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Cupid Wilkin, with his wife, and two or three others. One morning, as Mrs. Baker, myself, and child were sitting down to breakfast, this old man came and stood at the door.
We sat down carelessly, without giving thanks to God for what we were going to receive; which the old man perceiving, he turned round to another that was near him, and said, “ Whence have these people came? I could wish to learn, if they know that God made thein ?" I overheard him saying this, and instantly got up, and spoke to him in the following manner: Old man, can
“ No," he replied ;“ but I know that both of you can.
you cannot read, how dare you thus to reprimand me ?' The old man immediately humbled himself, and said, “ Master, if you will not be angry, I will tell you where to search the Scriptures, and you will find there, that you are not only to thank God; but to return God love, prayer, and thanksgiving, for what you are going to receive, in the name of Jesus Christ.” — The next day I was obliged to go abroad in quest of some money. In my absence, the old man requested Mrs. Baker to take the Scriptures. She did so; and he convinced her of the truth of what he had said. From this time she was much taken with religion ; and begged of the old man to try what he could do with me, in regard of serving God; but she then observed, that nothing could be done so long as I followed drink; and it was that which kept us poor. The old man heard this attentively, and replied, “ If he will turn round and serve God, liquor is the first thing he will leave ofl.” On my return, Mis. Baker was continually importuning me to incline me to religion. I buffled her good intentions for several days, telling her it was not good to hearken to such ignorant people. A few nights alter, my mind was impressed with the thought, that I would go and hear whether these people could pray, or speak any sense at all. Accordingly I got up one night, and heard them singing and praising God. I drew near, aud found thein in a small hut, on their knees at prayer. I immediately approached to the man who was praying, and fell on my knecs also, with an intention of hearing his prayer. I heard that he asked for so many things agreeable to the Scriptures, as astonished me, and made me almost believe that he had more knowledge than myself.
That moment I formed a resolution that I would turn and serve God. From this tiine I frequently conversed with the old man. I now began to apply my heart to God. I prayed day and night for the space of three or four weeks; but at the end of this time I became very much troubled, and tempted to imagine I had done a very wrong thing in listening to this old man. At last I became so miserable, that no tongue can describe my state of mind: I was afraid to stir out, or to move myself in any manner: I left ofl' praying, wickedly abused the old man, and forbade him ever to come near me again, exelaiming to Mrs. Baker that I was ruined for ever by listening 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 with 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 believed what had befallen me was from God; and said, it would be good to try a fast. This seemed very strange advice; however, 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 caine 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 tliem lome: he was satisfied. She then addressed them, saying, “ Sir, excuse 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 several
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 bin, it was a small piece of land. - What wilt thou do with land ?' said he, thou knowest nothing about land.' “ Sir," said she, “ I must try and do what I never did before. My husband is blind, and my child is small, therefore I cannot leave them." He then exclaimed, with inuch feeling, “ Poor 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 pone 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 the place where I was. 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 him, my circumstances 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 ihou 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 1 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,
“ Well," said he, “ fare thee well, 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 wis 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 filesh, - having no trust in my own works, or righteousness of any kind; as I came to God as a lost, iniserable, 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. thie 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
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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 bim, and was examined by Mr. Liele and his brethren, that they might see the works which God had done for me. Though bul 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 iminediately yo 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 hcar the word of God, till the operation of the medicine became so severe, I suppose by taking cold, that I was contined to my bed; and lay there fifteen days speechless, without taking any kind of nourishment but what Mrs. Baker could give me
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 tiine 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 lle alone that healed both body and soul. I soon after wrote to Mr. l'inn, that if he would procure me conveniences, I was ready to embrace his 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 would come. I preferred going by land; and soon set off, with my wife and one female child, for Stretch and Set, which was then the name of Mr Winn's estate, though it is now changed to Adelphi. Here I arrived in February 1788; and soon had an interview with Mr. Winn, On seeing him, he said, “Wel, 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 through the kindness of God, he had been chiefly instruinental 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 thee a place about a mile off, where those who wish to follow thee can come 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 Negro-town. In order to call them together we raised an hymn. The place was soon crowded. After singing, I bowed, and put up a prayer among them. This appeared so strange to them, that they began to wrangle, and were otherwise unsuly. I said little to them this first time; but promised, that if they would be civil, I would cowe again the next night. Accordingly I did so, when they seemed more inclined to listen to what I had to say. After patting up a prayer, I stood up, and spoke the word of God to them; informing 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 tbem 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
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 house Mr. Winn had prepared for me, who said, “ Now I give thee liberty to instrucı 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 twn, taree, 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 formed 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, hyinns, 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, Son, and Holy Spirit; and receiving the Lord's Supper, in