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“ Entered according to act of Congress in thề year eighteen hundred and thirty-one, by David Marks, as author, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Maine."
This book will be sold in the state of Maine, at the Office of the Morning Star, and, by A. & H. J. Libby, Limerick : by Samuel Small, Esq. and Elder E. Shaw, Portland : Élder Dávid Swett, Prospect : Dea. Joseph Rich, Jackson.-In New Hampshire, by Cheney and Morse, Holderness : Elder E. Place, Strafford : Dea. Wentworth, Dover : Samuel Ambrose, P. M., Sandwich : Levi Parker, Lisbon : Elder A. Caverno, Hopkinton.--In Vermont, by Elder J. Woodman, Sutton : Elder Ziba Pope, Randolph.-In Rhode Island, by Joseph Arnold, Greenville.
ERRATA IN A PART OF THE COPIES. On the 16th page, six lines from the bottom, for 1831, read 1813. On page 353, for Chapter XXII, read Chapter XXIII.
When I was about to commence an itinerant life, my mother would not part with me till she had obtained a promise that I would faithfully keep a simple narrative of my travels, and the interesting occurrences which should fall under my observation. This promise was made reluctantly, as I could perceive but little probability, that much, if any advantage would result from the course. Had it not been for this requisition of the tender parent, years might have passed, and a thought of such a practice never have entered my mind. Indeed, it was several months before I saw any use for these simple narrations. But after some years, I found, that, by referring to them, many interesting particulars concerning past events were revived, which would otherwise have been forgotten till the judgment. Years still passed, however, before I thought of their ever exciting any interest, except with myself, or my intimate friends. But at the
age of twenty, I became of the opinion, on reviewing my manuscript, that it exhibited an interesting view of the grace of God, in converting and putting me into the ministry, in strengthening my hands, and in blessing his word through the feeblest of instruments to the salvation of souls. Believing my narrative might be useful to Zion, if suitably prepared and published after my decease, I concluded to revise the whole, so that, should I be called suddenly to lay aside this tabernacle, it might be left intelligible for another hand. After completing this revision, I kept a brief journal, and recorded only the more interesting facts; not expecting it to be published during my life. The following objections weighed much against its publication:-1. Having enjoyed the privileges of
a school only ten months, my education was not sufficient to prepare such a work for the press. 2. It appeared assuming for a person to publish his own journal. 3. Being a man of like passions with other men, and my state of trial not yet concluded, I might still forget God! and should this be the case, grace of God bestowed on me, might be viewed with contempt; and my apostacy would be the more a stumbling block to the weak.
Being solicited, however, by certain friends, in the year 1830, to publish my journal. I proposed my objections; which they endeavoured to remove. And after considering the subject, asking counsel of men of experience, and making fervent prayer to God, for the space of six months, the following reflections have decided its publication. My first objection is somewhat removed, by the experience of several years; and, more particularly, by the kindness of Heaven in giving me a companion, whose life has been chiefly spent in literary pursuits; and whose assistance in preparing the work for the press, has been of essential service. My second objection has been overbalanced by the consideration, that the grace God hath bestowed on me, has been singular;-in my early impressions, and conversion in his calling me from obscurity into his vineyard, at the age of fifteen years;--in opening my way remarkably while travelling in my minor years; and, finally, in showing me abundance of his grace, , and in leading me in paths which I knew not, for eleven years. Relative to my third objection, I have thought, should I depart from my blessed Master after he hath wrought such wonders for my soul; then, let this history be a witness against me; and by the same, others may learn to be watchful. And with such an example before their eyes, they may apply to themselves this scripture: 1 Cor. 10:12: “ Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.' Pera haps the mere publication of this narrative will make no difference in my future course.
If it have any effect, the manner of my past life being more generally known, it should excite me to more carefulness, as by the same, there is an increase of my accountability
My labours, in some instances, have been intimately connected with the rise and progress of the Free-Will Baptist connexion; especially in the western country. And these particulars would now be interesting. The grace which the Lord hath shown me, has caused many others, as well as myself, to glorify God; and if the same were more generally known, I believe souls would be benefitted thereby, and glory be given to the Most High.
1. Notwithstanding I have endeavoured to write a correct journal, there are a few things, to which, in general, I have thought it duty to make no allusion, lest it should affect the character of individuals. Yet, as these have caused me deep sorrow, and severe trials, the entire omission of them in this place, would hardly be proper. Though I have been destitute of
certain means of support, I have felt constrained to devote
whole time to the ministry, and depend upon the unsolicited contributions of those whose hearts might be opened to communicate. From many I have received liberally; yet, the instances have been frequent, in which I have travelled far, and expended considerable to preach among brethren, who were wealthy, from whom I have received nothing. Sometimes a penny has not been communicated for months; and for want of pecuniary aid, I have passed hundreds of times without the usual meal, and have often been destitute of convenient raiment. Still, these things have been no discouragement, neither would I have changed my condition with the kings of the earth; for I have made a covenant with God, that I will neither cease preaching, nor be a hireling, though I should have to beg my bread from door to door.
2. There have been persecutions, in which professed Christians of various denominations, have taken an active part. Sometimes they have been the authors of unfounded prejudices and slanders, designed to injure my usefulness, or sink into contempt the doctrine I preach. Those who may have sinned in these things, I judge not; they have one that judgeth them; and my prayer is, that they may repent and
obtain forgiveness, before we are called to meet where the books shall be opened before the great Judge.
In writing this narrative, I have spoken of revivals, conversions, and interesting occurrences, as they appeared to me at the time. But, as change marketh all things in this state of probation, there have been, and still may be, instances in which the gold hath become dim, and the most fine gold changed. Apostacy has, in a greater or less degree, afflicted the righteous ever since time began. Doubtless, in the following pages, there may be allusions made to individuals, who once felt the power of the gospel; but of whom, hereafter, if not now, it may be said, they have ‘forgotten that they were purged from their old sins.' 2 Pet. 1:9. Would to God, that even these pages might bring to their remembrance former days, when the candle of the Lord shone with beauty in their tabernacle; when, for a little season, they were willing to rejoice in that light.
In the late revision of this journal for the press, I have, with my companion, experienced several embarrassments. Constrained by duty to labour daily. in the vineyard of the Lord, and travelling often among strangers, amid the vicissitudes of weather, we have been necessitated to accomplish the work at various intervals, and under a variety of circumstances. Having made supplication to God, that, through his grace, it may be made a blessing to some,
I submit it to my brethren in Christ, who are endeared to me by ties sweeter than life, and stronger than death. The interviews I have enjoyed with thousands of the happy saints, during nearly eleven years, are remembered with gratitude to God. Many of these I shall not meet again till the heavens be no more.' By the grace of our dear Redeemer, I am resolved to spend my days in his service, that when my blessed Master shall call me from the walls of Zion to his eternal glory, I may
“ Meet all the heavenly pilgrims there,
And in God's kingdom have a share." Limerick, Me. Sept. 26, 1831.