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This had some effect upon my mind. I was glad that they had obtained mercy,
The first night that my father set up the worship of God in his house, was a memorable night to me. He first took his Bible, and requested the children to sit down, and then told us what God had done for him, and his determination to serve him. He further stated, that he was sorry, that he had by exam
ple led us so long in the paths of vanity, and that he had lived before us in revelling and mirth. But, said he, I am determined by the grace of God to lead a new life, and now begin by reading his holy word, which I have so long, to my confusion, neglected, and by setting up his worship in my house.
I heard all these particulars with great attention, and trembling took hold upon me; accordingly he read a chapter, and like David he said by practice, « Come, let us worship, let us bow down, let us kneel before the Lord." He then humbled himself upon his knees to pray. But what heart rendings I then had; I could have freely cried aloud ; but strove hard to hide my feelings, for fear of being discovered by my brothers and sisters. I stood near the chamber door, and as soon as he had closed his affecting prayer, I immediately retired to my chamber, and in groans and sighs passed the night. For season I was greatly affected with a sight of my situation as a sinner, and often wished that I was in possession of a substantial hope and confidence in God, that would effectually take away the fear of death.
In this situation I went to a Friends' meeting, and heard a woman preach by the name of THANKFUL Huzzy. I was so much affected by what she said, that I could not refrain from weeping.—The first
words which she spoke, were,'" Little children, new commandment I give unto you, that you should love one another.” I went home, and took my Bible, and read a number of chapters in the book of Psalms, which appeared beautiful to me beyond description. I cried out, why have I not read this book more!-resolving to read it every day. I was so much affected with what I had read, that I retired to a secret place, where I might give vent to sighs and longing desires for salvation. When I had reached the spot, I opened the good book, and read of the sufferings of Christ throughout to his death. I said within myself, If I had been there, I would not have thus cruelly treated him; I would have been his friend; could not have mocked him, nor spit upon him, neither could I have done as the soldiers did, pierce him with a spear. Then it came into my mind, as if some one had spoken it to me by way of question, what are you better than they were ? 0! cried I, more like the pe tent thief upon
the cross, who said, “Lord, remeinber me." I strove to call on God for help, and then returned to the house, and opened the hymn book on these expressive lines; ,
“Come, thou fount of every blessing,
“Call for songs of loudest praise.” Woful to relate! after this I became an impenitent sinner, hair hung and breeze shaken over the gulf of ruin. I strove to hide myself under the cloak of fore-ordination, and at any time when I was disturbed with the thoughts of dying and going to Hell, I would often say to myself, if I am to be
saved, I shall be ; and if I am to be lost, I shall be ; and so I strove to lull conscience to rest.—But this was only a fig-leaf covering; for although I rested considerably easy for some time, even when dangers alarmed me on either hand, saying if my time is come to die, I must die ;, and if I am to suffer a violent death of any kind ; such as being torn in pieces by a hear of the woods, I cannot evade the decrees of God. With these, and like reflections, I could sometimes assuage my fears in
About this time my eldest sister became serious, and it was thought, that she experienced a change of heart at a quarterly meeting. She returned very much altered, and I was truly glad, and resolved to set out with her as soon as she should open the way by telling me her experience, as I expected she would, and that she would talk with me about my own soul's concern ; but to my surprise she did not. I watched her in every thing in hopes to learn something of t
For a while she was conde good way. stant in secret prayer, and reading the - sacred word of God; but all her goodness was like the early dew, soon worn away, and she became more vain and light than before.
My father's faithfulness and good instructions from time to time affected my poor heart
very especiallyone circumstance. I retired to restone evening before family prayer, but was awfully harassed all night, and notwithstanding this, I thought I would try it once more. Accordingly I retired to my lodging room at an early hour, as before, to see if it would affect me as formerly. I had but just laid down, when my father called out, “ Girls, are you gone to bed på
“ Yes sir,”
was the answer.
“Well! what if you should awake in hell before morning ?" My bed could hold me no longer; I arose and with hasty steps went into the room and stayed until after prayers, and then retired with my mind somewhat more calm and serene; and my Auttering heart more at ease.
At another time I dreamed that Satan was rocking me to sleep in a cradle. I awoke and my bed was shaking under me, and the whole house appeared to be rolling. I was much affrighted, and thought it was a reality. I arose in haste, and went into another room, and to my surprise found the family up. I asked, What is the matter?
The reply was, "There is an earthquake." It was over, and my affright in a measure was over also. O how did sin abound in my poor disordered soul-wild distraction reigned in my heart and life, whilst adding sin to sin; and thereby “ treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath,” as saith the apostle Paul. My heart was so hard, that I could sit and hear the most powerful sermons with careless indifference, and without remorse of conscience, considering myself quite socure under my old shield of fatality before mentioned.
At length the thunders from mount Sinai struck my heart, rent my garment, and I was left naked before God. I found the commandments of God were truth, and fatality was false. Here I stood in, the wide open world, not knowing which way to go, or where to flee; the poet's striking thoughts running through my mind. .
"The sinner must be born again,
"Did loud as thunder roll.” Everlasting praise belongs to that God, who gives
sight to the blind, ears to the deaf, and feet to the lame; and (as in former days) he made use of clay to open my blind eyes, and spake through one of his dear servants to the awakening of my soul
Yes! by that ever dear and memorable servant of the Lord, Henry Martin, who soon after died in the triumphs of faith, on Parker's Island, at the mouth of the Kennebec River ; and is now praising God in Paradise, I have not a doubt. -Does his spirit koow that this poor child retains a sense of pardoning love, which he was instrumental of promoting? Whether it be so or not, may the merciful God bring me to meet him in Heaven, where we may recount the pleasing theme in endless day.
The first time I ever heard him preach was at my father's house. The text was in Exodus, xxxii. 12. " Who is on the Lord's side ?” and his words were sent home to my heart with power like seven fold peals of thunder. I at first strove to hide from my rude companions the feelings of my heart by resisting the truth, thinking only on the vanities of my gay circle ; and with songs and merry tales to entertain my mind so as not to weep at what the preacher said. But this was all in vain ; for truths, like arrows from the Lord, flew thick and fast, and were plunged deep into my wounded heart, so that I could not refrain from weeping aloud, although my sighs and groans were heard by all around.
After the meeting was closed, the preacher began to converse with some of the people, who were nearest to him ; speaking to them concerning their souls. I resolved not to give him an opportunity of conversing with me, and in order to shon him I immediately retired, and my-example was