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life and joy sprang up, as mine, alone to share!
and as mine, for evermore!
Shortly after, looking upon myself as a believer --and viewing it the privilege of believers onlyI was emersed in baptism, (in company with one of my sisters) hy Elder Moses Howe. Elder H. belonged to the sect, in the United States, denominated Christians; but as no society had ever been organized in the place, of that persuasion, we, hence, were left to our freedom, or otherwise, to unite with whatever community we chose, at any future day
For some months subsequent to my conversion, my heart and tongue were filled with increasing praise and thanksgiving to God. In the language of the royal Psalmist, I could say, “Come unto me all ye that tear the Lord, and I will declare," (what I hope he has done,) what I know, "he has done for my soul." Also with Mary, I could say, “My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Saviour;” and with Peter, moreover, I could appeal to my Maker, and affirm, “Lord thou knowest all things, thou kinowest that I love thee."
My bosom glowed with love divine to the whole human race; yea, my soul was utterly dissolved of God's almighty love; and I rejoiced, "His truth and righteousness to declare," to hun dreds, or to the perishing thousands, from place to place, — while many were constrained to acknowledge, (from the signs which followed,) that the grace of God was especially with me.
But not long, however, before the words were applied with
power, to my heart, “I will show thee how great things thou shalt suffer for my name's
sake;" and oh! the multiplied scenes of sufferiog, danger, and of toil, that since, I have waded thro'! But the LORD hath made a way for His ránsomed to pass over,
and I am delivered. Antes rior to my conversion, howbeit, as that life, the most honorable which I could live, I made choice of the one replete with sufferings, for the LORD Jesus' sake: and as that death, the most honorable which I could die, I said "let me die the death of a martyr:” or rather, “let me spend and be spent, in the cause of the blessed Redeemer."
I had at that time, an impression from a dream, that I should one day become religious, and bear testimony to the word of God's grace over the earth.But these things, I studiously kept, however, and pondered within my own bosom.
1819 & 1820, was a space of the closest trial with me. I was brought to the test, whether I would pay that, I had vowed to the Most High, or no. "Notwithstanding, I had the clearest evidence of duty, in bearing a public testimony; I began, at length, to confer with flesh and blood, and to say,
"I can speak no more in the name of the LORD, for the tongue of the learned he has not given to me; nor am I, in any wise, adequate to such an important undertaking. I love precious souls, however, and think, I would sacrifice my life for their salvation. But wherein, am I able to profit one soul of man?
Or in what sense, am I to be, in any degree, accounted of? In my most arduous attempts, I may only reproach that sacred name and cause, which above all others, I revere!--and merely stumble and destroy the very souls, I so ardently desire to save."
The peace of God I therefore lost out of my heart, and in the language of the Prophet Jonah, I exclaimed, “It is better for me to die, than to
Such a sense of the worth of souls-my neglect of duty-the shortness of my time--and of my awful responsibility to God, devolved upon me at times, as to quite disable me for any secular concern. Sleep hence departed from my eyes, and slumber from my eyelids. My bread became like ashes, and my drink was mingled with my weeping. From the bitter anguish of my soul, I also cried, “Oh! that I had in the wilderness, a lodging place of way-faring men!" Or that I might hide myself, in some lone cavern of the earth, and be at rest; far, far, from all human view! indeed, a wonder to myself; and I could not tell, what had gotten hold on me. I looked at my friends and relations, whom I had reason to think, possessed of as deep piety as myself; but I saw nothing in them, that appeared like what I felt, from day to day: nor did I conceive, that another indi. vidual of the human race, knew any thing about such exercise as mine!
I sometimes felt a longing desire, to go "into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” In imagination, I was there; and in dreams of the night, I was there, sounding salvation to the thoughtless thousands. But, nevertheless, I was not able to understand, how this could be, consistently, required of me; --if it were so, I fancied, that the LORD would qualify me for such a work; as I believed He never demanded any thing of His creatures, which they had not ability to accomplish. I was apprehensive, however,
that there was something for me to do, towards the saving of my fellow-men, of which, I was then living in a wilful neglect. I could find no person, to whom, I dared disclose the secrets of my heart; but to the LORD alone, I made my supplication, day and night, that He would graciously reveal, and bring me to submit, to all His holy will. The words, at one time, were applied with much force to my mind, “Hearken, O daughters, and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house."
I consequently, sometimes believed, what again I dared not believe; even, that I should one day, forsake my kindred and my home, and through the waste-howling desert of a sinful world, “testify the" GLAD TIDINGS "of the grace of God”. This I ardently desired to do, and thought I would freely give the whole world, if I had it in possession, to be enabled to take up my cross, and discharge every duty incumbent upon me, in a public way. I wished to preach the Gospel-1st, Because I sometimes felt the word of the LORD as fire shut up in my bones, and I longed to speak that I might be refreshed : 2d, Because I loved precious souls, and desired their salvation, even more than to be made heir of the universe:-3d, Because I loved the LORD Jesus, and desired, for the honor of His holy name, to live to some good end among my fellow-men. But the tempter cries, “You'll never stand in the day of battle! Although you begin to build, you will never be able to finish: then, amidst perpetual shame and disgrace, you will return, and to the grief and sorrow of all your friends in future life.
On taking a second survey of things, “What,' exclaimed 1, "am I henceforth to be? A solitary wanderer through the earth, far, far, from every friend, and no more a certain dwelling place, beneath the sun? A slender female, and in every literary attainment but a babe; to face a frowning world, exposed to ten thousand snares! and in danger continually of bringing reproach upon God's righteous cause! Am I able to endure? O LORD God, thou only knowest! The end of all events are with Thee, as though they were but yesterday. Uphold me by thy free spirit, and may I never presume to run counter to thy most holy will."
I was sometimes enabled to claim the sweet. promises of the Lord as mine,"Fear not thou worm, Jacob; I will help thee; and behold, I will make thee a new sharp instrument, having teeth, and ihou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.” Also, “I will bless thee, and I will make thee a blessing: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee; and uchatsoever I command thee, thou shalt speak.” These things, not unfrequently, strengthened me in my resolutions to persevere; and the sweet cords of love, at once, drew me away.
In a moment I was gone, as it were, over a wide world, and lost to all sense of sorrow and pain, in beholding sinners, by hundreds, submitting to God.
But the snare was not yet broken, nor had my soul escaped. Amidst these conflicting scenes, my friends began to be much alarmed for me, and to express their apprehensions in the strongest terms, that I was ruining myself. They hence