A dream that instructed Nathan Bangs not to abandon his God-ordained work



This beginning of success lifted a weight from his diffident spirit. Before it occurred he had given way to despair, under a "temptation of the devil," as he believed. Seeing no immediate effect of his labors, he had begun to doubt his call to the ministry, and had resolved to return home and give up his "license." He had actually mounted his horse and was retracing his course, when, arriving at the Grand River, he found that a "January thaw" had so broken up the ice as to render it impossible for him to cross, whether by a boat or on the ice itself. Thus providentially arrested, he returned despondent and confounded. A significant dream relieved him. He thought he was working with a pickax on the top of a basaltic rock. His muscular arm brought down stroke after stroke for hours; but the rock was hardly indented. He said to himself at last, "It is useless; I will pick no more." Suddenly a stranger of dignified mien stood by his side and spoke to him. "You will pick no more?" "No." "Were you not set to this task?" "And why abandon it?" "My work is vain; I make no impression on the rock." Solemnly the stranger replied, "What is that to you? Your duty is to pick, whether the rock yields or not. Your work is in your own hands; the result is not. Work on!" He resumed his task. The first blow was given with almost superhuman force and the rock flew into a thousand pieces. He awoke, pursued his way back to Burford with fresh zeal and energy, and a great revival followed. From that day he never had even a "temptation" to give up his commission.