"The belief that God was able to and frequently did reveal Himself through voices and visions, if not normative by slave standards, was at least normal. The collection of conversion testimonies and short biographies assembled by Clifton Johnson in God Struck Me Dead are an invaluable recording of slave theological thought, at least among slaves alive during the twilight of the institution. Many of these slave conversion testimonies featured vision - and voice-based revelations, with the recipient recording very little surprise or dis-belief at the prospect of hearing or seeing God through dreams or visions."
"I dont know why it was I got converted, because I had been doing nearly everything they told me I ought not to do. I danced, played cards, and done just like I wanted to do. I don't reckon I was so bad, but they said I was. In my heart I was good and felt that someday I would do better.
One day, when I was about twenty-two years old, I got up feeling awful heavy. I went about my work, and had started to washing when I suddenly began to feel worse and worse. I wasn't sick, I was just heavy. I began to say "Lord, I wonder what is the matter with me?" I stopped washing and went in the house and layed across the bed, and there I saw Jesus. He turned my face to the east and said "Go and declare my name to the world, and I will fill your heart with song."
While I was laying there I saw the city. It was the prettiest place that I ever saw. All the little angels were the same size and color, and as they flew, all their wings moved at the same time and made the sweetest music I ever heard.
After I passed through this experience, I lost all worldly cares. The things I used to enjoy don't interest me now. I am a new creature in Jesus, the workmanship of His hand saved from the foundation of the world. I was a chosen vessel before the wind ever blew of the sun ever shined.
Religion is not a work but a gift from God. We are saved by grace, and it is not of ourselves but the gift of God."