Letter from Orson Hyde, 28 September 1840

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N. J. Sept. 28, 1840.
Dear Brethren.
I left at the latter part of August, and came on up the Ohio river as far as Wellsburgh, Va. I stopped with father James, who received and entertained me with great kindness and hospitality. He and his daughter, a very fine amiable young lady, were keeping house together; and very pleasantly situated on the delightful banks of the beautiful . Here I preached twice and three persons.— Had a very pleasant visit with a brother of Elder ’s; came on by stage and Steam Boats to : from thence took the canal to Leechburgh, where I stopped and preached to a small number of saints, raised up by the instrumentality of father Nickerson—all in good spirits. As I left this place, about 9 o’clock in the morning, the most remarkable phenomenon occured in the heavens that I ever witnessed. There appeared two bright and luminous bodies, one on the north, and the other on the south side of the sun: in length about ten yards, inclining to a circle resembling a Rainbow, about fifty yards distant from the sun; apparently east of the sun, about twenty-five yards, was a body of light as briliant, almost, as the sun itself; and on the west, a great distance from the sun, appeared a white simi-circle passing half way round the horizon, and another crossing it at right angles, exhibiting a scenery of the sublimest kind. It was a great wonder to the passengers on board the boat. Put this with the fact that the Jews are [p. 104 [204]] home, and also, that all Europe is in commotion, and on the eve of breaking out in open hostilities; and also, the tree of liberty which has long flourished in the Republican soil of , has been girdled, and her green foliage which has shielded and protected the sons of oppression from the scorching rays of despotic power, already begins to wither like the accursed fig-tree. What language do these speak to the saints? “lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth near.”
I came on and met with the saints in , Pa. and labored there about one week with , where we added six to their number.— is a kind hearted faithful laborer in the vineyard, his blessings are great. As the evening Sunbeams tinge the distant landscapes with a golden hue, so his name shall reflect honor upon those with whom he may be connected in the bonds of the covenant. Br. Snow is a good yoke-fellow with him. I preached about one week in and twelve.— Came on to this place with brothers Snow and and held a two days meeting at which sixteen were baptized, baptism administered by brother Snow. There is truly a great prospect here.— If three or four , like unto Br. , could be sent here, great good would undoubtedly be done. would be welcomed by hundreds to this country again, will he not come? It requires good faithful and able men here, and every where else. Br. Ivins will give you more particulars about the people in this country. I shall return to in a few days where I expect to meet , and then, if the Lord will, after holding a few meetings in this country, we shall proceed on to , there take ship and sail over the seas. We were in hopes of sailing earlier: but it has been impossible to get away from the people any sooner. I have a great desire that some able defenders of the faith, should be sent into this country. There are many populous towns and cities here, and we want men who are able to stand up and declare the whole counsel of God.
I have preached this day to a large audience in the woods. At our meeting was an old gentleman who accused me of lying in my preaching, and interrupted the discourse. He was so badly intoxicated that he could not tell a lie from a bottle of rum. He was soon taken off the ground by the civil authority. Here we had a fair specimen of the depravity of that spirit and heart that oppose the work of God. The minister in the pulpit, the profane person, the thief, the liar, and the drunkard wallowing in filth and mire, all join to put down the truth and accuse the servants of the Lord of lying, etc. What an honorable, worthy and pious company, they, all actuated by one spirit, serving one Master, traveling the same road, and going to the same hell!! If ever there was a time when the trump of repentance ought to be sounded in the ears of sectarian priests and drunkards, it is now. But the day is at hand when these agents of the lower house” will be called in, and the truth of Heaven roll forth in glory and fill the whole earth. Roll on thy kingdom, O Lord! Hasten thou the day when truth shall triumph in the earth. Brethren, God bless you all. pray for us, and we will do the same for you.
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