A Remarkable Dream, 30th of yr 10th moth 1762

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I thought I was Dead and beheld my Body lay like a Corps, there seemed to be a Person in the Appearance of a Man.  (His Raiment somewhat of a Sheep Skin or bright Fawn Colour) who said follow me, he Ascended a Hill on the top of which was a Large Building, the outside appeared strongly built of large rough Stone — I followed my Guide into the House, but did not at first see the Beauty of it to the full, it seemed white and bright, and a large Company Sitting, such a Number as I never beheld, the further we went in the Brighter it appeared, and more like the Reflection of the Sun.  The first Step my Guide made seemed to be more than half way the House, by what I Judged from the Appearance of the Length of the Building in the Outside, while the Guide stopped I looked at the Countenances of those I could see which were many but could not see to the further End for the Reflection of the Light which appeared brighter than when the Sun Shines in its fullest Lustre on a Summer Day.  There appeared a Sweetness and Composure on every Countenance far beyond what I had ever seen in any Person while in the Body, and a Lustre reflected from the Light which extended to the Skirts of their Garments, which appeared like a plain Robe or Covering in one Piece, that I was filled with Admiration — I looked to see if I could Distinguish Men from Women but could not, Likewise if I could see any one I knew, but knew none.  On my first Entrance into the House I thought I had been at a Meeting of Solid Friends —— I looked to see from whence the Light came but could not discern either Window or Opening — I then asked my Guide what is this Place ~ He Answered Heaven, I then looked to see what they sat upon, but could not discern either Seats or Forms, the more I looked the more I admired and wanted to set with them but could not tell how ~ My Guide turned about to go out and looked at me to follow, but I was so much delighted, that I was unwilling to follow, he then beckoned to me, and said come, we had not gone far before I stopped again, he stopped a little for me, and said again, come, “I followed often halting and Admiring the Pleasure I saw in every Countenance till we got out, then the Guide turned on the Left Hand and we seemed to go down, I did not perceive the Road we went, but could see my Guide ~ We soon came where I beheld a lofty grand Arch of great Wealth where we entered into a large Room which I could not see to the End of till we passed through ~  This Room appeared grandly Wainscotted and Beautifully painted with different Colours  The first sight of this Beautiful Room abated my Sorrow which was very great while we came down the descent from leaving the others.  I had but Just Time to take a View of this fine Place before a Number of Persons Richly Dressed passed us, who smelled so strong of Brimstone, that I seemed almost Suffocated, all of them were talking to themselves, and before they came to us looked well, but when they came near there appeared a blackness on every Face.  Those that did not talk loud moved their Lips and seemed to mutter to themselves — which was also the Manner of some who walked alone ~ I was seized with Horror and asked my Guide, “what is this Place ~ and what are these’  He answered “ these are Miserable forever”  They were when in the Body in Tumults and shall be so Everlastingly —— At some Distance sat an Old Woman in a Chair, like a Bath Chair, a fine Person, very White or Powdered, and grandly Dressed,  I made us to her to see if there was the same Appearance of Misery in her, and was more shocked than before, he Lips were moving and from her Eyelids came small Flames of Fire and immediately after this (as I looked around) there appeared in my View a Woman Friend plainly dressed in a Green Apron, whom I Remembered well when I was young.  I often took notice of her for the Solidity of her Deportment — particularly in Meetings — I eagerly made up to her and said “What art thou among the Miserable, tell me, tell me, what brought Thee hither,” she wept and said no wrong that I have done between Man and Man, but Unfaithfulness and Disobedience to my God brought me hither, I thought I wept much as well as she, when first I looked on her she looked Sorrowful — I then turned to my Guide, and said, let me go, he walked slowly on, & we met so many like the other in Appearance and Smell that I seemed almost Suffocated with Brimstone.  I then, in great Bitterness of Spirit, said to my Guide, tell me, am I to remain here forever,, I thought a little Time past, if I had Died, I had secured an Inheritance among the first we saw” — My Guide stood, and looked Stedfastly at me and said “Thou art not to remain here, but to return to the World again, if thou art Faithful to thy God thou mayst have an Inheritance amongst the first, but I have something to shew Thee”  He went a little further, when another Arch appeared which divided this Place from a larger one, like a Chapel wherein Abundance of People were Assembled to Worship and saying Amen, Lord have Mercy on us, Christ have Mercy on us.  These appeared more plain in their Dress and looked whiter, I said to my Guide “these are not Miserable too”  he answered, these are Miserable, these are such who thought to be Saved by a Righteousness they all came in by the Way of this Room, some stopped among the Worshippers, others went on to those who Smelt so Strong of Brimstone.  My Distress was now greater than before, for I thought I knew many of these, who also looked at me as if they knew me and I thought they Appeared as if they Worshipped, they looked to and fro, and seemed much Discomposed.  I again entreated my Guide to let me go, he walked gently out of this Place and came again into the Entrance of this House, which is wide with a large Gate, here stood a Number in black or dark Cloaths, who did not seem to move forward to the others.  When we came to the Outside of the Gate I saw an intimate Friend whom I much loved (This Friend Died about a Month after) coming towards the Gate, and two Persons Conducting him, he looked very Sorrowful on me, and I on him, I asked him, “art thou going amongst the Miserable.  What is Thy Offence, what hast thou done, tell me”.  he answered beware of Covetousness and the love of Money, That hath brought me hither” we both wept much and were greatly troubled but I wanted to be gone, and followed my Guide, and on looking back saw some pulling, others pushing him – We were now in a large enclosed Field, in this Field, I Saw many Persons some of whom are since, dead, out of it.  I could see no Road, but my Guide led me to a Place where there was just Room to go out, he stood, looked at me, and Earnestly said “thou art now going into the World again.  Remember what thou has now seen, tis not enough to be Honest to Man, thou must be Honest and Faithful to thy God also”.— On this the Thoughts of returning to the World Affected me much for it seemed a Matter of Doubt whether I should be able to Steer my Course so as to be Worthy of Admittance amongst the first — I had a Sight of but Standing Speechless and my Guide standing still Faith suddenly sprang up in my Mind, and I seemed to Say these Words, “Lord thou canst if Thou will, preserve me thro’ all.”  Then I awoke, but the Horror and Distress I felt on my Mind I am not capable of Expressing.  I seemed when I fetched my Breath as if I had been in a Room where Brimstone and Sulphur were burning.  Often saying to my Nurse and those about me, I seem as if The Smell of Brimstone was in my Stomach.”  And I really thought I could not have lived many Hours, nor do I believe I should, if the Almighty in the Extendings of his boundless Goodness had not had a Regard to me a poor unworthy Creature, and Caused that Suffocating Smell to pass from me, and gave me to Trust in his Name that melted my Spirit into Contrition before him, and enabled me to vent my Sorrows in my Tears, after which my tossed Mind was favoured with a Calm ~~  ————————————



An Account of Some Expressions of Catherine Burling in her last Sickness - ~~

Catharine Burling Daughter of John and Ann Burling of New York, was taken ill of a Slow Fever, which weakened her gradually, so that to use her own Expressions, she was reduced Step by Step, all means used for her help proving ineffectual ~ when she was brought low and her Recovery appeared doubtful, she was for a Time under great Exercise of Mind, concerning her future State, and Prayed to the Lord for a little more Time, and that she might Witness a better State, which he was Graciously pleased to Answer, not long after saying her Mind was changed, she came to Witness the Childs State filled with Innocency, abounding with Love, often saying my Mind is like a little Childs, and her Heart came to be filled with the Love of God, and in the Aboundings thereof for several Weeks before her Departure she was at Times enabled to declare of the Lords Goodness to her in a Wonderful Manner, and also to Exhort many who came to Visit her to Amendment of Life, that so when they came to lye on a Sick Bed they might be made Enjoyers of that Peace, she was Then made to partake of saying she felt his Peace flow in her Mind as a gentle Stream and That her Cup run over - ~ Many were the sweet Expressions which she uttered,, some of which as near as could be remembered are here set down tho’ the Order of Time could not exactly be kept to ~~ Many Wearisome Nights have I gone thro’, and have Watered my Pillow with my Tears.  I was long in doubt of my Eternal Happiness and in the Time of greatest Distress I cried to the Lord that he would be pleased to lengthen my Time a little longer that I might be more fully prepared, and he was graciously pleased to hear and grant my Request, and now he has been pleased to grant me a full Assurance of it, and has lengthened my Time a little longer, that I might speak of his Goodness to others, and tell what he has done for my Soul.  Oh’ Praises, Praises be given to his great and Glorious Name, my Tongue is too short by far, Oh! if I had the Tongue of an Angel, I could not sufficiently express my Gratitude to that Gracious God who has been thus pleased to favour me in so Eminent a Manner, my Disorder is very Changeable very flattering it would be so some, but it does not flatter me.  I am resigned to the Lords Will, let him do Just as it best pleaseth him with me his poor frail Creature, — A few Days ago when I thought I was Just Launching into Eternity, that boundless Ocean of Eternity, I prayed to the Lord that he would be pleased to give me a little longer Time, and he was Graciously pleased to hear and grant my Request —— The work of Regeneration is a great Work, I know it now Experimentally, I am become a new Creature, New Thoughts, New Desires,, my Affections set upon Things above, I have a New Name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and The White Stone is given to me —— She at the same Time advised her Brothers and Sisters to Plainness of Speech and Apparel, saying, Remember our Blessed Lord, That great Pattern of Plainness, who when on Earth went up and down doing Good, and wore a Garment without a Seam, He was Crucified, He was nailed to the Cross for our Sins, for my Sins, Oh’, Love inexpressible  One Evening as her Father was sitting by her Bedside, she said to him, thou art my Father, but now I have another Father, I have an Heavenly Father, I love Thee dearly, but I love him much more,  Oh! he is the chiefest of ten Thousands — One Morning she told her Father that she had had a Dream or Vision, whether she was Asleep or not she could not tell, it was that she Died, and her Soul was carried to Heaven and her Blessed Saviour received it with open Arms into his Bosom, saying, Come thou Blessed inherit the Joy prepared for thee — During the last five weeks of her Illness she was frequently speaking of the Lords Goodness to her, she being favoured in an Extraordinary Manner, Often saying, I have nothing to do with this World, oh! let my Time be employed in Praising the Lord, and telling of his Gracious Dealings with my Soul — She would often say I am humbly thankful to the Lord for all his Favours conferred on me, and when I don’t speak I am thankful in my Heart, and that is more than Words, the Lord don’t require Lip Honour, but when my Heart is filled I can’t help speaking — At another Time, many are the Changes and Vicissitudes I do experience, and what may come next there’s none of us knows, but I am resigned and Thankful to the Lord for all his Mercies to me his poor frail Creature, he must do with me just as he pleases we should be thankful for all the Lords Favour, I hope and pray that I may be kept thankful, and humble, meek and low before him, waiting for my Change, and a happy Change it will be to me ~ One Morning as her Mother and Sisters were putting on her Cloaths, she desired them to stop, and then expressed herself to this Effect – “I now no longer wonder that the Martyrs could Sing in the Flames, I could do the same, I think I could go Thro’ burning Flames if required for the Love of Christ.  Oh! it is inexpressible – and spake much more, and then prayed in an Extraordinary Manner —When she was seized with great Pains, she spoke after this manner — I never had any Cross until this Illness, my Cross must be great Pains and Afflictions of Body, the bitter must come before the sweet, the Cross before the Crown, the greater the Cross the Weightier the Crown, my Cross is great, and my Crown will be Weighty — These Pains are a great Cross to the Body.  These Pains are Sharp, which Stiffen my Body that it is with Difficulty I am moved, I am thankful for all the Lord Goodness to me, and for these Pains too, They are blessed Pains to me, they will carry me to Heaven, my Body must be reduced by Degrees to the Dust from whence it was taken, and my Spirit return unto the Lord —  At another Time to the Purpose following now I know how precious the Soul is, Oh! that People would Prize their Time, and prepare whilst Health is granted them.  I bless the Lord I am prepared, if He is pleased to call me the next Moment I am ready but, I am thankful for the little Time he has granted me to be with you.  But oh! how shocking, how horribly shocking must it be for such poor Souls who are Unprepared and Deprived of Their Senses at such a Time as this - ~ She often exhorted and advised many Young People at Different Times against Reading Romances, and idle Books saying “it has been the greatest Trouble and Exercise of Mind to me, more than any Thing I have done, it has cost me many a Wearisome Night, and many a bitter Tear, tho’ I have never read but a few and those that were deemed the most harmless.  I know there are some who deem them innocent Amusements, and say those Books are Instructing and there are good Morals in them, but oh! must we go to such Books for good Morals, read the Scriptures which are the best of all Books,, and there are other good Books. —~ One following the Sea coming into the Room and standing at the Bedside, after a few minutes she spoke to him to this Import, “Thou art One that Saileth on the great Waters, and there thou may see Gods Wonders in the great Deeps, and thou art Much in Company with Sailors, and such like Men, I know they are light and frothy in Conversation, and I desire Thee to keep Thy Mind Watchful and near the Lord, which if Thou doest thou will be preserved in his Fear ~ When she mended after a severe turn of Illness, One Evening she called her little Brothers to her, and kissed them in a very loving Manner, and then was removed to the Bedside, and as she sat Thereon, she said, Oh! I am full of Love, I feel a Degree of Divine Love. ~ A Neighbour being in the Room Noticed how easy and Composed her Countenance was, she answered “how can my Countenance be sad when my Mind is at Peace”  The Neighbour answered, which the World cannot give, and she returned, No, nor take away —— Two Neighbors coming into the Room she spake to one of them saying, thou sees me very weak and low, but my Mind is at Peace, sweet Heavenly Peace of Mind that the World cannot give, no Nor take away, I hope and pray that thou may feel the same when thou comes to lay upon a Sick Bed —— the Neighbour Answered, it is Happy for them that go well out of This World, for there is not much but Trouble here, she answered.  I am assured of it, my Bed used to be very uneasy, but now the Lord has made my Bed, a Bed of Ease, I can lay on it Day and Night with Pleasure -~ When They were gone She said, when they entered into the Room I felt a Cloud, and I believe they came to see it I was easy to go, and the Lord Strengthened me thus to speak to them as they were not of our Society. ~~ She several Times called her Brothers and Sisters about her, and to keep to Plainness in Speech and Apparel, and to keep to Meetings, and when there to retire inward and wait upon the Lord. ~ Through the Prevalence of her Distemper, and for want of Sleep, she became Delirious for some Days, with small Intermissions, and then at such Intervals she seemed filled with Divine Love, but the last Day before her Departure she bid her Sister tell her Mother “I am Resigned, patiently waiting, and Quietly hoping for my Happy Change.”  A little before her Departure she told her Father she was not afraid to Dye. —— Soon after she said to one of her Sisters, I feel as if I was going to Paradise —— About Noon the same Day She desired her Mother to tell a Friend present that she should go easy and to Rest —— She Departed this Life without Sigh or Groan the Sixteenth Day of the fourth Month 1764 between the hours of eight and Nine in the Evening, in the 18th year of her Age — And was Decently Interred in Friends Burying Ground in New York


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