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HEN I was in Ireland, I saw the first pair that I
thought were happy in marriage or sheweda beauty in their connexion as the result of matrimony. I heard also of a young man, who made a proposal of marriage : the young woman, possessing piety and consideration, agreed to make it a matter of fasting and prayer, to know the Divine will on the subject; she also told a considerate friend, who gave her advice on the subject. At the time appointed they met, to return their answers upon the subject. The man said he thought it was the will of God that they should proceed, and the two women's opinion was the reverse. It was then submitted for my opinion, why I thought the young man's mind differed from theirs: I replied, that many persons desire a thing, and wish that it might be the will of God it should be so, and from thence reason themselves into a belief that it is His will, when in fact it is nothing but their own will, substituted for God's, and so stand in their own light and deceive themselves.
It appears to me, concerning every person who is inarriageable, and whose duty it is to marry, that there is some particular person whom they ought to have; but I believe it to be possible for them to miss of that object and obtain one who is not proper for them.
Some people have an idea, that all matches are appointed, which I think repugnant to common sense, for a man will leave his wife, and a woman her husband; they two will go to another part and marry and live as lawful man and wife --Now can rational creatures suppose that God appointed this match, whose revealed will sayeth, " Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Again I have seen some inen and women in courtship, put the best foot foremost, and the best side out; and from this their ways would appear pleasing, and fancy would be conceived and taken for love; but when they got acquainted with each others weaknesses, after the knot was tied, the ways wbich once appeared agreeable are now odious: thus the dear becomes cheap, and the honey is gall and vinegar; but, alas, it is too late to repent. Their dispositions being so different, it is as much impossible for them to live agreeable and happy in love together as for the cat and the dog to agree. Thus a foundation is laid for unhappiness for life. Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God, is the language of the scripture; therefore, as Christ saith, without me ye can do nothing: and as Paul saith, through Christ who strengtheneth me, I can do all things : We are to look to God for help in whatever we undertake, as all things are sanctified through faith and prayer; therefore whatsoever we dare not pray to God for his blessing upon, we have no right to pursue : it is forbidden fruit: but as there is a Providence of God attending every person in every situation in life, and no such thing as mere chance, it is my opinion, if people were but resigned to the dispensation of Divine Providence, instead of being their own chusers, their will resigned to his disposal, &c. that they would find His Providence to guide and direct them to the object proper for them, as the calls of His Spirit and the openings of His Providence go hand in hand.
I was resolved when I began to travel that no created object should be the means of rivalling my God, and of course not to alter the situation of my life, unless a way seemed to open in the way of Providence, whereby I might judge that my extensive usefulness should be extended rather than contracted.
S-M-, of Western, came to a big meeting in the woods, and heard that Crazy Dow was there, and after some time sought and found me. He accompanied me to my appointments, consisting of about one hundred miles travel. He kept what some call a methodist tavern, i. e. a house for the preachers, &c. One of my appointments being near his house, he invited me to tarry all night; observing his daughter would be glad to
I asked if he had any children! he replied, a young woman I brought up I call my daughter. Istaid all night, but, so it happened that not a word passed between her and me, though there were but the three in fimily: I went to my appointment where we had a precious time; but whilst preaching, I felt an uncommon exercise (known only to myself and my God) to run through my mind, which caused me to pause for some time. In going to my evening appointment, I had to return by the house, he being still in company with me. I asked him if he would object if I should talk to his daughter concerning matrimony ? he replied, “I have nothing to say, only I have requested her, if she hath any regard for me, not to marry so as to leave my house."
When I got to the door, I abruptly asked his wife, who had been there, and what they had been about in iny absence: she told me, which made way for her to observe, that Peggy was resolved never to marry unless it were to a preacher, and one who would continue travelling. This resolution being similar to my own, as she then stepped into the room, caused me to ask her if it were so ? she answered in the affirmative; on the back of which I replied, “do you
think you could accept of such an object as me?” she made no answer, but retired from the room : this was the first time of my speaking to her. I took dinner; asked her one question moreand went to my neighbouring meetings, which occupied some days; but having a cloak making, of oiled cloth, it drew me back to get it: I staid all night, and in the morning, when going away, I observed to her and her sister, who brought her up as a mother, that I was going to the warm countries, where I never had 'spent a warm season, and it was probable I should die, as the warm climate destroys mostly those who go from a cold country ; but (said I) if I am preserved about a year and a half from now, I am in hopes of seeing this northern country again, and if during this time you live and remain single, and find no one that you like better than you do me, and would be willing to give me up twelve months out of thirteen, or three years out of four to travel, and that in foreign lands, and never say, do not go to your appointment, &c. For if you should stand in my way, I should pray to God to remove you, which I believe he would answer, and if I find no one that I like better than I do you, perhaps something further may be said on the subject; and finding her character to stand
fair, I took my departure. Io my travels I went to the Natchez country, where I found religion low, and had hard times, but thought this country one day would be the garden of America, and if this family would remove there, it would prove an everlasting blessing (as it resa pects religion) to the inhabitants, considering their infant state. * It lay on my mind for some weeks, when I wrote to them on the subject, though I had no outward reason to suppose they would go, considering the vast distance of near two thousand miles. But now found she was still single, and they all willing to comply with my request, which removed many scruples from my mind, knowing that it was a circumstance that turned up in the order of Providence, instead of by my own seeking; so our bargain was drawn to a close, but still I thought not to have the ceremony performed until I should return from Europe; but upon reflection, considering the circumstance would require a correspondence, my letters might be intercepted, and the subject known, prejudice arise, jealousy ensue, and much needless conversation and evil be the result; wherefore to prevent the same, a preacher coming in we were married that night though only we five were present, this being the third of September, 1804.
TOUR TO THE MISSISSIPPI.
4th. MITH MILLER set off with me for the
Natchez early in the morning, as my appointments had been given out for some months. I spoke at Westmoreland and Augusta that day.
5th. We rode fifty miles, I spoke once on the road and saw a spiritual daughter, who was awakened when I travelled the Pittsfield Circuit.
6th. We rode fisty miles, and stayed with a family of methodists; near the east branch of Susquehannah river, the man was kind, but the woman was as she
* Provided they should be faithful to God-but many good things fall through for the want of humble and faithful per. severance under God.
7th. Rode thirty-four miles, spoke at night at Sugarcreek.
8th. Thirty-five miles to Lycoming.
9th. Twenty-five miles to Amariah Sutton's, and found Gideon Draper preaching, who was awakened when I was on the Cambridge circuit. Oh ! how these things refreshed my soul, to see the fruit of my labour, hundreds of miles off, years after. I spoke when he was done. He accompanied us ten miles where I spoke ågain. 10th. Thirty-three miles to P-p Antisse's.
13th. Forty miles, stayed with a Dutchman who was reasonable in his charges.
12th. Thirty-four miles across part of the Allegany mountain to Welsh-town.
13th. We crossed the Laurel hills, and though we lost some miles by false direction, yet we came near to Dennistown, and stayed with a friend.
14th. We went to Greensborough, where I spoke in the evening, and then rode thirty-two miles to Pittsburg, where we arrived about the dawn of day; I found my appointments were not given out accurately.
Sunday 16th. I spoke in Pittsburg, and Washington.
17th. Brownsville and Union-town, where I heard that the Bishops Asbury and Whatcoat were sick twentyfive miles off.
18th. Spoke twice in Washington.
19th. Spoke in Steuvenville in the State of Ohio. I have now been in each of the seventeen States of the Union.
20th, Spoke in Charlestown, and some were offended.
21st. Spoke to hundreds, beginning before sun-rise ; and then to Wheeling. Spoke ad ten o'clock to a large concourse and so went on our journey.
23d. Spoke to a few in Zeansville on the Muskingum river; I could not but observe great marks of antiquity, ridges of earth thrown up so as to form inclosures of various forms, on which three or four might easily ride abreast ; some of these I think would contain near one hundred acres or more.
24th. Came to New-Lancaster where I spoke.