SECTION ONE: The Treasure
July 24, 1906
To Whom It May Concern:
These lines I am about to write was a revelation made to me through prayers, therefore I shall call the Presence I felt a God Given Presence; for if we ask a favor of God, we believe what is given was sent by Him (when I asked this favor, I felt that God was my only refuge. I felt as one would feel that was out on the ocean, out of sight of land in an open boat without water or food if one in those circumstances should pray for help, it would be with the whole heart. They would know there was no other help but through Him. Now this was just how I felt.
I had been having Grippe. It settled in the back of my neck so I could hardly hold up my head. This was in the year of 1891. Karl [Goodwin, the youngest child of Augusta and Charles R, born 1886 - about five years old at this time and Augusta, about 40] was sick with Scarlet Fever. No one was allowed to come in to help me. One day I was holding him trying to sooth him, hardly able to sit up. I began to think of my condition. I thought, “What will become of me if this disease of the nerves kept on?” I thought, “Who would care for me? Father’s sick and mother is old?” and all at once it came to me that God was the only one I could look to for help.
I lifted my eyes to heaven and said, “Father in heaven, I have no one to help me but You. If there is money buried on the hill or near there as I have been led to believe, give it to me.”
The answer came directly. “It is for you. Go and get it.”
Immediately, my strength returned. Glory to God in whom I put my trust! The words that were spoken were spoken in the heart or soul. Soon I began to doubt. I then asked God for proof. I asked that I might read in the Bible or some other good book where someone else was spoken to in the heart. I also asked for something to do with my hands that was told to me the same way.
Not long after, I asked a lady for a book to read, not thinking of my prayer. She gave me a book called Ben Hur. In it, I read where the wise men met in the wilderness, each believing they would meet there because God told them in their heart that it should be so, each riding on a white camel without bridle or rein. This was what was given me as a proof. Now, what I was given to do with my hands was a cure for Chilblains [a medical condition that is often confused with frostbite. Chilblains occur when a predisposed individual is exposed to cold and humidity]. My next door neighbor had them. God gave me a remedy that cured her in a few days.
This should have convinced me but I was often led to doubt. I asked many questions about it in the months that were to come. Once I asked why, if the money were there, why did not Charles and Cale get it [Charles R Goodwin - Augusta’s husband- and Caleb Goodwin, Charles’s brother]? The answer was, “It was not for them. It was for you.”
I then was told to go and tell Mr. Brimmer about it – that God had made him well, that I should take what He had given me. I said I thought he would want half. I was told I could not give it to him, that I could make him a present, if I wanted to, but nothing more. I then said he [Brimmer] would want it because he bought the land and the answer was, “He bought your land, but not your treasure. He knew nothing about it.”
Every time I argued that point, the answer was the same. “You cannot give him half.” I was told that I could buy the place back if I would feel any better, but that I have not been able to do.
At one time, I was spinning when I thought within myself, “I don’t know but what I’d rather spin for a living then tell Mr. Brimmer about this.” Then a voice said to me, “Don’t you mean to go and get that? Do you mean to forfeit that?” Then something like a strong wind seemed to wrestle with me – to draw me from the wheel and drive me to do its bidding. I cannot describe it in any other way.
I said, “Yes, I will go - at another time.”
On another day, I was standing at the sink washing when at once I said, “I think I would rather wash for a living than to tell him [Mr. Brimmer] all of this.”
When the same God given Presence said to me, “Don’t you mean to go and get that? Do you mean to forfeit that?” The same feeling came that I felt when at the wheel, but I could not see my way clear to go.
One time I tried to tell my husband about it. When I had said but a few words, he said, “You are out of your mind. There is nothing in it. Did not Cale and I look for it?” So I said no more about it to him, as I saw I would not get any help in that direction. I had my family to look after and work to do. I saw no way to go and get it.
In November 1891, I was standing in the kitchen thinking about it, as I did daily, when this God-given presence said to me, “Do you mean to let that freeze into the ground again? Don’t you mean to go and get it?”
I had been urged so strongly I felt almost wearied, seeing no way open to go, so I made this reply: “If you will leave me, I will go.” I felt it leave me just as plain as possible. I felt it leave me directly as though offended, but would come again another day.
One thing I have left out and that is the entire last part of the urging. I would say that I would have to give Mr. Brimmer half, as it was on his land. Then it would say to me, “You cannot do it.”
This went on nearly two years – and I thought about it every day. Finally, I got up courage to go to Mr. Brimmer and tell him about what I believed God gave me (and I believe it still).
It was evening and Mr. Brimmer was very tired, so perhaps I did not go into every detail as I ought. One thing I did not tell him was that I could not give him half. Therefore, I sinned before God and have been punished as was Zachariah when he would not believe the Angel of the Lord. He distrusted the Angel and so did I.
I asked Mr. Brimmer to sign a writing of what he would take to let me go and act. He made answer that if I believed that God gave me a thing, did I think he would dare touch a cent of it? But said that if I kept one cent that I believed God wanted him to have, I would not prosper and if he should demand more than God wanted him to have, he would not prosper. Oh, why did I not tell him the whole truth? But my strength was small and in this, I believe I offended God most of all.
One thing I never asked but simply guessed at was where to locate that which was given. Mr. Brimmer went and looked where I guessed it might be one night. I was standing not far from him. The wind was blowing hard when something said to me, “Tell Ed Brimmer to come out and go home.” I did so. On our way back to his house, he said to me, “Tell Charles to come over. He may take the whole hill away as far as I care, but I must have half.” Then I sinned again by not telling him that I was told I could not give him half.
When I left, I believed I would soon go back, but did not get the chance. As time went on, I felt that I could not do anything more until God saw fit to send his heavenly messenger to instruct me further.
I would not dare have written these facts did I not feel they are afforded of Him who orders all things. Now I believe the time is not far distant when he will reveal to me His will regarding this and seal my instructions. This is not intended for the earthly courts of law, but for the hope it will be afforded in Heaven.
~Augusta F Goodwin
SECTION TWO: The Gift
One morning, I went in to my sister Esther’s home. Elder Harding and his wife were there on their way to Corinth. A very happy feeling came over me as though I had some good news to tell him.
I said, “What do I have to tell him?” when something said to me,
“Tell Elder Harding about the present God gave you.”
I answered, “I cannot do it.”
I heard the same words repeated three times. Each time I answered, “I cannot do it.” The ??? seemed too great. But I felt I was doing very wrong not to tell him as I was told to do.
When he got into his carriage to go, Mother, Esther, Cynthia, and I went out to see them off when the same voice said to me, “Tell Elder Harding to get out of his wagon and come into the house and tell him all about that.”
I said, “I cannot do it.”
Again it said, “Now or never. Now or never.”
But I did not obey. I can never describe my feelings when he drove away. I felt I had done wrong and in doing so, had offended God. In a few weeks, news came that Elder Harding was dead. I felt that my chance was gone. How true the words “now or never”!
I believe if I had told him, he would have said, “Take it as coming from God.”
So as to this Presence, it is nothing to me who or what it is as long as God sees fit to send it. I have no right to question the acts of God. Read Job XXXIII from verse 12 to 17.
Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.
Why dost thou strive against him? For he giveth not account of any of his matters.
For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumbering upon the bed;
Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instructions,
That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
SECTION THREE: The Move
…while packing the words I heard was wrong wrong from morning until two o’clock. I was nearly wild to know what I was doing wrong so I said, “Tell me wherin I am doing wrong.”
The reply was, “This rent. You have taken a ???? to prevent you from getting your money. You had far better have moved there [Mariaville] then into this rent. Things in Mariaville are drawing to a close. So are things here with you. “Now if you settle down here and are not there when the time comes, you will never know anything about it and so pass away fo