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 30 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 30 of 126)
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Thirdly. A sick companion without house
or home — this being the time when friends
forsook him — all except a deist and his family.

Fourthly. Reputation — attacked on all
si.hs. and in remote parts through the States :
that hk was revelling in riches and luxury,
with a line brick house, sugar and cotton
plantation, flour and saw mills, slaves, and
money in the bank, &c. &c. &c. like a nabob
in the east. Whilst others made use of every-
thing they could that would be to his discred-
it, among which, some few who had subscrib-
ed for his journals, and paid in advance, but
not getting their books, no allowance was
made for the books being lost, but all was
construed, "a design to cheat, and had gol the
property, and had gone to the Mississippi to
feat her his nest."

Hence the famous expression of Asbury's.

'•The star which rose in the EAST, is set
in the WEST."

888. About this time he dreamed that he
was in New York, and was going from the
Park to Pearl street, in quest of J. Q's. house,
uli"[i the street appeared burned and only the
ruins of the walls remaining, and not a trace
of his family could be found in the city, which
waked him up in a tremor of horror. He
told Ins wife thai he thou jhl they should hear

- thing d i agreeable from New York.

which the se luel proved in a few days, for a
letter from Mr. W * * * was opened in
Virginia, and accidentally, or rather providen-
tially, a friend wrote tn the Mississippi, •• I

suppose you have heard that .1. Q. has eloped
to the W. I. and taken off another man's VV * *,
and also left you in the lurch with Mr. W . . .
and J. C. T. &c. &c. &c. The whole myste-
ry was then developed, and consequences to
be rea I thai would be disagreeable enough.

889. Mr. N. Snethen, had his trials by men
who bad never seen his "letter" or been ac-
quainted with Cosmopolite, oor heard anj
thing he had to say about the circumstance ;
gave judgment in Mr. N. S's favor, and a certi-

ficate of acquittal, only on hearing his own
statement, though Pagan Romans had the ac-
cuser and ACCUSED/ace to face, that he might
have an opportunity for his own defence.
The Jews' law did not condemn a man before
it heard him.*

Hence Cosmopolite had the sentence of be-
ing the agent of all the evil instead of N. S — ,
and moreover was a " Sabbath breaker." hav-
ing let some people have a few religious books,
through necessity, and not of choice, as they
could not be supplied with them at any other
time; therefore must have no countenance,
but go on his own footing.

Cosmopolite delivered a discourse from "as
ye would that others should do to you, do ye
even so to them ,-" — first in person ; secondly,
in property ; and third, in CHARACTER—
which discourse gave great offence !

These things now came to a focus about
one time, which augmented the distress of
Cosmopolite— as he was fast verging toward
the grave — to human appearance he could not
stay long — and the thoughts of dying in this
clou 1 un ler these gloomy circumstances, were
of the most painful and distressing nature — as
circular letters were sent forth from the execu-
tive. 3Ir. Asbwy, already, that he, Cosmopo-
lite, might rise no more — and at N. Y. it was
thought and sail by man}-, that he would
never dare to show his face again !

890. A gathering in the side of Cosmopo-
lite for some time, now began to ripen, and
finally burst in the cavity of the body, be-
tween the bowels and skin, and he expected to
die ; but falling asleep, he dreamed that he
was in a mill-race, below the wheel, and the
water was clear as crystal — but the bottom
and sides were a quicksand, so that there was
nothing to seize hold of or to stand on for the
possibility of relief: thus situated, he drifted
with the stream toward the ocean near by,
where was a whirlpool oi vast depth. People
were sitting on the banks, merrily diverted to
see him drift, without offering any assistance.
However, a little man in white raiment, ran
down to the stream, waded in up to his chin,
between the current and whirlpool in the eddy,
and stooping over, reached as far as he could,
seized him by the edge of his garment and
1 him to shore, where a gentleman
opened his house, invited him to the parlor,
where the lady made the necessary arrange-
ment for his relief in food and raiment, &c,
■ was shown a convenient room where
lefl to compose himself to rest; — in the
people on the bank merrily
diverted themselves, saving, "he has lost one
shoe in the river, and will never be able to
travel and preach again"— .-but in the morning,

' See Appendix of this affair.



to the surprise of all, both shoes were found
safe in the dining room, though the doors
were shut and locked all night.

891. The ideas of being stigmatized, and his
ashes raked up by misrepresentation after his
dissolution, were painful in the extreme; be-
cause the slur it would bring upon religion,
as the time appeared fast approaching. He
cried to the " God of Jacob" for relief, and
that for his name and glory sake to hear
prayer — that His cause might not be slandered
on his account.

Thus, after spending the bloom of youth in
the service of others, for Zion's welfare — and
now, in the greatest time of affliction, to be
forsaken of friends, was a feeling that cannot
be well described — turned out as an old dog
who hath lost his teeth.

" But where reaso7i fails, there fail K begins —
But man's extremity is God's opportunity .'"

892. As the last retreat Cosmopolite retired
into a Cane Brake, at the foot of a large hill,
where was a beautiful spring, which he
named " Chicimaw spring"* — by which he got
a small cabin made of split poles, where the
bear and wolf and tiger, &c. &c, with all
kinds of serpents in N. America, abound.
This was an agreeable retreat from the pursu-
ing foe — there to wait and see what God the
Lord would do !

893. Once he met three animals, when go-
ing to a neighboring house, upon a bye-way,
which he hacked out through the cane — he
told them to get out, and chinked his tins to-
gether — one took to the left and two to the
right a few feet, and he passed between when
they closed behind, — he inquired if Mr. Neal
had been there, having seen his bull dogs.
The family, hearing their description, replied
that they were wolves !

894. Being routed from this peaceful retreat,
in the manner that the Porcupine drove the
snake from his den, Cosmopolite made arrange-
ments to leave his rib and go to the Slates —
so by mutual consent they parted for three
hundred and seventy-one days, and he came
into Georgia — having only about three dol-
lars when he started in the wilderness from
the Mississippi.

895. He attended a large association of
dominies in S. C, who were mostly strangers
to him — there being not more than three mem-
bers remaining of the same body when he was
acquainted with them a few years before, as
about five years changes the majority in each
Conference — and not more than five or six
spoke to him.

896. However, he endeavored to make
clear work as he went ; which, through the
mercy and Providence of God, was accom-


plished ; except about subscribers, which he
supplied a few months after, though he had
to travel several hundred miles to accomplish
it. There was a subscription which Cos-
mopolite had made, but part remained unpaid.
He parted with his horse, which cost one hun-
dred and thirty-five dollars, and fifty dollars in
cash, with which he was let off, though he
denied the privilege of preaching in the house,
before he asked it — so he took to his feet, and
went on to New York, and sent for Mr. VV . . .
and J. C. T., and shortly all the horrid con-
sequence of J. Q's conduct presented to view.

897. Some years before, Cosmopolite was
in a house where the man and all his family
were confined with sickness ; who requested
some papers to ha filed in the west to save his
land, which he had been banished from, by
the Catholic Spaniards, on account of his re-
ligion ; and he had to take his family in an
open boat round Cape Florida, living on game,
and had nothing but Providence and the gun
to depend on until they arrived in Georgia,
during a space of about seven months. To
oblige him, Cosmopolite took the papers and
filed them— and J. Q. wished to make the
purchase, which matters were fixed according-
ly all round, except executing one instrument
of writing, which was only prevented by a
sudden fit of illness.

Thus God sees not as man sees — what we
think for the best may prove our ruin, — and
what we think for the worst, may be the best
of all.' J. C. T. acted the reasonable part, on
Christian principles, to bear and forbear, and
wait the bounds of possibility, but Mr. W . . .
acted otherwise.

898. J. Q. had been in the habit of opening
the letters of Cosmopolite and taking out mo-
neij — also he was to have paid Mr. W . . . .
and J. C. T.— The latter he did not, but the
former received a note from J. Q. on the ac-
count of Cosmopolite, but not to the full
amount ; giving a receipt for money, and wrote
a letter to Cosmopolite for the " balance 1 '' to
Virginia, where it was broke open, and re-
mained on a shelf more than a year ; and was
taken down by Cosmopolite when on his jour-
ney, careless, and observing his name on the
superscription, opened it, read it, and put it in
his pocket, with the receipt, as he came

Mr. W . . . . denielthe " receipt," although
he acknowledged the letter; but the names
were in his own proper hand writing — so ad-
mitted by judges, when compared with a re-
ceipt book.

He demanded the whole of Cosmopolite —
saying the note of J. Q. was destroyed ; which
amounted to about two hundred and eight
dollars — the whole was less than three hun-



Cosmopolite said it was hard to pay it
twice; but was willing to submit it to arbi-
trators, and abide their judgment ; to which

Mr. W assented — he should choose

one — Cosmopolite another, and these two
should choose a third— a majority of which
should be final. The hour being fixed, Cos-
mopolite started with his, and met that of

Mr. \V , and who should it be but the

sheriff, prepared to take Cosmopolite to the
"tight homer Thus, the aspect was of the
most gloomy nature — however, two men
stepped up and became security for his ap-
pearance at court. This gave him time to
breathe, and see what next.

899. The assignees to the estate of J. Q.,
who had died in the West Indies, offered to ac-
quit Cosmopolite of all demands, if he would
let them step into the place of J. Q., and have
the transfer in his lieu, from those whom it
had concerned — as J. Q. had left a demand on
book against Cosmopolite of some amount
improperly — and, moreover, would step in be-
tween him and Mr. W , and fight him

in the law, giving Cosmopolite a bond of in-

Cosmopolite readily consented ; being only
paid his expenses; but flung in his trouble —
so that in attempting to favor the sick man he
neither gained nor lost — except the plague and
censure, as the sick man was paid his full de-

900. There is one instrument of writing
which hath been paid, but was never deliver-
ed up; which, in justice, Cosmopolite should
have— as " Major Mills, Charles Smith," and
"Frances Steel,''' doth know !

901. Thus Cosmopolite was enabled to
clear off with J. C. T. and leave the city in

peace — while Mr. W was left to have

his dispute decided in his own way — but what
was the consequence 1 He was cast, having
the cost of court to pay ; and only got the ba-
lance. After which there was a resurrection

of the note of .1. (J. which he, Mr. W

wished Cosmopolite to purchase — and for the
refusal called him all to nought, as a "scoun-
drel," &c. &c. &c.

902. Cosmopolite went as far as Boston,
where he had a few books — procured him a
horse and little wagon — and returned to the
SOUth, and BO to the Mississippi to his Rib :
and immediately started for Georgia, through
the wilderness, without bidding a friend tare-
well — visited many counties and Btarted for

orth. Was pre-warned in dreams -

which the sequel proved, at I/ynchburg, Vir-

ginia. She was taken sick — broughl nigh

ath, and detained two years. See her

" Journey of Life."

903. Cosmopolite was defeated in attempt-
ing to get a small cabin here— his reputed

" riches," by report, not being adequate to
surmount it.

904. He was taken unwell with those
spasms, and lay beside a road, and probably
would have died — but a doctor came along —
gave him some medicine, which flung the
spasms from the nerves into the blood-vessels,
and he began to amend from that time.

905. The Presbyterians were remarkably
kind and open in N. C, many of their meet-
ing-houses were at his service, and some of
their ministers he formed acquaintance with,
who appeared like very pious men, with the
spirit of liberality !

906. Thus after long struggles, Cosmopo-
lite got through all his d<fficuhies, into which
others had involved him ; after turning away*
— even to parting with his HORSE and libra-
ry ; the latter of which he had taken much
pains to collect and select — having the small
piece of ground left at the Mississippi, on
which was the old " mill"' frame from which
he derived no benefit — neither does he expect
to. having sent a deed of relinquishment, but
received no value. f

907. Those who are fond of retailing evil
reports about absent characters with a degree
of rejoicing, are a partaker of evil ; in as
much as they would consider it very hard, un-
generous and unjust, for one to take half the
liberty about them in their absence, that they
do about others. For the motives cannot be
good, nor the spirit savor of righteousness.
Therefore, if they profess friendship to the
face they are only base " hypocrites" in
heart ; from which may society be delivered !

908. Dreams may come from the enemy,
from the business of the day past, from a dis-
ordered body, propensities founded by conta-
mination, from " moral evil,'' and from God
through the medium of Angels, and departed
Saints, as forewarning* to stir up and prepare
the mind for those scenes a-head, as a dispen-
sation of preparation. Which man} - remain
ignorant of for the want of due attention, with
a heart conformed to the Divine Government.

909. Many people, from a spirit of preju-
dice founded on jealousy, surmise things about
others, which amounts to a reality in their
imagination ; and hence assume the liberty to
report and circulate it as truth founded upon
fact, to the great injury of society, friendship,
and the innocent.

* Though ho thought of paying with a "ramskin" as
i:;is— i.e deliver up all — but Providence wrought
the other way, when it came to the last extremity witli
Mi. W •'*■**.

•polite sent the money to J. Q. according to agree-
ment— but he gave his note to Mr. W"*"* and kept the
money, which Mr. W*** accepted on Cosmopolite's ac-
count, .ind gave the receipt for money accordingly !

t Roswefl V>* f . who was disinterested, by his infill-
ence and interference, saved some little value from the



The foregoing short history of " Eccentric"
Cosmopolite, is given for the benefit of all
those whom it may CONCERN.
L* 910. JUNE 9, 1813.— Leaving Peggy at
John M. Walker's, in Buckingham County,

Virginia, where she was confined with .

I spoke in Charlotte County, Maclinburg,
Brunswick, Belfield, and Murfreesboro, down
to Edenton, in N. C. at which place I was in-
terrupted by a Baptist preacher, who gave me
the lie, and brought himself into disrepute ; I
replied there was " some good mistaken men
whose hearts were better than their heads?''

911. By Elizabeth I came to the Hickory
Ground, and down to Princess Ann — and
while upon the road I heard " Jefferson's Bull
Dogs" 1 so called, roaring at one of neighbor
Geo rge's frigates ; which give me awful sensa-
tions concerning the horrors of war, and the
curse the world is under. On my arrival at
Norfolk, I saw the smoke of cannon, and the
awful scene during the battle of Craney

" God sees not as man sees : for the race is
not to the swift nor the battle to the strong" —
which was exemplified in that instance ; the
termination being different from every calcu-
lation both of friend and foe.

912. I returned by Suffolk, where I found
my old friends Yarborough were gone to the
other world. By Petersburg to Richmond ;
where I found my old friend, Stith Mead., still
going on in the work of the Lord.

913. On my arrival in Buckingham, finding
Peggy still low in health, and the people un-
willing for her removal, as unadvised, I re-
quested a ride in the gig; which the family,
not suspecting my intentions, we started ; and.
beyond probability, she endured ten miles be-
fore we stopped : as the Doctor had advised
the "White Sulphur Springs" in Greenbriar.
Next day we reached Lynchburg, where I was
requested to preach ; but-Le Roy Merritt, who
had been converted in this place, and came
with me from the Low Lands, had been to see
his friends, was now on his return, and desir-
ed to preach : I felt as if it was his turn, and
gave way accordingly. He spoke with life
and authority from above ; and going to his
station in Portsmouth, died in a few davs
after, with the shouts of " VICTORY ! VIC-
TORY ! VICTORY!" in his mouth.

"Let me die the death of the Righteous,
and my last end be like his — Mark the perfect
man, and behold the upright — for the end of
that man is peace."

914. While in the Low Lands I saw some
good times, and revivals of religion ; but the
drought, the sun, and flies, were dreadful at
that time. Many streams were so dried, that
swine fattened upon their fish ; and the want
of water and food for cattle were distressing,

with the addition of swarms of flies to suck
the blood of man and beast.

915. Hiring a hack we came to the " White
Sulphur" Springs in Greenbriar: where I got
access to many neighborhoods where I had
not been before ; being a stranger in those
parts. Our expenses were nearly one hun-
dred dollars, but I did not begrudge it, consi-
dering the benefit we received from those wa-
ters. When on the way, she could hardly
bear her weight ten yards, but now was able
to ride sixteen miles on horseback to the
" Sweet Springs," where I spoke to a large
and attentive audience, though the devil reign-
ed in those parts. Lawyer Baker collared
me, and threatened to break my neck for
preaching; because, he said I insulted Mrs.
ten years before, by saying hell is

moving from beneath to meet her at her com-
ing; and he did it to revenge her cause. But
his assertion was false. The ladies however
took up my cause, and promised me protec-
tion. And hence his gambling comrades be-
came ashamed, and he had to hold his peace
and let me alone.

916. By the assistance of Providence we
found the way opened to gain Fincastle ; and
the camp meeting, near Salem, where I had to
apologize for my " Lapel coat," single-breast-
ed ; which I was reprobated for wearing. —
The case was this ; eighteen months before I
was in distress for a coat, the winter coming
on ; and had not money to spare to get one.
But a man owed me twenty dollars, which he
could not pay in ready money ; hence I must
lose it, (being about to leave those parts,) un-
less I would accept a turn to a shop where
garments were ready made, being brought over
from England : hence from my necessity, and
the nature of the case, originated the contend-
ed coat, the most valuable I ever wore in my
life. But I soon gave it away rather than
hurt weak minds, and give mankind occasion;
and got a sailor's blanket-coat, to prosecute
my journey.

917. From thence to Blackrod in a wagon :
where we had some good times. I spoke to
the military in Christiansburg, where they
gave me a surtout.

918. I attended a camp meeting one day
and two nights, which appeared like a blank
in my life ; so I started off twenty miles on
foot, to my destination.

919. Having procured me a tackey, and
parting with Peggy at the Yellow Springs in
Montgomery county, I started for the west,
while she went to the east, with brother and
sister Booth, in Brunswick county, in North

920. On Walkers Creek I saw the greatest
preparation for camp meeting that I ever
viewed in my life, being encircled with bar-



racks all round. It was a dreadful rainy time ;
but from our convenience, preaching went on
in the tents ; and all were accommodated.

I called at a house to feed my horse, where
I was recognised, and solicited to stop and
preach, which I did ; and had a good time.
The man of the house turned away circuit
preaching because they held private class
meetings — and so broke up the class.

921. In Abingdon I spoke three times.
Exchanging my poney for another, as she
was in foal, which had been kept a secret
from me by the seller : I got imposed on
again, as the latter had not been corn fed;
and in two days she tired. Hence I was
obliged to exchange for a third, to be able to
keep up with my appointments, but this also
was so rough in his gaits, that my state of
health would not admit of keeping him ;
hence I exchanged for a fourth, having ex-
pended eighty-three dollars : I obtained one
worth about forty, havinglnit one eye.

922. When I started on this journey, I felt
to go as far as Nashville ;* but any farther a
gloom seemed to overspread my contemplation
on that subject — I could not tell why : yet
when I arrived into West Tennessee, the cause
was obvious ; the Indians having commenced
war, blocked up the way to Louisiana — as
many were murdered in that direction.

92'A. Putting my work, improved, to the
press, sent off my appointments : after which
I commenced my tour through Gallatin, Carth-
age. Lebanon, where I saw the wife of the
'• Wild Man of the Woods' 1 I strove to obtain
his journal ; but in that I was disappointed —
though they hail agreed on certain conditions
td lei me have it — he died in peace. Jefferson,
Murfreesboro, Columbia on Duck; Rices' M.
H. Franklin ; Liberty, near Green Hills; Dix-
on county, Clarksville, Palmyria, Christian
county and Russellville, in Kentucky; Robin-
son C. H. Macminsville ; Secotchee valley,

* In Nashville jail I saw an Indian chief of the Creek
nation, named Bob— taken prisoner by Coffe&'s spies. I
asked him why their nation took up the hatchet against
the whites, when they were paid for their friendship by
the United States?

II plied, that a letter from the Oreat Father, the

King of England, that the time was arrived to take up the
hatchet— then tl lent for the big
Prophet— who said if \\ e did not take up the hatchet, oui
cattle would become buffalo, and our fowls like wild tur-
keys — and our hogs would bee e lizard liken i e our

dogs would beco ind kill us, because we had

whipped them ; which prophecy the governor delivered
by an interpreter to Runners, who quicklj circulated it
through the nation some believed it, who wen
Ions in the doctrine of Spirits. It was through such a
three-fold influential source others believed it, being dis-
■fleeted to the United States— and athinl to pre! I
tomahawked, as there could he no neutral in the war—
and hence the commencement of hostilities.

They that ohservc lying vanities, forsake their own
mercies. Four armies are now against thorn and de-
struction appears coming upon them to the uttermost.
But woe to them who make use of Religion to answer
their wicked ends thereby '.

Washington, Kingston, Marysville, Severs-
ville, Knoxville, Clinton, Jacksborough, Clai-
borne, C. H. Rutledge, Rogersville, Greens-
ville, Jonesborough and Carter, C. H. to Wilks-
borough, and then to Huntsville, so to James
Clemments, where I arrived on Tuesday even-
ing, the 14th of December; intending to pro-
ceed immediately to Raleigh, and from thence
to Brunswick, where Peggy is. But in this
I was disappointed : being taken sick, was
confined until Thursday, when the weather
set in bad. On Sunday spoke to several hun-
dreds in the door yard, and rode fourteen miles
on my way — and falling in with a congrega-
tion, I spoke at night. Next day it rained,

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 30 of 126)