Morgan, L. H.
Were I to consult my feelings, I would not give to the world the secrets of my own life, but “necessity is laid upon me.” 1 Cor. 9:16. You ask me why? I will tell you why. When I was languishing upon my bed of affliction, I promised God that if he would spare my life, I would plead for other men’s souls as I had pleaded for my own. God has spared me; I must keep my vow, for I well remember the fate of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. They had promised God in their heart that they would sell a certain piece of land and give the proceeds of the sale to the Lord, but after the sale they decided to keep back part of the price. The Lord was not pleased with them and cut them off without even a chance of repentance or restitution. By their example I have, indeed, learned that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Heb. 10:31. I tell these things not to my glory, but to my shame, that God may be glorified in me; for as the world received not the testimony of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, neither will they receive my testimony; and as the world hated and persecuted him, so will they hate and persecute me: but as he for my sake suffered the shame of the cross, so for his glory and to witness that he is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8), do I invite the scoffs, and scorns of the ungodly and the sinner. NO BELIEVER in Christ will hate me for my testimony, but many church-members will, so with the foregoing remarks I will begin with the facts of my life that led up to my embracing Christ as the Great Physician.
I was born of poor parents, in the year 1869, and was educated in the free schools until 1887, when I began teaching school. In 1891 I entered a medical college, and graduated with highest honors of my class. In 1896 I was called back to the college from which I graduated to adorn (?) the Dermatological chair. I held this position until 1898, when my health failed me, and I moved to my present home. When the smallpox epidemic invaded our State at the close of the Spanish American war I was appointed Inspector for our Illinois State Board of Health, which position I held until 19O1, when I was stricken down with consumption. Sept. 9, 1891, I married, to me the best and purest woman on earth, and we lived happily together until my affliction came upon me, and unto us four boys and one girl were born, and I loved them then and love them yet, as well at it is possible for a man to love his wife and children. (You will see later why I make mention of this in this way at this place.)
Going back to March, 1900, I contracted what I thought to be a severe cold. I paid it no attention, thinking it would soon get well of its own accord; but, instead, it gradually grew worse. During this year I was trying to prove the theory that mind is superior to matter. I reasoned thus: “We are what we think we are; if a man thinks he is sick, he is sick; and if he thinks he is well, he is well.” (Strange to say, I had not at this time read any of Mrs. Eddy’s works on Christian Science, nor any other as to that matter.) Well, I must hasten on. Some time in October or November, 1900, I had, to me, a remarkable dream; to wit: As I lay on my bed in my room I saw large placards, a foot square or more, of every conceivable shade of color, and on either side of each card was the word “Moribund,” printed in large, bold type. As the cards floated in the air, so perfect was their motion that none of them ever touched in gliding by each other, notwithstanding they moved in every direction at one and the same time. The remarkable thing about all this was the word “Moribund,” for I had never before seen the word, neither did I know there was such a word in the English or any other language. As I went to breakfast, I asked my wife if she knew what the word meant. She said, “No.” I then went to my office and found my brother and his law partner there. I asked them if they knew, and they pretended they did, but could not tell just then. (Strange! how lawyers try to know everything.) I then turned to my dictionary and found that the word means “one about to die.” That definition was peculiarily fitting to my condition, but I thrust it all from me and tried to forget the incident, but those cards continued to float before me. I did not heed the warning and held on to my “fool hobby” until April, 1901.
When our baby was taken sick, I could not tell what was the matter with her, and called two other physicians in to see her, neither did they have a name for the disease. As we were unable to do anything for my baby, and as she grew worse, my wife said to me one day, “Doctor, let us pray for our baby.” I answered, “Pray? God has nothing to do with it.”
On March 10, my office and its contents burned, including all my medicines and instruments, etc., save what I had in my case at my home. I got no insurance, as it had expired about five days before. On March 15, as I got up to take my sick baby from my wife’s arms, I was stricken down as one dead. My brother dragged me to the door, and I finally got my breath, and was then put to bed. March 17, my baby died. Just before it died it gave voice to some of the most heart-rending screams that I ever heard. I remember them distinctly yet.
Seven of my fellow-practitioners came to see me, and diagnosed my case as a severe lobar pneumonia. For two weeks every other night I was warned in a dream by a Christian friend who had died a short while before, who seemed always trying to tell me something, yet could not. The same dream occuring so often was the point that impressed me, and made me feel very uneasy. I had been a skeptic for years before this, but so many things happening to me, and being very sick, these warnings in dreams bothered me; and, naturally, I began to wonder about the after-death part of a man’s existence.
While ten thousand things flitted through my mind, I remembered having read somewhere in the Bible something about “guardian angels,” and I decided that these warnings were from guardian angels or ministerings spirits sent to warn me, because I was a bigoted, egotistical fool. I decided then and there that I was a fool, had always been a fool trying to account for everything scientifically without giving God credit for anything. In plain English I became a BELIEVER in God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the entire plan of salvation. I saw at once it did not profit me anything to be a believer only, but that I must be a doer also. Reader, the “devils believe and tremble,” but it does not do them any good; neither will it do you any good. You must also repent and be a doer of the Word.
Now going back to myself, I confessed I to God and began to pray. I did not pray one of those Sunday-school, theological, petty-pulpiteer prayers; neither was posing as a fashion-plate to some society urch, but I was praying from the depth of my heart to God to forgive my ungodly life and to spare me to my wife and children, and, more especially that I might escape death and hell. I began reading the Bible, and, as time went slowly on, the different church people came to my home and held prayer-meeting. These meetings were helpful because there were a few devoted Christians among them. But shortly my earnestness became too warm for any of them and they began whispering around that Doctor Morgan was losing his mind. (Sinner and church member, you have to lose your carnal mind before you can have the mind of Christ.) These whisperings and the personal influence of friends and relatives caused my wife to decide with the ungodly and soon she refused to unite with me and our children in family prayer. She thought, of course, that I was crazy.
About this time Weltmerism, Christian Science, and every other counterfeit of the devil, were unloaded at my door. I was a fine subject, to be sure, for I had found out that the biggest part of the church Christianity was had and held in the meeting-house, and that the professor could not use it in everyday life.
About this time there was an old man and little holiness band of sanctified believers in our city, who had heard of my sickness and that I was “praying much,” and they asked my brother if he thought that I would let them come in if they were to come down to see me. He came and told me that there was an old man and some more people who wanted to come to see me. I asked him, “In whose name do they come?” He said, “In the name of Jesus Christ.” I told him to tell them to come on; that any one who came in that name could come into my house. Little did I think they were sanctified. I had learned to hate the word “sanctified.”
When they came I recognized their leader as being an old man who had come to my home one morning to get a permit to have the body of his little dead grandson shipped out of town for burial. I remembered how coldly and with what degree of indifference I received him them. (I was in perfect health then, had money and was making money; was also president of the City Board of Health.) I did not care for him nor his dead grandson either. I heard his story, and wrote him his permit as a matter of business and sent him away. Well, now to have this old man come back as a friend when I was in need as a spiritual adviser, was, to say the least humiliating to me; but I treated them nicely, we had a good meeting, and I invited them back.
I remember how careful they were to say little, but read from God’s Word and prayed most all the time they were with me, and finally, they gave me a little tract entitled, “Have Faith in God.” I read all the Scriptural references eagerly and drank them down freely until I came to the reference in Jas. 5:14-15. I thought “What! I, a doctor, a professor in college and Inspector of the State Board of Health, submit to as simple and silly a thing as having my head anointed with oil?” I said, “No.” But as I grew worse, I continued to pray and to read the Scriptures. I read one day where Christ said, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” That decided it, and I sent for the elders of the Christian church. (I was a member of it. I was a skeptic but that sect was popular the best people in town belonged to it and, of course, I must be in the best society in town.) Well, they would not come. I then sent to the Missionary Baptist church. I thought they surely would have some elders of the Bible kind, as they had about seven hundred members, but instead of the elders, the preacher came with the full purpose of getting me out of a strong delusion. He told me how “these things” were in the time of the Apostles but since then “these things” had been done away, and went on to say in proof of his assertion, “You see there is none of it being done now, etc.”
Well, there was God’s Word on one hand and the word of the preacher on the other, so I decided I would believe God’s Word, and then sent over to the Methodist church for their elders, but they did not have any of the Bible kind; but, let me say it to the credit of the Methodist preacher who came to see me, he said that he believed it could be done, and told me of an instance of healing, and prayed with me to that end, but did not anoint me. I was at my rows’ end. I did not know where to send for the elders of the church. I had tried all the churches I knew, and they did not have any of the Bible kind. What was I to do? Where was the man to pray the prayer of faith? I did not know. Well, the Lord sent the old man and his little band back, and they prayed and anointed me, but still I kept on taking medicine. I was spiritually ignorant. I was educated well in the ways of the world, but knew absolutely nothing about the ways of God. I continued to grow worse, and about Dec. 22, 1904, I had a dream in which I was warned of my brother’s death. (My brother was lying at home at my mother’s on the same block, at death’s door with consumption.) He died about thirty-six hours after my dream.
Now between Dec. 22, and Jan. 1, I had another dream, in which the whole world had forsaken me save my four boys. They alone stood around my bedside, and as they stood I looked out and saw the grim monster, Death, approaching me. I said, “Boys, this is Death, and he has come for me this time. I must die.” As I said this, Death seized me by the arm. As he did so I said to my boys, “Boys, be Christians.” Death dragged me down, down into an abyss of darkness, and as the daylight faded and the darkness enveloped me, I cried out in despair, “Lord, save me or I perish,” then it was that Jesus Christ appeared to me in person, just as I have seen him portrayed, reached forth his hand and took me out of the jaws of death, stood me on my feet, and said to me, “I am ready and willing to heal you, when you are fully satisfied that there is no power under heaven or on earth given or known to men by which you may be healed.” He then paused and said, “When you are ready to turn your back on the world and trust me.” He then disappeared. I decided then I would give up medicine and trust the Lord. “Show my faith by my works.”
I told my friends and relatives what I saw in my dream and what the Lord said to me. They did not believe me, and thought me mentally unbalanced. Now, dear reader, please suspend judgment until you hear the “Thus saith the Lord,” before you call me an idle crank. Joel, who prophesied eight hundred years before Christ, says in Acts 2:17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and…your old men shall dream dreams.” In verse 20 it says, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” We find that this refers to the day of Christ’s crucifixion, by reading Luke 23:44-45, “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” In Acts 2, we read of the pouring out of God’s Spirit upon all flesh, on the day of Pentecost, and they spake “as the Spirit gave them utterance.” But is that all, and the end of God’s promise? No; Peter says in verse 39, “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Notice that Peter says in the “last days,” not the last day. Are not these the “last days?” Do you know of any days that are later than these days? So then we are living in the very time, the very days when God said the old men should “dream dreams. ” (I am thirty-seven years old.) I have made this Scriptural explanation to promise to man, and that it is worth your while to give some of them more than a passing notice.
Along about this point in my experience my real trials began. My wife’s father and one of her brothers are doctors and they know “much” and in a worldly way they are intelligent people, good and respectable; but the idea of my having my “head greased,” as they put it, and quitting my medicine believing in Christ was too much for them, too humiliating. They denounced me in no mistakable terms, and began laying plans to have me sent to the insane asylum. My wife, her people, and my people were all in this scheme together. I want to say this to their credit: they were honest in what they thought. I do not blame anyone for a wrong-doing if done ignorantly; I rather pity them. There came a report to me that I had been lying two or three days with a revolver under my pillow and had tried to get my wife into the room so I could kill her. I was not able to raise myself up in bed at the time. It was all a lie, and I saw that the purpose of the lie was to have an excuse to send me to the asylum the cause of my insanity to be attributed to my long sickness, reading the Bible, and the use of morphine, of which I will speak later.
I understood the situation at once; and, as a friend was passing, I called him in and told him that I had two revolvers, which I wanted him to take with him to sell; and if he could not sell them, to give them away. He said he would. I then called my wife and asked her to get the revolvers for Ed. She did so, saying that she wished to keep one of them. I told her, “No.” I wanted to destroy every possibility of my killing her. Thus, I tore up their little scheme. Did the Lord help me? I think that he did. I could not have succeeded by myself I was helpless, and the whole world seemed to be turned against me. That was a hard trial for me but the Lord delivered me. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
A still greater trial came upon me. My wife, whom I loved better than any one else, took my children and left me. If she had taken hold of my heart-strings and pulled my heart out, I do not think it would have given me more pain. She was always so good and kind to me, and now to have her hate me and treat me harshly, cruelly, was more, it seemed, than I could bear. But again I prayed that Jesus would sustain me; and again he delivered me.
Now, on top of all this, everybody believed me to be the meanest man in our whole city, saying almost every mean thing imaginable about me, but these things only drove me closer to the Lord; in fact, Jesus was the only friend I had, save my four little boys, and they were too little to help me in any way.
Now let me go back a few years preceding my sickness and tell you that if there ever was a man on earth that I hated, that man was John Alexander Dowie; but at the time when everybody else had forsaken me, I wrote to Dowie telling him of my awful condition and asked him to pray for me. Reader, I would have been glad to have made friends with a snake then. Dowie answered me kindly expressing sympathy for me and cited me to this Scripture, “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ” 1 Cor. 10 :13. That letter and that promise from God caused me to decide to give up using morphine. which I had used for about a year for pleurisy, and rheumatic pains, and I was becoming so habituated to the use of the drug that it took from one and a half to two grains hypodermically, to keep me easy twenty-four hours.
At this time in my experience my mother, brothers, and sister came to my assistance and I went to live with them. I took what morphine I had and called my mother and brothers to witness my vow, and lifting the stove cap, I raised the morphine heavenward and said, “By the help of God, not another bit of this stuff shall ever go into my system,” and threw it into the fire. Then it was that the sweetness of heaven poured into my soul. I was happy all day long. I told my brother how much I had suffered because I had doubted God.
At the supper-table after I had returned thanks unto God for his goodness and deliverance, I began to think that as soon as I found the devil out, he had to leave me; for I would not have any more to do with him. Then I became really sorry in my heart for the devil, and said, “Well, I am sorry for the devil; for as soon as we find him out, we will not have anything to do with him; he has to deceive people in order to have them have anything to do with him.” As soon as I had said this, all the sweetness of my soul left and the powers of darkness surrounded me. I saw my sin and confessed it to the Lord. I also told him that I was not sorry for the devil. I knew that God’s judgments were just and that he had dealt justly with the devil in preparing a hell for him and his angels; but my forgiveness did not come yet.
All the pains of my body came back on me multiplied tenfold. I suffered the torments of hell itself. It seemed to me that a legion of devils were closing in on me to force me to surrender and use morphine, but I would not; I cried and prayed, begged and pleaded first with God and then with my mother and brother to take my life. Death would have been a welcome guest then but he would not come. I tried to beat my brains out against the side of the house. Was I crazy? No; I was having a fight with the powers of hell itself for victory. I knew I could have taken one-quarter of a grain of morphia and found relief from my indescribable pains, but I did not purpose to surrender to the devil and his legion of wicked spirits. About one or two o’clock a. m., one of my brothers went to a doctor and got some morphine and injected it into my arm. I was soon at peace with the devil, and he seemed satisfied to leave me alone. I saw, in my mind’s eye, a hundred or more devils in the form of lions lying in a circle around me. I saw myself as a lamb lying in the center of the circle. I saw the lions, when hungry, start for the lamb; then the lamb would throw each of them a piece of meat; and when they had eaten it, they would lay their heads down on their forefeet and sleep; but when the lamb would try to escape each lion would jump putting his forefeet upon the lamb, holding him fast. Why did they keep him? Why did they not eat him and be done with it? Because they were sure of him at any time, and as long as they could by tearing his body force him to give up the last bit of flesh he had, or could get, to appease their hunger and anger, they could eat and sleep with but little or no effort.
I saw in this picture my own true status. As long as I fed “dope” to the devils that tormented me, they would be satisfied and leave me alone, but when I refused to feed them “dope” they pounced upon me as did the lions upon the lamb; and as sure as the lions would get the lamb in the end, so sure would the devils get me if I did not break away from them. I could not get away myself. But I had read that Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil”; so I sought the Lord with renewed zeal, energy, and earnestness. I fought, as it were, the very imps of hell for four days and nights; crying, begging, and pleading with Jesus to deliver me. I had that hated sanctified band with me on the fourth day, pleading with God for me, and they were so much comfort and strength to me in the greatest trial of my life. But as evening came and they left off praying and began getting ready to leave, it seemed to me that the powers of hell closed in on me, and I cried out, “Who am I, that I can withstand the powers of hell itself?”
One of my brothers and my sister, being sinners, did not know how to hold me up to the throne of grace, sympathized with the weakness of the flesh, and prepared and injected a one-half grain of morphine into my arm, which, I am happy to say was the last that ever entered my system. I soon fell asleep and in a dream or in the Spirit I know not, God knows I was carried to heaven and saw the streets of gold and the walls of the streets, and as I was beholding their purity and greatness, and being carried away in wonder, I heard some music that was, for harmony, purity and sweetness of tone, as much above any earthly music that I ever have heard (and I have heard some of our best bands, among them Gilmore’s), as the heavens are above the earth. While I stood and listened a voice said, “‘Tis the angels playing on the harps of gold.” I turned and looked out to the end of the street. and without were dogs, lions, men, and women, fighting: men with men, men with women, men with lions; and as one would escape from one, he would run into another. I could see them stabbing each other with knives, and blood f]owing freely ran down over their face and eyes, blinding them. Each was trying to find a place of safety and peace, when there was no peace. Then a voice said unto me, “You are going to be healed and delivered. You better stay in close with the saints, for if you get out into the world, the world will help the devil to overcome you.” Then I awoke, had a good supper, and slept well that night. The next morning about nine o’clock, in the presence of my patriarchal friend and my brother, I received my Pentecost received the baptism of the Holy Ghost as was promised by Jesus Christ while here on earth, and reaffirmed by Peter on the day of Pentecost.
As soon as I had received power from on high, I went out on the streets and began to publish to all Herrin what wonderful things the Lord had done for me. I went on the street because I could not get within forty rods of a meeting-house; that is, to preach in it. Because of my preaching I received renewed persecutions and they became so severe that I ran away from home and got as far south as Grayson, La.; but the Lord was not satisfied with my running and sent me back, and I have continued to preach on the streets from time to time and the people who once thought me a fool, now treat me nicely and give me a respectful hearing.
I have given up my practice and am dealing in real estate to earn a living for myself and family. I must do this for God has said, “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” My healing was not instantaneous, but the answer to my prayer was instantaneous, and very definite and positive, and I began to amend from that very hour and I now weigh more than I ever did. I am as well as I ever was, but not as strong physically, but much stronger spiritually. My friends often ask why I do not practice medicine again. It is because, in the first place, it is not God’s way of restoring health to the saints or believers. Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, has written through the Holy Spirit one prescription, which is a panacea for all our ailments prepares a man for both life and death. Reader, can you find a better one than this? This is the way it is written: Send for the elders of the church. Let them pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of Jesus Christ, and pray the prayer of faith.
This is how it acts or cures: ‘The Lord shall raise him up, and, what is more, if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.’ See Jas. 5:14-15.
Another reason I have is that I find Jesus equal to any emergency. He has succeeded when others failed, and to turn back to the ways of the world, would be to disown Christ, and thereby dishonor him.
I make a distinction between believers and unbelievers. God has not promised the unbeliever anything but damnation. Christ said in Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Now, dear reader, you know many church-members, do you not? Do these signs follow any that you know? If they do, Jesus says that they are believer~. If these signs do not follow them, they are unbelievers, and Jesus says, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” To which class do you belong? If you are not right with God, get right; and get right NOW. In conclusion I will again say that I know the world will not receive my testimony. I know that I shall be criticized by many gainsaying people; yes, by every egotistical fool who reads or hears of my testimony. More especially do I expect severe criticism from the unbelieving church-member and the petty pulpiteer of some fashionable church, who preaches about The Wonderful Progress of Science and Civilization, Invention and Discovery, Men and Things, Reminiscences of Boyhood Days and Youthful Friends, New Thought and Higher Criticisms, College Days, etc.; in fact, about most everything else in abundance and a little about Jesus and less about the Holy Ghost who, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:5.
Dear sinner, and ungodly man, I once was as you are, an unbeliever; and if a man had told me what I have told you. I would have done as you will do brand him as a fool and a crank, and let him go. You can not understand the things of God, for you know not God. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14. But to the sick and afflicted, the poor and needy, the homeless and friendless man or woman, boy or girl, who is seeking to know God is this, the experience of my sickness, and the resultant poverty, the trials of life and the final, but triumphant victory through him who ‘is able to save to the uttermost all who will come unto him,’ dedicated.
Yours in love for God and fallen humanity and in his name I am humbly submitted,
L. H. Morgan.
Herrin, Ill., April 7, 1907.