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The stage-coach not going, I was detained twentyfour hours behind my intention.
Friday 15th. I arrived on the Camp-ground, about an hour by sun in the evening; three found peace; some attempted interruption; but the magistrates were on our side. I continued on the ground, until Monday the 18th, in which time about sixty professed to have found peace, and about one hundred awakened : Brother Cox wrote me that about thirty found peace after that I left the ground. Some blamed me for appointing this meeting: however the devil's kingdom suffered loss in the Isle of Wight, and I will rejoice.
I gave one hundred dollars worth of books towards building a chapel; and spent a few days in Norfolk and Portsmouth ; and several souls were set at liberty while I staid.
RETURN TO NEW-ENGLAND.
UNDAY 24th. I embarked for New-York:-.We
had some contrary winds, horrible squalls, and calms; however, in eight days, I spoke with some friends in New-York, having quitted the vessel, and by the way of Elizabeth-town came to the city.
N. Snethen is stationed here, and seems not so lively (by the account of friends) as he was some time ago. He is lately married.-Cyrus Stebbens objected to my preaching where he was stationed, though the trustees were mostly friendly. He withdrew from the connexion soon after, which shewed what spirit he was of.
I put my trunk on board a vessel for Middletown, and a friend took me in a chair, near forty miles, whence I continued on foot until I came near Connecticut line, when about sixty yards off, whilst raising my heart to God, to open me a way for provision, as I had but a few cents in my pocket, I met Aaron Hunt, a preacher, who told me where to call and get some refreshment; 1 did so, and held two meetings in the neighbourbood; then came to Danbury, and pawning my watch, took stage for Hartford.
July 10th. Walking twenty miles I came to my father's house, which appeared empty. Things seemed pleasant round about; but my mother is no more-I cannot mourn, my loss is her gain: I trust to meet her in the skies, where sorrow and parting are no more The rest of my friends were well in body, but low in religion.
I went to Middletown for my trunk, and found the contemplation for a meeting-house like to fall through, although six hundred dollars were subscribed. I offered them eight hundred dollars of books to aid therein, provided they would give me assistance in putting my journal to press. Here brother Burrows met me, and we went to Hebron, where we saw brother Wood. We agreed on a Camp-meeting, to commence the last day of May following; which, when known, was ridiculed as enthusiasm, to think that I could get people to go into the woods, and encamp night and day in this populous part, where elegant meeting-houses were so numerous. I was now called to another difficulty: a young horse being dead, and some money miscarried which I had sent for his keeping and a coat; my appointment had gone on to Boston, and how to do I saw not my way clear; but here that same Providence, whose kindness I had experienced on many interesting occasions, was manifest. A letter from a motherly woman, who had never seen me but once, came to hand, in which was enclosed a bank-note. This enabled me to pay what I owed and take stage from Spring-field to Waltham. A paper-maker agreed, if I would pay one hundred dollars down and give him bonds for the remainder, he would accom$modate me; but how to accomplish this I did not know, until I fell asleep at Brother Pickering's father-in-law's in Waltham, when I dreamed how and where I could get the money, which I observed to P, who replied, " A dream is a dream.” I said, “ true; but I intend to see the result."~I wrote to my Middletown friends and succeeded accordingly. I spoke several times in Boston, and once on the common, where two caused interruption; but shortly after God called them to cternity!
Some dated their awakenings and conversions from this visit.--Thence I took stage and returned to Springfield, where I arrived about twelve at night, and lay under a hay-stack until day; when I called on the paperman, and a friend met me from Middletown, so we compleated our bargain ; when I went with the friend to Hartford, and compleated ouragreement with the printers and book-binder.
I now had a tour of about six thousand miles laid off before me, to be accomplished against my return in May, and not a cent of money in my pocket; however, in the name of God, I set off on foot from my father's house, though no one knew my situation; doubting not, but that the Providential hand, which I had experienced heretofore, would go with me still : I walked to Hartford river, telling the ferryman my case ; he carried me over, saying, "pay when you can," (it being one cent.) I sold some books, and continued my walk to Litchfield, falling in with a waggon of Quakers, who suffered me to ride some on the way.
Thepce I took stage to Danbury and redeemed my svatch: held a few meetings, and came to New-York. A friend who had employed me to get him some printing done, not making remittance, I had like to have been involved in difficulty ; but Providence delivered nie from this difficulty also. Brother Thacher had consented for my holding a Camp-meeting in his district; but re-considering the matter, recoiled with prohibition. Yet to prevent my disappointment from being too great, suffered four appointments to be made for me by a local preacher, not chusing to give them out himself, considering the agreement at last conference. These "appointments were given out wrong end foremost, considering the line of my journey, which caused me much more travelling; however, with a heavy heart, I fulfilled the appointments, in each of which I could but remark with tears, that some persons had accused me with being of a party spirit, to strive to get a separation, which thing was false, and I did not expect to trouble them any more in that part, until there was an alteration and God should further open my way.
As I was going to take the stage, à mau brought up
an horse, saddle and bridle for me, with orders to pay when convenient. I considered this act as christian kindness; but satan strove 'to raise a dust as I did not make remittance very speedily, having no safe opportunity for some months.
I passed through my old circuit, the Dutchess, and saw some who retained prejudice, but I continued my journey, putting up at the inns, being unwilling to screw any thing through the devil's teeth.
When I arrived in Albany, the preaching-house doors which had been shut it Stebben's time were now open. As the stationed preacher was out of town, and one or two others, who were expected, not coming, the people were like to be disappointed, which to prevent, gave rise to the opening, which I embraced as providential, and held a number of meetings. Here I have always found some kind friends, particularly brother Taylor.
I took my departure to Weston, where I saw Smith Miller, his wife Hannah, and Peggy; after an absence of nearly two years.
August 31st. Camp-meeting began, and the people were entirely strangers to the quality and magnitude of this kind of meeting. Several methodist preachers came as spectators, intending, if the meeting did well to take hold, heart and hand with me, but if ill to leave it as they found it; and let the blame devolve on me. А stage being erected, I addressed the people thereon, from Luke xxi. 19. An awful solemnity came over the people : several mourners came forward to be pray. ed for; and some shortly found comfort, and the Lord began to move in the camp; however the preachers were minded we should disband to private habitations ; but I replied, “ if I can get twenty to tarry on the ground I would not go off until the meeting broke.”. Soon the Lord began to move among the people, and many were detained on the ground, and souls were born to God. Next day the congegation and work increased, and so in the course of the night likewise.
Sunday, Sept. 2d. It rained (I was sick) and the people were punished, by getting wet in the shower, through not coming better prepared for encampment, &c. which I was glad of, as it taught them a useful lesson against
my return: it cleared up and the sun broke out, wollen I addressed them. Being informed of some ill designs among the youth, to bring a stigma on the meeting, I observed three companies in the woods : I got on a log in the triangle, and began relating a story concerning a bird's nest, which my father had remarked represented his family, that would be scattered like those young birds, who knew not the getting of things, but only the fruition of provision, and not parental affection until they become to have children of their own; which remarks had made great impression on my mind. The rehearsal to thein had the desired effect, and gathered their wandering minds into a train of serious thinking, and prepared their hearts for the reception of good advice: several of them desired I should
with them: soon nine were sprawling on the ground, and some were apparently lifeless. The Doctors supposed they had fainted, and desired water and fans to be used : I replied, “ Hush !" then they to shew the falacy of my ideas, attempted to determine it with iheir skill, but to their surprise their pulse was regular; some said, “it is fictitious, they make it:" I answered, "the weather is warm and we are in a perspiration, whilst they are cold as corpses, which cannot be done by human art."
Here some supposing they were dying, whilst others suggested, “it is the work of the devil:" I observed, <if it be the devil's work, they will use the dialect of hell, when they come to:" some watched my words, in great solemnity, and the first and second were soon brought through, happy, and all in the course of the night, except a young woman, who had come under good impression, much against her father's will thirty miles. She continued shrieking for mercy for eight hours, sometimes on the borders of despair, until near sun-rise, when I exhorted her if she had a view of her Saviour, to receive Him as appearing for her: here hope revived; faith sprang up; joy arose; her countenance was an index of her heart to all the beholders; she uttered a word, and soon she testified the reality of her mental sensation, and the peace she had found.
About thirty found peace; and I appointed another Camp-ineeting, to commence in May.