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end of four or five weeks I fell again, and this time my degradation was
deeper than before. I would at times console myself with the thought that
my suffering had reached the limit of endurance, and at such times new and
still keener agonies would rise in my heart, like harpies, to tear me to

It was at this time that I was committed to the Hospital for the Insane at
Indianapolis. The reader is aware of what took place on my arrival at
Indianapolis, after leaving the hospital. I felt somehow that it was my
last spree. I kept it up until nature could endure no more. I felt that my
stomach was burned up, and that my brain was scalded. I was crucified from
my head to the soles of my feet. I began to feel sure that this time I
would die, and, when dead, go to the hell which seemed to be open to
receive me. July twenty-first I left Indianapolis, and went to Fowler,
Indiana, at which place, for five days and nights, I suffered every mental
and physical pang that can afflict mortal man. Day and night I prayed God
to be merciful, but no relief came. The dark hopelessness in which I lay I
can not describe. I felt that I was undeserving of God's pardon or mercy. I
had wronged myself, and my friends more than myself; I had trampled upon
the love of Christ; I had loved myself amiss and lost myself. The Christian
people of Fowler prayed for me; they called a prayer-meeting especially for
me, to ask God to have mercy on and save me. On Wednesday night I went to
the regular prayer-meeting, and, with a breaking heart, begged, on
bended knee, that God would take compassion on me. The next day, July
twenty-sixth, was the most wretched day I ever passed on earth. It seemed
that whichsoever way I turned, hell's fiercest fires lapped up around my
feet. There seemed no escape for me. Like that scorpion girt with flames,
flee in any direction I would, I found the misery and suffering increasing.
I resolved to commit suicide, but when just in the act of taking my life
the Spirit of God restrained me. I met the Rev. Frank Taylor, the pastor at
Fowler. I told him my hopeless condition. He cheered me in every way
possible. In the evening we took a walk, and it was during this walk, while
in the act of reaching my hand down to my pocket to get a chew of tobacco,
that I felt a power hold back my hand, and, plainer than any spoken words,
this same power told me not to touch it. I obeyed, withdrew my hand, and at
that instant the glory of God filled my heart, suffering fled from me, and
in its stead came sweet peace.

I had been using enormous quantities of tobacco, and the use of this
narcotic increased, if it did not aid in bringing on my appetite for
liquor. I have at times suffered keenly from suddenly renouncing its use,
but from the time God fully restored me I have not tasted nor touched
tobacco and whisky or any other stimulants. Do not understand me as saying
that the appetite for them is dead, or that I have had no hours of
depression and struggle in which the old Satan tempted me. I expect all my
life to wage a battle against him, and to know what sorrow is and pain. But
by the grace of God I will dare to do right, and with his help I mean to be
victorious in every fight against sin. I will abase myself with a trusting
heart, and shrink from all self-esteem at war with the true principles to
which a follower of Christ should cling. I will grind myself to dust if by
so doing I may have God's grace. I fully realize that left to myself I am
nothing. Jesus is not only my Savior; he shall be my guide in all things.
His precious blood has redeemed me, and I am at rest in the shadow of the
Rifted Rock. Peace dwells within me, and joy and praise to the Father of
all mercies fill my soul. To that Father Almighty be the praise. I
earnestly desire the prayers of all Christian men and women. Every time you
pray ask God to keep and save me with a salvation which shall be


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Online LibraryLuther BensonFifteen Years in Hell → online text (page 12 of 12)