We are well aware that many honest seekers after truth and Bible holiness are prejudiced against visions. Two great causes have created this prejudice. First fanaticism, accompanied by false visions and exercises,
has existed more or less almost everywhere. This has led many of the sincere to doubt anything of the kind. Secondly, the exhibition of mesmerism, and what is commonly called the "mysterious rapping," are perfectly calculated to deceive, and create unbelief relative to the gifts and operations of the Spirit of God.
But God is unchangeable. His work through Moses in the presence of Pharaoh was perfect, notwithstanding Jannes and Jambres were permitted to perform miracles by the power of Satan, that resembled the miracles wrought by Moses. The counterfeit also appeared in the days of the apostles, yet the gifts of the Spirit were manifested in the followers of Christ. And it is not the purpose of God to leave his people in this age of almost unbounded deception without the gifts and manifestations of His Spirit.
The design of a counterfeit is to imitate an existing reality. Therefore the present manifestation of the spirit of error is proof that God manifests Himself to His children by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that He is about to fulfill His word gloriously.
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:17. (Cf. Joel 2:28.)
As for mesmerism, we have ever considered it dangerous, therefore have had nothing to do with it. We never even saw a person in a mesmeric sleep and know nothing of the art by experience.
We send out this little work with the hope that it will comfort the saints.
--Saratoga springs, N.Y., August, 1851.