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upon whom he vented his rage. By his severity my spirits were soon broken, and I became so enervated that the step of his foot up stairs and the sight of him commonly threw me into a tremor. Upon the slightest occasion he would beat me unmercifully. He never was at a loss for a weapon: iron was the same as wood ; consequences were not regarded. I review the scene and shudder. I sometimes wonder that I have my faculties. To this very time I frequently dream I am with him under his displeasure and feel uneasiness. During the period of twelve years, I have often thought it were better to die than to live, and in some parts of that time was ready to say, I choose strangling rather than life. Had I, in the former years been a partaker of grace, I should have thought I endured, as seeing him who is invisible; but as this was not the case, I sometimes wonder on reflection, that I did not elope from him, and submit to any thing rather than such perpetual torture of body and mind. It was a very abject situation; I had nothing to encourage me. Over burdened one day with the severity of my usage, I made an effort to get work, and was determined to disengage myself from my hard task masters. This I could legally have done as he had not bound me to him. He was informed of it and was alarmed. He came up in the shop one morning in an unusual good humour, directed his discourse to me, applauded my work, asked me, if I had heard the news of young men not apprenticed being liable to be forced into the king's service, and, it was in the time of war, said he had no method of screening me but by binding me to him. Perceiving that he was imposing upon me, and suspecting he had a design of an unworthy nature, especially as he kept me back in my improvement and had till then refused to bind me, I resisted his motion. He then unmasked, fed into a passion, informed me that he had heard I had applied for business and threatened to demand recompense for my subsistence for the time I had been with him. I was persuaded into submission. The indenture was antedated and I continued to wear the galling chain for four years longer.
I was not my own guide. I could not help myself without risking difficulties which might have been equal to those I underwent with him. I doubtless had my faults. Many I recollect, and, under the review of them, am humbled before God, but those he inight charge me with, did not merit that indiscreet severity he exercised upon me. I shall in the course of this memoir have occasion to mention him again. I bless God I was not suffered to precipitate myself into ruin, but was enabled patiently to endure, and as I subscribe to his wisdom in permitting events thus to occur, I have to recollect with gratitude his kindness towards me afterwards. He has instructed me and taught me.
He has been a father unto me, and shall receive praise from me. I will relieve your attention, and at present subscribe myself
My very dear friend,
Your's, affectionately, &e.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
In the former letter I mentioned that I can recollect my mind being often in a very pious frame; I will here cite a fresh instance. By being brought to Mr. Winter, I became an inhabitant of the parish of St. Luke, Old-street; on Saturday, I frequently anticipated the pleasures of the day ensuing, not merely as a day of leisure but of devotion; and usually attended St. Luke's church morning and afternoon, and thought it an additional pleasure to have opportunity to attend a monthly evening lecture at Cripplegate. A charity sermon was of great importance to me as it afforded me an opportunity to hear a new preacher, and I al. most envied the boys the privilege of the charity-judge you how I must feel when a bishop preached. My situation sometimes confined me at home on a Sunday afternoon, when I en. gaged my attention to the bible. I remember to have fatigued myself once exceedingly in writing out the first chapter of the second book of kings. But it stuck by me. O that I had habituated myself more to that employ. I had all this time common and very strong prejudi. ces against the methodists and dissenters. When my clothes were disgracefully bad which was sometimes the case I absconded from my own church, and occasionally wandered into a meeting-house. I at last got to hear Mr. Whitefield two or three times, and was particularly struck by his appearance and dress. Though at the distance of sixty feet, and the congregation very crowded, I one Sunday evening thought he spoke particularly to me and the imagination had a powerful effect upon me.
I believe it was the christmas previous to this, while at a card table I was taking some uvdue liberty with Mr. Whitefield's ministry, in the
way of burlesque; à Scotch woman who was sitting by, but not in the party, very smartly reproved me, desired I would take an opportunity to read and pray over the eighth chapter of the epistle to the Romans, till I understood it; and added she was persuaded I should no longer despise Mr. Whitefield's ministry. I never can forget the remorse I felt from the reproof, and the advice after I was awakened produced a peculiar attention to the scripture recommended to my attention.
In the year 1755, I had occasion to make a purchase of a box, of which I was informed, a poor woman wanted to dispose. She afterwards informed me, there was something in my appearance that engaged her attention. She desired I would pay her a visit. I was ready to receive her invitation, and drank tea with her the next Sunday. Like one truly taught of God, and desirous of communicating what she knew of him, she entered upon religious subjects. She asked me, if I had ever heard Mr. Whitefield, I replied I had once or twice, and had no objection to him, for I perceived she knew not how to speak affectionately enough of him. But I said I could not be rea conciled to his lay preachers; and I urged the