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were delivered from his usurpation, you would henceforward serve your Creator without fear. The arch fiend is solicitous to retain
you in bondage ; his utmost efforts are in requisition to prevent you from be lieving, that God has so loved you, as to purchase you with the price of blood, of the precious blood of the Lamb of God; he would prevent you from believing, that you are bought with such a price, lest, thus believing, you should render yourselves living sacrifices, holy, and acceptable to God. But, let God be true, and every man a liar. Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price, and the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, if One died for all, then were all dead ; and that He died for all, that they, who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him, who died for them, and rose again.
All the time I was speaking, Mr. C- was kicking my legs, or pulling the skirts of my garment, ever and anon vociferating : “ Have done, have done ; you have said enough; quite enough,” &c. &c. Sometimes he stood up close to my side, shouldering me as hard as he was able. The congregation noticed his behaviour, and it did not give them pleasure. For myself, I had much cause for gratitude to my divine Master : 1st, that he was pleased to give me words; and 2dly, that he did not suffer me to lose my self-command. No, not for an instant. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
My next evening lecture was uninterrupted ; but, on the succeeding Sunday evening, the throng was so prodigious, that it was with much difficulty I reached the pulpit ; and when entered, I was nearly suffocated by the strong effluvia, arising from the asafatida, with which the tools of the adversary had wet the pulpit and the pulpit cloth, plentifully sprinkling the whole house with the same noxious drug. For some moments I was so much overpowered, as to induce an apprehension, that it would be impossible I should proceed ; but the God of my life was abundantly sufficient for me. The demons of confusion were, however, not quite satisfied ; many stones were violently thrown into the windows ; yet no one received any other injury, than the alarm, which was created. At length, a large rugged stone, weighing about a pound and a half, was forcibly thrown in at the window behind my back; it missed me. Had it sped, as it was aimed, it must have finished me. Lifting it up, and waving it in the view of the people, I observed : This argument is solid, and weighty, but it is neither rutional, nor convincing. Exclamations, from various parts of the house, were echoed, and re-echoed : “ Pray, sir, leave the pulpit, !your life is at
hazard.” Be it so, I returned, the debt of nature must be paid, and I
J am immortal, while He who called me into existence has any business for me to perform; and when He has executed those purposes, for which He designed me, He will graciously sign my passport to realms of blessed
With your good leave, then, I will pursue my subject, and while I have a—THUS SAITH THE LORD--for every point of doctrine which I advance, not all the stones in Boston, except they stop my breath, shall shut my mouth, or arrest my testimony. The congregation was, as I have said, astonishingly large ; but order and silence were gradually restored, and I had uncommon freedom in the illustration, and defence of those sacred truths, which will be ultimately triumphant. Two or three succeeding lecture evenings were unmolested, when the business of stoning me in the pulpit, was again resumed; my
friends were in terror, and, after I had closed, forming a strong phalanx around me, they attended me home. Many religious people were violent in their opposition; they insisted that I merited the severest punishment; that the old discipline for Heretics ought to be put in force, and I was thus furnished with abundant reason to bless God for the religious liberty of the country of my adoption, else racks and tortures, would have been put in operation against me, nor would these holy men, moved by the spirit, have stopped short of my destruction. Yet was the charge of heresy never proved against me.
I was never silenced either by reason or scripture--I had called upon men every where, clergymen, or laymen, to step forward, and convict me of error; promising, solemnly promising, immediately upon conviction, to relinquish the obnoxious tenet, whatever it might chance to be, and to adopt that better way, which would, in such an event, become luminous before me. Truth, and gratitude, originates the confession, that in all circumstances, I have hitherto had reason to bless the God of my life, who hath promised He will be with me to the end of the world, and that all things shall work together for good. Amen, and amen.
Amid the haunts of memory let me stray,
OULI the beloved Preacher had continued his narrative. The
Editor fondly calculating upon assistance, which she believed herself authorized to expect, pledged herself to continue the sketch, even to the closing scene. But, alas! disappointed in her cherished hopes, she stands alone. Her health is broken, her spirits are depressed, and she is advanced in life; yea, doubtless, she is inadequate to the performance of her promise-But she remembers that this volume is addressed only to the friends of the dear departed, and she mournfully proceeds to its completion.
Upon December 14, 1774, Mr. Murray again visited Gloucester; the numerous family of the Sargents, then seated in that place, embraced in almost all its branches, the truth as it is in Jesus, and their attachment to him, whom they believed an ambassador of the Redeemer, was proportioned to their zeal. Many respectable names were added, and a little congregation was collected, who seemed to have among them but one heart, and one soul. Like the primitive Christians, they assembled daily, and they continued from house to house worshipping the only true God their Saviour. On recurrence to the journal of the Preacher, we find a memorandum, written upon his second visit to Gloucester, which is thus worded: “Here
God grants me rest from my toils, here I have a taste of heaven. song is sung here, and WORTHY IS THE LAMB constantly dwells upon their tongues.” Mr. Chandler's meeting-house was not closed against the Promulgator of glad tidings, until some time in January, 1775, upon the 20th of which month he made a second journey to Newburyport and Portsmouth. Those who had adhered to him in those towns, having ascertained that he absolutely believed the final restitution of all things, united with the many in the most unqualified cen
But the friends he had lost, particularly in Portsmouth, were replaced by many others, among whom we find the names of Judge and Sheriff Parker, Atkinson, Wentworth, Austin, Warner, Sheafe, Langdon, Sewall, Brackett, Whipple, Thompson, Turner, Gardner, Massey, Jackson, &c. &c. The heaven-instructed preacher continued
many years an occasional visitor in Portsmouth, where his labours were greatly blessed, and when other pulpits were closed against him in that metropolis, the doors of the Episcopal Church was open for his reception. But after he had repeatedly lectured in that church, a few persons appeared in opposition, and we have this moment under our eye, an original writing, addressed to the Promulgator upon this occasion ; we transcribe a verbatim copy." Whereas it is represented that some objections have been made by one, or more persons, belonging to the Church called Queen's Chapel, against the doors thereof being opened, for the admission of Mr. John Murray to preach the Gospel ; Wherefore, we the subscribers, proprietors, and parishioners of the Church aforesaid, having taken the same into consideration-Do (in order to remove any difficulties that might arise in that gentleman's breast in consequence of such objections) hereby fully declare our free will, and consent, that the said Church be opened at ALL TIMES, when«,
may be convenient for him to perform divine service in town, more especially during his present stay; and, instead of deeming it an indulgence granted him, we shall, on the contrary, acknowledge it a favour conferred on us, in his acceptance of this invitation. Portsmouth, May 24, 1781."-Signed by twenty-four of the leading members of the Church in Portsmouth. Our Preacher was also made the instrument of irradiating the mind of an exemplary Philanthropist, Mr. Noah Parker, now in regions of blessedness, who was so deeply penetrated, as to present himself a servant of the living God, a voluntary Preacher of the Gospel. A convenient house was raised for his use, by the brethren in Portsmouth, and he continued, until his departure out of time, a zealous and able minister of the Reconciliation.
Attached to the Gloucesterians, Mr. Murray once more believed he had found a permanent residence; yet, although he consented to consider that place as his home; he did not relinquish the persuasion that his commission obliged him to go forth a preacher of the Gospel, wherever, and whenever, the providence of God might seem to direct him. The inveteracy of his enemies in the town of Gloucester, was in full proportion to the attachment of his friends, and every mean of annoyance was in requisition. The spirit of liberty mounted very high in Gloucester, and for the purpose of influencing the ignorant, the teacher was proclaimed a PAPIST, sent out by Lord North, to aid the purpose of an obnoxious ministry ; anathemas, and sometimes stones, followed his steps as he passed the streets ; a town-meeting was called
the aim of which (lest the friends of the promulgator should take the alarm) was e is no reas this me
e is no record of
most illegally shrouded in silence, and a vote was thus surreptitiously obtained, that he should forthwith depart from the borders of Gloucester ; of this vote he was advertised by an officer-let us not say of justice. Still, however, he continued witnessing both to small and great, what Moses and the prophets had testified, concerning Jesus of Nazareth, that he died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. The most unwarrantable means were employed, old slanders were resuscitated, and new accusations brought forward ; tales which had been repeatedly confuted, were new garbed, and sent abroad, swelling the bosom of integrity with unutterable anguish. Among countless other calumnies which were afloat, a story was embellished, and published, originally propagated by one Maxwell, wherein the preacher, the lover of the Redeemer, is represented as treating the Eucharist in a ludicrous manner! although the gentleman-Mr. afterwards General Greene, at whose house, and in whose presence, the irreverent profanation was said to have taken place—had written to Doctor
Sand others, completely exonerating the accused. Mr. Murray's sentiments upon the sacred and consolatory ordinance of the Lord's Supper, are explained and expatiated upon, in his Letters and Sketches of Sermons, to which the interested reader is referred. It cannot be denied, that characters generally respectable, combined to stimulate the mob to the most desperate measures, but every unwarrantable project was frustrated. The doors of the meeting-house being now closed, the parlours of respectable friends became the places of assembling, until at length a spacious room was consecrated for that purpose. Letters of excommunication were now addressed, by the established Minister, to seventeen of the most respectable Church members, and this, for their att: nent to the Gospel of God our Saviour. While others, availing ...emselves of a Provincial Law, endeavoured to expel the Ambassador of their God, as a Vagrant. To meet, and obviate which difficulty, the kind friend under whose especial patronage he then was, presented him with a deed of gift, which constituted him a freeholder in Gloucester. The months of March and April, in this year, were, by the Preacher, devoted to visiting his friends in Boston, and various parts of Rhode Island, and toward the close of April, he returned to his highly favoured home, rejoicing that the zeal, and attachment of the Gloucesterians, were nothing diminished, and their meetings for scriptural investigations were joyfully resumed. In the month of May, 1775, the leading officers of the Rhode Island Brigade, assembled in the neighbourhood of Boston, despatched a respectable messenger, with a letter, soliciting the