I was sitting on the curbstone one day, when suddenly I became very ill; but managed to crawl, rather than walk, to a doctor's office, and after an examination he told me I was in a very serious condition and had not long to live. Having no money or friends, I was sent by ambulance to the county hospital and placed in a consumptive ward. I remained there for months; many physicians examined me and pronounced me past all cure. My mental condition was as diseased as my body. Harassing disappointments, added to physical ailments, had embittered me against everything called religion. I believed in nothing whatever. I would tear up every Bible I could reach, and was profane and wicked to the last degree. I had used tobacco from a little boy, and had not been sober for twenty-five years.
About this time friends of my family learned that I was in the county hospital, and thinking it a pity I should end my days there, and also with a faint hope that I might be helped, went to an acquaintance, a Christian Science practitioner, and asked her to take me under her care. These good, true friends were not Scientists themselves, but they knew something of what it had done for others. I knew nothing of their plans, and would have refused to be associated with anything even named Christian. I merely supposed I was going to a pleasant home to end my days.
On Christmas eve, 1894, the gentleman came for me in his carriage and took me to the practitioner's house. I had drank all the whiskey I could hold before starting, but on the way there I was much worried because I saw no saloons. Arriving at the house, I was introduced to my hostess, was made welcome, invited to supper, and told to eat anything I liked on the table. I ate sparingly and soon retired to my room. My one great anxiety was as to how I could manage to hold my coffee cup in the morning unless steadied by my allowance of whiskey. I was usually very restless at night, but this night I slept well and did not cough. In the morning I was hungry and felt well. My first thought was of my hands; they were perfectly steady. I felt very comfortable, and to my great surprise I did not want any whiskey. I began to think harder than ever before, and feeling so very different in every way, I looked in the mirror to see if it was myself or some one else. The change was so great in me that I said aloud, "There is a God after all, even if I have denied Him all these years, for this is not the work of mortal man." I was healed of all my diseases, and also of the liquor and tobacco habits.