Lorenzo Dow.

The dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete online

. (page 12 of 126)
Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 12 of 126)
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(but supposed a local preacher,) and intended
Mr. G. should preach the first sermon there,
for the dedication. Next day, some desired
to know my name, which I desired to be ex-
cused from telling. I held a number of meet-
ings in this place, mostly cold and lifeless,
though we had some good and pious friends ;
yet I could not speak with life and power as
formerly ; but felt as if I was delivering my
message to the wrong people. For it had
been in my mind, to return to my native town,
and there begin, and travel extensively : first,
in the adjacent places, and so abroad, as I
might find Providence to open the door.

504. When I got to this place, I had two
shillings left, and hearing of a place called
Kingston-sopus, I was minded to visit, (con-
trary to the advice of my friends,) and having
got a few together with difficulty, and !

two other appointments, returned, having paid
away all my money for ferriages, and when
the time commenced in which I musl go and
fulfil the appointments, saw no way
across the ferry, and whilst walking along in
meditation on past providence, and raising my
heart, that a way might he opened for my
getting across the ferry, I cast my eye upon
the sand, and espied something bright, i
picking it up found it to be a York -hilling,
the very sum I wanted in order to cross over.
And when I had fulfilled my first appointment,
and was going to the second, astrangei
hands with me, and left near half a dollar in
my hand, so 1 was enabled to get back. Thus
1 see Providence provides l'w them that put
their trust in him. — Having some scripture
pictures framed sent by me from Europe to dis-
pose of, some I gave away, and the remainder
I let go to a printer, for some religious hand-



bills, &c. in Poughkeepsie, some of which I
distributed through the town, and hearing the
sound of a fiddle, I followed it, and came to a
porch where was a master teaching his pupils
to dance. I gave some handbills, which he
called after me to take away, but I spoke not
a word but went off. Here the people are
hardened. — At Fishkill and the Highlands, the
people were hard, and apparently sorry to see
me. — At Clove and Sharlingtown likewise, I
visited some neighboring places, and had some
tender meetings. At Amenia and Dover, the
Methodists seemed shy; I put up at a tavern
several times. Swago, I visited from house
to house, but have not the art nor the spirit of
visiting as when in the north country. Sharon
— I found two classes here, the first hard and
sorry to see me ; the other tender with Chris-
tian love. In Salisbury and Canaan, (Con-
necticut,) I had sundry meetings, but still felt
as if not in my right sphere. A report that
crazy Dow had got back from Ireland, brought
many out to hear. Mount Washington, Shef-
field, and Egremont, (Mass.,) I visited ; thence
to Hudson, and so to Rhinebeck.

505. After quarterly meeting, I went home
to see my friends, and found my parents well,
and one sister, who had become more serious
within the course of a few months, which was
a matter of consolation to me.

506. The expectation of the Methodists was
raised, expecting such times as we had before,
not looking enough beyond the watchman —
once some were prejudiced against me; but
now too much for me, so I was clogsred with
their expectations and shut up. Walking to
Norwich, gave away my pocket handkerchief
to get breakfast, and took shipping to New
London, where we had three meetings that
were large and tender. One who was near
and dear to me di 1 not come to see me, neither
durst I go to see him, which caused me some
pain of heart.

507. September 3rd. I went forty miles to
Middletown, and had four meetings which
were good and tender. At New Hartford, I
hired a ball room, which cost me a dollar and
a half. The man thought I was going to have
a play at first — many came to hear, to whom
I spoke from, After I have spoken, mock on. —
Some were tender, and some disputed, saying,
all things are decreed, and they hoped they
were Christians, and no man can be a Chris-
tian unless he is reconcile! to God's decrees.
I replied, if all things arc fore-ordained, it was
fore-ordained that I should talk as I do, and
you are not reconciled to it. and of course are
not Christians ; but deceiving yourselves ac-
cording to your own doctrine. The young
people smiled, and so we parted.

508. Oh, when shall the time commence
when the watchman shall see eye to eye, and

the earth be filled with God's glory ? — Thence
I went to my circuit, and continued round with
my mind burthened, as when sailing up from
New York : and have been burthened and de-
pressed whilst on this circuit ever since. I do
not have such meetings as formerly, though
the cause of God, and the worth of souls lies
as near my heart as ever. What can be the
cause, unless out of my sphere 1 I felt a pain
in my right side, and on the seventh day, an
ulcer, as I suppose, broke in my lungs, and I
raised a putrefied matter, and was forced to
cut my labor short the next day through weak-
ness of body. After this, I had hardly strength
to keep up with my appointments; but fre-
quently was obliged to lie upon the bed whilst
addressing the people. At length, I got a lit-
tle more free from my pain, and was in hopes
that the raising would cease, and the place

509. October 24th — 25th. After quarterly
meeting, I left this circuit, by G"s. direction,
and proceeded for Litchfield circuit, but did
not ask for location, as I wished to go through
the year if possible, considering my engage-
ment, and the nature of my standing.

510. 26th. The Methodists being low and
lazy here, I walked through the town, and
gave notice for meeting, and invited the peo-
ple ; and some ministers and lawyers, with the
people, accepted. The second meeting scores
could not get in. At Milton, God has be-
gun a good work. In Kent, the people are
hard. New Milford, Washington, Woodbury,
Goshen, Winchester, Bristol, I visited. Some
were hard ; some were prejudiced; and with
some I had comfort ; amongst whom were
some seventh day Baptists near the last place.
In Farminglon and Northington, religion seem-
ed low, in the latter, harm was done by the
minister opposing the work under brother M.
In Granby and Barkhempstead, it is low.
Hartland hollow, once a flaming place for pie-
ty, but seems to be diminished greatly, yet of
late some small quickening. Colebrook and
Winstead I visiled : in the latter is a large so-
ciety, but not so much engaged as they use!
to be. Thus I have got round the circuit —
scarce any blessing on my labors, and my
mind depressed from day to day.

511. Of late it hath lain upon my mind that
I should not recover whilst I continued in this
sphere of action ; and that my ill health came
in consequence of not doing what I had felt to
be my duty, viz. to travel the continent more
at large ; and the only remedy to escape and
recover from this decline, would be by a
change of air and climate, &c, and as though
Providence chose to make use of this means
for my recovery, for some end unknown to me.
And the more I made it a matter of prayer,
that if it were a temptation, it might decrease :



but if it were from Him, it might increase ;
and the more I think upon it and weigh it as
for eternity, the more it increases, and cords
of sweet love drew me on.

512. The thoughts of leaving the circuit
without liberty, is somewhat trying, as I had
done it once before: and some perhaps may
conclude there is no confidence to be put in me.
The island of Bermuda, or Georgia, is what I
had in contemplation.

513. November 21— 22. Quarterly meeting
was in Cornwall ; I told brother Batchelor
that my mind was under the above trials; he
said he was willing 1 should go. But Gar-
retson, my spiritual grandfather, would not
consent ; but offered me a location on the cir-
cuit, if I would say I could travel no longer;
but would not consent that I should leave it
on any condition at first. I could not say but
what I could travel a space longer, and yet
apparently but a very little while. At length
I strove to get him to say, if it was the opin-
ion of brother Moriarty, that my health was
declining, he would not charge me with diso-
bedience at the next conference : he said I
must then labor not in my usual way, but like
the other preachers, viz. the regular appoint-
ments only, and thus indirectly it was left —
so I continued on.

27th. My strength I think declines.

514. December 1. I reached my parents
again, tarried four days, had two meetings,
and told my parents of my intention of visit-
ing the southern climes. They did not seem
to oppose it as I expected : but said, once it
would have been your delight to have been
received and regularly travelling on a circuit,
and now they are willing to receive you, you
cannot feel contented to tarry on a circuit,
which, if we were to have our choice, it would
be to have you continue ; then you will have
friends, and can come and see us ; but you
must be your own judge in this matter; weigh
it well, and act accordingly.

515. I left my horse, saddle, bridle and
watch, in the bands of Nathaniel Phelps, and
had some money id' a neighbor, viz. my horse,
with the man who came fifteen miles to see
me, and gave me a dollar, when I was sick in
the north country. Peter Moriarty, the as-
sistant preacher of the circuit, being gone
home to wait till God should send snow that
he might move his family, it was uncertain
when I could get hi- judgment respecting my
decline, and there being no probability of my
ohtaining Garretsons consent, 1 was now
brought into a straight. Being unable to
ful lil the appointments with propriety any
longer, [ got brother Fox to take them in my

516. My license being wrote in such form
by Mr. (lit would only serve for the Duchess

and Columbia circuits, so that when he remov-
ed me to Litchfield it was good for nothing,
so I destroyed it, and of course, now had no
credentials to aid me in a strange land. The
thoughts of going away under the above diffi-
cult circumstances was trying both to my na-
tural desire, and to my faith ; yet it appeared
to me I was brought into this situation by my
disobedience, and the only way would be to
obey in future.

517. December 9. A friend, N. P. carried
me to Hartford, and being disappointed of
shipping, I set off on foot to New Haven, and
though weak in body, I went twelve miles,
and stopped at a tavern ; but it being the
free-mason lodge night, they made such a
noise I could not sleep, so I went to a farm-

518. Set off at dawn of day, and a man in
Meriden saw and knew me, gave me a break-
fast, and sent a horse with me several miles,
so I reached New Haven that night, and
spoke to a few. The next evening I spoke
again, and God gave me favor in the sight
of some. At length I set sail for New York,
and making a mistake as the passengers
divided when going on board, I carried
away two bottles which belonged to the
other packet where my things were; and on
our arrival, I paid the damage of the porter,
which the people drank up without my con-
sent. However, they were so kind as to rum-
mage my things and write in my journals
some scurrilous language belonging to sea-
faring people. After my landing, I went to
my old home at the house of brother Jeffery.
I took the advice of several physicians, whose
advice it was to go. And finding a vessel
bound to Bermuda, was denied a passage on
account of my religion; but captain Peleg
Latham, going to sail for Savannah, offered to
take me, and throw in a fifth part of my pas-
sage, considering the cause of my going.

519. Through Dr. Johnson's books, I had
procured my horse, got some religious hand-
bills printed, containing rules for holy living,
Sfc, paid my passage, and had about one dol-
lar and a half left me, eighteen dollars still
being in G.'s hands. My friends made out
my provisions. My cough and weakness in-
crease. I am more than ever sea-sick. I
said, to tarry is death, to go I do but die.

520. January 3d, 1802. I am in lat. 34 dog.
38 min., long. 76 deg. 2 min. My cough has
almost left me; but my raising continues.
The people are as kind and civil as I could
expecl under the circumstances. Natural and
human prospects appear dark ; what is before
me I know not; my trust is in God. 1 have
but one to look to or rely upon in this under-
taking. My trials are keen — indeed it is a
trial of my faith to go; but Jesus is precious



to my soul on this roaring sea. The winds
these four days past are. contrary.

521. There is but one in all Georgia that I
know. I have seen before, Hope Hull, my
spiritual father: and to him I never spoke.
My mind was tried by the enemy of souls ;
something within said, you will see such good
days no more : the openings and favors you
have had are now gone, and, as it were, death
awaits you. But one evening, when thus
tried, when lying down, a thought arose, why
have I not as great a right to expect favors
from God now, as in days that are past and
gone. Immediately hope and faith began to
revive, and my heart to be drawn out in
prayer. Soon after, the wind came fair, and
we run from five to nine miles an hour, till
we had run our latitude. On our way, a
whale played round our vessel for an hour or

522. January 6. Saw land — it being foggy,
did not venture into port. The night follow-
ing found we had but about two fathoms of
water, as we sounded to cast anchor upon a
hollow shoal; it being then high water, the
captain began to prepare the boats to flee ; the
noise awaked me up — I saw the people terri-
fied and preparing to escape. I began to ex-
amine whether I was sorry I had come, or
was prepared to die — felt great inward peace,
and no remorse, and fell asleep again ; but
their ado soon awaked me. I dressed myself,
sung an hymn, and lay down. I observed
some praying, and one man reproving an-
other, saying, it is no time to swear now —
soon the vessel struck, the cable they cut off
at five blows, and hoisted a sail, leaving the
anchor, and the tide carried us through a nar-
row place into deep water, striking twice on
the way — just before, was a smart breeze, but
now a calm. Through this medium, by the
providence of God, we escaped. Gladness
appeared on every countenance, and soon
drinking, cursing, swearing, and taking God's
name in vain, appeared on the carpet. My
heart was grieved to see this, and I could but
reprove and counsel them. Oh, how fre-
quently will people be frightened in danger
and deny it afterwards !

523. 7th. Fog continued till afternoon,
then got a pilot, and anchored in the river at

Friday, 8th. I landed in Savannah, and
walked through the town. I found a burying
ground, and the gate being down, I went in,
and spent an hour or two in thanksgiving
and prayer for my deliverance, and a prosper-
ous journey. Oh, the poor blacks ! a boat
of them with some white people came along-
side of our vessel : my heart yearns when I
view their sable faces and condition. I in-
quired for Methodists, and found no regular

ones in town. But one of Hammet's party,
Adam C. Cloud, a preacher, whom I did not
know at first, gave me the liberty of his
preaching house that night, in which I spoke
to about seventy whites and blacks ; but to
get them collected, I took upwards of a hun-
dred handbills, and distributed them through
the town, and threw one into a window where
a man was dying; and a Baptist preacher
being present, read it to the family, as he
afterwards told me, and that it was a solemn
time. He, Mr. Halcomb, ever denied me his
meeting-house. On Sunday and Monday even-
ings, I spoke in the African meetinghouse;
it did my heart good to see the attentive
blacks. — Andrew, the black preacher, had
been imprisoned and whipped until the blood
ran down, for preaching ; as the people
w;m ted to expel religion from the place, he
being the only preacher in town. The whites
at length sent a petition to the legislature for
his permission to preach, which was granted.
Said he to me, " my father lived to be an hun-
dred and five years old, and I am seventy, and
God of late has been doing great things for us.
I have about seven hundred in church, and
now I am willing to live or die as God shall
see fit." The whites offered me a collection,
which I declined, lest wrong constructions
should be put upon it, and I deemed an im-
postor, as I was a stranger. I gave my trunk,
&c. to the family where I tarried. In pouring
out some crackers, I found two dollars, which
I suppose my friends flung in at New York ;
this I stood in need of. As I was leaving
town old Andrew met me, and shaking hands
with me, left eleven dollars and a half in my
hand, which some had made out : So I per-
ceived God provides for those who put their
trust in him. I had not gone far before I fell
in with a team ; I gave the man a hand-bill,
which he said he would not take half a dollar
for, and bade me put my bundle in his cart ;
thus with help got I on about twenty miles
that day.

524. The captain with whom I sailed, said,
he discovered a visible alteration for the bet-
ter in my health, previous to our parting, as
my cough left me, I raised less and less, and
my strength returned more and more, far be-
yond expectation. It was thought, when I
sailed from New York, that I should not live
to return.

525. The day after I left Savannah, a man
overtook me, who heard of me, and said,
" are you the preacher who has lately come
from the northward ?" I replied in the af-
firmative. Said he, " I heard you in Savan-
nah, and desiring to find you, I saw one back
in a wagon dressed in black, whom I asked if
he was the man ; he replied, no, sir, I love
rum too well."



526. lie took me on his horse, and carried
me to old father Boston's, near Tukisaking.
Here I was kindly received, and called in a
few neighbors, to whom I spoke, and appoint-
ed meeting for Sunday. In the interval they
began to interrogate me where I come from,
and for my license or credentials ; which, on
the relation of my situation, caused them to
think 1 was an impostor: but at length they
found my name on the minutes, so their fears
were in a measure subsided. A Methodist
preacher, on his way from conference, fell in
there on Saturday, and behaved as if he
thought I was an impostor: however, my ap-
pointment was given out, and could not be
recalled. And while I was fulfilling of it, the
melting power of God was felt, and tears were
rolling on every side. As I was leaving the
assembly to go to my evening appointment,
about ten miles off, several shook hands with
me, and left pieces of money in my hand to
the amount of some dollars, which I perceived
increased the preacher's jealousy, as I refused
the loan of a horse. I walked and fulfilled
my evening meeting, where a collection was
offered, which I refused, however, about four
dollars were forced upon me.

527. 18. Continuing my course. I saw the
sand hill or hooping crane, the largest kind
of bird or fowl I ever saw; also, a flock of
geese flying over. Sure — instinct ! what is
it 1 or who can tell ?■ the power of attraction ?
Men are wise, yet the more they find out,
the greater mysteries are presented to view,
and the more puzzled they are relative to the
book of nature. Oh, the wisdom of God !
The birds of flight know their appointed
time: and oh, that the children of men would
consider theirs I dined gratis at an inn.

528. 20. I reached Augusta, (the place
seemed familiar, as if I had seen it before,
when I came within sight of it, as I had four
times dreamed of preaching in a similar place,
and seen some similar people,; and inquired
for Methodists, and the first direction was to
go to the house of a Frenchman, where the
family treated me with great ridicule and con-
tempt. From thence I was directed to the
house of a Calvinist, where I was treated
with equal coolness. Thence to a house
where the fashionable preachers put up, bu1
got no encouragement to tarry : but \
rected to the common preachers' boarding
hou ". where I was thought to bean impostor,
and so was sent to a private boarding house:
I went there, but could not get entertainmenl
for love nor money; and espj ing a

woods at a distance, concluded to go and take
up my lodging there that night: a
a handbill, ! set off an 1 go1 about two-thirds
of the way out of town, when a negro over-
took me with an express that his mistress

wanted I should come back. I went back and
tarried all night, and for my supper, lodging
and breakfast, they would take nothing, nei-
ther would they keep me any longer, though I
offered them any sum that they should ask for
a week's board. Next night I offered a fami-
ly pay for four nights lodging ; they said they
would take me on trial ; I did not eat nor
drink with them ; they kept me three nights
for nothing, but they would not keep me the
fourth. Next night, I went down on the bank
of the river to take up my lodgings there, and
whilst walking back and forth, meditating on
my singular state and circumstances, a boat
landed, from which came a negro, and called
me by name : I asked him where he saw me ?
He replied, I heard you preach in Savannah ;
did you not in such a place 1 He asked me
where I lodged ; I told him I had no place ;
said he, will you sleep where black people
live 1 I replied, if they be decent ones. — He
went off, and after about half an hour came
back, and piloted me to a black family, who
lived in as good fashion as two-thirds of the
people in Augusta. I stayed ali night, and
though I offered them pay, yet they would not
receive an}', neither would they keep me any
longer for love nor money. I procured my
provisions and had them dressed at the house
of Moses, a black man, who was a Baptist
preacher. Whilst at his shop, I heard of a
man who was friendly to the Methodists, to
whom I sent a line, signifying that if he
would make me an appointment, I would cross
the river to Camelton, where he lived, and
preach. He did as I desired, and I held three
meetings. — Here 1 had a singular dream,
which seemed to be as singularly fulfilled in
some degree shortly after. I spoke in the Af-
rican Baptist meeting house to some hundreds
of blacks, and a few whites, the Methodist
meeting house being denied me by the socie-
ty, and the preacher, L. G., they supposing
that I was an impostor.

529. 30. I tarried two nights at a planta-
tion house where the man was trounled with
an uncommon disorder, which puzzled a coun-
cil of physicians, who supposed it to be a po-
lypus in the heart. In the night I was seized
with an inward impulse to set off on the
Washington road, (my things not being ar-
rive 1 up the river,) so that my sleep d< |
in the morning, when Ianxe.it was apparent-
ly gathering for a storm of rain, so I rejected
the impulse as a temptation : bu1 it r<
with double force : and for the sake of peace
of mind. 1 set off: but what ! was after 1
could not tell, and when turning it over in my
ired iV. ■ a fool to myself. And
after tra ibout ten miles, an old man

and eighty, \\ ho \\ as riding
very fa ;i i ! of a sudden as he met me,



and said, young man, are you travelling % I
answered in the affirmative, and gave him one
of my handbills ; he, on finding the contents,
shook hands with me, and said, I am a Bap-
tist, but my wife is a. Methodist; and invited
me to his house, about seven miles off on the
Uchee creek, and procured me a congregation
the next day, among whom was a respectable
family which attended, (Esquire Haynes and
his wife,) who got their hearts touched under
the word, and invited me to hold meeting
at their house, which I did the next day ; and
through this channel my door was open for
visiting several neighborhoods, where the
people seemed melted to tenderness ; and so I
was not examined for credentials. I begged
two children of the above mentioned family,
(only they were to have the care of them)
which since have become serious. Appoint-
ments being sent on before me, I went from
Haynes's to Pieman's — thence to Capt. Thorn-
ton's, on Upton Creek.

530. February 10th. I got to Hope Hull's
before sun rise, having walked nine miles that

Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 12 of 126)