Home: Documents: Marrant's Journal: 54-63
On the 9th I sailed from Halifax to Liverpool again; arrived the same
evening, and was received by Mr. Benjamin Collins, where I stayed till the 14th,
preaching and conversing with the people.
I laid me down among a parcel of high grass, in order to take some rest; but after I had been lying down for near half an hour, I felt something push me, but being heavy with sleep laid myself down again without taking any notice, but in the space of a quarter of an hour I was again pushed in the same manner, with more power, which caused me to rise up on my feet, and I looked to see whether it was not the boy that pushed me, for I verily thought that he had found me sleeping, and seemed rather glad at the thoughts of finding him. But walking a little distance, looking about, and could not discover any thing of him, my former sorrow returned again. I took my bible out of my pocket, and read part of the Psalms, after which I went to prayer, and found much of the presence of the Lord. I sat myself down musing upon the goodness of God, I grew drowsy and laid me down again to sleep; but after half an hour, as near as I can perceive, I was touched again in the former manner, but more powerfully, which was accompanied with a voice which I thought said arise, why sleepeth thou in a dangerous place? I arose with surprise, and searched all about for a quarter of a mile round, and fancying that there was some human person laid by, but had hid himself; but after a little while it came into my mind that it was the Lord, then I wept, and was full of trouble, because of my slothfulness in going to sleep in a wilderness, where I was certain I had lost my way. Here I discovered more of the frailty of human nature; O what poor creatures we all are, even the best of Christians, and we cannot be kept unless we are kept by God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I wandered in this manner till evening, and having not a mouthful of victuals from Friday dinner till now, which was Saturday evening, I went to prayer, and committed myself into the hands of God, and
laid me down by the side of a rock, and laid for half an hour, then I got up and went and broke some boughs, and I laid upon them all the night; but no man can conceive the distress I went through in the course of the night.
On the 17th, which was the Lord's day, I got up with much difficulty, and walked all the day, sometimes praying, sometimes reading, and sometimes crying, continuing so till half past five o'clock in the afternoon; but my mind was very much troubled concerning the boy, fearing that he had perished in the wilderness, or fallen into the paws of some wild beasts: but about six o'clock coming through a very thick swamp upon the side of a river, where I perceived a house on the other side. Not being able to hallow, I took my handkerchief out of my pocket, and made a signal on a pole, and after some time they perceived the signal, and there came three persons in a boat, two women and a little girl. So they helped me into the boat, and got me over into the house, and gave me such things as they had. So I had a little refreshment, and was strengthened in body, but was not able to converse with them; they informed me that all Sable River was gathered together down at Mr. Pride's, waiting for me, to this I gave no answer, being much afflicted in my mind concerning the boy. They also informed me that my boy arrived at Sable River on the 16th, at five o'clock in the afternoon, and when he was asked where was his master, he said he came along before him. I sat still, and hearing all that they arrived safe, it gave me a great deal of joy and satisfaction, so I asked them to join in prayer, and the Lord was present with us, and that to bless us; so I continued with them until the 18th.
About ten o'clock we went down the River in a boat, and
were gladly received. I preached that evening form the xvth chapter of St.
Luke, and 24th verse, where we had great joy, and much of the out-pouring of the
Spirit of God, after which I conversed with them the best part of the
On the 20th, we made a fire on the shore, for a signal, which, when it was discovered a boat was sent over from the Ragged Island. We got over in the evening, and here I stayed till the 23rd, conversing and confirming the people in the faith, and preaching.
On the 24th, we set off for Jordan River, we had a good deal of rain on this day, and with much difficulty we reached Jordan River at one o'clock, I and my boy were bare-footed, and covered with rags. We came to the Ferry, but had no money to get over; we passed by the Ferry, and went as far as Judge Hogsdon, but he was not at home. We went as far as the upper Ferry, which is four miles distance, and when there we could not get over without a shilling, which I had not; so I was obliged to give them a handkerchief and four pennyworth of halfpence, which made the shilling. We pushed off as hard as we could for Shelbourn Town, and arrived there in the evening, very much
tired, by reason of a hard journey, which prevented me from preaching that
On the 5th we had a love-feast, where the Lord was pleased to convince several of sin, and set at liberty four persons who were groaning for Redemption in the Blood of Christ; they could rejoice and praise his holy name, and there was great joy in the whole congregation. Here the Lord was preparing me for a sick bed.
I continued here not very well until the 16th, when I was taken with a violent fever after morning service was over, and was attended also with spitting of blood. This spitting of blood lasted for seven days. On the eighth day I attempted to perform divine service, it being the Lord's day, and seeing a crowded multitude coming from the neighbouring villages round about. I was persuaded by the elders not to go; but having a strong desire, they permitted me. I went in the read the church prayers all through, and the lessons for the day; that being done, I got up in the pulpit, and preached fro Genesis i. 1st and 2nd verses, where we had much of the out-pouring of God's spirit. About the middle of the discourse I found myself pretty warm, had much liberty, so exerted myself, forgetting my former illness. But before I concluded
clearly strangled with blood. The blood came running out of my nose and mouth, so that the people were all frightened. They took me out of the pulpit and carried me into my house, which was next door to the chapel, where I laid for two hours in that condition. Some said one thing, and some another? in the midst of the hurry I asked them for some water, and they gave me a pint. A little after the blood stopped; I got up and came out of the room, and was grieved to see so many precious souls that came so far that morning to hear the word of God, and was deprived of hearing of it.
About five o'clock in the afternoon, God was pleased to send one to my relief, so I got him to preach in the evening, and meet the society; he stayed all night with me, and went away in the morning. So we see that God will always provide for himself
I beg leave to pause here, and give my reader a small account of those false brethren, who say they are Christians, and love to rejoice at the fall of their brethren, and when down, do all in their power to keep them down, and going from house to house, speaking disrespectfully of their brethren, and bringing a reproach upon the religion and the gospel of Christ, stabbing, their brethren with their flock of God. Yea, they go so far as to invent wicked malicious lies to cause part of the church to be called before the judgment-seat of this world; and I through such was compelled to come before Shelbourn court with them, and was charged there with things that I knew nothing of, and had then witnesses to prove that I was a hundred and twenty miles off, and did prove it to be so, and was dismissed from the court that time, and my enemies fell into their own netts; they were put in gaol, and kept there
till they could find security, and we went home in peace. But soon after this the devil began again, and they brought another accusation against me for marrying a woman, and they declared in court she was another man's wife; so I was brought to court a second time, and part of the congregation for witnesses. I was called up before the judge in the open court, and the first question that was put to me was, "How came you to marry a woman that was another man's wife I asked the justice for the woman's name, and when I know it from him, I told him that she was not another man's wife; and if she was, she was lawfully published, and the man should have stopped the marriage if it was his wife, for it was four weeks after it was published before they were married. The justice pointing with his finger, shewed me the man. I said that he was not worthy of such a woman for his wife; and all this while the man who lately married the woman standing by, but said nothing; but I proved to the court that she was not the man's wife, and that the woman told me that he was only her servant man, that she had to drive up her cows; turning around, I desired the man to prove otherwise if he could, and when he found that he could not, he was asked if he did not hear the publication, he answered yes; then the court discharged me.
Here the devil was disappointed again of his aim, and hell of her expectation, I came right through the body of my enemies, some gnashing their teeth, and I laughing them to scorn. After this my enemies were silent as to bringing me before courts, they could do nothing but backbite and give me an ill name, which upon examination they could not prove; so I did not think it was worth my while to mind them any more
About six weeks after they came and acknowledged their wicked ways and their envious hearts against me without a cause, and wished to join my society; but I could not in conscience receive them till farther proof, and when I examined them closely found that every one of them were class-leaders of the Methodist Society. So we see here the greatest enemies of Christ's church frequently make a great profession, and have a name or an office in the church, when at the same time are destitute of the vital power of true godliness; they live by a name themselves, and they want a great many names to be set down in their society books to make a fair shew, but they care nothing about real religion; from such religion as this, good Lord deliver us.
Here I continued all the summer, and visiting the
neighbouring village, until the 10th of November, and met with many trials from
false brethren; so that I might say with Paul, in peril at sea, in peril in the
wood, in peril in the city; but through all these things I was made more than
conqueror, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who always comforts them that wait
upon him for their support.
When we got up, one said one thing, and another said another thing, for there were five of us with the boys; I said to the boys, follow me. The snow was about a foot and a half on the earth; I went this way for about a mile, and then came right into the road that was newly cut, and I hallowed for the other two men; so they followed me, and we passed on, and got to Sable River half after three o'clock, and were gladly received, and had such things set before us as they could afford, and we refreshed ourselves. The neighbours were alarmed that I was at Sable River, and there came more than thirty together, and I preached from the ivth chapter of St. Paul's second epistle to the Corinthians, and 10th verse; after which I set off to go down to Mr. Pride's , which was three miles distant, and I arrived there about one o'clock, and preached again from St. Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, the iid chapter and the 3rd verse, to a crowded audience, and God was pleased to manifest himself for there was groaning and crying through the whole congregation.
On the 18th, at five o'clock in the morning, I preached
again to a large congregation, from the iiid chapter of St. John, and 14th
verse, and had a little conversation with them, and then set off to go up the
River to see some sick people, which employed me all this day at Sable River.
We arrived here at twelve o'clock. This place consisted of only eleven house, a parcel of very poor people, for their children and themselves had searcely clothes enough to cover their bodies, but seemed to be very willing to hear the word of God. My congregation consisted of forty-seven, great and small, all the number of souls in this place. Here I stayed till the 25th, and did not stay in vain, though this was the first visit I made in this place, yet it pleased God to call five souls, and justify their souls by faith through the blood of Christ. Ten others were pricked to the heart, and were groaning for redemption in the blood of Christ.
On the 26th day, proposed to go on to Port Martoun, but they informed me that the small-pox was there, but I did not believe them, and was not afraid of them small-pox for myself, but my little boy never had it. However, I ser off about ten o'clock to accomplish my purpose, and met a man half way, who informed me that the small-pox was there in reality, and said that the people of Liverpool would suffer nobody to come into town from the westward, so I thought it was prudent to return back. We came back to Little Port Jolly again that evening, and abode there till the 28th, then set off on my way back. We got to Big Port Jolly, at half after eleven o'clock, and the people were desirous that I should stay with them a few days. I concluded to send the boys with some people that were going to Sable River, to inform the people that I would be with them on the Lord's day, by the permission of God. I abode here till the 30th, then set off very early in the morning to accomplish my design, and about one o'clock in the day I was lost by reason of the snow falling so very thick, and no road, only marked trees; and at times I could not see twenty yards before me, by reason of the violence of the snow-storm