|RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE AND JOURNAL -- OF -- MRS. JARENA LEE.|
|THE SUBJECT OF MY CALL TO PREACH RENEWED.|
It was now eight years since I had made application to be permitted to preach the gospel, during which time I had only been allowed to exhort, and even this privilege but seldom. This subject now was renewed afresh in my mind; It was as a fire shut up in my bones. About thirteen months passed on, while under this renewed impression. During this time. I had solicited of the Rev. Bishop, Richard Allen, who at this time had become Bishop of the African Episcopal Methodists in America, to be permitted the liberty of holding prayer meetings in my own hired house, and of exhorting as I found liberty, which was granted me. By this means, my mind was relieved, as the house soon filled when the hour appointed for prayer had arrived.
I cannot but related in this place, before I proceed further with the above subject, the singular conversion of a very wicked young man. He was a colored man, who had generally attended our meetings. but not for any good purpose; but rather to disturb and to ridicule our denomination. He openly and uniformly declared that the neither believed in religion, nor wanted anything to do with it. He was of a Gallio disposition, and took the lead among the young people of color. But after a while he fell sick, and lay about three months in a state of ill health; his disease was a consumption. Towards the close of his days, his sister who was a member of the society, came and desired me to go and see her brother, as she had no hopes of his recovery, perhaps the Lord Might break into his mind. I went alone, and found him very low. I soon commenced to inquire respecting his state of feeling, and how he found his mind. His answer was, "O tolerable well," with an air of great indifference. I asked him if I should pray for him. He answered in a sluggish and careless manner, "O yes, if you have time." I then sung a hymn, kneeled down and prayed for him, and then went my way.
Three days after this, I went again to visit the young man. At this
time there went with me two of the sisters in Christ. We found the Rev. Mr. Cornish, of our denomination, laboring with him. But he said he received but little satisfaction from him. Pretty soon, however, brother Cornish took his leave; when myself with the other two sisters, one of which was an elderly women named Jane Hutt, the other was younger, both colored, commenced conversing with him, respecting his eternal interest, and of his hopes of a happy eternity, if any be had. He said but little; we then kneeled down together and besought the Lord in his behalf, praying that if mercy were not clear gone for ever, to shed a ray of softening grace upon the hardness of his heart. "He appeared now to be somewhat more tender, and we thought, we could perceive give some tokens of conviction, as he wished us to visit him again, in a tone of voice not quite as indifferent as he had hitherto manifested.
But two days had elapsed after this visit, when his sister came to me in haste, saying that she believed her brother was then dying, and that he had sent for me. I immediately called on Jane Hutt, who was still among us as a mother in Israel, to go with me. When we arrived there, we found him sitting up in bed, very restless and uneasy, but he soon laid down again. He now wished me to come to him, by the side of his bed. I asked him how he was. He said, very ill; and added, "Pray for me, quick? We now perceived his time in this world to be short. I took up the hymn-book, and opened to a hymn suitable to his case, and commenced to sing, but there seemed to be a horror in the room-- a darkness of a mental kind, which was felt by us all; there being five persons, except the sick young man and his nurse. We had sung but one verse, when they all gave over singing, on account of this unearthly sensation, but myself. I continued to send on alone, but in a dull and heavy manner, though looking up to God all the while for help. Suddenly I felt a spring of energy awake in my heart, when darkness gave way in some degree. It was but a glimmer from above. When the hymn was finished, we all kneeled down to pray for him. While calling on the name of the Lord, to have mercy on his soul, and to grant him repentance unto life; it came suddenly into my mind never to rise from my knees until God should hear prayer in this behalf, until he should convert and save his soul.
Now, while I thus continued importuning heaven, as I felt I was led, a ray of light, more abundant, broke forth among us. There appeared to my view, though my eyes were closed, the Saviour in full stature, mailed to the cross, just over the head of the young man, against the ceiling of the room. I cried out, brother look up, the Saviour is come, he will pardon you, your sins be will forgive. My sorrow for the soul of the young man was gone; I could no longer pray-- joy and rapture made it impossible. We rose up from our
knees, when lo, his eyes were gazing with ecstasy upwards; over his face there was an expression of joy; his lips were clothed in a sweet and holy smile; but no sound came from his tongue; it was heard in its stillness of bliss; full of hope and immortality. Thus, as I held him by the hand, his happy and purified soul soared away, without a sigh of a groan, to its eternal rest.
I now closed his eyes, straightened out his limbs, and left him to be dressed for the grave. But as for me, I was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost-- he very soon seemed filled with glory. His sister and all that were in the room rejoiced, nothing doubting but he had entered into Paradise; and I believe I shall see him at the last and great day, safe on the shores of salvation.
But to return to the subject of my call to preach. Soon after this, as above related, the Rev. Richard Williams was to preach at Bethel Church, where I with others were assembled. He entered the pulpit, gave out the hymn, which was sung, and then addressed the throne of grace; took his text, passed through the exordium, and commenced to expound it. The text he took is in Jonah, 2d chap. 9th verse,-- "Salvation is of the Lord." But as he proceeded to explain, he seemed to have lost the spirit; when in the same instant, I sprang, as by altogether supernatural impulse, to my feet, when I was aided from above to give an exhortation on the very text which my brother Williams had taken.
I told them I was like Jonah; for it had been then nearly eight years since the Lord had called me to preach his gospel to the fallen sons and daughters of Adam's race, but that I had lingered like him, and delayed to go at the bidding of the Lord, and warn those who are as deeply guilty as were the people of Ninevah.
During the exhortation, God made manifest his power in a manner sufficient to show the world that I was called to labor according to my ability, and the grace given unto me, in the vineyard of the good husbandman.
I now sat down, scarcely knowing what I had done, being frightened. I imagined, that for this indecorum, as I feared it might be called. I should be expelled from the church. But instead of this, the Bishop rose up in the assembly, and related that I had called upon him eight years before, asking to be permitted to preach, and that he had put me off; but that he now as much believed that I was called to the work, as any of the preachers present. These remarks greatly strengthened me, so that my fears of having given an offence, and made myself liable as an offender, subsided, giving place to a sweet serenity, a holy joy of a peculiar kind, untasted in my bosom until them.
The next Sabbath day, while sitting under the word of the gospel, I felt moved to attempt to speak to the people in a public manner,
but I could not bring my mind to attempt it in the church. I said, Lord, anywhere but here. Accordingly, there was a house not far off which was pointed out to me; to this I went. It was the house of a sister belonging to the same society with myself. Her name was Anderson. I told her I had come to hold a meeting in her house, if she should call in her neighbors. With this request she immediately complied. My congregation consisted of but five persons. I commenced by reading and singing a hymn; when I arose I found my hand resting on the Bible, Which I had not noticed till that moment. It now occurred to me to take a text. I opened the Scripture, as it happened, at the 141st Psalm, fixing my eye on the third verse, which reads: "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, keep the door of my lips." My sermon, such as it was, applied wholly to myself, and added an exhortation. Two of my congregation wept much, as the fruit of my labor this time. In closing, I said to the few, that if any one would open a door, I would hold a meeting the next sixth-day evening: When one answered that her house was at my service. Accordingly I went, and God made manifest his power among the people. Some wept, while others shouted for joy. One whole seat of females, by the power of God, as the rushing of a wind, were all bowed to the floor, at once, and screamed out. Also a sick man and woman in one house, the Lord convicted them both; one lived and the other died. God wrought a judgement some were well at night, and died in the morning. At this place I continued to hold meetings about six months. During that time I kept house with my little son, who was very sickly. About this time I had a call to preach at a place about thirty miles distant, among the Methodists, with whom I remained one week, and during the whole time, not a though of my little son came diverted from the work I hid from me, lest I should have been diverted from the work I had to do to took after my son. Here by the instrumentality of a poor coloured woman, the Lord poured forth his spirit among the people. though, as I was told, there were lawyers, doctors and magistrates present, to hear me speak, yet there was mourning and crying among sinner, for the Lord scattered fire among them of his own kindling. The Lord gave him hand-maiden power to speak for his great name, for he arrested the hearts of the people, and caused a shaking amongst the multitude, for God was in the midst.
I now returned home, found all well; no harm had come to my child, although I left it very sick. Friends had taken care of it which was of the Lord. I now began to think seriously of breaking up housekeeping, and forsaking all to preach the everlasting Gospel. I felt a strong desire to return to the place of my nativity, at Cape May, after an absence of about fourteen years. To this place, where the heaviest cross was to be met with, the Lord sent me, as Saul of Tarsus
was sent to Jerusalem, to preach the same gospel which he had neglected and despised before his conversion. I went by water, and on my passage was much distressed by sea sickness, so much so that I expected to have died, but such was not the will of the Lord respecting me. After I had disembarked, I proceeded on as opportunities offered, toward where my mother lived. When within ten miles of that place, I appointed an evening meeting. There were a goodly number came out to hear. The Lord was pleased to give me light and liberty among the people. After meeting, there came an elderly lady to me and said, she believed the Lord had sent me among them; she then appointed me another meeting there two weeks from that night. The next day I hastened forward to the place of my mother who was happy to see me, and the happiness was mutual between us. With her I left my poor sickly boy, while I departed to do my Master's will. In this neighborhood I had an uncle, who was a Methodist, and who gladly threw open his door for meetings to be held there. At the first meeting which I held at my uncle's house, there was, with others who had come from curiosity to hear the woman preacher, an old man, who was a Deist, and who said he did not believe the coloured people had any souls -- he was sure they had Lone. He took a seat very near where I was standing, and boldly tried to look me out of countenance. But as I labored on in the best manner I was able, looking to God all the while, though it seemed to me I had but little liberty, yet there went an arrow from the bent bow of the gospel, and fastened in his till then obdurate heart. After I had done speaking, he went out, and called the people around him, said that my preaching might seem a small thing, yet he believed I had the worth of souls at heart. This language was different from what it was a little time before, as he now seemed to admit that colored people had souls, as it was to these I was chiefly speaking; and unless they had souls, whose good I had in view, his remark must have been without meaning. He now came into the house, and in the most friendly manner shook hands with me, saying, he hoped God had spared him to some good purpose. This man was a great slave holder, and had been very cruel; thinking nothing of knocking down a slave with a fence stake, or whatever might come to hand. From this time it was said of him that he became greatly altered in his ways for the better. At that time he was about seventy years old, his head as white as snow; but whether he became a converted man or not, I never heard.
The week following, I had an invitation to hold a meeting at the Court House of the Country, when I spoke from the 53d chap. of Isaiah, 3d verse. It was a solemn time, and the Lord attended the word; I had life and liberty, though there were people there of various denominations. Here again I saw the aged slaveholder, who notwithstanding
his age, walked about three miles to hear me. This day I spoke twice, and walked six miles to the place appointed. There was a magistrate present, who showed his friendship, by saying in a friendly manner, that he had heard of me: he handed me a hymnbook, pointing to a hymn which he had selected. When the meeting was over, he invited me to preach in a schoolhouse in his neighborhood, about three miles distant from where I then was. During this meeting one backslider was reclaimed. This day I walked six miles, and Preached twice to large congregations, both in the morning and evening. The Lord was with me, glory be to his holy name. I next went six miles and held a meeting in a coloured friend's house, at eleven o'clock in the morning, and preached to a well behaved congregation of both coloured and white. After service I again walked back, which was in all twelve miles in the same day. This was on Sabbath, or as I sometimes call it, seventh day; for after my conversion I preferred the plain language of the Friends. On the fourth day, after this, in compliance with an invitation received by note, from the same magistrate who had heard me at the above place I preached to a large congregation, where we had a precious time: much weeping was heard among the people. The same gentleman, now at the close of the meeting, gave our another appointment at the same place, that day week. Here again I had liberty, there was a move among the people. Ten years from that time, in the neighborhood of Cape May, I held a prayer meeting in a school house, which was then the regular place of preaching for the Episcopal Methodists, after service, there came a white lady, of great distinction, a member of the Methodist society, and told me that at the same school house ten years before under my preaching, the Lord first awakened her she rejoiced much to see me, and invited me home with her, where I staid till the next day. This was bread cast upon the water, seen after many days.
From this place I next went to Dennis Creek Meeting house, where at the invitation or an elder, I spoke to a large congregation of various and conflicting sentiments, when a wonderful shock of God's power was felt, shown everywhere by groans, by sights, and loud and happy amens. I felt as if aided from above. My tongue was cut loose, the stammerer spoke freely; the love of God, and of his service, burned with a vehement flame within me-- his name was glorified among the people.
I had my little son with me, and was very much straitened for money-- and not having means and to procure my passage home, I opened a school, and taught eleven scholars, for the purpose of raising a small sum. For many weeks I knew not what to do about returning home, when the Lord came to my assistance as I was rambling in the fields meditating upon his goodness, and made known to me that I might go
Here I held meetings in the dwelling house of sister Lydia Anderson, and for about three months had as many appointments as I could attend. We had many precious seasons together, and the Lord was with his little praying band, convincing and converting sinners to the truth. I continued in the city until spring, when I felt it impressed upon my mind to travel, and walked fourteen miles in company with a sister to meet with some ministers, there to assemble, from Philadelphia. Satan tempted me while on the way, telling me that I was a fool for walking so far, as I would not be permitted to preach. But I pursued my journey, with the determination to set down and worship with them. When I arrived, a goodly number of people had assembled, and no preacher. They waited the time to commence the exercises, and then called upon me. I took the 3d chapter John, 14th verse for my text. I had life and liberty, and the Lord was in the camp with a shout. Another meeting was appointed three miles from there, when I spoke from Psalms cxxxvii, 1, 2, 3, 4. My master was with me, and made manifest his power. In the country House, also, we held a meeting, and had a sweet waiting upon the Lord. I spoke from Hebrews ii, 3, when the Lord gave me peculiar liberty. At a dwelling house one night I spoke from John vii, 46, when six souls fell to the floor crying for mercy. We had a blessed outpouring of the spirit among us-- the God of Jacob was in our midst-- and the shout of heaven-born souls was like music to our ears.
About the month of February my little son James, then in his sixth year, gave evidence of having religious inclinations. Once he got up in a chair, with a hymn book in his hand, and with quite a ministerial jesture, gave out a hymn. I felt the spirit move me to sing with him. A worthy sister was in the room, who I asked to pray for him. I invoked the Lord to answer and seal this prayer in the courts of heaven. I believed He would and did, and while yet on our knees I was heaven. I believed He would and did, and while yet on our knees I was filled with the fulness of God, and the answer came. I cried out in the joy of my heart-- "The dead is alive"-- and ran down stairs to inform a neighbor. Tears ran down the cheeks of my now happy boy, and great was our rejoicing together. He had been the subject of many prayers, and often had I thought I would rather follow him to his grave than to see him grow up an open and profane sinner like many children I had seen. And here let me say, the promise of the Lord is, "ask and ye shall receive." Dear parents; pray for your children in childhood-- carry them in the arms of faith to the mercy
"Sow it in the youthful mind,
Can you have a fairer field?
Be it but in faith consigned.
Harvest, doubtless, it shall yield,
Fruits of early piety,
All that God delights to see."
In November I journeyed for Trenton, N. J. At Burlington I spoke to the people on the Sabbath, and had a good time among them, and on Monday the 12th, in a school house. Sister Mary Owan, who had laid aside all the cares of the world, went with me. We had no means of travelling but on foot, but the Lord regarded us, and by some means put it into the heart of a stranger, to convey us to the Trenton bridge. We fell in with the elder of the circuit, who spoke to me in a cold and formal manner, and as though he thought my capacity was not equal to his. We went into the sister's house, where we expected to stay, and waited a long while with our hats and cloaks on, before the invitation to lodge there was given. In the morning I had thought to visit Newhope, but remained to discharge my duty in visiting the sick and afflicted three or four days in the neighborhood. I was invited to a prayer meeting, and was called upon by a brother to speak. I improved the offer, and made some remarks from Kings xviii, 21. One of the preachers invited me to approach for them on sixth day evening, which I complied with much power, and before an attentive congregation; when God followed the word with much power, and great was our joy. On the 17th I spoke in the morning at 11 o'clock. I felt my weakness and deficiency for the work, and thought "Who is able for these things," and desired to get away from the task. My text was Timothy vi, 2-7. The Lord again cut loose the stammering tongue; and opened the Scriptures to my mind, so that, glory to Gods dear name, we had a most melting, sin-killing, and soul-reviving time. In the afternoon I assisted in leading a class, when we found the Lord faithful and true -- and on the same evening I spoke from Hebrews ii,3.
The next day, sister Mary Owan and Myself set out for Newhope, where we arrived, after walking sixteen miles, at about six o'clock in the evening. Though tedious, it was a pleasant walk to view the high mountain and towering hills, and the beauty and variety of nature
I now returned to Philadelphia, where I stayed a short time, and went to Salem, West Jersey. I met with many troubles on my journey, especially from the elder, who like many others, was averse to a woman's preaching. And here let me tell that elder, if he has not gone to heaven, that I have heard that as far back as Adam Clarke's time, his objections to female preaching were met by the answer -- "If an ass reproved Balaam, and a barn-door fowl reproved Peter, why should not a woman reprove sin?" I do not introduce this for its complimentary classification of women, with donkeys and fowls, but to give the reply of a poor woman, who had once been a slave. To the first companion she said -- "May be a speaking woman is like an ass -- but I can tell you one thing, the ass seen the angel when Balaam didn't."
Not withstanding the position, we had a prosperous time at Salem. I had some good congregations, and sinners were cut to the heart. After speaking in the meeting house, two women came up into the pulpit, and falling upon my neck cried out "What shall I do to be saved?" One said she had disobeyed God, and she had taken her children from her -- he had called often after her, but she did not hearken. I pointed her to the all-atoning blood of Christ, which is sufficient to cleanse from all sin, and left her, after prayer, to his mercy. From this place I walked twenty-one miles, and preached with difficulty to a stiff-necked and rebellious people, who I soon left without any animosity for their treatment. They might have respected my message, if not the poor weak servant who brought it to them with so much labor.
"If they persecute you in one city, flee into another,"was the advice I had resolved to take, and I hastened to Greenwich, where I had a lively congregation, had unusual life and liberty in speaking, and the power of God was there. We also had a solemn time in the meeting house on Sabbath day morning, and in a dwelling house in the evening; a large company assembled, when the spirit was with us, and we had a mighty shaking among the dry bones.
On second day morning, I took stage and rode seven miles to Woods
Nov. 22, 1822, I returned to Philadelphia, and attended meetings in and out of the city. God
was still my help, and I preached and formed a class, and tried to be useful. The oppositions I met
with, however, were numerous -- so much so, that I was tempted to withdraw from the
Methodist Church, lest some might go into ruin by their persecutions of me -- but this was
allowed only to try my faithfulness to God. At times I was pressed down like a cart beneath its
shafts -- my life seemed as at the point of the sword -- my heart was sore and
pained me in my body. But the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to
reserve the unjust till the day of judgement to be punished. While relating the feelings of my mind
to a sister who called to see me, joy sprang up in my bosom that I was not overcome by the
adversary, and I was overwhelmed with the love of God and souls. I embraced the sister in my
arms, and we had a melting time together. Oh how comforting it is to have the spirit of God
bearing witness with our spirits that we are his children in such dark hours!
When Satan appears to stop up our path,
And fill us with fears, we triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us, (tho' oft he has tried,)
The soul cheering promise the Lord will provide.
He tells us we're weak, our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek we ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions our graces have tried,
This answers all questions, the Lord will provide.
I felt a greater love for the people than ever. It appeared to me that they erred through ignorance of my desire to do them good; and my prayer was that nothing but love might appear in my ways, and actuate my heart. Religion is love-- God is love. But it was nothing less than the Divine power that brought me through, for it appeared that the hosts of darkness were arrayed against me to destroy my peace and lead me away from the throne of love.
June 24, I left the city of Philadelphia to travel in Delaware state. I went with captain Ryal, a kind gentleman, who took me to his house in Wilmington, and himself and lady both treated me well. The first night of my arrival; I preached in the stone Methodist meeting house. I tried, in my weak way, to interest the assembly from the 2d chapter of Hebrews, 3d verse -- "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation." God was there, as we had the most delightful evidence -- and many had their eyes opened to see there was no escape from the second death while out of Christ, and cried unto God for his saving grace. I would that all who have not embraced the salvation offered in the gospel, might examine the question candidly and seriously, ere the realities of the other world break up their fancied security.
In July, I spoke in a School house to a large congregation, from Numbers xxix, 17. Here we had a sweet foretaste of heaven -- full measure, and running over-- shouting and rejoicing-- while the poor errand-bearer of a free gospel was assisted from on high. I wish my reader had been there to share with us the joyous heavenly feast. On the 15th of July I gave an exhortation in the meeting house again to a listening multitude-- deep and solemn were the convictions of many, and good, I trust, was done.
The next place I visited was Newcastle. The meeting house could not be obtained, and two young gentleman interested themselves to get the Court house, but the Trustees objected, wishing to know why the Methodists did not open their Church. The reason was "I was not licensed," they said. My two friends waited on me to speak in the Market house, where I attended at early candlelight, and had the pleasure of addressing a few plain truths to a crowded but respectful congregation, from John vii, 46-- "Never man spoke like this man." On Sunday the same young gentlemen invited me to give another discourse, to which I consented, before a large gathering of all descriptions.
From here I proceeded to Christine, where we worshipped in a dwelling house, and I must say was well treated by some of my colored friends. I than returned to Wilmington, where in a few days I had a message to return again to C. My friends said I should have the Meeting house, for which Squire Luden interested himself, and the appointment was published. When the people, met at the proper
Another family gave me the invitation to attend a prayer meeting. It was like a "little heaven
below." From here I walked about four miles that evening, accompanied by the house maid of
Mrs. Ford, a Presbyterian, who said she knew her mistress would be glad to see me Mrs. F. gave
me a welcome-- said she felt interested in my speaking, and sent a note to Methodist lady,
who replied that my labor would be acceptable, no doubt, in her Church that afternoon. When I
came in, the elder was in the pulpit. He gave us a good sermon. After preaching, this lays spoke of
me to the elder; in consequence, he invited me to his pulpit, saying "he was willing that every one
should do good." My text was Hebrew ii, 3. Though weak in body, the good Master filled my
mouth and gave me liberty among strangers, and seldom have I spent so happy a Sabbath. Mrs. F.
had a colored woman in her family one hundred and ten years of age, with whom I conversed
about religion --how Christ had died to redeem us, and the way of salvation, and the poor
old lady said "she wished she could hear me every day." I also called upon another, one hundred
and sixteen years old, who was blind. We talked together about Jesus -- she had a strong
and abiding evidence of her new birth, and in a few weeks went home to heaven. Here she was
long deprived of the light of the sun, and the privilege of reading God's blessed word; but there
her eyes are unsealed, and the Sun of righteousness has risen with healing in his wings.
There glory beams on all the plains,
Which sight to her is given--
There music rolls in sweetest strains,
And spotless beauty ever reigns,
And all is love in heaven.
I left Mrs. Ford's and walked about three miles to St. George, with a recommend to a Mrs. Sutton, a noble-minded lady of the Presbyterian order, where I was generously treated. Here I preached in the
At Smyrna I met brother C.W. Cannon, who made application for the Friend's Meeting house for me, where the Lord blessed us abundantly. We attended a Camp-meeting of the old connexion, and got greatly refreshed for the King's service. I rode ten miles and delivered a message from the Lord to a waiting audience -- the Master assisted, and seven individuals, white and colored, prostrated themselves for prayer. Next day I rode to Middletown-- spoke in a School house to a white congregation from Isaiah 1xiii, 1, and a good time it was. In the morning at 11 o'clock, I addressed a Methodist Society, and in the afternoon at 3 o'clock, spoke under a tree in the grave yard, by the road side, to a large audience. Squire Maxwell's lady, who was present, invited me home to tea with herself and nieces, and a Quaker lady showed her benevolence by putting into my hand enough to help me on my journey. The Lord is good -- what shall I do to make it known? I rode seven miles that night, and gave and exhortation after the minister had preached, and felt happier than a King.
I now travelled to Cecil country, Md., and the first evening spoke to a large congregation. The pastor afterwards baptized some adult persons--and we all experienced the cleansing and purifying power. We had a baptism within and without. I was next sent for by the servant of a white gentleman, to hold a meeting in his house in the evening. He invited the neighbors, colored and white, when I spoke according to the ability God gave me. It was pleasant to my poor soul to be there -- Jesus was in our midst--and we gave glory to God. Yes, glory--glory be to God in the highest. "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." I boast not myself. Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God giveth the increase. I tried also to preach three times at a place 14 miles from here--had good meetings-- backsliders were reclaimed and sinners convicted of sin, who I left in the hands of God, with the hope of meeting and re cognizing again "When we arrive at home."* * * * *
Returned back to Middletown. The next day the preacher of the circuit conveyed me to his
place of appointment at Elkton. We had a wonderful outpouring of the spirit. At Frenchtown I
spoke at 11 o'clock, where I realized my nothingness, but, God's name he praised, he helped me in
the duty. Went again to Middletown, and from there to Canton's Bridge, and talked to the people
as best I could. Seven miles from this place I found, by the direction of a kind Providence, my
own sister, who had been separated from me some thirty three years. We were young when and
from there to Canton's Bridge, and talked to the people as best I could. Seven miles from this
place I found, by the direction of a kind Providence, my own sister, who had been separated from
me some thirty three years. We were young when last we met, with less of the cares of life than
now. Each heart then was buoyant with mildly hopes and pleasures-- and little did we
expect at parting that thirty three years would pass over us, with its changes and vicissitudes, ere
we should see each other's face. Both were much altered in appearance, but we knew each other,
and talked over the dealings of the Lord with us, retracing our wanderings in the world and "the
days when life way young."
"Our days of childhood quickly pass,
And soon our happiest years are run--
As the pure dew that gems the grass the grass
Is dried beneath the summer sun.
There's such decent-such guile in men,
Who would not be a child again?"
During this visit I had three meetings in different directions in gentlemen's houses, and a prayer meeting at my brother's, who did not enjoy religion. My good old friends Mr. Lorton happened to be there, who told the people that she had been to my house--that he knew Mr. Lee (my husband) intimately, and that he had often preached for him while pastor of the Church at Snow Hill, N.J.
I next attended and preached several times at a camp meeting, which continued five days. We had Pentecostal showers-- sinners were pricked to the heart, and cried mightily to God for succor from impending judgment, and I verily believe the Lord was well pleased at our weak endeavors to serve him in the tented grove. The elder in charge, on the last day of the camp, appointed a meeting for me in a dwelling house. Spoke from Acts ii, 41 The truth fastened in the hearts of two young women, who, after I was seated, came and fell down at my side, and cried for God to have mercy on them--we prayed and wrestled with the Lord, and both were made happy in believing, and are alive in the faith of the gospel. The next morning a brother preacher took me to St. Georgetown. From, there I took stage to Wilmington, and called on my friend Captain Rial, in whose family I spent two days and nights. Went to Philadelphia to attend a camp-meeting. Returned again to W -- where I was taken sick with typhus fever, was in the doctor's hands for some days-- but the Lord rebuked the disease, gave me my usual health again, and I returned back to Philadelphia.
The Bishop gave me an invitation to speak in Bethel Church; but here my heart fluttered with fear at the commencement, in manner known but to those who feel their unworthiness in addressing new and large assemblies. My text was in Isaiah x. 10,11. Previous to dismission, the Bishop gave me another appointment in Wesley Church for first day morning. Where I labored to encourage believers, from Ephesians, ii, 19. The comforter was with us--we were sprinkled as with clear water from above--the hands of those that were hanging down were lifted up, and we truly had a refreshing season. Glory to God for the manifestation of His Spirit. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
On the ensuing Thursday night, in Union Church, I had to opportunity of speaking a word for my Saviour again, and recommended the impenitent to see to it that they took the advice of my text, in Rev. iii, 18. The Lord searched the heart as he did Jerusalem with a lighted candle, and there was a moving of the Spirit among the people.
From Philadelphia I travelled on foot thirty miles to Downingtown, and gave ten sermons while there; and remember the cold day in December I walked sixteen miles from the above place to brother Wells, where I staid one week, and labored both among colored and white. They had one class there. Three miles further, I talked on Lord's day to an apparently hardened people, and next night preached in a School-house, after a ride of ten miles. The call of the Lord was for me now to go to West Chester, N. Y., where I remained a little period with brother Thomas Henry and brother Miller; preached in a School-house and in the Wesleyan Methodist Meeting-house. When prepared to go home, a request was sent me to preach in the Court-house of the country, to which I rode ten miles, and addressed the citizens on two evenings. The Lord strengthened his feeble instrument in the effort to win souls to Christ, for which my heart at this time was heavily burthened. Next morning I let for Westhaven, where I visited a School of boys and girls, and was much pleased to see them engaged and improving in their studies. How great the difference now, thought I, for the mental and moral culture of the young than when I was a child!
In the month of June, 1823, I went on from Philadelphia to New York with Bishop Allen and several Elders, (including our present Rev. Bishop Brown,) to attend the New York Annual Conference of our denomination, where I spent three months of my time. We arrived about nine o'clock in the evening. As we left the boat, a person fell into the dock, and notwithstanding the effort made to save and find him, he was seen no more. 'In the midst of life we are in death.' On the 4th of June I spoke in the Asbury Church, from Psalms c,33.
June 6, Spoke in the Church in High Street, Brooklyn, from Jer. ix,1--"Oh that my
head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain
of the daughter of my people." In these days I felt it my duty to travel up and down in the world,
and promulgate the gospel of Christ, especially among my own people, though I often desired to
be released from the great task. The Lord had promised to be with me, and my trust was in his
Renouncing every worldly thing,
Safe 'neath the shadow of thy wing
My Sweetest thought henceforth shall be
That all I want I find in thee,
In them, my God, In Thee.
I left my friend in Brooklyn, and went to Flushing, L.I. Here we had quite a revival feeling, and two joined society. Visited Jamaica and Jericho; spoke in brother B's dwelling, in the church, and under a tree. Went to White Plains to the camp-meeting; the Lord was with us indeed; believers were revived, backsliders reclaimed, and sinners converted. Returned and spent a little time in Brooklyn, where I addressed the people from Rev. iii, 18, and John iii, 15.
July 22. Spoke in Asbury Church from Acts xiii, 41-- "Behold ye despisers, and wonder and perish." I pointed out the portion of the hypocrite, the liar, the Sabbath-breaker, and all who do wickedly and die in their sins; they shall be to the judgment bar of Jehovah, and before an assembled universe hear their awful sentence, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," while the righteous shall be received "into life eternal." On the 28th I went to Dutch Hill, L.I., and spoke before a congregation of white and colored, in a barn, as there was no other suitable place. I felt happy when I thought of my dear Redeemer, who was born in a stable and cradled in a manager, and we had a precious season. Brother Croker, of Brooklyn, and father Thompson were with me, at whose feet I desired rather to set and learn, they being experienced "workmen that needed not to be ashamed." But the Lord sends by whom he will.
The next Sabbath I weakly attempted to address my friends in
"Oh that the world might taste and see
The riches of his grace;
The arms of love that compass me,
Would all mankind embrace."
I visited a woman who was laying sick upon her death-bed. He told me "she had once enjoyed religion, but the enemy had cheated her out of it." She knew that she must die in a very little while, and could not get well, and her agony of soul, in view of its unprepared state for a judgment to come, awoke every feeling of sympathy within me. Oh ! how loud such a scene calls upon us to be "faithful unto death"--then shall we "receive a crown of life." Also visited Mrs. Miller, who once "tasted that the Lord was good," but had ceased now to follow him. She had been a Methodist for many years--got her feelings injured through some untoward circumstance--had fallen from grace, and now was sick. A good sister accompanied me? we conversed with Mrs. M., sung an appropriate hymn, and my friend supplicated the throne of grace in her behalf. She had frequently felt the need of returning Saviour, and during prayer her heart became melted into tenderness. She cried aloud for mercy, wrestled like Jacob for the witness, and the Lord, faithful and the Lord, faithful and true, "healed her backslidings," and we left her happy in his father. Praise the Lord for his matchless grace. I entertained no doubt of her well-grounded hope; and on seeing such a display of God's power, I was lost in wonder, love and praise. Let the backslider hear and take courage.
"Without reserve give Christ your heart,
Let him his righteousness impart--
Then all things else he'll freely give,
With him you all things shall receive."
With a serene and tranquil mind I now returned to Philadelphia. The Bishop was pleased to give me an appointment at Bethel Church, but a spirit of opposition arose among the people against the propriety of female preaching. My faith was tried--yet I felt my call to labor for should none the less. " Shall the servant be above his Master?" The ministers of Jesus must expect persecution, if they would be faithful witnesses against sin and sinners--but shall they, "awed by a mortal's form, conceal the word of God?" Thou God knowest my heart, and that they glory is all I have in view. Shall I cease from sounding the alarm to an ungodly world, when the vengeance of offended heaven is about to be poured out, because my way is sometimes beset with scoffers, or those who lose sight of the great Object, and stop on the road to glory to contend about non-essentials? Rather let the messengers of God go on --let them not be hindered by the fashioned and customs of a gainsaying and mis-loving generation, but with the crown in view, which shall deck the brow of those only who are "faithful unto death"-- let them "cry aloud and spare not." Who regarded the warnings of Noah? who believed in his report? Who among the antidiluvians, that witnessed the preparations of this righteous man to save himself and family from a deluge of waters, believed him any thing else than a fanatic, deluded, and beside himself? Let the servants of Christ gird on the armor, and "listen to the Captain's voice: "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end." With the promise of my Lord impressed upon my mind, I remained at home only a week, and walked twenty-one miles to Lumbertown, and preached in the Old Methodist Church and our African Church. Brother Joshua Edely was then a deacon there, and held a quarterly meeting soon after my reaching the place. He also appointed a lovefeast in the morning, when the love that true believers enjoy at such scenes made the place akin to heaven. When here I spoke as the Spirit taught me from Solomon's Songs. It was a happy meeting-- refreshing to the thirsty soul--and we had a shout of the king in the camp. I shall never forget the kindness I received here from dear sister G.B. May the blessings of heaven be hers in this and the world to come.
I travelled seven miles from the above place to Snow Hill on Sabbath morning, where I was to preach in the Church of which I was a member, and although much afflicted in body, I strove, by the grace of God, to perform the duty. This was once the charge of JOSEPH
My mind was next exercised to visited Trenton, N.J. I spoke for the people there, but soon had felt the cross so heavy. Perhaps it was occasioned through grieving over the past, and my feelings of loneliness in the world. A sister wished me to go with her to Bridgeport--where I found brother or win, then elder over that church. He gave me an appointment. We had a full house, and God's power was manifest among the people, and I returned to the elder's house, and God's power was manifest. walked fourteen miles to a meeting, where also we were greatly favored with the presence of God. Soon after this, I thought of going home to Philadelphia. I got about three miles on foot, when an apparent voice said "if thou goest home thou wilt die." I paused for a moment, and not comprehending what it meant, pursued my journey. Again I was startled by something like a tapping on my shoulder, but, on turning round, I found myself alone, which two circumstances created a singular feeling I could not understand. I thought of Balaam when met by the angel in the way. I was taken sick and it seemed I should die in the road. I said I will go back, and walked about four miles to Bridgeport. Told a good sister my exercise, who was moved with sympathy, and got brandy and bathed me. On Wednesday night I spoke to the people at Trenton Bridge, and notwithstanding the opposition I had met with from brother Samuel R-- then on the circuit, the Lord supported the "Woman preacher" and my soul was cheered. On Thursday I walked fourteen miles, when the friends applied to the elder to let me talk for them, but his prejudices also, against women preaching were very strong, and tried hard to disaffect the minds
"Then here, O God, thy work fulfil;
And from thy mercy's throne
O grant me strength to do thy will,
And to resist my own."
Norristown, Bucks country, January 6, 1824. Brother Morris conveyed me here at his own expense, and made application for places for me to speak. Addressed a large congregation on the fourth day after my introduction into the place, in the court-house, from Isaiah liiii. 1,--"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" I felt embarrassed in the commencement, but the Spirit came, and "helped our infirmities"--good attention, and some weeping. On the 18th I spoke in the academy--it was a solemn time, and the people came out in numbers to hear. I then walked four miles to brother Morris's--spoke twice in the school house, and once in a dwelling house.
On the 14th April, I went with Bishop Allen and several elders to Baltimore, on their way to attend Conference; at the end of which the Bishop gave me permission to express a few thoughts for my Lord. On leaving the city of B., I travelled about 100 miles to Eastern Shore, Maryland. Brother Bailey was then laboring on that circuit, who received and treated me very kindly. We had several good meetings, and twice I spoke in Bethel Church, when the outpouring of the Spirit was truly great. In company with a good sister, who took a gig and horse, I travelled about three hundred miles, and labored in different places. Went to Denton African Church, and on the first Sabbath gave two sermons. The Church was in a thriving, prosperous condition, and the Lord blessed the word to our comfort. During the week I labored in the court-house before a large concourse of hearers. The Lord was unspeakably good, and one fell to the floor under the power.
By request, I also spoke in the Old Methodist Church in Denton, which was full to overflowing. It was a happy meeting. My tongue was loosened, and my heart warm with the love of God and souls--a season yet sweet to my memory. From there I went to Greensboro-- the elder gave a sermon, after which I exhorted the poor sinner to prepare to meet the Lord in peace, before mercy was clear gone forever. The Old Methodist connexion gave an invitation for me to speak in their house, which I embraced, feeling thankful that the middle wall of partition had, thus far, been broken down. "He that feareth God and worketh righteousness shall be accepted of him"--not he who hath a different skin--not he who belongs to this
In Whitehall Chapel I spoke to a respectable congregation, from Isaiah iii. 1. Though in a slave country, I found the Omnipresent one was with us. Dr. Clarke took us home to dine with his family-- for which uncommon attention I felt highly gratified. I believe him a Christian in heart, and one, no doubt, who has read the words of the Saviour: "Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, shall in no wise lose his reward." And, notwithstanding the doctor was a Presbyterian, Mr. Buly had the privilege of baptizing two of their colored children. ...
I stopped next to Concord, and in the Old Methodist connexion tried to encourage the Lord's
people to preserver. God displayed His power by a general outpouring of the Spirit--
sinners cried for mercy, while others shouted for joy. Spoke congregation of colored and white at
Stanton Mills; and arrived again at Eastern Shore, where I spoke in Bethel Church during
Quarterly Meeting. Attended their love-feast, where several joined society, and many encouraging
testimonies were given by young converts that "God hath power on earth to forgive sins." May
they be faithful stewards of the manifold gifts of God -- and never be ashamed to confess
what the Lord had done for them. Many lose the witness out of the heart by withholding their
testimony from their friends and neighbors of the power of God to save. They run well for a
season, but the tempter whispers "not now"--and by and by the soul becomes barren and
unfruitful. May God help the young converts to "Watch," and tell around what a dear Saviour
they have found.
"Ashamed of Jesus!-- yes, I may,
When I've no guilt to wash away--
No tears to wipe-- no good to crave--
No fears to quell-- no soul to save."
June 10th, 1824. Left Eastern Shore for a journey to Bath, and went around the circuit with brother J.B., the elder. In the Old Methodist Church, at Fory's Neck, I had the privilege of speaking to a large congregation, which was made the power of God unto salvation. Visited Lewistown, and had a blessed meeting in the Methodist Church. The tears of the penitent flowed sweetly, which always encourages me to persevere in proclaiming the glad tidings of a risen Saviour to my fellow beings. When the heart is thus melted into tenderness, I feel assured theLord sanctions the feeble effort of His poor servant--it is a good omen to my mind that the mourner is not forsaken of God, and that he yet stands knocking at the door for admittance. Oh! that those who weep for an absent Jesus may be comforted by hearing Him say-- "Thy sins, which were many, are all forgiven thee: go in peace and sin no more."
Elder J.B. preached in Greensboro', where I attended, and had a quickening time. Some enmity had existed among the brethren, but the spirit of love got the ascendancy, and the lion became as the lamb. The gospel is the best remedy to subdue the evil passions of men that has ever been discovered. Dear Master, let Thy gospel spread to earth's remotest bounds.
I have travelled, in four years, sixteen hundred miles and of that I walked two hundred and eleven miles, and preached the kingdom of God to the falling sons and daughters of Adam, counting it all joy for the sake of Jesus. Many times cast down but not forsaken; willing to suffer as well as love. I spoke at Harris's Mills, in a dwelling house, to a large concourse of people, from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, xviii.19-20. I felt much drawn out, in the Spirit of God, meanwhile from my feelings. I observed there were some present that never would meet me again. Mr. J.B., the elder, then requested me to lead the class. Much mourning, weeping and rejoicing. Four days afterwards, a man that sat under this sermon, (a shoemaker by occupation) fell dead from his bench without having any testimony of a hope in Christ. How dreadful to relate the wicked shall not live out half their days. In Easton I spoke from the Evan. John, I chap. 45 ver., the Lord's time. Then proceeded to Dagsberry, 25 miles, preached in Bethel Church to a multitude of people, it being to them a new thing, but only the old made more manifest. Bless God for what my heart feels, for a good conscience is better than a sacrifice. Two sermons preached in said Church, I spoke from Acts 13 chap., 41 ver.,--the power of God filled the place--some shouted, others mourned, some testified God for Christ's sake had forgiven sin, whilst others were felled to the floor. From thence we went to Sinapuxom, spoke on Sabbath day to a large congregation from Num. 24 chap., 17 ver--the Lord gave light, life and liberty on that portion of Scripture, Great time. The elder filled the appointment, and while preaching, there were 10 or 11 white men came and said they wanted to see the preacher; he sent for them to come into the house, but they seemed afraid or refused; after he had finished, they came to the door to know by what authority he was preaching--but it was me they were after, but I was fortified, for their laws, by my credentials, having the United States seal upon them,--they tried to get him our of the house, they said, on business. But he told them he would meet them at 9 o'clock in the morning before the magistrate, seven miles distant. Brother J. B. then took my credentials and also showed his own, and, upon examination, the magistrate said, she is highly recommended and I am bound to protect her. An under-officer, anxious to get hold of my papers, very much opposed to our being
I then made an appointment at a place called the Hole in the Wall, it was a little settlement of coloured people, but we had no Church, but used a dwelling house, and had a large congregation. I had no help but an old man, one hundred and odd years of age; he prayed, and his prayers made us feel awful, he died in the year 1825, and has gone to reap the reward of his labor; freed from the toils and cares of life, no more to labor under a hard task master, but to rest where the slave is freed from his master. I strove then to fill the appointment at 11 o'clock in the morning, from Daniel 5 chap. 27 ver. the declaration was, there is no other way under heaven that men can be saved only through Jesus Christ; the Lord gave me great light on
But O, their end,
Their dreadful end!
I was invited by one of the Trustees of the Old Methodist Church to pay them a visit on the ensuing Sabbath morning. I made the appointment for said day. I left Georgetown on the morning early, half past ten o'clock we arrived in Milford; Church bell was ringing. We were conducted into the Church; a local preacher was in the pulpit and had prayed, but was asked to come down by another who invited me there. I spoke for them and afterwards they gave out for another appointment at night, but it caused a controversy among themselves, and they threw it on him to come and see if I would fill it. Previous to this coloured preachers told me there was controversy about woman preaching. But he came and asked me how long I had been preaching the Gospel. I answered, rising, 5 or 6 years. He said it was something new. I told him it seemed to be supposed so. I referred him to Mrs. Fletcher, of England, an able preacher and wife of Mr. Fletcher, a great and worthy minister of the Parish. He asked why I did not go to the Quakers. I told him I if he had a sister in the Church, and she witnessed a Christian life, and was called and qualified to preach, do you think you would be justified before God, to stop her? He has not answered me yet. I found it was prejudice in his mind. He talked as if he had not known what the operation of the Spirit of God was. We many say, with propriety, he had not tarried at Jerusalem long enough. When about to part, he asked me if I would come, but I could not then promise. At night, the people came in their carriage from the country, but were disappointed, for I spoke in a colored Church. The doors and windows were opened on account of the heat, but were crowded with people; pride and prejudice were buried. We had a powerful time. I was quite taken out of myself--the meeting held till day-break; but I returned to my home.
I had spent six months in Maryland and I only remained in this city three or four weeks,
during which time the Lord was with me, and opened my way through opposition, but I felt
willing to suffer cheerfully.
Through tribulations deep
The way to glory is.
I also preached in the Union Church, the Lord verified his promise according to what he told Mary, to go, he would meet her, whomsoever I will put forth I will go before, so there was a shaking among the dry bones. My mind soon became oppressed and craved to travel. In 1825 I left Philadelphia for a journey through Pennsylvania. I spoke first at Weston; we had an elder on West Chester Circuit,
Jacob Richardson was a spiritual preacher. God attended the word with power, and blessed his labors much on his circuit. From there a friend carried me to Downingtown, where I took stage and went on to Lancaster; but prospect not so good there; they had a new Church but not paid for; the proprietor took the key in possession and deprived them of worshipping God in it. But I spoke in a dwelling house, and I felt a great zeal for the cause of God to soften that man's heart, or kill him out of the way one had better die than many. Brother Israel Williams, a few days, called to converse with him on the subject, and he gave him the key; he was then on his death-bed, and died in a short time afterwards, and we must leave him in the hands of God, for he can open and no man can shut. I went on to Columbia and spoke in the Church, and my tongue fails to describe the encouragement I met with. The Lord converted poor mourners, convicted sinners, and strengthened believers in the most holy faith. God's name be glorified for the display of his; saving power. I led class, held prayer meetings, and left with a good conscience for little York. The first sermon I preached was in the Church at 10 o'clock in the morning, from Mat. xxvi, 26, 27, to a large congregation. My faith it seemed almost failed me, for when I got in the stand, so hard was the task that I trembled, and my heart beat heavy, but in giving out the hymn I felt strength of mind, and before I got through, I felt so much of life and liberty in the word, I could but wonder, and in the doctrine of Christ it was a sacramental sermon indeed to my soul. I spent some weeks there, and we enjoyed good meetings and powerful outpourings of the Spirit. I truly met with both good and bad; my scenes were many and my feelings various. I bless the Lord that the prayers of the righteous availeth much. After freeing my mind, I passed on to York Haven, and preached in a School-house to a white congregation. I was not left alone, but was treated very well by a white Methodist lady. I took lodgings at her house all night; next afternoon took stage for Harrisburg, and when I stopped at the Hotel a gentleman introduced me to the Steward, who took charge of me and escorted me to Mr. Williams, where I took supper. It was on a New Year's evening; the colored congregation had expected me and made a fire in our Church, but being late when I arrived, they had gone to hear a sermon in a white Methodist Church, and I had retired to rest a while in the evening. When they returned they came after me, taking no excuse, and I had to come down stairs, go
And now my soul another year
Of thy short life is past,
I cannot long continue here,
And this may be the last.
The effects of the gospel of Christ was no less than at other great seasons, but was wonderful--backsliders reclaimed and sinners converted--there was mourning, weeping, shouting and praising of God for what he had done. I preached several sermons, and was well treated by all circles of people. We had large congregations of well-behaved people; and feeling my work done in this part, I proceeded to Carlisle, Pa. There was a small body of members; I spoke and led class for them during the time I was there, which was ten days; felt my discharge of God, and took stage to Shippensburg. There was great success at this places; fifteen joined the Church; some of the most hardened sinners became serious and reformed. I was astonished at the wonderful operations of the Spirit, and the immense congregations. At the first sermon the house was crowded, and I had the good attention of the people. A man came into the house intoxicated, and offered to interrupt by speaking, but a gentleman put him out so quietly that it had no effect upon the meeting. When I contemplate the goodness of God to the human family, in putting them in a proper capacity of choosing the way of salvation, I feel sometimes almost lost, to think that God has called such a worm as I to spread the common Saviour's name. But said the Lord, "I will send by whom I will"--praise the Lord who willeth not the death of sinners--"as I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live."
I then proceeded on to Chambersburg by stage, and met with one Rev. Winton, who displayed much of a christian disposition, and conversed freely with me on the most particular points of the God-Head, for my instruction, showing his benevolence. He knew I was a stranger-- he had friends to go to at that place, but he offered to pay my bill for a room at the Inn. I never have forgot the goodness of that gentleman, who, I believe, to be a great gospel minister. I stopt at brother Snowden's, who were very kind to me. The Lord continued to pour out His Spirit and clear the way for me, and also continued to convict, convert, and reclaim the backsliders in heart. There were very large congregations, both in and out of doors, and great revivals throughout the circuit. The elders generally treated me well, for which may the Lord bless them and their labors in his vineyard, and add to the Church such as shall be forever saved from the power of sin -- may I take heed lest I fall, while I teach others. Saith the Apostle: "Paul may plant and Apollos water, but God must
If such a worm as I can spread
The common Saviour's name,
Let him who raised thee from the dead,
Quicken my mortal frame.
On my return I stopped at Lancaster; the Church was opened, and I preached to large congregations, and with powerful success; the dead were brought to life by the preaching of the cross of Christ. From there I left for Philadelphia.
In July, 1824, I felt an exercise of mind to take a journey to Reading, Pa., to speak to the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. I left the city and stopped at Norristown on my way to Reading. I spoke in the Academy to a respectable congregation, the same evening I arrived there. I felt a degree of liberty in speaking, though it was a quiet meeting, and I also felt thankful that the Lord would manifest himself through such a worm as me. Next morning I walked four miles and stopped at Littleton Morris's, and preached two sermons on the Sabbath day, and God struck a woman, and she had liked to have fallen to the floor; I spoke in the Dunkard's meeting house. This ended my visit with them at this time. On Tuesday I walked three miles to Schuylkill, to take the Canal boat on Wednesday morning. I met in company with a Presbyterian minister and lady on the boat; they treated me very kindly indeed. We arrived in Reading about 7 o'clock in the evening. I was recommended to a family in that place, the man of which had once confessed religion, but had fallen from grace, and they were very kind to me. The next morning I enquired for other respectable families of color, and an elderly lady of
On returning to Philadelphia, I stopped at Pottsgrove and found a Society of colored persons, christians I believe. We had solemn meetings there; I met kind friends there, and visited a Church about six miles off; preached in the morning; the Lord was with us; of this truth my soul is a witness; in the afternoon I preached to a large congregation. Next morning I left for Philadelphia. I continued to preach, paid some short visits about, and was welcomed home again.
I left Philadelphia again for Lewistown, Del., to attend a camp
Content with beholding his face,
I all to his pleasure resigned.
After the camp-meeting was over, the Elder visited another campmeeting, and left me in liberty to preach around the circuit, which I did, and afterwards returned to Lewiston, and spoke in the old Methodist meeting-house; I had a great time a among my colored brethren. I feel thankful to my friends for their kindness to me, especially to brother Peter Lewis, whose house was a home to me. I had much happiness in leading class and prayer meetings; preaching the gospel seemed to be the great task. Brother Lewis conveyed me to Georgetown; I spoke in our colored people's Church, and we enjoyed ourselves very much; the Lord drew people from all quarters; a wonderful outpouring of the Spirit indeed; weeping in all directions It is a good sign to see tears of contrition stealing down the cheeks of the hearers; it makes me believe the word is sanctioned. The last place was at the head of the river; I then returned to Lewiston, and a few days I left for Philadelphia. I had a very uncomfortable passage; very sea-sick indeed-- the vessel could not come out of the mouth of the creek for a couples of days, in consequence of a severe storm, after which we arrived in the city on Tuesday morning. After a short stay in the city, I took a visit to Trenton, Dec. 25. I spoke as usual, for there we had lively meetings, after which I had no home, but the Lord provides, for sister Roberts and family were my friends and took me in, and we often had sweet counsel together. From there I went to Princeton. The Elder, Joseph Harper, of our
Jan., 1827. Contemplating on the greater responsibility I owe to my God for my stewardship, I fain would go round the Cross or shrink beneath the load, but I rest upon the promises of God, which are as firm of the pillars of heaven. My labors here cease a little.
April, 1827. My health having been bad, I have not travelled so largely, and in this, as in some
other moment's of reflection, I felt somewhat oppressed, and I resorted to the Hymn Book for
something to suit my feelings; the poetry as follows:
1. Soon as I heard my Father say,
Ye children seek my grace,47My heart replies, without delay,
I'll seek my father's face.
2. Let not thy face be hid from me,
Nor frown my soul away,
God of my life I fly to thee
In a distressing day.
3. Should friends and kindred, near and dear,
Leave me to want and die.
My God will make my life his care,
And all my wants supply.
4. My fainting flesh had died with grief,
Had not my soul believed
To see thy grace prove a relief,
Nor was my hope deceived.
5. Wait on the Lord, ye trembling Saints,
And keep your courage up,
He'll raise your spirit when it faints,
And far exceed your hope.
However I went to Baltimore in the same month with the Bishop and Elders, and enjoyed myself under great preaching, and preached several sermons. Praise God, and the slain of the Lord appeared to be many. After Conference, my mind led me over to Eastern Shore the second time; spent a few days with the Church. (Peter D. Schuman, Elder of the charge) and then returned to Baltimore, from there to the city of Philadelphia, and then made some short visits from 40 to 60, and from that to 100 miles round about; then down to Lewistown Camp-meeting, the second time; then to a Camp-meeting at Mount Ephraim, N.J. The last of August I left for New York Camp, on arriving there I spoke once or twice. The same as to other places, out Camp-meeting was not as great as I have seen before. I spoke in both the Churches. We had a good time together, rejoicing in the Lord. I left then for Albany; had a pleasant passage up the North river, on hundred and sixty miles; the mountains and their other places our camp-meeting was not as great as I have seen before. I was not as great as I have seen before. I spoke in both the Churches. We had a good time together, rejoicing in the Lord. I left then for Albany had a pleasant passage up the North river, one hundreds and sixty miles; the mountains and their stupendous looks preached to me in my journey through. Oh, the wisdom of God, and how marvellous in our eyes; enough to convince the infidel, yea, the Atheist, that there is some first cause. From the effects produced, look at the ingenuity of mankind, which actually comes from God, and is displayed in building steamboats, and other great novelties in mechanism. We accomplished the route the same day we started, and I found myself entirely among strangers. But I made inquiry for Methodist friends, and found brother Streeter, a coloured family, very respectable. They treated me very kind; they were under the white Bishop, and I under the coloured. But the same faith, same doctrine, same Baptism, same spirit. Glory to God. Among the coloured people, the Baptists had the ascendancy. There was a large hall prepared for me, and we had a large congregation of different denominations. I spoke from these words and this Gospel of the kingdom
How good to contemplate or to think the heathen has caught the sound of salvation through the name of Jesus, our Lord. I saw a goodly number added to the Church on Sabbath-day. I still continued engaged in my mind with the Lord, in their behalf, when I was informed that they had three and four of an evening at their prayer meetings, then my mind felt at liberty to leave for Schenectady. Sister Streeter rode with the fourteen miles; I stopped eleven days, at which place there was a large upper room that was appropriated for a preaching place, where I spoke to a small number of coloured persons several times. They were under the white elder, he was a friends to me, and appointed a meeting for me in the white Brother's house to speak for them. We had a favourable time. But the people, feeling and uninterested spirit in propagating the religion of Jesus Christ, I left the dust with them. Got on board a Canal boat for Utica, there I met with my own connexion, African Methodist Episcopal Church, we had a prosperous time. I spoke and had prayer meetings
That year I travelled two thousand three hundred and twenty-five miles, and preached one
hundred and seventy-eight sermons. Praise God for health and strength, O my soul, and magnify
his name for protection through various scenes of life.
God of my life whose gracious power
Through various deaths my soul has led,
Or turned aside the fated hour,
Or lifted up my sinking head.
While I was in Buffalo, a journey to the West was shewed to me so plain that I could not stop in the city of Philadelphia but five weeks only, then left for the western country. I started in a mail stage, and stopped first at Westtown and spoke in our own connexion Church, and then at West Chester in the old Methodist Episcopal white connexion. We had a large congregation of quiet hearers. I felt liberty but no great displays of God's power. I had several meetings in different
Moses saw it as a bush in a flame, yet not consumed. We have to be tried as gold in the fire. After my visit was out a brother (leader in the Church) conveyed me ten miles on my way, I stopped at Sinclairsville; there was an appointment published on the next evening. At 7 o'clock I spoke in the Court house to a large concourse of well behaved and respectable citizens. I felt at liberty and left in peace of mind which makes the work sweet. I was aided on to Cap-teen, a settlement of coloured people; some from the lower counties; but they are industrious, and have a Church of their own, and were about to send their children to school, I held several meetings and there was some very respectable people of colour-- and the Lord was with us-- I stopped with an aged family, very respectable, they treated me very kind, and between 2 and 3 weeks, I left in peace with God and man, and went to Barnsborough and spoke in the white Methodist Episcopal Church, from thence to Zanesville, at which place I
Mrs. Dillin, who once was a Friend, and now a member of the Church, spoke to the Trustees and Ministers, and they opened the Church and I spoke twice in that Church, and after that I spoke in west Zanesville, back of that place, and I still remained among my colored friends, and they seemed much revived; after which they formed a Resolution to build themselves a Meeting House. A Quaker Friend, so called, presented them with a piece of ground to build one on, which they did. Glory to God, for his glory stood over the doors of the Tabernacle. Many were convicted, and converted, and many added to the old Methodist Church and I left there on New-years day for New-Lancaster, where we had a haunch, standing on a frame of a house for three or four years, and had not been used to preach in; but the Lord opened the way, and a great revival took place among the people, and their eyes being opened, they with willing minds commenced and built a new Church, and god blessed their labors. I preached several Sermons and led class, &&;c. My common way is to visit the sick and afflicted in whatsoever city I may stop in, that I may get my spiritual strength renewed in the Lord. Although I preached the Gospel through the Commission of my Lord, yet I have nothing to boast of.
I opened a Love-Feast in the said Church in New Lancaster. We held Prayer Meetings. I spoke in the White's Church also. The people were very friendly. I met them in Class, and after the lapse of eleven days, I left for Columbus. The Preachers generally were very kind to me. Both white and colored. A worthy brother conducted me on further. It snow'd, and I was very cold, but the Lord was with us, and my mind was free'd. But notwithstanding, I met an antagonist, who was ready to destroy my character, and the principles of the work that God saw good to make me instrumental of doing in his name, which caused me to open the case to the Trustees and Preaches, who were much astonished at him to be preaching four or five years with malice in his heart. I was favored to see him in the morning before he went away, that was the first time he had spoke
L. W., a respectable brother from Chillicothe, had never heard a woman preach, and was much opposed to it. An appointment was given me, and when I went into the desk and commenced reading the hymn to commence the worship, he looked at me a while, then got up and went out and stood until I had nearly got through the hymn, and then he came in, when I asked him to pray for us but he refused. I prayed myself, after which I took my text, and felt much liberty in speaking in the spirit indeed. And after meeting he came and shook hands with me in the spirit of a Christian, and next day he came and confessed to me his prejudices had been so great, so much like his father, that he could not unite with me, but now he believed that God, was no respecter of persons, and that a woman as well as a man, when called of God, had a right to preach. He afterwards became a licensed preacher, and we parted in peace. I took the stage and left for Chillicothe, but there was but one house that would open for me in the city, although I had my recommendation with me. As soon as that friend heard of me she met me in christian bonds, and her house was my home, her husband being a man of christian qualifications, and I went of my mission doing my Father's will. I spoke once in the week and on Sabbath afternoon, to crowded houses; it was like a camp-meeting, and twenty-one lay upon the power of God at one time; after preaching, we called them to be prayed for; some got religion that day and some on the next Sabbath, and the father L. W. became one of my best friends, and a doer of the work. There was large fields of labor open to my view, and I visited both colored and
Another circumstance worthy of notice, was a young man whose heart was in the world and in worldly affairs, or the pursuits of nature, and diverted much of his time on Sabbath days on the Mississippi River, fighting against all impressions of the Spirit of grace, until God stopped him by the heavy hand of his power, in a death-bed affliction. After some time he began to inquire the way to Zion. His mother was also a stranger to the blood of Jesus, but wished me to come and see her son; being conducted to the house, I found him looking like an anatomy. I asked him if he believed in Christ and his prayers with him and all sufficiency to save; is answer was in the affirmatives. We had prayers with him and there was a display of God's power; a white woman screamed and nearly felt to the floor, but strove hard to keep from it. And on that day he acknowledged his Saviour to be reconciled to his poor soul. Praise God! my soul replied. Afterwards he wished me to hold a meeting with as many persons as the room would contain with him, which I accepted; one day and night after, he departed this life, and requested me to preach his funeral sermon at the house before the procession moved to the ground. I spoke from the 14th chap. 13 v., and we had a solemn time; you may anticipate the weight of that important task, but we had joy in the midst of sorrow, and this was the last of James Thompson. I also left his sisters in the last stage of consumption, and she confessed to be in favour with the Lord. Having finished my visit, I left in steamboat for Dayton. I spoke three times, and tried to preach the whole salvation, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The members of the New-light church deny the divinity of Christ. Once I spoke in a large dwelling of Dr. Esley, after which himself and wife went on a journey to Indiana and wished me to go with them, but I was deprived by a previous engagement, having to attend a camp meeting at Cap-teen. After my return to Urbanna, Ohio, I took stage for Springfield, and from there to Columbus, and spoke several times. The Elder's class consisted of about twenty; a young man and myself led the class in 1829. The Elder W.C. ordered a camp-meeting for the Cincinnati people, and the brother at Cap-teen and Rev. Bishop Brown, held a conference, and we had a very large camp-meeting, and manifestations of great good, and at the close of the Love-feast, there were thirty-two or three testified that they experienced the love of God. The people of color came out forcibly, and the preachers
I spoke at Wilkesbarre to both white and colored, Baptists and Methodists, and had an
invitation to preach in the afternoon, had good congregations, and tears of contrition were visible
in many places. I had life and liberty. I next visited Wheeling, stopped a few days and labored
several times, which was much blessed, and the Elder organized a new class of twenty-one young
men, brother and myself led them the first time, and they seemed very zealous. But in a few
months the severity of the Laws stopped their privileges, which is an honor to any people; while
sin is a reproach to any Nation. I then paid $10 and took passage to Hagerstown. My health was
poor. Passengers consisted of three white ladies, members of the Episcopal Church, and one old
gentleman, (a Deist) 73 years of age who would reproach Religion, until I told him that Solomon
spoke of a man 70 years of ages, and called him a fool,--and exhorted him to get religion;
for God's name is name is worthy to be praised by all intelligent beings. I have found Him to be a
strong hold in the day of trouble. We arrived at Hagerstown in eight or ten days. We had a
Meeting House there. I met the Elder, Joseph Harper, Deacon John Cornish. Had good Meetings;
a visit of the Holy Ghost. The house was crowded, and many hundred sinners struck to the
heart,--back-sliders were reclaimed--and believers built up in the most Holy Faith.
Praise God for so much. I spoke to a very respectable congregation of white people about eleven
"Go, preach my Gospel, saith the Lord,
Bid the whole world my grace receives;
He shall be sav'd that trusts my word,
He shall be damn'd that won't believe."
I then took my passage for Fredericktown. The Society was small, but willing to encourage the Gospel of Christ. We had meeting in a
We had a remnant of our Connexion from Virginia, years before, but through some contention among themselves, the owner of the Church took it from them, run up a chimney in the centre of the house, and rented it out to different families to lives in. He also went into the yard, kick'd over the head and foot boards of the graves, and levelled them down, and made a garden of the grave-yard. But the Lord afflicted him even unto death, and he was buried a day or two before I arrived at Frederick-town.
But God has a people everywhere; a remnant that never has bowed their knee to Baal. A
Lutherian brother, (minister), interceded in their behalf, (the Church being offered for sale,) and
receiving One Hundred Dollars from the Trustees' hands, bought it in for them, and a firm Deed
being made of the Trustees, the Elder taking charge of it. So much, for Delivering Grace.
"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His foot-steps in the sea
And rides upon the storm."
I next started for Washington City; took passage in the stage about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and arrived about 1 o'clock in the morning, and the clerk of the office conveyed me to a very respectable colored family, (Mr. Adam's') who kindly received me, and continued so to do, but I met my antagonist in that place, who strove to stop my Ministerial Mission; but Right is more than Might. Bishop Allen being a men of renown, and having Grace abounding in his heart, he sent a letter to his son-in-law who resided in that place, to intercede of me during my stay, which he did. Truly, the way seemed somewhat dark at first. I saw revivals among the members, though the congregation was small, the Lord raised me up plenty of friends among them for letter to his son-in-law who resided in that place, to intercede for me during my stay, which he did- Truly, the way seemed somewhat dark at first. I as revivals among them for God is all in all. The Elder in charge was not to be seen until the last Sabbath I was there. He preached in the morning, but I was ashamed of his conduct towards me, through prejudice, while he was a leading man for the people. Reader, judge for thyself. But my God gave me a part and lot in this matter, saying, "Behold, I send you as Sheep among Wolves, be not afraid--Lo! I am with you always--even unto the end of the world." Praise God for his endurable promises. In a few days I left for Baltimore in stage. Some part of the rout was by Rail Road. Pleasant journey; arrived safe in Baltimore,
I stopped a few weeks with my sister and Dr. Burton; boarded with her, and he seeing my debilitation of body, rendered medical assistance, which helped me much; but I was unable to labor and preach for some months. After my business of 1831 had been accomplished, I felt it my duty to visit my aged parent, whom I had not seen for eleven years. At length I started on my journey for Cape May, West Jersey, in the following way: By Steam Boat to Salem, N.J., and
On Monday morning I left for Bridgeton; we having no Society there, I preached in the Court House to a large assembly of different denominations. I felt a degree of liberty in speaking, and I then stopped a few days with them, and was kindly received and entertained. I then proceeded on to Fair-field, and endeavored to labor for them at 11 o'clock, Sabbath morning, and at 3 o'clock, P.M. to crowded houses of respectable and quiet congregations, and the Lord poured out his spirit upon us and we had a solemn waiting in his presence, for which my soul rejoices even now.
I next went on to Port Elizabeth, which was very thinly inhabited, some two or three very respectable families there with only three persons belonging to Church; among them a Sqr. Brick, a man of ability. Through him the Church was opened for me, and I preached two Sermons to large congregations of respectable inhabitants of the place, in which I placed myself as in my Saviour's hand, and staying there as clay in the hands of the Potter. I had liberty, whilst I could hear the humble groans of the people, which cause my breast to swell as with pure Serephic joy. I bless the Lord, that the Gospel has never been left without a witness. Wisdom is justified of her children saith our Lord; if it was not so, thousands of Christians would have sunk in despair; but now and then I come across a great many whose sins were cancelled, and in whom pride was destroyed, and respecters of persons were not known. Among such, Gode will prosper the labors of his servants. "God knows the proud afar off, but his Saints are beloved in his sight." I next proceeded to Goshen; there I found my aged mother, who I had not seen for eleven years, well in health and very active. But above all the rest, enjoying Religion, the love of God in the soul; which is more than the Gold of Opher; though poor, making many rich. Truly she dropped many aged tears on account of my exposures in travelling, but I strove to compose her by the word of God, which tells us "in this world we shall have tribulation, but in him we shall have peace." 'Tis there, the Christian's warfare ends, and sorrow cannot come. We dropped a few tears of gratitude with uplifted hearts to Almighty God for bringing us together once more in the flesh.
But my work soon again commenced. I preached in a dwelling house the next; in Goshen School-house, to both white and colored; and was assisted by the prayers of some humble souls, and felt both
Some time in February 1832, the Lord sent two friends to take me out of town to visit a part of his vineyard, and they thought it would improve my health. I rode about twenty miles,--grew worse again-- but medicine was applied which proved effectual. I spent a few weeks, preached in the Free Church in Norristown, three or four times, built by a lady of the Church of England, for all, or any that preach Christ and Him crucified.
Having gained my health, I returned in peace to Philadelphia, where I labored under some difficulties until the middle of May: After which I took a journey with a sister preacher for about two or three weeks, and truly the Lord blessed her labors abundantly, and my heart rejoiced to witness the out-pouring of the Spirit of that Gospel visit with a Hand-Maiden of the Lord. The Scriptures are fulfilled as spoken of by the Prophet Joel, Chap. 27th, 2nd verse. "Ye shall know that I am in he midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord, your God, and none else, and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall Prophecy. "Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see vision." In 1831, a young man who professed to be righteous, says he saw in the sky men, marching like armies, whether it was with the naked eye, or a Vision by the eye of Faith, I cannot tell. But the wickedness of the people certainly calls for the lowering Judgements of God to be let loose upon the Nation and Slavery, that wretched system that eminated from the bottomless pit, is one of the greatest curses to any Nation.
June 1832, my mind was led to travel towards the east part of New Jersey, through Trenton, N. J., &&;c., and I preached three or four times, and found considerable consolation; The Elder made me appointments about two or three miles in the country, where there were
I still continued to labor, and witnessed good revivals. When the President's Proclamation went out for a General fasting throughout the United States on account of the Judgement of God, it was obeyed by all denominations, and of course came under our notice-- and we having no Elder in that place, held it ourselves,-- and it fell to my lot to give a sermon on that occasion, which I did through
I then returned to New York again, feeling my strength much renewed in the inward man Christ Jesus. I saw a large want of labor there, as the Prophet Ezekiel said: "I saw the river rise to the Joins of a man."
After laboring about six weeks and seeing it was not in vain; with the approbation of the Brethren and in answer to a good conscience. Oh! that I had language to express my mind while I hold my pen in hand. But had I the tongue of an Hannah, whilst she spoke to Eli! I could not express the revelation of Jesus; but the bodily strength seemed to fail fast. I then returned to Philadelphia, rested four days, and was called to Salem, N.J., and after preaching two or three times crossed the Bay for St. Georges, a town in the State of Delaware, and preached twice by invitation of the citizens, and also by request I spoke in Delaware City. Here a horse, gig and driver being provided for me, I rode four or five miles in the evening and preached to a large congregation of white and colored persons. Good behaviour, but no particular display of God's power. I returned the same night to St. Georges, and spent a few days with my sister, whom I had not seen for eleven years previous. I left there a few days before Christians for Philadelphia, where I remained until January 1,1833. After which I started, in company with another sister for New Hope, pa. We held meetings in Frankford, then I proceeded to Ben-salem; from thence to Attleboro'. The Elder, P.S., was on that circuit, he cordially gave me appointments, and we were caused to rejoice. The Devil was also at work, setting up difficulties like mountains high, but having a skilful Pilot! I steered between the rocks. The Church,
But in affliction she enjoyed the Spirit's grace, and, in May, 1834, we parted as for eternity, and I trust to meet her where parting will be no more, neither will any of us shake the parting hand, for we have had sweet communion together, in spiritual exercises. Dear reader, think not that I am going to heaven as in golden slippers, for I have various trials to encounter while travelling over this world so wide, but I feel willing to suffer for the cause of God, after which I shall (if faithful) meet many of my friends that have communed with me in the spirit, where we never, never, shall shake the parting hand-- these are the consolations in affliction as described in Rev. chap.12, 11th verse. And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death; and whilst I move my pen my soul rejoices in God my Redeemer. Having filled my mission I parted with my friends on joy. I sailed for Detroit city, 18 miles, then build adieu to British shores, not knowing that I should ever step on them again. I was kindly received on American possessions by a respectable family from Cincinnati, a Mr. D--. I felt there was a work for me to do in that part of God's vineyard. I arrived on Tuesday and on Thursday evening we had a comfortable meeting at the usual place. I met with much encouragement in laboring for the Lord, and many impressions were made on the minds of the hearers. The evening previous to my landing I saw some of the American affliction towards the people of color, such as mobbing, theft and destruction. To unto the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the Devil is come down unto you. On the following Sabbath morning, 10 o'clock, I preached again, then lead class -- a soul reviving time, indeed -- at 7 o'clock, P. M. I preached again, and the house was crowded to overflowing, it not being sufficient to hold the people. Text as follows: And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached unto all the world for a witness, and then shall the end come. After which we visited a prayer meeting held by the stationed minister in the white Church, which was truly comfortable. On the next Sabbath I had an appointment made for me on the British side in a dwelling house, but, it not being sufficient to hold the people, the Episcopal Methodists opened their session-room which was larger and well crowded with various denominations. Text, 1st chap. St. John; ver.45. The Lord touched my tongue as with a live coal from his altar, and we had a good time as from the hand of the Lord, and the Amens of the preachers, elders, and leaders, helped to swell the theme of rejoicing. Glory to God, we had all things common. But now feeling my mission ended I waited for the first
O Reader, you may only imagine the joy of my heart at such language as this from my only son, whom, it seemed, God had left as a comfort to me in my old age, more especially after not having had any communication from him for eight months, and then he was very ill which made my cross seem very heavy, but I trusted in God, although I expected to hear of his death when I did hear anything, but, on my knees at a brother and sister L's -- at family prayer was shown these things by revelation of spirit, which caused me to get up off my knees and I exclaimed aloud, the Lord has converted
With joy let Judah stand
On Zion's chosen hill,
Proclaim the wonders of thy hand,
And councils of thy will.
I now began to feel my mission somewhat complete as regards distance, and therefore concluded to return towards home. A brother and his wife crossed the Lakes with me for company, I then took the cars, and bid them adieu. I remained in Rochester a while after my arrival, but, to my sorrow and surprise, a society that, twelve months previous, was large and seemed every way prosperous, had nearly dwindled away-- the preacher gone and the people scattered except a resolute few, who were bound to go through, and that at the risk of their all; and to them I endeavored to fulfil my mission. I also spoke for the Wesleyan Methodists -- they treated me with christian fellowship. Our Lord said, they that are for us are not against us, forbid them not-- it truly was uncomfortable. There was seed to the sower and bread to the eater. I also stopped at Palmyra, visited the sick and otherwise endeavored to fill my mission. A little difficulty existed, relative to a slave girl being concealed and taken away, but while we were at worship the Justice of the Peace was in the house and everything seemed quiet. After service, the congregation quietly withdrew -- this was on the 6th of August. On the next day a lady of color paid for a seat for herself and me, and we took passage on to Canondagua, 16 miles; there I found a Church and people prosperous. They received me kindly-- my first appointment, 11 o'clock, Sabbath morning; the word had some impressions, in the afternoon still better, at night God was his own interpreter, the hallowed fire began to run to sin's confusion. I had several appointments through the week, which were alike prosperous. Although I felt my inability, yet the answer to a good conscience strengthened me, even in a strange land, and, with Paul, I can say I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to every one that believes. I then took stage for Geneva, having recommendations to these little towns or villages, I found a few members of the Episcopal Methodists, and also of the Presbyterian denomination; they were very friendly and opened their house to entertain me -- the colored gentlemen of the vicinity
The Vineyard of the Lord before the laborer lies.
We had several very good meetings I then crossed over to Bristol and spoke once or twice in
a dwelling-house, at which time the Lord verified his promises, which are, I will hearken unto. I
proceeded on my journey to Trenton, which was Elder Robinson's Circuit. Two or three days
after this he arrived in the city. On Sabbath morning he preached and was much favored by the
Spirit of the Lord. At night I preached and felt joy in my soul; from there he gave me other
appointments. My mind was cleared and the Scriptures opened themselves to my mind and I felt
strengthened; some shouted, others wept. I feel the holy influence of that fire now, while my pen
makes record of the same to a dying world. Let the inhabitants of the rocks sing, and let them
shout as from the top of the mountains. I preached another sermon from the 59th chap. of Isaiah,
12th verse. The fire kindled some where, and the hearty amens that ascended the hill of the Lord
seemed to strike guilt to the hearts of sinners. I helped to lead class. O, the worth and value of
precious souls which cause me oft to mourn. I preached again from the 22d chap. of Rev. 1st ver.
The prayers of God's people helped me, and the power of God, like the dew of heaven, was let
down upon us, and the sower and reaper rejoiced together, independent of various opposition. I
also spoke from Romans, 1st chap. 16th ver., and spoke three times on Sabbath day; and I felt
more strength at the last appointment than I did at the first, which proves the assertion of
Scripture, freely give and freely receive. I also visited the sick, after which they gave me some
appointments at Princeton, a hard part of the vineyard. I had my talent and to use it I was not
ashamed, although the substance seemed to be lost -- ful houses. The Presbyterian friends
were very kind to me and received me with Christian friendship. The weather cold, and travelling
hard, through wintry storms to pass. The first text, Let the dead bury the dead. It seemed a little
astonishing, especially to the brethren. I continued, and on different times filing appointments.
From thence to Brunswick; and one of the coldest days, rode sixteen miles; the Lord was with me,
and I had great liberty of speech; a church and a large congregation; and the power of God was
more fully manifest than at Princeton; and the Lord added such to the Church as, I trust, will be
eternally saved. I remained there to labor for the Lord two or three weeks, and there was a
general revival throughout in prayer meetings, both of male and female, and in class meetings; not
my labors, reader, but the merit belongs to God alone.
Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him;
Praise him all ye stars of light;
Sun and moon rejoice before him,
Praise him, angels in your heights.
After my return to Philadelphia in December, 1835, I saw a large field open to my view, it being a strong place, and many different spirits to contend with, I endeavored to commend this portion of sacred Writ: Job, 22d chap. 10th ver., But he knoweth the way I take; when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold; again, Rev.3d chap., 8th ver., and I seemed much troubled, as being measurably debarred from my own Church as regards this privilege I had been so much used to; I could scarcely tell where to go or stay in my own house. I said, Lord, where shall I go? and was directed to brother Murray, Elder then of Little Wesley Church, and when coming to his house he expressed his astonishment at my coming out through the inclemency of such weather, I paused, then told him I was sent to him and knew not for what; he said I know-- then he gave me an appointment on Sunday night, and on the following Wednesday evening; from there I received an appointment at Zoar Church, by the elder, and the Lord converted one soul, which caused me still more to rejoice in God my Saviour; from that the elder of Wesley Church gave me an appointment and I preached to a large congregation, and felt strong in the cause of my God. My call seemed chiefly in Philadelphia. In the year 1835 I travelled 721 miles, and preached 692 sermons; I also spoke in Bethel Church; some false brethren. They that are not for us are against us, and are against God's ministry, whether male or female, they are against God, who says I send by whom I will, for all are one in Christ Jesus. May the Lord pardon their errors, and make them be careful how they handle edged tools. In 1836 I travelled 556 miles, and preached 11 sermons; and felt under much exercise to print a book, and I had some friends to encourage me, such as the Rev. R.R.-- and the Bishop, with others; and every circumstance was so favorable that I finally succeeded, and when they were brought home, I sat down in the house and wondered how I should dispose of them; to sell them appears too much like merchandize. While in this situation it was suggested to my mind, you must pay for them, or it will do more harm to the Gospel than if you had not printed them. But to myself, (if not printed) would be the encourage of a guilty conscience before the Lord. At 4 o'clock, P.M., my mind was directed to a Presbyterian sister, and on my way I met Bishop Allen's widow who bought one, and that afternoon I sold one dollar and fifty cents' worth. The Lord so blessed the offering of that work to the world, that in less than four months I paid sixty dollars through God's assistance, for the expenses which gave me great tranquility of mind, and caused me to feel still more like wearing out in the service of God. Various are the ways through the interposition of Providence that I succeeded in disposing of that little work, viz: camp-meetings, quarterly meetings, in the public streets, &&;c. Praise God for his mercies as well as his graces.
After this I started for a Camp-meeting, near Baltimore. On my arrival I received two
appointments, and after the Bishop came, still more was given to me, and at one time the power
of God arrested an individual and he cried aloud, fell out of the door and was reclaimed. I
preached three sermons in the African M.E. Church, and God gave us souls at every meeting, and
my heart rejoiced to see sinners coming to God. Notwithstanding I had my opposers I out-live
them through the strength of Him, that yet loves His faithful followers. After seeing so many
displays of the miraculous power of God, I returned to the city of Baltimore, with peace of
conscience. After which my mind was exercised to go to Elicott's Mills to preach in the African
M.E. Church, and was accompanied by a dear sister, previously having had conversation with
Bishop Walters he sent a letter to the preacher in charge, who received me with christian spirit. In
the morning I led class and in the afternoon I had an appointment. and preached from the 5th
Chapter of St. Luke, 18th & 19th verses. A full house, with attentive hearers,-- praise God
for a visitation of His Spirit. An humble groan is better than a sacrifice. At night I spoke from the
7th Chapter of Hebrews, 12th & 13th verses, and wonderful to relate, if language could, the
power of feeling. And well may it be said that feeling has no fellow. On Thursday night I spoke
from the 61st Chapter of Isaiah, 1st verse: And truly I was appointed. And one visible sign of the
manifestation of the Spirit of God was, an aged lady was caused to cry aloud, under the distress
of mind, and many more, too tedious to mention. During the whole week, I continued to visit the
sick, &&;c. One case I here mention as a caution to those who procrastinate the day of Salvation
holder of a tyrannical turn, said to be very wicked. But he had received a summons, served by the
officer Death, and I saw it pictured in his faces; which is as follows. By request, I called to see a
Slave-holder of a tyranical turn, said to be very wicked. But he had received a summons, served
by the officer Death, and I saw it pictured in his face; previous to which I had heard of his selling
two men from their wives, recently. I asked him what he thought of dying; if he was prepared to
meet the change. He told me he was not. He was very ill, could not recover, but wanted religion
and could not get it; but wished me to have prayers with him. This I did, but it was of no avail,
although it was truly solemn. I then exhorted him to have faith in the merits of the blood of Christ
and then left him, a repining subject for eternity.
"Don't you see how unexpected in my chariot I do ride,
Convulsion fits, Plagues and Fevers, are the weapons by my side."
After this, I returned to Baltimore, and from thence I was conducted to Springtown, and spoke in the morning, Sunday, 11 o'clock. Text, in Psalms. No extra display in the afternoon. Brother H. U., held forth to a very large congregation. At night I preached again.
The Bishop gave me an appointment on the following Sabbath night. Text, from one of Peters' Epistles, 5th verse. The word preached had its effect. Three persons were arrested under the power of God and felled to the floor at once. The grand-mother and her daughter and grand-daughter cried aloud for mercy. In the meanwhile a gentleman fell on his face and cried for Sanctification; and there was a general rumbling among the dry bones. Praise God, for I feel the unction from on high, while I hold my pen.
I next started for Long Green, a distance of sixteen miles. A sister I -- ---- who had been travelling with me, as also brother Dunn, accompanied us. I spoke from Acts 17, verse 31. Three persons found peace, several under serious impressions. The word still had a lasting effect, and they sent for us again We complied, accompanied by our Rev. brother; although the morning was very cold, we were blest to get there in time for Church, and by the help of God, I tried to speak to the people from these words. "Although you tread upon scorpions and serpents, they shall not hurt you, having faith." The word went out and did not return void; for two found peace that day, and we left some on the floor mourning for redemption in Christ, while others wore deep symptoms of serious impressions for the welfare of their souls. We left at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but the meeting continued until night. May God continue to water every plant in Zion. I preached and sold my books, and paid my own way. I returned to Philadelphia in December. After I arrived my health was much impaired, and I had a severe spell of sickness. So ended 1836.
I commenced travelling March 11th, 1837. Eight miles from Philadelphia, I preached three Sermons. Two at Blaketown, N.J., after which I took Steam-boat for St. Georges, Del. to see my sister, at the request of Doct.-- -- --, he being the main proprietor of the town, I
Knowing my religious visits were nearly closed for the presents I availed myself of the opportunity of visiting the different Schools, the most impressive was that of Mr. Louis Tappan, which I think exceeded all I had ever seen; the principles in different branches which had been, and in some instances, are yet hid from the people of color, to deprive them of their enjoyments, were here taught them, which greatly helped to elevate them to a position that would command respect
Feb'ry. 16th, I started for Attleboro. I spoke from the Following passages: Romans 6th chap. 21st 22nd 23rd verses. Also from the 8th Chapter, 36th & 37th verses. At first it seemed like seed sown in stony ground, but the deadness began to remove, and life, light and immortality was come to pass through the preaching of the Cross of Christ. I preached one sermon in Ben-Salem, and held a prayer meeting, and the Lord smiled upon us, and truly some had in a measure lost their first love, and others who had not defiled their garments, but contended for the fulfilment of the promise. Now, coming towards
In April, I felt impressed to visit Reading, Pa., which I did, and met some that I had met with years before, testifying that God is God, and changes not. I preached five sermons, and truly I must say that the Gospel is prevailing. Some few years previous there was not one member of church, now there is a good church and a large society. I now went to Norristown, spoke five times and led class. A man formerly lived there that played on the violin, but leaving his place of residence went to Philadelphia and embraced religion, and was called to go to the people of that town to preach the gospel to them, and the Lord blessed his labors, and they now live in hope of a better resurrection.
July 15th, 1838, I left for Westchester, preached two sermons. From there I went to Chichester, from that to the Valley, laboring as I passed along to lively congregations. On the 23rd I left for Colombia, calling on Rev. S. S.------he gave me three appointments. God revived his work in the hearts of his people, and while my pen moves my heart burns with love to God. Next I left for West-town and visited some aged friends, such as could not get to the church, and two remarkable once in particular, which were regarded as pillars of the church. I was conducted on board the canal boat for Lewistown. I had a pleasant passage, arrived at 1 or 2 o'clock, A. M. and was kindly treated by them. Preached four sermons to a hard people. I was sick during my stay, my system was much debilitated before I reached Pittsburg; however, I pressed on to Huntingdon, found a small society suffering for want of help. I was received by all the brethren, preached five sermons, rode 11 miles and spoke to the Forgemen, but through bad management the congregation was small, but the word had its effect; the souls of the redeemed are precious. I next proceeded to Hollidaysburg. Took passage by stage at night, arrived at 8 o'clock A.M. I was kindly received by a gentleman belonging to Wesley church, and entertained in a friendly manner. Preached two sermons to a comfortable congregation, and then left for Johnstown. After I got out of the car I thought it almost the last end of the world as regards accommodations. I had to stand near one hour before I could get a person to carry my trunk. The Captain was kind and offered to send me a person, but I got a man at last to take my trunk there. His wife was kind, although I introduced myself to her, knowing her to be the Barber's wife. She sent for him to coming, and then introduced me to her husband. When he sat down he said, "you preach do you?" I try, said I. "Do you understand the Scriptures?" Some parts of it, was my answer. He appointed a meeting, and the time arrived, congregation gathered. When I commenced
The world cannot withstand
Its ancient conqueror;
It sure must fail beneath the hand
That arms us for the war:
We then rested a few days and started for Union town, a female travelling with me; and we were received very kindly by Bro. Jackson and wife,
Thy banner unfurl,
Bid the nation surrender;
And own Thee their God,
Their King, and Defender.
Some hundred were added to that circuit that year, ending February, 1839. In a few days I left for Williamsport, Where I remained a few days at Bro. C's, and attended several very good meetings at Washington, Pa. I had an appointment given me by the Elder of the white M. E. Church, which I accepted. By special request, I visited a white young lady in the last stage of consumption, and after conversing with her about the salvation of her soul, I received great satisfaction, who I trust new rests in Abraham's bosom. I attended a quarterly meeting at Washington, and I heard some powerful exhortations--God owned the word and by his infinite power arrested a woman who formerly kept a dance house, and with her, her family also,
I had a special invitation, by letter, to go to Waynesburg, which I received, and spoke in the old Methodist church, after being conveyed there by a brother that was sent for me expressly. On Wednesday evening I spoke in the Court house; it was in the month of February, and the walking was very difficult; the friends were very kind; but few colored persons, only two members of the church, and six joined. I spoke for them five times--after discharging my duty I left in peace with God and man. On my return to Washington, I spent a week or ten days, and preached on Sabbath day, and at night three sermons. The Mayor of the city declared his intention to impose a heavy punishment upon any person or persons disturbing any church, and it had the effect to make some of the wildest of the rabble behave themselves in the church with respect, while I endeavored to declare the oracles of truth. After which I left for Meconnoburg, and preached eleven sermons.
In March I left for Pittsburg, and we met in joy; and at my first appointment I spoke from Isaiah c. 50, v. 31. I then rested three or four weeks, during which time my mind become much exercised to go to Cincinnati--it was difficult to travel, but God always makes a way for his people. A friend both to God and me, got a passage for me on board of a Steamboat, with a preacher and his family, and on my arrival, I was recommended to friends there, Elder King and wife, and I found them. I told them it was my business to preach. An appointment was given me. I spoke several times, and the Lord approbated the efforts of the feeble worm, and believers were built up in the most holy faith. My visit was joyous. My pamphlets went off as by a wind, the Elder recommending them very highly, and also encouraged me to have the 2d edition printed, which I had done--there being then one thousand more for sale, in which I was successful. Five joined the church after the last sermon.
I then left for Dayton, Ohio, and found a large church and building. The colored population there was very large--there I preached six sermons, and one in the other church. I was aided by both churches. I then took steamboat for Hambleton, a well situated place, and preached two sermons; had a good visit, much favored of the Lord, although the members were much scattered abroad. But a worthy brother, a man of God, had settled there and formed a Society of some twenty persons, which was still prosperous. After preaching two sermons, I took passage in steamboat for Cincinnati; remained there awhile until I had some new direction opened to my mind, where I might call the people to the arms of Christ. The recent printing of
Take the warning, turn and live,
And God will his Spirit give.
After landing, I felt to be a stranger in a strange land, but the Lord ever provides in time of need. Accordingly I was conducted by a gentleman and introduced to a friend who received me and treated me kindly, and in a few days introduced me to one of the Trustees, who welcomed me to the Church. Now I began to feel the spirit of my
I felt an anxiety to go to Chilicothe, for which place I took passage and arrived on Wednesday; found a large field of labor open. I preached on the next night (Thursday) to a very large and well informed congregation. I then took passage via canal, and my mind was much exercised, indeed, some what uncommon. Text 1st, Thessalonions: "Because iniquity abounds the love of many waxed cold, but they that endure to the end the same shall be saved." Text 2d: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel lest the cause of Christ should be made of non effect." Text 3d. Prov. 5th c. 6th v., I preached again from these words: "All flesh is as grass." Fifth and last: "I am the true Vine," & c. My visit being out, I left for Williamsport in peace with God, likewise the brethren, as the friends had used the very kind. After the quarterly meeting, we all took passage with the Elder for Pittsburg, to meet the conference. I there met the Rt. Rev. Bishop, and others I was glad to see. I remained there two or three weeks, and preached four sermons. Both preachers and people used me like Christians. The conference was largely attended with ministers from every direction. The Bishop granted an open house for persons to visit and hear the arrangements and appointments on the circuits. The preaching was very good, and it seemed as if the word fell heavy upon the hearts of the King's enemies; a general revival took place. The Bishop gave me an appointment during the conference. After my visit came to a close, I
After my arrival, my first inquiry was after the state of health of my son and his family, and to
my great disappointment I found that my little grandson had died. This was startling news to me,
you may think, but the Lord removed him for some wise purpose of his providence, and in this I
felt perfectly resigned to his will, with a heart of gratitude for my protection and safe arrival at
home. I remained in the city about three months and received appointments in our churches on
Thursday nights, although in years past I always had them at any time, Sunday afternoons not
excepted. In Philadelphia, N. York, Baltimore, and all the principal cities, from 100 to 1000 miles
distant, as I travelled under the reign of the first Bishop Rt. Rev. Richard Allen, I have been
instrumental in the hands of God of gaining many hundreds of dollars for the connection, buy
raising societies where there never had been any, since which time they have grown to such a
mass as to build large churches, and that in different places, and likewise have spent hundreds, but
don't regret it, as I was about the work of Him that sent me, for which my reward is promised if I
but hold out faithful.
Now, pray for me,
That while on earth I roam;
That with the joyful Jubilee,
I may arrive at home.
I again was impressed upon to go into the western part of the State of Pennsylvania and labor for the Lord, as the field appeared large before me. About this time sister Elaw, a speaker belonging under the jurisdiction of the E. Methodist connection, coming to this place, she received an appointment which had been given to me, and I closed the meeting after her, and we enjoyed good seasons together. The greatest display of God's power seemed visible in a Protestant and congregation; sister preached, and I gave an exhortation and closed, in which there was a great shout for victory. I was informed by those that were in the spirit, that they saw the glory of God like a sun over
My sister leaving for England to visit the world's convention, I started alone. My first appointment was over Schuylkill--then I was conveyed nine miles farther, preached three sermons, and then returned to the city; on the following week I left again for Lancaster, Pa., but meeting friends going to Columbia I went with them. The meetings were attended by the spirit of God, and the speakers felt the spirit of their station, and the feast was glorious; over thirty were added to the church in less than a week, and many of them found peace with God. From thence I went to Marietta, preached two sermons, and then left for Lancaster. The Lord owned the word spoken, and after preaching, ten joined the church. "Praise the Lord, for He only doeth great wonders."--Psalms. I then proceeded on the Carlisle Seemingly the wolf had got in among the fold and had scattered some clear away. But God's word will have its effect where it is promulgated in its purity. The consequence was, we had a great rejoicing. I preached six sermons, including one for the Protestant Methodists. I employed my time, as usual, endeavoring to explain the effects of the everlasting gospel of the kingdom even in common conversation. The happy seasons I have seen are ever memorable to me, and my prayers is, that all Israel may be saved, not only form the trials of life, but from the power of hell. I then proceeded to Harrisburg, preached one sermons to a good congregation, and felt considerable liberty in speaking. I left next morning for Marietta; it was a very cold day; sometimes I rode in a slay and sometimes in a carriage. I preached one sermon on Sabbath, and next day took passage in a slay for Penningtonville. I preached there on Sabbath day to a good congregation of different denominations--it was a glorious day to my soul. Upon the authority of God's word, there need be no doubt about religion, for they that have it carry the witness within themselves. Thus, having finished my visit with a peace of conscience, I returned to Philadelphia, March 1st, and found all my friends well. I waited in the temple of the Lord and preached several times. I felt anxious to go to Baltimore on a visit to the general conference, being the first of that kind held there for many years. After mentioning it to the Bishop, he said I should be paid for it if I wished to go, for which I felt very grateful. After making the necessary preparations by arranging my clothes, & c., the morning came for to start; the boat was to leave Philadelphia at 6 o'clock, A.M. My mind had been somewhat divided about going to N. York, as I wanted to see the convention for the American Anti-Slavery Society. But on my way to the Baltimore boat, in company with a young sister, my mind was suddenly arrested by a strange sensation, which proceeded form some supernatural cause, followed by a voice which seemingly spoke thus: "a watery grave!
The same month, April, I was sent for in great haste to visit Cape May, to see my aged mother, as it was thought for the last time, as she was very ill, at the advanced age of 82 years. I went and remained with her several weeks, when she nearly recovered. I then filled several appointments unexpectedly. But my way was I know not where. During my stay there I lost a nephew 12 years of age, whom I trust rests. But I should have mentioned, the day I returned from the Baltimore boat, I took passage at 2 o'clock, P.M. for Burlington, and preached for them on Sabbath day at quarterly meeting and second day after I left for New York and arrived the first day, the convention sat which I attended in company with Mrs. H. Lane, who was ever zealous in the good cause of liberty and the rights of all and I heard some very eloquent speeches which pleased me very much and my heart responded with this instruction: "Do unto all men as you would they should do unto you;" and as we are all children of one parent, no one is justified in holdings slaves. I felt that the spirit of God was in the work and also felt it my duty to unite with this Society. Doubtless the cause is good, and I pray God to forward on the work of abolition until it fills the world, and then the gospel will have free course to every motion and in every clime.-- After the convention was over I returned to Philadelphia, and prepared for a long journey. But previously I visited a part of Rev. Turner's circuit--Jersey, Viz. of Burlington, Trenton, & c. His charge was extensive and laborers were much wanted. I endeavored to preach two sermons in Burlington, and in the other places nine more, and then visited Allentown and preached three sermons. I visited a camp meeting and never saw a greater display of God's power, for truly signs and wonders followed the preaching of the cross of Christ, while the voice of prayer made sinners stare and filled them with awe and wonder. I also preached to a small society five miles farther, called Lawrenceville, after which I returned to Trenton, Princeton, &&;c., and in a few days I left for Brunswick. I left for this journey in 1843, in one of the brother's own conveyance, for which I felt very thankful. I filled several appointments, and then left for New York where I remained several weeks, and proposed the holding of a protracted meeting to the Elder Boggs, in charge and he thought well of it, and appointed one, and it seemed that the people truly had a mind to work, and the Lord blessed our labors. I preached on two Sabbath nights and once in the middle of the week. A revival broke out and twenty-one were added to the church, and it concluded with a victorious
Having a great desire to go to Massachusetts, I paid my way to Harvest Straw to take the boat, but was disappointed not being in time, after which I had to pay a gentleman to convey me ten miles and conduct me safe on board of the boat for Albany. I had a pleasant cabin passage for $1 50. On my arrival I employed a person to convey me and my baggage to a friend's house, and when I got there, they being absent, I did not stop even for breakfast; but returned to a N. York boat that stopped at Hudson, and there to take passage by Railroad. On my arrival, I found the cars did not start until 4 o'clock, P.M. It then occurred to my mind that I was in Hudson unexpectedly and truly the hand of the Lord must be in it, as I wanted to visit that place some time before. I then went out in search of some of my own people of color, trying to find out if I could get a place to preach in on my return, as I felt anxious to call the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. When about to start in the cars for Stockbridge, one of the brothers of the church went in company with me to the camp. By 7 o'clock we were safely landed and found the meeting prosperous and I felt warm for the battle, as though I must press through fire or water. We had one mile to walk or pay 25 cents--after walking the distance, we found the tent that the Albany friends were accommodated at; soon after which the Elder heard of it and called upon me, which seemed to approbate my coming to his camp. I felt a great degree of liberty, believing my self to be in the right place. After several other strangers had labored in their turn, the Elder gave me another appointment on Saturday night. I endeavored to speak as God gave ability, and a brother closed meeting after me. On Sabbath morning at 10 o'clock, I tried to speak again to a large congregation. It rained very heavy, but they gave the best attention and withstood the storm in all quietness; I felt free, the tongue was loosed, the lip was touched, and the heart was warm, which seemed to operate with the language of the text, in Rev.: "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day". The Lord owned the word, and the hearty Amens that went up, caused the woods to echo. A white Methodist gentleman was present, who had become almost choked to death with the glutted case of this world; while sitting, God through
At 2 o'clock, P.M., I tried to preach in the same church to a full congregation. Text from the general epistle of James, 1st Chapter & 25th verse. At night I spoke in the old Methodist church for the first time, from these words; "We have found him of whom Moses and the Prophet's did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." My mind was much exercised on the subject; receiving light from Heaven. I preached one sermon in the School-House at Catskill from these words;"I will give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and they shall not harm you." The Lord was there of a truth. After this, by request, I spoke in the white Methodist church from these words: "Therefore, cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward." The Lord was there, and assisted the clay to speak in his name. On Monday night I spoke from these words of Paul to the Hebrews: "If the words spoken by Angels, are steadfast," &&;c., which had its desired effect. On Saturday I left for Albany, taking with me a good report for the Elder of our connection; after which, we wrote for him to come and form a Society, which he did sometime afterwards. The Elder was kind, and gave me appointments frequently. He held a Protracted Meeting, at which all of our laborers were successful. I preached seven sermons in Albany and one in Troy; after which I felt moved upon to visit Binghampton, and sister Tilghman was on her way to the same place to visit her father and mother, from whom she had been absent for some time, Preaching the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom. But we were detained on the canal some time; but the Captain was kind and treated us well. After five days sail we arrived safe, and found our friends well; but not well in the Lord.
As soon as I enter a city I can feel the spirit that I may have to contend with; but by the permission of the Elder I filled appointments for a week or two, and then left for Montrose Quarterly Meeting. Preached five sermons, and passed through many things that were not
The Elder then returned and urged me to stay, but I saw my way was onward. After preaching once more, I was aided on my way to Owego, where I found the enemies were many, standing in opposition to female preaching, or preachers of any kind; but God always clears the way for his people. While they were preparing to have a dance rather than come to hear preaching, and boasting that they would invite the Elder to come to it, God laid his heavy hand upon the man that was to play the fiddle for them; he fell sick on the floor; but he was determined to carry it out, and sent for another man, and he refused, and at last this Goliah-like man was glad to send for the Elder to come and pray for him. "O! sinner, thou cans't not measure arms with Jehovah! He is a man of war, and the Lord is his name." In this very place, God worked miracles among them. I preached on Friday night, Sabbath morning, afternoon and night--and God worked wonders; converting some of the most wicked among them.
After this, I left for Smithboro; it seemed truly a hard place, and my labors were attended with but little success. There were a few scattering Methodists that assembled to worship, and seemed profited thereby. After I delivered my message I left for Towanda; and there we had very comfortable meetings. I then proceeded ten miles further and preached; there were eight persons, there one being an exhorter. They met us in the spirit of the gospel. After doing my duty I returned to Towanda, and on Wednesday I left for Athens; remained two days preaching two sermons in the Academy. Next morning I rode about two miles, but we had to wait until the next Tuesday, in consequence of the flood being so great. I now was among strangers, with very little money; but finding the lady was a christian. I ventured to open my mind to her, telling her the nature of my mission. She told her husband, who said he would charge me only six shillings. I sewed three spreads together for her to quilt. She then informed me of a lady preacher in the neighborhood, one mile distant. I was kindly received by her, and met another person
I was then sent for to return again to Owego, a distance of 38 miles, and they would pay my way on to Montrose, on my way to Philadelphia. I obeyed the request and found things very prosperous indeed. At night we had prayer meetings, and the Lord continued to pour out his spirit upon the people, and we had a meeting every night. Mr. J. H., formerly of Columbia, whose lot was cast as in a strange land, where there were only for a few people that were members of the M.E. Church; several husbands, strangers to God until now, and their wives, servants of the most High God, and two daughters of Mr. J.H., were justified through faith--three joined the church previously. I was selected to make a class book, and did so, as I wanted to see how many were for us. The Baptists had held an anxious meeting, after which five joined them. I made the trial by special invitation, and thirteen joined us. I had preached on Sabbath morning and night, and then held prayer meetings every night afterwards that week, except Saturday night; a man and his wife fell to the floor and cried for mercy, and both arose in the same hour soundly converted, giving God the glory. I preached on the next Sabbath morning and then led class, and at night again--text, Judges iv.25,26. They all marvelled at a woman taking such a deep subject, but the Lord assisted the organ of clay, and we had the victory, as there were twenty-one persons joined from that revival, and nearly all of them evinced justifying grace. On 3d day night we wound up, as I was to start on my journey on next day, which I did--brother paid my passage. I rode 28 miles in good company with a lady and gentleman who were going to New York. She said she was sorry to part; we had a heavy thunder storm with rain, and it was very dark, but we had a very careful driver, and we arrived safe at Montrose and took supper --between 12 and 1 o'clock at night I took stage for Wilkesbarre and arrived there at 8 next morning, and there I crossed the Susquehanna; I was very hungry, having a little time I went to the house and asked the lady for breakfast and I would pay her. She said she
At the expiration of three weeks and four days I left them fifteen names on their class book. I then rode a distance of sixty miles over a hard road, hills and mountains, (there being no turn-pike or rail-road on that rout from Wilksbarre to Easton;)--some part of the way there was good sleighing. Through the help of Providence we arrived at Easton about 8'clock, P.M. I took supper and lodging in the Hotel, where I was well accommodated; after which I found a small number of colored friends. We had a meeting, and "it was good for us to be there." After this I called at New Hope, thirty-two miles I think from Philadelphia; visited the family I was brought up in, stopped and rested myself, as I felt much exhausted from travelling, so much winter and summer. I preached two or three times. Brother J. B.--was holding a protracted meeting. I gained strength; thank the Lord, and then left for home, and arrived in the city the last day of March 1842, having been two years, wanting a few days, almost incessantly travelling. I found my son, together with the rest of my family connections quite well; yet I could hear of the ravages of death, the relentless murderer, who never takes denials; my little grand-daughter, a promising child indeed, was taken with the rest. O! how soon delights may perish, and my heart responds-- "The Lord's will be done."
My health being very much impaired, I knew not but that I should be the next one called away, but the Lord spared me for some other
I now conclude--by requesting the prayers of God's people everywhere, who worship
in His holy fear, to pray for me, that I ever may endeavor to keep a conscience void of offence,
either towards God or man--for I feel as anxious to blow the Trumpet in Zion; and sound
the alarm in God's Holy Mount, as ever;--
Though Nature's strength decay,
And earth and hell withstand-
To Canaan's land I'l urge my way,
At HIS Divine command.
But here I feel constrained to give over; as from the smallness of this pamphlet I cannot go through with the whole of my journal, as it would probably make a volume of two hundred pages; which, if the Lord be willing, may at some future day be published. But for the satisfaction of such as may follow after me, when I am no more, I have recorded how the Lord called me to his work, and how he has kept me from falling from grace, as I feared I should. In all things he has proved himself a God of truth to me; and in his service I am now as much determined to spend and be spent, as at the very first. My ardour for the progress of his cause abates not await, so far as I am able to judge, though I am now something more than fifty years of age.
As to the nature of uncommon impressions, which the reader cannot but have noticed, and possibly sneered at in the course of these pages, they may be accounted for in this way: It is known that the blind have the sense of hearing in a manner much more acute than those who can see: also their sense of feeling is exceedingly fine, and is found to detect any roughness on the smoothest surface, where those who can see find none. So it may be with such as I am, who has never had more than three months schooling; and wishing to know much of the way and law of God, have therefore watched the more closely, the operations of the Spirit, and have in consequence been led thereby. But let it be remarked that I have never found that Spirit lead me contrary to the scriptures of truth, as I understand them. "For as many as are led by tha Spirit of God are the sons of God." --Rom. viii. 14.
I have now only to say, May the blessing of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, accompany the reading of this poor effort to speak well of his name, wherever it may be read. AMEN.
P. S. Please to pardon errors, and excuse all imperfections, as I have been deprived of the advantages of education (which I hope all will appreciate) as I am measurably a self-taught person. I hope the
Though much opposed, it is essential in life, as Mr. Wesly wisely observer. Thus ends the Narrative of Jarena Lee , the first female preacher of the First African Methodist Episopal Church.
Bethel At Philadelphia, Penn., United States Of America.