 
manner, and sharply reprove them, and bade them shake 
off their bonds. At other times she would tell of seeing 
unbodied souls, laboring for the power of God; and say 
that such were in a travel — Then she would smile, and 
speak to them; but often spoke in an unknown tongue. 

Hannah Kendall. 

Mother Ann Lee. 187 

5. One particular time, at Ashfield, Mother was under 
great sufferings; and after she was released, she said that 
she saw an angel go out of heaven, and release souls who 
had been confined in prison along time. Hannah Kendall. 

6. One morning, at Watervliet, Mother Ann said, " Last 
night I was under great sufferings, and a great number of 
the dead came to me, and some of them embraced the gos- 
pel; but others chose rather to go to hell than to confess 
their sins." Lucy Prescott. 

7. At Ashfield,* in the presence of many Believers who 
were there, Mother said, " I have seen a vision; I saw myself 
flying up a great gulf — I had great wings; and, with the 
ends of my wings I uncovered the dead, who lay on the banks 
of the gulf." Again she said, "I have seen a great number 
(who had been dead) laboring in the worship of God. They 
had come out of great tribulation; there is no danger of 
these, for they have had hell enough; but man in the flesh, 
is always in danger." Joseph Afarkham, Senr. 

8. Again Mother Ann said, "I have seen, in vision, beau- 
tiful souls of men, arrayed in white, all in the resurrection, 
there is no fear of their going back. As for hell, they have 
had enough of it; and, to come back into this world they 
cannot; but, poor man in the flesh is always in danger." 

Hannah Goodrich. 

9. At Harvard, Mother Ann said, " I have been under 
great sufferings to-day, and have seen many of the dead 
arise, and they were dressed in white robes, and received 
palms. These will never fall; but poor man in the flesh is 
always exposed." Anna Cogswell, 1st. 

10. Soon after Jane Kendall departed this life, Mother 
Ann spoke to Sarah Kendall, hei sister, and said, " I have 
seen Jane in the world of spirits, and she was praising God 
in the dance." She also said, " I have seen young Jonathan 

* In January, 1783. 

iS8 Testimonies of 

Wood among the dead, and he was like claps of thunder 
among them, waking them up."* Sarah Kendall. 

ii. At Nathan Goodrich's, in Hancock, Mother Ann rose 
one morning and said, " I have been all night with the dead, 
and I heard the archangel sound the trumpet ; and I heard 
Ezekiel's voice roar from one prison to another, preaching 
to the dead." This was not long after Ezekiel Goodrich 
deceased. Thankful Barce. 

12. At Watervliet, in 1784, while a large number of Believ- 
ers were assembled together, Father William Lee came into 
the room, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, he said, " O 
Brethren and Sisters, labor to make a good use of your day 
and privilege, and be thankful for the visitation of God to 
you. I have seen Ezekiel Goodrich in the world of spirits,! 
whose voice roared like thunder among the dead; they gather T 
to him, and are thankful to hear the word of God. And if ) 
you do not receive the word of God which is spoken to you, 
the dead will; for there is not one word of God lost that 
ever was spoken." David Slosson. 

13. David Slosson, having visited the Church at Ashfield, 
and being about to return home, went into Mother Ann's 
room, and was placed in a chair before her ; the Elders also 
being present. David felt himself as in the presence of God, 
and under great weight of body and spirit; but knew not the 
cause. Mother looked him full in the face, and then turned 
and looked on the Elders without speaking. After a short 
pause, she said, " David you know not what you feel. I see 
the dead around you, whose visages are ghastly and very 
awful. Their faces almost touch thine. If you did but see 
what I see you would be surprised." She then labored in 
the gift of God, and again looked David full in the face, and 
with an air of joy and love, said, " Child, be not discouraged, 
for I see the glory of God in thy right eye, as bright as the 

* Jonathan had then lately deceased. 

Mother Ann Lee. 189 

sun; its form is like the new moon. Be of good comfort, 
and be not cast down; for the dead gather to thee for the 
gospel which thou hast received." David Slosson. 

14. One day, while Father \\ 'illiam Lee was lying on his 
bed, under great sufferings, Abijah Wooster went and kneeled 
down by his bed side, and, while on his knees, he was exer- 
cised with peculiar operations. Mother Ann and Elder 
James being present, Abijah made mention of the sensations 
he felt. ''Yea, Yea," said Mother, " I understand you;" 
then turning to Elder James, she said, "Abijah feels many 
lifeless states, and he don't know what is the matter with 
him." Then turning to Abijah, she said, "You are not 
going into the kingdom without the progeny from which 
you sprung; and when you labor, and obtain gifts of God, 
they obtain gifts of God; and when you find mortification 
they find it too; they travel as you do." Abijah Wooster. 

15. One day Hannah Kendall, being very unwell, went 
into the room where Mother Ann was ; Mother said, " I do 
not wonder that you feel as you do, for you have been bear- 
ing for the dead. I see a tall soul right behind you now." 

Hannah Kendall. 

16. When Mother Ann was at William and Hezekialv 
Morey's, in Norton, she said to them, " I saw your father,* 
about a week ago, in blackness and darkness, and before we 
left the house, he desired the prayers of the Church ; and I 
saw your natural mother, with her mouth wide open, in 
prayer to God for him.f Since that time, he has appeared 
to me again, and has risen from the dead, and come into 
the first heavens ; and is traveling on to the second and 1 - 
third heavens." Ezekiel Morey. 

17. While Mother Ann and the Elders were at Ashfield, 
Lydia Mathewson went to see them, in company with her 

* He died before the gospel opened in America. 
+ She died in the faith. 

190 Testimonies of 

husband, — Philip Mathewson. Lydia, in conversation with 
Mother, spoke concerning Thomas Mathewson, her hus- 
band's father, who had been dead a number of years. She 
told Mother that he was a very senseless man as to the things 
of God, and appeared to have little or no sense about his 
soul, which formerly caused her great tribulation. 

18. Soon after this, Mother spoke to Lydia, as follows; 
" When you spoke to me concerning Thomas Mathewson, I 
felt his lost state, and labored for him as faithfully as if it 
had been for my own soul. And one evening, when the peo- 
ple assembled at the meeting-house, I stayed in the dwelling- 
house ; and I felt the power of God come upon me, which 
moved my hand up and down like the motion of wings; and 
soon. I felt as if I had wings on both hands; and I saw them, 
and they appeared as bright as gold. And I let my hands 
go as the power directed them, and these wings parted the 
darkness to where souls lay, in the ditch of hell, and I saw 
their lost state." 

19. "Elder James was at the same time preaching to a 
number of the world, in the meeting-house ; and I saw a 
number of the dead who were willing to hear ; and they arose 
at the sound of the trumpet of the gospel, through the 
preaching of Elder James. And Thomas Mathewson arose, 
and went into the meeting-house. After this I felt a gift to 
go into the meeting-house without any knowledge of what I 
was going for ; but, being led by the power of God, I went 
through the assembly and found Philip Mathewson lying on 
the floor, apparently like a dying man. His father's state 
had fallen upon him. I took him by the hand, and told him 
to rise up, and he obeyed; but it was some time before he was 
fully released from that state which had fallen upon him. 
But his father united with the testimony of the gospel." 

Lydia Mathewson. 

20. The case of Philip Mathewson was well known, and 

Mother Ann Lee. 191 

was fresh in the memories of those who were there when this 
record was first written in 1816. He assembled with the rest 
of the Believers in the meeting-house at Ashfield, while in 
meeting he was taken under great distress of body and soul, 
so that he appeared like a person suffering the pangs of 
death. Mother came into the meeting-house and looked at 
him and said, " He is bearing the last pains of death and 
hell for his father, who has been hanging about me the past 
two weeks, he is now released." And as she went out of the 
room, she continued saying, " He is released ! He is released ! " 

Elizabeth Davis. 

21. Soon after the gospel opened, W. C, of Richmond, died, 
having previously heard the testimony of the gospel, but did 
not obey it, though his wife and part of his family did. Mother, 
afterward, speaking of W. said, "I saw him in the same hell 
with murderers, as hot as a glowing oven, for defiling his own 
body, and going to dumb beasts. " Hannah Goodrich, \st. 

22. Some time in December, 17 S3, after Mother Ann and 
the Elders returned from the eastward, a large number of 
the Believers were at Watervliet, and they took their lodg- 
ings on the floor. Some time in the latter part of the night 
some of them awoke, and heard Mother laboring with the 
dead. Sometimes she spoke in her own tongue, and some- 
times in other tongues. Then she sung out in these words, 
" Come, O ye dead; Come, O ye dead! " She then spoke to 
some of the Elders, and said, " I feel the jaws of death 
grasping upon the people, — they do not know what we have 
to go through, I believe you had better call them up, and 
have them go into labors." Nathan Tiffany. 

23. The winter after Mother Ann and the Elders returned 
to Watervliet from their eastern journey, they were in great 
and incessant labors, made to purge out sin, and overcome 
all evil. One evening the people were assembled at the 
meeting-house, among whom were Asa Patten and Joshua 


192 Testimonies of 

Allen, of Tyringham, John 'Patten and many others. The 
Elders came forth with a sharp testimony against sin, show- 
ing the necessity of every soul's waking up, and laboring to 
feel their union to God. The same night Elder James was 
taken under excessive sufferings, which continued through 
the night. The following evening he came into meeting and 
addressed the Brethren and Sisters in the following words : 
" I would be glad to speak a few words; though I would not 
speak any thing that is too hard for you to understand. I 
believe that I was six hours, last night, in the belly of hell ! 
Indeed, I know that I was, and did preach to the spirits in 
prison, and I never knew, until then, what that passage in 
Scripture signified which saith that, ' One day with the Lord 
is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.' But 
now I can testify, by what I have seen and felt, that a soul 
that has been in hell but one day, it appears to him like a 
thousand years; for the horror of souls in hell is so extreme, 
and their banishment from God so great, that they cannot 
measure time." " It is called the ' bottomless pit,' ' and souls 
in it feel themselves continually sinking, further and further 
from God; and what still increases their torment, they can 
see no way out. If a man should live to the age of Methu- 
selah, and go through all the miseries of this life, it could 
not be compared with his suffering one day in hell ! ' When 
I saw the state of the damned, I shuddered at the awful 
prospect." Asa Patten. 



The doctrine of confessing every secret sin, one by one, 
to the witnesses of God, was continually taught by Mother 

Mother Ann Lee. 193 

Ann and the Elders, from the beginning of their ministry. 
Their labors in this particular were often attended with such 
mighty power, and such sharp and piercing testimony that 
those who heard it were unable to resist the powerful con- 
viction that attended it. 

2. Many were so powerfully wrought upon, that they could 
not refrain from crying out and confessing their sins on the 
spot, before large assemblies of people. Others, who were 
more bound in their feelings, could find no rest, day nor 
night, from the tormenting weight of their sins, till they had 
honestly confessed them to some of these witnesses of God. 

3. Some, who obstinately opposed their own conviction, 
were bowed down by an invisible power, in such a manner 
that they were unable to move hand or foot, and under such 
extreme sufferings that their flesh sometimes turned almost 
black. In this situation, they have continued several hours, 
before they would yield to conviction and be willing to con- 
fess their sins. 

4. If any, through deceit or hypocrisy, attempted to con- 
fess a part, and keep back such things as were more shame- 
ful, and more crossing to their feelings to confess, the Elders 
were sure to uncover them and bring all their secret abomi- 
nations to the light. This was done, in many instances, to 
the honor of the testimony, and the shame of hypocrites. 

5. But, the far greater part, who were the subjects of this 
powerful and heart-searching testimony, could not but feel 
as though all the sins they had ever committed in their lives, 
lay open and naked before Mother and the Elders, and 
were as plainly seen as their faces; which, indeed, was a real 
truth, as was abundantly proved, in many instances. 

6. Much was said and done, from time to time, both in 
public and private, to show the absolute necessity of bring- 
ing the hidden works of darkness to light, by a full, free, and 
honest confession, in order to find the mercy and forgiveness 

194 Testimonies of 

of God. To write the whole would not be possible, nor 
even necessary; yet, we think proper to record a few partic- 

7. After Mother Ann and the Elders arrived at Harvard, 
in the summer of 1781, Ivory Wilds, and many others, went 
to see them, and after hearing Christ preached, and the loss 
of man clearly laid open, they were convinced that Christ 
had come, in very deed, without sin unto salvation. Mother 
then addressed them in the following manner: " The first 
step of obedience that any soul can take is, to confess all 
sins to God, before His witnesses. Herein Christ is to be 
found as a Savior and a forgiver of sins, and nowhere else; 
for herein is contained the promise of God; but not in any 
other way." 

8. Mother Ann also said, " It was by the revelation of 
God that I came to America, to bring glad tidings of peace 
and salvation to all who are willing to confess and forsake 
their sins. I know by the spirit and power of Christ, that 
what I have said is the truth," and then added, " It is the 
heart which God looks at. The heart, with its hidden 
abominations covered and concealed from the witnesses of 
Christ, becomes like a cage of unclean birds, and never can 
be cleansed, short of a full and free confession." 

9. " Those who honestly confess all their sins, with a full 
determination to forsake them forever, will find strength of 
God to forsake them; and in taking up their cross against 
every known sin, and following Christ in the regeneration, 
in that life of obedience, they will be clothed with the right- 
eousness of Christ, and become the sons and daughters of 
God, being heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ." 
Father William Lee, and Father James Whittaker, often 
spake to the same purpose. Irory Wilds. 

10. Again, to Abigail Stanhope, and others who were 
present, Mother Ann said, " When I confessed my sins I la- 

Mother Ann Lee. 195 

bored to remember the time when, and the place where, I 
committed them; and when I had confessed them I cried to 
God, to know if my confession was accepted; and by crying 
to God continually, I traveled out of my loss. " 

Abigail Stanhope. 

11. After the decease of Job Bishop, Senr., who died in 
the faith, Mother asked his widow — Mercy Bishop, if she 
confessed her sins to her husband before his decease. 
Mercy answered, "Nay." 'You should have done it," 
said Mother, " For if you had done it, he would now be a 
ministering spirit to you." Mercy Bishop, 1st. 

12. In a public assembly at David Hammond's, in Peters- 
ham, Father William, in reproving sin, and admonishing 
the people to a faithful and honest confession, said, " Al- 
though we rebuke sin, yet we have nothing against the soul; 
it is only against the devil that soweth tares among the 
wheat. One sin, willfully covered, will be like mountains 
of lead upon the soul to sink it from the presence of God." 

John Robinson. 

13. On a- similar occasion Father James Whittaker said, 
" If there were as many men present, as there are stars in the 
sky, I would confess my sins before them all, rather than 
cover them.*' Mother said, "If you keep one sin covered, 
it will shut you out of the kingdom of heaven." 

Ruth Robbins. 

14. Soon after Mother Ann returned from Poughkeepsie 
Jail, Rufus and Zeruah Clark, having previously received 
faith in the testimony, went to see the Church, at Watervliet, 
with an intention of confessing their sins. Zeruah had de- 
signed, in her heart, to confess her sins to Mother, in pri- 
vate, in order to avoid the cross of confessing before the 
Elders. With this view Zeruah sought an opportunity to 
see Mother alone, which she soon obtained. But, as she 
had laid out her own way, in order to avoid the cross of 

196 Testimonies of 

confessing her sins before the Elders, when she came where 
Mother was, her feelings were so bound, that she was unable 
to open her mind even to her own satisfaction. Mother, 
perceiving her feelings, mentioned a particular sin which she 
had committed, which was then out of her mind, and which 
she knew that no soul, excepting herself, could have known, 
but by the revelation of God. She acknowledged that 
Mother had told her the truth; Mother then left her, and 
she sat down in great tribulation, because she had not an- 
swered her own mind, nor given Mother satisfaction. 

15. Father William Lee soon after came into the room, 
and Mother came and spake a few words to him in an un- 
known tongue; he then turned to Zeruah, and spoke with 
great power and authority, saying, " You need not think to 
come here and cover your sins from us; for we can see all 
the sins that you have ever committed, as plainly as though 
they were written in your forehead." 

16. Soon after this he spoke to her in a very mild man- 
ner, and asked, "Are you willing to confess your sins?" 
She answered, "Yea." "Are you willing to confess them 
before your husband ? " She answered, " Yea." " Remem- 
ber this, if you confess your sins, you confess them to God and 
His holy angels, and we are His witnesses." He then took 
her into a room to her husband, and, in the presence of 
Father William, Father James, and Elder Hocknell, she and 
her husband both confessed their sins. After they had done, 
Elder William warned them, in a very solemn manner, never 
to upbraid each other of the sins which they had confessed to 
God, before His witnesses." 

17. After this, Mother spoke to Zeruah, and asked, "Are 
you not able to go now, and testify as the woman of Samaria 
did, that you have found those that are able to tell you all 
things that ever you have done?" "And is not this the 
very Christ ? " She answered, " Yea, Mother, I am." 

Mother Ann Lee. 197 

18. Elder William then said to them, " Now you must go 
home, and bring up your children in the nurture and admo- 
nition of the Lord." Mother said, " If you will be obe- 
dient to what we have taught you, the promise of God is to 
you and your children." This promise has been fulfilled; 
their children all obeyed the gospel, and all kept the faith to 
the end of their days. Zeruah Clark. 

19. About a year after the opening of the gospel, Joseph 
Bennet, of Cheshire, whose family was in the faith, was 
visited by a very singular plague among his cattle, so that 
fifteen or twenty of the cattle died in a short time. At this 
time, Mother and the Elders were at Ashfield, about twenty 
miles distant. Mother, not having heard from the family for 
some time, and being then under great sufferings, called upon 
one of the Elders and bade him go quickly to Joseph Ben- 
net's and neither eat nor sleep till he got there, "for," said 
she, " There is sin in the family." He immediately set off, 
and arrived there late in the evening. After a considerable 
labor with the family, who all cleared themselves, a young 
man of the family was singled out by the man of God and 
found guilty of defiling himself with the cattle. He con- 
fessed his sin, and the plague ceased. Joanna Bennet. 

20. In an assembly of Believers at Watervliet, Father 
James was in great tribulation, and cried out, " There is sin 
in this assembly." And turning himself to a young woman, 
who immediately fell upon her knees, he said, " I see the 
spirit of a young man looking over your shoulder," and 
asked her if there was not something between her and the 
young man, which she had not confessed. The young woman 
confessed, that, about two years before, she had promised 
herself to the young man in marriage; and that, though she 
had intended to marry him, yet she took delight in vexing 
him, and for that purpose had, on a particular occasion, re- 
jected and greatly disappointed him; which so affected the 

198 . Testimonies of 

young man that he rode into a mill pond and drowned him- 
self. That she had never confessed it before, and that she 
had been strongly tempted to drown herself. After this con- 
fession, the young woman was released from her temptations. 
Father James testified that the young man had come to hear 
the gospel. Eliphalet Slosson. 

2i. At Watervliet, in presence of Morel Baker, and a num- 
ber of others. Mother, in her reproving a hardened sinner, 
told him of some of his secret sins. He was, at first, obsti- 
nate, and refused to acknowledge his guilt, but soon after, 
was so condemned, in his conscience, that he was constrained, 
by the force of truth, to come forward and confess the very 
sins which Mother had laid to his charge. 

Morel Baker, Senr. 

22. When Mother Ann and the Elders were at Nathan Ken- 
dall's in Woburn, there came in a man of the world who was 
very high minded and talkative, and disputed Mother's tes- 
timony to her face. After bearing with him awhile, she re- 
buked him, and told him of his sins, in presence of the 
assembly. The man was immediately struck speechless, his 
countenance fell, and he appeared like a guilty criminal ar- 
raigned at the bar of justice. Mother Ann then spoke to 
Father William, saying, " Brother William, take this man 
into another room, and labor with him, and take Amos with 
you." They accordingly went, and Father William labored 
with the man, and put the things that Mother had told him 
of so close to his conscience, that after considerable labor, 
in which the man seemed almost speechless, he at length 
confessed that Mother had told him the truth. 

Amos Rathbun. 

23. At Harvard, in the Autumn of 1781, there came a 
man who professed faith, and opened his mind to one of the 
Elders; but Mother, not feeling satisfied with him, called 
Amos Rathbun, and told him to go and labor with the man; 

Mother Ann Lee. 199 

" for he has pretended to open his mind, but he has not done 
it honestly," said she. " He has defiled himself; do you go, 
Amos, and make him confess it," said Mother. Accordingly, 
Amos went and labored with the man, who pretended to 
make full confession of the matter; but he did not tell it 
truthfully and honestly, as it was. Mother still feeling and 
knowing the man's hypocrisy to Amos, also went into the 
room herself, and spoke to the man with great sharpness and 
severity, saying, " You cover your sin, and do not confess it 
honestly; you have defiled yourself." 

24. These words were spoken with such power of God 
that the man was struck down, and fell, with his whole 
length, upon the floor, groaned out, and said, "It is true," 
and appeared to be in desperate agony, and, for some time, 
was unable to rise up. While he lay in that situation, 
Mother sharply reproved him, for such filthy and abominable 
conduct, and for not confessing it to Amos, when he was 
called upon, and declared to him the impossibility of ever 
keeping the way of God with sin covered. Amos Rathbun. 

25. Again, at Harvard, Mother called upon Amos Rath- 
bun one evening, and informed him that a certain man in 
the neighborhood had been there to open his mind ; " but/' 
said she, "he has not been honest; he has kept his doleful 
sins covered." It being then late in the evening, Mother 
bade Amos go to the man's house, and, if he was in bed, 
make him get up and confess his sins/' In obedience to 
Mother, Amos went, feeling, at the same time, a great weight 
of tribulation, and praying, all the way, that he might answer 
the mind and will of God, and see Mother's face in peace at 
his return. He found the man in bed, and desired him to 
get up, for he wanted to talk with him, and he could not 
answer his mind by talking with him in bed. The man 
arose from his bed, and, according to Mother's directions, 
Amos told him of those sins which he had kept covered, and 

200 Testimonies of 

had not honestly brought to the light, as he ought to have 
done. The man was greatly struck, acknowledged the truth 
of Amos' words, and appeared to be much broken down. 
The next day he came to the Square House, and said, 
" There was a man came to my house last night, and told 
me the very truth." Amos Rathbun. 



i. Divine miracles have generally attended the ushering 
in of new and extraordinary dispensations of God, to a dark 
and benighted world; because they carry to the minds of the 
lost children of men, the strongest evidence of the sacred 
messenger's Divine authority. But, when the Divine au- 
thority is once established in the hearts of honest Believers, 
a continuance of outward miracles, for that purpose, is no 
longer necessary. 

2. Many miraculous gifts, of various kinds, attended 
Mother Ann's ministry, some of which have already been 
published, in "The Testimony of Christ's Second Ap- 
pearing," and, therefore, need not be repeated here. Many 
others might be recorded, were they essential to support the 
truth of these testimonies; but the blessed fruits ,of Mother 
Ann's gospel are the most powerful evidences in its favor, 
and honest, upright souls will not be anxious to seek for 
further evidence. 

3. For the satisfaction of young Believers, however, we 
have thought proper to add a few, to the number already 
published, reminding them, at the same time, that the work 
of regeneration and redemption must be effected by the 

Mother Ann Lee. 201 

miraculous operation of the spirit of Christ, upon the willing 
and obedient soul. 

4. Sarah Jewett, of Littleton, in consequence of taking a 
sudden cold, lost her health, and for some time, was greatly 
afflicted with pain and distress, and much troubled with 
vomiting, so that she was scarcely able to keep either food 
or drink upon her stomach. About this time, Mother and 
the Elders came to Littleton, and visited the Believers. 
Sarah being much crowded with business, was not very care- 
ful of her health. Father William Lee, on taking his leave of 
her, admonished her, saying, " You do not do as well as you 
know." She confessed to him what she had done. He said, 
" Go, and sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." 
From that time, Sarah began to regain her health, and in a 
short time, was in a better state of health than she had ever 
been before. Sarah Jciuett. 

5. Mother Lucy was for some time, in the early part of 
her faith, afflicted with* a weakness of the stomach to such a 
degree that whenever she took her food, it occasioned such 
a distress it extended to her finger ends. Being at Harvard, 
while the Church was there, and finding her weakness in- 
creasing upon her, she concluded that she must quit her food 
entirely, and eat no more. Having drawn this conclusion, 
she resolved to open the matter to the Elders, which, as yet, 
she had not done. Accordingly she spoke to Father William, 
and told him of her complaint ; upon which he immediately 
burst into tears, and weeping aloud, said, " I am just so my- 
self." From that moment, Mother Lucy was released from 
her complaint, and has not been troubled with it since. 

6. In the spring of the year 1783, Abiathur Babbit was 
taken with the mumps, and by reason of a sudden and severe 
cold, his disease was increased to such a degree that his life 
was despaired of. Mother Ann, being at that time at Ash- 
field, sent Elder John Hocknell to Petersham, where Abia- 


202 Testimonies of 

thur then lived, but, for what reason, was unknown to him, 
till he came where Abiathur was. He then perceived the 
reason why he was sent; and under the signs and operations of 
the power of God, he took the muffler from Abiathur's face, 
and, with seeming resentment, cast it from him, and bade him 
leap, which, with much difficulty, lie did, several times. 
Elder Hocknell then bade him take faith, and go to work, 
and from that time, he was healed of his disease. 

7. Elizabeth Robinson, of Harvard, having her throat 
sore, and badly swelled, Mother Ann laid her hand on it, 
and the swelling went away, and her throat was healed. 
Mother said, " When you are bitten by the flying serpent, 
you must look upon the brazen serpent to be healed; and 
let your words be few, and seasoned with grace. " 

Elizabeth Robbins. 

8. Lucy Prescott was once with Mother Ann, and 
having been afflicted with an exceedingly bad cough, by 
which she was reduced to a very weak and low state of 
health, she opened her situation to Mother. Mother asked, 
" Are you not willing to suffer with me ? I have to suffer, al- 
most all my time." These words produced complete recon- 
ciliation in Lucy's feelings, and she answered, " Yea, Mother, 
I am willing." Mother then offered her a little wine and 
water in a cup, Lucy declined it, saying, " My stomach is so 
sore that I do not know how to drink it." Mother said, 
" Drink it, for it will not hurt you." Lucy obeyed, and was 
well from that time. Lucy Prescott. 

9. A few months before Moses Mixer believed the gospel, 
he had all his ankle bones dislocated; and, though they had 
been set by a skillful surgeon, yet his ankle remained very 
weak; being prevailed upon by his friends, to visit the 
Church, at Watervliet, he set off, and traveled from Peters- 
ham to Watervliet, on foot, — one hundred and twenty miles, 
which so affected his ankle, that it was very sore and pain- 

Mother Ann Lee. 203 

ful ; he arrived in the evening, and after taking some re- 
freshment, went into meeting, and being invited to go into 
the dance, he complied, but in consequence of the pain and 
distress of his ankle, he was soon obliged to go and sit down. 
Elder Hocknell went to him and asked him why he did not 
labor? He replied that his ankle pained him so he was not 

10. Elder Hocknell, being under the power and opera- 
tions of God, bade him take faith in the gifts of God, and 
asked, "Where is the sorest place?" Moses was then sit- 
ting, with his ankle across .his knee, and putting his hand 
upon it, showed Elder Hocknell the sorest place, with full 
faith, that if he should but touch it, his ankle would be 
healed. Elder Hocknell then placed his hand upon the 
ankle, and instantly, Moses felt the power of God run down 
into his foot, and up his leg, back and forth; and the pain 
and swelling immediately left it. Elder Hocknell then led 
him into the dance, saying, " Now you can labor." Moses 
then went forth in the power and gift of God, with his ankle 
well and sound ; and testified until his death, he had no pain 
nor weakness in it thereafter. 

11. While the Church was at Ashfield, in the winter of 
1783, there came a woman with her little girl, about nine or 
ten years of age, and desired that the evil spirit might be 
cast out of the child. Some victuals being prepared for 
them, the woman spoke to her child and bade her kneel 
down before she ate, but the child refused ; and at the 
same time screamed, and tore the hair out of her head. 
Those who were present, went and informed Mother 
Ann of the circumstance. Mother came into the room and 
cast her eyes upon the child, then, calling Elder Hocknell, 
she said, " You must labor for a gift of God to cast the evil 
spirit out of this child." Immediately the power of God 
came mightily upon him, and he spake in an unknown tongue, 

204 Testimonies of 

and laid his hand upon the child's head. The child imme- 
diately gushed into tears. He then spoke to the child, and 
she kneeled down with him and appeared very loving and 
pleasant. Mother then said, " We have power to bind and 
to loose, and to cast out evil spirits." Phcbc Spencer. 

12. Daniel Goodrich, Senr., in the early part of his faith. 
went to Watervliet to see Mother Ann, and took some of his 
children along with him; his family at that time had not got 
hold of much faith; some of them were still in opposition, 
and one of his little girls, which he then carried with him, 
having, by a fall, had her hip put out, was bowed together, 
and her leg began to perish, so that it was feared she would 
be a cripple. These things, together with a lack of that 
visible power and operation of the spirit which was perceiv- 
able among other Believers, occasioned Daniel much tribu- 
lation. He opened his trials and difficulties to Mother. She 
soon after assembled his children into the room with him, 
and spoke to him as follows : 

13. " O Daniel, God has given you a special gift of faith. 
Signs and operations will fail, but faith and obedience will 
carry you through. Bear your testimony, purge your house 
and your family from sin, and you will gather your whole 
family. I saw your family last night, in the visions of God, 
stand on Mount Zion with the harps of God in their hands." 

14. Mother then took the lame girl into her lap, and when 
she sat her down upon her feet, she stroked her down upon 
her sides, and said, " Go home Daniel, and be faithful, this, 
your child, will become well." So they departed, and the 
child became well, as before, and the family were all gath- 
ered to the faith. Mother Hannah Goodrich. 

15 Zaccheus Stevens, in the early part of his faith, vis- 
ited the Church at Watervliet, in company with Eleazer 
Rand. While there he was taken very sick, so that his life 
was despaired of. He informed Mother that he had consid- 

Mother Ann Lee. 205 

erable business at home which was unsettled. Mother asked 
him where his horse was? "At John Partington's, about 
three miles distant," replied Zaccheus. " Send Eleazer Rand 
after him," said Mother, "for you must take faith and set 
out for home to-morrow morning, and you will recover." 
This command was strange, and unexpected, to Zaccheus, 
and all who saw him, (Mother Ann excepted,) so that when 
he spoke to Eleazer to fetch his horse, he was struck with 
astonishment to hear of Zaccheus' setting out to go a jour- 
ney of an hundred and fifty miles, when he was thought to 
be so near his end. But, in obedience to Mother, Zaccheus 
set off the next morning, and traveled over thirty miles the 
first day, and felt much better at night, than he did before 
he left Watervliet. And through his whole journey he con- 
tinued to increase in strength, and arrived at his own house 
in Harvard, in tolerable good health. Zaccheus Stevens. 

16. John Bishop, of New Lebanon, having a desire to 
visit the Church at Ashfield, in October, 1782, but under- 
standing that many people resorted there to bear the word 
of God, he concluded that horse keeping must be very scarce, 
and for that reason, set off on foot, a little before night, and 
proceeded ten miles. The next day he traveled thirty miles, 
and arrived at Asa Bacon's just as the people were sitting 
down to supper, and sat down with them. Immediately 
after supper John went into the dance with the rest of the 
people; but as he was unaccustomed to traveling, and the 
roads extremely muddy, he felt scarcely able to stand on his 
feet. At this time, Mother Ann came into the room, and 
without saying a word, took him by the hand. The effect 
was like the sudden operation of an electric shock; he was 
instantly relieved from his weariness. John then felt as 
though he could have willingly danced all night. He danced 
till twelve o'clock, at which time meeting was dismissed. 
He then walked half a mile, to Moses Bacon's, wrapped him- 

2o6 Testimonies of 

self up in his great coat, laid himself down upon the floor, 
and slept comfortably as though he had been on a feather 
bed, and felt no more of his weariness afterward. 

John Bishop. 

17. Zadock Wright, having embraced the testimony of the 
gospel, visited the Church at Harvard, and being in the 
worship of God under great tribulation, he felt himself, as it 
were, upon a sea of glass mingled with fire, and thought that 
he had not much in him but what must be burned up, and 
he must perish. At this time Mother Ann passed through 
the assembly, and took him by the hand, and instantly his 
burden left him. Zadock Wright. 

18. Afterward, Zadock visited the Church at Ashfield, 
where the fire of the gospel searched every heart, and he, 
like many others, felt such a sense of his lost state, that his 
disease seemed to him incurable. Mother passing through 
the assembly at this time, touched him on his arm, saying 
"Repent." He was again instantly released from his bur- 
den. Zadock Wright. 

19. Instances similar to the foregoing were very numerous 
in Mother's day. There were but few persons who had much 
opportunity with her, who were not able to relate something 
of the kind. Brethren and Sisters who visited the Church 
under tribulation and sufferings, whether of body or mind, 
were often instantly released, by a mere touch of the hand 
from Mother ; even the touch of her finger, or the sound of 
her voice, has frequently had the same effect. 

Mother Ann Lee. 207 




i. Great pains were taken by Mother Ann and the Elders 
to instruct the Believers in the care and management of 
temporal things. They were often taught to be industrious, 
to put their hands to work, and their hearts to God, to be 
neat and cleanly, and observe good economy ; to use the 
things of this world as not abusing them; to be prudent and 
saving, and let nothing be lost, or wasted through carelessness, 
or neglect; to avoid equally, covetousness, and prodigality; to 
behind and charitable to the poor, and to keep clear of debt. 

2. These things were strictly enjoined upon the Believers 
from time to time, as matters of importance, in order to se- 
cure a spiritual blessing. For it was always held up as a 
doctrine of truth, and which was abundantly proved by 
experience, that those who were unfaithful in temporal 
things, could not find the blessing and protection of God in 
their spiritual travel; hence, a faithful and wise improve- 
ment of their time and talents in the things of time was 
essentially necessary in order to inherit the true riches. 

3. On a particular occasion, Mother Ann spoke to Zeruah 
Clark as follows, " Be faithful to keep the gospel; be neat 
and industrious; keep your family's clothes clean and de- 
cent; see that your house is kept clean, and your victuals 
is prepared in good order, that when the Brethren come in 
from their hard work they can bless you, and eat their food 
with thankfulness, without murmuring, and be able to wor- 
ship God in the beauty of holiness. Watch, and be careful, 
don't speak harsh, nor cast reflections upon them; but let 
your words be few, and seasoned with grace." 

2oS Testimonies of 

4. At a certain time, on taking leave of some who had 
been at the Church, and were about to return home, Mother 
addressed them as follows : " Go home and put your hands 
to work, and your hearts to God; for if you are not faithful 
in the unrighteous mammon, how can you expect the true 
riches? Mankind have fallen below the order of nature; 
even the beasts of the field might teach them knowledge. 
Many will come to the Church and receive the gifts of God, 
then go away, be careless and idle, and lose them. This is 
not right, you ought to be faithful, that when you come 
again, you may bring strength and not weakness." 

5. In the time of harvest, while some of the Brethren were 
reaping their wheat, Mother Ann sent Elder James into the 
field to teach them. He went, and spoke to them as fol- 
lows: " Cut your grain clean; God has caused it to grow, 
and you ought to be careful to save it; for you cannot make 
one kernel grow, if you know you must starve for the want 
of it. In this country you abound in good things, therefore 
you are lavish and wasteful." 

6. Lucy Bishop was once scrubbing a room, and Mother 
Ann came in and said, "Clean your room well; for good 
spirits will not live where there is dirt. There is no dirt in 
heaven." At another time she spoke to some Sisters who 
had been washing the floor, saying, ;< You ought to be neat, 
and clean; for there is no slovens nor sluts in heaven." 

Lucy Pre scoff. 

7. Phebe Spencer, being on a visit to the Church, at Water- 
vliet, asked Mother's counsel concerning some superfluities 
which she and her family had gathered, such as gold beads, 
jewels, silver buckles, and other ornaments of the kind. 
Mother Ann answered, " You may let the moles and bats 
have them; that is, the children of this world; for they set 
their hearts upon such things; but, the people of God do 
not want them." 

Mother Ann Lee. 209 

8. She also said, " You ought to dress yourself in modest 
apparel, as becomes the people of God, and teach your 
family to do likewise. You ought to be industrious and pru- 
dent, and not live a sumptuous and gluttonous life; but labor 
for a meek and quiet spirit, and see that your family is kept 
decent, and regular, in all their going forth, that others may 
see your good works." 

9. Addressing Phebe Spencer and a number of others, 
Mother said, " You must remember the poor and needy, the 
widow and the fatherless; and deal out your bread to the 
hungry, and your clothes to the naked. Your natures will 
say, ' They may work and get these things for themselves.' 
But Christ said, ' Give to him that asketh, and of him that 
would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.' If I had but 
two mouthfuls of bread, I would give to him that needed ; 
and, if I had but two coats, I would give to him who had 
none. You must put away your covetousness, your lust, and 
your filth, and be prepared for the increase of the gospel; 
for the time will come when this gospel will be preached to 
all nations, and many will flock to Zion to hear the word of 
the Lord." 

10. Soon after the opening of the gospel at Enfield, N. H., 
some of the Believers in that place, having more zeal than 
wisdom and understanding, imbibed a notion that they were 
not to continue in this world but a few years, and concluded 
that they need not make any further provisions for a living, 
in consequence of which they made a very undue use of 
their property, by squandering it away in a profuse manner, 
which brought great trials upon some others of their Breth- 
ren, particularly upon Jacob Heath. Jacob, soon after, in 
company with Cornelius Goodale, went to see the Church, 
which was then at Ashfield, and opened his trials to some of 
the Elders respecting the matter. On Mother hearing of it, 
she called Jacob and Cornelius, and after instructing them 


210 Testimonies of 

concerning these things, she bade them go home and set out 
apple trees, and raise calves, and make provisions as though 
they were to live a thousand years, and gather something to 
do good with. Jacob Heath. 

ii. Soon after this, Jacob Hunt, Ezekiel Stephens, and a 
number of other Believers, visited the Church at Ashfield. 
Just before their departure, Mother Ann spoke to them, and 
gave them instructions concerning their temporal economy, 
saying, " Go home, and take good care of what you have. 
Provide places for your things, so that you may know where 
to find them, at any time, by day or by night; and learn to 
be neat and clean, prudent and saving, and see that nothing 
is lost; and be kind to the poor and needy." To the Sisters 
she said, " Do not omit your washing till the latter end of 
the week ; but do it on Monday ; and set a good example 
before the world." Jacob Hunt. 

12. While Jacob Heath, and a number of others were eat- 
ing their dinner, Mother Ann came to the table, and taking 
a bone from the platter, gave it to one who sat near her, say- 
ing, " Take this bone and pick it clean, and learn to be pru- 
dent." Jacob Heath. 

13. Cornelius Goodale, being at the Church at Watervliet, 
in January, 17S4, and being, at that time, under some em- 
barrassments, in his temporal circumstances, asked Mother 
Ann if it would not be better for him to sell his farm, and 
buy a less one, and so pay his debts. Mother Ann answered, 
" You better not. The people of God do not sell their farms 
to pay their debts; but they put their hands to work, and 
gather something by their industry, to pay their debts with, 
and keep their farms." Cornelius Goodale. 

14. While Mother Ann was at Petersham, in the summer of 
1 7 S3, she took an opportunity to instruct some of the heads 
of families, who were there, concerning their temporal econ- 
omy; and admonished them against some of their costly and 

Mother Ann Lee. 211 

extravagant furniture, saying, " Never put on silver spoons, 
nor table cloths for me; but let your tables be clean enough 
to eat from without cloths, and if you do not know what to 
do with them, give them to the poor." John Robinson. 

15. In the last year of Mother's ministry, a number of 
Brethren and Sisters being assembled together at Watervliet, 
Mother spoke very largely concerning the great loss of the 
American people in many things, and particularly, concern- 
ing their involving themselves in debt. She directed her 
discourse on this subject mostly, to one who was very deeply 
involved and not able to clear himself. She said, " You 
will go and run into debt, and not only bring yourself into 
bondage, but your family also, and bring distress on your 
creditors; such evil management will forever be a loss to the 
soul till the creditors are paid, and the soul finds repentance." 

16. After instructing and reproving the people a long time, 
she sat in silence a while, and then spoke in a very gentle 
and solemn manner, which caused great fear of God, and 
said, " Kneel ye down and pray to God, that He will con- 
tinue you in this world till you have repented of all your 
sins." Mother kneeled down with them and prayed for 
them, which caused their hearts to flow with sorrow and 
repentance. Eliab Harlow. 

17. Anna Cogswell, being at Watervliet, after Mother's re- 
turn from the eastward, spoke to her concerning a poor woman 
who had applied to her for help. Mother answered, " Re- 
member the cries of those who are in need and trouble, 
that when you are in trouble, God may hear your. cries." 

Anna Cogswell. 

18. At Watervliet, Mother spoke to a number of Believers 
as follows, " You ought to fear God, in all you do, for God's 
eyes are upon you. You ought to go in and out in the fear 
of God, and open and shut doors carefully, and make no 
unnecessary noise. You must be faithful with your hands, 

212 Testimonies of 

that you may have something to give to the poor; and walk 
ye uprightly like men of God." Cornelius Thayer. 

19. To some women who were rich, Mother Ann said, " As 
soon as some who are rich get their wool sheared off the 
sheep, they will lay out so much for such a piece of cloth; 
and so much for such a piece, but will not lay out one lock 
to give the poor! Nay, they would be as much afraid of 
seeing a poor person come to their houses, as they would a 
thief." Cornelius Thayer. 

20. Sometime in February, 17S2, while Mother Ann was at 
Harvard, there was a great collection of people from differ- 
ent parts, some of whom were greatly bound to their tem- 
poral interests, and were very covetous. Mother came forth 
with a powerful gift of God, and spoke, particularly, of giv- 
ing alms to the poor, and doing good to all people, but es- 
pecially to the household of faith. She said that if she had 
but one loaf of bread, she would freely impart one-half to 
the needy, trusting in God. Phebe Chase. 

21. Again, in teaching the people concerning prudence and 
economy, Mother said, " I am as prudent and saving of 
every temporal blessing which I receive, as though I had 
labored for it with my own hands; and you ought to be so 
too." Lydia Mathewson.- 

22. While Mother Ann and the Elders were at Elijah Wild's, 
in Shirley, in June, 1783, and many people being assembled 
from various parts, and the weather very warm, Mother 
warned the people to be temperate and careful in drinking 
cold water, and keep their health and strength to serve God 
with. Chase Wiggins. 

23. At Nathan Goodrich's, in Hancock, Mother Ann 
spoke to the people concerning charity to the poor, and said, 
"If I owned the whole world I would turn it all into joyfulness; 
I would not say to the poor, ' Be ye warmed, and be ye clothed* 
without giving them wherewithal to do it." 

Hannah Goodrich, \st. 

Mother Ann Lee. 21 


24. In the early part of the year 1784, a number of the 
Believers, among whom was a widow (Mercy Bishop), with a 
number of her small children, had been on a visit to the 
Church at Watervliet, and being about to return home, 
Mother Ann, in a farewell address, commended the widow 
for the zeal which she had manifested in bringing her family to 
the Church ; then, directing her discourse to those who were 
heads of families, and people of property, among whom were 
Jabez Spencer, Senr., Jabez Spencer, Junr., David Shapley, 
Senr., and others, she spoke much to them of their duty in 
giving alms, and being kind and charitable to the poor, par- 
ticularly to such widows and fatherless children who were 
among them. After speaking lengthily, and very feelingly 
on this subject, she requested Elder James to read a passage 
of Scripture in the Epistle of James, 1st Chap., 2 2d v. El- 
der James took the Bible and read as follows : 

" Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiv- 
ing your own selves. For, if any man be a hearer of the 
word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his nat- 
ural face in a glass; for he behuldeth himself and goeth his 
way, and straitway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and con- 
tinueth therein, he, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer 
of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any 
man among you seems to be religious and bridleth not his 
tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is 
vain. Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the 
Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their af- 
fliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." 

25. The solemn gift of God which accompanied Mother's 
previous discourse, together with the impressive feeling with 
which Elder James read this passage, had a powerful effect 
on the minds of the hearers. Mary Spencer 

2i4 Testimonies of 



Mother Ann often renewed the promises of God and of 
the Lord Jesus, to those who were faithful to take up their 
crosses against all sin, and to keep the way of God, come life 
or death; and often said, " Fear not, little flock, for it is 
your Heavenly Father's good pleasure to give you the king- 
dom.*' Not long after her return from Poughkeepsie Jail 
in speaking to the Brethren and Sisters, she renewed the 
promise of Christ in the following words : '' If you are faith- 
ful to take up your crosses against the world, the flesh, and 
all evil, and follow Christ in the regeneration, you shall re- 
ceive an hundred fold, now, in this time, houses, and Breth- 
ren and Sisters, and mothers and children, and lands, and 
in the world to come, eternal life. You shall be blessed in 
your going out, and in your coming in ; in your basket, and 
in your store." Mother Lucy Wright. 

3. AVhile Mother Ann was at the house of Nathan Ken- 
dall, Senr., at YVoburn, in laboring with the people, she 
said, " If you will be faithful, you will be helps to your nat- 
ural generations; yea, you may be helps to an hundred gen- 
erations." Mother Hannah Kendall- 

4. At Ashfield, Mother spoke to some Believers from En- 
field, N. H., who were about to depart, saying, "If you are 
faithful, you will go out and come in with the power of God, 
and your souls will be as a watered garden ; but, if you turn 
back, your souls will sink deep into hell." 

5. At Watervliet, before Mother Ann went her eastern 
journey, she spoke to Hannah Cogswell, Joanna Hamlin, 
and some other young Sisters who had been living with her, 

Mother Ann Lee. 215 

saying, " You ought to love one another, and never have one 
hard feeling toward each other, but live together every day 
as though it was the last day you had to live in this world ; 
and never forget one another ; and never forget the privilege 
you have had in living together with me." 

Hannah Cogs well, 

6. Shortly after Mehetabel Farrington embraced the gos- 
pel, she visited the Church in company with some other 
young people, and tarried several days. Before they took 
their leave, Mother Ann addressed them as follows, " When 
you return home, you must be diligent with youi hands; for 
godliness does not lead to idleness. The devil tempts others, 
but, an idle person tempts the devil. When you are at work, 
doing your duty in the gift of God, the devil can have no 
power over you, because then there is no room for tempta- 
tions." She also said, " You must obey your parents; chil- 
dren should obey their parents, for this is right; and the 
younger should submit to the elder. You must come up to 
the requirement of the law. Christ did not come to destroy 
the law, but to fulfill it; and you must do the same. Arm 
yourselves with meekness and patience. If you improve in 
one talent, God will give you more. Go home, and be 
obedient, this is the way I have found salvation, by being 
obedient." Mehetabel Farrington. 

7. Near the close of Mother's labors, Mehetabel Farring- 
ton and a number of others being at Watervliet, Mother ad- 
dressed them as follows, " I have taught you the way of God, 
you must keep it, I am but one ; I do my work, you must do 
yours. When I have done my work, I can help you no 
more. I wish you knew your day and your privilege; you 
have a privilege that many souls have desired, and could not 
obtain. You are young, and you have a privilege to take up 
your crosses in the prime of your activity." " If you take 
up your cross against the lust of the flesh while you have 

216 Testimonies of 

power to please yourselves, you offer to God the first fruits; 
and there is a glorious crown for all who take up their cross 
against the flesh in this world; such souls will receive that 
honor and crown of glory, which no other souls can ever ob- 
tain. But all souls will have a privilege in this gospel, either 
in this world, or in the world of spirits ; but those who have 
the offer of the gospel in this world, if they finally reject it, 
they will never have another day." 

8. "You have your day now; you can travel out of your 
loss by obedience — by taking up the same cross that Christ 
did; but souls in the world of spirits have to travel by suf- 
ferings, passing from prison to prison, until they find the 
mercy of God; and may travel to such a degree of purity as 
to be clothed in white robes. But those who voluntarily 
take up their cross in this world, and faithfully endure to 
the end, will be more bright and glorious than the angels; 
they will be kings and priests unto God." Mother spoke much 
on this subject, showing the great difference between volun- 
tary cross-bearers, or those who take up their crosses in this 
world, while they possess freedom, and power to please them- 
selves, in every gratification, and those who are deprived of 
this power to act, being bound down in prisons of darkness, 
in a world of spirits. 

9. Mother Ann and the Elders always manifested great 
care and feeling for youth and children, and oftentimes 
counseled and instructed their parents concerning children; 
and frequently took great delight in speaking to the children 
of Believers and teaching them how to be good children and 
to be obedient to their parents. 

10. In the spring of the year 17S1, a large number of 
people being at Watervliet, Mother Ann spoke to them con- 
cerning children, saying, " Little children are nearer the 
kingdom of heaven than those who have grown to riper age. 
Christ took little children in his arms, and blessed them, and 

Mother Ann Lee. 217 

said, ' Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' Little 
children are simple and innocent; they should be brought 
up so; and they never ought to be brought out of it. If 
they were brought up in simplicity they would receive good, 
as easily as they would evil. God, at first, created the soul 
pure and innocent, and when souls shall have been redeemed 
from their loss, they will again be pure and innocent." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

1 1. Father James Whittakef said " Blessed are the children 
of those who believe the gospel, and those of the rising gene- 
ration who touch no unclean thing; they shall suck at every 
flower, and smell at every lily." Anna Northrup. 

Again, on taking leave of the people at Shirley, he 
addressed himself to the youth, and children in particular, 
and said, " If you are faithful, you shall feed on every lily, 
and suck at every flower." Eunice Wilds, 2nd. 

12. When Mother Ann was at John Spier's in New Leb- 
anon, Nathan Farrington's family all being present, she took 
Nathan's youngest daughter — Esther, into her arms, kissed 
her, and said, " Child, I bless you, as Christ blessed little 
children, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. This child 
is a Believer, she is my child; " and again kissed her. The 
child, at that time, gathered great love to Mother, grew up 
in the faith and love of the gospel, and deceased in the 
twenty-third year of her age. Mehetabel Farrington. 

13. At a certain time Mother spoke to some little children, 
and instructed them how to pray, and. taught them that when 
they knelt down, before they ate, they should say, " I pray 
God bless me, and give me grace, and make me a good child," 
and after eating to say, " I thank God for giving me victuals; 
I pray God give me grace, and make me a good child." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

14. Phebe Spencer, being in conversation with Mother 


2i8 Testimonies of 

Ann at Watervliet, spoke to her concerning her youngest 
daughter, who saw beautiful visions. Mother said, " She 
may open her visions to you; but do not let her know that 
you take much notice of them; if you do it will lift her up; 
but you may notice them yourself." She also said, " Do not 
examine your small children very closely in respect to wick- 
edness; for if you do they will want to act it, to get the 
knowledge of it. But you may watch over them closely." 
She further said, " When children are put to bed, they ought 
to be made to lie straight, to prevent them from growing 

15. At Ashfield, Mother spoke to some who were parents, 
as follows, " You ought to keep your children neat, and 
clean; keep their faces clean, and clean their heads from 
lice, and scabs; and see that their clothes are mended, and 
kept decent. If children are nasty, they will not have the 
gifts of God; but, if they are kept clean, and decent, as they 
ought to be, they will have the gifts of God as well as grown 
people.'' You ought never to call children bad names, as 
some people of the world do; but call them by their proper 
names, and set a godly example before them, as becomes the 
gospel. And you must keep them to work; not allow them 
to be idle; for if you do they will grow up just like the world's 
children. Let your conversation before your children be that 
which becomes godliness. Do not talk about that which will 
excite their minds to evil; you ought not to talk about the 
flesh before them, lest it corrupt their minds, and make them 
want to act in these things." Lydia Mathewson. 

16. Again, at YVatervliet, Mother addressed herself to 
some of the Believers who were parents, saying, "You have 
been cunning to serve the devil, and now you must be cun- 
ning to serve God. You must not lose one moment of time, 
for you have none to spare. If you are faithful, the world 
will be dependent on you; and the dead will be released, by 

Mother Ann Lee. 219 

your labors." " You must bring up your children in the 
fear of God, and never give them playthings; but let them 
look at their hands and fingers, and see the work of God in 
their creation. And be ye faithful in all things; for God 
will have a people who are zealous of good works; and, if 
you are not faithful, God will turn to another people, who 
will serve him." Hannah Goodrich, 1st. 

17. Anna Cogswell, 1st, being on a visit to Watervliet, 
after Mother Ann's return from the eastward, among other 
counsels and instructions, Mother warned her to keep her 
children out of sin; for, said she, " A child four years old, in- 
dulged in sin, will bring the judgment of God upon a family." 

18. Again, Mother Ann warned parents against allowing 
dogs to be in their houses; for, without are dogs and sorcer- 
ers. Do not let your children play with them; if they do 
they will catch evil spirits, and be stubborn and wicked. 
This is often the case with children, and parents do not 
know the cause. You should examine your children and 
bring them to confession, and teach them to fear God, or, 
they will bring you to great trouble. Jonathan Slosson. 

19. At Shirley, Mother Ann reproved the people for 
allowing, and the children for having and playing with toys, 
and playthings, and said, " When I was a child, my mind 
was taken up in the things of God, so that I saw heavenly 
visions, instead of trifling toys." Jemima BlancharJ. 

20. On a particular occasion Mother Ann spoke to the 
people concerning the order and use of beasts. She said, 
" Man, in his fallen state, has rebelled against God. The 
beasts have partaken of the same fallen nature and are per- 
mitted to rebel against man for his punishment; therefore 
mankind ought to bear with them, and not cruelize them. 
Man must first be redeemed from his fall, and find his own 
order, before the beasts can be fully subject to him." 

Hannah Cogs:^uii. 

220 Testimonies of 

21. Again, in the presence of a large assembly of people 
at Watervliet, Mother Ann spoke very powerfully by way of 
reproof, concerning the ungodly use that was made of beasts. 
She said, " You ought not to give your feelings to beasts 
more than is necessary to make a good use of them. You 
must not allow dogs, nor cats, to come into the house of 
worship, nor dogs into dwelling-houses; for it is contrary to 
good order." "Remember what I say, Dogs and cats are 
unclean beasts, and full of evil spirits; therefore, if any of 
you, old or young, unite and play with them, you will be 
defiled. I cannot hold my peace, I am constrained to roar 
out of Zion against the sins of man with beasts. The people 
of this land are more corrupt than the Sodomites were when 
they were destroyed by the judgments of God. The earth 
is almost ready to spew out its inhabitants." 

Jonathan Slosson. 



i. In reproving and condemning sin and all manner of 
evil, in feelings, words, and actions, Mother Ann's power 
was beyond description. Though she would often bear with 
lost, dark souls, who were blinded and corrupted with sin, 
till her life seemed almost spent through sufferings; yet, at 
times, when she felt a gift of God to reprove their wicked- 
ness, the power of her spirit seemed like flames of fire, and 
the words of her mouth more dreadful than peals of thunder, 
so that the most stubborn and stouthearted would shake and 
tremble in her presence, like a leaf shaken with a mighty 

2. Sometime in the autumn of the year 1783, many of the 

Mother Ann Lee. 221 

Believers being assembled at Watervliet, Mother Ann came 
into the room, and after looking round upon the assembly, 
she spoke with great power and authority, saying, " Hear ye 
my words, you that have hard feelings one against another, 
and yet think to keep the way of God ! You are awfully 
mistaken ; you cannot prosper. Though you may hang on 
for a while, yet you will certainly fall off like withered 
branches ; and when you drop into hell these hard feelings 
will be like devouring worms to torment you. Remember 
my words, you can never enter the kingdom of God with 
hardness against any one, for God is love, and if you love 
God you will love one another." Mother Lucy Wright. 

3. After Mother Ann came to New Lebanon from the 
eastward she visited the family of Jabez Spencer, in Stephen- 
town, and being about to depart, she came forth with a 
sharp gift of reproof, for their idleness, nastiness, covetous- 
ness, and pride. Soon after she had done speaking Elder 
Hocknell arrived there, from Watervliet, and they asked him 
if he would tarry over night. He replied, " If Mother is 
willing." Phebe went and asked Mother whether she was 
willing. Mother answered, " Nay, he must not stay. You 
want him to stay to take off the reproof." She then turned 
to the Elders, and said, " They want him to stay, to build 
up that which we have been pulling down, but he must not." 

4. After a few weeks Phebe went to see Mother at Water- 
vliet. Mother met her at the door, and said, " I am glad to 
see you. I have been thinking of you; why it was you 
stayed away so long. You may always remember that the 
reproof of a friend, is better than the kiss of an enemy." 

Phebe Spencer. 

5. While the Church was at Ashfield, Samuel Ellis and 
Samuel Fitch, John Deming, Calvin Cogswell, and many 
others being there, in the autumn of 1782, Mother Ann 
came into the room and sung awhile, with great power of 

222 Testimonies of 

God. She then said, "Love God; love the way of God; 
love the gospel. But, instead of this you love your lust, 
your ease, and your sloth! Why are you so empty and dead ? 
God feeds the hungry with good things; but the rich he 
sends empty away. It is wherein you do not hunger and 
thirst after righteousness, for those who do shall be filled." 
" But, the devil deceives you just as he has done heretofore, 
and just as he does all the rest of the professors in this 
world. They think they have enough, and so do you ; and 
at the same time no victory over the nature of sin. You are 
a lazy, idle people; you have set out in the way of God and 
think you have traveled far enough." Mother's word was 
weighty and powerful; and the people all received from her 
a great gift of sorrow and repentance, and were sent away 
with a blessing. Samuel Ellis. 

6. The following winter, Samuel Ellis and many others 
were at Ashfield, and being assembled together, Elder James 
Whittaker spoke to them as follows, " The time is come for 
you to give up yourselves, and your all, to God — Your sub- 
stance, your temporal property — to possess as though you 
possessed not — The time has been that you have been fed 
with milk, but the time is now come to be fed with meat. 
Methinks this is meat for some of you." 

7. Joseph Bennet, Senr., being present, Mother Ann called 
him by name, saying, " Come, Joseph, come forth. You 
design to put your estate out of your hands, because the 
world are about to fine the Believers for dancing on the 
Sabbath. If I had been as great a man among them as you 
have,* I would now be like a king to pull down their arbi- 
trary power. I would not shrink before them, I would speak 
the truth to them, and tell them what they are, and labor to 
bring them to justice." 

S. Morel Baker, Senr., and many others, being at Water- 

* Joseph had been a Justice of the Peace, and was a rich man. 

Mother Ann Lee. 223 

vliet, in the autumn of 1783, there came two women who 
were at strife with each other, each one venting, with bitter 
words, her hard feelings against the other, and each one jus- 
tifying her own cause, and condemning the other. Mother 
Ann said to them, "You are wicked women, — you are both 
in the wrong. Humble yourselves before God, and put 
away your wrongs or you cannot be saved ; and instead of 
your hard feelings, make confession to each other ; for God 
vvill not accept you in any other way! — He will not love 
you except you love one another." 

9. These words were spoken with such power of God, that 
the women were struck with amazement, and fell upon their 
knees, and both confessed themselves in the wrong. They 
then took each other by the hand, and embraced one another 
with such marks of genuine love and friendship, as was very 
striking to the spectators. Morel Baker, Senr. 

10. Jonathan Slosson received a measure of faith and 
confessed his sins, while Mother Ann was at Poughkeepsie, 
but was bound, in his affections, to a young woman, who 
was in a similar condition, for which reason neither of them 
was able to gain any gospel strength ; but were hindrances 
to each other. In this situation, Jonathan, having never 
seen Mother, went to Watervliet to see her, just after she 
returned from Poughkeepsie. Shortly after he entered the 
house, Mother came into the room. Mother then spoke to 
him as follows, " God will bring down the haughtiness of 
man, and stain the pride of all flesh. Jonathan, do you let 
that woman alone; you have no business with her. God 
will break in pieces the man and maid. If you want to 
marry, you may marry the Lord Christ; he is my husband, 
and in him I trust." After a little pause, she said, "I see 
the glory of God, both in visions and revelations! I hear the 
angels sing! I see the dead arise and come to judgment." 
Turning again to Jonathan, she said, " Jonathan Slosson, 

224 Testimonies of 

forsake your lust and that woman, and you shall be my son. 
The marriage of the flesh is a covenant with death, and an 
agreement with hell; forsake it, and be my son. I have 
seen you, and your father's family in the visions of God." 

Jonathan Slosson. 

ii. Two of the Brethren having had some dealings with 
a merchant, in Albany, were unjustly accused, wronged, and 
abused by him. One of them made his complaint to Mother 
Ann, and said, " That man has abused us; the law is open, 1 
will prosecute him." Mother replied, "You shall not touch 
the law. He that takes the sword shall die by the sword. 
If you take the law you will lose the blessed power of God. 
I forbid you; trust in God. What, build the things that God 
will destroy ? Woe unto the lawyers, they take away the key 
of knowledge, — I say, trust in God. He will deliver His 
people — Go in faith, and God will deliver you ! Their envy is 
all against me. I feel that law that shall go forth out of Zion, 
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem ! Trust in that 
law, and God will deliver you ! I forbid all other law in my 
family." Jonathan Slosson. 

12. One evening, when Mother Ann was at Zaccheus 
Stevens', in Harvard, there came a mob of ungodly people, 
a number of whom entered the house and disturbed the Be- 
lievers. Mother Ann, being in another room, sent Eleazer 
Rand to speak to them, but the men, being some of his ac- 
quaintances, viewed him as a contemptible stripling, and 
began to revile him with their ungodly speeches. On hearing 
this, Mother came to the door and spoke with great power of 
God, saying, " You wicked generation of adulterers, take care 
what you say to a child of God ! Touch not the anointed of 
God ! He will have the keys of the kingdom for the people 
in this place.* He will be able to bind and to loose. — He 
will be able to shut you out, yet." Jonathan Slosson. 

* Eleazer afterward became the lirst Elder and Father of the Church at Harvard. 

Mother Ann Lee. 225 

13. Sarah Barker, being at the Church at Harvard, in the 
winter season, when a number of the Sisters were gathered 
around the fire, and others sitting back in the cold, Mother 
Ann came into the room and admonished them, saying, 
" You are heating yourselves by the fire, while others are 
shivering in the cold. This is not right. A temperate use 
of fire is comfortable ; but, if I should depend wholly upon 
fire to keep me warm, it would be sin. I labor for the power 
of God to warm me." Sarah Barker. 

14. Again, Sarah being at Ashfield, to see Mother Ann, 
was brought under some reproof, after which, Mother said, 
" When I reprove you, it is to bring your soul nearer to 
God." Sarah Barker. 

15. Lot Pease, being at Ashfield, February, 1783, Elder 
James Whittaker chastised him for his old-fashioned religion. 
The next morning he attempted to excuse himself to Elder 
James, by saying that it was but a short time that he had 
made any profession of religion. " No matter for that," 
said Elder James. " Your natural relations are very much 
sunk in an old, rotten profession, and if you do not separate 
yourself from them, their sins will become your sins." ' That 
is the truth," said Mother. Lot Pease. 

16. In January, 1783, while the Church was at Ashfield, a 
large collection of people being assembled together, Elder 
James was speaking to them, when Mother Ann came into 
the room and reproved them, saying, " When the word of 
God is spoken to you, some of you are hawking and spitting 
and some of you are shuffling about. It is the devil in you, 
to keep you from hearing the word of God. You need the 
fallow ground of the heart broken up, that you may receive 
the word. When the word of God is spoken to me, I stand 
as still as though my body were dead." Amaziah Wright. 

17. In January, 17S4, at Water vliet, while one of the 
Elders was speaking to an assembly of people, there was 


226 Testimonies of 

considerable coughing in the room, and Mother Ann spoke 
with authority, saying, " Away with your coughing, it is 
nothing but the devil in you, to keep the word of God out 
of your souls." Upon uttering these words the coughing 
ceased. Nelly Goodale. 

1 8. Again at Watervliet, the Believers were attending the 
funeral of William Bigsby, a Believer from Littleton, and a 
number of the world were present. While Elder James 
Whittaker was addressing the assembly on the occasion, there 
was a man of the world who made considerable appearance, 
kept continually coughing. Mother Ann advanced toward 
him and spoke with authority, saying, " Stop your coughing, 
it is the devil barking through you, — be still, and hear the 
word of God ! " The man ceased coughing, and Elder 
James proceeded without any further interruption. After 
he had done, Mother said, " We have power to bind and to 
loose." Mercy Bishop, Jr. 

19. Rebecca Slosson, and a number of other Sisters being 
at Watervliet, in January, 1784, and being one day employed 
in washing, Mother Ann came into the room, and reproved 
them sharply for their wastefulness, and said, " It is a sin to 
waste soap, or any thing else that God has given you. If 
you knew the sufferings for sin, you would fear God in all 
you do and say." Rebecca Slosson 

20. In the spring of 1784, Jonathan Lougee visited the 
Church at Watervliet; he hailed from Canterbury, N. H. 
While there Mother Ann reproved him for not coming oftener. 
She said, " The people in your parts are wealthy, but covet- 
ous. You ought to hate your covetousness and your lusts, 
and forsake them, and be joyful and cheerful, and take up 
your crosses and serve God." Jonathan Lougee. 

21. At Ashfield, Mother Ann spoke to the Believers as 
follows: " You all have the nature of lust in you; if you have 
not given away to particular actions, yet you are all lost in 

Mother Ann Lee. 227 

that nature, which you received from your forefathers; you 
have been born and brought up in it, and have still persisted 
in bringing up your children in the same manner, building 
them up in their lust and pride, fixing and adorning them 
from their infancy, yea, even from the breast, to allure the 
eyes of the opposite sex. And your teachers never taught 
you any better; for they never did any better themselves. 
If you had followed the dictates of your own consciences, 
you would not have been so far sunk and lost in these things." 
" I felt the lost situation of the people in America while I 
was in my own land. I felt that there were souls here who 
would be glad to receive the gospel when it was offered to 
them. Now the gospel is opened to you and if you will 
obey it, and take up your crosses against your carnal natures, 
you will find a victory over them." She also said, "I la- 
bored in tribulation and sorrow and sufferings, to gain the 
victory over my carnal nature, and had no one to help me, 
but God alone; but it is not so with you; for you can have 
help when ever you need. " Phebe Spencer. 

22. Soon after Phebe Chase received the gospel, she was 
much wrought upon in outward operations. Feeling some- 
what ashamed of her operations, and thinking it would do 
the world no good to see them, she strove to conceal herself 
at such times, to avoid being seen by the world; but never 
opened her feelings to any one about the matter. About 
this time she was at Harvard, and saw Mother Ann, whom 
she had never seen before. Mother told her what her 
thoughts and feelings had been, and said, " You ought to 
let your light shine, that others may see your works, your 
faith, and repentance, that they may take knowledge of the 
way of God. You ought to stand forth, and let the world 
see the great power of God which you have upon you, and 
it will convict them." Phebe Chase. 

23. At David Hammond's, in Petersham, Elder James 

228 Testimonies of 

reproved an aged man for disobedience to Mother. She 
had told him to go to J. M.'s to dinner; he replied that he 
had given D. M. a fat lamb, and he would take dinner there. 
After dinner Elder James reproved him, saying, " All the 
lambs of your flock will not atone for one act of disobedi- 
ence. Samuel said, ' To obey is better than sacrifice, and to 
hearken, than the fat of rams; ' but I say, to obey is better 
than sacrifice; and to hearken than all your fallings." 

Joint Robinson. 

24. At Ashfield, while Elder James was speaking, one even- 
ing, to an assembly of people, his hand was stretched out 
by the power of God, toward the men, and he advanced in 
that direction, to a man whom he led forth into the midst 
of the assembly. At the same instant, another Elder's hand 
being extended, in the same manner toward the women, he 
advanced and led forth a woman. The man and woman 
being brought forth, Mother Ann exclaimed to them, " I 
know what you have been about, — you have been clapping 
hands with the devil, — you have been into your lusts,— you 
need not think to come here to cover your sins ; for the gift 
of God will search you out." They both kneeled down, 
owned the truth of the testimony, and confessed their sin. 

John Wacttey. 

25. Some of the Believers at Harvard, being bound in 
their affections to their children, who were married, and liv- 
ing after the course of the world, discovered more anxiety 
to provide for them, than for their Believer children. This 
being made known to the Elders, labors were made to purge 
out that fleshly sense, and to teach those who had set out to 
follow Christ in the regeneration, what their real duty was 
in such cases. 

26. Afterward, Father James Whittaker addressed the 
Believers in public assembly, on the same subject, saying, 
"If you are after your worldly children, any more than the 

Mother Ann Lee. 229 

rest of the worldly, you are in the flesh effectually. Christ 
said, ' Who is my mother ? and who are my brethren but they 
who do the will of my Father who is in heaven.'' And if you 
claim any other relation, the present ministration does not 
claim you. Take heed lest you have to suffer in hell while 
your wicked children are making an ungodly use of that 
which you give them." Abijah IVooster. 

27. At Harvard, in a time of great mortification, a large 
number of Believers being assembled together, Mother came 
into the room with a gift of reproof, saying, " You are lack- 
ing of faith in the gifts and power of God. When I was in 
England, the wicked once came with a mob to take me. 
When I had got out of the house, I felt a gift to sit down on 
the ground ; and the power of God came upon me, and 
stretched out my arm straight from my body, and I could 
not bring it back again. The wicked came to take me up, but 
they had not power to move me, but were obliged to go away 
and leave me. And I believe that God is able to preserve 
me through persecution and sufferings, until my work is 
done, as He was to stretch out my arm." Lucy Prescott. 

28. At Ashfield there was once a great collection of peo- 
ple, of all sorts, from various and distant places, who came 
to see Mother Ann, many of them full of unbelief. She 
came forward and addressed them as follows, " Why do you 
come from such a distance, spending your time and money 
to see me, while, in your hearts, you judge me to be a 
witch ? " Then, speaking with great authority, she said, 

' You that are guilty, come forward, and humble yourselves 
to God and confess it." Three of the multitude came for- 
ward and confessed that they were guilty of that charge. 

Duncan Mc Arthur. 

2.;o Testimonies of 





Mother Ann and the Elders with her took unwearied 
pains to instruct and enlighten the Believers in the things of 
God, and in the path of their duty. They were continually 
engaged in the work of God, and spared no labors, by day 
nor by night, when occasion offered, in giving counsel and 
instruction where it was needed, whether in things temporal 
or spiritual. And in all their labors they were careful to im- 
press upon the people, the absolute necessity of strict and 
perfect obedience, in order that they might profit by their 
privilege, and find justification before God. 

2. At Watervliet, in January, 17S1, Calvin Harlow, and 
some others, who were gifted in speaking to the world, be- 
ing present, Mother Ann came into the room, and said, 
"Hear ye my words and understand. It is but a light thing 
to speak the word to the souls of men, to what it is really to 
help them. He who helps souls must have the spirit of 
Christ to administer to them; must take their infirmities 
upon him, and be able to suffer for, and bear with them." 
And so desirous was she that they should understand, that 
she repeated it three times. Ephraim Welch. 

3. Again she said, " Be obedient to the precepts and prin- 
ciples of Christ, in all things, both spiritual and temporal. 
When a soul sets out in the way of God the devil will raise 
all his forces to try to turn them aside; but if you are faith- 
ful you will have strength according to your day. Be free, 
and not be a stranger; a strange feeling never came from 
heaven." Deborah Williams. 

4. Father William Lee once said to some one who came 
to see the Church, "Do as Mother tells you and repent; — 

Mother Ann Lee. 231 

Wash your face in tears; — Do your duty; — Be faithful with 
your hands; — Be obedient, and never give offense to any, 
nor take offense at any one." Deborah Williams. 

5. Elder James YVhittaker once remarked, "You must 
not say 'this is a great cross; ' that is crying ' the burden of 
the Lord. ' How dare you say of that which is the will of 
the Lord, ' // is a great eross ! ' You ought not to speak in 
this manner; but obey your faith, and it will lead to the sal- 
vation of your soul ! You never will take any comfort only 
in God. Be faithful, and we shall have one meeting to- 
gether that will never break up." Deborah Williams. 

6. At Harvard, in January, 1782, when a number of Be- 
lievers from New Lebanon, and other places, who came to 
visit the Church were about to take their leave, after having 
received great manifestations of the gifts of God, and much 
gospel instruction, Mother Ann addressed them with great 
power of God as follows, " What a privilege you have of 
coming to the Church to be taught the way of God ! The 
way out of all sin ! There never was a people on earth fa- 
vored with so great a privilege as you have ! What a privi- 
lege you have ! O, what a privilege you have ! " 

Samuel Ellis. 

7. Again, Elder James said, " There never was a people 
on earth that had so great reason to bless God for the 
gospel, as we have; for there never was so great an opening 
for salvation made known to the children of men." 

Alary Beckii'ith. . 

8. While Mother Ann and the Elders were at Ezekiel 
Slate's in Stafford, Ct., many of the Believers gathered there 
to see them, among whom were a number of Sisters who had 
been married, and whose husbands also had received the 
gospel. Mother instructed and exhorted them with many 
precious words; and in the course of her conversation spoke 
as follows, " You ought to be thankful to God that your 

232 Testimonies of 

husbands have believed the gospel, and have set out to take 
up their crosses against the world, the flesh and all evil, and 
to follow Christ in the regeneration. It is a great deal easier 
for you than it was for me. Your husbands will be a great help 
to you. I had no husband to help me when I sat out to obey 
the gospel, but I had to stand against my own carnal nature and 
my wicked husband's too. I had, as it were, to tread the wine 
press alone, and no man to help me." Nathan Slate- 

9. Mother Ann also spoke to a number of the Brethren 
and Sisters who were about taking their leave of her, to re- 
turn to their homes, saying, " Go and tell your Brethren those 
things which ye see and hear; the blind receive their sight > 
the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed; the deaf hear; the 
dead are raised up; and the poor have the gospel preached 
to them; and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended 
in me." Nathan Slate. 

10. At Watervliet, soon after the gospel opened, some of 
the young Believers who had been overcome with a spirit of 
jealousy, and false judging concerning Mother and the Elders, 
came and confessed the matter. Mother, after kindly ad- 
monishing them to beware of such a spirit, said, " Persons 
see and judge according to the state they are in; when their 
senses are darkened by the flesh, and their minds under the 
influence of an evil spirit, they see and judge according to 
the dictate of that evil spirit; but when that fleshly sense is 
purged away, and they are under the influence of the spirit 
of Christ, then they can see and judge according to the 
truth." Jethro Turner. 

1 1 . In the time of the first opening of the gospel, Susanna 
Goodrich, being at Watervliet, was sitting at supper with 
Mother Ann, and a number of others, when Mother sud- 
denly stopped eating, spoke with great solemnity, then ex- 
horted them all to faithfulness, adding, " If you will take up 
your crosses against the works of generation, and follow 

Mother Ann Lee. 233 

Christ in the regeneration, God will cleanse you from all un- 
righteousness." Susanna Goodrich. 

21. In conversation with some of the Believers at Water- 
vliet, in the first opening of the gospel, Mother Ann said, 
" Those who choose to live after the flesh, can do so; but I 
know, by the revelation of God, that those who live in the 
gratification of their lusts will suffer in proportion as they 
have violated the law of God in nature." She also said to 
Daniel Moseley and others, " Do not go away and report 
that we forbid to marry; for, unless you are able to take up 
a full cross, and part with every gratification of the flesh for 
the kingdom of God, I would counsel you, and all such, to 
take wives in a lawful manner, and cleave to them only, and 
raise up a lawful posterity, and be perpetual servants to your 
families; for, of all lustful gratifications, that is the least 
sin." Daniel Moseley. 

13. When Mother and the Elders were at Shirley, Elder 
James Whittaker, in addressing an assembly of Believers, said, 
" Brethren and Sisters, keep your faith; faith is a firm anchor 
for the soul to rest upon." Then turning to some who were 
wavering, he said, " The judgments of God will as surely 
follow this gospel, as winter follows summer. The founda- 
tion of God stands sure, and the judgments of God are 
according to truth." Susanna Willis. 

Again, in addressing a public assembly, Elder James said, 
'The foundation of God stands sure, and the judgments of 
God are according to truth. This is the gospel, and see ye 
to it, what kind of use you make of it; for the time will 
come when ye will say, ' Blessed is he that cometh in the name 
of the Lord' Treasure up the word, for the time will come 
when there will be a famine, not of bread, nor of water, but 
of the word of the Lord. You will see the time when you 
will be willing to crawl on your hands and knees to hear the 
word of the Lord." Sarah Safford. 


234 Testimonies of 

14. Again, Elder James said, " True faith is a saving grace; 
but unbelief is a damning sin True faith is to believe a 
thing to be what it really is ; but a false faith is to believe 
what it is not ; and if you believe a thing to be what it is 
not, you are deceived." Nathan Willard. 

15. And again, said Elder James, "When your faces are 
turned toward Zion, then you can cry to God, and God will 
hear the cries of the innocent." And he kneeled and said, 
" The door of God's mercy is open for souls, and it never 
will be shut, unless they shut it against themselves." 

Mehetabel Grace. 

16. On another occasion, Elder James said, "Keep your 
faith, and see the event of things; and when you know you 
must be born again, then you will cry to God." "Do not 
find fault with the way of God, till you prove it; none ever 
thought hard of it who were really in it. You will have 
what you earn, that is, what you labor for." 

John Wanier. 

17. At Watervliet, Elder James said, "Endeavor to keep 
the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; this bond was made 
by the Great First Cause, and cannot be altered, but by 
virtue of the same; therefore, labor ye, day and night, to 
get your names written in that bond." AMjah Worster. 

iS. And again, said Elder James, "Those who are called 
by the gospel, and have tasted the good word of God, and 
the powers of the world to come, if these turn away, there 
remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful 
looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which will 
come like mountains of lead upon the soul." 

Ephraim Welch. 

19. In an assembly of Believers at Ashfield, Elder James 
came forth with a powerful testimony against sin, which 
made every feeling soul repent, till the floor was wet with 
tears. After this he directed the assembly to rest, and left 

Mother Ann Lee. 235 

the room. He returned soon after and said, " I cannot go 
to bed. The manna falls from heaven like sweet smelling 
myrrh, which is the fruit of repentance. Blessed are the 
children of those who believe, and the rising generations 
who do no unclean thing ! We have a blessed altar, and it 
is placed in the garden of Eden ! No one has a right to eat 
thereon but such as hate lust." Luther Cogswell. 

20. At another time, as he was speaking to an assembly, 
he turned to the Sisters and said, " Blessed are the daugh- 
ters of Zion who trust in Christ Jesus, and have no confi- 
dence in the flesh, and have happily escaped the corrupted 
men of this generation." Anna Northrop. 

21. Again, at Watervliet, he said to a number of young 
Sisters, "You are called from the manifold troubles of those 
who live after the flesh, and do not sense it ; but let the 
devil once put his paw upon you, and you would find your- 
selves under the power of the flesh; then you would be will- 
ing to give all created things, if you could be restored to as 
happy a state as you now enjoy." Rebecca Slosson. 

22. At David Hammond's in Petersham, in speaking to a 
public assembly, Elder James said, " This blessed Church is 
the gate of heaven, and we know it. Treasure up the word 
of God, for it is now harvest time ; for those who sleep in 
harvest will surely come to want. The time will come 
when you will need to gather up every word. This is God's 
way, and not man's way; therefore man cannot alter it. 
Heaven and earth shall pass away; but this testimony will 
stand forever. This gospel will prove a savor of life unto 
life, to all who obey it; and of death unto death unto all 
who disobey it; and the judgment of God will as surely 
follow this gospel, as the flood followed the preaching of 
Noah." John Robinson. 

23. One day Father William Lee kneeled down with a 
number of the Believers and said, " God has given us the 

236 Testimonies of 

power of repentance, and remission of sins, and if you regard 
the gospel, God will regard you for salvation." Father 
James said, " I feel such fear of God that it runs through 
my whole body, even to my fingers' ends." He kneeled 
down, and said, " I desire you would be thankful to God for 
the gift of repentance, and remission of sins." 

Sarah Burt. 
24. On a particular occasion at Watervliet, Elder James 
said, "Let no man deceive you. — We never build those 
things we once destroyed. — If you have fallen ever so low 
it is never too late to cry to God." On another occasion he 
said, " You should not do any kind of business while others 
are kneeled down in prayer to God; but leave your work 
and kneel with them." Jemima Blanchard. 

24. Again, speaking of these words of Christ, " When I 
am lifted up, then will I draw all men unto me" Elder 
James said, " This gospel of the kingdom will be preached 
to all nations, and then will these words be fulfilled ; then 
will Christ be lifted up, and will draw all men unto him, for 
judgment, either for life or death." Eliphalet Comstock. 

25. Sometime in November, 1783, Jabez and Phebe Spen- 
cer, their daughter Mary, and a number of others were on a 
visit to Watervliet, and just before they came away, they 
went into Mother Ann's room to take their leave of her. 
She sat up in her bed under great sufferings, and addressed 
them as follows, "Be faithful to keep the way of God; if you 
do you will be guarded by good angels, as really as the 
wicked are by evil spirits; and the good or evil spirits gather 
mostly to that part of the body which contains the most 
sensations and faculties. The head is the ruling and gov- 
erning part of the whole body, therefore it will contain the 
most good or evil of any part of the body; and as the whole 
body is governed thereby, so the good or evil spirits gather 
there, and rule the whole body. The head of a wicked man 

Mother Ann Lee. 237 

will suck in evil spirits until it is full of them, like a sponge, 
filled with water; so likewise the faithful, who are laboring 
to resist every evil temptation, and crying to God for pro- 
tection, will be filled with good spirits, and will be guarded 
by the angels of God, who will protect them day by day." 

26. After Mother had ended her discourse, Phebe went 
to her bedside, and expressed her thankfulness for the privi- 
lege that she and her family had enjoyed with her. Mother 
made no immediate reply; but, soon after said, "When you 
were speaking, I saw two souls standing by you, one at your 
right hand, and the other at your left. The one who stood 
at your right hand, was a bright, active, glorious soul ; but 
the one on your left was a dark, black, dismal soul; and he 
laid his head on your left shoulder." Mary Spencer. 

27. A number of the Believers who had been on a visit to 
the Church, at Watervliet, 1784, and being about to take their 
leave, Mother Ann said to them, " Go, testify to the world 
that Christ is reigning on earth, and that he has sons and 
daughters, and they know it not, because they do not con- 
fess and forsake their doleful abominations." 

Mercy Bis/wp, Jr. 

28. Some of the Believers complaining to Mother Ann 
that victuals did not satisfy their hunger, she replied, " It is 
not your bodies, but your souls that are hungry; and you 
must cry to God for the bread of life. " Sarah J'ewitt. 

29. One day as Mother Ann and the Elders were about to 
depart from Harvard, many of the Believers were full of 
tears; and Elder James said, " Every soul of you who seeks 
God with all your heart, and resists the devil, is sure of 
Heaven, if he never sees us again in this world." 

David Melvin. 

30. The last time that Mother and the Elders were at 
Littleton, she informed the Brethren and Sisters that she 
and the Elders had great sufferings to pass through, and 

238 Testimonies of 

said, " We will return home to our own place, and suffer 
there, and not be burdensome to the Brethren and Sisters 
here." She then added, "If you should be so persecuted 
as to have your houses torn down over your heads, and you 
cast out into the fields, you must not neglect meeting to- 
gether to serve God. And if you never see my face any 
more, nor the faces of any who are with me from England, 
you have those whom God has raised up among yourselves, 
who are able to lead you in the way of God, if you will obey 
them." Ruth Turner. 



At Watervliet, the first winter after the opening of the 
gospel, Mother came into the meeting-room where many 
young Believers were assembled, and being in the visions of 
God, and under impressions of mind concerning the power 
of God against sin, she addressed them as follows, " If you 
commit sin with beasts, your spirits will be transformed 
into the shape of beasts, in the spirit world; I now behold 
souls under sufferings whose form is shaped like dogs, horses 
and swine; they appear in the shape of such beasts as they 
committed sin with; and this is laid upon them as a punish- 
ment of that sin." 

2. " Men and women in this world can please themselves, 
by gratifying their lusts, and if they do not overcome their 
passions by the gospel, they carry them into the world of 
spirits with them. Death does not destroy these passions, 
nor make them less powerful; but souls in hell feel their 
lustful passions rise intensely stronger than in this world; 
and yet they can find no way to gratify them; therefore, 

Mother Ann Lee. 239 

their lust is their torment; and it torments them in propor- 
tion to its rage." 

3. " And more than all this, they have to feel the wrath 
of God against that wicked nature, and this is still a greater 
torment to them, than the torment of their lusts. The more 
people give way to the gratification of their lusts in this 
world, the stronger their passions will grow and the more 
their sufferings will increase in the spirit world." 

4. " I now see, in open vision, souls suffering for their 
sins, committed through lust, enough to take away your nat- 
ural lives, they are bound in the prisons of hell." 

5. " Again," Mother Ann said, " Souls who go out of this 
world and have not heard the gospel, do not know God, nor 
where to find Him. I have seen them wandering about 
weeping and crying, trying to find God. But, the gospel 
will be offered to them, and all souls, both quick and dead, 
will be eventually judged by the testimony of the gospel 
which you now hear." 

6. In the time of a great gathering at Ashfield, so numer- 
ous was the assembly that the meeting-house was not large 
enough to contain the multitude; therefore they assembled 
in that and the dwelling-house, and between the two houses, 
which were near to each other. Elder James took his station 
between the two houses, and addressed the audience. He 
spake with great solemnity of the glory and happiness of 
those, who, through faithfulness, should find an inheritance 
in the kingdom of heaven. Such souls, said Elder James, 
will enjoy inexpressible flows of the givings and blessings of 
God; and, though they will joy and rejoice in this, yet, what 
they enjoy in the present tense will not be their greatest com- 
fort, but they will still be looking forward with joyful antici- 
pations, for a greater increase, for more of the glory and 
givings of God, continually, and forever; and this will con- 
stitute their greatest happiness. On the other hand, the 

240 Testimonies of 

torments and misery of the lost, though they may be under 
never so much now, yet, what they feel in the present tense, 
will not be their greatest torment ; but that which will con- 
stitute their greatest misery, will be looking forward, with 
awful forebodings, to get another opening of the judgments 
of God." 

7. At another time in addressing a public assembly of Be- 
lievers at Ashfield, Elder James said, " You ought to fear 
God in all you do; when you are about your work, you ought 
to fear God; and even in the gifts of God, and under the 
operations of the power of God, you ought to keep the fear 
of God, lest, by feeling releasement in those gifts, you run 
into lightness." Daniel Moseley. 

8. Again Father James Whittaker said, " Heaven is a place 
of joy and tranquillity to those who find it; but I am jealous, 
and with a godly jealousy too, that there are many here now 
who never will find it. I fear that some, who now profess 
faith, will walk the streets, howling like curst Cains." 

Daniel Moseley. 

9. In the first season, after the opening of the gospel at 
Watervliet, Mother Ann came into the room where there was 
a number of married men, and their wives, and said, " I see, 
in vision, a large black cloud rising as black as a thunder 
cloud, and it is occasioned by the men sleeping with their 
wives." She then asked them if they had not rather sleep 
with their wives than with anybody else. They acknowl- 
edged they had rather sleep with them, even if they did not 
touch them. Mother admonished them not to do it any 
more. Israel Talcot, Senr. 

10. Again Mother Ann spoke to a number of married peo- 
ple as follows, " You must forsake the marriage of the flesh, 
and travel out of it, in order to be married to the Lamb, 
which is, to be married to Christ, or, joined to the Lord in 
one spirit." M,>t/i<-/ Lucy Wright. 

Mother Ann Lee. 241 

11. Sometimes, when the Believers were assembled to- 
gether, Mother Ann used to come into the room and kneel 
down with them, and teach them that when they knelt down 
to pray, they should ask God to give them such things as 
they stood in need of, for, said she, " the gift of prayer is 
with the gift of kneeling." 

12. Sometimes Mother Ann used to pray in an unknown 
tongue, for some time, and then she would speak in her own 
language, saying, " O Lord God have mercy; Christ, have 
mercy; O Lord, bless and strengthen Thy people, and com- 
fort them ! O Lord give them true repentance of all their 
sins ! " Hannah Cogswell. 

13. At Watervliet, in the summer of Mother's ministry, as 
a number of Brethren and Sisters were in the meeting-room, 
some of them singing, some walking the floor, and others 
sitting still, Mother came into the room and said, " You ought 
not to be idle in the house of God. If you do not know 
what to do, I will teach you; you may kneel down and pray 
to God for what you need." Mother then knelt down and 
they all kneeled with her. After remaining a few minutes on 
their knees in silence, Mother said, " I feel that there is con- 
fusion. You must not take the name of God in vain. If 
you ask for a thing when you do not want, or need it, you 
take the name of God in vain. You must ask for that which 
you feel the most need of, and be fervent in spirit, and God 
will hear you ; for God hears the souls who cry to Him in 
need." " When you have asked for what you need, you 
must wait upon God for the answer of your prayer; for God 
has waited upon you many years. But when you have re- 
ceived the answer, and are in possession of what you have 
asked for, if you then ask for the same thing, as though you 
had not enough, God will be angry with you, for God knows 
how to bestow His gifts according to your needs." 

14. Again, at Watervliet, after Mother's return from the 


242 Testimonies of 

eastward, as some of the Believers were expressing their faith 
and love to her, she said, "You see me and my works, and 
you believe, and are blessed; but I say, "Blessed are those 
who have not seen, and yet believe. There will yet be thou- 
sands who will believe, who have never seen my face in the 

15. At Watervliet, Elder James Whittaker said to the Be- 
lievers, " You think if you had lived in the days when Christ 
was here on earth, you would have followed him. You 
have the same privilege to follow Christ now, as they had 
then, and greater, and now you may follow him." 

Mehctabel Farrington. 

16. Mother Ann, in expressing her love to the Brethren 
and Sisters, used, sometimes, to address them in these words, 
"Ye are my epistles, read and known of all men; ye are all 
the interest I have in this world." David Slosson. 



i. Though our blessed Mother Ann was a woman of few 
words, yet her soul was filled with divine wisdom, and when 
she spoke, her words were in the demonstration of the spirit, 
and with power, and always adapted to the occasion. Many 
precious sentences were occasionally spoken, both by her, 
and the Elders, with her, to the Brethren and Sisters, in an 
individual capacity, which had a powerful effect, and left a 
lasting impression on their memories. 

2. A certain young man came to Mother with some peach 
and plum stones in his hand, and asked her if he might plant 
them? "Yea," answered Mother, " do all your work as 

Mother Ann Lee. 243 

though you had a thousand years to live, and as you would 
if you knew you must die to-morrow." Lucy Wright. 

3. Mary Chase asked Mother if she might come and live 
with her. " Live with me, child ! " said Mother. " The foxes 
have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but I have 
not where to lay my head. Go, child, and I will go with 
you; if you go through the waters, the floods shall not over- 
flow you ; and if you go through the fire, it shall not kindle 
upon you ; and if you go to the ends of the earth I will 
never leave you nor forsake you/' 

4. Hannah Cogswell went to see Mother Ann while she was 
at Ashfield, and feeling a deep sense of her loss, and her great 
need of Mother's union and protection, she asked Mother, 
on the eve of her departure, as she went to take leave of her, 
if she felt any promise of God for her. " Yea," answered 
Mother; "God's blessing be with you, and rest upon you; 
and God's everlasting grace and salvation be unto your soul 
if you will obey. Go home, and go about your work every 
day as though I were present with you." Hannah went 
home, and in obedience to Mother, she found the promise 
of God fulfilled, day by day. 

5. Ruth Turner visited Mother Ann at Harvard, and after 
she had been there awhile, Mother said to her, " Ruth, go 
home, and set your house in order, take up your cross against 
the works of the flesh, and lay no temptations before Jo- 
seph;* for no one will turn from the way of God but for 
their lusts." She also said, "You must be kind to strangers, 
as I have been to you, for that is the only way that you can 
reward me." 

6. One day there came a poor man to Mother Ann, and 
complained of his brother, who, he said, was rich, and able 
to help him, but would not. Mother replied, " That is the 
way of the world; the rich are covetous, and will not help 

* Her husband. 

244 Testimonies of 

the poor, and the poor, instead of crying to God to open 
their hearts, will envy them for it ; therefore they are both 

wicked. Nathan Coh 

7. Phebe Spencer, being in conversation with Mother Ann 
at Watervliet, Mother asked her, " Do you believe that I am 
able to help you?" Phebe answered, " Yea, Mother, I have 
no other faith." Mother said, "I own your faith; faith is 
the anchor of the soul ; it is like an anchor tu a ship, 
when the winds blow, and the waves run high, so, in like 
manner, faith will keep the soul in trials, temptations and 
bufferings." Phebe asked Mother for a resting place with 
her. Mother answered, " Your spirit shall find a resting 
place with my spirit." 

8. After Daniel Wood had confessed his sins before Mother 
and the Elders, Mother said to him, " Daniel, your faith is 
like the faith of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, 
you must go and prepare the way of the Lord; go preach 
the gospel to the ends of the earth; go first to your family, 
and labor with them, and let them confess their sins, that 
you may know what is done in your own house; what, are 
you the man of the house and do not know what is done in 
your own house ? " 

9. Again she said to Daniel, "Go and testify your faith 
to those whom you call your Brethren, and let them confess 
their sins, and let them know that men in old times waited 
for angels to tell them when to go to their wives; — Tell 
them the}' need not be concerned about having children; 
for God is able of these stones to raise up children unto 
Abraham; — Tell them they are not going to God in their 

10. Mother Ann spoke to Elizabeth Spier as follows, "I 
love you, Elizabeth, you shall be my sister. I see the glory 
of God shine all over you so great that I cannot discern 
your body with my natural eyes. You must go home, and 

Mother Ann Lee. 245 

take care of your little children and bring them up in the 
fear of God." 

11. Margaret Leland accompanied Mother Ann in her 
journey from Watervliet to Harvard. The day before they 
started, Mother said to her, " Margaret, you have come to 
fall upon the Rock, but, if the Rock should fall upon you, 
it would grind you to powder." Again she said, " I see the 
dead all around you. Poor dead, how I pity them ! " 

12. Elizabeth Johnson, soon after she believed, ques- 
tioned Mother Ann concerning some particular gifts and 
operations which she had seen among the Believers, but did 
not understand. Mother replied, " You have nothing to do 
with them; you must labor to God for your own soul. But, 
there will be great things manifest in the Church by those 
gifts." Again Mother asked Elizabeth, " Do you believe 
that all souls will yet believe the gospel?" 'Yea, Mother, 
I do," answered Elizabeth. "Ah, truly they will," replied 
Mother, "either to their salvation or damnation." 

13. At another time Mother came into the room where 
Elizabeth was, and the power of God came upon Elizabeth, 
with a mighty shaking and trembling. Mother said, " Eliz- 
abeth, love that power, for it is the shaking of dry bones to 
bring bone to its bone." 

14. After Nathan Cole embraced the gospel, his wife, Molly, 
who still remained in unbelief, went to see Mother Ann, and 
asked liberty to continue her usual custom of attending the 
Baptist meeting, which was contrary to Nathan's feelings. 
Mother replied, "You must confess your sins, and be obedi- 
ent to your husband. I cannot counsel you otherwise; if I 
do your children will be lost; for, through the believing hus- 
band, the children will be sanctified." 

15. Molly had her infant with her, adorned with bows, 
and ribbons. Mother said, " You had better take these 
things off your child, and lay aside all superfluity, and dress 

246 Testimonies of 

in modest apparel. The more you indulge your children in 
such things, the more they will want, and if you bring them 
up in their pride, they will curse you to your face." 

Molly Cole. 

16. Beulah Rude went to see Mother while she was at 
Joseph Bennett's, in Cheshire. The family being very poor, 
Mother asked Beulah how many children she had. She an- 
swered, "five." " Five ! " said Mother, "When you had one, 
why did you not wait, and see if you was able to bring up 
that as you ought, before you had another ? And when you 
had two, why did you not stop then ? But now you have 
five ! Are you not ashamed to live in the filthy works of the 
flesh? You must go and take up your cross, and put your 
hands to work, and be faithful in your business; clothe your 
children, and keep them clean and decent; and clean up 
your house, and keep that in order." 

17. Sarah Pease, being under some tribulation, Mother 
said to her, " Sarah, you must not be discouraged, for Christ 
has every thing you stand in need of. I feel the blood of 
Christ flowing through me to you, not in small quantities, 
but in fountains." 

18. One Sabbath day Lucy Bishop was cutting her nails, 
in the presence of Mother Ann and the Elders, at Asa Ba- 
con's, in Ashfield, and Mother bade her come and kneel 
down; Lucy came and kneeled before her. Mother said to 
her, " You must not cut your nails on the Sabbath, it is 
wicked. Walk on your knees, to Elder James, and ask him 
to teach you to pray." Lucy obeyed, and Elder James 
Whittaker bade her to say, " Pray God make me a good 
child ; pray God make me obedient to my parents; pray 
God purify and purge my soul from sin/' Lucy repeated 
each of these supplications after Elder James. 

19. Thankful Barce went to see Mother and the Elders 
while they were at Ashfield. Mother Ann said to her, " You 

Mother Ann Lee. 247 

was a proud, haughty woman, when you first came to see 
me; but you are a deal altered, and you must still labor and 
repent ; and that work of God which you have received, will 
carry you safely through, if you are faithful/' 

20. Again, Mother said to a sick brother, " You must not 
be so down in your feelings, you must walk sharp; and if 
you think you do as well as you can, you must take faith, 
and labor to do better; this is the way for you to gain 
strength." Thankful Bane. 

21. While the Church was at Harvard, General James Sul- 
livan, with two other men of note, came to require the El- 
ders to take the oath of allegiance to the country.* The 
Elders refused to take the oath, and Mother Ann said to the 
General, " These men will never do you any hurt, for they 
are well-wishers to the country; they will do all the good to 
the country that they are able to do." The General replied, 
" I want men to go and fight for the country." Mother an- 
swered, "You never will kill the devil with the sword." 

Samuel Ellis. 

22. Samuel Ellis, being in conversation with Mother, 
asked, " Why some who were weakly, or lame, were not 
healed?" Mother answered, " We can do nothing of our- 
selves. It is God that heals the sick, and it is God that 
makes whole. We cannot do miracles any more than others; 
all that we can do, is to be workers together with God. But 
I will tell you one thing, if you are saved, miracles must be 
wrought for your soul." Samuel testifies that he has since 
found Mother's words to be true in very deed. 

23. At Ashfield, Mother spoke to a young man who was a 
Believer, and asked him if he had not been buffeted about 
eating. He answered, "Yea, I have." Mother said, "You 
must not be afraid to eat what victuals you need; and then 
you must serve God by the strength of it. The world eat 

* In the month of January, 1782. 

248 Testimonies of 

and drink and consume it upon their lusts; you must not do 
so; but eat what you need, and then do the will of God; be 
not buffeted/' The young man was comforted, and went 
away rejoicing. Samuel Ellis. 

24. Esther Bracket went to see Mother Ann, at Ashfield, 
and being weak in faith and under some doubts concerning 
the cross against the flesh, she opened her feelings to Mother. 
Mother replied, " Christ did not live in the works of the flesh ; 
but took up his cross against that nature, and did the will 
of his Heavenly Father; and you must take up your cross 
and live as he lived. You must not be unbelieving, but be- 
lieve, and God will make you able/' 

25. Again Esther asked Mother to pray for her. Mother 
replied, " I hope I shall not be neglectful of my duty. I 
shall not forget you, if you do not forget to do as you are 
taught. If you obey what you are taught, God will send His 
holy angels to guard you." 

26. Esther again visited Mother at Ashfield, and while 
there, she felt a great desire to receive the gift of vision, and 
believed that if Mother would promise it to her, she should 
certainly have it. Accordingly, she asked Mother for the 
gift of vision. After a short pause of solemn silence, Mother 
replied, "If you will labor for it, you shall have it." 

27. Esther returned home, and after a few days, as she 
was on her knees, at the breakfast table, she felt a great gift 
of sorrow, and wept with much freedom. In this situation 
she saw Mother kneeling by her side, but she did not speak 
to her. After breakfast she kneeled, and again saw Mother 
by her side. After rising from her knees, Mother appeared 
before her, and raising her hand, she stamped upon the floor, 
saying " Be cheerful, be cheerful, be cheerful ! " 

28. Esther was then moved upon to laugh, and continued 
laughing all that day, and could not refrain from it. From 
that time, she was blest with the gift of vision, which con- 

Mother Ann Lee. 249 

tinued through Mother's day, so that she could see Mother, 
and converse with her, at any time, when she labored for 
it, as well as though they had been present together in the 

29. Ruth Robbins, of Harvard, being under great tribula- 
tion, and feeling herself unworthy of any mercy, opened her 
feelings to Father William Lee. He answered, " The eyes 
of God are upon you, and He sees you through and through. 
There shall not be a hair of your head fall to the ground 
without the notice of God. Go, and be sharp, and have 
more love." 

30. When Mother Ann was at Peter Bishop's in Montague, 
as the Believers were in meeting, laboring in the works of 
God, there came in a young man of the world. Mother 
asked, " Have you come to see the people of God ? " He 
answered, " I do not know as you are the people of God." 
Mother replied, " We are the only people of God; and we 
have a right to go forth in the dance; but the wicked have 
no right to dance." She also added, "The gates of hell 
shall never prevail against the Church of Christ. "* 

Abigail Bishop. 



i. Soon after the first opening of the gospel, while the adja- 
cent country was all in alarm about this new and strange re- 
ligion, Talmadge Bishop, being at Watervliet, and about to 
return home, asked Mother Ann what he should tell the peo- 

* The voung man went away, and reported that Mother was the most beautiful 
woman he ever saw. 

3 2 

250 Testimonies of 

pie concerning them. " Tell them," said Mother, " that we 
are the people who turn the world up side down." 

2. When Anna Northrup first saw Mother, she received 
faith in the Second Appearing of Christ, in Mother Ann, 
confessed her sins, and received the power of the Holy 
Ghost. But, feeling a deep sense of her sinful life, she 
kneeled down in prayer to God, that she might be forgiven. 
Mother said to her, " I freely forgive you; and I pray that 
God would forgive you; and I will go and prepare a place 
for you, that where I am, there you may come also." 

3. Jemima Blanchard went to see Mother while she was at 
the Square House, at Harvard; having never seen her be- 
fore, Mother asked her, " Will you be a daughter of Zion, 
and be searched, like Jerusalem, with candles, and confess 
and forsake your sins, and put away all wrong, and be a 
child of God?" 

4. Previous to receiving faith in the testimony, Jemima 
had called Mother a witch, and being afterward convicted 
of the wrong, she confessed the matter before Mother and 
the Elders. Mother replied, " I forgive you, and pray God 
to forgive you. There is no witchcraft but sin." She then 
bade Elder William and Elder James kneel down and pray 
for Jemima. Accordingly, they both kneeled, and prayed 
for her. 

5. Again, at the Square House, as Mother and the Elders 
were about to leave them, Mother took Jemima by the hand, 
and said, "You have not had this privilege for nothing; you 
are required to go and keep the way of God, and not to re- 
turn back to your former sins; for the labors of the people of 
God will not be lost; but will be a savor of life unto life, or 
of death unto death to all souls." 

6. A number of times Mother took Mehetabel Farrington 
by the hand, and leading her back and forth, often asked 
her the question, " Mehetabel will you stand with me and 

Mother Ann Lee. 251 

be a witness for God?" Mehetabel as often answered, 
"Yea, Mother, I will.-"* 

7. Sarah Hannum first saw Mother at Enfield; Mother 
addressed her, saying, "The King's daughter is all glorious 
within." "Let the word of God take deep root within — 
plow up the fallow ground of your heart." 

8. Susanna Wilds, after setting out to obey the gospel, fell 
under great tribulation of soul, and almost despaired of the 
mercy of God, in consequence of having before spoken 
against the testimony of the gospel. When Mother came to 
Shirley, to see her, she opened her trial. Mother replied, 
" It is wicked to distrust the mercy of God, for He has called 
you to be saved, and not to be lost." On hearing these 
words, Susanna was instantly released. 

9. Elizabeth Chase, being a faithful young Sister, had 
considerable privilege with Mother, in the first of her faith, 
and being with Mother, at Watervliet, gained some hope that 
Mother would feel a gift to let her stay and live with her. 
Soon after this, Mother called her into her room, and said, 
" Elizabeth, you must go home, for they need you there." 

10. On hearing this, Elizabeth fell upon her knees at 
Mother's feet, and wept, and told Mother that she felt trou- 
bled to think of going away from her. " But," said Mother, 
" it is your duty to go to the family, for the wicked are all 
about them and they need your help. Go, and hold a bold 
testimony before the wicked, and God will be with you. 
You must not be discouraged, for I see your mansion in 
heaven, and your soul shall soon be released. Go in peace, 
and take love with thee. You can do greater good there, 
than you can here, with me." 

* It is worth} - of notice that Mehetabel has had a singular gift, to state with pecu- 
liar correctness, the testimonies, speeches, and divine manifestations of Mother Ann, 
and the Elders, as well as other remarkable transactions which came within her 
knowledge and observation, at that day ; by which it appears that Mother's ques- 
tion to her, so often repeated, was very significant. 

252 Testimonies of 

11. In obedience to Mother, Elizabeth set off in company 
with some others to return home. But, before she had gone 
far, she felt the greatest releasement, in her feelings, that she 
had ever experienced, and such a flow of love that she shouted 
for joy; and her company with her, shouted also. 

1 2. When she arrived at home, she felt Mother's gift, and 
boldly testified to the wicked, that Christ had appeared the 
second time, and she often had strength through the gift 
that she had received from Mother, to bind the rage of the 
wicked, who came, many times, to abuse the family. By 
speaking to them, they seemed to lose their rage, and drop 
their weapons, and depart without doing any harm. 

13. Jennet Davis visited the Church at Ashfield, at a time 
when there were great spiritual wars in the Church, and 
sharp testimonies against the nature of the flesh, and all 
manner of sin, which brought tribulation, and awful fear of 
God upon her. Soon after a very powerful and warring 
meeting, Mother, looking upon Jennet, said, " Jennet, dost 
thou love the war?" "Yea, Mother," answered Jennet. 
"Well," said Mother, "Michael, and his angels, and the 
dragon and his angels, are at war, and those who have part 
in this war shall have part in the first resurrection." 

14. At another time, Jennet went to see Mother, at Ash- 
field, and one of the Sisters sent a pair of velvet shoes by 
her, as a present, to Mother. Mother took them, but, on 
the day that Jennet came away, she handed them back to 
her, and bade her return them again, to the forementioned 
Sister, and said, " Tell her that I choose to have my feet 
shod with the preparation of the gospel and not with velvet." 

15. Anna Cogswell, being on a visit to the Church, at 
Ashfield, and laboring under a deep sense of her past sins, 
asked Mother to forgive her sins. Mother asked, " Do you 
believe that I can forgive sins? " Anna answered, " I believe 
that Christ is in Mother, and I have nowhere else to look 

Mother Ann Lee. 253 

for forgiveness." Mother replied, " I have nothing against 
you, and if you are faithful and obedient, your faith will 
save you." 

16. Daniel Cogswell, being at Ashfield, Mother sent a 
messenger to him one morning, saying, " Go, tell Daniel to 
labor, and be prepared to receive a gift of God; for there 
is a gift for him to receive power over all sin; and Brother 
William and I will come to see him." Shortly after Mother 
Ann and Father William Lee came and made labors with 
him, concerning which, Daniel himself says, " I can truly 
say, that, by their ministration, I received that power over all 
sin which has protected me, even to this day. And when I 
was about to come away, Mother took me by the hand, and 
came out at the door, and without regarding the snow, 
kneeled down, and prayed to God for my protection. And 
when she arose, she blessed me, and sent me away." 

17. One day, as Mother was speaking of the innocence 
and simplicity of children, she said to Hannah Cogswell, 
" If you had never committed sin, your soul would be in the 
heavens, changing from valley to valley, and from one glory 
to another." 

18. When Mother Ann and the Elders were at Woburn, 
there came a man of the world desiring to see Mother and 
converse with her. She sent Elder James to talk with the 
man ; but this did not satisfy him, therefore Mother went into 
the room and sat down by a window and reproved the man 
for his pride. Elder James again began to speak to him, 
and Mother bade the man hear him. The man replied, " I 
do not want to hear him, I want to hear that woman." 
Mother then looked out at the window, and said, " I see the 
heavens open and I see the glory of God." The man's coun- 
tenance changed, and he said no more. Lucy Prescott. 

19. At another time there came a priest to see Mother and 
the Elders; and he said, " I understand that you say you are 

^54 Testimonies of 

perfect ; but Job said ' If I should say I am perfect, I should 
prove myself perverse.'" Elder James replied, "God said 
Job was a perfect man ; I will, therefore, believe God rather 
than you or Job." The man went away confounded. 

Daniel Cogswell. 
20. Mother and the Elders, being at Aaron Jewet's in 
Littleton, shortly before their return from the eastward, 
there came two wicked men, riding up to the house on horse- 
back, and strenuously insisted on seeing Mother. She came 
forward, with several elderly Sisters, and inquired what they 
wanted. One of them, whose name was Smith, said, " We 
want to see Mother." " These are all mothers," said she; 
"which of them do you want to see?" "We want to see 
Mother," replied Smith. " Why do you keep out of the way, 
if you are the people of God ? " " Christ many times con- 
veyed himself away," replied Mother, " and Paul was let 
down in a basket, to avoid his persecutors." She then 
addressed them with great boldness, saying, "Before I found 
Christ I found I had a deceitful heart, and desperately 
wicked; so that I could not trust to my own heart; and I 
made this promise, that I never would give sleep to my eyes, 
nor slumber to my eyelids, until I had found Christ. And 
now, before I will deny this to be the work of God, I will 
suffer every joint of my body to be unjointed." 



r. Soon after the opening of the testimony at Harvard, 
Elder James Whittaker was at the Square House, speaking to 
some of the people concerning the abominable nature of lust, 

Mother Ann Lee. 255 

when the power of God suddenly fell upon Abijah Wooster, 
who was present, and swiftly shook his right hand. Elder 
James, looking upon him, said, "O! how I love that blessed 
power. Love that power, Abijah, and be obedient to it, and 
it will finally redeem your soul." 

2. While the Church was at Harvard, Mother sent Abijah 
to the town of Douglass, to preach the gospel, and labor 
with the people in that place, and spoke to him thus, " Go, 
labor among the people, and teach them the way of God; 
and let them open their minds to you; and feed them with 
meat as strong as they are able to bear, and no stronger. 
And when you feel as though you had labored through your 
gift, ask, of God, a sign to return, and return not, till God 
gives you a sign." 

3. At another time she instructed him in the following 
manner. " Abijah, labor for a gift of God to know the cre- 
ation of souls, and deal with them according to their cre- 
ation; some are of such a hard make that nothing will reach 
them but severity; others are more easy to work upon, and, 
if you go and deal in severity with them, you will only de- 
stroy them. He who wins souls, must be wise, Abijah. 
Some must be saved by mercy and charity, their creation is 
such they cannot be saved in any other way; and some 
must be saved by severity; and others never will be saved 
only by judgments." 

4. At another time Mother said to Abijah, " Treasure up 
the gospel, treasure up the gifts of God; the time will come 
when you will need them; and if you are faithful to treasure 
up the gifts of God, they will wake up in your soul when 
you need them." At another time she said, " Labor to feel 
the life of God in your soul ; labor to make the way of God 
your own, let it be your inheritance, your treasure, your 
occupation, your daily calling. Labor to God for your own 
soul as though there was no other creature on earth." On 

256 Testimonies of 

another occasion she said, " Do not fight creatures, you will 
only spoil them. Fight the devil, Abijah; fight that spirit 
that leads mankind into sin." 

5. Abijah visited Mother and the Elders while they were 
at Ashfield. On taking his leave, to return to Harvard, 
Elder James YVhittaker said to him, " Remember my kind 
love to the Brethren and Sisters, they are my treasure; they 
are all the inheritance I have in this world. Go and be 
faithful among them, and teach them the way of God; and 
by no means hurt the oil and the wine; I mean the gifts of 
God. Let them be never so uncultivated in their gifts, 
don't you strike at those things; for, if you do, you will take 
away their gifts, and then they will be lean and barren, and 
it will be altogether a wonder, if they do not go back to 
their lusts and are lost. But, you must teach them how to 
improve the gifts of God, and let the power of God work 
inwardly upon their souls. You know how we have borne 
with you, in tenderness, in mercy and charity, and go you 
and do likewise." 

6. Abijah was once speaking before Elder James of his 
old heavens' religion, and said that he then thought his 
spirit was justified. Elder James said, " If you was justified, 
it was the devil who justified you, for he justified you in sin. 
Why, Abijah ! Could you think that Christ would justify 
you while you lived in sin?" "I did not know any thing 
truly about Christ," answered Abijah. "That," said Elder 
James, H is as true a word as ever you spake." 

7. While Mother was at Shirley, there came a man to see 
her who made a great profession of Christian love, and 
wished to have his love acknowledged by Mother, and in a 
fondling manner attempted to put his head to her bosom. 
Instantly the power of God came upon her, and she arose, 
and led him into another room to Elder James Whittaker. 
" Here," said she, " is a man full of religious devils, such as 

Mother Ann Lee. 257 

crucified Christ, the worst devils to be cast out, that are to 
be found in the world, and I leave him to be undeceived, if 
he will." 

8. Jonathan Bridges, having been unjustly prosecuted, in 
a suit at law, by the enemies of the cross, went to Mother 
for advice. She told him to apply to the Selectmen, and to 
the Judge of Probates, "and, if you can find no remedy in 
that way," said Mother, " then defend yourself in a lawful 
manner; and if you go according to counsel, you will gain 
your just cause." 

9. John Wadley, of Canterbury, asked Mother's counsel 
concerning the settlement of his temporal affairs. Mother 
asked him if he had any parents. He replied he had a 
father only. "Then I advise you," said Mother, "to go 
and confess your sins to your father, and hold your testimony, 
and own the gospel of Christ wherever you go; and that 
will be your strength and protection; for if you are ashamed 
to own Christ before men, he will not own you before God 
and His angels." 

10. When Mother Ann first went to Enfield, Mary Tif- 
fany, who had never seen her before, came into the room 
where she was, and kneeled down before her. ' Don't kneel 
to me," said Mother, "but kneel to God; for I am but your 
fellow servant; I do not kneel to you, but I come to you 
upon the bending knees of my soul." 

11. When Mother and the Elders were at Elijah Wild's, 
Elder James rose early one morning, and spoke to Elijah, 
saying, "Go, Elijah, tell the people of this town, that the 
Children of the Most High God are at your house, and that 
the everlasting gospel will be preached, the day after to- 
morrow." Elijah went and delivered his message faithfully; 
a large concourse of people assembled, and Elder James 
spoke the word of God with remarkable power and authority. 

12. Mother asked young Joseph Bennet, which he thought 


258 Testimonies of 

had the greatest gift, of the two Elders, William, or James. 
"I think," answered Joseph, "that Elder William has the 
greatest gift of sorrow." "So he has," replied Mother, 
"James plants, and William waters." Amos JewitU 

13. On a particular occasion, Mother spoke to Gideon 
Turner, Senr., as follows, "You must labor to bless God, 
and then God will bless you. Wherever you are, whatever 
trials you meet with, or whatever you may suffer, always re- 
member to bless God, and then you will always feel a bless- 
ing." Gideon testified that he had found the truth of this 
by experience. 

14. Elisha Smith visited the Church at Ashfield, and feel- 
ing a sense of his own evil nature, he said to Mother Ann, 
"I am full of evil." She paused a moment, and replied, 
" Nay, you are not full of evil. If you were full of evil 
there would be no room in you to receive any good. You 
have a great deal of evil in you; but this conviction you feel, 
is good." Jethro Turner. 

15. Zeruah Clark, being in a situation of peculiar embar- 
rassment, on account of the various dispositions and habits 
of those who resided in the family with her, and being much 
straitened to know her duty, Mother spake to her as follows, 
" Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to an- 
other; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it; and a book 
of remembrance was written before Him, for them that 
feared the Lord and thought upon His name; and they 
shall be mine saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I 
make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth 
his own son that serveth him."* This passage of Scripture 
rehearsed by Mother, in the power and gift of God, made a 
striking impression on Zeruah's mind; she had read it be- 
fore without being able to comprehend it; but now she sen- 
sibly felt its import, and clearly perceived, in Mother's sea- 

* Mai. Ill, 16 and 17. 

Mother Ann Lee. 259 

sonable application to her, that she had, thereby, marked out 
a beautiful path for her feet, and instructed her how to walk 
in it. 

16. Again, at Watervliet, Mother said to Zeruah, " When 
you see little bright lights, like stars, be thankful to God ; 
for they are specks of angel's wings." Zeruah remarked that 
she had seen these before, but had not mentioned it to 
Mother; and further said, " I have many times seen these 
little bright lights, especially in times of godly conversation, 
and have always considered them as the notice of God; and 
they have been a confirmation to me of what Mother said, 
concerning those who feared the Lord." 

17. Hannah Kendall was once with Mother, on her jour- 
ney from Ashfield to Petersham, and they came to an apple 
tree in full blossom. Mother looked at it and said, " How 
beautiful this tree is now ! But some of the apples will soon 
fall off; some will hold on longer; some will hold on till they 
are full half grown, and then fall off; and some will get ripe. 
So it is with souls who set out in the way of God. Many 
will set out very fair, and soon fall away; some will go 
further, and then fall off; some will go further still, and 
then fall; and some will go through." 

18. Ephrainr Welch, being at Watervliet, went into 
Mother's room to see her, at a time when she was under 
great sufferings, and asked her if he could do any thing for 
her comfort. She answered, " If you keep the way of God, 
it is all I desire, and the greatest comfort I can have in this 

19. Mother Hannah Goodrich, being at Watervliet, a few 
days before Mother's decease, did not expect ever to see her 
out of her room again, but, one morning, as she was sweep- 
ing the piazza floor, Mother came out and said, " Sweep 
clean." " I will, Mother," replied Hannah. Again she 
said, "Ah, sweep clean I say." "I will," said Hannah. 

260 Testimonies of 

"But, I say, sweep clean," said Mother again. By this time 
Hannah perceived that Mother had reference to the floor of 
the heart, and said no more. Immediately Lucy Wright, 
subsequently called " Mother Lucy," who took care of her 
in her last sufferings, came and took hold of her hand, and 
asked her to go in. Mother answered, " I will. I will be 
obedient to you, Lucy, for I am married to you, and I will 
go with you."* And they went in together. 

20. As Mary Hocknell was watching with Mother Ann, a 
little before her decease, she said, " I see Brother William 
coming in a golden chariot, to take me home." She then 
said to Mary, " Molly, poor child, I am about to go home, 
and after I am gone you will have many sorrows." Mother's 
words came to pass, for Mary passed through many scenes 
of sorrow and sufferings, after the decease of her dearest 
and best friend, who had brought her up from childhood. 




William Lee was the fourth son of John Lee, and was the 
natural brother of Mother Ann Lee. He was born in the 
town of Manchester, in England, in or about the year of 
1740, and was brought up in the occupation of a blacksmith, 
by his father. He was married, and had one son, and was, 
afterward, an officer of horse, in the king's royal guard, 
belonging to a regiment called "The Oxford Blues." In his 

*This speech seemed to be strikingly significant of the lot and place that Mother 
Lucy was destined to occupy in the Church of Christ, and to which she afterward 
attained, viz., its first visible leader. 

Mother Ann Lee. ?6i 

person he was of a commanding figure, rather above middling 
height, thick set, strong built, and large limbs, of an open 
and very bold countenance, such as beholders might both 
reverence and fear; his hair was of a light chestnut brown, 
blue eyes, and a remarkably strong, sonorous and powerful 

2. As a man in nature he possessed a strong and robust 
constitution, remarkable for strength, both of body and soul; 
and a man of great courage and fortitude. He was power- 
ful in the work of God, and feared not the face of man. In 
times of mobs and persecutions he was always undaunted; 
and would often testify against the wickedness of his perse- 
cutors with a boldness which plainly evinced that he was a 
stranger to the fear of man. 

3. Concerning his first embracing the testimony of the 
gospel, he gave the following account of himself : that he 
was a proud, haughty young man, fond of gayety, and was 
able to dress himself in silks. At length he fell under great 
concern and trouble of mind, on account of his sins; in this 
state of mind, he went to see his sister Ann, who was then a 
member of the society of James and Jane Wardley. When 
he arrived at his sister's, being very gaily dressed, she reproved 
him for his pride, and convinced him of the wickedness of 
his life. He immediately threw off his ruffles and silks, and 
put his hands to work and his heart to God, and labored 
faithfully to find forgiveness for his sins, and acceptance of 

4. Concerning some of his religious exercises in the first 
of his faith, he gives the following account : " Before I con- 
fessed my sins, I felt great tribulation; and after I had con- 
fessed them, I cried to God night and day, till I heard an 
audible voice from heaven saying, ' William, thy sins are 
forgiven.' ' ' This," said Elder William, " all the kings and 
nobles must come to; for Mother is the Lord's Anointed." 

262 Testimonies of 

5. Again, speaking on the same subject, he said, "When 
I first believed, I confessed my sins all over the town, and 
they cannot hurt me for it now; for God has cast them be- 
hind His back, never to be remembered against me any 
more. It is a shame to commit sin, but no shame to con- 
fess it." 

6. According to his own account, he frequented the so- 
ciety of James and Jane Wardley; and when he was in trib- 
ulation he sometimes opened his trials and feelings to them; 
they encouraged and built him up, so that he felt his mind 
released. But when he returned to his sister again she 
would often spoil his comfort, overthrow his false hopes, and 
again plunge him deeper into tribulation than before, which 
compelled him to cry to God through great labor and tribu- 
lation, till he gained releasement for himself through obedi- 
ence to her counsel. 

7. When Mother Ann received the revelation of God 
against the flesh, William united with her and stood zeal- 
ously for her. This raised the enmity of his neighbors and 
acquaintances, who opposed and persecuted him. At one 
time there came a mob and followed him into his father's 
house, and, in a rage, they struck him over his head, with a 
fire hook, and fractured his skull. He fell for dead, and the 
blood ran profusely, but he soon recovered, and continued, 
boldly, to testify against their wickedness. 

8. In a public assembly at Ashfield, he related some of his 
experience, as follows, " In the first of my faith I worked in 
a large blacksmith shop, where the people were continually 
coming and going, and I would not look at them, but chas- 
tised every turn of my eyes that was not after God. I feared 
God every time I set my foot down, and chastened every 
member of my body that had sinned against God." 

9. At another time, speaking to Amos Rathbun, of his 
own experience after he embraced the gospel, he said, 

Mother Ann Lee. 263 

" Mother's testimony was so awakening to my soul that 
when I was at work over my anvil, I felt so weary that I 
thought I would have given very much, if I could have set 
down one minute, but, I durst not, for I felt my soul, as it 
were, upon a needle's point, and therefore kept my hands to 
work, and my soul in continual labor to God. And often 
when I went to my meals, I felt so unworthy to put any of 
the creation of God into my mouth, that I could not eat, but 
wept, and went back to my work again." 

10. Again, speaking of a certain period of his travel in 
the regeneration, he was brought under such excessive suf- 
ferings that he was unable to perform his duty in hand labor, 
he prayed to God that He would remove his sufferings, dur- 
ing the week, and let him bear them all on the Sabbath, that 
he might be able to perform his duty in hand labor. In 
answer to his prayer, God gave him releasement, dur- 
ing the week, so that he was able to work eighteen hours in 
every twenty-four, and he allowed himself the remaining six 
hours to eat, sleep, and serve God, and when Saturday night 
came he was brought under such severe sufferings that he 
was unable to arise, or even to turn himself in bed, which 
continued till Monday morning, when he would be suddenly 
released, and be able to go to his work again in good health. 

11. It appeared to be Father William's special gift and 
calling to bear for the increase of the gospel, and to labor in 
sufferings for the releasement of souls, not only of those in 
the body, but also of those in the world of spirits. Mother 
said, concerning him, that he was called into the Ministry, 
to help her, in bearing, and he, himself, often spoke of his 
being under sufferings for the dead. 

12. Though Father William, in his creation, was a man of 
remarkable strength of body, as well as of the most extraor- 
dinary fortitude of mind; yet, many times, such was the 
great extremity of his sufferings, as to reduce him to the 

264 Testimonies of 

weakness of a child in a short time, and cause him to vomit 
clear fresh blood. Again he would suddenly be released 
from sufferings, and be filled with heavenly songs of joy; 
and, in power and strength, would seem like a lion. 

13. Father William was " a man of sorrows, and acquainted 
with grief." He was truly an apostle in sufferings ; and when 
he was released, it seemed as if his soul was in the third 
heavens. In reproving he was terrible; every creature that 
had a sensitive soul, trembled at the sound of his voice, and 
none dared to approach him. At other times he was filled 
with heavenly comforts, and the charity and mercy of God, 
in him, seemed boundless. 

14. Father William's soul was greatly enriched by the 
gift of God in visions, revelations, and heavenly mani- 
festations, and he abounded in mercy, love, and charity, 
and a violent spirit against all sin. He spoke but little 
in public, indeed he did not appear to be much gifted 
in public speaking; yet he was eminently useful, in teaching, 
instructing, and strengthening the Believers. He was re- 
markable for tenderness of heart, and would often weep like 
a child, for the afflictions and distresses of God's people. In 
tears he would often express his great thankfulness for the 
gospel, and for the gifts and blessings of God, both spiritual 
and temporal. 

15. Mother Hannah Kendall, who was much with Mother 
and the Elders, and often traveled with them in their jour- 
neys from place to place, remarks that she has seen Father 
William, when going to wash himself, weep and say, " I thank 
heaven for this water, for it is the blessing of God." 

16. Eliab Harlow also relates the following circumstance, 
(viz.) " I was once at Ashfield, and was about to eat with 
Father William, Calvin Harlow and a number of others, and 
Father William spoke before eating, saying, " I feel you are 
not so thankful as you ought to be, for the good things that 

Mother Ann Lee. 265 

God provides for you; but you will eat and drink of these 
precious things, and not consider from whence they come." 
" The sin of ingratitude is a great sin; see that you are not 
guilty of it. I often eat my food with thankfulness and 
tears every mouthful I eat." We sat down to eat, and every 
mouthful that Father William took, the tears flowed in 
abundance; and, while eating, he would often say, " O thank 
God," and would weep aloud and heartily. 

17. Sometimes he used to reprove the Believers for walk- 
ing about in a careless manner, and say, " You ought to pass 
by each other like angels; but you appear, to me, like the 
troubled sea, whose waters cast up mire and dirt; but I can 
be sorry for you, and, it appears to me that there is no sor- 
row like my sorrow." Again he would encourage the Breth- 
ren and Sisters to press forward, and say, " You ought never 
to lie down in the mud; for you were not called to be lost; 
for God will certainly deliver His people." 

18. Sometimes he used to say, " We are poor, but able to 
make many rich." " Poor, afflicted people of God! Once 
I served God out of fear, but now I serve Him out of pure 
love." Sometimes he would say, " I love my Mother, — 
although she is my Sister, yet she has become my Mother, 
and the Lord God has made me to love her." 

19. He often expressed his great love for the Brethren 
and Sisters. At one time, in Ashfield, after relating his ex- 
perience to the assembly, he manifested his love to the 
Brethren and Sisters, in the following words, " I love you so 
well that I should be willing to give you every gift of God 
that I have, and then set out anew, to labor for more." 

20. When great numbers of the Believers came to the 
Church to see them, he would often meet them at the door, 
and say, "Come in, Brethren and Sisters, come in; — We 
have but little room in our house, but we have a great deal 
of room in our hearts." 


266 Testimonies of 

21. In speaking to some of the Believers of the glory of 
those who traveled out of their loss in this world, he said, 
"There will be very few, and they will be very glorious.' 
Again, to some who were speaking of their crosses, he said, 
" You should turn great crosses into little ones, and little ones 
into none at all." 

22. In addressing a public assembly at Thomas Shattuck's, 
in Petersham, Father William said, " Cry to God for faith; — 
Cry to God to strengthen your faith. True and saving 
faith is a gift of God; but unbelief is a damning sin." 
Again, at Shirley, he said, " You can never say, ' I do not 
know the way of God; ' but if you are lost, you will cry out, 
' O, wretched man that I am ! I knew the way of God, but 
did not obey it.' " 

23. Ephraim Welch was once walking with Father Wil- 
liam, and in conversation with him about the war in Amer- 
ica, and the great troubles occasioned thereby; and Father 
William said, " Wars will never cease until God has finished 
His work with the nations of the earth; although they may 
be buried, like fire, for a season; yet, they will break out 
with seven-fold increase, among the nations of the earth." 
Again he said, to Amos Rathbun, " The same sword that 
persecutes the people of God, will be turned into the world 
among themselves, and never will be sheathed, until it has 
done its work." 

24. Hannah Kendall once presented to Father William a 
posy, of divers colors; he looked on it, and said, "I have 
seen all manner of colors in heaven much more beautiful 
than these." 

25. As Father William's strength and gift was spent in 
sufferings almost continually, he had not so much labor in 
word and doctrine. His work of sufferings continued to the 
end of his days; nor did he appear to die by any natural 
infirmity; but he seemed to give up his life in sufferings. 

Mother Ann Lee. 267 

In his last sufferings, he discharged an abundance of blood, 
and died, seemingly, like a bleeding martyr. But his zeal 
and fortitude continued to the last. A short time before his 
decease, Aaron Wood, being in the room with him, he rose 
from his bed, and asked Aaron to sing for him. Aaron 
sang, and he danced with great zeal, for a few minutes, and 
then laid down, and, in a short time expired, on the 21st 
of July, 1784, about six o'clock in the afternoon, in the 
forty-fifth year of his age. 

26. His funeral was attended on the 23rd. Many of the 
Believers attended, and the neighboring inhabitants having 
been notified, many of them attended also. Father James 
Whittaker, and Elder Calvin Harlow addressed the assem- 
bly, and spoke of his faithfulness; that he had been faith- 
ful to bear and suffer for the increase of the gospel, and 
that he had finished his work, and given up his life in suffer- 

27. In the procession to the grave, the Brethren walked 
two and two, at the right hand, and the Sisters in the same 
manner on the left. When they began to move toward the 
grave, Father James struck up a funeral song, which was 
given by the revelation of God for that purpose, and in 
which the Believers all united, and such was the power, 
harmony and symphony with which it was sung that it 
seemed to reach the very heavens. The singing continued 
till the corpse arrived at the grave, which was more than 
half a mile distant. After the interment of the corpse, the 
same song was again stiuck up, and continued until the pro- 
cession returned again from the grave. This remarkable 
song has been preserved in the Church, as a funeral song, to 
this day. 

28. After the funeral, Father James spoke to the Believ- 
ers concerning Father William's faithfulness and zeal in the 
work of God, and said, " He has been the most violent man 

268 Testimonies of 

against sin, that ever my eyes beheld, and, if such an one is 
not saved, I do not know who can be." 




r. Mother Ann Lee was a woman of a strong constitution, 
rather exceeding the ordinary size of women; rather thick, 
but very straight and well proportioned in form; of light com- 
plexion, and blue eyes; her hair of a light chestnut brown. 
In appearance, she was very majestic, and her countenance 
was such as inspired confidence and respect; and, by many 
of the world, who saw her, without prejudice, she was called 
beautiful. To her faithful children {spoken of spiritually), 
she appeared to possess a degree of dignified beauty and 
heavenly love transcending that of mortals. 

2. She possessed remarkable powers and faculties of mind, 
which were greatly enlarged and strengthened by the gift of 
God. At times, when under the power and operation of the 
Holy Ghost, her countenance shone with the glory of God, 
and her form and actions were divinely beautiful, and very 
angelic. Her power and influence, at such times, were great, 
beyond description; and no one was able to gainsay or re- 
sist the power by which she spoke. 

3. Though Mother's words were generally few, they were 
always adapted to the occasion; and it did not appear that 
she ever spoke in vain. Her whole soul was always engaged 
in the work of God, and the spirit of God seemed to breathe 
in all her words and actions. So great and godlike was the 
power of her spirit, that, with a few words, and often with a 

Mother Ann Lee. 269 

single word, or touch of her hand, she would instantly raise 
individuals, and sometimes a whole assembly, from a state 
of deepest tribulation and distress of soul, to a state of the 
most heavenly joy and comfort. ' Again, she has often min- 
istered, in a few words, to a whole assembly, such a measure 
of the power of conviction and repentance, that, in a few 
minutes, the floor has been wet with tears. She inspired into 
the hearts of her spiritual children, the greatest fear of God, 
and commanded the most unbounded love and respect of 
any person then living. Her countenance was mild and 
lovely, yet grave and solemn. In reproof she was terrible; 
in admonition she was quick, sharp, and powerful as light- 
ning; yet always careful not to hurt the oil and wine (the 
gift of God in the soul); but labored to save all that God 

4. She possessed a degree of discernment and penetration 
which nothing short of Divine Power and Wisdom could in- 
spire. In her labors with young Believers, she seemed to 
penetrate the inmost recesses of their souls, and would often 
lay open before them the state of their minds far more 
clearly than they were able to do themselves. It seemed that 
nothing could be hidden from her; and, in whatever she as- 
serted for truth, though at the time, ever so doubtful to others, 
she was never known to be in the least mistaken. Her mind 
rose superior to the ordinary passions of human nature; and 
her great labor was to subdue those passions in her follow- 
ers, and to inspire their souls with divine and heavenly affec- 
tions. She was never known to be in the least degree ruf- 
fled, or out of temper with any one, during the whole period 
of her ministry among us; but, even in the severest reproof, 
she appeared to feel unbounded charity for those whom she 
reproved. When she rejoiced, her joy was unspeakable, and 
it seemed as if her whole soul was with the angelic host, re- 
joicing in the mansions of glory. When she wept, it seemed 

270 Testimonies of 

enough to melt a heart of stone. She was often in suppli- 
cation before God, and her cries and weeping were such as 
we had never heard before ; it seemed that the sound of her 
voice was enough to cause the most relentless heart to break, 
and yield before God. 

5. In times of tribulation she was often heard to say, 
" There is no sorrow like my sorrow." And surely there is 
no sorrow worthy to be compared with the sorrow that pro- 
ceeds from a heart that is pure and holy before God as 
Mother's was. It appeared that every feeling and faculty of 
her soul and body was wholly devoted to the will of God in 
all things. She was frequently heard to say "once I served 
God through /<••(?/', but now I serve Him by love." 

6. In her manners and daily deportment, she was meek, 
harmless, and inoffensive. Her love and charity seemed 
boundless; always ready to succor the afflicted, and minister 
to the wants of the needy, and those who were well acquainted 
with her during the whole course of her ministry from the first 
opening of the gospel in America, until her decease, can truly 
say that they never saw any mortal that appeared so lovely, so 
godly, and so heavenly. For meekness and simplicity of 
manners, Mother was very remarkable, and her humility was 
very great. In speaking of herself, she used to speak in the 
same heavenly simplicity and truth as when she spoke of any 
other person. When any of the Believers expressed their 
love to her, she would often reply, " It is not me that you 
love, but it is God in me." When some kneeled down to 
her, she often used to say, " Don't kneel to me; but kneel to 
God ; I am but your fellow-servant." She frequently kneeled, 
when any one kneeled to her. 

7. In her instructions and labors for the increase of the 
gospel among the young Believers, Mother spared no time 
nor pains. She often used to say to those who came to see 
her, " The gospel is the greatest treasure that souls can pos- 

Mother Ann Lee. 271 

sess; go home and be faithful; put your hands to work, and 
give your hearts to God. Beware of covetousness, which is 
as the sin of witchcraft ; if you have any thing to spare, give 
it to the poor." 

8. Mother Hannah Kendall, who was much with Mother 
Ann, and often accompanied her in her journeys, remarks 
that she often used to say, when visited by poor widows, 
" Hannah, give this woman a piece of money ; she is a poor 
woman, and has children." She was often heard to say to 
Believers, " How many poor creatures there are who suffer 
with hunger and cold, and here you have enough ! How 
thankful to God you ought to be, for his tender mercies 
toward you." 

9. In laboring for the increase of the gospel, and the sal- 
vation of a lost world, Mother passed through inexpres- 
sible sufferings; in this she was second to none but Christ 
Jesus, her Lord and head. She bore her sufferings with 
a degree of fortitude, patience, and resignation worthy of 
the lot in which she stood, and which, many times, appeared 
far more than human. Sometimes she would endure the 
most extreme sufferings, without saying any thing about 
them ; at other times she used to speak of them in the sim- 
plicity of a child. Sometimes, when the Brethren and Sis- 
ters came to see her and asked how she did, she would 
answer, "Bonds and afflictions abide me." She was often 
heard to cry out, in the extremity of her anguish, " O that 
every thing that has breath, would cry to God for me ! 
Yea, I desire that the very grass of the field, would cry to 
God for me." 

10. At Watervliet, N. Y., in the presence of Eliphalet 
Slosson and others, Mother Ann said, " I bear daily, in my 
soul and body very great sufferings for the sins and loss of 
souls, in so much that my flesh seems bruised upon my 
bones, and the blood ceases, in a great degree, its circula- 

272 Testimonies of 

tion. But I often feel the healing power of God, which 
heals me, so that I feel perfectly well again, both soul and 

ii. Ezekiel Stevens, of Canterbury, related the following, 
"As I had much opportunity to be with Mother I often 
heard her speak of her sufferings, both in body and spirit. 
She would often foretell that Believers were coming to the 
Church, who were sorely bruised, and wearied with their 
journey, that she felt it on her body, so that her flesh felt 
sore, and bruised; and she sometimes showed to her Sisters 
the bruises and said, " I feel them coming." And I ob- 
served they would always come when she said so. She 
sometimes said, " When people come to the Church under 
the condemnation of sin, it brings such sufferings upon me 
as almost takes my life." 

12. Mother often manifested in her deportment, the most 
distinguishing marks of humiliation. She would frequently 
wait on those who came to see her with the same attention 
and assiduity as though she had been a mere servant in the 
family. When people came who were fatigued with their 
journey, who were feeble, wet, or cold, she would often use 
her utmost endeavors, with her own hands, to wait on them, 
and make them comfortable. Sometimes, while waiting 
upon them she would say, " I am among you as one that 

13. As many people came, from time to time, she would, 
sometimes, in providing places for them to lodge, according 
to circumstances, give up her own bed, and take her lodging 
on the bare floor, without a single article of bed clothes, 
except some garment folded under her head for a pillow. 
This she was known to do, not only in the summer season, 
but also in the winter, when the weather was cold. 

14. John Farrington says, " I have a number of times seen 
Mother wait till the multitude had done eating, and then go 

Mother Ann Lee. 273 

to the table, with a mild and pleasant countenance, and 
there make her whole meal, out of the fragments. I have 
seen her walk from end to end of the table, picking the 
bones after us, and eating the broken bits of bread which 
the multitude had left. Again, after the people had been 
eating spoon victuals, I have seen her gather the remaining 
driblets into one dish, and eat them with singular marks of 
thankfulness." This she often did, not only at home, in her 
own family, but also abroad, among the people where she 
visited; and she often took such opportunities to teach pru- 
dence and economy. Sometimes the Elders, or some others, 
would urge her to have something better; but she would 
reply, " It is good enough for me, for it is the blessing of 
God, and must not be lost. You must be prudent, and saving 
of every good thing which God blesses you with, so that you 
may have wherewith to give to them that stand in need." 
This is confirmed, by many of the Believers who have been 
eye-witnesses of these things. 

15. Mother's industry, prudence and economy, were equal 
to her zeal and charity ; so that, in all things, she was a pat- 
tern of godliness, and showed herself to be a mother indeed, 
in every good word and work. As the Lord Jesus did set 
an example of righteousness to all men, and instructed all 
Believers to follow his footsteps, in order to find acceptance 
wjth God, so Mother Ann set an example of righteousness 
to all women, and instructed all her followers to take up the 
same cross, in order to find their relation to Christ. 

16. David Slosson relates, that, at one particular time 
when he was at Mother's home in Waterviiet, she had been 
much exercised in labors with the people, and had sent them 
away ; after which she went into the kitchen, and said she 
wanted some of the Sisters to go and help her clean the 
door yard. She had no sooner spoken, than all readily- 
offered their services; but she took only a part, and went 


274 Testimonies of 

with them, and was very active, with her own hands, in 
cleaning away all the litter and rubbish, and putting things 
in order. Soon after they had finished, there came such a 
number of people, that the house was too small to hold them; 
therefore they held their meeting in the door yard. 

17. Thus was manifested, not only Mother's neatness, 
industry, and prudence, but also her gift of wisdom and 
foresight, by which she always had all things in readiness. 
It appeared, indeed, that nothing was ever lacking, on her 
part ; but she seemed to be always ready, waiting on the 
gift of God; and to be, in truth, a worker together, with 
God, in all her undertakings. 

18. After the decease of Father William, Mother, who had 
been ably supported by him, in the vast weight of care and 
burden which such a vast weight of Believers brought upon 
her, now began to decline in bodily strength; and knowing 
that her work was nearly at a close, she accordingly endeav- 
ored to prepare the minds of the. Believers for it. She re- 
peatedly warned them to be faithful ; for she was about to 
leave them. 

19. Soon after Father William expired, Mother said, 
" Brother William is gone, and, it will soon be said of me, 
that I am gone too." She was afterward often heard to say, 
" Well, I am coming soon." She would then say to those who 
were present, " Brother William is calling me." Sometimes 
she would say, "Yea, Brother William, I shall come soon." 

20. She continually grew weaker in body, without any 
visible appearance of bodily disease, till the 8th of Sep- 
tember, 1784, between twelve and one o'clock in the morn- 
ing, when she breathed her last without a struggle, or a 
groan. Before her departure, she repeatedly said to those 
around her, that she was going home. A little before she 
expired, she said, " I see Brother William, coming in a 
golden chariot, to take me home." 

Mother Ann Lee. 275 

21. After her decease messengers were immediately sent to 
New Lebanon to notify the Believers. Notice was also sent 
to Albany, and other places in the vicinity, that all who so 
desired, might attend her funeral. Accordingly a vast con- 
course gathered, both of Believers and others. 

22. At the grave Father James Whittaker spake as follows, 
" Here lie my two friends ; God help me ; as ever a man 
desires to eat, who is hungry, I desire to lie here with them! 
They are a part of myself! They are gone to that treasure 
which is my only interest. It is the gospel of Christ which 
is all my interest; and I should desire to depart, and to lie 
here with them, were it not for vour sakes. But I forbear — 
There is not a man in America that is able to keep the gospel 
without help." The tears flowed down his face abundantly; 
it seemed as though his heart would break for very grief. 
He proceeded, "I say, the will of God be done; I desire to 
do the will of God. This is the greatest gift of God that 
the soul can obtain. You will all have to feel so too, — to 
be reconciled to do God's will, and to feel that the gospel is 
your only interest." 

23. He then addressed himself to the unbelievers, saying, 
; * This that we so much esteem, and so much adore, is a 
treasure worth the laboring for; it is the gospel of Christ's 
Second Appearance; it is the only means of salvation that 
will ever be offered to sinners; it is the last display of God's 
grace to a lost world." Mehetabel Farrington. 

276 Testimonies of 



James Whittaker was the son of Jonathan Whittaker of 
Oldham, near Manchester, in England. His mother's maiden 
name was Ann Lee.* She was a member of the society of 
James and Jane Wardley, and was a good Believer. His 
father stood in opposition for a while, but was afterward 
convicted and embraced the gospel, and had a strong feeling 
to come to America, with Mother and the Elders, but was 
not able ; he died in the faith. 

2. James was born February 28th, 1 75 1, and received the 
testimony of the gospel in his childhood, used to accompany 
his mother to the meetings of James and Jane Wardley, and 
was remarkably faithful and obedient to the instruction of 
his teachers. In early youth he was placed under the care 
of Mother Ann, and, by her, was carefully instructed in the 
way of God; and having gained a great measure of the gos- 
pel, he afterward became very useful to her in her ministry. 
Being greatly gifted in public speaking, he was instrumental 
in gathering many souls to the gospel. 

3. Concerning his own experience in the way of God, he 
gave the following particulars : " I was brought up in the 
way of God, by my mother, and knew no unclean thing. 
But, when my soul was waked up, I found myself a child 
needy of the mercy of God; then I cried mightily to God; 
I do not think that I spoke more than five words in a day; 
and I verily thought that the whole earth trembled under me 
for the space of a whole year; but, I suppose that it was 
my body that trembled that caused this feeling." 

4. "At this time I saw, in vision, my own soul in America, 

* Probably some distant relation of Mother Ann. 

Mother Ann Lee. 277 

with Mother's soul; and I heard my soul speak to Mother's 
soul, and I heard Mother's soul answer my soul, and I heard 
all the conversation that passed between Mother and the 
Elders, and those men who put us into the prison in Albany; 
and during the whole time of our imprisonment, I never 
once thought of my vision; but as soon as we were set at 
liberty, it all came fresh to my mind." Hannah Goodrich. 

5 . Father James informed Joseph Maine that while he was 
one day walking with Mother, in England, he felt the heavens 
open, and the manifestation and givings of God fell upon 
him in so marvelous a manner that his soul was filled with 
inexpressible glory; and he felt such an overflowing of love 
to Mother, that he cried out, "As the Lord liveth, and as my 
soul liveth, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and 
that Mother then and there promised him the Bishoprick. 
He also related that when crossing the sea from England to 
America, he saw Mother Ann and himself in vision ; he was 
standing by the side of Mother, with his arm bound fast to 
hers, with a golden chain which seemed to surround both of 
their arms; this he received as a sign, to him, that he should 
never be separated from Mother. 

6. Father James was a man evidently and greatly noticed 
of God, in all his goings forth ; and such notice as was often 
openly manifest, and very striking to all present. One Sab- 
bath day, when Mother and the Elders were at Harvard, and 
the Believers all assembled together for worship, as they 
were all sitting in profound silence, Father James, being un- 
der a solemn weight of the power of God, extended both his 
hands upward and exclaimed, " Heavens ! Heavens! Heav- 
ens!" Instantly the house was shaken, and the casements 
clattered, as though they had been shaken by a mighty 

7. When Mother lived at Ashfield, Father James went 
from thence to Harvard and Shirley. At Shirley he attended 

27S Testimonies of 

the funeral of Joseph Jewett. On his way home, he stayed 
one night at Joseph Shattuck's, in Petersham; in the even- 
ing, as he was walking the floor, he lifted up his hands and 
exclaimed, " Peace ! peace! peace! what peace I feel ! The 
peace of the gospel is worth more than all tht treasures of 
this world." 

John Robinson. 

8. Father James Whittaker was evidently called, of God, 
to be Mother Ann's successor, in the ministry. After attend- 
ing her funeral, and speaking to the assembly under a great 
weight of grief and sorrow, he returned home, and the Be- 
lievers being assembled, he thus addressed them, " My two 
friends and Elders are gone ! I pray God to help me ! ' ; 
He then called upon all the Brethren and Sisters to help him 
keep the way of God ; and urged the necessity of their being 
more faithful and watchful than they had been, to keep the 
way of God, since those who had the greatest gift for their 
protection, were gone. The tears flowed abundantly. He 
spoke of the great weight that fell upon him with respect to 
the protection of the Believers, and his concern and labor 
that the gospel might be kept and honored. So solemn and 
impressive were his words at this time, that they had great 
effect upon every sensitive and true Believer. It was plainly 
seen and felt that Mother's mantle had fallen upon him, and 
that God had anointed him to lead and protect His people. 
After he had done speaking, Elder Joseph Meacham, Elder 
Calvin Harlow, Elder John Hocknell, and others, came for- 
ward and acknowledged him as their Elder, and that the gift 
of God rested upon him for their protection. 

9. Father James remained in great sorrow until the morn- 
ing of the third day after Mother's decease. He then as- 
sembled the people, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, 
he spake as follows, " I feel like ten thousand mountains of 
righteousness ! Now I remember the promise of God, by 

Mother Ann Lee. 279 

Mother, that I should never be without an host of angels to 
guard me." Hannah Goodrich, Senr. 

10. The first time Father James was at Hancock, after 
the lead of the people rested in him, he rejoiced, saying, 
'' You are my interest ; and should not a man rejoice when 
he comes to his interest ? " Again, he said, " You are my 
interest; I have begotten you in the gospel, and I love you 
all." And again, "I could willingly lay down my life for 
my Brethren, if I were called to do it ; for I feel that degree 
of love to them, that they feel near and dear to me like my 
own soul." 

11. Father James often said, "I love my Brethren all as 
one. There is one Lord, and His name is one; and there 
is but one head." Soon after Mother's decease, he addressed 
the Believers at Watervliet, concerning their interest in the 
gospel, showing that the treasure of a true and faithful Be- 
liever, was in his Brethren and Sisters in Christ ; and not in 
his earthly kindred; and spoke by the way of admonition to 
those who were bound to their fleshly relations, who lived 
after the course of this world, and chose to make them heirs 
to their temporal interest, rather than their Brethren and 
Sisters, who were faithful to serve God. He expressed his 
own feelings, saying " my only treasure is in them that 
believe; I have no relation but in the people of God. They 
who are faithful to serve God are my relations; they are my 
interest, and my treasure, and all I have is theirs. I am 
willing that all the interest I have in this world, should go 
to them that are faithful to serve God, here in America. 
There are those in America, who have entered into the sanc- 
tuary of strength, where Satan cannot cheat them out of 
their souls, and I thank God for it; yea I thank God for it." 

Lydia Mathewson. 

12. As Father James was at this time the only one now 
left, of those who came from England, who stood in the 

280 Testimonies of 

Ministry, his burdens and labors were exceedingly great. 
Sometimes his sufferings were so great that he used to say 
he felt such a weight of the lost state of man, and such a 
sense of the deep defilement of the earth, that he hardly 
dared to step his foot to the ground; and would sometimes 
desire all the Believers to quit their work and kneel down to 
pray for him. 

13. Shortly after Mother Ann's decease, in an evening 
meeting at Watervliet, Father James spoke of the struggle 
that souls would have to find the new birth, and said, 
" When souls came to see that they must be born again, or 
never enter the kingdom of God, they will have done with 
every thing but the way of God ; they will have done with 
all their own wills and ways, and will cry to God, knowing 
that if they are not delivered, they must die." 

Hannah Cogswell . 

14. At Hancock, he said, "Blessed are the sons of Zion 
who can look upon the daughters of men, and not lust after 
them; and blessed are the daughters of Zion who can look 
upon the sons of men, and not lust after them. We have an 
altar whereof no one shall partake, but those who rejoice in 
Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; for our 
altar is God's altar, and the wicked shall not eat thereon 
nor therefrom." Again he said, " The drunkard shall not 
eat on our altar." Hannah Goodrich, Scnr. 

15. Again Father James said, " I am not ashamed to build 
up your faith ; your faith is most holy; but I know you have 
infirmities, and I pray that the forbearance of God may be 
lengthened out to you, until you learn to do right ; for you 
must have an exceeding righteousness; your righteousness 
must exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; 
therefore, treasure up, in your hearts, that which will keep 
you in the time of trouble." " Keep your faith, for the end 
of your faith will be the salvation of your souls ; and when I 

Mother Ann Lee. 281 

am gone, and you see the branches flourish, then know ye 
that the root is holy. — I have ventured my life and soul 
among you, and you have received the gospel, and are wel- 
come to it." Hannah Goodrich, Senr. 

16. Father James often abased himself and said, "I am 
more mean than any of you, my parents were mean, and 
poor; but, by the grace of God, I am what I am ; and 
blessed be God, who hath chosen me to be a minister of the 
gospel." Hannah Goodrich, Senr. 

17. One day, at Watervliet, Mother Lucy and a number 
of others, of respectable families being present, Father 
James spoke to them by way of exhortation. His words were 
very solemn and weighty, and the Believers all kneeled with 
him and he said, " I am a mean man ! I am a very mean man ! 
When I look around upon you all, I consider your parent- 
ages to be more honorable than my own; but I thank God 
that He has blessed me with the gospel of salvation." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

18. One Sabbath day, at Harvard,* while Father James 
was speaking to a large assemblage of people, with great 
solemnity and power of God, under the spirit of prophecy, 
he kneeled down, and all the Believers, and a number of the 
world, kneeled with him, and while on his knees he said, " I 
am but a poor worm of the dust, and a very little one too; I 
feel, many times, as though I could crumble into the dust 
before God." Hannah Cogswell. 

19. Father James possessed great fear of God, and often 
manifested it in his public gifts and ministrations. One day, 
in public meeting, at Shirley, in passing across the meeting- 
house floor, he walked softly, with great care, and said, " I 
feel such fear of God that I fear to set my feet to the floor." 

Susanna Barrett. 

20. At another time he kneeled down and said, " The 

* The latter part of February, 1782. 

2S2 Testimonies of 

Lord has given us the power of repentance and forgiveness 
of sins." At another time he kneeled before he ate, and, 
with a loud voice, said, " I pray that God would make us 
thankful for the necessaries of life, but above all things, make 
us thankful for the gospel." After he had done eating, he 
kneeled again and said, " I pray that the patience of God 
may be lengthened out, till the redemption of man is finished." 

Susanna Barrett. 

21. Again Father James kneeled down in great sorrow, 
and prayed to God, that when he had done with time on 
earth, God would accept him in innocency. Again he said, 
"In our humiliation our judgment will be taken away." 

Nathan Tiffany. 

22. Father James being at Enfield, the next year after 
Mother Ann's decease, he came into the meeting-house on 
the Sabbath, and kneeled down, and all the Believers kneeled 
with him, and he said, " God has committed the gospel to 
my trust." The tears flowed abundantly down his cheeks. 
He proceeded, " I pray that God would lay nothing to my 
charge ! — Christ is revealed; I feel his power, in sorrow and 
in love. God has blessed me with a broken heart and godly 
sorrow for sin." He arose from his knees, and there being 
a great number of unbelievers present, who seemed to make 
light of the work of God, he turned to them and said, " I de- 
sire that you would behave yourselves, or peaceably with- 
draw ; for we have an order, and I will contend for it, 
at the price of my blood. — I say, I desire that you would 
behave yourselves, or peaceably withdraw." His words were 
spoken with such power of God that the most haughty coun- 
tenances fell, and all gave the strictest attention. He then 
preached the gospel of self-denial and the cross, and the 
necessity of confessing and forsaking all sin. After speak- 
ing considerably lengthy on this subject, he closed his 
discourse with these words, " As you treat this gospel, so 

Mother Ann Lee. 283 

God will treat you; if you slight it, God will slight you; if 
you regard it, God will regard you ; for as the testimony of 
Noah condemned the old world, so shall this present testi- 
mony condemn the present generation." Caleb Pease. 

23. Also at Enfield, in a public assembly, Father James 
lifted up his hands, and they shook by the mighty power of 
God; and he testified, saying, "This is the gospel ! This is 
the gospel ! And, if any man preach any other gospel let 
him be converted by the power of God, to see and know- the 
truth." He also spoke to the Brethren and Sisters, saying, 
" I can tell you how you may know the way of God, — the 
way of God is right against a carnal nature ; and a carnal 
nature is right against the way of God ; and Christ has come 
to destroy a carnal nature." Joseph Markham, Se/ir. 

24. Father James was greatly gifted in visions and prophe- 
cies, and often warned the people, under the gift of vision, 
and prophecy, not to reject the word of God and the testi- 
mony of the gospel through His witnesses. At one time, 
while at Enfield, he came into meeting under great power of 
God, and in great tribulation, wringing his hands and groan- 
ing in spirit, and said, " Thaddeus Billing, take care ! 
Thaddeus Billing, I say take care ! for I saw the bright glory 
of God pass by thee, and I would rather have seen it light 
on thee."* He also addressed the audience, and said, "I 
have ministered to you the words of eternal life, and washed 
my hands in innocence, and if there are but five souls among 
you who abide faithful, this testimony will overcome all na- 
tions; and God will destroy all nations from off the face of 
the earth if they do not repent and turn to Him." 

25. There are many souls who would be thankful for this 
gospel if they could but have it, being sick of the flesh; but 

* Thaddeus appeared much affected, at that time, but, soon after, began to grow 
obstinate, and became a reprobate, and a bold opposer of the gospel, and a bitter 
enemy to that faith which he had before zealously embraced, and strove to build up 

2S4 Testimonies of 

can see no way to escape it; many poor women, bound by 
the flesh, crying to God in their troubles; and God is not 
deaf to such cries. But, I thank God, that I never wronged 
any woman; and I thank God that I never had carnal knowl- 
edge of any woman." A certain woman in the assembly, 
on hearing these words, cried out, three times, with a loud 
voice, " James Whittaker is the son of God. " Father James 
replied, " There is a certain woman in this assembly who 
says, James Whittaker is the son of God; and I do not choose 
to deny it, for, as many as are led by the spirit of God, they 
are the sons of God." Hannah Wood- 

26. Many of the Believers being assembled at John Par- 
tington's in Watervliet, Father James took a Bible, and read 
concerning the judgments of God, spoken of by the prophet 
Zechariah, and in the Revelations of John, and being under 
deep impressions of mind, and great sorrow of heart, he 
said, " These judgments will certainly come upon all those 
who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. The seal 
of God is repentance." Rebecca Slosson- 

Again, at Watervliet, Father James was in great sorrow, 
and he said", " I feel the judgments of God against sin, and 
when you feel the judgments of God against sin, you will 
leave it off." Rebecca Slosson. 

27. At another time he was greatly exercised in soul and 
body, and he testified, saying, " The judgments of God are 
coming and they are nigh at hand." It was then about the 
middle of the day, and very clear; about two hours afterward 
there came a dreadful hail-storm that broke the windows, 
and beat down the grain in such a manner that the Brethren 
ploughed it in the next day, and planted the ground with 
Indian corn. The seed onions were headed, but, out of 
many bushels that were planted, but one head escaped this 
dreadful storm. Father James, and all who were present, 
kneeled down in prayer to God; after this he said, " Although 

Mother Ann Lee. 285 

the fig tree shall not blossom, neither fruit be found on the 
vine ; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields yield no 
meat ; the flocks should be cut off in the fold, and there be 
no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will 
joy in the God of my salvation." Rebecca Slosson. 

28. There once came a man to Water vliet who had been 
a Believer, and who, through transgression, had lost his 
union; but still desired the mercy of God in His people. 
Father James assembled all the Brethren and Sisters into the 
meeting-house; this poor man came in with the rest and 
kneeled down before Father James, but seemed to have an un- 
relenting heart, and could not shed a tear. Father James 
looked on him with compassion, and said, " Repeat these 
words after me, 'O Lord, is thy mercy clean gone ? ' As the 
man repeated the words, the tears gushed from his eyes, his 
heart was broken, and Father James said, " I thank God 
that there is mercy yet in Zion." Hannah Wood. 

29. At Shirley, Father James prophesied, saying, " There 
will be a famine, not of bread, nor a thirst for water; but, 
of the word of God; and you will be glad to pick up every 
scrap, and every crumb that ever fell from our mouths. 
People will yet see the time when they will be willing to 
crawl on their hands and knees, to the ends of the earth, to 
hear the word of the Lord." Again he said, " It is not 
James Whittaker's way, it is God's way; and all I want is 
an equal share with my Brethren." David Crouch. 

30. Being at David Hammond's, in Petersham, after Moth- 
er's decease, and speaking in public, he said, " Treasure up 
the word of God; the time will come when you will need to 
gather up every word of God; and now is the time; gather 
up all the fragments; see that nothing is lost." 

John Robinson. 
Again Father James said to a woman, " Now is the time 
to turn about and repent; for the day is coming when souls 

2S6 Testimonies of 

will cry out, ' Lord, any way to be saved,' and the time is 
near at hand." At another time he said, " The judgments 
of God will as certainly follow the preaching of this gospel, 
as the flood followed the preaching of Noah, and the same 
sins that brought the judgments of God upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah, will bring the same judgments upon the inhabit- 
ants of the earth; for the sins of Sodom are already in the 
earth." Amos Rathbun. 

31. In a public assembly at Watervliet, not long after 
Mother's decease, Father James spoke as follows, " I feel 
a special gift of God; I see people in the visions of God, as 
numerous as the trees in the forest! I see that the gospel 
is to be preached to them! The rising generation, you who 
are now young, the days will come when you will be scat- 
tered over the earth, preaching the gospel; and you will 
have great gifts of God, to open the way of eternal life to a 
lost world." 

32. At Enfield, speaking of his visions he said, " I saw a 
day when souls would wake up by the power of God, even 
ancient people, in great multitudes, shaking to their fingers' 
ends." He also said, "After my decease, there will be a 
great increase; but, it will come through an increase of 
union, and in no other way." Mother Lucy Wright. 

33. Again, just before he departed this life Father James 
said, " I saw all the Believers travel, and then come to a 
stop, as up against a wall; and then they were brought into 
order; after which I saw the old men and women traveling, 
and bearing their own burdens." He also said, " The young 
people, who are faithful, will suck of every flower, and be 
full of the gifts of God." Samuel Fitch. 

Mother Ann Lee. 287 



Father James, in his person, was a man of rather more 
than middling stature; in form, very well proportioned; of 
more than ordinary strength, of his size, and very active. He 
had a fair complexion, black eyes, and very dark brown, straight 
hair; an open and placid countenance, grave, but pleasant; such 
as the beholders might both love, and fear. His voice was 
clear, and solid, but mild, and pleasant; his speech was such 
as inspired confidence, and commanded respect. It was not 
an uncommon expression among the world, on hearing him, 
to say, " I love to hear that James Whittaker speak." 

2. In his disposition he was mild, gentle and forbearing, 
yet firm and undaunted, and inflexible in duty. So amiable 
was his deportment, and so winning his manners, that he of- 
ten disarmed the most bitter opposers of their rage. He 
was greatly beloved by all who knew him, both Believers 
and the world; and none were his enemies but those whose 
opposition to the way of God, rendered every subject of it, 
an object of hatred. In reproving sin he was sharp and 
powerful, but wise, and careful not to hurt the soul. In la- 
boring with lost souls, in admonishing the careless, instruct- 
ing the ignorant, strengthening the weak, relieving the buf- 
fetted, and binding up the broken hearted, his gift of wisdom 
and understanding was very remarkable; he knew how to 
come to lost souls in every situation, and to administer meat 
in due season. He possessed great meekness, humility and 
simplicity of soul, was remarkably tender hearted, kind and 
charitable, and abounded in heavenly love. When he wept, 
it seemed as though every feeling heart must weep with him; 
and when he rejoiced, that every soul who was alive in the 
gospel, must rejoice with him. 

288 Testimonies of 

3. Eliphalet Slosson said, "Father James was a man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with grief. I have often heard him 
with tears rolling from his eyes, express his love, and thank- 
fulness for the way of God, in the following manner: ' O, 
how precious is the way of God to my thirsty soul ! — I feel 
the love of God continually flowing into my soul, like rivers 
of living water; — it is sweeter in my mouth than honey in 
the honey-comb; — I know that God owns me as His son, 
and yet I will pray to Him; I know how to pray; and I 
know how to be thankful for the gospel; even my breath is 
continual prayer to God.' " 

4. As he was brought up in the gospel from his childhood, 
he possessed a remarkable degree of purity. It seemed as 
though every feeling of his soul continually breathed purity; 
hence his spirit was in continual opposition to the ties of a 
carnal nature, and all natural relation. He often said, " I 
hate these things as I hate the smoke of the bottomless pit; 
and in lieu thereof I behold, in open vision, the angelic host, 
and join, in the melodious songs of the New Jerusalem." 

5. So completely did he overcome a carnal nature, that 
before he left this world, he said, " I have no more lust than 
an infant; nay, not so much: I have no more than a child 
unborn." And for some years before his death, he never 
once felt an operation of that nature, neither asleep nor 
awake. He used to say, " There is no need of any person 
trying the flesh, in order to know what it is. If you are 
faithful in the way of God, you will know by the light of the 
gospel, what the flesh is, without experiencing it; for light 
comprehends darkness." 

6. He often said, " The gospel is without fault, it is 
straight as straightness; it is pure as the heavens; and if you 
obey it not, you will lose your souls.' In solemn warnings 
to the people, and for their encouragement, he would say, 
"Wherever you are; whatever may betide you; how dark 

Mother Ann Lee. 289 

soever things may appear; how unjustly soever you may suf- 
fer, keep your faith; for the time will come, when all wrongs 
will be righted." And again, "What I say to-day, there you 
shall find me to-morrow; for I would not be the means 
of marring one soul for all earthly things." 

Abijah Wooster. 

7. In warning Believers against falsehood and deception, 
Father James said, " You ought to be watchful over your 
words at all times, and be careful to know that you speak 
the truth ; not tell things that you do not know to be true 
in such a manner as to deceive others ; but you ought to rep- 
resent things as they are ; and not deceive one another ; it is 
lying; it is wicked." He often spoke in this manner during 
his ministry, earnestly pressing it upon the people, as a mat- 
ter of great importance. He also said, " The way to labor 
for the gospel, is to keep your mind upon the things of God. 
You ought to let your minds be exercised in laboring upon 
the things that belong to your peace, and not on the things 
of the world ; for if you give your minds to labor upon the 
things of the world, they will become corrupted." 

Lydia Mathetvson. 

8. Father James often had solemn gifts of warning the 
Believers not to suffer their souls to get overshadowed and 
darkened with those things that had a tendency to shut the 
gift of God out of the soul. At Hancock he spoke in a 
solemn manner, to the Brethren, saying, " I warn you Breth- 
ren, not to be overcome with the cares of this world, lest 
your souls lose the power of God, and you become lean and 
barren." Luther Cogswell, 

9. He would often say to the Believers, " Be what you 
seem to be; and seem to be what you really are; don't carry 
two faces." And again, " You have received faith, and your 
faith will be tried; faith untried is uncertain." 

Henry Goddin. 
37 'u 

290 Testimonies of 

10. In reproving the Believers for their wrongs, Father 
James often used to say, " If you do not love to hear of 
these things, then leave them off; put away the cause and 
the effect will cease." And again, " Ye who have believed 
in God, be careful to maintain good works." And again, 
" I'll know no man by his speech, but by the fruits he brings 
forth." John Warner. 

11. Having been at Harvard, after Mother's decease, and 
being about to take his leave of the place, and the Brethren, 
he spoke to them in great sorrow, and after a pause of sol- 
emn silence he said, " Surely God is in this place, pull off 
your shoes; for the place where ye stand is holy."* 

Eunice Wythe. 

12. At Enfield he said to some of the Believers, "You 
need not be afraid of losing your lots, unless you lose them 
by transgression. Every one of you must labor in your own 
lots, lest, by seeking to get another's lot, you lose your own." 

Mary Tiffany. 

13. In the time of Shay's insurrection in Massachusetts, 
some of the Believers in that state, in expressing their senti- 
ments, manifested some party feelings concerning that event; 
when it came to Father James' knowledge, he rebuked that 
spirit, saying, " Those who give way to a party spirit, and 
are influenced by the divisions and contentions of the world, 
so as to feel for one political party more than another, have 
no part with me." Again he said, "The spirit of party is 
the spirit of the world, and whoever indulges it, and unites 
with one evil spirit against another, is off from Christian 
ground." Jethro Turner. 

14. Being in conversation at David Dwinnel's, in Sutton, 
with some men of the world, they pleaded very strongly for 
the great command, as they called it, to "increase and mul- 
tiply." Father James said, "When you feel to gratify that 

*The Church was subsequently there established. 

Mother Ann Lee. 291 

sordid propensity with your wives, I can tell you what is best 
for you to do. First, kneel down, and pray to God to know 
His mind and will, respecting what you are about to do; 
and, I'll warrant you will feel a relaxation of that nature, 
before you find an answer of God." John Warner. 

15. In addressing an assembly of Believers at Nathan 
Farrington's in New Lebanon, Father James said, "Sanctify 
the Lord God in your hearts; God will remember you in 
mercy; but if ye neglect to sanctify God in your hearts, God 
will neglect to remember you in mercy, and will remember 
you in judgment. I hate and abhor your neglect of the gos- 
pel, as I prize the salvation of your souls." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

16. Near the same time he addressed an assembly at John 
Spier's, and said, " I love those who believe ; if I have any 
interest on earth, it is in those who believe the gospel. Since 
I came to America, I have seen the time that I would have 
been willing to creep many miles, on my hands and knees, 
to see the face of one who believed the gospel, but I could 
not." He also said, "When ye see the branches flourish, 
and bring forth fruit, then remember that the root is holy." 

Hannah Cogswell. 

17. At a certain time, in speaking to the Believers, Father 
James said, " If any of you commit sin, or break any of the 
orders of God, you must confess it before you sleep." Again 
he said, " The time will come when disobedience to a single 
order of God, will shut the soul out of the kingdom of 
heaven." Mother Lucy Wright. 

18. The first time that the Believers assembled in the new 
meeting-house, at New Lebanon,* Father James thus ad- 
dressed the assembly, " When you go in and out, at these 
doors, remember to go in and out in the fear of God. Re- 
member that this house was built to repent and serve God 

* Sabbath, January 29, 17S6. 

292 Testimonies of 

in ; that God has placed the foundation in Zion for all souls 
to gather to, that ever find salvation." " If you will hearken 
unto the voice of the Lord, your God, and do whatsoever 
He commandeth you, ye shall be protected ; the blessing of 
God shall rest upon you; ye shall be blessed in your goings 
out and in your comings in ; in your basket and in your 
store. And they shall come from the east and from the 
west, from the nortli and from the south, from all nations, 
and hear the gospel in this house. But if ye disobey the 
voice of the Lord, your God, you, above all people upon the 
face of the earth, shall be under the judgment of God." 

JoJin Bruce. 

19. In addressing the assembly again in the afternoon, he 
kneeled down, and all the people with him, and on his knees 
he said, " I desire that you would all return thanks to God, 
that the purpose intended, in the building of this house, is 
so far accomplished." After this he uttered the following 
benedictions, and all the Believers repeated them after him. 

20. " Blessed are all those who come to the tree of life 
and have a right therein. Blessed are all those who hate the 
garment spotted by the flesh. Blessed are all those who are 
not defiled by women. Blessed are all those young virgins 
who were never defiled by men." On uttering this last sen- 
tence, the young Sisters instantly, and with one voice, shouted 
their approbation. Salome McClure. 

21. Shortly after this, in addressing the assembly in this 
meeting-house, he said, " You must have an exceeding right- 
eousness, for verily I say unto you, except your righteous- 
ness exceed the righteousness of all other men, even of all 
those who believe, you shall, of all people, be the most put 
to shame ; for the fame of this place has gone to the ends of 
the land, if not to other nations." Hannah Cogswell. 

22. Again he said, " There are many pious men in this world 
who live up to the best light they know, who have never 

Mother Ann Lee. 293 

heard the sound of this gospel ; but, except your righteous- 
ness exceed theirs, ye shall in no wise enter into the king- 
dom.'' And again, ' Those who are called by the gospel 
when they are children, and are faithful and obedient, and 
keep out of sin, will be the flower of heaven and the glory 
of Paradise." Mary Spencer. 

23. At another time, in addressing a public assembly in 
this meeting-house, he said, " God has blessed this land with 
the gospel, and, as certain as the gospel has been preached to 
this land, so certain the judgments of God will follow the 
gospel. The mercy of God has been to this land, and the 
mercy of God has been welcome; so the judgments of God 
shall be as welcome. Come, welcome mercy ! Come, wel- 
come judgments ! " 

24. About the middle of January, 1787, Father James 
called upon the Believers to assemble, on the morning of a 
week day, at the meeting-house in New Lebanon. They ac- 
cordingly assembled, and he came into the meeting-house 
with a very weighty gift, and with tears flowing from his eyes, 
he said, "I am going to leave you; I feel that my work is 
done here, and I do not know that I shall ever see you again 
in this world, but I leave them with you, who are able to 
teach you the way of God. 1 desire that you would treasure 
up the gospel, and make it your only interest. You are all 
the interest I have in this world; I have no other interest. 
He then kneeled down and wept exceedingly, and all the 
Believers kneeled and wept with him. After rising from his 
knees, he warned the people, in a very solemn manner, to be 
faithful, and keep the way of God, when he was gone, and 
said, "We have given you the gospel; see to it that you 
make a good use of it." 

25. He then addressed the Elders, and laborers among the 
people, and gave them a very solemn charge to be faithful, 
and watch over the people for their protection, and said, 

294 Testimonies of 

'*' Do by the Brethren and Sisters as I have done by you." 
He also warned them, in a special manner, concerning the 
youth and children, and said, " You must take care, and pro- 
te< t the rising generation, for if they are protected, the time 
will come, when they will be the flower of the people of 
God. " Ebenezer Bishop and Jo Jin Bruce. 

26. The same evening, he came into meeting again, and 
warned the Believers in the most solemn manner, to keep 
the way of God ; and said " Do be faithful. Those of you 
who abide faithful, will be like a bud in the bloom ; but those 
who do not abide will be like a falling leaf; and you will re- 
member these words when you cannot see me." The next 
morning, he took his leave of the Believers at New Lebanon, 
and set off for Enfield, from whence he never returned. 

Mary Spencer. 

27. He tarried a short time at Enfield, and then made a 
visit among the Believers in Harvard and Shirley, Woburn, 
&c, and returned to Enfield. Conn., sometime in March, 
where he remained till his decease. Here he was continually 
visited by the Believers from other places. His ministry was 
short, but very laborious and active. He visited all the dif- 
ferent places in the land where the gospel had been received, 
and some of them several times. His labors were continu- 
ally employed in strengthening the weak, comforting the af- 
flicted, and purging out sin. It was the peculiar gift of his 
ministry to wean the affections of the Believers, from natural 
and earthly things, and ties, and prepare them for a spiritual 
relation in Church Order which he foretold was at hand, and 
often spoke of it. 

28. His instructions to the Elders who afterward suc- 
ceeded him, relative to gathering, building, and establishing 
the Church in gospel order, might, with great propriety, be 
likened to the instructions of David to Solomon, concerning 
the building of the temple, which was an eminent type of 

Mother Ann Lee. 295 


this work. Many were the instructions, exhortations and 
solemn warnings which he delivered, in the last days of his 
ministry. When he came near to the close of life, he said, 
" I have given you my life ; all I have, I have given unto 
you; if lever had any thing, you possess it — it is yours; 
and now, see that you make a good use of it.'' 

29. About two weeks before his decease, he said, " My 
body is under great sufferings; but I feel my soul at peace 
with God and man. I have given you the gospel ; now see 
to it, what kind of use you make of it. If you keep the gos- 
pel, the gospel will keep you. I have given my life for the 
people; and after I am gone, there will be a great increase." 

Eunice Wilds. 

30. A little before Father James' decease, a number of the 
Brethren and Sisters went from New Lebanon to Enfield, to 
see him; and being about to return home, they went to his 
room, to take their leave of him. On entering the room, 
they all kneeled down, and he addressed them as follows, 
" I feel thankful to see you all, and that you have come to see 
me in my sickness, once more, before I leave this world. I 
feel weak in body, but comfortable in my spirit ; and whether 
I live or die, the gospel will increase. I have had a great 
desire to come and see you all, but I have not been able ; 
but my heart has been with you ; and now your hearts must 
be with me, to labor for the power of God, for one union ; 
and if ever God raises me up, I will come and see you."' 

31. "I desire you would give my love to the people where 
you go, and tell them that I am alive; and that I never ex- 
pect to die ; for the sting of death is taken from me, and all 
fear and terror; yet I expect to put off this earthly taberna- 
cle." When they came away, Mother Lucy "Wright, who 
was there, embraced the Sisters, and wept with them in thank- 
fulness for their privilege. Hannah Cogswell. 

32. When he was on his dying bed, he said, " My suffer- 

296 Testimonies of 


ings are exceedingly great; but that peace and consolation 

which I feel in my soul, overbalances them all. That peace 

and comfort which I feel in the gospel, I would not exchange 

for a thousand such worlds as this." He then exhorted all 

to hold on, and hold out to the end, and said, "If you hold 

out to the end, you will feel that peace which I now feel." 

Nathan Willard. 

33. Thus he continued to exhort, encourage and strengthen 
all around him, till he expired, on the 20th of July, 1787. 
His funeral was attended on the following day; and the sea- 
son was very affecting to all the Believers, who viewed him 
as their Elder and Father, and the last of those faithful 
ministers of Christ who had brought the gospel to this land, 
and had been called to stand in the Ministry. 

34. Elder Joseph Meacham, and Elder Calvin Harlow, 
addressed the assembly on the occasion. They spoke in a 
very solemn and affecting manner of his faithfulness, and 
testified that he had been a faithful minister of Christ, in the 
important charge which God had committed to him, over 
the people, in teaching and instructing them in the way of 
God, in bearing their infirmities, and suffering for the in- 
crease of the gospel. 

35. They spoke with great strength and power of God, 
concerning the future increase of the gospel; and with great 
boldness and confidence assured the people that the gospel 
would be kept; that the work of God would increase, and 
God's people would be protected. 

36. Many of the world attended, whose spirits felt so ex- 
ceedingly oppressive * to Elder Joseph, that, while at the 

* The nature of that oppressive spirit which Elder Joseph felt from the world, at 
the funeral, maybe understood from the following circumstance: A few days 
after Elder James' decease, one of the leading characters of the town, expressed 
himself as follows: " Now James Whittaker is gone, the Shakers would return to 
their former way again, and become good members of society, if it were not for 
Joseph and David Meacham; but they are so willful, that they will keep up the 
delusion, and keep the people together." 

Mother Ann Lee. 297 

grave he was taken under operations of the power of God in 
such a manner that he shook and trembled, all over, from 
head to foot ; and he spoke with such power, that it appeared 
marvelous, even to the Believers who were present. He 
declared that the work of God would increase, and that the 
power of God would yet overcome all things. 



That there is a secret judgment for the wicked, is beyond 
all dispute; and it is also unquestionable, that both the 
righteous and the wicked, will meet their ultimate reward in 
the world of spirits. But mankind are so natural in their 
understandings, that they cannot understand spiritual things, 
without a manifestation that comes to their natural senses, 
therefore, God often dispenses a foretaste of the rewards of 
the eternal world, by blessings upon the righteous, and judg- 
ments upon the wicked, in this life. 

2. In all ages of the world, wherever there has been a 
hew dispensation of God's grace to man, or any extraordi- 
nary display of His power and work among mankind, those 
who have distinguished themselves by their faith and obedi- 
ence, have been distinguished by blessings; and those who 
have manifested a distinguished opposition, have also been 
distinguished by judgments, as a warning to others. Hence 
these evidences serve to show where the work of God is, 
and who are His chosen witnesses; so that mankind may be 
left without excuse. 

3. It therefore appears proper to record some of those 
judgments of God which evidently fell upon the most active 


29S Testimonies of 

opposers and persecutors of Mother and the Elders; and 
also some extraordinary fulfilments of the prophecies of 
Mother and the Elders concerning the judgments of God 
upon reprobates and persecutors. 

4. There has, evidently, been a general blast upon those 
who have persecuted the work of God in Mother and the 
Elders; also upon those who have turned their backs against 
the way of God, after once embracing it; they have not 
prospered, like the rest of mankind; and though some have 
appeared to flourish for a little season, yet, it appeared as 
though it was only to make their judgment more extraordi- 
nary; and, therefore, the more evident to others. 

5. It has most generally happened, that reprobates, and 
persecutors have either been fugitives, and vagabonds upon 
the earth, or have died some extraordinary or untimely 
death. They have not died the common death of man, nor 
been visited with the incidents common to other men. Out 
of the many extraordinary instances of this nature we record 
the following. 

6. Thomas Law, who was so maliciously abusive in the 
mob at New Lebanon, afterward lived as a vagabond upon 
the earth, destitute of property, and universally despised, by 
all who knew him; his very name became a proverb of re- 
proach and detestation; and after living a miserable life, he 
died without any warning of his approaching end. He was 
apparently well, at night, but before morning he was a 

7. Selah Abbot, Junr., one of the principal actors in the 
same mob, ever afterward appeared under judgment, and 
died, not long afterward, in an awful manner, with his eyes 
wide open, nor was it in the power of his friends to close 
them; this appeared very striking to beholders. 

8. Selah Abbot, Senr., was also very active in the same 
mob, and struck Eliab Harlow, several times on his throat, 

Mother Ann Lee. 299 

and tore him from Mother's horse, while he was attempting 
to lead the carriage from George Darrow's; but, ever after, 
he appeared to be under judgment, and, at last, died sud- 
denly, and very unexpectedly to his family. 

9. Ephraim Bowman, who was also of the same mob, was 
then a likely young man, held the office of a constable, and 
bade fair to be respectable in the world, but he never pros- 
pered in his undertakings, and came to nothing, and was 
almost ever after, a vagabond upon the earth; a drunken, 
and despised wretch. At length, after about thirty years of 
judgment, he died in a most deplorable state ; not even a 
friend to close his eyes, or lay him out; until his neighbors, 
of humanity, came and buried him. 

10. Eleazer Grant, Esqr., who made such a conspicuous 
appearance in that persecuting mob, appeared, ever after, to 
be under a blast. He was, at that time, considered a man 
of property and respectability, and by no means deficient 
in talents; yet, his property wasted away until he was worth 
little, or nothing ; he gradually lost his reputation, and ruined 
his health, by strong drink, evidently with a view to drown his 
horror of conscience. At length he was taken with a strange 
disorder; first his fingers, then, his hands and arms began to 
perish. He confessed, to some of the Brethren, that he did 
not know but Mother's words were coming to pass upon him, 
and that he was getting into the " cockleshell." He said he 
was obliged to be a Shaker, for he was taken, every day, with 
an irresistible shaking, in the manner the Believers used to 
shake, which would continue an hour or two; that his head 
would shake with such violence as to cause him to make a 
noise with his mouth, and he could not help it. 

11. He also said that he was obliged to leave off sexual 
indulgences; for it seemed as though it would take his life. 
Thus he became a Shaker in judgment. At length he died, 
under great horror of mind; and so evident was his judg- 

300 Testimonies of 

merit, that it was acknowledged by his Brethren of the Pres- 
byterian Church, of which he was a member, and who were 
also opposed to the testimony of the gospel 

12. Phineas Farnsworth, who headed the mobs in Har- 
vard, was a man in affluent circumstances; but, soon after, 
he dwindled away his interest, until he was forced to sell his 
inheritance to pay his debts. After which he removed to 
Shirley, and hired a little old house, in which he lived, with 
his family, till he came to beggary; and going to his own 
people to beg, he found no relief; and was finally obliged to 
go to the people whom he had persecuted, and found them 
more charitable and benevolent than his own people. 

13. Jonathan Houghton — one of the leaders of the mob 
in Harvard, afterward found himself under judgment, and 
coming to poverty, he began to confess his wrongs to all the 
Believers he could see. He came to the Deacon's office, and 
desired to see Abijah Worster, and others, to whom he con- 
fessed that he had been actuated by nothing but the spirit 
of the devil, and desired to know if they could forgive him. 
They consented to forgive him, on their part, for the injury 
done to them. 

14. Asa Houghton — another active persecutor in Har- 
vard, soon fell under judgment; he and his wife fell into 
contention, and quarreled to such a degree that his son was 
obliged to interpose, to keep them from killing each other. 

15. Elisha Fullam — another bitter persecutor, who forged 
the most abominable falsehoods against Mother and the 
Elders, afterward fell under judgment, and dropped down 
dead, suddenly, in his own house. 

16. Before Mother and the Elders left Harvard, Jacob 
Whitney, clerk of the town, exacted military fines of Father 
William Lee, and James Whittaker, although they had never 
before been called upon for any such purpose, while in the 
place. Father James, however, sent Samuel Cooper with 

Mother Ann Lee 301 

the money, and bade him tell Whitney, and his associate — 
the captain of the company, that it would be to them a 
worm that would eat out their inheritance. This prophecy 
came fully to pass. 

17. After Mother and the Elders were driven from En- 
field, by a mob, they went to Lovejoy's ferry, and crossed 
into Suffield, where a rabble gathered around them headed by 
one Ebenezer Burbanks. This man hooted and sung, to 
mock Father William's manner of singing. But, the judg- 
ment of God followed him, for, though he was, at that time, 
a man of considerable property, yet, in four or five years 
afterward, he was reduced to complete beggary, and wan- 
dered, as a vagabond, begging for his living. 

iS. Of those who persecuted Mother and the Elders, in 
Petersham, we will remark that Samuel Peckham, Captain of 
militia, to whose house Mother was carried, run out his in- 
terest, was reduced to poverty, and obliged to leave the 
town. His brother, Robert Peckham, then a Sheriff, also 
run out his interest, and left the town. 

19. Doctor Bridge, undertook to build a large 

house, and having got the frame up, there came a violent 
whirlwind and rent it from the foundation, and broke and 
scattered the timber in such a manner, that scarcely two 
sticks of it were left joined together ; and no attempt was 
ever made to raise it again. The doctor, soon after, became 
a drunkard, and died in poverty. He had been a bold per- 

20. Jonathan Hunter had his house consumed by fire, 
and came to poverty. Thomas Carter also came to poverty. 
Several of the Winslows, who were as flourishing people in 
their temporal circumstances as any in the town, all run out, 
and came to nothing. David Sanders, a man of as great 
property as any in the town, came to nothing. All these 
men had been active persecutors. 

302 Testimonies of Mother Ann Lee. 

21. Aaron Fisk was killed by the falling of a tree. Jona- 
than Grout came to nothing, and many others; so that, as 
we are informed, none in Petersham street, except a few, 
who did not persecute, were able to keep their inheritance, 
but all came to poverty. There appeared, indeed, to be a 
blast, and a curse upon the town, for a number of years, 
some hanging and drowning themselves; others, in various 
ways, suffering great misfortunes, so that the whole town 
seemed to be in continual perplexity and vexation; and, it 
has never appeared to be in a flourishing condition, since. 

I rn 

* i ..»«'■■ ■