Nehemiah Bull’s Narrative
It is a warm spring day in end of March, 1740 in Westfield, Massachusetts and I am just hearing the shocking news that one of my fellow church members is sick. I had just been working with him not even a week prior. He is supposedly breaking out with a high fever and blisters covering his face and hands. The doctors seem to think it is Smallpox. A highly infectious disease characterized by a fever, body aches, and a sudden burst of red sores that eventually turn into deep, pus-filled blisters.
It is the day after I learned about my friends sickness and I have finally gathered the strength to go see him for our last good bye. Concerned for my own well being, I am doing anything I can to protect myself from this devastating disease. While visiting, I am wearing a damp cloth over my face and I am only staying for a short period of time. The disease struck my friend very quickly and his health and strength went downhill exceptionally fast. Just as I was bidding my friend the final farewell, the doctor walked in. Shocked to see another person interacting with someone this sick, he asked what I was doing here. “I wanted to see my friend for the last time.” I explain.
“Although you would like to spend time with your friend it is very important that you leave immediately. This disease is very contagious and can very likely be contracted even a week before symptoms surface.” the concerned doctor replies. Walking away with much discomfort, I did not argue with the doctor and just went on my way. I could only think about one thing: six days ago when we studied the bible together, and he had erupted into a coughing fit. Not wanting to be rude, I didn’t say anything when he did not cover his mouth. Not wanting to worry anyone else, during the next couple of days I just kept to myself. I carried on with my life focusing only on my wife and six children.
Now, spring is in full bloom, I am becoming increasingly tired, weaker, and beginning to...