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giving up the appointment in the neighborhood alluded to, as no good, they thought, could then be done in it. But at the time of my father's second visit, the Lord wrought in the manner I have mentioned. It was a very rainy day. But being unwilling to disappoint a congregation, which he never did when it was possible to attend, he borrowed an extra over-coat, and rode ten miles through the storm, to meet those who might assemble to hear the word of life. While preaching, he says he felt an extraordinary influence like a gentle breeze blowing into the room. This was followed with an awful solemnity; and in the same instant every unregenerate person in the room, numbering more than twenty, fell to the floor, as though struck down by lightning. Among the rest was one very young person, apparently not more than six or eight years of age, and also a son of the then governor. Some experienced religion. He appointed a meeting for next day. The news of what had transpired on the preceding evening ran like fire through the place; and a large congregation was gathered in the morning, who came to see and hear for themselves. The work continued to spread, and souls were converted hourly. Some ruffians were collected here with a design to take him from the house, of which he was informed, and the individuals were so described, that as soon as they entered the house, they were known by him. Having left the stand which he had occupied, and gone into the congregation, to converse and pray with the mourners, who had become so numerous, and their cries so great, that he could not proceed with his discourse, he kept making his way toward them, until he reached the place which they occupied, when, springing into their midst, he went backward and forward among them, proclaiming the “terrors of the law” as he passed, which so awed them, that not a finger was raised against him. They were completely subdued ; and some of them were powerfully awakened, and ultimately experienced religion. On his return to his own neighborhood on a visit, he held a number of meetings among his friends; but seeing no movement, he resolved one evening that he would start the next morning for his circuit. After preaching, a prayer-meeting, as usual, was held ; and while it was going on, my father, from a sudden impulse which he felt at the moment, sprang from the altar into the aisle, and bringing down his foot with great force upon the floor, began to warn and exhort the people, going up and down the aisle, to flee the wrath to come. Great power attended the word; and the place was awful on account of the pervading sense of God's presence, which was realized by all. He was prevailed upon to spend a day or two more at home; and the work continued until almost the whole neighborhood, and that circuit, were brought under its powerful influence. In 1789 he was appointed to Calvert circuit. Here was a very great ingathering. I know nothing of the particulars. In 1790 he traveled Bath circuit, which included a part of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. On this circuit he witnessed great displays of divine power ; and the work of the Lord prospered. In 1791 the conference to which he belonged sat in Baltimore. At this conference Bishop Asbury informed him that he had selected him, as one of the young men to be sent to the aid of Rev. Messrs. Lee and Garrettson, who were then traveling in the New-England states, He informed the
bishop that he could not go. The bishop requested him not to be too hasty in making up his mind; and desired him to take the day to think upon the subject, and inform him the next morning. He informed him in the morning that there had been no alteration in his mind; but the bishop, being unwilling to give up his selection, requested him to take another day to consider the matter, and pray over it. During this day he had peculiar exercises of mind, and judging from his exercises that the Great Head of the church had something for him to do there, he told the bishop, that, on condition of his being permitted to return at the close of two years, he would go. To this Bishop Asbury agreed ; and accordingly he received for his appointment Stockbridge circuit, which name was soon after changed to that of Pittsfield. But a very few Methodist sermons had at that time been preached in all these parts. Some preacher had been here, and struck out a kind of circuit, lying in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-York, and Vermont; and had collected in all this extent of country, eleven members. In this region, this new sect, as they were called, were everywhere opposed. They were considered "wolves in sheep's clothing, deceivers, false teachers,” &c.; and were generally shunned and ridiculed. Ministers of other orders would often attack and dispute with them before the congregations to whom they had been preaching. Of this sort of controversy, my father had his full share. But wherever Providence opened a door, those pioneers of Methodism entered, and proclaimed the unsearchable riches of Christ. Barns, taverns, school-houses, and private dwellings, became preaching places; and the word of the Lord increased and multiplied. In the west part of Pittsfield, the preachers were generally feared and shunned; and scarcely any doors being opened for their entertainment, they frequently rode some miles after preaching to find a place where they could repose and rest their wearied limbs. Finally, Captain Joel Stevens opened his house, as a home for the preachers, which, during his life, remained as such. But there was very soon a great change. The winter came on, and my father reached Captain Stevens's one evening, on his way to an appointment in New-Lebanon, and put up there for the night. During the night there was a very heavy fall of snow, and the road over the mountain became impassable from the drifts made through the night, so that he could not go forward. Captain Stevens told him, that as the people knew but little concerning Methodist preachers, and appeared to be afraid of them, he wished him to step into the sleigh with bim, and visit the whole neighborhood, to which he consented. house where my father called, it was his practice to have all the members of the family called together, and after conversing with each, to pray with and for them. The work broke out immediately from this visit; and that night one soul was converted, the wife of Captain Jeremiah Stevens. Within a short time from this, a class of sixty members was formed in that part of the town. The work was also glorious on the circuit. Notwithstanding opposition, trials, &c., which befel him, so much so, as he has often said, that he presumed he shed a bottle of tears each round, yet he found that under almost every sermon souls were awakened ; and at the close of the year nearly three hundred members were
At every returned to conference. Nearly all the first classes of Methodists in this county were formed by him.
In Williamstown a remarkable circumstance transpired, which, at the time, made no small stir in that section. A woman called upon him, and told him that she believed him to be a man of God, for he appeared to come in the spirit of Whitefield and the holy men of old, and remarked that she had a daughter, who it was thought was under the influence of an evil spirit, and she wished him to see and pray with and for her. Many clergymen had called, she said, and prayed for her ; but it was of no avail. He accordingly went. As soon as he began to converse with her, she became very wicked and profane in her language. He knelt and prayed; and rising from his knees, left without saying a word. She immediately became quiet and composed, as he learned ; and before he left the circuit, he had the pleasure of receiving her into the society, having experienced religion, and been made happy in God.
Another instance of the power and goodness of God in answering prayer occurred in Stephentown. He was met by a man eight or ten miles from his preaching place, who was greatly afflicted with the palpitation of the heart, whose case was considered hopeless. This man told him, that God had revealed to him, that if he would call the elders of the church, have them anoint him with oil, and pray for him, he would be healed; and he called upon him as one of the elders to attend to the ceremony, and pray for him. After conversing with him, and striving to satisfy him that the ceremony of anointing with oil was not necessary in order to be healed, but faith only in the power of God, who, if he pleased, in answer to prayer, would restore him to health, to which the man agreed, he promised to commend his case to God in prayer. When he went to the appointment, he, in the first prayer, made mention of this man's case, who was present; and after preaching, again prayed for him. The man arose in the congregation, and declared himself to be relieved of his complaint. In answer to the question, “At what time ?” he said, “while he was preaching ;" and it never returned that he knew of.
During the year he was sent to Albany, and the preacher (Bloodgood) sent into the country. In 1792 he was stationed in Albany city. While here there was something of an ingathering. He was invited to visit Durham and preach there. Accepting the invitation, as was his usual custom, he went and preached ; and under the first sermon the work broke out, and he formed, in that place, the first class, composed of some of its most respectable inhabitants. In 1793 Columbia circuit was the field of his labor. The pleasure of the Lord still prospered in his hands, but to what extent I have not the means to know. In 1794 he was appointed to Cambridge circuit. Here many new societies were formed. At Ashgrove, one evening, a number of the neighbors having come in to spend the evening with him, before prayer he gave a few words of exhortation; and while exhorting, five individuals were powerfully awakened, who, during that night and next day, obtained peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1796 he was again sent to Pittsfield. Of the success of his labor this year, I am not sufficiently informed to give any account. In 1797 he was again at Albany, the city and circuit being united. Of the fruits of this year's labor he has left no account. In 1798 he was appointed to Newburgh circuit, where he remained two years. The Lord still made bare his arm, and wrought by the instrumentality of his servant. It was always his custom to get as many new preaching places as he could. On receiving an invitation to visit Haverstraw and preach to the people, he sent on an appointment. When the time arrived, he went to fill his appointment, and called at the nearest house to the place where he was to preach. A little child ran and called the woman of the house, who was visiting one of her neighbors. When she came in, she stood awhile and looked at him, as if in a state of amazement, and then said, without assigning any reason, “ I will go and see your horse.” After returning, she said she had had, a few nights before, a very singular dream. She thought that a celestial visitor came to her house, while she was at the neighbor's she had been to see that day; and that when she came in and saw my father, she was struck to see the very image of the person she had seen in her dream; and the horse which she had been to see, as perfectly resembled the one rode by the celestial personage of which she had dreamed. After tea, my father asked the man of the house for a pair of slippers to put on, which he gave him. On taking off his boots to lay them aside, the man took them up and looked at them, and then said, it brought to his recollection a dream he had a few nights before, which it appeared was on the same night of the dream of his wife. I thought, said he, that the Saviour came to my house, and after supper, in the same manner you have, called for a pair of slippers. I reached him those I have gotten for you, and these boots exactly agree with those which he wore. My father told him that of a truth Jesus Christ had come to him in the message of the gospel, which he was sent to bring to the people of that neighborhood, and whosoever would believe on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. The work that evening broke out, and soon spread. He formed the first class in that place, though Rev. Barnabas Matthias had preached there two or three times previously. From this time Methodism obtained a foothold in Haverstraw. In 1800 he located. Being ill, and his salary so small, only $128, to pay house-rent, buy fuel, furnish his table, and clothing for himself and family, he deemed it his duty to retire, which step he has sometimes regretted. After his location he settled in Albany, and engaged in the mercantile business. Thence he removed to Pittsfield, where he has ever since lived, being more than thirty years. As a local preacher, he extended his labors considerably through the adjacent parts of the country, preaching faithfully and acceptably to his hearers. At one time he visited Peru, and three were at that time awakened and brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. One was brought to see himself a sinner immediately on my father's entering the house, a second on hearing the text announced, and the third during the sermon. He continued to labor as much as strength and health would permit, attending funerals and preaching on the Sabbath, until 1836, when, being much enfeebled, he was obliged to desist from all pulpit exercises, and could attend divine service but occasionally. But still he maintained his upright walk, and continued in favor with God. He was in the habit of speaking to all in whose company he happened to be for any length of time, on the subject of religion. This was his delight. On the 17th August, 1837, he was made a partaker of entire sanctification, which he had enjoyed in his earlier experience, though the evidence of it he had in a measure lost. On that morning he had retired to lie down, being very feeble, and as he thought near his end. Shortly after he retired, the family heard a noise in the room where he was, and mother went in and spoke to him. As he made no reply, and a singular noise attended his breathing, she thought him to be dying. She ran into the yard and called me. The neighbors hearing her say he was dying, when she called me, ran in to see him and witness the scene. I asked him how he felt. He answered, “My body is as well as usual, but my soul is happy in God! I never had, in all my life," said he," though I have sometimes been as happy as I could be and live, such overpowering bursts of rapture and joy, and such overwhelming views, as I now experience.” And he added
"Jesus, Jesus, thou balm of the soul,
'Tis thou who hast made my wounded nature whole." He continued: “God, through the medium of sacrifice in Christ, has granted me that which I have long sought. It comes in floods of perfect love. O! what nearness to God! I can grasp the Saviour. I am fully ripe for heaven. This I have long sought. Soon I shall bow at the feet of Jesus, and with adoring lips join the angels in praising God and the Lamb for ever. Glory to God! Glory be to God! His promises are sure. Those that put their trust in him shall be as Mount Zion. Though heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle of the law shall fail, till all be fulfilled.” He spoke with deep solemnity of the great blessing bestowed upon him, and used such heavenly and soul-moving language, that all that were present and all that came into the room were melted into tears. From that time to his death, this same heavenly frame of mind continued, and his evidence of sanctification remained clear. At times he would have such views and raptures as to overcome him, so that he could not refrain from praising God, as loud as he could in his enfeebled state. As death drew near, his attachment to the cause of Christ, and the church of which he had been a servant and member, appeared to be increased. He frequently said to those who called to see him, that he joined, had lived, and now was going to die, in fellowship with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He had been, as nearly as I can ascertain, a member about fifty-three years. At one time he said, “Now at the close of life, and I view myself at its close, I have been looking at the doctrines of the church to which I belong, and I believe them to be the purest of any on earth. They are the doctrines of the gospel, and will become triumphant through the world. and free salvation must and will prevail in all denominations; and I may say, Thou God of eternal ages, hasten on the period. Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” He selected the per. son to preach his funeral sermon, gave directions as to the hymns