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house in peace:-Mrs. W. being then in the last stage of a consumption, and on the way to her father's, to die there:-she hence insisted on my proceeding with them 100 miles still farther.Having felt a concern, sometimes to visit the churches of the eastern country--more especially for my own instruction in righteousness--[ therefore conceived it my duty to go on:-and to endeavor to improve the opportunity, in doing all the good, (in the use of all means) which might lie in my power.
As I was about departing again with many tears, my dear brother Philip handed me a very affectionate letter; (that he had written, to send to me, in Rhode Island;) wherein he highly applauded the choice I had made of devoting my life, without reserve, to the service of the blessed Redeemer; and with regard to himself, he added, "I am not a stranger, altogether, to the sentiments which religion inspires." "The duties of my station, call me oftentimes to the abodes of wretchedness and woe; where I behold my fellow-beings, wracked with the most excruciating bodily pains; and their souls tortured with the forebodings of an awful retribution to come!-I hence have learned, in some measure, how to sympathize with the distressed and forlorn:-and to view my own peculiar mercies, in such a light, as it behoveth me to He concluded, moreover, by saying, “I hope to meet you in a coming day, where no inhabitant shall endure disease or pain,-and we shall part no more."
That my brother should write to me in such a strain, was matter of no small surprise; and which,
at that time, afforded me great consolation: nevertheless, I travelled on with weeping,chiefly through the day; and likewise, the day following; being extremely affected at many things which had transpired, from the commencement of this, our journey: until at length we reached Buxton, the place of destination. I soon took my leave of my companions, conscious that I had fulfilled, for once, 'the golden rule' of "doing, as I would that others should do to me. "" The one, I could commend to GOD, in hope of a happy meeting, in a brighter world: the other, with sincere desire for his amendment, to the use of more skillful endeavors; for winning souls to CHRIST, and the upbuilding of those precious lambs, He had "purchased with His blood"
I visited, and held meetings in the preaching houses, &c. of Windham, Gray, Gorham and Portland. In the place last mentioned, I turned aside to pass the night with Elder S. R. who had, in former years, preached the Gospel, at the house of my father; but O! said I. "How is the gold become dim!" As I proceeded homeward, I held meetings likewise in Wells, York and Portsmouth. In P. I chanced also, to meet Mr. J. B. a
preacher, large in conceit, but little of stature, who gave his advice, unasked and unaccepted that "I should stay at home." He soon after became a Universalist, and attached himself to their community: which circumstance betrayed, how little he knew of that principle, which drew me from my friends and home, to save poor souls from Hell. am very confident, that had I not been divinely instructed, to resist the tempter, (through
these false way-marks) with all vigilance, I should have despaired of success, in any good work; and drawn back with immense loss, if not, to everlasting destruction and perdition. But thanks be to GOD, there is a 'way,' a "way of holiness, in which the way-faring men, though fools, shall not err!"
In the month of Dec. I reached again my father's house; and although I had gone "forth with weeping," I returned "with joy:" yea, my soul exulted; above all, that I was so far, an overcomer; as to be able to raise my affections from sublunary enjoyments, and to fix them on joys which never die! While on my way homeward, a portion of scripture fastened upon my mind, attended with the impression, that, in vindication of my own cause. I should make it a ground of address, to the people of my own town.
The impression remained; but I shrunk at the cross, for some days; even, till I was hedged in upon every hand, and saw no chance for my life, but to yield. I accordingly appointed, for a meeting, at the house of worship, near my father's: and realized now the necessity, if ever, of holding fast that faithful word, "Thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff." The assembly was large, and I was willing to have a place, upon a level with the rest; but lest I might seem to any, like a coward, I took the highest seat. (The words, to which I had reference in the above may be found, Esther viii. 6. "For how can I endure to see the evils that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?") I was assisted, in speaking, for more than one hour; and some of
the mountains, I think, were brought low. One, or more, who had been loth to believe, confessed, "LORD, thou hast called thine hand-maid, to preach the Gospel: and what Thou hast appointed, may none ever pr sume to forbid."
1823. At the beginning of this new year, I spent some time at Kittery Point, where I had many sore conflicts: but, a blessed year was this to me; and *for which I shall praise God forever more. I visited Stratham, North-Hampton and Rye; and spoke in the preaching hour of "Christians;" and then continued on to New-Castle, where a most glorious work of the LORD, burst forth as a mighty flame. I went to Eliot, and spoke in Friend's M. House; and then journeyed as far as Limerick and Parsonsfield; and spoke in the houses of F. Baptists.
September 1st Having spent four months, principally in Newcastle, I removed to Portsmouth; held meetings at the Christian preaching house, and there, praise GoD, many were also turned from lying vanities, to the obedience of faith and to the wisdom of the just! I held some meetings in Newington, at the M. house, the property of the town. I attended some general meetings, in Strafford and Weare, (of F. Baptists,) and visited the New-Hampshire State Prison. In Portsmouth I spent twelve months, chiefly; and fondly hoped that in those towns, situated upon the river Piscatayua, so flourishing with divine effusions, to spend my few remaining days: but I began to feel again, increasing anguish, for the world of mankind, at large and to view at length my commission renewed, to publish glad tidings, to all the sons of
I hence saw, all excuses unavailing, and
that I must take my life in my hand, and launch out, once more, upon the boisterous ocean of a degenerate world.
So I took my leave of all tender friends, of those regions, and held meetings in Hampton, Hampton-Falls, Seabrook, Kensington, Kingston, Newtown, Amsbury, Salisbury and Newburyport. In the latter place, I spent nearly four months; and labored principally at the Friend's M. house, Town-Hall, School-house, &c.&c., and even there, where party spirit had formerly taken a very high stand, GoD graciously manifested the glory of his power, in bringing many sons and daughters, to the knowledge of His name. Against a flood of opposition, I was enabled to maintain the ground, until the Methodists entering,they, hence, led the van; and in a short space, had two commodious preaching houses formed, where, the LORD grant, they may be equally as crafty, in spreading the Gospel-net, and gathering souls, for Heaven.
1825. I spent principally in New-Rowley, S. Hampton, Newtown, Seabrook, Hawk, Kingston and Candia; and occupied the houses of worship belonging to the different communities. In the town of Hawk, I had the privilege of meeting three others of my fellow-laborers in the Gospel vinyard, viz. Sarah Thornton, Eliza Barns,* and Betsey Stuart. Those females, who have renounced every earthly enjoyment, for the sake of precious souls, I ever esteem the most noble part
* Eliza B. a Missionary to the Indians, belonging to Metkedists, the others F. Baptiste.