Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and then received one hundred lashes, at the end of which I died away, being cut so bad, and they all, even the doctor, thought I was dead; when I came to I was naked, in a large tub of warm water, and they bathing me. Here the Lord wonderfully spared me to praise his holy name, for when I am brought to look back to see what my God has saved me from, it melts my heart in love to him; for I little thought, when I blasphemed his name, that he had respect unto me in the covenant; but bless his holy name, who hath brought me to loath myself in my own sight for my iniquities.

It would be tedious to tell of all the battles I have been in: I have seen many fall, yea, close to me, in several engagements, but the Lord never suffered one shot even to wound me, though I was in it from the beginning of the American war to the end, which I believe was near ten years. Oh! the faithfulness of God to his chosen! I have often thought, if I had suffered these things for Christ's sake, as the apostle Paul did, I should have somewhat to glory in before the Lord, that I was counted worthy to suffer for him; but these words strike me, “Hast thou not procured all these things to thyself?" Yes, Lord; with shame I own it.

Now, as the Lord the Spirit shall bring to my remembrance, I will relate my call and conversion in my simple way; for I knew nothing about religion of any kind, neither did I know even what the name of Jesus Christ meant; but God, in his infinite mercy, was determined I should know him whom I had so grossly abused. The first convictions I can remember to have had concerning my soul, was the last voyage I went, which brought me to look at the wicked life I had lived and was then living; this brought me on my knees to God, vowing, that if he would be pleased to bring me safe home, and provide me something to do on shore, I would amend my life and go to church; this I had a hope he would do, because I prayed. In the space of a year he brought me home, and, agreeable to my request, found me employment. I set about to perform my vow in going to church, but the devil was too strong for me; for I soon fell into the old track of sabbath-breaking and sinning, and carried it on to as high a pitch as ever. The Lord suffered me to go on here a little time, to shew me what man is by nature; but I perceived it not. I believe I went on in the old way of sinning for two years, and when any checks of conscience troubled me, I strove to smother them by going to clubs to sing and drink. I remember I was learning some new songs, when the Lord was pleased, at my work, to bring all my sins to my remembrance, which spoiled all my singing; for I was so wrought upon, that I thought I should as surely be damned as I was born: it continued, and I could not shake it off; my companions, they came, but all would not do, I could not go with them; my wife, then being in a natural state, seeing that I was distressed in my mind, cried 'over me, begging to know what was the matter; yea, told me she would go on her knees to me if I would but tell her. I said I could not tell her what was the matter with me; but I believed I should go to hell. These words came on my mind, and I could not get rid of them: “What woman is there having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle and sweep the house diligently till she find it?” Thought I, this is something of scripture; for the Bible was a book I had not looked into for many years before, but now I did, and it brought me on my knees to God, hoping that, if I confessed and prayed to God, read my Bible, and went to church, that God would have mercy upon me; however I set to, with a resolution to get no further in debt, but if possible to pay some off the old score. I inquired into those people called methodists, for being away so many years I was ignorant of the meaning of the word, methodist; I was informed they were a good set of people, such as Wesley's and Whitefield's. The first I found out was Wesley's, in the City Road; I thought surely they were angels come down from heaven, and began to think, if I went according to my resolution, God would look over what was past, and I should soon be fit for heaven; but, oh! the goodness, mercy, and lovingkindness of God! he did not let me rest here; for when I was getting up to

[ocr errors]

that pinnacle, he threw me down and broke all my bones, by sending his law home to my heart: then I saw myself in a dreadful state, not only that I had been a sinner, but now was, and could do nothing good. In reading the Bible, what gained my greatest attention was, God s anger. against sin, and his commands to sanctify myself holy unto the Lord. Well, I inquired how a man might sanctify himself to the Lord; and was informed, the people who frequented the tabernacle went there on Saturday evening to sanctify themselves against Sunday. When Saturday evening came I set off and went ; but when I came out, found myself more like a devil than a saint. At this time I was quite ignorant of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ: what makes me say so is, because there are many who, to my knowledge, never had a change of heart, that know it is through the merits of Jesus Christ they must be saved; but then, say they, Jesus Christ died for all: but I was quite ignorant even of the name of Jesus Christ. These workmongers set me many tasks to do; I began to read the Bible and pray to God, as I called it, and worked hard too; till at last I began to feel such enmity spring up in my heart, that I said on this wise, Surely Uiod is a hard God! for he sets man to do more than he is able. Why should he be so hard with a creature that he has made? I laboured under this a long time, yet durst not utter the hard thoughts and enmity I had against him.

I became acquainted with one man in particular, and would have given the world if I had been as good as him: said I, if I tell that man what I feel, he will doubtless condemn me, and then I will give it all up. Accordingly, when we met again, I told him what I felt, what enmity I had against God and his word. He seemed surprised; and, upon my asking him if he ever felt any thing of the kind, he answered me very sternly, No! God forbid that I should have enmity against God or his word. He left me wounded. Well, thought I, damned I shall be, do what I will; then began to quarrel with myself for living such a wicked life, and with my mother for not correcting me when I ran away from my master: had I staid with him, I might have went to church, and lived a better life than I have done; but it is too late now. I shall be damned' I cannot repent: well, I will give it up, and think no more about it. I did set off once to get drunk, but surely I felt a hell in my conscience at the same time. I laboured here a great while, frequenting a chapel in Nightingale-lane, East Smithfield, called the Mulberry Gardens, in the Countess of Huntingdon's connection; at this time so ignorant was I, that I did not know they would grant me a ticket for a seat, so skulked about like a thief. Messrs. W– and Jenkins preached there at that time, but I was afraid to speak to any one about my state. However, one evening, I shall never forget it, a woman, who attended there, would force her

« AnteriorContinuar »