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the cause I know not, though I have sent for it repeatedly.' - Friday 13th, I left Charlestown, crossing a ferry! and rode 33 miles; keeping up with the mail-stage.“
14th, I crossed a bad ferry of several miles; in consequence of a fresh in the river; which took three hours, with the stage: Hence we went on to George. town where I held a few meetings; and then rode 43 miles to Kingston; leaving Brothers Mallard and Jones behind; the former was blessed in his labours here last year; and Hamett's conduct had done injury; Jones soon after was found drowned in a creek; supposed to have been seized with a fit of the epilepsy which he was subject to: but the verdict of the Coroner's jury was that he had died drunk; though he was exemplary for temperance and piety...
I put up at a tavern, (though a methodist preacher lived near) hired a room for a meeting; and called in the neighbours: Next day I fell in with Brother Russel ; who was going to his station; so we crossed a ferry together and continued on upwards of 80 miles; until we came to Wilmington where I found religion low; and bigotry so prominent, particularly in the leading local preacher, that had not Mr. Russel been with me, who was stationed here, I should have been shut out: I held several meetings; and got some religious hand-bills on paper and silk printed, Rules for holy living, which I distributed to the people of the town; and took my departure for Newbern: But this being so far north, and near the sea board, at this cold season of the year that I almost perished with the cold, frost and snow; having no outer garment and my cloathing thin.
I held a few meetings in Newbern and proceeded to Washington; where I had like to have been chilled in crossing a ferry; but after getting somewhat warmed and refreshed with a cup of tea I proceeded to meeting; where God made it up to me.. • 25th, I spoke at Tarborough, then at Prospect. 27th, at Sampson's meeting house: Jones's at night; being now in N. Carolina near Virginia. Hence to Raleigh, and spoke twice in the State-house. Here the petty Constable who took me up as a horse stealer near ** . R
this, did not meet me according to expectation: My ap. pointments were not given out according to direction.
From hence I proceeded to Iredel County to the house of the man, of whom I had bought an horse, when on my way fjom N. England to Georgia. Some people mocked him for giving me credit; saying, “ you have lost your horse;" but now their mouth was shut; as I paid him his demand, although he only had my word.
I visited several places around and took my departure for Tennessee; having a cloak and shirt given to me. My money is now almost out; my expences have been so enormous; in consequence of the unusual foods, &c.
In crossing the Celuda mountains, the way was narrow; whilst precipices were on one side, the other arose perpendicular; which rendered it dangerous travelling in the night, had not the mountains been on fire, which illuminated the heavens to my convenience."
February 14th, I spoke in Buncomb to more than could get into the Presbyterian meeting-house; and at night also ; and good I trust was done. The minister was not an A-double-L-part man ; but pious. Next day I rode 45 miles in company with Dr. Nelson, across the dismal Allegany mountains, by the warm springs; and on the way a young man a traveller, came in where I breakfasted gratis at an inn) and said that he had but three sixteepths of a dollar left, having been robbed of seventy-one dollars on the way, and he being far from home, I gave him half of what I had with me.
My horse having a navel-gall come on his back, I sold him, with the saddle, bridle, cloak and blanket, &c. on credit for about three-fourths of the value; with uncertainty whether I should ever be paid :* thus I crossed the river French broad in a canoe; and set out for my appointment; but fearing I should be behind the time, I hired a man, (whom I met on the road with two horses,) to carry me five miles in haste for three shillings; which left me but one-sixteenth of a dollar: In our speed he observed, there was a nigh way, by · which I could clamber the rocks, and cut off some miles : so we parted; he having not gone two-thirds of the way, yet insisted on the full sum. I took to my feet the nigh way as fast as I could pull
* Lost it forever."
on, as intricate as it was, and came to a horrid ledge of rock, on the bank of the river where there was no such thing as going round ; and to clamber over would be at the risk of my life, as there was danger of slipping into the river; however, being unwilling to disappoint the people, I pulled off my shoes, and with my handkerchief fastened them about my neck; and creeping upon my hands and feet with my fingers and toes in the cracks of the rock with difficulty I got sale over; and iu about four miles I came to a house, and hired a woman to take me over the river in a canoe, for my remaining money and a scissars; the latter of which was the chief object with her : so our extremities are other's opportunities : Thus with difficulty I got to my ap. *pointment in Newport in time. !
I had heard about a singularity called the jerks or jerking exercise which appeared first near Knoxville, in August last to the great alarm of the people; which reports at first I considered as vague and false; but at length, like the Queen of Sheba, I set out, to go and see for myself; and sent over these appointments into this country accordingly. . When I arrived in sight of this town I saw hundreds of people collected in little bodies; and observing no place appointed for meeting, before I spoke to any, I got on a log and gave out an hymn; which caused them to assemble round, in solemn attentive silence: I observed several involuntary motions in the course of the meeting, which I considered as a specimen of the jerks. I rode seven miles behind a man across streams of water; and held meeting in the evening; being ten miles on my way.
In the night I grew uneasy, being twenty-five miles from my appointment for next morning at eleven o'clock, I prevailed on a young man to attempt carrying me with horses until day, which he thought was impracticable, considering the darkness of the night, and the thickness of the trees. Solitary shrieks were heard in these woods; which he told me were said to be the cries of murdered persons; at day we parted, being still seventeen miles from the spot; and the ground covered with a white frost : I had not proceeded far, before I came to a stream of water, from the springs of the mountains which made it dreadful cold; in my heated state I had to wade this stream five times in the course of about an hour; which I perceived so affected my body, that iny strength began to fail : Fears began to arise that I must disappoint the people; till I observed some fresh tracks of horses which caused me to exert every nerve to overtake them; in hopes of aid or assistance on my journey, and soon I saw them on an eminence : I shouted for them to stop, till I came un; they enquired what I svanted, I replied, I had heard there was to be meeting at Severseville by a stranger, and was going to it; they. replied that they had heard that a crazy-man was to hold (orth there; and were going also; and perceiving that I was weary, they invited me to ride : and soon our company was increased to forty or fifty; who fell in with us on the road, from different plantations : at length I was interrogated, whether. I knew any thing about the preacher: I replied, I have heard a good deal about him; and had heard him preach; but I had no great opinion of him: and thus the conversation continued for some miles before they found me out, which caused some colour and smiles in the company : Thus I got on to meeting; and after taking a cup of tea gratis, I began to speak to a vast audience; and I observed about thirty to have the jerks; though they strove to keep still as they could, these emotions were involuntary, and irresistible; as any unprejudiced eye might discern. Lawyer Porter (who had come a considerable distance got his heart touched under the word, and being informed how I came to meeting, voluntarily lent me a horse to ride near one hundred miles and gave me a dollar, though he had never seen me before.
Hence to Mary's-ville, where I spoke to about one thousand five hundred; and many appeared to feel the worc!, but about fifty felt the jerks : at night I lodged with one of the Nicholites, a kind of Quakers who do not feel free to wear coloured cloaths : I spoke to a number of people at his house that night. Whilst at tea I observed his daughter, (who sat opposite to me at table) to have the jerks; and dropped the tea cup from her hand in the violent agitation: I said to her, “Young
woman, what is the matter ?” she replied, “ I have got the jerks : I asked her how long she had it? she observed, “ a few days,” and that it had been the means of the awakening and conversion of her soul, by stirring her up to serious consideration about her careless state, &c.
Sunday, February 19th, I spoke in Knox-ville to hundreds more than could get into the court house, the Governor being present : about one hundred and fifty appeared to have the jerking exercise, amongst whom was a circuit preacher, (Johnson) who had opposed them a little before, but he now had them powerfully ; and I believe that he would have fallen over three times had not the auditory been so crouded that he could not, unless he fell perpendicularly.
After meeting I rode eighteen miles to hold meeting at night: The people of this settlement were mostly Quakers; and they had said(as I was informed) the Methodists and Presbyterians have the jcrks because they sing and pray so much, but we are a still peaceable people wherefore we do not have them: However, about twenty of them came to meeting, to hear one, as was said, somewhat in a Quaker line : but their usual stillness and silence was interrupted; for about a dozen of them had the jerks as keen and powerful as any I had seen, so as to have occasioned a kind of grunt or groan when they would jerk. It appears that many have undervalued the great revival, and attempted to account for it altogether on natural principles; therefore it seems to me, (from the best judgment I can form,) that God hath seen proper to take this method, to convince people, that he will work in a way to shew his power, and sent the jerks as a sign of the times, partly in judgment for the people's unbelief, and yet as a mercy to convict people of divine realities. *
I have seen Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Church of England, and Independents, exercised with the jerks ; Gentleman and Lady, black and white, the aged and the youth, rich and poor, without exception; from which I infer, as it cannot be accounted for on natural principles, and carries such marks of involuntary motion, that it is no trilling matter: I believe that