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There is a great concern upon me against this growing evil in our young generation; and I hope, in Christ our Lord, that divers heads of families will come under the like exercise in themselves: and then, if our youth will neither hear nor fear the Lord, nor us, we shall be clear, and their blood will be on their own heads, as a worthy and honourable elder, and man of God (of your nation) said: one of whose offspring is the subject of the third particular, that I shall mention to thee, of the many I have been acquainted with, in my pilgrimage here, in and on this part of the globe of the earth and sea; for these are but few instances of many that I have met withal : I may therefore thus proceed.
The Third Instance of another Young Man, who much
embraced the same Destroying Delights.
The fifth of the first month, at Bridgetown, in Barbadoes, S. E. son of W. E. died. His death was sudden; and, as was reasonably supposed, he destroyed himself by drinking and undue company-keeping, and sitting long at it. A person, to whom he himself had told it,
“ That he and four more, at one sitting, drank above twenty quarts of double-distilled 'rum punch ; which
him in a violent fever: so that he ran about the streets, with a naked sword, and talked of killing one of the neighbours, in this drunken' fit.” The next day he came to me, and asked me, “Whose door the blood would have lain at, if he had, in that fit of disorder, killed any body?” By which query, I thought he was not yet rightly come to himself: because there were some ordinary reports about the town concerning him, he reckoned those who broached and spread those reports, would have been culpable, and must have answered for the murder, if he had committed any : but this was but covering his sin.
He seemed to fall out with religion too; for he said, “ He would come no more to worship, till he should have
justice done him, as to the reports :” though poor soul, he had the more need to present himself before his Maker, and bow before the most high God, and repent in great humiliation. The same day in which he neglected his duty, he was taken sick, and that day week was buried. He sent for me, and I went to him : he had but little sense of his end, as I could perceive, and remained so till the night he died. I was by him when he died, and saw him fetch his last breath. A few minutes before he gave up the ghost, he trembled and shook exceedingly, and shrieked out, to the astonishment of all those present, which pierced my very soul within me: for he seemed to go out of the world in an extreme great agony.
I never saw any depart the world any ways like him ; and indeed it was very amazing, and greatly affected my mind with sorrow; for I thought he was very unfit to die. Oh! me thinks I could heartily wish, that such objects might be as so many strong motives, to stir up and awaken the offspring of good men and virtuous women (as also any professing christianity) to fear the Lord, and walk in his ways, whose ways lead to life, in which the sting of death is taken away.
The children of godly parents have much to answer for, in slighting or neglecting the wholesome counsel, good advice, and faithful admonition, of their faithful and careful parents; whom they disgrace and dishonour, contrary to the command of God, who says, “Honour thy parents, that thy days may be long in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee:” and none can truly honour their parents, who dishonour God their maker.
The Fourth Instance of a Young Woman who often ab
sented herself from meetings, for the sake of much Bad Company.
The fourth instance, which I shall give thee, is concerning a young woman, of about twenty-five years of age; who was brought up very finely, tenderly, and delicately,
with her lockets and chains of gold, and waiting maid : but her parents living too high for their income, broke in people's debt; and their children as they grew up, were put to their shifts. What pity it is, that youth are not brought up to some business, whereby they may get a livelihood in the world, if their parents should drop before them ! and though parents may have a handsome interest in this world, yet it has been thought by some great, as well as wise men, that to put out youth to trades and business, is both profitable and honourable : instances of the evil consequences of the contrary, have been very many, as woful experience doth daily teach us; and this young woman was one: for falling into evil company, she ran into debt, and was put into prison; where was a murderer, whom, it was said, she was accessary to loose from his chains; and for so doing was put in chains herself, along with him, when he was taken again: and now, instead of her gold chain, she must take up
with an iron one; and in a little time is to be tried for life : and in expectation of death, and being in great distress, she sent for me, and entreated me to come and see her die, and much lamented her condition : “Oh! said she, that I might be a warning to all young people, to be careful that they keep not evil company, and spend their time which should be spent in worship, in airy company, and other vain diversions, when they should be doing their duty to God.” And then she would weep bitterly ; she being very penitent, it very much affected me; and I told her, “ That I did believe, if she in her heart was clear, and no ways consenting to the murder, her life would be given her : but then wo and misery would be her portion, if she did not amend her ways.” And as I was leaving her, she charged me, “ To warn young people that they might be careful that they spend not their time in vanity, and to keep out of vain and wicked company,
” which she said had brought her to that misery and shame : “ And that they should take the counsel and advice of good friends, (which if I had done, said she), I had not brought reproach on my friends, and on my parents.'
In a little time after, she was brought to a trial, and ac quitted by the jury. I saw her once since, and reminded her of her duty; which, she said, “She hoped to per. form; and that it should be a warning to her, while she lived in this world :” and that such examples may be a warning to all people, is the earnest desire of a lover of souls, and servant of Jesus.
Since I wrote the foregoing, there being a person in this place, who would be sometimes overtaken in drink, I sent it to him to copy over, hoping it might have some good effect on him : and truly before he had copied the relation of the first person, he was so smitten with the sense of the judgement of the Almighty, that he cried out, even to roaring, and said, “He was a condemned person, and that he felt the fire of hell.” He sent for
me, and several others, and begged of us to pray for him: he was told, “ That the hand of God was upon him for sin, and desired to take warning in time, and repent, lest the Lord should cut him off in his iniquity.” The Lord did accordingly cut off this person, he dying sud. denly, by hard drinking, as I was informed by a letter from Barbadoes ; though he promised, “If the Lord would spare him then, to be more faithful for the time to come ; and was then under deep inward exercise of mind. I mention this as a corroboration of the above instances, for further admonition. This person was in a consider. able post in that government: his name I forbear to mention, for divers reasons. If thou and friends see meet, I could desire, from the exercise that is on my mind, that this might be spread; peradventure it might have place with some, for their good.
HIGH SHERIFF OF BALTIMORE COUNTY,
IN THE PROVINCE OF MARYLAND,
AND TO OTHER FRIENDS THERE.
Barbadoes, 1st of 12th Mo. 1718.
Loving friend Aquila Paca,
EETING here with captain Swaddle, bound for your rer, I found a concern on my mind to send a few lines, membering the good opportunities I had at your meetg in that neighbourhood, together with those few poor inest souls that I met with there; and I desire thee to ve my dear love in Christ to them.
Dear friend, I am tenderly concerned in the love of od, and his dear Son, to beg of thee, that thou let not e world, nor any thing therein, either the riches, pleases, or friendship thereof, draw thy mind from that easure of grace which hath been manifested to thee; r God hath visited thee in his tender love and
mercy, thou well knowest, and hath begotten good desires in nee, and convinced thee of the holy truth, as it is in resus. Oh! saith my soul, that thou mayst more and wore grow therein, to thy bringing forth much good uit, to the glory of God, and the eternal good of that art in thee, which will never die.
Salute me to thy wife and children, and the neighbours, nd their children also, all of whom I wish well in this