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those who are the most pious and given up to God, are rarely touched with it; and also those naturalists, who wish and try to get it to philosophize upon it are excepted: but the lukewarm, lazy, half-hearted, indolent, professor, is subject to it; and many of them I have seen, who when it came upon them, would be alarmed and stirred up to redouble their diligence with God; and after they would get happy, were thankful it ever came upon them. Again, the wicked are frequently more afraid of it than the small-pox or yellow fever; these are subject to it: but the persecutors are more subject to it than any, and they sometimes have cursed, and swore, and damned it, whilst jerking: There is no pain attending the jerks except they resist it, which if they do, it will weary them more in an hour, than a day's labour; which shews, that it requires the consent of the will to avoid suffering.
20th. I passed by a meeting-house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut up for a camp-meeting, and from 50 to 100 saplings, left breast high; which to me appeared so slovenish, that I could not but ask my guide the cause, who observed they were topped so high, and left for the people to jerk by : this so excited my attention that I went over the ground, to view it; and found where the people had laid hold of them and jerked so powerfully, that they had kicked up the earth as a horse stamping flies : I observed some emotion, both this day and night among the people; a Presbyterian niinister (with whom I stayed,) observed, “yesterday whilst I was preaching some had the jerks, and a young man from N. Carolina mimicked them out of derision and soon was seized with them himself, (which was the case with many others) he grew ashamed and on attempting to mount his horse to go off, his foot jerked about so, that he could not put it into the stirrup; some youngsters seeing this assisted him on, but he jerked so that he could not sit alone, and one got up to hold him on; which was done with difficulty; I observing this, went to him and asked him what he thought of it ? said he, 'I believe God sent it on me for my wickedness, and making so light of it in others;' and he requested pre to pray for him."
I observed his wife had it; she said she was first attacked with it in bed : Dr. Nelson said, he had frequently strove to get it, (in order to philosophize upon it,) but could not; and observed they could not account for it on natural principles.
VISIT THROUGH VIRGINIA.
CALLED at a gentleman's house to get some break
fast, and enquired the road; the gentleman observing my tin case in my pocket (containing my credential from the state of Georgia, and supposing me to be some vile character) took it out and examined the contents without asking my consent; when he had got about half through, as he looked at me, I observed he appeared pale: he gave me what I wanted, and treated me as a king.
I had not been long gone from the house before a runner on foot overtook me, and another servant on horseback, with a request that I should go back and preach: I did, (to many of the neighbours, who were called in ;) the mistress deserted during the meeting ; which to me, she denied, until the servants affirmed that she was in the negro house,
I observed to her that I considered her absence a slight as they had called me back, and to make it up with me, desired she should let me know the cause of her absence. She replied, she was afraid of the jerks more than of the small-pox or yellow fever.
Next day he gave me some money and sent a horse with me several miles; and then I took to my feet and went on to Greenville, and so on to Abingdon in Virginia : the last jerks that I saw was a young woman, who was severely exercised during meeting : She followed me into the house, I observed to her the indecency and folly of such public gestures and grunts; and requested (speaking sternly to make an impression on her mind) if she had any regard for her character, to leave it oif; she replied, "I will if I can. I took her by the hand, looking her in the face and said, “do not tell lies:" I perceived (by the emotion of her band) that she exerted every nerve, to restrain it, but instantly she jerked as if it would have jerked her out of her skin if it were possible; I did this to have an answer to others on the subject, which I told her that my abruptpess might leave no bad impression on her mind.
These appointments had been given out rising of six months, with the days and hours fixed; I replied in Abington, (as I was dismissing the auditory) that on such a day thirteen months, such an hour, I should be in town to hold a meeting God willing: and steered westerly on a circuitous rout to Tursiell; where I preached in a sunk hole formed by nature, to a vast auditory; being accommodated thus far by an Attorney's horse; here I saw a gentleman, a stranger, of whom I purchased a horse at a word; and proceeded across the mountains of Clinch, which were tremendously high, and covered with snow and having no outer garment, I felt as if I should freeze ; however all was made up at good meetings on the other side : so I came to With-Court-house; hence to Grayson, and the Lead-mines, thence to New-river, so to Montgomery, to Salem, Fin-castle, Lexington; where I spoke in the Presbyterian meeting-house; Woodstock, Rocktown, 80 on to New-town, where God was graciously with us : hence to Winchester, where I spoke in the methodist chapel, and a champion bully of an A-double-L-part minister was present; for whom the methodist preacher's heart did ache ; next day he went from house to house amongst his friends, to represent me as a crazy.. man, but three of his pillars were shaken, one of whom replied to him, “ if a crazy-man will talk so, what would he be if he was in his right mind?” which seemed to confound him. I preached at Frontroyal, and crossed the Blue Ridge in the night, in order to get on to my next day's appointment: a deist was present; on hearing me observe, “that no man was a deist who would not dare to take an oath to relinquish all favours from God through Christ:" he began to examine whether he would be willing, and something replied, “no, not for ten thousand worlds." Thus his foundation shook and conviction ensued.
An A-double L-part man (who had followed up my
meetings,) perceiving the man to be shaken, appointed a time to answer my discourse; but whilst attempting to answer it, forgot one of the heads of the dircourse; which so confounded him, that he complained of being unwell, and concluded his meeting; and so sunk into disgrace.
I spoke in Culpeper court-house, and then rode 50 miles or more to Charlottesville near the President's seat in. Albemarle County ; I spoke to about 4,000 people, and one of the President's daughters who was present, died a few days after.
Hence I went circuitously to Lynchburg, where I spoke in the open air, in what I conceived to be the seat of Satan's kingdom.
From thence to New-London, where I began speaking in the court-house ; when Papa and Mamma Hobson come in, and we had a gracious time. Hence I fell in with Brother Stith Mead and we went on to the campmeeting which I had appointed last August.
March 22nd. Several families came about twenty miles, and encamped on the ground though there were but few Methodists any where short of that distance; the weather was chilly, the clouds appeared threatning and the prospects before us very gloomy; however we poured out our complaint to God, who graciously heard our cry; sent off the clouds, and gave us a beautiful sun,
23d. About fifteen hundred people appeared on the ground and the Lord began a gracious work that day, which I trust hell shall never be able to extinguish. One soul found peace before night; and another in the night.
24th. About three thousand people attended; the solemnity and tenderness, and prospect of good increased.
25th. Sunday. About five thousand on the ground, and in general good attention: Colonel Callaway and a number of respectable gentlemen used their endeavours, to protect our peaceable privileges.
Monday 26th, About three thousand appeared on the ground, and the rejoicing of old saints, the shouts of young converts, and the cries of the distressed for mercy, caused the meeting to continue all night; until we parted on Tuesday morning 27th.
About fifty during this meeting professed to have found the pardoning love of God; from hence the work went home with the people and spread over the country, as may be seen from the following letters sent by William Heath, Methodist preacher, to Ezekiel Cooper, one of the Book-stewards to the Connexion; and the Rev. Stith Mead to Bishop Asbury.
Richmond district, April 4th, 1803. "I have been in the habit of communicating to you, the remarkable occurrences which have fallen in my way from time to time : but your being kept from us in the south by sickness, I have been at a loss where to direct my intelligence. Being informed you shortly will be in Baltimore, I shall endeavor to throw the following narrative in your way; but passing over a great number of pleasing scenes which might be noticed, for brevity sake, I shall confine myself to the giving you a list of the camp and other meetings of magnitude, with their immediate effects, and then, in an aggregate, the the consequences of the meetings will be seen on a more enlarged scale; though still much of their fruit will be unnoticed, being scattered generally over the circuits.
Dates of meetings. 1804.
Places. March 23-27 Bedford County
50 April 21-23 mpbell County
24 40 Goose Creek
16 May 5--11 Tabernacle
100 12-15 New-Hope Chapel
49 17-21 Tabernacle
150 140 Flat Rock
40 49 June 3
100 60 Rethel Chapel,
50 July 20- -24 Leftwich's Chapel Bedford.circuit 100 60 -28- -29 New-Hope
19 Aug. 3 -7 Bottetourt