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by Maurice A. Williams
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Marietta Davis, a twenty-five year old Baptist woman living in Berlin, New York, had an unusual experience. She fell into a coma for nine days. Doctors could do nothing to arouse her. Then, suddenly, she awoke and related to her family and her minister a detailed dream about what awaits all of us in the next world. Her dreams were recorded in a book entitled Scenes Beyond the Grave. I have an 1870 copy of that title. Today, after many reprintings, it is still available from Amazon.com in a 1999 edition Caught Up into Heaven.

Marietta emphasized that the cross of Jesus Christ saves us. She stressed the divinity of Jesus in her visions, and warned that the fallen angels will fight against his divinity. Marietta felt that her dreams came from the Lord, not from her imagination. She stressed the need for repentance from sin and faith in God. Her visions quoted Scriptures frequently.

The editor’s preface states: “Marietta was not a born again Christian when Jesus sovereignty took her up to heaven and later down into hell. Her story focuses a great deal on what happens to stillborn children and children who die right after birth, about nurseries in heaven and how children are raised and educated by angels in heaven. She also describes the contrast between those unredeemed and the redeemed in the constitution of their makeup and why heaven for the lost is hell and why there must be forever a gulf fixed between the two. She explains the principle of violated law, how this affects man's nature now and in hell and in eternity. The story also talks about her experience of heaven and of hell.” (written by Dale P. Kruse, Pastor-Evangelist).

The original publisher wrote: “The increasing demand for this work, with so little effort to call public attention to it, confirms our first impressions, that it is the Book for the age; one greatly needed to supply the deficiency intuitively sensed by the mind of the present generation. “Edition after edition has been published and passed silently into the hands of the reading public. Reports of an encouraging nature reach us from all sections where it has found its way; and the united testimony of those who avail themselves of the work is, that, to read is to be benefited.

“Its sound theology, purely religious sentiment, and thrilling descriptions of scenes enacted beyond the grave, as seen by the spirit of the young girl, while her body lay entranced, cannot, it seems to me, fail to strengthen the faith of the Christian in the truths of Revelation. More particularly is it adapted to the youthful mind of this age, to awaken in it a love of the Christian Religion as it unfolds so graphically the great plan of man’s Redemption, "which things the angels desire to look into."

“I have witnessed its effect upon the youthful mind. They, while listening to the thrilling story of Marietta, seem borne along with her enraptured spirit, and with it to witness the unfolding of visions, by which the Infants are being taught to know their Redeemer, that they too, might be able to realize and love Him, who was once a babe in a manger; then a man of sorrows acquainted with grief; then suffering death and triumphing over the grave, for the redemption of a ruined and forlorn race.

“I unhesitatingly state it as my firm and unwavering belief, that the spirit of Marietta Davis, like John, the Revelator, while his body was in the Isle of Patmos, visited scenes beyond the grave, and there saw and heard what she relates. However this may be, if the truth can be brought to reach the mind, and win the affections to the Christian Religion, all is gained that should be desired.” (written by Stephen Duel, Dayton, OH, September 1, 1856).

“The following testimonials from the mother and sisters of Marietta Davis; and from Emerson Hull, M.D., who had been a resident of Berlin for many years, and is a physician of eminence, are but a part of those in possession of the editor, but are considered sufficient to authenticate the narrative. Testimony of the Family, Berlin, New York, Nov. 15, 1855.”

Rev. J. L. Scott wrote: “Dear Friend: Since you have been publishing the trance of Marietta Davis, in the Mountain Cove Journal, some of the readers have written to us to ascertain its authenticity. Upon this account, and to relieve you from embarrassment, we submit the following for your disposal:”

Marietta’s family writes: “Marietta Davis was a member of our family. She was born in this town, where she lived until called by death from us. She was not of open religious habits; being disinclined to religious conversation. During the revival in the winter of 1847-48, her mind, as you well know, was religiously exercised; but she could not realize what others professed, so as to enable her to unite with her young friends in the ordinances of the Gospel. In August following, she fell into a sleep, or trance, from which she could not be awakened. In that state she remained nine days; and when she awoke, she said she had been in Heaven; that she had seen there many of her old friends and relations who were dead; and Jesus the Redeemer. From that time her hope in heaven through Jesus, was strong; and she rejoiced in the prospect of a final admission into the Paradise of Peace.

“During her short stay with us, after she came out of the trance, she related what she said she had seen, heard, and learned during her sleep; but much of what she told us, she said she wished should not be mentioned then, for the world was not prepared to hear it. The trance, as you published it, as far as we can recollect, is correct; only you have omitted much. Marietta fell asleep in August 1848, and died the following March, and at the time and in the manner predicted by herself.

“Yours, Nancy Davis, Mother, Susan Davis, Sister, Sarah Ann Davis, Sister.”

The original printing, and many reprints had testimonials of the attending physician, and of three respected ministers who were familiar with Marietta’s experience. All of this and more can be found on The Internet.

Excerpt from Apocalypse: Four Horsemen Three Woes

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