« ZurückWeiter »
AN ACCOUNT OF MOSES BAKER.
967 old man, and forbade him ever to come near me again, ex
claiming to Mrs. Baker that I was ruined for ever by listering to that man. About a week after this, I felt a cloud coming over my eyes; they began to darken, and in two weeks after, I became entirely blind; and was obliged to cry out for mercy, and for some one to lead me in and out. I was also affected withi great pain in my head, and still much imbittered against this old man; nor had I the least idea that any of these things were from God: but my sickness grew so severe, that I was obliged to keep my bed, and was reduced very low indeed. All our hopes were now at an end, as the gains of this world were entirely done away from me; and I had no trust in God. The old man seeing me in this distressed condition, daily brought provisions out of his own ground for my wife and child. I'not hearing of this, said, “ Sukey, how or whence do you get provisions?” She told me, it was from the same old man; and that he was willing to share his last with us. This greatly affected me, and my heart became much softened toward him ; so that I now believed this must be from God. I was then willing to converse with him once more. He told me, that he beliefed what had befallen me was from God; and said, it would be good to try a fast. This seemed very strange advice; howerer, I attempted it. The first time I fasted, it seemed to give me a little ease, and I felt more quieted in my conscience; which induced me to try it again. I still was in great pain day and night; but I found my heart disposed to pray, and crave God's mercy: and should I have found mercy, I was ready to give up all that was near and dear to me, and depart this life. In this distressed situation I continued for upwards of six months, till. all my limbs failed me, and I was obliged to be led about like a child; but I continually applied to God by prayer, and found that I daily grew in faith.
It was about this time that Mr. Winn came upon the land, and made enquiry if there was any person in that neighbourhood who could make gowns? as he wanted two for his houseservants. One of his own people informed him, that there was a woman lived near, who came from America, that could do the work he wanted. Accordingly Mrs. Baker went to him, and undertook the work, made the gowns, and carried thein home : he was satisfied. She then addressed them, saying, cuse my boldness, I have a small favour to ask of you.”
What is that said he. She told him she had been in this island sem veral
years; but was an entire stranger, knew scarcely any one, was very poor, and had no home. He asked her, what she re quested? She told him, it was a small piece of land. What wilt thou do with land ? said he, thou knowest nothing about land.' “ Sir," said she, “ I inust try and do what I never did before. My husband is blind, and my child is small, therefore I cannut leave them." He then exclaimed, with much feeling, “ Poor
“ Sir, ex
thing! and then asked her, How she came to know him?
Sir," said she, “ I remember, though I was very young, that there was a ship sailed from New York, called the Duchess of Gordon; and you were captain of that ship. My mother washed for you some time.” He then recollected the family, whom he knew very well. After pausing a while, he then said,
I will be very plain with thee: As to land, I can give thee none here, as I do not intend to keep this place long; but if thou wilt go down to the place where I live, after one year, I will give thee land, and I will get thee work, and see thee paid. Now
go home to thy husband, tell him this, and hear what he says.'
The next morning, Mr. Winn rode to tlie place where I When he saw me, he said, “Well, friend, what brought thee over to this country?”. I told him the particulars." Thou seemest to me,” he said, “ to be in a poor state of health, why dost thou not employ a good doctor?” I told hiin, my circuma stances would not allow me to employ a doctor; but that I had hopes in God. He said, it was very good to have hopes in God, but that men were sent one to help the other; and added, “Well, I see that thou art very weak and poor, I'll tell thee what I will do for thee : I'll give thee a letter, recommending thee to a doctor in Kingston, that will do thee justice; when thou findest thyself able, go down to him; and I will pay all thy charges.” Mr. Winn farther said, “I have long wanted a man to instruct my negroes in religious and moral principles." I
replied, 'I cannot tell if I may be the man, until I apply to know if it be the Lord's will. I must be satisfied of this before I can give you an answer.' “ Well,” said he, “ fare thee weil, friend; the sooner thou canst get down to Kingston, the better it will be for thee.” -Seeing me and my family very
bare of clothes, he sent me, the next day, twenty yards of cloth. I continued in this place several inonths, daily striving in the grace of God.
When in the world, I was very hasty and passionate; but now I found these passions wore away greatly. I perceived that fasting was needful and useful; I now felt a fear from God for every thought, word, or action: I began to be able even to reflect on myself. I totally rejected all confidence in my own flesh, — having no trust in my own works, or righteousness of any kind; as I came to God as a lost, miserable, self-condemned, undone, helpless sinner, my mouth was stopped, and I found myself altogether guilty before God. Once, when I was almost in despair, it laid upon me to keep a fast; and, in the evening, when it was a proper time to end the fast, being in one of the brethren's houses, 'I was called upon to pray. In the midst of my prayer, I felt a great change upon my heart; and seemed to have a sure trust and confidence in God, thro' the merits of Jesus Christ, that my sins were forgiven, and that I was reconciled to the favour of God. I, and the brother that
AY ACCOUNT OF MOSES BAKER.
369 was with me, were both much affected, and we fell to the ground; I could go on no longer in regular prayer, but only called on the Lord for mercy, in broken sentences. From this blessed time I began to gather strength. The old brother advised much to go down to Kingston; and I went with him, and was examined by Mr. Liele and his brethren, that they might see the works which God had done for me. Though but little acquainted with him, I thought he was a good man ; and was baptized by him at this time. I now, by Mr. Winn's directions, placed myself under the doctor's care, who, upon examining me, said, I must immediately go under a course of physic: - to which I consented. I could not be persuaded to stay at home during this time; but persisted in going to hear the word of God, till the operation of the medicine became so severe, I suppose by taking cold, that I was confined to my bed ; and lay there fifteen days speechless, without taking any kind of nourishment but what Mrs. Baker could give me in a spoon. I was now blinder than ever, and given over by all around me. Notwithstanding all this, I had great confidence in God; and was strangely persuaded I should live to receive my sight once more. One morning, after Mrs. Baker had returned from the doctor with the medicine, she put it on a table in the room : I said, “ Sukey, I can read the directions on that bottle.” She brought it to me;- I read it. Poor soul! she was greatly surprized indeed. - From the time I was struck blind, to that of receiving my sight, was one whole year.
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord for all his goodness to me; and was fully convinced it was He alone thad healed both body and soul. I soon after wrote to Mr. Winn, that if he would procure me conveniences, I was ready to embrace bis
proposals. He immediately sent up a boat, and also horses by land, with a servant, and money to bear my expences; leaving me to chuse which
I preferred going by land; and soon set off, with my wife and one feinale child, for Stretch and Set, which was then the name of Mr Winu's estate, though it is now changed to Adelphi. Here I arrived in February 1788; and soon häd an interview with Mr. Winn. On seeing him, he said, “ Weil, friend, I am glad to see thee here." I told him, That I had reason to praise God, and to consider that I could never do enough to serve him; as througii the kindness of God, he had been chiefly instrumental to my receiving my sight. Mr. Winn said, “ When thou thinkest proper to go down to my Negro-town, I will give thee a list of the names of my leading people. I do not mean that thou shalt reside among them any longer than the time thou takest to reprove them: I will give ihee a place about a mile off, where those who wish to follow thee can coine and hear thee; and I will make out a salary for thee, that thy wife and child may live comfortably; and I will protect thee from being molested by any one, in the discharge of thy duties.”.
Soon after, Mr. Winn, Mrs. Baker, and myself went into the Ne, re-town. In order to call them together we raised an bymn. The lace was soon crowded. After singing, I bowed, and put up a prayer among them. This appeared so strange to then, that they began to wrangle, and were otherwise unruly. I said liine tv inem this first time; but promised, that if they would be civil, I would come again the next night. Accordingly I did so, when they seemed more inclined to listen to what I bad to say. Aiter putting up a prayer, I stood up, and spoke the word of God to thein; ivforming them, that it was God that made them, and that they ought to serve him, and that the way they were living was quite contrary to the end of their calling. I continued going among thein for two weeks, when one of the leading men took me out, and said, « Sir, what I have heard you say is very good; but the way our people are in, they cannot follow it." I asked him, what way they were in? He said, “If you will go with me, I will let you see.” Accordingly, he took me to his own house first: there I found bottles, horns, and other things, I know not what. Some of them buried. All these were employed in their way of witchcraft. When I saw this, I said to him, « Old man, these are the works of the Devil; the very things that God has sent me among you, to root out and destroy;' which I actually did wherever I found them. He said, “ The things which you find here, you will find the like in every house ; for this is the way we all live;" and believed there was no other way. Now when some of them became convinced of their evil ways, they told me, that he who had the most money among them did the best; and even confessed, that some of them, now on the estate, had killed others by this wicked means. I now withdrew from the Negro-town to the bouse Mr. Winn had prepared for me, who said, “ Now I give thee liberty to instruci all that are willing to come and hear thee, bond or free.
I soon recommended every man to keep to his own wife, and every woman to her own husband ; but this proved very difficult, as some of them had two, three, four, or even five wives. I made it iny daily study to search the Scriptures, and apply my heart to God in prayer, In the course of time, I forined a small society.
We are of the Baptist persuasion, because we believe it agreeable to the Scriptures :-We hold to keeping the Lord's Day throughout the year, in a place appointed for public worship, in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hold to be baptized in a river, or a place where there is much water, in the name of the Father, Sun, and Holy Spirit; and receiving the Lord's Supper, ja
AN ACCOUNT OF MOSES BAKER,
971 obedience to his command:- We also hold with wasbing one another's feet, praying over the sick, and anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord Jesus: - We hold to appoint judges, and such other officers among us, to settle any matters according to the word of God.- We hold not to the shedding of blood; and think ourselves forbidden to go to law one with andiher before the unjust, but settle any matters we have before the saints : We are forbidden to swear at all; and account ourselves bound not to eat blood, for it is the life of a creature:--- We abstain from things strangled, and from meat offered to idols :- We are 'forbidden to wear costly raiment, and what would be superfluous: - We are bound to submit our selves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. To avoid fornication, we permit none to keep each other, except they be married, according to the word of God. If a slave, or a servant misbehave to their owners, they are to be dealt with according to the word of God. If any one of this religion should transgress and walk disorderly, and not according to the commands we have received in the covenant of our Lord, he will be censured according to the word of God. If a brother or a sister should transgress any of these articles written in this covenaut, so as to become a swearer, a fornicator, an adulterer, a covetous person, an idolater, a railer, a drunkard, an extortioner, or should commit any abominable sin; and doth not give satisfaction to the church, according to the word of God, we hold that such a one should be put away from among us; and we must not keep company, nor eat with excluded persons. We hold to all other commandments, articles, covenants, and ordinances recorded in the Holy Scriptures, as are set forth by our Lord and Master Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and to live to them as nigh as we possibly can, agreeably to the word of God. “ If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples.” This is his commandment, " That ye love one another as I have loved you.”
“ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friend." “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
1. BURNING THE BIBLE. A SOCIETY of gentlemen, most of whom had enjoyed a liberal education, and were persons of polished manners, but had, unhappily, imbibed intidel principles, used to assemble at