Page images
[ocr errors]

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the

year 1833, by O. Scott and E. F. Newell, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

Cairns Collect is one BX 8495 N47. MEMOIRS, &c. A3 1833

June, 10, 1818. COMB near, all ye who fear God, and I will declare unto you what the Lord has done for my soul.

It is the love of my great Redeemer, that constrains me to write. All glory be given to the Lord in the highest

« Salvation ! O the joyful sound,
"What pleasure to our ears!
“A sovereign balm for every wound,
" A cordial for our fears."

I was born in Sidney, in the county of Kennebec, State of Maine, May 12th, 1793.

At a very early period of my life I was drawn to seek the living God. But alas ! I rejected the many calls of this most merciful God, putting off the day of repentance, time after time, and still chose to run with the giddy multitude.

But having now obtained a feeling hope, and evangelical trust and confidence in God

my Saviour, I for my own satisfaction sit down to write a true history of my past experience. When quite young I can well remember my being awakened times without number ; and at so very early a period of my life, that I, like young Samuel of old, did not know that it was the Lord.

At the early age of five, I was brought to think on death, by seeing one of my little companions dead, and laid by the side of the wall of the house. After attending the funeral of the child, I was afraid to go any where alone in the dark, or to be left alone, for fear I should see the corpse.

One day as I was alone, it came into my mind with great weight and power, You must pray or be damned. Although I had but little idea of prayer, yet without hesitating I arose from my amusement, and went to a window in the chamber where I was, and kneeled down and prayed, but how or for what I know not; but this one thing I well know, I wept much, and thought it would be a dreadful thing to die unprepared. When I arose from my humble attitude, I felt calm, serene, easy and quiet in my mind for some time, and nothing seemed to cross me. One thing I remember, that when any of the children cried, I wondered how they could do so. But these tender impressions and comfortable feelings soon wore away, and I had a relish for childlike plays, and grew up in pride and vanity, for which I Dow mourn and lament. At the

age of between nine and ten my careless mind was again awakened by dreams, and many other ways; some of which I think proper to mention. I went to the funeral of an aunt, who was pecularly dear--a favorite friend of mine. I highly valued her. Hearing that she was ead affected me very much, but when I came to see her corpse, I was so struck, that my poor body shook and trembled, whilst tears were rolling down, and fast falling from my eyes; and death, ghastly death appeared so terrifying to me that I wished I had never been born. My kind father tenderly endeavored to assuage my grief and told me not to cry so bitterly ; nevertheless his parental affection was ipsufficient to remove the terrors of death, that had sunk so deep into my youthful mind; nor were they ever fully erased, until the Lord forgave my sins. And although lightness and vanity possessed my heart, yet these thoughts' would often rush into my mind, and sink down into my heart, You must die and come to judgment. As I was returning from the funeral, I thought If my mother should die (who was then sick) what should I do?

On my arrival at my father's house, I immediately retired to a secret place, and with a heart big with sorrow, said to myself

, to-day I have been gazing on a spectacle, which is a complete looking-glass, in which I may look and see what I must shortly be. I viewed myself as on the brink of ruin, and I was filled with all the horrors of a guilty conscience, and was afraid to stay in the barn.

I then made many promises to amend my life, and began to reflect how, or in what manner I might reform ; and had some resolution to begin that very: day. First, I thought I must be more obedient to my parents, and more loving to my brothers and sisters; but alas, my goodness was like the morning cloud and the early dew, which soon vanishes away.

I wiped off my tears, and conviction soon left me, and by breaking off my good resolutions, I of course, ran deeper into sin, and became more than ever filled with lightness, vanity, and sins of many descriptions." Yet the good Spirit of the Lord did not leave me, but still strove with me time after time. I had the unspeakable privilege of hearing many powerful sermons, and enjoying many religious

advantages ; and many sorrowful hours and melancholy seasons did I pass. One day, even whilst I was in my merry career, all my former vows and resolutions came afresh into my mind, and those words, formerly spoken to me, came powerfully into my mind, and with redoubled weight and force sunk down into my heart; you must pray or be damned. And I was immediately arrested and brought to a full stop. My blood chilled in my veins, and with great haste I retired to a secret place, with all my sins in view. I fell on my knees and cried, Ó Lord, save or I perish. I then arose, and thought to make good the resolutions, which I had before formed. I went home and passed a very restless night; but O how painful for me to write, while I reflect how I slighted offered mercy, and rejected the counsel of God, against my own soul!

Soon I went to my old practices again. But the patient good Spirit of God did not leave me; it followed me, crying in my ear, “this is the way, walk ye in it.” But instead of following this good Spirit, I strove hard against it, and pursued closely after the vanities of the world, striving to satisfy my selfish desires, seeking after comfort and happiness in many ways. But whenever I had obtained this or that object, there was still an aching void, which the world can never fill; and notwithstanding the many calls of God, which I have had from time to time, I was rushing hastily on in the broad frequented road that leads to death. My heart grew harder and harder, being more and more accustomed to rebel against God.

At length my parents were awakened to see their need of religion, and soon obtained a pardon of their sins and became members of the church.

« PreviousContinue »