A FEW DAYS IN THE LIFE OF FREEBORN GARRETTSON,
    AMERICAN EVANGELIST
A FEW DAYS IN THE LIFE OF FREEBORN GARRETTSON
by Editor of One Methodist
ONE METHODIST VOL. 1 NO. 7 February 1999

Sunday 14 -- I devoted this morning to solemn prayer for a blessing upon my labors. When I got to Salisbury (Maryland - ed.), our friend said, "You had better leave the town immediately, for a mob is waiting to apprehend you. Last night they came to my house, expecting to find you, but being disappointed, they laid hold on me, and dragged me down the chamber stairs. They then hauled me along the street, till my arms, from the wrists to the shoulders, were as black as ink. I know not what would have been the consequence, if I had not met a magistrate, who rescued me. The mob is made up of what they call, "The best people in the county."

Notwithstanding this disagreeable intelligence, I was determined to preach, and trust my body and soul to the protection of the Almighty. Accordingly, I stood up before a huge congregation, and declared, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation." 2 Pet. 2-9. The mob sent one of their companions to the preaching, to inform them of the most proper time to apprehend me. He sat close by me. The truth reached his heart, and tears of contrition flowed plentifully down his face. When the service was over, he returned to his companions, and assured them that I had preached the truth, and if they attempted to injure me he would put the Law in force against them.

The remainder of the week I was employed in preaching and visiting the new societies. Glory be to God! He is carrying on a gracious work about this place.

Sun. 21 -- At twelve o'clock I preached at the Sound, to about fifteen hundred people. After a little intermission I preached a second time, and the power of the Lord was present to wound and to heal. The people were in tears on every side; and I had great expectation that the whole country would be converted.

The rest of the week I spent in the neighborhood, preaching several times a day, and conversing with the awakened. I believe the work was greatly hindered by some ungodly professors, who insinuated themselves among the simplehearted, and set them on disputing about the decrees, and their method of baptizing.

June 28 -- At Muskmelon, I found that a Nicolite Preacher had been sowing his seed in the young society. He told them, "that it was a sin to wear any kind of colored clothing; that they ought never to pray, except they had an immediate impulse, and that it was wrong to sing."

Many people assembled to hear me, but I perceived a considerable alteration among them. Some would not sing at all, and others sat down both in the time of singing and prayer. Many had taken off the borders of their caps, and condemned those who would not do as they had down. Even some of my own children would scarcely hear me, because I wore a black coat.

I gave out my text, Rom. 14.17. "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." The Lord made bare his arm, and his convincing power rested upon the people. After sermon I met the society, and removed from them those who had caused them to stumble, and the work prospered more than ever.

July 5 -- I preached four times this day, and traveled many miles. I enjoyed such union with the Lord that I scarcely felt the fatigues of the day, although I had taken no refreshment, except a little milk and water. I have seldom seen such a day as this; -- thousands are flocking to Jesus.>

July 6 -- I went into a part of the Delaware state where I had never been before. After traveling about thirty miles, I attempted to preach at a friend's house, but was interrupted by his brother, who came with his firelock and a drum. After beating the drum awhile, he took the gun, and made as though he was taking aim to shoot me. This greatly terrified the congregation, and threw them into confusion, so that I was obliged to withdraw into a private room.

Soon after, some of the magistrates came to the house, and threatening to send the persecutor to jail, we had peace, and I found great freedom while finishing my sermon. One of the magistrates told me the court-house was at my service, and that I should be welcome to his house. I preached in and about the town day and night, and the Lord owned his Word.

July 8 -- While I was preaching in the courthouse, Mr. Wolf again attempted to disturb us. Although the weather was very hot, he kindled a great fire in the chimney; but observing that this did not interrupt me, he rung a bell through the place, which obliged me to withdraw to a widow woman's house, where I finished my discourse, and the Word reached the hearts of the people.

On Sunday the court-house was crowded at nine o'clock, and we had a refreshing time. I had appointed to preach a few miles out of town, by the side of a river; and some declared that if I came there they would drown me. I found a large concourse of people, and preached with freedom, no one interrupting me. The greater the opposition met with, the more diligently did the people search their Bibles to know whether these things were so. I preached in almost every part of the forest. The Lord enlarged my heart, and gave me many precious seals to my ministry.

July 18 -- I preached on the border of Dorset county, and the work of the Lord prospered. Soon after the discourse was finished, two persons desired to speak with me. I instantly discovered by their looks, that they had mischief in their hearts. One of them was a magistrate, and the other a great disputant, whom he had brought with them in order to confute me in points of religion, and then his intention was to send me to jail.

After the disputant had spoken a few words, I asked abruptly, "Is your soul converted? Have you peace with God?" The poor man was so confounded, he knew not what to say. He attempted to recollect some scriptures, but could get hold of none. I then exhorted him to repent, and turn to the Lord.

The magistrate seeing his champion defeated, was greatly enraged. "Sir," said he, "do you know the laws of the state? You have not taken the oath; and you have broken the Law by preaching: You must go to jail," to which I replied, "I bless God, I am not afraid of a jail."

They withdrew, and soon after I set out for my afternoon's appointment. I had not gone far, before the sheriff met me, and commanded me to stop. Many of my friends offered to be security for my appearance at court; but I told them, that I would give no security. I then looked the sheriff in the face, and said, "I am going on the Lord's errand; and if you have power, here I am, take me; but remember, it is hard to fight against God; for I am on my way to Philadelphia, to preach the glorious gospel of my Redeemer." After conversing with him a few minutes, I perceived an alteration in his countenance, and he said, "It is a pity to stop you." He then turned back, and I went on my way rejoicing.

After attending several quarterly meetings, where we had large congregations, and glorious displays of the convincing and converting power of divine Grace, I pursued my journey to Philadelphia, accompanied by several friends.

In my way, I preached at Queen Ann's, where we had many violent opponents. It was expected the mob would surround the house which obliged me to travel the greatest part of the night, accompanied by a friend, in order to get into another county. Next day my friends met me. We then went on together and arrived safe at Philadelphia.

During my travels in the Peninsula on this visit, which was about sixteen months, several new circuits were formed, numbers were truly converted to God, and a great reformation evidently took place among the people. I suppose I preached in more than a hundred new places, where a gracious work from that time commenced. Indeed all manner of evil was said of me; but I bless God for a good conscience, for a heart united to my Redeemer, and for the friendship and prayers of thousands who were awakened by the preaching of the gospel.

I tarried about two months at Philadelphia. It was soon after the British troops left that city, and [those of] the society were in much distress, as well as the people in general. I met with many trials, and saw but little fruit of my labors. In my journey through the Jerseys, several were awakened, and some brought to the knowledge of the Lord.

One day after preaching, an old man came to me in tears, and said, "This day I am a hundred and one years old, and this is my spiritual birthday." He was inexpressibly happy, and seemed ready to take his flight into the Paradise of God.


QUOTE UNQUOTE

Man is born with his back toward God. When he truly repents, he turns right around and faces God. Repentance is a change of mind. Repentance is the tear in the eye of faith. --- D. L. Moody

There is one case of death-bed repentance recorded -- the penitent thief -- that no one should despair; and only one, that no one should presume. --- Augustine


The editor, while agreeing with the content presented in this newsletter, does not necessarily endorse all of a writer's works, doctrines, etc. The editor is solely responsible for all mistakes.

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