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PREFACE. Candid Reader of whatever Nation, Kindred or
People. A BRIEF SKETCH of the various changing scenes of my life, thus far, I here present you;—not with elegance of style; ---to "hold fast the form of sound words," has been my only aim. It is, merely, an INTRODUCTION to a more extensive work, that I purpose, by the help of God, shortly to send abroad;.--and the first effusion of my pen, that I have ever submitted to the press,--and to the public. Anterior to the present period, not so much as a letter, in my own hand, have I proposed for publication:-but, that I withheld my pen so long, I confess,—is now, with me a subject of regret. The reasons for my backwardness, that I assign,were 1st. I thought meanly enough of my talents, and wished not to become, thus public-but, from the clearest conviction of duty. 2dly. I was fearful of being too assuming ---and of aspiring too much, for vain-glory. 3dly. There was no publisher, to advocate the cause of one, not immediately within their pales,---and especially that travelled with the testimony of Jesus:--(unless it were the “Christian Connexion;" and their work, was so circumscribed, that I preferred, rather, setting my letters on foot, in my own hand writing.)
One particular inducemeni, to having the TREATISE, completed in this city,. was ---To be driven from all other helps, to a firm reliance on Almighty
power;---and to know the same, eventually, my own. Among my friends, I seared a disposition to confide, too much in their better judgment;.-rather than which, I chose that my own imperfections, should be manifest abroad;---and to surmount the charge, that I was apprehensive, would be greatly augmented thereby. The work, therefore, is now my own. None other, has had a hind, or voice therein. At least,---in relation to the main matter, I know it to be the Lord's; but the many,---mean, and low expressions to be traced throughout, are my own invention. Wherefore from the truth, - in any one instance, I am not apprised of having swerved.
At the commencement, ---it was intended for no more, than a PAMPHLET of twenty pages; (relating to my voyage, to the Old World, &c.) ---but things have had such a termination, that I have been drawn,---or rather driven, quite beside my own designs, even to the lengths you here survey. I ask, my friendly reader, that the peculiar manner, of my being circumstanced, during its completion, may be deemed a sufficient apology for the many errors to be detected therein. The work which is to follow, I desire, may be more fully fraught with Divine Wisdom; and perused with deeper interest, and benefit, by all to whom it is extended. The greatest difficulty with me, here has been, to keep my pen within due bounds;---having such an abundance, that I wished to reveal, and of which, the narrow limits first surveyed for this,---would not admit. I think, the great, and marvellous things, the Lord hath wrought for me, (and which, I have
more especially to communicate,) He will not suffer, to be buried in the dust. Because of my desire for writing, and delight therein---which I formerly had not, I believe that to be now, more than ever my duty:-—and having became familiarized thereto, I hope that in consequence, the fragile thread of my existence may be lengthed out; (so that, it be not said to me, at last, as one suggested, "What have you come, slying into Heaven 80 soon for ---before you are sent after?")
The work, to which I particularly allude---and purpose to present hereafter-is that, of my "Journal;" — which I now have by me, in manuscript, at least the amount of four hundred octavo pages. Beside which, I hope to afford the world shortly, some specimens of my public communication, in a separate volume:
-although, I would, have it understood, that I have never been habituated, to committing to paper before hand, any thing of that nature. This object, I heartily desire to see accomplished, before my race is run;-especially, for the encouragement of my own sex, that may succeed me in the Lord's Vineyard:--and that the pride of all human glory, may I stained, from sea, even to sea; and from the river, to the ends of the earth.
A systematical mode of proceedure, in the ministry,*-is what I discountenance altogether;--and believe that no person, of this enlightened
* The body of Christ, is not one, but many members; and it is their privilege (as in the day of pentecost)-exclusively, to speak as they are moved by the Holy Ghost. For God hath set some in the church, first Apostles,--prophets-teachers-
age,---thus devoted, -is likely to attain, to any eminent degree of holiness. Because, by a constant adherence, to a round of customary devotions; and a habitude of borrowing for a prop, the sentiments of other Authors, (a person with but a shallow capacity, could discern)—he deprives himself of that spiritual light,-correspondent, with a lively exercise of faith in God, —which it is the exalted privilege of every believer to enjoy.-And hence it is, that so many put light for darkness--darkness for light; sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet:---and have become, even as the heathin the desert, that knows not when good cometh.
Respecting the preaching of females, many object,-_There was not a woman, among the twelve; or the seventy---sent out to preach the Gospel --otherwise, I might believe." We regret, that they have not penetration sufficient to know, that "A woman was commissioned with the most important, Gospel message, ever borne by mortals--even to the whole of that number. Many object, "It is a shame for a woman to speak in the church." To such I would reply, "Where did Mary, Anna, Deborah, Miriam, Eusther, &c. &c. speak, --but, in the church?” One,---judged Israel, forty years;another, was appointed a leader-(third, in place,) of that immense host through the wilderness;---and a fourth, was exalted, a deliverer, of the whole
after that miracles,--gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversity of longues, &c.—for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, &c. &c.
Jewish nation: Pray, which even, of the Apostles themselves, could boast, of greater things than these? Jehovah delights to use weak means, to effect great things!---that, whoever glorieth, should glory, in that, "he understandeth, and knoweth God.” Says Dr. Clark, in his Commentary on the holy Scriptures, "Many have spent much useless labour, in endeavouring to prove, that these women, did not preach. That there were some prophetesses, as well as prophets, in the Christian church, we learn;--and that a woman, might pray or prophecy, provided her head were covered, we know;---and that whosoever prophecied, spoke to others, to edification, &c. &c.--1 Cor. 14 and 15. That no preacher can do more, every person must acknowledge; because to edify, exhort and comfort, are the prime ends of the Gospel ministry, If women, thus prophecied; then women preached.” May the Lord, raise up a host of female warriors ---that shall provoke the opposite party, from their indolence;---and in too many instances, far---unlawful traffick, of the Word of God! Amen.
In my extensive journeyings, over the earth, I have partook of the benificence, of very many of divers nations; *.--(more especially that of the Irish,
* In Hallifax, M. S. a vessel came into port, -and a poor, outcast, Prussian sailor, was drawn to hear a womon preach; but for no better end, than to make a mock. He come, the second—and also, the third time,-when he fell prostrate upon the floor, and cried aloud (yea roared) till midnight,when the raven was changed to a dove,—the lion to a lamb-or truly, his appearance, was almost, terrific. After seeing