Page images

deplorable, and signified I should soon want bread." His words alarmed my fears, but I was enabled to counteract fear by the exercise, of faith. I have since reason to think he had heard of my preaching, and that his corruptions were roused by the report. The business itself was injurious to my nerves.

The continual discouragement I was under, preyed upon my mind; my having adventured into the ministry, was attended with much conflict, so that the time now under review was a time of trouble. I pause and bring the scene near. I enter very circumstantially into it. I do not forget that there were secret faults in my conduct, which though only visible to the eye of omniscience and my own conscience, must not be forgotten by me. Indeed they cannot; my soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me. The tempter had his

* He adds-Thus we parted, and I doubt not but his conduct towards me has since filled him with bitter remorse. I knew this from words be, afterwards uttered to me, and to which he would have added more if I would have suffered the confession. But God has forgiven the debt of sin against him, and has thereby set me an example to forgive all his unkindness towards me. , At his death, he left me twenty pounds, with an apology in his will for not leaving me more.


instruments by which he wrought: By artless simplicity, I was exposed to danger, but not overcome so as to bring reproach upon the cause of God. Benevolence, and sympathy for the distresses of others, while I was distressed myself; hurried me into imprudence; but the Lord upheld my soul, and integrity and uprightness preserved me. I was not so happy yet as to be under the eye and guidance of one who might watch over me. Intemperate zeal, and imprudence in many instances discovered themselves; and I was afraid of spiritual sloth, and of any thing that was contrary to the life and power of godliness. I bless God that he afforded me cause to be thankful, and that from that period, his mercy has been like a current not to be obstructed. It has run to this moment; bless the Lord, O my soul, bless the Lord, my ever dear friend, to whom this history is addressed. I bless him on your account. Interested in all the mercies he has conferred upon you,

I remain, ever,

Your's, affectionately, &c.


In reviewing the history of my

life, and addressing it to you, I.conceive that I am giving glory to God. My object is, as far as I am the subject of it, and that is far indeed, to utter the memory of his great goodness. When the breach between my relation and inyself became intire, I knew not what to do. The trade I had been brought up to did not afford many masters, but I was in hope I might obtain work somewhere, or be directed into some other line. He who knoweth all things knows how unambitious my mind was, how sincerely I was attached to manual labor, and how conscientiously I intended to engage myself under another employer. But not knowing what to do, immediately on my sudden separation from Mr. Winter, I betook myself to Mr. How, to give vent to an heart big with sorrow. Mr. How was an excellent man; and though in trade, at which he worked hard, of good preaching talents and some learning. After laboring with reputation and success in the ministry for a few years, he was taken home to enjoy an early

reward. He ministered what consolation he could to me.

He was going to Chatham for the ensuing sabbath, prevailed upon me' to bear him company as far as Gravesend, and advised me to stop there a few days to divert my distress of mind. While at Gravesend, the congregation at Chatham sent me an invitation to preach to them, and desired me to fix the time for my coming. Mr. How urged my embracing the invitation. The day for my going was fixed, and it being near Christmas, I chose the angel's message to the shepherds, as proper for the season, and for a stranger to introduce himself with into a new congregation, But what a situation did I seem to be in ! I never can forget the moment l'entered the pulpit, the deadness that seized my soul, and the cloud that overspread my understanding. I was so shut up that I did not think it possible any thing spoken could gain acceptance. I was ashamed to see any body afterwards, and continued in the pulpit till the congregation was quite gone, though several loitered about the door. I had various conjectures concerning the treatment I might receive on going into the house ; upon the whole, I concluded that though humanity might be exercised towards me, disapprobation of my service must be expressed; and that I should be forbidden to enter the pulpit again. But, to my great surprise, I found the people lingering about the door were anxious to embrace an opportunity to express the satisfaction they received, the dwelling-house likewise was full of friends, all of whom took me by the hand, gave me their blessing, and said they had been reminded of old times; and, without consulting me upon the matter, proceeded to plan me out a round for preaching for many days; but I opposed the motion, telling them that I only came into the country by the advice of my friend Mr. How, to relax my mind for a few days, and that I must return to London to seek after business. They opposed my determination, remarking that I was a young man free of incumbrance, and quite at liberty; that they thought preaching the gospel was business sufficient for me, to which I might attend without. being burdensome to the church. I spent a few weeks between Gravesend and Canterbury, but was únder great uneasiness of mind, and on my return to London visited the Rev. Mr. Elliot, with whom I had a prior acquaintance, and who, as well as Mr. Green, had encouraged me to embark in the work of the ministry,

« PreviousContinue »