"Previously she had settled in her own mind her doubts in ref- erence to the existence of God from the effects produced by the in- visible powers of nature. If matter could be invisible why not being unembodied? At this time also her spiritual nature opened up to the Light of Truth and she began to realize the deep meaning of an end- less life and turned to the Saviour of the world for forgiveness and strength.
Before she had an opportunity to go away from home to school she did considerable reading. Hume's History of England was read be- fore the family rose in the morning. "Plutarch's Lives" interested her much and she devoured nearly all of the books in her father's library.
She commenced the study of Greek and Latin in preparation for college under a French professor at the age of fifteen, when going away to school for the first time. Her class consisted of two young boys and herself. She will always be grateful for the fatherly in- terest that old gentleman took in his class, whom he addressed as: "doctor, lawyer and professor." The boys fulfilled his prediction and the other life has been spent in teaching.
When Esther consulted her father in reference to going to coll- age, he replied "If my daughter wishes to live for herself only, the less she knows the better, for her influence will be less for evil; but if she desires to live for others to help others, the more know- ledge she acquires the better, for 'knowledge is power'."
After six months of teaching in a district school she entered the preparatory department of Oberlin College, Ohio, and commenced the hard struggle to obtain an education. To help defray her expen- ses she taught in the long vacations and graduated with four other girls from the Classical Course in 1862, which was an unpopular thing to do for at that time it was thought unnecessary for girls to study the Classics. During all the years of preparation an inward con- sciousness of the truth of her father's words abode with her; whis- pering, "God has something for you to do," and the cry of the mil- lions, sitting in darkness, for light echoed and re-echoed within her heart.
During the Civil War she was a missionary of the American Missionary Association to the Freedom in Virginia and afterwards taught in Wilberforce University, an institution for colored stu- dents, which was burned down on the evening of President Lincoln's assassination, April 14, 1865. After this she taught for two years near her own home and lastly in Genesee, Illinois, in the High School.
Overcoming, by the grace of God, her reluctance to leaving parents, friends and home, she made her second application to the American Board--the first was rejected because there was no money to send young ladies to the field. She met the Secretary of the A.B.C.F.M., in Chicago the last of May and sailed for Bulgaria in Turkey, the eighth day of September, 1870. Her father said, when she informed him of her purpose, "We hoped you would be the strong staff upon which your parents might lean in their old age; but we gave you to God in baptism and if He call you, go." The mother said, "You have been my care until now; you will be too far away for my help to reach you. I give you up to God. I shall never see your face again on earth, but you are His." Her last words when she bid her daughter farewell were, "At God's call go cheerfully." The daugh- ter remembered how, often in childhood she heard her enjoin cheerful