Home: Documents: Marrant's Journal: 64-73
In this cafe I wandered all the day, sometimes reading, sometimes praying, and sometimes crying, till evening, when I came up to a very large rock, and finding it was bitter cold, and must have perished if I had laid out in the open air, for the air was very keen and sharp. |I went down on my knees to God, to direct me what I should do; and whilst I was praying, my little dog went under the rock and brought a bit of bone in his mouth. So when I rose up I thought I would go in, taking the tomahawk in my hand, and I went in; the place was very warm, I felt about for a considerable time found no opposition. I sat me down, and took my knapsack off, in order to get a tinder-box, and I struck a light, and took my pencil and began to write the transaction of the day, and how kind God was to provide me with a place of abode. In the space of an hour, I heard something walk on the snow, my little dog ran away to the mouth of the cave. I rose up and went and met a bear at the mouth of the rock, but was prevented from coming in by seeing me. He drew back, and growled very fiercely, and continued for an hour, whilst he was raging, I was praying to God to encourage me, and strengthen me to stand against him. But, I must confess to my Readers, at the first sight of the beast I trembled and became very faint, and had he attempted then to attack me, I should have fell an easy prey in his paws; but the God who saved David and Paul form the mouths of the lions and the bears, prevented him from coming in upon me in that state, and my God strengthened me and encouraged me, and turned away that I saw him no more till half after two in the morning. At that time no man can tell what distress I felt in my mind, but God alone. At half after two I had another visit from him, but met him in the name
of the Lord, and with much boldness, trusting upon the promises of the Lord. He strengthened me wonderful; he stayed three quarters of an hour this time and then the Lord turned him away again and I saw him no more until half after eight in the morning of the 1st of December.
After I had left the cave, committing myself into the hands of God, I set off in order to find my way to Sable River. I came by a very large rock, a little way from the rock I saw the bear again, but he never growled at me. After I had passed him about thirty yards, he went in my track back to his former lodging. I went my ways along wandering till about twelve o'clock on the Lord's day, and I began to feel myself so weak that I was not able to travel, having eat nothing from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December, I sat myself down; I had a small box of wafers in my pocket, I eat them, and put some snow into my mouth for water. After which I got up and went my way; not long after my knapsack grew too heavy for me. I sat me down, in order to lighten it by taking my bible and gown out, and left the knapsack with all the rest of the things. But not long after I set off, I had occasion to lighten myself again, by leaving the gown, and by this time I heard some people blowing a horn in the wood, but I could not answer by reason of weakness, which obliged me to lay down with my bible under my head, and commend my spirit to God who gave it. But God did not think proper to receive it at that time, and the people continued hallowing, and my little dog began to howl, so the people heard it, and made towards me; soon after the dog left me, and went to the people. S they knew the dog, and followed him. Two woman came back to me, one was rather frightened and started back, the other came up and laid her hand upon me, perceiving life was still
in me, she said to the other, he is alive, so they raised me up, and two men came and took me away, but I was insensible of the whole till the 3rd of December, when I began to recover and found myself in a strange place; and asking how I came there, they told me they found me in the wood. I asked them what place they called this, they informed me it was the upper end of the River Sable. I asked them if they took up nothing where they found me. They answered, nothing but the bible. I begged them to go back and follow my track, they would find the rest of my things, which they did, and they found my words true. I was now five miles from the preaching-house
Here I stayed till the 6th of December, conversing with them, and I found the boy had informed them that I was set off in order to be with them on the Lord's day. After waiting till past ten, and having no information of me, they concluded that I was lost. There were more than ten men sent out to blow the horn in different parts of the wood, in order that I might hear. So by this way I perceived I was found by the commandment of God. Here we see the amazing and boundless love of God, in delivering his people from the jaws of death. O where shall we find language sufficient to celebrate his praises? whilst our pilgrimage is her below, may we not join with Paul, and say, "O the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God." I assure thee, Reader, I am at a loss for words; but this I know, experience goes beyond expression. All can say upon this is, that whilst I am in this mortal body, by his mighty power I will praise him with my stammering tongue; and when I am swallowed up in death, and faith is lost in fight, then shall I praise him in a nobler strain around his throne in glory, where I hope to meet all who are made perfect through suffering, to suffer no more, where
suffering will be turned into joys and praises. Then what are all my sufferings here , if I be made meat as last for eternal glory. Many more things could be said on this head, but I forbear, fearing it will tire my Readers
On the 7th day I had a desire to go down the River, and
towards evening I went; but not being able to preach, I continued till the 8th,
conversing with them, and praying with them
On the 10th I arrived in Shelbourn; at eleven o'clock I
went to Esquire White, to get farther information. He assured me that
there was some money come by the letter he had received from Mr. James Earl, but
did not know how much it was; her persuaded me to go and see after it. so
I arrived at home that very evening
after one o'clock we ran into Sable River to land a little child we had, and stayed there till nine o'clock at night, then sailed from thence with a fair wind, and a moon-light night. The next evening the 15th, we arrived on the eastward of Margate Bay.
On the 16th we made an attempt to get into Halifax, but the wind coming a-head, prevented us. We ran into Sambury Harbour. We laid there till the 17th, and had a good deal of snow. We sailed for Halifax, and by the help of God, arrived at Halifax at nine o'clock in the evening. We had a violent snow storm this night, which filled our boat with snow, and rendered us unable to return with her this winter, which obliged us to haul her up, and one of the hands returned in a schooner to Shelbourn, but I remained at Halifax, waiting for Mr. James Earl, until the 27th day of January, but I did not see him, which concluded my travels in Nova Scotia.
I sailed for Boston, and left one hand to take care of the boat. I had five days passage from Halifax to Boston. Here I was in a strange country, knowing nobody; but having a few letters of recommendation, the first house I went to deliver these letters was Mr. Watts's; finding him not at home, his wife behaved with all the kindness she could. She sent a man with me to shew me the way to the Rev. Dr. Stillman, where he kindly received me, and shewed me all that respect that becometh a Minister of the Gospel of Christ. Here I got some refreshment, and he gave me two notes to some friend which he could recommend, and way so kind to send the boy to shew me their house; the first was Mr. Samuel Beans, who kindly received me, and his wife shewed all that respect that became her station. So he took me for thence to Mr. Hall, one of the most respectable characters in
Boston, where I was kindly received by him and his wife; also between these two houses I divided my time, and had many Christian friends to visit me, both in town and country. I preached my first sermon in Boston, at a society room of Dr. Stillman's people. Then on the Lord's day in the evening, which was on the 3rd day of February, I preached to a large concourse of people, at the west end of the town, from the iiid chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, 22nd verse, and had much of the presence f the Lord. There was no small stir among the people in Boston that week, I obtained a large place, and preached every Friday afternoon to a large concourse of people; and on the Sabbath evenings at the west end of the town, to a very crowded audience. I continued preaching twice and thrice a week, and all the people heard for themselves. But one thing I must take notice of, is a very singular deliverance which God shewed towards me in Boston. I was preaching at the west end of the town on the 27th day of February, 1789, after preaching to a large concourse of people, there were more than forty that had made an agreement to put an end to my evening preaching, and in order to accomplish it, they came prepared that evening with swords and clubs, and other instruments, to put an end to my life. So they set watches at the two gates, in order that I should not escape their hands, and all this time I was innocent of any danger of that kind near at hand, until a gentleman came in who saw what they were about to do. He informed me of their scheme, and bid me follow him. So I took my gown and wrapped it round me, so that it hid my band, and I followed him. And passing through the crowd, I arrived at the gate; there were four of these men put at the gate to watch, and the Lord seemed to blind their eyes, for I passed betwixt them, and escaped
out of their hands like a bird out of the snare of the fowler. So when we arrived at the Commons, the gentleman bid me make the best of my way to his house, which was at the Bank, and he would go back and see if he knew any of them, and so I escaped for my life, and four other persons with me and when I came to the Bank, I thought I would venture to my lodging, all this while my enemies were waiting with full expectation of accomplishing their design. But when the last man came out who locked the door, they ran upon him, and I was informed that he was obliged to run for his life; still they thought to catch me before I got down to my lodgings, and they dispersed themselves and ran in hopes of taking me before I got in; but here they were disappointed again, for when I came to the corner of School-lane, I saw them running across, and after they passed me, I passed thro' the crowd in the street, and went the back way, and got into my lodging, and when they found that they had lost their aim, they threw three or four stones through the window. but the master of the house soon came home, and dispersed them; and the next morning there was no little stir, for with one of the men who knew them; they went to one of their houses, and eh was taken, and then he discovered the rest; and when the Justice examined them, and found that they were guilty of the crime, he asked them what they did all this for? They answered, because in the evening when we left our work, we used to go and see our girls, and when we came to their houses, we always found they were gone to meeting, and we were determined to put an end to the meeting; so the Justice asked them how they would do it, they answered, by killing him; then the Justice reproved them, and shewed them the impropriety of such
conduct, by breaking the laws of their country, and what sore punishment they would be brought to if they were severely dealt with; so they began to weep, and they were bound over for their better behavior in future, and paid all costs and damages, and then were dismissed. I was never disturbed by them any more.
Here I continued keeping school and preaching and visiting from house to house, till the 24th of June, where I was called upon the preach a sermon for the Free-masons. I complied with their request and preached to a great number of people that day. The sermon, by the request of the brethren of the lodge, was printed for the benefit of the Free-masons lodge.
On the 26th of June I was called upon to go into that country, and when the horse was sent down for me, I went as far a Bridgewater Town, East Town, and Shermam. Here I stayed eleven days, preaching the gospel twice every day, and the people coming from every quarter with their mouths open to hear the word of God, and much of the out-pouring of God's spirit was among them, and many was pricked to the heart, and it proved their conversion
On the 12th day, I sat off for Boston again, by receiving a letter. I arrived in Boston about six o'clock in the evening, and was gladly received, and could never get an opportunity to leave that people to go any distance in the country. Here I continued to keep school and to preach, and had continually a crowded audience, and many precious souls were convinced under the word of God, both white and black. I had many very good friends, and may enemies; so after writing repeatedly home to England. to her Ladyship, and receiving no relief nor answer by letter, I thought it best to come to England, to know what her Ladyship intended
to do; and accordingly I prepared for the voyage, but it was a lamentable fight to see the people the last night I preached in Boston, weeping and mourning; but I said the will of the Lord must be done. So they gave me such things as were necessary for the passage, and accompanied me down to the ship, with very heavy hearts.
On the 5th day of February, 1790, we sailed for England, with Captain Loud, a very religious young man, and the wind blowing at W.N.W. and continued for four days very cold, and our decks were covered with ice, and then came about north, and continued there three days, and then came about S.W. for two days, and then came about S.E. and blew a gale for two days and a half, and then came about S.W. and blew, and this is the 14th day; and on the 15th the wind blew about S. all the day, and in the morning of the 16th blew a very hard gale N.E. all day, and all the 17th, which caused us to lay too that night, and on the 18th the Lord was pleased to favour us with a fair wind and a pleasant day, and that continued all the 19th, witht he blessings of God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, the wind blowing at west.
On the 20th we had the wind E.S.E. until four in the afternoon, then came about N.W.
On the 25th day the wind being at S.W. and continued till the 28th day of February, and continued all the 1st of March.
On the 3rd day, the wind blowing at west, all well, and
expecting to see the land every moment.
On the 5th day of March, the wind blowing S. and the land bore S. of us. At four in the afternoon we came up to Black Rock. She bore S. of us, and the wind S.W.
On the 6th day of March we came in sight of the island of Tory, bearing south-east, and we steering for it, wind S.W. all well, by the blessing of God, and hoping on the Lord's day to preach to gospel to the people on board.
On Sunday the 7th of March, we entered the harbour of
Londonderry, in Ireland, and took a pilot on board, the wind blowing S.E. all well,
thanks be to God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ; and this is the
thirtieth day since we left Boston, and all well. We were then in sight of
Copeland lights, and the land bearing S. of us, and all well, thanks be to
God. O what a kind God we have to do with, and kind to us when we
deserve to be banished from his presence for our gratitude. We had prayers
every morning, and preaching when the weather would permit, and a very civil
ship's crew; a number of fine sober men, and a Captain a very worthy man, and I
hope the blessing of God will be with him, and prosper him; in the things of
this world to come, life everlasting.
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