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evil would be I did not pretend to say: whether the sword, famine, or pestilence -Howbeit, amidst complicated miseries, I saw them, as it were, a nation descending; and that the glory, which had, in a measure, departed from them, other nations, more deserving, would richly enjoy.
A paper, was handed me in London, shewing what events were about to be accomplished, from the memorable year 1830. Signs and wonders, (in evidence thereof) had appeared in the heavens.--The moon's disk, had been seen to divide asunder, for the space of several feet; and in each division appeared, the bust of a man, with a crimson girdle about the waist, and each, with sword in hand, uplifted against his fellow. The veracity of this, howbeit, we have no authority to assert; except from the remarkable incidents which have since been fulfilled in different parts of Europe--and that commenced quickly after; more especially among the French nation. In the political world, despotism, monarch, and aristocracy must fall! And in the religious world, priestcraft, bigotry, and superstition must have an end. And then shall the REDEEMER'S Kingdom, which is "righteousness and peace," be "victorious over all, and fill the whole earth."
If the tender mercies of the MOST HIGH, do not excite men to the practice of virtue; nor His judgments have their designed effect; then has He said, "Will I make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh." Now is the time, we very well know, when the Nations of the East, yea, of the whole earth, are greatly
convulsed; and does it not betoken, a storm more terrible at hand? While the judgments of God, are thus abroad in the earth, happy for all such as learn righteousness thereby--but those who will still refuse and rebel, shall be devoured with the sword, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. We rejoice that tyranny, either civil or religious, shall not long prevail in the earth,--but that the LORD shall overturn, and overturn, until at length liberty both civil and religious shall be established in all the world.
I felt interested in surveying some of the artificial curiosities of the Metropolis; such as the Tunnel, (called) or arched street, beneath the river Thames; the Church of St. Paul, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall, the Museum, the Monument built in commemoration of the fire, which happened in 1666, &c In observing these, I was constrained to say again, "How much more wise are the children of this world, in their generation, than the children of light." In these things, what remarkable enterprise and perseverance have they displayed, to obtain the object of their pursuit: while on the other hand, the men of grace who have "the exceeding great and precious promises" of GOD, to encourage and urge them forward, in the path of duty; (and who especially profess to have respect to a Eternal Inheritance)--how "double-minded are they often found, and unstable and remiss in all their ways."
Having spent three months in the city of London, I began to be much exercised about returning to America. The cruel oppression and dis
tress of this land, I could no longer endure; not withstanding many dear christian friends, urged our longer continuance here. Some besought that I might pay them a visit, in the north of England. But I laboured under great heaviness, and continual sorrow. Of my bread I could not partake in quietness, while sensible that hundreds of every description, surrounded me, that were perishing for food.
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As many of the poor were anxious to accompany me to America, I imagined that from some of the rich I might solicit aid, in their behalf; accordingly I drew up a paper for subscription, (which I handed to some in affluent circumstances) that read as follows:
TO THE TRULY BENEVOLENT.
I am a foreigner. A few months since from the United States of America. From a sense of duty have I come to this country, (and if any are concerned to know) with necessary credentials. In travelling through different parts of England, I have witnessed very sore calamity, especially among the poor inhabitants of the land--many of whom are actually in a perishing condition.
Being myself about to return to America, and knowing that they there may be useful and happy, I have thus undertook to solicit, in their behalf, the charitable assistance of the humane: and I anticipate the pleasure of seeing them, at some future period, (not a few,) comfortably situated in my own native clime.
"He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto
the Lord; and that which he hath given, will he pay him again."
NANCY TOWLE, of Hampton,
Few, were disposed, however, to give me any encouragement, so I gave over, and we prepared to embark for my own. loved country America. I conceived, that the sufferings to which we should be exposed on the ocean would not be equal to those we must unavoidably endure in tarrying where we were. Having parted with much of our wearing apparel, and all else that we could spare, to the naked, famishing poor; we were, therefore, but ill-prepared, for cold, wintry storms; and that, for a succession of weeks or months, upon the wide Atlantic. But I believed that the same ALMIGHTY ARM, which had been my defence thus far, both upon the land and on the sea, would also give me again to see my native clime in peace. I was well persuaded, that instead of cold wintry winds, and rolling seas, the LORD was able to send a gentle summer breeze, and bid the seas to cease their raging, even till we had gained the distant, destined shore.
Jan. 15th, 1830. We accordingly entered on board the American packet-ship Thames, (J. Robinson, master,) bound for Philadelphia. A number of preachers and brethren, there commended us to God, by solemn prayer; and we added "A long farewell--until we hail you, the citizen of London, happy forevermore, on Zion's Holy Hill!"
Our neat little cabin, we now considered a sweet retreat, from all the wars and fightings, we with painfulness had seen. We had not been many days out before we had indeed a gentle breeze, and the heat of summer, for the space of six weeks:--in the mean time, having taken a southerly course, (for trade wind-, &c.) we found ourselves in the latitude of the West Indies. I was able to employ my pen, for the most part, and all things went on pleasantly; until, at length, we heard the joyful cry of land! land! land! and I ran upon deck, to behold my loved America, once more;--just then, the ship struck!--the crash was tremendous! Behold it was upon shoals, with only two-and-a-half-fathom water. She continued beating for the space of twenty minutes, which caused such a terrible sound, as though the pillars of the earth were in commotion. Every countenance gathered paleness; and a signal of distress was hoisted; when, some vessels within sight, were hastening to our relief; and they sounded again, and it was five fathom water; the wind being still very mild, hence, she quietly moved off, and without casting any reflection, she went unmolested on her way. The captain came to me afterwards and remarked, "How she got on, I cannot tell, nor how she got off, but that she is off, and we are safe."--He moreover added, 'she is now like a man, that has slept upon a hard plank, during the night--with a back-bone somewhat sore;' (her 'false-keel,' she having lost off, which was the principal injury she sustained.) How often, will sinners pray in time of distress, and be ashamed of it afterwards;