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THE manuscript sheets of the following work, collected and arranged agreeably to their present order, were, by their Author and Compiler, entrusted to the care and keeping of the Subscriber, on the seventh day of November, in the year 1860; accompanied by a request that in the event of her decease, which was then expected to be near-I would at some convenient, or practical time, thereafter, look them over and make such grammatical and verbal changes as should be thought desirable; when having in view their publication at some future time.
A few days before her decease, which event occurred on the 10th day of February, A. D. 1861, in a conversation held with her, a portion of which related specially to the subject of her manuscript in my hands, above mentioned; she urged it upon me as a matter not to be lightly disregarded, that there should be no such alterations, or additions, made to that production, either in needless changes or alteration of the forms of expression, or in a close adherence to nice grammatical rules, as would 80 affect it, as to make it appear in any important or considerable sense, to be other than the veritable production of the Original Author and Compiler:-and it is confidently believed that the course taken, with the intention of fully carrying out her expressed wishes in the case, has left the work in a condition, that she, if living, would approve; so far as regards any
false light in which she would be placed thereby, or any obloquy that will attach to her name or memory, in consequence of any alterations or changes that have been made in ber original manuscripts entrusted to mé so as above represented. And the reader of the Volume, may take the fullest assurance, that, aside from such verbal (a few) and grammatical (many) corrections as it is believed, the instructions of the writer and compiler fully contemplated, it is the unvitiated and veritable production of the late Mrs. ABIGAIL HOUSE, of Lenox, Ashtabula County, Ohio, deceased.
I was born the 8th, of November 1790, in the town of Bloomfield, Hartford County Connecticut. My father's name was IRA CLARK. I was the youngest of the family, and at the early age of ten, was deprived of my Mother by death. At the expiration of one year, my father married again. I soon discovered my loss, and the dying counsel of my mother was often brought to my inind. I remembered many of her religious conversations with her pious mother. My trials at home were very severe and unfortunate, as regarded temporal things, but perhaps nothing else could have had so happy an effect upon me in other respects as did the privation of my home. For me a young girl, at an age so tender, to be deprived of the best earthly friend, whose counsels was so much needed, was a sore trial indeed. I ofter mourned over my condition, and although I had the sympathy of many, I would frequently say I did not wish to live, but the thought of death would fill me with horror, and produce serious impression, knowing I was not prepared to die and meet God in peace. I knew I was a sinner-and perfectly ignorant of the course I should take, to obtain a knowledge of the way of Life and Salvation. Such thoughts, however were soon over, as I was young and death, as I thought, at a great distance.
Storms of wind and thunder would always alarm me, and at such times I thought that I would sin no more, but as soon as the storm was over I would return to my former cheerfulness. At length I became more thoughtful, and some took me to be under concern of mind. At such times I would try to appear as though nothing were the matter, for I did not like to be called serious neither did I know that it was conviction. Often passages of Scripture would come to my mind, such as, “Come unto me all
ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you Rest." I did not think it alluded to me, for I was not coming to Christ. The first I remember that did mean me, was, one night as I lay in my bed in a sound sleep, I was suddenly awakened as if called by name, with these words: "Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?” I had no more desire for sleep that night, for I was alarmed, and I was sure that was for me, and that it was high time to turn from my sins. These words ran through my mind day after day, but I did not know for certain that they were Scripture. I thought, however, that they were, because they came with such power, though I had never read them. At length I broke the subject to the woman with whom I was then living. She told me it was a loud call from God, and I ought not to slight it. After that I felt more disposed to read the Bible, and other good books, such as the Pilgrims Progress. I knew there was something in it I did not understand, and would often weep while reading it from pity and sympathy for the poor man whom it represented.
Again those impressions wore off, and I returned to my follies, but as yet could take but little pleasure in them, knowing I was mortal and must die.
About this time an alarming disease broke out in the neighborhood, and swept off a number of my schoolmates and others: my mind was greatly agitated in consequence of sudden deaths.
“Oh that I were prepared to die, what would I give if I were & Christian?' One thing I was resolved to do, and that was to forsake my young associates, especially in the ball-room. That resolution I always kept. I took courage, thinking I was gaining ground, and perhaps I might overcome some of my follies.
When I heard the gospel preached (and as I trust I did) it would make me shudder, and the blood would run cold in my veins. Then I would resolve again to break off my sins. But alasl as soon as I was out of the sound of the preacher's voice, something would turn my mind from it, and not having deepness of root, it vanished away, and I was as light as before-being rather of a cheerful turn of mind naturally, I would often run into folly, and soon found it a most difficult habit to overcome.
There being a number of young people in the place, I saw it to be impossible for me to make much progress by way of refo:'m; so I made a promise if my life might be spared about ten days, I
take my fill of pleasure with my youthful companions, and