Rev. Mr. COUGHLAN.
Carbonear, July 28, 1772.
Carbonear, July 28, 1772.
Peace be to you, &c.
GLORY and Praise be from us, and all his Creatures, to our God, who hath done great Things for us, and hath this Morning given us a fresh Evidence of his miraculous Love, in the Redemption of poor, fallen, lost, undone Sinners. The Readiness of our dear Immanuel to man fest his pardoning Love to such Sinners is wonderful; and what makes it more wonderful is, that Man being so degenerated, for whole Evil is certainly in Man by Nature, and whole Man is Evil, being alienated from God, and incapable of himself to become a returning Penitent; but the blessed Redeemer must and will perform all the good Work in and with the Soul that he will save; working and operating in his own Will and Way; sometimes by laying on his Chastisements upon the Sinner, and sending Home the preparative Rod of Affliction, to bend the stubborn Heart and stiff Neck, in order to bring low, and mortify that naughty Flesh, which we have so little Mind or Will to mortify ourselves: Here the dear Saviour undertakes all the Work himself, and convinces the Sinner, at the same Time, that, by his Sins, he hath destroyed himself; and not only so, but, being brought thus by Affliction into the Vale of Humility, he here discovers, that his Sins have been the Weapons, and himself the Traitor, which have pierced the Lord of Life and Glory: And this causes that blessed Mourning and Sorrowing for Sin, which worketh a sincere Repentance; softening the stony Heart, making it capable of receiving the Grace of God, even as soaking Showers prepare and molify the Earth, to receive the Seed; and then it is, the great Husbandman casts in the Seed; and God, with his Word and Spirit, says to the Sinner, I am thy Salvation. The Sinner is now freely pardoned, his past Offences are done away; the Seed, now influenced by the Depths of Humility, takes Root downward, and brings forth upward the Fruits of the Spirit, Peace, Love, and Joy in the Holy Ghost. Oh! strange Metamorphose! the Conscience, but a Moment or two before wounded, loaded; the Sinner, just ready to despair, now instantly, with a loud Voice, proclaims the Salvation of his Redeemer, and cries out, with Ecstasies of Joy, I have found a pardoning God: Surely, Mercy and Truth are now met together; Righteousness and Peace embrace the poor Sinner: The bright Perfections of the Eternal here shine, unite, and form a New Creature. Oh! that very poor Creature could digest that true Text of St. Paul, Eph.ii.8. For by Grace are ye saved, thro' Faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the Gift of God.- Dear Sir, I write thus to you, because I have sweetly experienced those Truths, concerning the tender compassionate Chastenings, and preparative Work, our Lord carries on, in the bringing of Sinners to himself; a blessed Work, that, Glory be to God, you are not unacquainted with; especially in him, who now is the happy Occasion of my writing to you: You, and we, your little Flock, all know, that, for more than twelve Months ago, he was under Convictions, and seemed, at Times, at our little Meetings, to be very solicitous about the State of his Soul; but those good Motions seemed, of late, to be almost, if not quite worn off, until the Lord laid his afflicting Rod upon him: I had visited him several Times, before you was with him the other Day, and was convinced, that the Lord was again at work with him; but since you yourself was with him, it hath appeared more evident; and your desiring me to visit him, I took as a Charge; and accordingly I did so, and have the Happiness to tell you, that the Lord hath blessed your Endeavours, and Ministry, both in me and him. Glory to our dear Lord, who hath greatly strengthened me, with Faith in Prayer, and pleading the promises for him occasionly. I plied him with Pills first, until I found him quite broken down, and athirst for God; this was Monday Evening, having also been with him in the Morning. Tuesday Morning, I was with him again, when I found him much distressed; and labouring under an almost intolerable Weight and Burden on his Heart, which seemed, he said, more grievous, and painful, than all his other bodily Disorders; fearing, as he said, at the same Time, that his Sins had been so heinous, and manifold, that God, although, says he, I know he is a merciful God, would not pardon them: This was his great Trouble and Pain. I was very glad of this Symptom; and knowing, that this was the Highway to the Gates of Mercy, I was enabled to gather up a few simple Fragments, and present them to his desponding Soul.- Dear Sir, I cannot express the Faith and Assurance I seemed to have bestowed upon me, at this Time, to plead and hang on the Promises, that all who thus come to him, he will in no wise cast out; and our dear Immanuel was of a Truth with us; for I was assured, that Christ would soon manifest his pardoning Love to his Soul. Several of our Women Friends were with us, and were greatly blessed; they were filled to the Brim with the Waters of Humility, which the Master soon turned into sweet Wine.- Dear Lord, what are we, or our Father's House, but great Sinners! O Lord, what is Man, that thou regardest him! Or, amongst the Sons of Men, what are we, that thou shouldest visit us with thy Love!- I now sung the 160th and 188th Hymns: This last Hymn seemed to relax his whole Heart, and operated, as a soaking Shower of Rain upon the thirsty Ground: It is these precious Heart-sprung Tears that are well pleasing to Jesus; so well pleasing, that our tender, compassionate High-Priest cannot, will not overlook them; for surely there is a Bottle to put them in. Encouraged by these Circumstances, I was persuaded, that these April Showers, as Mr. Trap has it, would soon introduce May Flowers. I went now to Prayer, and the Lord helped my Infirmities, and made Intercession for us, suitable to the Occasion. I told him to be fervent in Prayer, and that though Heaviness might endure for a Night, yet I had great Hope of Joy in the Morning for him; for I was somehow assured, that the Lord would visit him very soon. I then took my leave of him, and came Home, where I was so laid out in Prayer for him, that I could not leave off, for a great while; and I believed, that the Lord was now near to deliver him.- This Morning, I was again just preparing to visit him, and pray with him again, when, to my unspeakable Joy and Comfort, a Messenger came to me, and told me, that he desired, that I would come to him, and that he had good News to tell me; and, blessed be God, it was comfortable News, indeed. I went immediately, and when I came into his Chamber, I found him in the greatest Ecstasies of Joy imaginable; his Guilt all removed, and his very bodily Health, at that Time, in a Manner restored.- "O my dear Friend (says he) I am well, I have no Pain; I am all Life; I could find it in my Heart to leap out of Bed, and dance."- My dear Sir, I question whether ever you saw such a wonderful Change; he was indeed ready and strong enough to take up his Bed and walk.- I then asked him, in what Manner this Change first operated:- He told me, that he had been very bad all the Night, until, towards the Morning, he dosed a little; and that, in this Sort of Slumber, he saw some People come to him, who were about to open him and take out his Heart; he then expostulated a little with them, and asked them, what should he then do for a Heart, or something to that Effect; when the Men said, Oh! we are to give you a new Heart; with that he said, he put up his own Hand, and said, I will pull it out myself, which, as he thought, was done accordingly; and immediately he awoke with a new Heart indeed: I am sure (said he) it is not the same, for I feel Nothing but Newness, Lightness, Love, Peace and Joy all over; I have no Pain, no Burden: What is become of my guilty Load and Pain! What is become of Fear! I am not afraid now to die; I am all Love, Love, for every Soul in the whole World. Oh! my God is all Love!"- We now had Matter enough for Praise: We sung an Hymn, and offered up our Peace-Offerings; and how great and agreeable was our Surprise to hear him, who, the Night before, was dead and helpless, as the Man who was sick of the Palsy, and let down through the Tiling, now, with an audible Voice, joining us in singing Hymns; and, at the same Time, overpowered with Love and Thankfulness to his Redeemer! This, my dear Sir, is the News that I now send you, which, I believe, will be a great Blessing to you.- May the Lord Jesus bless you, spare, and continue you amongst us; and that, for our Unthankfulness and Unworthiness, you may never be removed from us, nor the holy Vision be taken from you; but may the dear Immanuel, our spiritual Elijah, give you a double Portion of his Spirit, and his Mantle; that your little Flock given you may still continue to rejoice: And may the Lord Jesus Christ establish our Hearts in Faith and Love, that we may be found unblamable in Holiness before our God, even our Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus, with all his Saints; that the Spirit of Christ may dwell in us; that we may continue in the Grace of God, and in the Faith, grounded and settled; and may not be moved away from the Hope of the Gospel. May the Blessing of God be on your Ministry, that you may continue to bring many unto Righteousness; that you may at last finish your Course with Joy, and shine forth as the Stars, for ever and ever. Amen.
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,
Baltimore, June 21, 1774.
I TAKE this Opportunity of complying with your Request, in sending you a particular Account of my Affairs; and this I cheerfully do, from a Consideration of your exceeding great Kindness to me, at a Time when I seemed cast out, and destitute of all Friends. We were but twenty-four Hours in the Downs, when we sailed with a fair Wind, and immediately lost sight of Land, which we no more saw, until we saw the Cape of Virginia. We were but five Weeks between Lands, having, in general, a fair Wind, and being very free from Storms. My Passage was made very tolerable, thro' the Friendship of the Captain; he employed me as Doctor to the Sick; and as I could bleed, and understood somewhat of Doctorship, and the Application of Drugs, I was made exceeding useful to Numbers, who, in their Passage, were ill, the Fever being much among them; but, through the Blessing of God on my Endeavours, none died: I found Bleeding, Vomiting, and a Blister on the Back, made head against the Fever, and the Sick soon recovered: This introduced me into the good Graces of the Captain; so that, I was treated like himself. By the Consent and Desire of the Captain, I preached twice on Sundays, and once on the Week Days, when the People could hear; but this was with an heavy Heart, for I did not find my Soul alive to God; but, on the contrary, I knew, that God's Displeasure was against me, because of my Unfaithfulness; and I was overwhelmed in Trouble; nevertheless, I had the Comfort to find a Backslider confess, that he was restored to Favour under my Labours; and different Persons professed to be greatly quickened.
After I went to Baltimore, I made Inquiry for the People of God, and conversed with one of Mr. Wesley's Preachers; but as I had no Letter from Mr. Wesley, he seemed very cold, and behaved with no small Indifference, which did not a little try me. However, I was received to lodge with a Dutch Gentlewoman, where I continued some Time, at free Cost; but, hearing of no Place, I was going to set sail for Philadelphia, when a young Man of Mr. Wesley's Society, directed by Providence, came from his Home to the House where I was; and, as he informed me afterwards, he did not know well why it was, but he found himself pressed to come that Day to Town; and, he hearing of me, was pushed on to press me to go Home with him, and stay at his House, until Providence should open a Door for me: I accepted this Offer, and went to his Father's House, twelve Miles from Town, where I met the young Man's Father, and three Sisters, all happy in the Lord. This, and a Reflection of my State, brought Tears in Plenty from my Eyes; Sorrow revived in my Heart, and my Grief was so excessive, and visible, that I could not avoid informing them of the Whole of my Distress, and the Cause thereof. Well, they prayed for me, wept over me, and assured me, that God had made known to them, that the Lord would shortly restore to me all that I had lost. One Morning, after Family Prayer, I read a Chapter, which greatly affected me, and young Mr. O-- (for that was the Name of the Person who brought me to his House) we walked into the Woods, and we both fell on our Knees, and a Spirit of Prayer was imparted to us both; and the blessed God broke into my Heart, in a more powerful Manner than I can describe, removed my Grief, and filled my Heart with his Love, to such a Degree, that I could hardly speak, while Tears of Joy ran down my Cheeks. O Sir, God, by his Providence, conveyed me to this Land, to manifest the Greatness of his Goodness to me; every Day's Experience, since, confirms me in the loving Kindess of the Lord to my poor Soul. Now this Change being wrought, Joy and Comfort was my Portion; I found Freedom to commune with God, as a Man doth with his Friend. I was daily called on to pray in publick, and the People were so affected, that they were convinced of God's Goodness. Brother O-- and I walked one Sunday, to see Mr. T-- W--, a Gentleman of an immense Fortune, where were different Persons present; after a little Conversation, I gave out an Hymn, and sung it with Tears of Joy; after which, I went to Prayer with them, and the Glory of God filled every Heart, while on our Knees; so that, every Person was obliged to withdraw to some private Place, to vent their Tears in secret; as for my Part, I thought, that my Heart must burst with the loving Kindness of the Lord. Here I exhorted, in the same Evening, to a Company of Persons, whose Hearts the Lord well watered. The next Lord's Day I was greatly importuned to preach to a large Company, and the Peoples Hearts were like melting Wax before the Fire: Oh! how did my blessed Master refresh my poor Heart with his Love. The Sunday after, I preached twice to crouded Assemblies; and the poor Souls were willing to go Miles on Foot to hear. Mr. W-- invited me to his House, and desired that I might make his House my own: This Offer I gladly embraced; being, as I thought, long enough at Brother O-'s, though they would have gladly entertained me as long as I would; but I was led to go to this Gentleman's House, as I had an Opportunity of doing more good; for there are near one hundred Slaves and Servants employed by him, in and about his Estate; and I am as a Chaplain here, to meet the People twice a Day, and the Lord is present; and of a Sunday, I preach or exhort to them, and Numbers of the Inhabitants. Mrs. W-- has been restored to the Favour of God, since I came here, and she is so extremely fond of me, that I could not be suffered to leave the House; therefore, she has made me an Offer of Lodging and Board at her House, gratis; and has got a School-House put in Order, for my teaching Children. Thus happily am I situated at present, in the Midst of Plenty: But it seems, that I shall not be suffered to stay here long; for the Preachers seem determined to have me out to travel, shortly; but as to that, I am at the Disposal of the Lord, and willing to spend and be spent for my dear Master. There is a glorious Prospect of a great Harvest here: Thousands are converted, and there is a Prospect of thousands more. I desire, that my kind Respects may be given to those who have assisted me in my Distress; and as for you, I am persuaded, that the blessed Lord will fully reward your Labour of Love, for being an Instrument of freeing me from four Years Servitude; by which , I believe, I shall spend the Time in a more blessed Way. May the dear Lord bless your Labours abundantly, and fill you with divine Consolation: He that hath loved will love you to the End.
From your affectionate,
And much obliged Friend,
Hartford County, Meriland. Aug.26, 1774.
I hope, you have received my last Letter to you, wherein I gave you an Account of the Dealings of the Lord with me in my Voyage, of my Arrival at Baltimore, with the Substance of what I met there, and of the great Mercy of the Lord, in restoring Peace and Joy to my Soul: This Account I sent by a careful Captain, bound for Bristol, as I then had no other Opportunity: As I hope, it came safe to hand, I shall only give you an Account of what passed since: And to begin, I inform you, that I continue at one of our Friend's Houses, in the County of Baltimore, and occasionally preach in different Places; and the Lord gave me great Favour in the Eyes of the People; so that many, who never took the Trouble of coming to hear Preaching before, made it their Business to come many Miles to hear me; and many felt the Power of the Lord. As to a School, I could get no open Door for some Time, although I fought it diligently: In this Way, I continued most of the Summer; and it is incredible, what Art and Pains the Devil used to prevent my Usefulness: Nevertheless, the Lord opened my Way, and enabled me to stand my Ground, looking to him; and at last, I am taken into Connexion, and now travel the Round; where, blessed for ever be the Name of my dear Master, I am greatly blessed, and assisted; every Place where I go, I see manifest Tokens of his Goodness; the Lord is carrying on a glorious Work in this Land; their Numbers daily increase, whose Souls are truly alive to the Lord, and have already obtained such a Measure of Grace, as that they are as settled in the Ways of the Lord, as if they had been twenty Years in the Way: And those who stand out are convinced of the Truth of the Gospel in general, only they are not yet made willing to give up all for the Lord. The only Thing that seems wanting here, is faithful, humble, gifted Men, who are willing to spend and be spent for Christ, in order to cause, the whole Continent to embrace the Gospel. They are a People much given up to private Prayer; so that, in publick, they are solemn and cheerful, as also zealous for God; and those who are possessed of Thousands seem as devoted as if not worth any Thing; there seems, at present, a happy Disposition among them: They are not ignorant of the different Opinions in Religion among Professors; but they despise all Sentiments which do not tend to subdue their Hearts to the Obedience of Christ: And as Holiness and Happiness are nearly connected together, their only Amibition is to seek to have their Hearts moulded into the Image and Spirit of Christ: Oh! that this were more the Contest among Christians; then, like the happy Americans, they would enjoy a more frequent Intercourse with Heaven than they do.- My dear Friend, I can say to you, that though I often had many blessed Days and Hours in the Ways of the Lord, yet I never had so clear and frequent Manifestations of a Redeemer's Love, as I enjoy now. What I have suffered has given me such a Sight of myself, that I am made willing to be any Thing in the Hands of my God; being convinced, that I am not worthy of any Thing but Hell; so that, every Token of Love from him is a Means of setting my Soul on Fire with Love to him. O divine Saviour, help me to praise thy Name, whose Love is without a Bottom or Shore. My former Affairs keep me humble and resigned in my Station at all Times; his Love to me daily keeps me every Day happy; and a Sense of my Weakness keeps me daily dependent on him. I see, that it is a great Thing to preach and live the Gospel; and I am stirred up to seek a Power to live as solemn and devoted, at all Times, as when in the Pulpit. I find the Way of the Cross sweeter to me than I ever did before. I drink no Spirits, Water is my constant Drink; I see a vast Need of keeping my Body under, and of bringing it into Subjection; and though, at this Time, Numbers are in an afflicted State, the Heat of the Season, being excessive, throws Numbers into Fevers and Fluxes; yet, through the Mercy of my God, I never enjoyed better Health in my Life; and my dear Master makes my Spirits so lively, that my glad Heart dances for Joy; Indeed, I want Words to express how good the Lord is to a poor Worm; Glory be to his dear Name. I sometimes think of my Wife and Children, and then Nature begins to work; but I am obliged to give them up to the Lord; however, I should be glad to hear from them: I wish, it were in your Power to make any Enquiry, by Means of some of your Friends of Bristol, about them, and to let me know something concerning them. And now, my dear best of Friends, I cannot help often wondering at the great Love and Purpose of the Lord, in making you an Instrument of freeing me from four Years Slavery, through your Assistance, in paying my Passage, by which my Way is made clear to preach the Gospel; whereas, the being bound four Years might have been my Ruin: Surely, I shall, while I live, reflect on your Kindness with Gratitude. May the Lord make your Labours successful. O Sir, let the Zeal of the Lord of Hosts constrain you to devote the whole of your Life to the Lord. A Minister should have but one Business on Earth, the Salvation of Souls. I wish you all Happiness; may your Chapel be the House of God, and the Gate of Heaven; may the Glory of the Lord be revealed there, whenever you speak for God: The Crown will recompense you abundantly for all your Labours. My kind Respects to Mrs. Coughlan, and her Daughter, &c. I wish them all Happiness; and I trust, that I shall not forget you all at the Throne of Grace: And I beg your Prayers for me, that I may spend the whole of my Life for the Lord, whose Love I now find to be the Object of all my Desires; to love him, and to labour for him, be all my Wishes and Aims.
Harbour Grace, October 31, 1774.
I Heartily thank you for your kind Letter, which convinced me, that you still cared for my Soul. I felt my very Heart pained, when I found you was not to return; yet I could rejoice, and praise God, that he had frustrated the malicious Design of your Enemies, and had covered them with Shame. O Sir, I do sensibly feel the Want of you; I can truly say, I have often mourned for you with Tears. My dear Sir, you desired, I would give you a particular Account, how the Lord first wrought upon my Soul, and how I go on; which I readily do, believing it to be my Duty to comply with your Request. When I first heard you preach, I was an Enemy to God, and knew it not. I loved you from the first, and could not bear to hear you, or the Truth which you delivered, evil spoken of; yet your Preaching wrought no saving Change in me, till your Return from England; when, as I constantly attended the Means, the Word began to take Root, and Things appeared in a different Light. On Christmas Day, I ventured to go to the Sacrament, with my Father and Mother; after you had repeatedly explained the Nature of it, and the Danger of unworthily Receiving, I was, in a Measure, convinced of Sin; yet I did see, and feel, my lost and undone State by Nature, till the Spring following; when the Lord sent his Word with Power, as a two-edged Sword, to my Soul: I saw myself wretched, and poor, and blind, and naked; having no Hope, and without God in the World: I saw, and felt, I deserved Eternal Damnation; and was constrained to cry out, Lord, save, or I perish. The Enemy often suggested, I had sinned away my Day of Grace, and it was in vain to pray, and that there was no Salvation for me. I was greatly distressed with blasphemous Thoughts, and I thought, no Creature was so tempted as I was: Both you and Mrs. Coughlan prayed with, and for me; I continued in this great Distress of Soul, till Thursday in Whitsun Week; but when I was praying to the Lord, this Text came with Power to my Soul, Try me, and see, if I will not pour in a Blessing, so as there shall not be Room enough to hold it. I suddenly felt my Distress removed, and I could rejoice in the God of my Salvation; my Heart leaped for Joy, and my Eyes were filled with Tears; I thought, I could say before all the World, that God, for Christ's Sake, had forgiven my Sins: I felt my Heart so full of Love, that I could not help speaking of it; but was constrained to tell my Friends; and I earnestly longed to see you, to tell you what the Lord had done for my Soul. In my first Love, I was zealous for God, and often wondered what St. John, in the Revelation, meant by leaving the first Love; but, by woful Experience, I now know what it means; had I not left my first Love, I might have been further on in my Journey: O Sir, I am ashamed, when I look back, to see what a Loiterer I have been, and how little Glory I have brought to God; surely he might justly have for ever withdrawn the Comforts of his Holy Spirit from me; but, what shall I say? He is a God of tender Mercy; I still find him gracious; he is a God of tender Mercy, forgiving Iniquity, Transgression, and Sin. I do this precious Moment feel, that I love him; would to God, every Thing contrary to his divine Will in me was done away. I see the great Necessity of Holiness; and, blessed be God, I feel as great Distress, at Times, for Sanctification, as ever I did for Justification: I know, that the Will of God is my Sanctification; I feel, that nothing short of Holiness will do. Lord Jesus, make me holy; give me that Faith which overcometh the World, and that Love which is stronger than Death. My dear Sir, I beg an Interest in your Prayers, that you may with Joy give me up at the Great Day. I still continue to meet the Women, according to your Desire; but, O dear Sir, I feel myself very unfit for a Leader, and often think, that all who make a Profession live nearer to God than I do; and when I ought to be a Teacher of others, that I have need of someone to teach me.- We meet as usual, on Fridays at Mrs. Martin's, and on Sabbath Evenings at my Father's and Brother's, where poor W-- preaches.-Poor M-- B--, and I--, Demas like, have forsaken us, having loved this present evil World; they have never met since you left us. And what shall I say of poor Mrs. P--, her Walk is disorderly, and she seldom attends the Meetings; I am very doubtful of her: The rest constantly attend, and, I believe, are very sincere.- My dear Sir, you can hardly conceive the Distress that I sometimes feel for want of your godly Instructions and Advice; knowing my own Unfaithfulness, and my great Ignorance, it often bows me down. I beg your particular Direction how to proceed, in future, with respect to the Meetings; I desire to be obedient. None but God and my own Soul know how glad I should be to see you: My Soul would fly, if possible, to hear the Gospel Trumpet founded by you: Oh! Sir, when I consider, how often I have been blessed under your Preaching, it melts me into Tears, now I am deprived of the Happiness: I often mourn for the blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; I do desire to shew forth my Lord's Death, till he come: I trust, he will supply the Lack of all Means to my Soul, and enable me to fly to him, in every Time of Trial. I desire continually to be taught, by the Teachings of the blessed Spirit; for if left to myself, but for a Moment, I am ready to fall into Evil of every Kind. Well might Jeremiah say, The Heart is deceitful above all Things, and desperatly wicked, who can know it? I can truly say, my greatest Enemies are within; I feel an evil Heart of Unbelief, ever bent to backslide from God; I long to be delivered from the Remains of inbred Sin, and to have the Whole Image of God stamped upon my Soul, and every Desire brought into Subjection to Christ. May the blessed Jesus enable me patiently to wait, till all his Will be done in me. My dear Sir, I hope, you will continue to pray for me; my poor Prayers shall not be wanting for you. May you ever cry aloud, and spare not; lift up your Voice as a Trumpet; shew the People their Transgressions, and the House of Israel their Sins. That the Lord may daily add Souls to your Ministry, and at last crown you with immortal Glory, is the Prayer of your affectionate, though unworthy Daughter in Christ,
Carbonear, 7th of January, 1774.
I Am favoured with this Opportunity to write a few Lines, and hope, this will find you, and dear Family, safe and well in England; after a pleasant and edifying Passage through the mighty Waters: May he that holds them in the Hollow of his Hand hold, support, bless, protect, guide and direct you, and yours; and may a double Portion of the dear Redeemer's Spirit be upon you, enabling you to blow the Gospel Trumpet very loud, in every Place where God calls you forth. But, Oh! to think of never having you this Way again is very Heart-breaking; but I believe, your Work is done here, and God is now calling you to greater Work still. And when I consider, how you have laboured and toiled for a Parcel of poor unworthy Rebels, in this inclement Region, I am covered with Shame, to think that I am no better, no further advanced onward; and still I am no better than a withered Branch, notwithstanding the Cloud was with us seven Years, out of which the Lord gave us Rain from Heaven, and fruitful Seasons. What an Account have I to make for all those Gospel Blessings that I have enjoyed, for all these Gospel Showers, should I be found without Fruit at last! Surely the Lord will not send you this Way again; no, we are unworthy of such a Favour; no, God may justly make our Habitations as the Mountains of Gilboa, where there are no Dews; but Glory to him in the Highest, who commandeth the Clouds above, and openeth the Windows of Heaven; he it is that heareth Prayer; and this is the Privilege of God's poor Children in the Wilderness, that they have the Prayers of all God's faithful Ministers for them: Pray therefore, my dear Sir, repeatedly, to him that giveth the Increase, that he would open the Windows of Heaven, and remember and refresh this parched Wilderness, wherein we live, with continual Showers of his Grace; and that not one of those whom God hath given to your Ministry may be lost: And, Oh! that we may every one of us meet you in Heaven, and be presented by you to our dear Immanuel, and hear you say, Behold me, blessed Jesus, and those thou didst give me in Newfoundland. Amen. Dear Sir, I hope, you will go through. and face all your Newfoundland Enemies, in the Strength of Christ, who will fight all your Battles for you, and bring you off more than Conqueror: It is his Cause, therefore fear not. I suppose, they will, Devil-like, be ashamed to appear openly against you, and would be glad, if you were silent; but out with those Serpents, out of the Grass, and expose them; not that we mind what wicked Men can do, or say, against us; but let God's Cause be glorified, and his dear Children in England be unprejudiced; I want all the World to know, and be assured, that you are a Prophet sent of God, a faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, which, Glory be to Jesus, myself and a great many more have happily experienced. Dear Sir, as soon as you left us, the Harbour-Grace Scribes and Pharisees occupied Moses's Seat; G-- and G-- have crept into the Church: The Enemy came and sowed Tares: One preaches one Sunday, and the other another; and they intend to keep Possession, until a Missionary comes out: The first Sermon Mr. G-- preached was at the Funeral of poor J-- S--, who was drowned the Wharf, a little after you sailed, the same Morning; the Subject of the Sermon run on the Respect, Obedience and Homage, that People ought to pay to Magistrates, &c. And I am sorry to tell you, that several of those that were for a Time of your Flock are turned over to their Doctrine, viz. all the S--, and some others, at Harbour-Grace. But, blessed be the Lord, I have good News to write you, from your little Church, at Carbonear, that, notwithstanding our Proneness to stray, and being without you, yet the Lord does meet and bless us there; so that, I am sure, you are continually praying for, and with us; and although absent in the Flesh, yet we are often present in Spirit. Oh! Grace, Grace, Oh! blessed Gospel, Oh! blessed Truths, Oh! blessed Word and Spirit, that point out a crucified Saviour, the Son of God, lifted up for us: This, my dear Mr. Coughlan, is the Center of our Union, although we are separated, and dispersed into the uttermost Corners of the Wilderness; no Wonder then, that we are present in the Spirit. Christ lifted up shall draw all Nations unto him. I do often wonder with myself, how I should have any Love for, or Acquaintance with all that love Jesus Christ, even as though I was familiar with them, although I never saw them in the Flesh, yet, by this blessed Union, I see them all, and enjoy happy and comfortable Moments with them that I never saw in the Body: All the dear Children of God, in this World, throughout the Earth, seem present with me; much more you, my dear and Reverend Father in Christ, who have laboured hard, and travelled in Birth for such a poor Hell- deserving Sinner as I am; may our heavenly Father give you his Blessing; even as the Blessings of Jacob, on the Head of Joseph, so, and more, may the blessed Jesus bestow upon you. My dear Sir, we had a blessed watering Season, on Christmas-Day, at our Love- Feast, in the Church, and a gracious out-pouring of the Spirit amongst us; I do assure you, the Lord was with us of a Truth; such a Time we have not had since your first coming amongst us (save the first two Years) not one, but was broken down; some cried out; others having their Cups running over: The gracious Redeemer made it a Love-Feast indeed, and turned our Water into Wine; and you, my dear Sir, was present upon all our Hearts, in a particular Manner that Day. Oh! that I had Power from on High, that I could once venture out into the High Ways, without Crutches, and call in poor Sinners to feast with such a merciful Saviour; but my Faculties are destroyed by a long Course of Sin and Vice, that to me it seems impossible, that ever I should do any such great Work for Christ: However, I hope, he will make me willing to do what I am capable of, and make me any Thing, or Nothing, so that I may glorify him, and be his humble Servant still. Dear Sir, if it should not be the Will of God to send you out again; pray be assured, if you send any one to us, that he may be an experienced Soldier of Jesus Christ; otherwise, it is better for us to be as we are; for our God doth bless us in our little short Comings: I think, if you send one, he must be endued with no little Share of Spiritual Gifts, to build upon anothers Foundation: God direct for the best, I hope he will keep us until that Time: And, dear Sir, whether you or any other should come, let us be directed by you how to proceed, that we may not let all drop; the Lord Jesus forbid, that we ever should be content with a formal Profession.- My dear Sir, all our dear Friends desire their Love to you.- This is our Meeting Night, and I hope, the blessed Jesus will meet and bless us.- I am obliged to conclude for want of Room.
November 2, 1774. Harbour-Grace, Newfoundland.
I Must begin this Letter, by saying, that you will wonder to receive this from me; however with Men Things are impossible, with God all Things are possible; Evidences sufficient, to shew his Almighty Power, who commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness. Dear Sir, among the Number that will be taking this Opportunity, of declaring the Love of God shed abroad in their Hearts, and of glorifying his holy and blessed Name, for the Manifestation of his Love to them, and the comfortable Influence of his Holy Spirit, I am constrained to own, and gladly declare, that he seems very precious to my poor sequestered Soul, that was so long estranged from him; that his Long-suffering has at last touched the Heart that was once hardened against the most endearing Calls of his Holy Spirit. Oh! my dear Friend, I believe you often lifted up your Heart and Eyes to that all lovely and blessed Saviour, with ardent Intercessions for me, who cruelly abused his Mercy, and trampled under Foot the silent Convictions of an awakening Conscience. Blessed by thy holy Name, thou dear Immanuel, who hast plucked me as a Brand from the Burning: Oh! grant, that the Prayers of my Friend may co-operate with my poor Imperfect Ones, for the Increase of thy Love, and that Faith which worketh by Love. It has pleased the Father of Mercies, to give his Son a few out of the World; a few, I trust, that will gather more Sons to Righteousness. I am but a Probationer, and young in the School of Christ; but a Week Yesterday, that I found my Heart giving way to the sweet Calls of that dear Redeemer, and warming it with humble Adoration for his Loving-kindness: It was, when all had told the blessed Experience they had of the divine Love shed abroad in their Hearts, when I felt self-condemned, without a Wedding Garment, justly convicted of my Unworthiness; since which, I praise the Almighty Power, that cut my Bonds asunder, and loosened me from the Fetters of Sin and Death: Oh! that I may be enabled to set forth his Praise, and declare his Loving-kindness more and more. Amen.-
I had the Pleasure of reading your Letter to poor W-- H--, and it gave me great Satisfaction; he is a very serious and true Christian, and labours indefatigably in the Gift he has obtained; I trust, his Talent will gain many Tens. As you have Accounts from many Hands, you will hear every Particular; my Hurry will not admit of my enlarging: I am going to sail for Home To-Morrow, God willing.
Your most humble,
And obedient Servant,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Hope, that this Letter will find you possessed of every Thing that can make you happy here, and filled with that Peace which the World cannot give, or ever take away. Suffer me, dear Sir, with the rest of your Friends in these Parts, to acquaint you with the Work of God upon my Soul. When I first heard you preach, I went and searched the Scriptures, to find if these Things were so; and I found, that your Preaching and the Word of God agreed: Then I began to consider, what State I was in; and the Lord was pleased to shew me, that I was an helpless Sinner. One Day, when employed at my ordinary Business, I suddenly felt a Depression of Spirit, and all the Sins I had ever committed stared me instantly in the Face; about one Week, I felt this guilty Load, and I constantly prayed to be delivered from it: The Lord heard my Prayer, and set my Soul at Liberty. I cannot say, that I felt any sudden or instantaneous Change; but I found the Burden gradually remove, and the Love of Jesus overspread my Soul: However, I can now say, in full Assurance of Faith, that Jesus loved me, and gave himself for me: I find him very precious to me; and I do know, that God, for Christ's Sake, has forgiven all my Sins. Blessed be God, I have been called to suffer Affliction in this Life; I am almost in continual Anguish, in consequence of a broken Limb, that was badly set; yet, in the Miodst of my Pains, I can rejoice in the Lord, and triumph in the God of my Salvation.- At present, I have a Persuasion, that my Time here below is short; and I bless God, I am ready whenever the Messenger comes. The Ground of my Persuasion is this; about six Weeks past, my Wife informed me, that she heard the most extraordinary and charming Musick in the World, and that she heard it continually while awake; her Words seemed to me as idle Tales, and I would not be persuaded, but that it was mere Fancy or Imagination, till, at last, about three Weeks past, I began to hear the same myself; since which Time, it is my constant Attendant, while I am awake; in what Place soever I am, it is with me continually: It is different from all other Musick that ever I heard, and is most like the Sound of an Organ, according to the Description I have heard given of Organs; the Sounds are many and various; the Tunes, which are Psalm or Hymn Tunes, "with many a Preamble sweet," are truly Heavenly; so that, if a Pause is made in it, but a Minute, I seem dejected for want of it: This makes me think, that I shall soon be set at Liberty from this House of Clay, and delivered from the cumbrous Clod that now bows down my Spirit with Anguish.- I hope, you will not look upon what I have said as wild and extravagant, for I solemnly declare, in the Presence of God, that it is the very Truth.- Glory be to my God, that ever I heard your Voice; receive my Thanks; and may my God give you his Blessing.-
I hope to see you in the Realms of Bliss, and to welcome you into the Mansions of everlasting Repose; till then, Adieu: Continue faithful unto Death, and your Master will give you a Crown of Life.
N.B. The above extraordinary Account was related by James Noseworthy, and corroborated by the Testimony of his Wife, in the Meetings; and every Particular, nearly, as expressed above, came from his Lips, and was wrote by -
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
THIS comes to you, with my sincere Affection, and, I hope, it will find you in Prosperity of Soul and Body. Though your Work in this Land is at an end, yet some of the Fruits of it do remain, and, I trust, will prove the Crown of your rejoicing in the Great Day of our Lord and Saviour; then, I hope, I shall be of the Number, and prove one of the Seals to your Ministry. My Experience is as follows: I had my Education in New England, in a religious Family, and was early taught the Fear of the Lord; in this Fear, I was preserved; and, by the restraining Grace of God, I was kept from the gross Pollutions that are in the World. At last, it pleased the Lord to send you into these Parts, and I praise my God for his Mercy in sending you. When I first heard you, my Heart rejoiced: When the Sound, the blessed Sound of the Gospel reached my Ear, it soon found a way to my Heart; and I clearly saw, that no partial outward Righteousness would avail me; then I mourned and grieved for my Sins, and fought continually for Occasions, in private, to pour out my Griefs before the Lord: Thus I went on a long Time; but my God, at last, comforted me. One Evening, while my Husband was reading the Scriptures in our Family, the Lord broke in upon my Soul, and I felt his Love overflow my Heart suddenly, it flashed in upon my Soul like Lightning; and I felt a Comfort and Joy that no Words can express.- Since this Time, I frequently feel a Return of the same Heavenly Fire, sometimes in private, sometimes in publick, when I draw near unto the Lord.- Glory be to my God for his Free-Grace, I yet enjoy the Comforts of his Presence; and, I hope, I shall soon enjoy it in full Fruition to all Eternity.- My dear Sir, I cannot refrain from acquainting you with what I hourly experience: About six Weeks past, on a Night, when in Bed, suddenly I heard the most charming Musick in the World; no Tongue can express the divine Harmony of it; and when it first began, I thought, as it played, it expressed these Words, "All your Sins forgiven." This Expression was continually, for a considerable Time, repeated in Concert with the Musick. When I told my Husband what I heard, he would not believe me; but, shortly after, he was convinced that it was the Truth, for he heard it himself. The Tunes are Psalm and Hymn Tunes, which it plays; and it consists of Bass, Treble, and Tenour: Sometimes it plays exceeding soft; then again it raises, and plays exceeding loud; sometimes the Treble and Tenour Parts play alone; then the Bass strikes in, and accompanies them; in short, no Tongue can describe the delightful Harmony of it. For my Part, I am enraptured with it; and, as I believe it to be a delightful Summons to me, I the more rejoice. How do I sometimes long to be dissolved, to be with Christ, to join this heavenly Musick, in singing the Praises of my God, and the Lamb for ever and ever.- All my Family desires to be remembered to you, particularly my Son John.- I hope to meet you at God's Right Hand, and spend with you a happy Eternity.
I am, Dear Sir,
Your truly affectionate Daughter
In Christ Jesus,
I Have been very particular in what respects Mrs. Noseworthy's Account of this extraordinary Musick; I have asked so many Questions, and been so minute in my Inquiry, that I at last believe it is the very Truth, as related above (you know I am not very credulous:) I have wrote the Account as near her own Words as I could. I am,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
AGREEABLE to your Desire, I send you my Experience; but had much rather tell it to you, Face to Face, than write: But alas, the happy Days are at an end, when we used to converse with you: We shall no more receive your godly Admonitions and Instructions; no more hear you proclaim the everlasting Gospel; and no more receive the blessed Sacrament at your Hands: We often lament, and, if possible, would wish a Return of the happy Days that are past. My Experience is as follows: The Gospel came with Power from your Lips, and reached the Hearts of my Family; our Eyes were all opened, as you may remember, at the same Time: For my Part, I saw myself as a lost sinful Worm, utterly unworthy of Mercy; and many a Tear I shed, and many an aching Heart I had, before the God of my Salvation set me at Liberty; about twelve Months I groaned under the Lashes of a guilty Conscience, and the Terrors of the Law. One Evening, when musing on my wretched Condition, in my own House, and while I was lamenting my undone State, the Lord broke in upon my Soul, with these Words, "Fear not, only Believe." The Clouds were now dispersed; I was filled with Love; my heavy Burden was removed; I felt myself lifted above my Griefs; and I did believe, that God, for Christ's Sake, had forgiven all my Sins. I rejoiced thus in the Lord, about a Week; and then the Enemy came in as a Flood, and persuaded me, that I was deceived, that all was a Delusion, and that I had not received Pardon, or Consolation, as yet. Six Weeks, the Enemy thus blinded my Eyes, oppressed my Spirits, and overwhelmed me in Distress: Oh! what Anguish of Spirit was I in, until the Lord Jesus again delivered me. On a Sabbath-Day, when returning from the Holy Sacrament, filled with Anguish, and perplexing Doubts and Fears, suddenly I felt myself delivered; my Doubts were all dispersed, and I was filled with Love: Oh! how did my Heart rejoice; then I defied my Adversary, and could, with full Assurance of Faith, call Jesus Lord. Since this Time, blessed be God, I have been kept by the Power of Free-Grace, and I may truly say,
Your affectionate Friend and Daughter,
In Christ Jesus,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Am yet among the Sons of Men, yet in the Land of the Living; calmly waiting my good Master's Pleasure; ready, whenever he is pleased to sign my Release from this House of Clay. I here send you my Experience, and, I hope, the Account will prove a Blessing to many: From my Youth up, I was moral, and regular in my Conversation, of a sober, reserved Disposition; yet totally blind to my Corruption by Nature, till the merciful Lord sent you into this Place, to preach the everlasting Gospel. Glory for ever be to my God, that I heard the joyful News from your Lips, which has proved mighty to the pulling down of Strongholds. The first Time I heard you preach, I was convinced of Sin; the Truth found a way to my Heart, and I saw and felt my lost Condition by Nature; and my whole Life appeared a Blot: I saw, that I had never done one good Action all my long Life; and my Grief was great and sore, that ever I offended a good, an infinitely good God: I laboured under this Distress of Soul near two Years; during which Time, I sought the Lord earnestly with Tears, Night and Day; and you know, that I constantly attended the Means of Grace whenever I could. At last, it pleased God to manifest his pardoning Love to me, and to comfort my afflicted Heart. Many Times, I intended to go and open the State of my Soul to you, but still something hindered; I have been on the way to you, and then again returned back; at last, I went to your House, and opened the State of my Soul to you, and you prayed with and for me; the same Evening, when I left your House, there was a heavy Load upon my Spirit, and I went slowly on my way Home, heavy and dejected; but before I reached my own House, it pleased the Lord to shine upon my Soul, and I was suddenly filled with Joy and Peace in believing: I found my Heart enlarged, and lifted up in Praise and Thanksgiving; and I went into my House rejoicing. Here was an Instance of amazing Mercy, for I was about seventy Years old, when this Miracle of healing was performed in me. Oh! how shall I praise the God of my Salvation? How shall I return the Honour due unto the Name, the all-prevailing Name of Jesus? I am sure, I have Reason to bless God, that ever I saw your Face, or ever heard the Sound of your Voice, for you was the Messenger of Peace to my Soul. Oh! that my God may shower down Blessings on your Head here, and reward you with an enduring Inheritance in Heaven. Glory be to my God, I am yet enabled to rejoice in him; and, I hope, ere long, my tedious Pilgrimage will be at an end, and that I shall be called to see the King in his fair Beauty, to triumph for ever in his Presence, and to live and reign with him, through a happy Eternity. Give my Love and best Respects to dear Mrs. Coughlan, and believe me to be, in Sincerity and Truth,
Your affectionate Daughter,
in Christ Jesus,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Did not receive your Letter of the 13th of April, till the Beginning of October, and I was heartily glad to hear from you, but was truly sorrowful, when I considered, that I shall see your Face no more; however, I am rejoiced, when I consider, that you are happy, and out of the Power of your Enemies. Agreeable to your Desire, I here acquaint you with the Work of God upon my Soul: You have heard, no doubt, that I have lived a regular Life from my Youth up; through the restraining Grace of God, I was preserved from the many Pollutions of the Place wherein I was born; and I endeavoured to serve God in the best Manner I was able. I heard you preach often, before I was convinced that your Preaching concerned me: I did not see my Need of a Saviour: I thought my own Righteousness was sufficient for me: At last, it pleased God to open my Eyes, by Means of your preaching from these Words, Let the Wicked forsake his Way, and the Unrighteous Man his Thoughts; and return unto the Lord, and he will have Mercy upon him, &c. The Words were directly applicable to my State; I saw clearly, that if I was not Wicked, yet I was Unrighteous, and wanted a Saviour as much as any one. When my Eyes were opened, how astonished was I to find, that all my Righteousness was as filthy Rags, was hateful in the Sight of a pure and holy God. I mourned, I lamented, and prayed continually to my God, to open my Eyes yet more and more, and lead me in the Way of Truth. Thus I strove, and prayed near three Months; and then, at a publick Meeting, the Lord was pleased to give me an Assurance of his Love: After this, I began to doubt of the Reality of my Conversion, and prayed for a clearer Evidence of Pardon and Acceptance: My good Lord heard and answered, and gave me an Evidence shortly after, at another publick Meeting, clear as the Meridian Sun; then, I could truly say, that Jesus was precious to my Soul; that he was altogether lovely, and that his Righteousness alone (imputed and imparted) was sufficent for me. Glory be to his great Name, I yet find him near; he is my only Comfort and Delight; the Joy and Desire of my Heart.- I feel myself greatly attached to you, it was you that was the Messenger of Peace to my Soul; and I can assure you, if I was not so much advanced in Years as I am, that I would gladly undertake a Voyage to England, for no other Purpose, but to see your Face once more in the Flesh; but as it is improbable that we shall meet again in the Body, I trust, we shall at last meet in the Realms of Bliss and Glory, to part no more. My Love to dear Mrs. Coughlan, and Miss Betsey; may you and they long enjoy Happiness and Comfort in your native Land, and arrive at last in the Haven of Eternal Rest, I am,
Your affectionate Friend,
Son and Servant,
in Christ Jesus,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
IT rejoiced my Heart, to hear your Letter read in our Meeting, last Spring; but, I am sure, I was grieved, to hear that you was not to come to us again. Lord, help us, we are left as Sheep, without a Shepherd. Oh! that the Lord may supply our Wants, for they are great. Agreeabe to your Desire, I send you an Account of my Conversion, which was as follows; I heard you preach a long Time, and used all the Means of Grace, before I was truly convinced of my lost, undone State by Nature; and so stupid was I, and ignorant, that I laughed, and wondered, when I heard my Sister talk of her being converted; and I did not believe, that she was a Sinner great enough to need Conversion. At last, it pleased God to work upon my Soul: One Night, when coming from a publick Meeting, I was affrighted, and the Lord made use of it as a Means to awaken me; then, and not before, I saw myself lost and undone; I found, I had as much Need of a Saviour, and of being converted, as any other Person whatsoever. I cried mightily to the Lord, and he heard me, and that soon; for the third Night after I felt myself a Sinner, as I was at Prayer, in my own House, the Lord was pleased to break in upon my Soul, dispersed all my Fears, and gave me Power to believe in him; my Heart was lifted up, and I was enabled to rejoice in God my Saviour; from that Time, which is now about three Years, my God has enabled me to cleave closer and closer unto him. Last Winter, it pleased the Lord to afflict me very sore; the Fever raged in my Family, and two of my Children died of it: I lost a Son, aged nineteen Years; and a Daughter, aged near seventeen Years; I hope, they both died happy. Blessed be God, he has given me Patience to endure Affliction; I consider, that whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth. My dear Sir, I request your Prayers for me, that I may continue faithful unto Death; that I may at last join you, with the rest of God's dear Children, where Sorrow and Sighing shall be for ever done away.
I remain, with all Humility,
Your affectionate Friend,
And humble Servant,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Join myself to the Number of your Friends, to write to you; and must say, with the rest, that I am rejoiced, and sad; rejoiced, to hear of your Welfare; and sad, to consider, that you will not return to us again. May the Lord, who is the great Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, reward you a thousand-fold for your Labour of Love in these Parts, and may he send us another Pastor after his own Heart. According to your Request, I here send you an Account of the Work of God on my Soul: I heard you preach the everlasting Gospel near three Years, before I felt that I was a Sinner: I constantly attended the Means of Grace; but felt not the Power of Religion, till the Lord himself was pleased, at last, to open my Eyes; then the Word came with Power to my Heart, and I saw and felt my lost, undone Condition by Nature, and by Practice: I laboured under these Convictions about twelve Months, groaning earnestly to be delivered; at last, it pleased the Lord to break in upon my Soul, in a very powerful Manner, when I was receiving the Holy Sacrament at your Hands; then, then, I found experimentally that His Flesh was Meat indeed, and that His Blood was Drink indeed; my Jesus did then fill my Soul with the Manna of his Love; I found the Burden removed that pressed me down, my Heart was enlarged; and I can truly say, that I did then indeed rejoice in God my Saviour. Glory be to God, I yet feel, that Jesus is precious to my Soul; he is yet with me, his Rod and his Staff do comfort me. I find, that all his Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, and all his Paths are Peace. Thanks be to my God for his Free-Grace, I stand; and I hope, through the same Almighty Power, that I shall be enabled to persevere unto the End. Let me, with the rest of your poor Children in these Parts, have an Interest in your Prayers; I am sure, we often think of you, and we often present you in our Prayers before the Lord: Oh! that he may hear our united Cries, and enable us to continue faithful unto Death, that we may all inherit a Crown of Life, and may at last meet, to enter with you into the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Give my Love and best Respects to Mrs. Coughlan, and Miss Betsey, and believe me to be,
Your real Friend,
And very humble Servant,
SIR, I have willingly embraced this Opportunity of acquainting you, that the Lord has still preserved me, as a Monument of his Mercies; he proves to me an indulgent Father, and a bountiful Benefactor: Oh! how doth he fulfil his Promises, in pardoning Iniquities, Transgressions, and Sin. I, who was a Brand plucked from the infernal Lake, how ought I to adore Free-Grace, who have experienced Jesus to be my Redeemer, when Thousands better than I are left fast bound in the Chains of Sin and Misery. But, O my dear Sir, what Reason have I to blush, and be ashamed, when I review my After-Walk, who have so often abused the Goodness and Long- sufferings of my dear Jesus, who have so often trifled with his precious Blood! I verily believe, that I am the vilest of all God's Children; for, believe me, Sir, I am still a poor, weak, unprofitable Child: I, who ought to be a Teacher of others, am still in need of a Teacher; yet, O my dear Sir, I can say that Jesus loves me! Is not this Grace upon Grace? I hope you will help me to praise God for his Mercy towards me: And, O my dear Sir, pray for me, that I may endure to the End: I trust, that he who has begun this good Work will never leave me nor forsake me. May I ever hold fast whereunto I have already attained, and never draw back, till I may be found complete in Glory, and sing incessant Hallelujahs to God and the Lamb for ever. Amen.- Dear Sir, I desire to be thankful for the Goodness of God, in conveying you safe to your desired Port; and may Jesus ever bless you from the upper and nether Spring; so prays your unworthy Daughter in the Gospel,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
MY DEAR SIR,
I Received your Favour last Spring, and was rejoiced to hear of your safe Arrival in London; but was greatly distressed, when I found that you was not to return to us again. I felt the Want of you in the Winter, yet had some Hopes that you would return; but when I found you must stay, my Hopes were blasted, and I mourned, as though you were dead, or as though some Evil had happened unto you; yet, in the Midst of my Distress, I found the Lord (who is the only Help in Time of Need) was my Comfort and Consolation, my Strength and my Stay. Agreeable to your Desire, I here send an Account, how I was brought to God, through the Ministration of the glorious Gospel, which has proved the Power of God unto Salvation to my Soul: My Life, before you came to this Land, was regular; and I hoped to be saved by the Merit of my Works; nor do I know, that I was truly awakened, until the Winter that you first went from this Place to England; then it pleased the Lord to open my Eyes, and I found, I was an Unbeliever, and had Need of a Saviour: But on Christmas-Day, when you first administered the Holy Sacrament in Harbour-Grace, I felt the Weight and Burden of my Sins; I saw my great Unworthiness to receive the Holy Communion, and was so opressed with Awe and Terrour, as I approached the Table, that I sunk down; and I know not to this Hour, how I received the sacred Elements. From this Time, I felt strong Convictions (which were often so violent, that I could hardly bear up under them) until the twelfth Day of February following; on that Night, when returning from a publick Meeting, I felt myself so vile and wretched, that I was constrained often to fall on my Knees in the publick Path, and cry for Mercy; but before I reached my own House, the Lord Jesus broke in upon my Soul, took away the heavy Load that bowed me down, and I went on my Way rejoicing. I can, by no Means, describe the amazing Alteration which I suddenly felt; I was happy, my Night was turned into Day, my Hell was changed to a Heaven. Since that Time, blessed be God, I stand; and, in the Strength of Jesus, I am enabled to fight the good Fight of Faith: Oh! that I may be enabled to endure unto the End. I find, my Jesus is still precious to my Soul; he lifts my sinking Spirits in every Affliction, and is better to me than all the World. I request an Interest in your Prayers, you always have an Interest in mine. Oh! may we meet where Prayer is lost in Praise, and Parting is no more.
My dear Sir,
Your affectionate Daughter,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Hope, you will favourably receive a Letter from my Hands, though I am an unworthy Follower of the dear Lord Jesus. You expressed some Fears about me in your Letter, and I confess that they were not groundless; for I find myself often halting by the Way, and I may say, that if I had not been a Loiterer, I might have been further on in my heavenly Journey. You desired all those who had a Work of God wrought upon their Soul to write their Experience, and send it you. In Obedience to your Command, I, among the rest, give you an Account of the Work of God upon my Soul, which was as follows: All my youthful Days were spent in Vanity and very Wickedness; I exceeded all my Neighbours in Iniquity, and gloried in my Shame; as [!] last, it pleased God to awaken me, under a remarkable Sermon of yours, in Carbonear, on these Words, Let the Wicked forsake his Way, and the unrighteous Man his Thoughts, &c. The Word came with Power to my Soul; I saw myself wicked and abominable, and wondered that my God was so kind, as to offer Pardon to such a Rebel as I had been. The Conviction followed me, and increased more and more, till my Sins became a Grief, and Burden too heavy for me to bear: Near twelve Months, I groaned under the Lashes of a guilty Conscience, and then it pleased my dear Redeemer to have Mercy upon me. One Night, being at Prayer with our Friends in a private Meeting, the Lord Jesus set my Soul at Liberty, and gave me an Assurance of his Love; he shewed me, that great as my Sins had been, yet that he was able and willing to pardon, and receive me into Favour. Oh! how was I astonished at his gracious Condescension; I sunk down, overwhelmed with a Sense of my very great Unworthiness; and remained trembling, and overpowered with Wonder, till our Friends came and raised me from my Knees. After this, I had some Doubts of my Acceptance; the Enemy would have persuaded me, that all was a Delusion; and my Lord hid his lovely Face from me: Oh! what did I suffer in the Absence of my Lord; no Tongue can express the Anguish of Soul I endured, while he concealed himself from me: However, he did not leave me long comfortless; he came to my Deliverance, dispersed these Clouds, and all my Doubts vanished. Glory be to my God, I yet enjoy the Comforts of his Presence, can call Jesus, Lord, and do still feel him precious to my Soul. Oh! that I had the Tongue of an Angel, to praise the Name of my God for his Mercies to me: He plucked me as a Brand from the Burning; when I was in the high Road to Destruction, he stopped my Course, and led me into the Path of Life. I am,
Your affectionate, though unworthy
Son and Servant,
November 4, 1774.
AS I should be always glad to hear from you, I would not let slip any Opportunity of Writing to you, if Time would permit; and as Mr. H-- has been detained by contrary Winds, and I now have a little Leisure, I gladly embrace it, to tell you how thankful I am to God, that you are well, and doing good in your Lord's Vineyard. Oh! my dear Sir, how merciful has our blessed Redeemer been to us poor Creatures here, that he should, in so distinguishing a Manner, visit us, by sending the Light of his glorious Gospel amongst us; blessed be his holy Name, although, through my great Ingratitude, I am utterly unworthy, yet I find it to be the Power of God to the Salvation of my Soul: I know, that my Redeemer liveth, and he often comforts me with his divine Love; but my base ungrateful Heart, how ready is it to turn aside from my altogether lovely Redeemer! How ready to receive and worship Idols! But though I find these Temptations strong, yet Grace is stronger; my Jesus, in his Power and Strength, enables me to resist and conquer. O Sir, by the many Corruptions I feel, I know, that I have not made use of the Talent my Lord entrusted to my Care; I have not been faithful to Grace vouchsafed: But pray for me, that I may be enabled to set out afresh, and trample all these Enemies to my Peace under my Feet; that my blessed Jesus may be Lord and Ruler of every Thought, Word, and Action of mine. My dear Sir, how do I lament the Want of these refreshing Seasons, which I made but too light of, when frequently to be had. Oh! may our Lord send us a Teacher after his own Heart, that our Souls may be more abundantly fed; but though I should have many Teachers, yet my Love for you would exceed them all: I never shall forget your Exhortations to me; for my Redeemer has blessed them to my Soul. I should be very thankful indeed to see you, and dear Mrs. Coughlan, once more, and, I hope, that God in this Matter will grant my Request; but should he not, I trust, we shall meet where Parting shall be no more, where Sabbaths never end; but where there will be ceaseless Hallelujahs, seeing the Lamb, who hath redeemed us with his Blood, and made us Kings and Priests unto our God. I hope, you do not forget me in your Prayers, that the Lord may grant me more Faith and Love, and make me holy in all Manner of Conversation, that I may constantly be enabled to worship the Lord my God in Spirit and in Truth, with my Body and Spirit, which are his.
I am, dear Sir,
Your unworthy, though
sincere Friend, &c.
Harbour-Grace, November 1, 1774.
AS I am deprived of the Happiness of seeing you Face to Face, I gladly comply with your Desire, in sending you an Account of my Experience: When I first heard you preach, I was dead to God, dead in Trespasses and in Sins; had no Notion of being born again, and did not see my wretched State by Nature and Practice: I constantly attended your preaching for about two Years, and all that Time, I was not convinced of my lost State: At last, it pleased the Lord to lay me on the Bed of Affliction; Death stared me in the Face, and all my former SIns came to my Remembrance; I then saw my Need of a Saviour, and was constrained to cry mightily to God, that he would save me from eternal Damnation: I saw myself fit for Hell and Destruction, and knew that, if I was not washed in the Blood of Jesus, I could not be saved: I lay in this great Affliction of Body and Mind about six Weeks, as you may remember, Sir, for you often visited me in my Affliction. One Morning, as I lay in great Weakness and Distress, it pleased my blessed Redeemer to visit me; I felt my Distress removed, and my Soul filled with the Love of Jesus; I thought myself wholly saved from Sin; the glorious Sun of Righteousness did arise with healing in his Wings: From that Hour, I thought, I began to amend; I felt Peace in believing, and a Resignation to the Will of God: But, Oh! dear Sir, what little Progress have I made! How shamefully have I turned aside, and grieved that Holy Spirit wherewith I was sealed: But, Glory be to my God, he hath had Mercy on me, and given me Grace to return; I do now desire to be wholly given up to God, to be directed by him in all my Ways. I still continue to meet with the rest of our Friends; and I find, that the Meetings are blessed Means of Grace to my Soul: And I have reason to praise God, that ever I saw your Face; for, under God, I owe my Salvation to you; and I trust to meet you with Joy, when you have entered into the Joy of your Lord. I remain,
Your affectionate Friend,
and Son in Christ,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
YOU already know my former Experience; yet, in compliance to your Desire, I will again repeat it to you: You preached here near three Years, before the Word made any Impression upon me; I found my Heart hard as the nether Milstone, and felt not my guilty, fallen State; at last, the merciful Redeemer was pleased to open my Eyes, in a sudden, and almost instantaneous Manner, when sitting in my own House; I was struck with Surprise to see my fallen Condition; and Anguish filled my Heart, when I saw the Load of Guilt which bowed down my Soul: I cannot express the Pain and Anguish I felt; for three Days successively, I could find no Enjoyment in any Thing, and, I thought, my Pain and Distress of Soul was as great as if I had felt a Portion of Eternal Torments; but the third Day at Night, it pleased the Lord to take away the guilty Load, while I lay in Bed, restless and distressed; the Lord Jesus kindly came to my Deliverance, and spoke Pardon and Peace to my Soul; the Change was so sudden, that I was, as it were, confounded; I knew not what to say, or think; I knew, that I was full of Love, that my Pains and Anguish were all removed, and that I was willing, that Instant, to die; for I knew, that my Sins were pardoned, and that my God would receive me into his blessed Arms. Since this Time, I am enabled, by the Grace of my dear Redeemer, to stand; and I find, that I have many Enemies to encounter; but the greatest Enemy, and Troubler of my Peace, is this vain, foolish World; sometimes it almost overcomes me, and would draw my Heart from God, with its Delusions, and anxious Cares; but, blessed be God, who never leaves nor forsakes me, he calls me by the gentle Whispers of his Spirit, and says, Whither wilt thou go? I have the Words of Eternal Life.-I hope, I shall continue faithful, even unto the End, and shall be your Joy, and Crown of rejoicing, in the Great Day. I request an Interest in your Prayers, when you present your Children in these Parts before the Lord: And that we may all meet at last in the Realms of Bliss and Glory is the Prayer of,
Your affectionate Son,
and humble Servant,
Fresh-Water, October 27, 1774.
I, Your poor weak Child, now acquaint you with my Life, which, blessed be God, is pretty well at this present Time; for this Day, I have been very happy, as I was in the Woods. Glory be to our blessed and dear Redeemer, who is always more ready to hear, than poor Sinners are ready to pray. My dear Reverend Sir, I am, at Times, troubled with Fears and Doubts, that I shall be overcome by the Hands of Saul; but when I look unto the Lord, I know, that his Grace is sufficient for me, and I am enabled to rejoice. My dear Father, the greatest Enemy I have is my deceitful Heart; but, O my dear Sir, what a Blessing it is that we know it! One Thing I know, that the nearer I live to God, the more Temptations I find; but, for ever blessed be his holy Name, he finds a Way for me to withstand them; but, O dear Sir, pray for me, that I may not be cast away: I remember the Charge which you gave me, to meet you at the Right-hand of the Majesty on high, which Words many Times prove a great Blessing to my poor Soul, to believe, that we shall meet in the Spirit, as there is no Likelihood of our meeting in the Flesh. Oh! my dear Sir, I often perceive the Want of your Company; but, I hope, you will grant me my Desire, which is, that you will pray for me, that I may hold out to the End; for it is a rough and thorny Road that we are walking in; but, I know, that the Lord will deliver us out of all our Troubles here below.
Your poor unworthy Child,
I, Your poor unworthy Child, greatly desire, that you would be pleased to accept of these few Lines, with my Love to you and Family. I have been poorly these two Days past, but, blessed be God, I know, that Christ is my Saviour and Redeemer.
From your poor weak Child, till Death,
Carbonear, October 24, 1774.
I Received your Letter in the Summer, and likewise another, dated the 12th of April, and was glad to hear from you and Family. Blessed be God, that the Cause of the Wicked did not prevail against you: It gives me Comfort to hear, that the Lord doth still bless the Word you preach. May the Lord continue his goodness to you, and make you and me faithful unto Death, that we may receive the Crown of Life. Dear Brother, I must let you know, that the Lord doth still continue his Goodness unto me, though a poor unworthy Creature; blessed be his most holy Name: Oh! that I could be more thankful for his Mercies towards me and my Family. I find my Heart, at Times, very deceitful; I see, that there is a Necessity, every Moment, of looking unto God for Strength: I find him a very present Help in every Time of Need: I find, at Times, that his Love is precious to my Soul, Glory be to his dear Name, and that, by Faith, I can lay hold of his blessed Promises; though, I must confess, I am an unworthy Creature, not deserving of the least of his Favours: I see, that there is a Necessity of watching unto Prayer, and of preserving unto the End: May the Lord give me Grace, that I may grow up in his Fulness, through Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. Amen.-Dear Brother, you desired me to let you know, how we went on in our little Meetings: Blessed be God, we find, at Times, that his Love is present with us; although there are some that seem to draw back: I must mention some of them to you; poor R-- T--, I fear, is quite gone, and W--C--; I have no Hopes of Mr. G--, very little of J-- B--; R-- P--comes but very seldom; I am afraid of some others: But I know, that the Lord is able to keep them and me: Was it not through his assisting Grace, I should not stand one Moment: Oh! that the Lord may keep me. Dear Sir, do pray for me. Last Winter, we met twice a Week, this Summer once a Week; and, I hope, we shall meet twice a Week again this Winter: But our dear Brother V-- is going from us, who is a great Strength to us; he is a faithful Servant, both to God and Man. Dear Mr. Coughlan, I have no Hopes of seeing you again in this World; but, I hope, we shall meet one Day around the Throne, to spend an endless Day.- All my Family is well. Betty remembers her Love and Duty to you, and Mrs. Coughlan, and please to accept of the same your dear Self, from your unworthy Brother in Christ,
Bear's-Cove, October 28, 1774.
I Was glad to hear from you, but should be much more glad to see you, as you are near to me in the Spirit, being my Spiritual Father: And as you desire to have a Letter from me, with an Account of my Experience, I shall endeavour to satisfy you: About three Years ago, I was convinced of my lost State; and I laboured near a Twelve-Month under the Lashes of my Conscience, till one Day, at Private Meeting, this Text came with Power to my Heart, I will put my Spirit within you; I was enabled to lay hold on the Lord Jesus, and praise the God of my Salvation; and, from that Time, I found my Burden removed. Afterwards,the Enemy of my Soul thrust sore at me; but the dear Jesus enabled me to withstand his Suggestions, and did shine on my Soul; and, blessed be his holy Name, he still doth keep me.- Dear Sir, I often long to hear you.- At Times, I find Hardness of Heart, and Wanderings from God, which I mourn over: Blessed be his holy Name, I find no Desire to draw back; I still find a Desire to press forward. Dear Sir, I hope, you will ever remember me; and if I never see you in the Flesh, I hope, I shall meet you, where Parting shall be no more. At Times, I find a Desire after Holiness of Heart, and to have my every Thought to be brought into Subjection to Christ.- I still go to our little Meetings, but I must confess not as I ought; I hope, I shall be more diligent for the Time to come. I still continue with Brother and Sister W-. Pray give my Love to Mrs. Coughlan and Miss Betsey, and please to receive the same from your unworthy Child,
Cloun's Cove, October 26, 1774.
I Am about to write to you, but know not how to express the great Love and Duty I owe unto you, my dear Spiritual Father and Brother in Christ. Oh! how often do I wish, that I could see you: What a Cordial would it be to our Souls! but we are not worthy. Glory be to God's great Mercy for sending you a Messenger, to call us from Darkness into his marvellous Light, from the Kingdom of Satan, to the Kingdom of his dear Son.- Oh! what a stubborn, stiff- necked People were we, when you first came here; but, Glory be to God, you left some of us in a better Frame. O dear Sir, what a hard, heart-aking Thing it was to part with you; but we must be resigned to the Will of God: You left us under the Care of our great Shepherd, Jesus Christ; and, Glory be to his holy Name, he hath kept some of us, although there are some Sheep that are gone astray; Oh! may the Lord gather them again into his Sheep-fold; and, Oh! dear Sir, I often fear, that it will soon be my own Case, as knowing, that my Heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked; none knows it, but my God alone: Oh! how do I pray, that the Lord would discover unto me every Evil that lodgeth there: And I hope, that my wicked Heart will not deceive me; for it is my Desire to give up Soul and Body, all I have, am, and ever shall be, into his Hands: But I am ashamed of my little Love to him, "and his so great to me;" for though I am often cast down, and filled with Doubts and Fears, yet he often refreshes my Soul: Praise the Lord, O my Soul; and all that is within me, bless and praise his holy Name; for I this Moment feel his Love warming my poor unworthy Heart: Oh! this Love, this Grace, so immense and free! for, O my Soul, it hath found out thee! Oh! may I always set with Mary at my Master's Feet: My dear Father, this is better felt than exprest. My dear Sir, I hope, that the Lord will enable me to stand steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord; but I cannot do it myself; for I see, more and more, my Unworthiness, every Day; but I hope, that my dear Lord, who hath begun the Work in my Soul, will deepen it, and carry it on, and seal me to the Day of Redemption. Dear Sir, I hope, that you will pray for me, the weakest and unworthiest of all your Children. Glory be to God, that he carries on his Work in all our Womens Hearts also; I hope, that I can speak for them all. Our little Meetings go on, and no one fails to come, in Fresh-Water and Clouns: Glory be to God for his great Love and Care over us, for he crowns our Meetings with his Presence. Oh! the great and unspeakable Goodness of God to such poor Worms as we! Oh! that we could love him more, and serve him better; and praise his holy Name. O dear Sir, though you are absent in Body, you, and our dear Sister, Mrs. Coughlan, are present with us at the Throne of Grace: And if we never see you more in the Flesh, may the Lord prepare us all to meet you at our Father's House, as you charged us at your Departure; which Charge often quickens, and stirs us up. Oh! what great Things has God done for Mr. P--, since you went away; and, I hope, he will do greater Things yet; I hope, that Mr. P-- will be God's Instrument to keep his Children, poor distressed Children, in a barren Wilderness, from going astray: But the more distressed, the louder we must cry; and I hope, that the Lord will supply our every Want, out of the free Riches of his Grace. May God, of his infinite Mercy, grant, that we may hold out unto the End, that when Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, we may also appear with him in Glory. Amen.
I am, dear Sir,
Although the weakest and unworthiest
of all your Children,
Your sincere Daughter,
in Christ our Lord,
Harbour-Grace, January 12, 1775.
I Wrote to you by several Conveyances, and gladly embrace the present Opportunity, to acquaint you of our Proceedings, as, I know, you often bear us on your Heart before the Mercy Seat.-From the Ist ult. we constantly attended our little Meetings, and W-- H- -'s preaching on Sundays, and expounding on Wednesday Nights, where our dear Redeemer gives Food abundantly. The Lord put it in our Hearts to celebrate the last Christmas-Day, in such a Manner as we never did heretofore: We assembled at J-- P--'s, at five o'Clock in the Morning, sung praises, and prayed, and exhorted, and every Heart rejoiced in our Christ; we continued thus, till eight o'Clock, had Prayers again at ten, and three in the Afternoon, and our dear Lord continued present all the Day; at Night, we had a Love-Feast at S-- (formerly your House) and such a blessed meeting we never saw: O Sir, it is impossible for me to express what I (and not only I, but every Soul present) felt on the Occasion; such Love, Joy, and Awe, as appeared on every Countenance, is inexpressible; but when we began to sing, such Meltings of Soul! such Overflowings of heart-felt Comfort lifted our Souls above this World, on singing these Words,
I am, Your affectionate Son and Brother,
Carbonear, Newfoundland, Oct. 19, 1774.
I Thought it my Duty to acquaint you with the Dealings of God with my Soul, being confident, that you will rejoice to hear how good my dear Jesus to my Soul has been: Blessed be his holy Name, I can, with holy Reverence, say, Whom have I in Heaven but him, and there is none upon Earth that I desire besides him, who daily visiteth me with his Love; notwithstanding, my dear Sir, I cannot express how unworthy I see myself of the least Mercy or Favour, seeing I am still a poor, barren, unprofitable Servant, who have not spent one Moment to his Glory: Oh! how little Love do I find for him, who poured out his Blood for me; and yet my dear Jesus loves me: Even this Night I can say, I have found him whom my Soul loveth. And, my dear Sir, although you are absent from me, I beseech you to remember me at the Throne of Grace, a poor, unworthy, trifling Worm; this, I trust, you have done; and, I am persuaded, you will not forget me, that if I should never more see you in the Flesh, I might meet you at God's Right-Hand. My humble Respects to Mrs. Coughlan, and I am,
Your unworthy Son in the Gospel,
Harbour-Grace, November 4, 1774.
I Was rejoiced to hear, last Spring, of your Welfare, and that you were out of the Reach of your Enemies; but was truly concerned, when I found, that you was no more to return to this Land. I am sure, I may say, that I stand in Need of your godly Admonitions and Instructions, as much as any Person whatsoever; and though the Fruit of your Labour did not appear in me, yet, I hope, it will yet spring up; Oh! that it may become a great Tree.- This I can say, that my one Desire is to serve God and do his Will: I know, that I must be born again; but, I think, that I do not feel my great Depravity by Nature, although I see it very clearly. My Life has been regular, therefore the Guilt of Sin does not lie so heavy upon me as it otherwise might.- I hope, you will remember me in your Prayers; pray, that Jesus would send the Comforter, to convince me feelingly of Sin, of Unbelief, of inbred Corruption; that I may not only see, but feel my lost Condition, both by Nature and Practice: For though I have not many Sins of Commission to accuse myself with, yet I must certainly have many Sins of Omission lying heavy on my Soul, notwithstanding, I am not truly sensible of their Weight. I again request an Interest in your Prayers; look upon me as one of your Children in Christ Jesus; for, I trust, that the Seed which you have sown will yet appear; my God can do a great Work in a short Time.- My Love and best respects to dear Mrs. Coughlan, and Miss Betsey.- Betty also desires particularly to be remembered to Mrs. Coughlan. Though it is not likely that we shall any more meet on Earth, yet, I trust, we shall all, in Concert, meet to sing Praises to God, and the Lamb, for ever and ever: That this may be our happy Lot is the Prayer of, Dear Sir,
Your real Friend,
W-- P--, Jun.
I Could not let this Opportunity slip, without writing you a Line or two, letting you know, that I am your loving, though undutiful Son, and that the Lord doth continue to bestow his divine Favours upon my Soul, that I am filled with Love and Gratitude to him, and, next to him, my Love abounds to you-ward; you, who have done, under Almighty God, so much for unworthy, hell-deserving me: Surely, I can never forget you, my Spiritual Father in the Lord, who have travelled in Birth for my Soul. Oh! what a sad, lamentable Thing is it, to lose such a watchful Shepherd as you was over my Soul; but God's Will must be done: We hear, that the Lord is doing great Things for you at Home, which gives us some Comfort. Pray, dear Sir, never forget your poor Flock in this Part of the World; but put up Supplications, with mighty Wrestlings, for us, that we may persevere to the End, and, as there is no Likelihood to meet you in this World, that we may meet you in the next, where Parting shall be no more. I am filled with Love and Desires for your Welfare. May the Lord bless you with every Blessing. You know, what a poor Talent I have; but, be assured, my Heart is fuller than I can express. We were right glad, and humbled, when we heard your Letters read to us at Spring. We bless God, that the Lord is still our Shepherd, and cares for us, and blesses the Ordinances to our Souls; Oh! that we may be faithful ever. My Wife joins with equal Love to you, and Mrs. Coughlan.
I am, dear Sir,
Yours in Christ,
Carbonear, October 22, 1774.
HAVING this Opportunity, I accept of it, trusting in the Lord, that these few Lines will find you and your Family in good Health, as I and my Family are at present; Glory be to his holy Name for this, and for every other Mercy and Favour that he bestows upon me, a poor unworthy Creature: Yet, notwithstanding my Unworthiness, he fills my poor Heart with his precious Love; gives me Joy and Comfort, and enables me, through Grace, to forsake all, and follow Jesus Christ. Blessed be the Lord, he hath given me Power, in some Measure, over many Evils; as hasty Anger, evil Company, Covetousness, Pleasure-taking; and, blessed be his holy Name, he enables me to hate every evil Way; but still I find my Heart very unthankful, I cannot thank my dear Lord as I desire; nevertheless, I find him to be a very present Help in every Time of Need; when Temptations and Trials arise, I look to the Lord, and he delivers me out of them all, and fills my poor Heart with his precious Love; and the more Love the dear Jesus gives me, the more I desire it; and this is the Way that the Lord hath lead me in ever since you left us. My poor Heart would rejoice to see you; but since that cannot be in this Life, I desire the Prayers of your Church, that the Lord would enable me to ask, seek, knock, and strive, till I enter in at the strait Gate, and walk in that narrow Way that leadeth to everlasting Happiness, and at last meet you in Glory; which God, of his infinite Mercy, grant may be my happy Lot. Amen and Amen.
I am, &c.
Carbonear, October 24, 1774.
THIS comes with my kind Love to you, and dear Mrs. Coughlan, and Betsey, and, I hope, it will find you attended with every Blessing, as, blessed be our Lord, we are at present. O my dear Father, how can I express the Emotions of my Heart for you! I cannot express them: What earthly Friend have I, that lays so near my Heart as dear Mr. Coughlan, whom God hath made an Instrument of bringing such a poor, ignorant, blind Sinner as I am, to the Knowledge of Christ's Redeeming Love; and put us in the Way to call upon so merciful a God, whom we before knew not, but now we know, that he is a God that heareth Prayer, and that pardoneth Iniquity, Transgression, and Sin: For ever be adored, O blessed Redeemer!- It was Matter of great Grief and Sorrow, when we heard, that you was not coming to us again; but the Will of God must be done: And may the Lord make us more thankful for the signal Favours he hath bestowed upon us, and me as one, when Numbers of better Principles have also heard the Gospel preached, as often as I have, and yet remain hardened; that he should pass by me, and permit me to live is a Miracle. May God, of his infinite Mercy and Grace, Free-Grace, make me ever thankful, ever steadfast, and immovable. The Lord is with us at Times, in our Ordinances, of a Truth, and you most Times in our Hearts and Minds. I must conclude with my kind Love to you all, and am, my dear and Reverend Sir,
Yours, in Christ,
Carbonear, November 3, 1774.
I Take this Opportunity, to write a few Lines to you, hoping, that they will find you in good Health, as, I bless the Lord, I and mine are at present: Thanks be to his dear and holy Name for sparing such an unworthy Creature as I am; for, Lord, thou knowest, that I have backsliden from thee. It is my daily Prayer, that the Lord would heal my Backslidings, and love me freely; that he would cleanse me from all Evil, and wash my Heart with his most precious Blood; that he would root out all Evil, that would hinder the free Course of his blessed Spirit to my Heart. I find a great Need of watching unto Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me Grace, that I may always watch and pray, lest I enter into Temptation, that so I may be guarded against the Temptations of this World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Oh! I find, it is a hard Thing to live near to the Lord, when once fallen; but I find, that the Lord is giving me fresh Desires to follow after him: I pray, that the Lord may give me Grace, that I may never more turn back from him; and that he would carry on his Work, and deepen it in my Soul. I am jealous over my Heart, lest I should offend my dear Jesus in Thought, Word and Deed; for I know, that I must give an Account at the Great Day. Oh! it is my Prayer, that the blessed Jesus would search me, and try me; that he would set my Heart aright towards him; that he would create in me a new Heart, and renew a true right Christian Spirit within me: Lord, give me Grace, that I may hold out unto the End. I find great strengthening in the little Meetings; I am sure, that I shall never, by the Grace of the Lord, turn back from them. He who is my bosom Friend doth not go to the little Meetings; but it is my Prayer to the Lord Jesus, to turn his Heart, that he may go: O my dear Mr. Coughlan, I fear, I shall see you no more here: Be pleased to send us a few Lines to stir us both up. My Love to Mrs. Coughlan, and Miss Betsey.
From your loving Child,
October 20, 1774.
YOUR Desire I readily comply with, in relating to you what Jesus has done, and is yet doing, for my Soul; and Oh! that it could be engraven with an Iron Pen: Indeed, it is utterly impossible to write or relate his Goodness to my Soul; I daily find his Spirit bearing witness that I am his, and am indeed assured, that he is mine; even while these Lines are writing, I feel Jesus writing Pardon and Love on my Soul: And therefore, O my dear Sir, help me to praise the Lord for these his unspeakable Mercies; for I am lost in Wonder, Love, and Praise: And, O my dear Sir, I would now desire to love, praise and adore my dear Jesus for these Mercies received; and, I humbly hope, that he will give me Faith and Patience, to rely on him for Mercy and Strength, for the Time to come. My Desire is, as I cannot expect to see you again in the Flesh, that I may see you rejoicing at God's Right-Hand. And, while I remain in the Body, may I ever be thanking God for his Providence, in sending you, his Messenger, to call me from Darkness unto his marvellous Light, and, through your Labours, to be made willing in the Day of his Power. And, O Sir, pray for me, that I may spend the Residue of my Days to his Glory, who suffered, who bled, who died, for my Sins, who ransomed me from Hell, for which he became a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with many Griefs; to whom be all Glory, both now and evermore. Amen.
From your unworthy Daughter,
in the Gospel,
Carbonear, Lord's-Day Evening, December 4, 1774.
I Could not let this Opportunity slip, without sending my Love, in a few Lines, to acquaint you, that our dear Jesus is still with us: And although here and there one proves a Traitor, yet Christ's little Flock here will stand. There have, within this Month past, been trying Seasons to my Soul; yea, it has been a sifting Time; but Glory be to him, who shall make all Things work together for the Good of his Church, and, by these Means, shew us the solid Wheat: Although it is a great Trouble to have rotten Members, yet it is some Comfort to know them.- This is the fourth Sabbath that the Lord hath enabled me to make my own Sermons, and assisted me to speak also, which hath procured me many Enemies: But Glory to Jesus, who supports us under all, and makes us to deal faithfully to their Souls, notwithstanding their bitter Enmity; but the more they rage, the more we are comforted, that we are doing the Master's Will. May the Lord Jesus enable us to be true to the Cause, and sooner let us die than flinch from our Colours. My greatest Enemies are those that once professed and owned a crucified Saviour, but now they are Apostates. Oh! how cutting are these Things; and how doth it make me tremble for them: How unhappy must their State be, who draw back unto Perdition! I fear, some are so far gone, as not to be reclaimed. O my blessed Jesus, we wait for thy Salvation; it is by thy Grace, that I have hitherto stood: Oh! let thy Grace, be sufficient for me, and keep me to the End: O my Soul, watch, and come not thou into their Snare. J-- K-- and J-- C-- are very blasphemous Enemies, as also some others, though not so openly as K--. Last Sunday Seven-night, my Text being, The Wicked shall be turned into Hell, &c. and the Lord enabling me to apply it pretty home, in the Application (for they had lately been at a Hurling Match, &c.) they could not bear it: K-- threatened, if I went on a little farther, he would haul me by the nose out of the Church, calling me, as I heard afterwards, by opprobrious Names; and J--?-- expressed himself very indecently: This is the sad Work of the Devil going on amongst us; but, I hope, the Master will support us in every trying Season. R-- M-- and J-- M-- have forsaken our little Meetings: My dear Sir, this will give you great Trouble, as it doth me; but what shall we say to it, the Lord make us faithful, and clear of their Blood. This is the Lord's-Day Evening, and we are just come from Church; and a Day of fat Things it hath been to mine, and to many Souls, as they have told me. Mr. H--, Mr. B--, R- - B--, Mr. T--, J-- P--, and the dear Women who hold on their Way bravely, were all at our House, where we had a happy Meeting; and, be assured, my dear Father, our dear Immanuel manifested himself to every individual Soul of us; Oh! how full were our Cups! And, when we began to mention, and bring our dear Father upon our Hearts, in Supplication to the Throne of Grace, Oh! how assured were we, that the dear Jesus heard our Prayer for you! He manifested himself in the Midst of us, and shed abroad his Love in all our Hearts: It was such a mighty Out-pouring as some could scarcely contain: Glory be to our great High Priest, who ever liveth to make Intercession for poor Worms, this hath been a Day, much to be remembered: Praise the Lord, O my Soul; and all that is within us, praise the Lord; while I live, will I praise him; for he is the Light of my Countenance, and my God. O my dear Sir, excuse me, for I cannot, I know not how to express my Gratitude and Love; Oh! that I had a thousand Lives to lose for the ever- blessed, lovely, altogether adorable Jesus. Our dear Friends, who joined me this Evening, at our House, are, with great Reluctance, just gone home; Oh! how loath are we to part, when, meeting together, we taste the heavenly Love: The Lord bless you, and fill you daily with it; for the more we have, the more, I hope, we shall crave still, till, at last, we shall be swallowed up in his Fulness of Love, when we shall meet, never to part more. My dear Sir, it is not all bad News, which I have to send you, for, since I wrote to you per dear Brother V--, I have great Hopes, that the blessed Jesus hath added another to Carbonear Church, which is a Young Gentleman, I believe, from London; and a Store-keeper, to Mr. D-, I have great Hopes, is converted. Mrs. B--, and T--, the Carpenter, are very humble Souls, filled with Love, the best blessed Mark of a converted Soul. All our dear Friends are well, and beg, that you will accept of their kind Love and Duty: Please to accept also all our kind Loves to our very dear Mrs. Coughlan, and Betsey. Oh! how glad would all your Children be to see you once more; but this Happiness we have but little Hopes of in this Life. May all our Hearts be directed unto the Love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ; and then we shall meet, never to separate; then, then, shall we see him as he is, and be satisfied with his Fulness. Our dear Friends at Harbour-Grace keep up their little Meetings, &c. I pray you, and all our dear spiritual Friends, to pray earnestly for us, that we may go cheerfully through the Wilderness, and meet them, with open Arms, in that blessed Land of Canaan. I should be glad, that you would tender my kind Love to the Sisters; I often think on them, and do bear them on my Heart: Pray tell them, what the Lord, through your Ministry, has done for such a Sinner as I: Oh! that I could ever have my Eye and Heart fixed on him, whom I have pierced, and ever mourn my sad base Ingratitude. Dear Sir, the Vessel is upon sailing; I must therefore conclude, wishing and praying for every Blessing compatible with your Happiness, in this, and the blessed World to come.
Your dutiful Son and Brother,
in the crucified blessed Jesus,
I Am a poor unthankful Creature; in me dwelleth no good Thing, and, without the Free-Grace of God, I find, that I have no Desire to do any good Thing; but when I am weak, the God is strong: I do not seem worthy to take his holy Name within my Lips; but he has Mercy on whom he will have Mercy: Blessed be his Name, although the dark Clouds pass about me, yet I find our Lord in the Midst of these Storms and Tempests; I find the Lord of Life and Glory in my Soul. The World hates me, and lays many Things to my Charge, which they cannot prove; but the greatest Enemies to the Cause of Christ are those that used to go to the House of God, and even to the Table of our dear Lord and Saviour. I hope, that the Lord will take away our Deadness and Coldness, and the Sins which do so easily beset us, that we may run the Race with Patience that is set before us. I find a great Need of daily pressing forward. O my dear Sir, I want more Humility; I am afraid of my own Heart, I am sure that I have a deceitful one. Often would my Soul fly away, and be at Rest; but my Heart is a Clog to bind it to this Earth, although I cannot behold any Thing here, but Vanity, and Vexation of Spirit. Oh! I want Patience to dwell with me, while I am in this Wilderness; for sometimes Faith is small, and Unbelief seems to come in Doubts and Fears. I am afraid, that I am like the unprofitable Servant, or like the Man with one Talent. I find in me a great Deadness and Dryness: In myself; I am a poor helpless Creature; but in the Lord my Help is found. O my dear Father, we never knew the Want of a Shepherd, to feed God's little Flock, until you was taken from us; but now, I am sure, they that know the Lord here know the Want of a Shepherd.- Sir, I have sent you a few small Fish, and three Bottles of Juniper Berries, for you and Mrs. Coughlan, and Miss Betsey.- I am still poor in this World's Riches, and unworthy of any Thing from God; but, I know, that the Lord Jesus loves my Soul, by the Free-Grace which he sheds abroad in my Heart; and I know, that I love my Saviour; but I know, that he loved me first; for while I was the chiefest of Sinners, he died for me, to redeem my Soul from the lowest Hell. O dear Sir, I am not able to tell, or express, how much I am beholden to God's rich Free-Grace; but I am unthankful: O my dear Redeemer, do thou make, in thy unthankful Child, a thankful Heart. O my dear Father, shall I ever see you again in this World? I am poor and weak in my Soul, and if the Lord should leave me, I should sink into the Depths of Misery again; but the Lord hath promised, never to leave me, nor forsake me; though sometimes I am ready to fear, that I should forsake him, through Unbelief and the Deceitfulness of my own Heart; and that makes me pray to Jesus Christ, that he would draw me unto him: I find, his Rod good to chastise me, and his blessed Promises to comfort me. Our greatest Builder in our Meeting, Mr. V--, is going from us this Winter; but I hope, that the Lord will send him to us again, or you, our dear Father; although I am afraid, we shall never see you in this Land, notwithstanding there be Changes in the Right-Hand of the Most High; the Will of the Lord must be done; for we are not our own, for our Lord hath bought us with a Price, even such a vile Sinner as I have been: And I am still a backsliding Creature, a vile Creature, full of inbred Sin; but I am but a Sinner, and, blessed be the holy Name of my Redeemer, I know, that he hath died for my Sins, although I have many Doubts and Fears, and Suggestions from Satan, which waylay me, and oftentimes rob me of that Peace and Comfort which I should take in my Saviour. Dear Sir, remember my kind Love to all my Brethren unknown; tell them, that I am poor, and beg them to send me over one Book for my daily Use. I have three of my little Children still with me. I am ashamed, that I have Nothing more to send, but please to accept of my little Fish and Berries, which I am sure you will.
Your unworthy Child in the Lord,
P.S.: Sir, I thank you for the good Books you sent us.