The Gospel Banner – April 15, 1884 – page 60

From Reading (Pa.) Eagle – March 22, 1864


Is It A Trance?

A Young Girl on North 6th Street Describing Heaven

Overcome by a Strange Emotion During a Religious Revival


An Eagle reporter was to-day sown an evidence of religious manifestations, growing out of a revival, in the person of Miss Nellie Himmelreich, a girl of thirteen years old, who at 8 o’clock this morning was lying in a trance at the residence of Frederick Reinhold, No. 928 North 6th street, at which place the newly organized sect known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, have been holding revivals for the past four or five weeks.


The young girl has been in this condition ever since 9 o’clock last evening when the audience was singing the hymn:  “Forgive me my sins.”  When seen, her body and limbs were perfectly rigid, and she breathing heavily, but answered all questions pujt to her.  Miss Himmelreich is a pretty little girl, and resides on Church street, near the car shops.  She has dark hair, and hazel eyes, and a complexion which might be termed olive.  She has been attending the revivals of the denomination and some time ago was converted.  She was one of those who were baptized in the Schuylkill river several weeks ago, since which time she has taken the greatest interest in the meetings.


Rev. W. B. Musselman, of Emaus, who is the pastor of the denomination at Reading, was present when the reported called, and said:  “Miss Himmelreich was thrown into a similar trance one evening about ten days ago.  She remained in this condition until 4 o’clock next morning.  During this time she told us that she was witnessing all the beauties of heaven, and described to us all that she saw.  I have no doubt but that she is now in the same condition as was St. John when he was a witness of the wonders of heaven, all of which you remember, are described in the Book of Revelation.  It is given to but few people to experience such a manifestation, and I believe that this girl is divinely favored.  She is given a glimpse of the great beyond so that she can tell us, her friends, all that she saw.”


During the reporter’s stay Miss Himmelreich was asked a number of questions, all of which she answered, but only in a whisper.  Last evening, the reporter was informed, she spoke while in this trance and described quite at length all that she witnessed.  At the reporter’s request Rev. Musselman asked her a number of questions, to which she replied about as follows:  “I am in heaven.  I can see Jesus and many beautiful angels.  I don’t want to come back.  The angels have crowns on the heads and trumpets in their hands.  I hear the grandest music.  The streets are all of gold, and everything is beautiful and bright.  The angels’ crowns are made of lilies and stars, and they are all dressed in white.  There is no sorrow over there,” and as she said all this she murmured:  “So nice! so nice!”  When the reporter saw her the girl was lying on a couch on the floor with both arms extended.  These she would at times outstretch, during which she would be “embracing Jesus.”  Then her face would illumine with a smile, and as Rev. Musselman commenced to sing her favorite hymn in a low tone, she clapped her hands with joy and uttered exclamations of delight.  She said that she, too, was blowing a trumpet as she was going through the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, and suited the action to the word by pretenting to blow a trumpet.


What Rev. Musselman considers strangely wonderful is the fact that the girl, since her trance, shows the greatest knowledge of Biblical things of which probably she had never read before.  A number of questions were asked of her, to which she did not make a reply until she asked her interrogator to “wait, and she would ask Jesus.”


She also said that from her high station in heaven, she witnessed all the horrors of hell, and in describing this place, expressions of pain would shoot across her face.  (“) Lazarus, the poor man who had faith,” she said, “is in heaven with the angels,” but the rich man she saw in hell.  She was asked if Jesus baptized little children, and true to the belief of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, she said, “No.”


She was asked her authority on other matters which she related, and merely answered, “Jesus told me.”  Her case is awakening considerable interest, and many persons have already called to see her.  She speaks to no one unless questioned.  She has an intelligent look, and persons who know her say she is a bright girl for her age.  Her friends are anxiously awaiting the time when she shall recover from her trance, and describe more fully all that she saw and heard while apparently in another world.