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 42 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 42 of 126)
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tively, by taking in or putting out whoever they please,
and when they please — or, negatively, the preacher's vote
to put a check upon the whole church, as some of the
Presbyterian churches ; or where the preacher chooses
a select number to try members ; or where they cannot
bo tried without the preacher, and where the preacher
can appeal from the judgment of the whole society, or
even tne select number, (selected by himself,) to the of-
ficial members, and these official members, the far great-
er part, put in and out as often as he sees fit, as may
please his fancy, or suit his humor best — as in many in-
stances among the Methodists, and all this without the
church having any appeal in all this, and no redress can
they get unless the preacher is immoral, or breaks the
discipline ; and even then he must be tried by preachers
of the same grade with himself, if they can be had, like a
jury of doctors to judge of doctors' prices. This has so
much the rCaonumtiM ■ ...■ -» ;t, that, if it be not his
image, it is so nearly like it that there is no word that
can make a proper distinction. The people are mere cy-
phers : they can have no choice in their preachers —for,
as they must take such as the Bishop sends, it cannot be
a choice ; they may be pleased with the preacher and
not wish for another, but this does not prove the people
free : for they must take such as comes, ordained or not
ordained, gifts or no gilts, profitable or unprofitable, is all
the same : it is them or none for them ; you must have
and attend their meetings, or be called to account by them
for non attendance, and sometimes put back on trial, and
sometimes expelled the society, and if you have a good
preacher you may lose him. The P. Elder can remove
him, and often does, without giving an account of any of
his matters. He is the Bishop's agent, and qualified or
unqualified, pleasing or displeasing to the preachers, if
they please the Bishop they must be received ; they must
be obeyed : there is no appoal ; he is the Bishop's agent ;
the preachers must submit ; travelling and local ; for he
takes charge of all the official characters in his district,
presides at the Q. M. Conferences, and gives the casting
vote ; changes the preachers as he sees fit ; no appeal ;
he is the Bishop's agent ; a wise change or a foolish one :
no appeal ; if he hears to advice from preachers or peo-
ple it is because he pleases so to do, there is no discipline
that requires him either to ask or hear advice. This is
too much : — if they do not lord over their flock, it is not
because the discipline does not give them the power ;
but some do it, and all can do it, and if this is not the image
of the beast it is the mark of the beast. I have given you
a small sketch, and must leave it unfinished.

I am yours, in the bonds of a peaceful Gospel.









a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband : but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Proy. xii. 4.
Who can find a virtuous womaa? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of iron.
She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.— Prov. xxxi. 10, 11, 12.

N E W V it K :



I was bora in the year 1780, in Granville,
Massachusetts, of parents that were stran-
gers to God ; although my father was a mem-
ber of the church of England ; and my mother
had been raised by pious parents of the Pres-
byterian order But, whether she had any
sense of the necessity of the new birth and
holiness of heart I cannot say; for she was
called to a world of spirits when I was but
five months old ; leaving behind six children,
two sons and four daughters. My eldest sis-
ter being about fifteen years old — my father
married in about six months after the death
of my mother ; and although the woman that
he married was an industrious good house wife,
yet he lost his property, and was reduced very
low, by the sinking of continental money;
and the children were scattered as a conse-
quence. My eldest sister married when I was
six years old — and she prevailed on my father
to give me to her, which accordingly he did :
and I was carried into the State of New York,
and saw his face no more !*

My tender heart was often wrought upon
by the Spirit of God — and I was at times very
unhappy, for fear I should die, and what
would become of my soul ! 1 was early
taught that there was a God, a heaven and
hell ; and that there was a preparation neces-
sary to fit me foi th^se mansions of rest, pre-
pared for all that are faithful until death !
My heart often mourned befo'e God, young
as I was, for something, I scajce knew what,
to make me happy ! I dared not to sleep
without praying to God, as well as I knew
how, for many years. My sister's husband
being a man not calculated to gain the world,
although they had no children, I was raised
to labor as much as my strength would per-
mit; and perhaps more, as my constitution

* The summer past, in my journey to the east, I met
with a half brother, whom I had not seen for twenty-
seven years — and with whom my father died : and also
was at one of my sisters, whom I had not seen but once
for twenty years. She being nine or ten years older
than myself, was able to inform me of some parti-
culars concerning my mother's death, which were a con-
solation to me.

was very delicate, from my birth. But the
Lord was my helper, though I knew him not
by an experimental knowledge — yet I had a
fear of him before my eyes! And he that
taketh care of the young ravens cared for me.
From the time that I was six years of age
until I was eleven, my serious impressions
never left me ; but from twelve to fifteen I
was mixing with those that were unacquaint-
ed with God, or the things that pertain to the
kingdom of heaven. My mind was taken up
with the vanities of this present world, al-
though my heart was often tender under the
preaching of the Gospel, so that I could weep
and mourn ; yet I did not seek the Lord in
earnest to the saving of my soul. At the age
of fifteen, the Lord laid his rod upon me in
taking away my health, which was not re-
stored until I was seventeen. In that time I
was much afraid I should be called to pass
the dark valley — but the Lord was pleased to
restore me to health again in a good degree ;
and at the age of nineteen, I set out to seek
my soul's salvation, through many trials and
difficulties ! The Methodists' 1 preaching and
zeal were new in that part of the country
where I lived at that time ; and my sister's
husband was very much opposed to them, so
that it made my way very trying ; but I was
determined, come what might, that I would
take up my cross, and follow Jesus in the
way — I was willing, and gave up all my
young companions, and all the diversions of
which I had been very fond — such as dancing,
and company that feared not God ; and the
Lord, who giveth liberally, and upbraideth
not, gave me peace and consolation in him.
My sister and myself joined the first Society,
that was raised in that part of the country, at
a neighborhood called Fish Creek, about
four miles from where we lived ; where we
attended preaching and class-meeting once
every week — And the Lord was very precious
to my soul in those days.

About that time, my brother-in-law was
brought to see himself a sinner, and embraced
religion ; and we were a happy family, al-

though but three ir number. We often felt
like heaven begun below, Jesus precious to
our souls ! The preachers made our house
their home, at that time, and it was my de-
light to wait on them. I felt as if I could lie
at their feet, and learn instruction from their
lips. My chief delight was in going to meet-
ing, and praising and singing praises to my
God and Saviour. We had preaching once
in tun weeks in our neighborhood, but few
attended for nearly two years ; yet the preach-
ers continued to preach, and that in faith, and
the Lord heard and gave them their hearts'
desire ! They formed a little class, consisting
only of seven ; my brother and sister, two
other men and their wives, and myself, com-
posed the society in the place where I lived.
We had class-meeting and prayer-meeting
every week at the beginning ; and it was but
a few months before the Lord burst the cloud,
and the work broke out, and sixty or seventy
were added to the number. We had precious
times of the outpouring of the Spirit of God !
If we met only for prayer-meeting, oftentimes
our meetings would last until twelve and one
o'clock, and souls would be so filled with di-
vine love, that they would fall prostrate on the
floor, and praise Christ their King ! So we
continued to love like children of one family,
for two or three years ; when some difficulties
took place ; however, none were turned out
of society. 0! how sweet it is for brethren
to dwell together in unity — but how often
doth the enemy of mankind make use of that
most destructive weapon, DIVISION ! to de-
stroy the souls of the fallen race of Adam ! —
that Christians would make a stand against
him ; and live and love like children of one
family ! — that the world might say — " See
how these Christians love one another."

After this, I lived in love and union with
my brethren for two years or more ; and en-
joyed the privilege of preaching and class-
meetings, and had many precious seasons to
my soul !

About this time, " Camp-Meetings" began
to be introduced into that part of the country;
and was attended with the power of God, in
the conversion of many precious souls !

At this time, there was one about thirty-
miles from where I then lived ; and niv bro-
ther-in-law attended it: where he met with
Lorenzo Dow, on his way to Canada ; and
invited him home with him, to preach at our
preaching-house, and sent on the appointment
a day or two before hand, so that the pi iple
mi^Li get notice. And as he was a singular
character, we were very anxious to see and
hear him. The day arrived, he came, and
the house was crowded ; and we had a good
time ! I was very much afraid of him, as I
had heard such strange things about him !

He was invited to my brother-in-law's, but
did not come for several days. He had ap-
pointments to preach twice and thrice in the
day. However, at last he came, and tarried
all night. The next morning he was to
preach five or six miles from our house ; and
little did I think that he had any thoughts of
marrying, in particular that he should make
any proposition of the kind to me; but so it
was, he returned that day to dinner; and in
conversation with my sister, concerning me,
he inquired of her, how long I had professed
religion 1 She told him the length of time.
He requested to know whether I kept wicked
company ? She told him I did not ; and ob-
served that I had often said, " I had rather
marry a Preacher than any other man, pro-
vided I was worthy: and that I would wish
them to travel and be useful to souls. By
this time I happened to come into the room,
and he asked me if 1 had made any such re-
marks 1 I told him I had. He then asked
me if I would accept of such an object as
him 1 I made him no reply, but went direct-
ly out of the room — as it was the first time he
had spoken to me, I was very much surprised.
He gave me to understand, that he should re-
turn to our house again in a few days, and
would have more conversation with me oh
that subject ; which he did after attending a
meeting ten or twelve miles from where I
lived. He returned the next evening, and
spoke to me on the subject again, when he
told me that he would marry, provided he
could find one that would consent to his tra-
velling and preaching the Gospel ; and if I
thought I could be willing to marry him, and
give him up to go. and do his duty, and not
see him, perhaps, or have his company more
than one month out of thirteen, he should feel
free to give his hand to me ; but if I could not
be willing to let him labor in the vineyard of
his God, he dared not to make any contract
of the kind : for he could not enjoy peace of
mind in any other sphere. He told me I must
weigh the matter seriously before God, whe-
ther I could make such an engagement, and
conform to it ; and not stand in his way, so
as to prevent his usefulness to souls ! I
thought I would rather marry a man that
level and feared God, and that would si rive
to promote virtue and religion among hi - fel-
low mortals, than any other ; although I felt
myself inadequate to the task, without the
grace of God to support me! Yet I felt will-
ing to casl my lot with his ; and be a help, and
not a hindrance to him, if the Lord would give
me grace ; as I had no doubt that he would,
if 1 stood as I ought — and I accepted of his
proposal, lie was then on his way to Cana-
da, from thence to the Mississippi Territory ;
and did not expect to return in much less than



two years ; then if Providence spared, and
the vay should open for a union of that kind,
when he returned, we would be married !
But vould strive in that case, as well as in
all oilers of such importance, to lay it before
the Lad : and be directed by him, as far as
we coild judge : and not rush precipitately
into a Sate, that so much concerned our hap-
piness iV this world and the next — As I doubt
not many engage in the holy bands of matrimo-
ny, withuit once considering its importance and
the obligations they lay themselves under to
each othe-, to do all in their power, to make
the silken cord not prove a chain of iron !

He left ne, and went on his way, to preach
the gospel hrough Canada, and from thence
to the Soiih, and was gone for near two
years beforehe returned; he left an appoint-
ment for a Cjmp-Meeting, in conjunction with
some of the preachers, on his return, which he
fulfilled : and on September the fourth, we
were joined in the bands of matrimony, late in
the evening. There was not any present but
the family, and the preacher who performed
the ceremony ! Early in the morning he
started for the Mississippi Territory, in com-
pany with my bother-in-law, who intended
to remove to that lountry if he should like it,
as Lorenzo had a chain of appointments, pre-
viously given out, br four thousand miles.

I expected to continue to live with my sis-
ter, as she had no children, and was much at-
tached to me, or seened to be so at that time
— but the Lord orderei it otherwise. My Lo-
renzo was gone about Seven months, before he
returned to me. My brother-in-law was
pleased with the country, and intended to re-
turn to it with his family, in a few months.
My husband was preparing to go to Europe,
in the fall. He returned, md stayed with me
about two weeks: and then started for Cana-
da., and left me with my sister. They were
preparing to remove to the Mississippi in July
— this was in May — and my Lorenzo was to
meet them in the western country, where they
were to carry me ; and from taence we would
go to New York, and they continue on their
journey to the Mississippi Territory. But he
went on as far as Vermont, ani held a num-
ber of meetings, where he saw his sisters that
lived there : and then feeling an impulse to
return to Western, where I then ;vas, he gave
up the intended tour through Canada, and
came back, prepared to take me to New York
city, where he intended to embajk for Eu-

We stayed a few weeks in Wistcrn, until
my brother-in-law got his tempoial concerns
settled ; and then, after bidding my friends
and brethren in the Lord farewell ! we set off
for New York, attended by my \ister, who
went the same road we were going, eighteen

or twenty miles ; where Lorenzo held several
meetings, and stayed two or three days to-
gether ; and then bid each other farewell, ex-
pecting to meet again in eighteen months or
two years. But the providence of God did not
favor this, or the interference of the Enemy
of mankind prevented — for we never met
again : and couid 1 have foreseen what await-
ed my unfortunate sister in the country to
which she was bound, the parting would have
been doubly distressing. But it is happy for
us that we do not know what is in futurity,
as the great Master knoweth best how to pre-
pare our minds for greater tribulation, while
we travel through this world of woe ! Our
parting was truly sorrowful and afflicting, but
it was light when compared to what fol-
lowed !

We left Westmoreland, and went down to
Albany, where Lorenzo had some acquaintan-
ces, and stayed for several days at the house
of Mr. Taylor, and were treated as if we were
their children.

Now my sphere of life was altered. It was
the first time I had been so far from home
without my sister; she was like a mother to
me, as I knew no other. My heart often
trembled at what was before me, to be con-
tinually among strangers ; being so little ac-
quainted with the ways of the world, it made
me feel like one at a loss how to behave, or
what to do.

Lorenzo was very affectionate and attentive
to me. He left me at Albany with sister
Taylor, who was going down (o New York in
a sloop. As I was very much fatigued by
riding on horseback, he thought it best forme
to go down with her, by water ; while he went
by land, rode one horse, and led the other.
He arrived in New York perhaps four and
twenty hours before me. I went on board, for
the first time that I ever was on the water, ex-
cept to cross a ferry.

It made me somewhat gloomy to be on
board the vessel among strangers, while going
down the river to the city of New York, as I
had never been in such a place before. How-
ever, we landed about ten o'clock at night,
where I met Lorenzo, who had been on the
look out for some time. We went to a friend's
house, that had been very kind to him in days
past, who then belonged to the Methodist
church. I felt much embarrassed, as I had
never been in the city before. We stayed in
New York several weeks, and had some pre-
cious meetings. Here I became acquainted
with some kind friends, who were to me like
mothers and sisters; whilst Lorenzo left me
and went to fulfil some appointments he had
made in Virginia and North Carolina,, and
expecting only to be gone five or six weeks ;
but was detained, contrary to his expectation,



near three months. In that time the fever,
that was common in the city of New York,
J broke out, and I went with Mr. Quackenbush
to the country, about forty miles up the river,
to a brother Wilson's, whore she carried her
children to go to school. — Here I stayed seve-
ral weeks. They were people of a handsome
property ; but the more we have, the more we
want, as has been observed by many : And I
think il will hold good almost without excep-
tion; for they were as much engaged to gain
property, as if they had only bread from hand
to mouth. I was a stranger, and many times
I felt as such, but the Lord gave me support,
so that I was tolerable cheerful in the absence
of my companion ! Before he returned, I went
back to New York, where I stayed until he
came ; and prepared to sail for Europe, which
was some time in November. We obtained a
protection from our government, when leaving
the country for England. It was necessary to
have witnesses to prove that he was the Loren-
zo Dow that was identified and intended in the
documents, which he had obtained from the
United States of America. Consequently he
got N. S. and J. Q_. to go before a notary pub-
lic, and certify that he was the same Lorenzo
Dow referred to in the documents. Mr. N. S.
gave in under oath, that " he knew him from
his youth, ******

holy gospel !" And about the same time he
wrote letters to Ireland and England, to make
his way narrow in those countries. And no
thanks to him that it did not bring Lorenzo
into the greatest distress and difficulties that a
man could have been brought into ! But
through the mercy of God it was otherwise
overruled !

lie gave me my choice, to go with him, or
stay with friends in America, as there were
many that told us I might stay with them, and
be as welcome as their children ; and strove
to prevent my going to a land where I would
find many difficulties and dangers to encounter,
that I was unacquainted with, and could not
foresee. But I chose to go, and take my lot
and share with him of whatever might befall
us. Consequently, on the 10th of November,
1805, we set sail from New York for Liver-
pool, in Old England. We embarked about
10 o'clock, with a fine breeze. They spread
their canvas, and were soon under way.

Lorenzo came into the cabin, and told me to
go on deck, and bid farewell to my native
land! I did so — and the city began to <li>ap-
pear ! I could discover the houses to grow
smaller and smaller; and at last could see
nothing but the chimneys and the tops of the
houses ; then all disappeared but the masts ol
vessels in the harbor. In a short time noth-
ing remained but a boundless ocean opening
to view ; and I had to depend upon nothing

but the Providence of God ! I went dowr into
the cabin, and thought perhaps I shoull see
my native land no more !

The vessel being tossed to and fro rn the
waves, 1 began to feel very sick, and to re-
flect I was bound to a foreign land ; aid, sup-
posing I should reach that country, i knew
not what awaited me there. But this.vas my
comfort, the same God presided in England
that did in America ! — I thought if I might
find one real female friend, I would brsatisfied.

I continued to be sea-sick for near two
weeks, and then recovered my heilth better
than I had enjoyed it in my life before.

We were twenty-seven days oit of sight
of land. The vessel being in a >ery bad sit-
uation, we had not been at sea m>re than five
or six days, before the rudder legan to fail ;
so they could not have commanifed her at all,
if the v/ind had been unfavorable. The
weather was very rough and stormy; but
through the mercy of God, th- wind was fa-
vorable to our course, so that .ve reached safe
our place of destination. ,

When we arrived in thf river at Liver-
pool, we were not permitted to land, unjil
they could send up to Loidon, and get re-
turns from there, as our vessel came from a
port subject to the yellowfever ; on that ac-
count, we were obliged t> stay in that river,
for ten days, before we wjre permitted to come
on shore.

I never saw a womaniov thirty-seven days,
except one who came alongside our vessel,
to bespeak the captah as a boarder at her
house, when he shoull come on shore.

I strove to pray nuch to God to give us
favor in the eyes of the people, and open the
way for Lorenzo, *o do the errand that he
came upon ; and togive him success in preach-
ing the gospel to ?oor sinners. The prospect
was often gloomy. Lorenzo used to say to
me, keep up yoir spirits — we shall yet see
good days in Olc England, before we leave it,
as the sequel proved.

We went oi shore the twenty-fourth or
fifth of December. Lorenzo had a number
of letters to people in Liverpool. Some were
letters of recommendation ; others, to persons
from their friends in America.

We went vith the master of the vessel to a
boarding hcusc, where I was left until Lo-
renzo went co see what the prospect might be,
and whether he could meet with any that
would open the way for him to get access to
the people After giving out all the letters
hut one, he returned to me : having been two
or three hours absent without any particular

The house that I tarried at, was a boarding-
house, for American captains ; and the women
that were there, were wicked enough ! — My



heart was much pained to hear my own sex
taking the name of their Maker and preserver,
in vain ! ! thought I, shall I never meet
again with any that love and fear God 1 —
Lorenzo intended to go and find the person
that the last letter was directed to, and told
me I might either stay there or go with him.
I chose to go with him, rather than be left
with them any longer. — It was almost night,
and we had not much to depend upon, with-
out the openings of Providence. We started,
hut could not find the person for some time.
However, at last, as we were walking, Lo-
renzo looked up to the corner, and happened
to espy the name that he was after ; accord-

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 42 of 126)